WordPress is the world’s most favorite content management system for eCommerce businesses. This is because it is user friendly, powerful, and versatile. WordPress is a framework that provides important elements for creating basic websites for both beginners and dedicated website designers.
To fully customize a site’s functions, appearance, and performance, you’ll need a set of WordPress plugins. With the right set of WordPress plugins and tools, your online business can grow faster.
In this article, we share WordPress plugins, why they are important, and our expert pick of the must-have plugins for WordPress business website.
What are WordPress plugins?
Plugins are independent pieces of software that are designed and uploaded to any WordPress website to meet a user’s specific functions or add a specific feature to the WordPress site.
In other words, WordPress plugins provide the functions and features you need to completely customize your site so that it can run efficiently.
Free plugins vs paid plugins
The types of plugins include:
The members of the WordPress community create plugins that are listed in the plugin directory. These plugins are subjected to intense review before they’re listed for users, to make sure they’re updated and safe to use with a particular version of WordPress.
These plugins come at no cost and can be used as one may wish. The WordPress Plugin Directory consists of over 50,000 plugins for tasks like boosting a site’s SEO, creating contact or opt-in forms, installing galleries and slideshows for images, optimizing website images, and more.
These are provided by third-party WordPress designers and developers. Others are created and shared by independent WordPress users with experience in coding and web development.
You will have a support team that keeps the plugin updated and constantly enhanced and this saves you from the hassle of monitoring the plugins for updates and vulnerabilities. Paid plugin costs between30-100$. There are additional costs for major upgrades. You can get paid plugins at affordable prices from CodeCanyon.
These support both free and premium versions. One uses the free version as long as his or her needs are attained. In case you need the premium version, you may be required to upgrade your subscription. Of course, the free version comes with limited features and does not allow you to customize it to meet your needs.
Why are plugins so important?
Plugins can enhance the functionality of WordPress site through;
- Plugins can add features to improve user experience. They enable users to navigate the site, find content, leave comments, subscribe for updates, and contact site administrators.
- Plugins add firewalls, alerts, user verifications, and spam blockers for greater site security.
- Plugins can speed up a WordPress site by enabling caching and optimizing images.
- Plugins help to optimize your site for searchability, add editorial calendars, schedule posts, and manage social media sharing and email lists.
- Plugins can add designer fonts, galleries, sliders, and media players to your site. All this improves the appearance of your site; plus some themes may need specific plugins to perform properly.
Must-have plugins for your WordPress website (free and paid)
With the very many options to choose from, it is extremely overwhelming for new users to find the right plugin for their website. Choosing the best plugins is crucial for the speed, security, and user-friendliness of your website.
Being WordPress users, we have tested over a thousand WordPress plugins, both paid and free WordPress plugins. So, to make the selection process easier for you, we came up with a list of the 10 best must-have plugins for your WordPress website.
WPForms make visitors get in touch with you. This is perhaps the most user-friendly contact form plugin for WordPress.
This drag & drop online form builder allows easy creation of contact forms, email subscription forms, online order forms, and payment forms WPForms combines all popular marketing and payment platforms for you to build powerful forms in less than 5 minutes.
This is the top best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. With MonsterInsights, you can connect your website with Google Analytics to determine how people find and use your website.
It gives you access to important stats that matter right inside your WordPress dashboard so that you can make good use of your website accordingly to increase your traffic, subscribers, and revenue.
SEO brings visitors from search engines to your website. It is one of the most popular WordPress plugins of all time. Yoast offers the most detailed solution with all the features and tools needed to improve your on-page SEO.
Yoast allows you to add meta tags, generate sitemaps, connect your site to Google Search Console, optimize it for social media, and more.
This plugin fits all needs and all budgets. It is a multipurpose tool that helps you with marketing, design, and security. Not all Jetpack features are free. It comes in one free and three paid plans.
Jetpack has features such as site analytics, automated social media posting, multiple WordPress themes, spam filtering, downtime monitoring, malware scanning, login security, lazy image loading, CDN, and more.
Jetpack is good for personal blogs, and for both start-ups and corporate businesses.
Akismet is a tool developed to automatically block spam comments. Every now and then, we are spammed by promotional links, irrelevant stories, malicious content, or simply by mistake. With hundreds of comments a day, all the above are very difficult to detect by yourself.
Akismet analyses all your contact form submissions against their global database of spam, so that only good and relevant information gets to you. Akismet also blocks malicious or problematic content to be published on your site.
The plugin is a must-have for blog and business owners that receive very many comments daily.
To sell your products to clients on the web, WooCommerce lets you turn your WordPress site into an online shop. For that reason, WooCommerce was built for commercial purposes, and therefore all its users must be business owners.
WooCommerce is very flexible in terms of customization options. Apart from the built-in settings, lots of developers created extensions to make online selling as smooth as possible.
With this plugin, you can sell both physical and digital goods, add product variations, use affiliate links, and extensive payment methods.
ElementorPro was released in 2016 and has quickly grown to become one of the most popular page builders for WordPress. This plugin has 5+ million active installs.
For those of you who want to start designing from scratch, this is the place for you. With ElementorPro, you can build complex, pixel-perfect page designs using drag and drop.
This plugin has 100+ pre-designed templates, over 80 design elements, and add text, buttons and even forms to your pages to help get you started.
This is the most popular premium caching plugin for WordPress. WP Rocket has a huge list of features with a user-friendly interface. WP Rocket has simple settings and will work as soon as you activate it.
You can call this plugin an all-in-one image optimization answer for WordPress. Optimole optimizes your images in real-time with a cloud-based system to speed up your website.
With the easy-to-setup options, you can install optimole in a few clicks and start improving your site in minutes.
Optimole optimizes your images automatically, Picks the right image size for the visitor’s browser and viewport, Serves images via a fast image CDN, and Uses lazy loading to display your images
With the drag and drop option, creating complex responsive forms with multiple columns and pages is made super easy. You can create and add a form to your site in minutes. You can also funnel user responses using conditional logic to get more robust and relevant information from visitors to your site.
Free vs paid which one should I go for?
Plugins in the WordPress directory have to meet a certain level of quality before they are accessed by clients. In the directory, there are both free and premium plugin options.
With the paid option, you will have a support team that keeps the plugins updated and constantly enhanced. This saves you from the hassle of monitoring the plugins for updates and vulnerabilities.
Premium or paid plugins have additional support and tutorials to help utilize the plugin but free plugins don’t have this option.
Overall, although premium plugins come with the cost, it is worth the cost. Going for paid plugins is better than free plugins.
Word press has a set of Plugins in the WordPress.org directory where you can choose from, and have to meet a certain level of quality before they are accessed by clients.
But if you plan to install a plugin from sources other than the WordPress directory, research the source and take note of the plugin’s compatibility with your version of WordPress as well as any concerns reported by current users.
Always install a plugin from a reputable and trustworthy vendor. Always remember to check the browser compatibility, ratings and reviews, and the latest updates before you install any plugins on your site.