One of the great things about WordPress is how easy it is to add custom functionality just by installing plugins, which are simply packages of code that can easily be added and removed from a WordPress installation. There are currently well over 11,000 plugins available for free in the WordPress Plugin Directory. Any of these plugins can be installed right from the WordPress dashboard without having to mess with any programming!
And that doesn’t count all the great premium plugins that are available out there too.
Sorting through 11K+ plugins can be a little intimidating. So I thought I’d put together my Top 10 for small business websites.
These are completely based on my own scientific measures. Which basically means these are the ones I like best and think are most useful for small businesses. That said, I know there are a ton of great plugins I’m leaving out. If there’s one you think is great for small business websites then leave a comment and let us know.
Now on to…
The Plugin List
1. Akismet – I know. It’s not really fair to include this plugin since Akismet comes bundled with WordPress. However we absolutely do not want spam to make it to the front of our websites and Akismet does a fantastic job keeping our websites spam free.
2. All In One SEO Pack – Search Engine Optimization is another non-negotiable for small business websites. All In One SEO Pack is one of the best plugins to give you all the easy access to your SEO settings that you need to get the job done. (One note: if your site is on a premium theme like Headway or Genesis with SEO functionality built in then you won’t need this plugin.)
3. Automatic WordPress Backup – Backing up your website is another critical requirement for businesses. This plugin will back up the important parts of your WordPress website to an Amazon S3 account so you can have a reliable off-site backup of your website. If the worst happens you’ll be able to get back up and running quickly.
4. Google Analyticator – I tell my clients that you can’t manage what you don’t measure. Google Analytics is one of the better metrics systems out there and this plugin makes it easy to integrate Google Analytics with your WordPress site so that you’ll know where your traffic is coming from and where it is going on your site.
5. Google XML Sitemaps – It is important to tell the search engines about the great content on your website so that it gets indexed properly and quickly. This plugin helps make that happen. New posts here on SuccessCREEations get indexed as fast as I can look them up after I hit the Publish button. I attribute that in large part to this plugin.
6. Gravity Forms – This is the first (of two) premium (i.e. “costs money”) plugins on my list. A very important part of a business website is gathering information from customers and visitors. Gravity Forms is, in my opinion, the best forms plugin out there for WordPress and well worth the nominal cost.
7. Scribe SEO – Are you an SEO expert? Neither am I, even though I know a ton about SEO. Scribe SEO takes the guess work out of optimizing our posts and pages. It integrates seamlessly with All In One SEO Pack (or select premium themes like Headway and Genesis). With the click of a mouse it will evaluate your content and tell you how to improve your on-page SEO. It’s well worth the price to use this premium plugin. (Unless of course you are already an SEO expert.)
8. Socialble – Making your content easy to share on social media is important as a business owner. You can use a handful of different plugins like I do here on SuccessCREEations. Or you can simply add Sociable and set whatever social media services you want to connect to all with one plugin.
9. W3 Total Cache – Speed is of the essence in business and W3 Total Cache can speed up your website dramatically. As I mentioned recently, this plugin makes it easy to use a CDN on your WordPress site, with all the benefits that go along with it. With W3 Total Cache properly set up your site will be ready for those huge traffic spikes from your brilliant blog posts. No worries.
10. WPtouch – Mobile is getting more and more important for businesses with all the new smart phones out there. WPtouch gives mobile visitors to your website with touch screens, like iPhones and Androids, a presentation that is easier to navigate than your normal website. It happens automatically when you install the plugin. Very nice.
Over to You
Now it’s your turn. What plugins do you think businesses should have on their sites?