WordPress plugins are very crucial building blocks of your WordPress site. WordPress plugins allow you to add new features and functionalities to your website in the least amount of time and money. Plugins also affect your website’s performance like web speed, security, and performance, so you should be careful before using any plugin. It is important to have the right set of plugins for different functionalities to ensure the website’s smooth functioning and online success. There are more than 50000 WordPress plugins available for almost every feature you want to have on your WordPress website. However, not all plugins are built equally, some of the plugins include inefficient coding that can affect your website’s performance. In this blog, we are going to walk through some of the must-have WordPress plugins for your business website in 2021.
Contact forms are one of the most essential parts of every website, it allows you to to be in touch with your visitors. WPForms is one of the most user-friendly and popular WordPress contact form plugins. It is an online drag and drops form builder that allows you to create online order forms, email subscription forms, contact forms, polls forms, payment forms, and other online forms without writing codes. It is also integrated with major payment and marketing platforms thus you can create powerful forms instantly using this plugin. Major benefits with the WPForms plugin are:
It offers pre-built templates to create contact forms.
Conditional logic allows you to show or hide fields according to user behavior.
Forms with multiple pages to improve user experience.
Geolocation option to display user’s geolocation.
Surveys and polls functions.
It captures the user’s email address even if they don’t finish submitting the forms.
Search Engine Optimization is one of the most important practices in today’s business environment. It plays an important role in increasing the number of visitors to your website, WordPress offers to build SEO-friendly web pages, which increases their website traffic. Yoast SEO is one of the most popular WordPress SEO plugins, it allows you to generate sitemaps, add meta tags, connect your site to Google search console, optimize your site for social media, and more. Features offered by the Yoast plugin that enhance your SEO are:
Internal link suggestions.
Optimize for keywords, synonyms, related keywords, key phrases.
XML news sitemaps.
Allows creating custom meta descriptions.
Updates as per Google’s algorithm.
Images can slow down your WordPress site, thus it is important to have all your images optimized for the web. WP Smush is a useful plugin that aims to optimize images on your website without losing the quality of images. It is an easy-to-use plugin that scans the entire website for images and compresses the images. It compresses JPEG files, PNG files, and GIF files which helps the website to load faster and enhances the site performance. Major benefits of using WP Smush are:
Compress image while preserving image quality.
Compress any image in any directory.
Compatible with your theme, page builder, and media library plugin.
Incorrect size image detection.
Defer offscreen images.
According to WebARX report on average more than 30’000 websites are hacked every day, WordPress sites can be more vulnerable to attacks because of plugin vulnerability, weak passwords, and obsolete software. iTheme Security WordPress plugin provides more than 30 ways to secure and protect your WordPress site. It works to lock down WordPress, fix common holes, stop automated attacks, and strengthen user credentials. Key features that the iTheme security plugin provides are:
WordPress salts and security keys
Malware scan scheduling
WordPress Command Line Interface (CLI) integration
WooCommerce is the e-commerce arm of WordPress. It is an open-source and customizable ecommerce plugin for WordPress designed for large and small online merchants using WordPress. It is regularly audited by Sucuri (an industry leader in security) which makes it safe for users. It allows you to add unlimited products and users and allows you to accept unlimited orders. From payments and shipping to marketing and accounting, WooCommers provides a wide variety of 400 extensions. Major benefits of using the WooCommerce plugin are:
Creating an e-commerce store
Manage orders and customers
Setting up Google Ads through WooCommerce
Setting up inventory on WooCommerce
Enables shipping and marketing management
You can use the Creative Mail plugin with WooCommerce. Creative Mail plugin is the WordPress-friendly email marketing solution. It offers a deep integration with WordPress, Jetpack, WooCommerce, Creative Mail helps you to automatically add contacts from website forms. If you have a WooCommerce store, Creative Mail can manage your important transactional emails. As other email solutions require you to add contacts, API keys, SMTP servers, and more that take you away from WordPress. Creative Mail simplifies the task and lets you manage your outreach from your WordPress dashboard. It offers a smart email editor that automatically suggests ideal layouts and pulls your blog posts, images, and products into email content to share with your audience. Creative Mail also lets advanced marketers build multistep campaigns that take the audience through a series of emails based on their behavior. Benefits of using the Creative Mail plugin are:
Interactive transactional emails
Jetpack forms integration
Build better branding
Ensures better deliverability
With 90000+ active WordPress Installations and 96/100 WordPress user ratings, Tidio is one of the most famous WordPress live chat plugins and chatbots. It enables easy and effective online communication with users. It allows you to engage with your audience, nurture leads, automate work and grow your business. Tidio comes with the following features:
A free chatting plugin that lets you talk with your visitors
A lightweight and customizable widget
A free mobile app to communicate with your visitors remotely
Incoming visitor notifications
Viewed pages list
Live typing preview that shows what visitor is typing before the message is being sent
Visual chatbot editor
Choosing the appropriate plugin for your website needs can make your web development easier and scalable. Selecting the right plugin involves considerations such as the scope of your website, the number of visitors, and more. You should evaluate how a specific plugin can affect your website speed, security, performance, and cost. Most good plugins have a cost so make to compare the cost. The consequences of choosing the wrong plugin can be huge, according to a report, 22% of WordPress sites are hacked because of security issues with plugins. Plugin decisions are an important step in building your website, it should be evaluated carefully before a Plugin is added to your website.
Piyush Jain is the founder and CEO of Simpalm, Washington DC web design and development agency. Piyush founded Simpalm in 2009 and has grown it to be a leading mobile and web development company in the DMV area. With a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins and a strong background in technology and entrepreneurship, he understands how to solve problems using technology. Under his leadership, Simpalm has delivered 300+ mobile apps and web solutions to clients in startups, enterprises and the federal sector.