A Thought Experiment
Here are the top 5 recommended WordPress Plugins to enhance your web experience. But first…
Let’s assume your website were a taxicab. WordPress is the most preferred model in the industry.
Over the years, WordPress has grown to be the leading platform for running and marketing profitable and useful blogs. The reason for this is that it is easy to create a WordPress site and add the contents of your niche interest.
So you are running a taxi business in a city with lots of competition from other taxi businesses. Paying customers love clean, beautiful, fast and safe cars. If you want to make it in this city, you essentially need to ‘pimp your ride.’
Lucky for you, there are lots of garages out there. They have affordable spare parts, retrofits and attachments. Some of them offer stunning paint jobs, which are sure to get you tons of clients. They can do this for the price of a song.
In this case, the V8 Engine, Self-Driving Software, carbon-fibre wheels and Automatic Transmission for your taxi are Plugins for your site. On the other hand, the assorted colours, twin exhaust and beautiful decals are the Themes available for you.
Once your site is up and running, you will need to ‘nurture’ it and make it grow. There are some very useful tools out there, which can – and will help you enhance the overall web experience. The most important of these tools are plugins and themes.
Here, we will talk about the recommended WordPress plugins for a brilliant web experience. They will make it easier for you to get visitors and speak better to your audience. Marketing experts and WordPress developers love and recommend them.
#1. Yoast SEO
Everyone with an online ‘voice’ wants to be ‘heard’. Once upon a time, in 1990’s, there were few voices. If you wanted folks to hear you, you only needed to shout; and audiences around the world would hear you. You could even whisper and be heard by more people than you possibly wanted. Well, it sort of depended on how you whispered and what you were whispering about.
After the dot-com glory years, the internet has been expanding faster than the universe. The audience has been bombarded with so much shouting that it has evolved to hear only specific tunes. Yoast SEO helps you here.
The Yoast SEO plug-in was written by Joost de Valk and his team, to solve the problem of getting seen on major search engines. The addon helps you write quality content by ensuring that you put your focus on keywords. The keyword chosen then propels almost everywhere in your articles.
The plugin comes with a snippet preview feature which allows you to have picture of how your post will appear in the search results (in Google, Bing or Yahoo). It will also tell you how to create good Meta Descriptions for enhancing visibility to the search engines. In addition to increasing the number of clicks on your site, the plug-in also improves the ranking on the search results.
Yoast also contains a ‘Page Analysis’ feature which reminds you to add simple things that can otherwise be forgotten. It checks through the images in your post for the Focus Keyword. It also checks if you added subheadings throughout the lenght of your post.
Simply speaking, this awesome plugin makes your content loved by search engines.
#2. WP Rocket
Readers love sites that load quickly. Period.
Traditionally, a WordPress blog without any ‘speeder’ plugin will load on various speeds, depending on the content. If your site is primarily text-based, it will load faster than a similar site with pictures, videos and scripts.
If you have additional content on the site, you will probably need to speed things up on the Front End. Pages will need to load fast as the reader scrolls down. Other elements should run as soon as they are accessed. To help with this, there are various plugins that have been developed independently for WordPress.
The biggest names on the scene are WP Rocket, Hyper Cache, Super Cache and W3 Total Cache. They are all exceptionally good in making the page load fast.
WP Rocket helps with caching your pages so that they can be accessed quickly by the returning readers. It can also compress content so that it will be downloaded easily, among other beautiful functionalities.
WP Rocket claims that your site will load at the speed of light. We could probably use this as we wait for Alice’s Looking Glass.
Most blogs are updated regularly with fresh content. The ‘old’ content is usually very valuable in making your site an authority site on the niche and helping out different people with common interests. As such, it is important to keep them backed up somewhere secure. This needs not be a problem, since there are plugins that automatically backup the content in the Cloud.
BackupBuddy is one of the most popular addons to take care of your content stash. Unlike subscription services, you simply buy a licence for your blog or blogs. One of the best features of this plugin is that you can use a personal storage method of your choice – from DropBox, through Amazon S3, to emailing yourself.
This is one buddy you will be happy to have.
Statistics for nerds show that more than 70% of the visitors that go to new sites never return. It is not that they didn’t like what they saw, or that they choose to avoid the site – far from it. People are just organically programmed to do this. It’s how nature rolls.
Now, what if you could offer to send them periodic newsletters instead of them coming over to the website? Sounds effortless, right? It is. You get to send them your content. They get to stay updated with stuff that they are interested in.
OptinMonster is an excellent plugin for this sort of work. As the name suggests, you can use it to create ‘Opt-in’ forms for them to add their emails. It beautifully aggregates emails for you through the course of time and helps you build a valuable a list. At the end of the year (or your favorite timeline), you will have built an asset.
To add the icing to the cake, you can customize it to pop up and ask for the email (in a decent, respectable manner) once the reader is done with the site. The visitor is not interrupted rudely – hence there is a good chance of them dropping that precious email.
As you grow your blog, you may need to do more than get emails. You may want to add contact forms, maps and other cool features on some sections of the page. WPForms is the ultimate tool for this kind of work. You no longer need to hire a developer to add them for you. Once the plugin is installed, you will simply drag and drop elements of the form onto the preferred position on the page. It has to definitely belong with the list of top recommended wordpress plugins anywhere.
As a Way of Caveat…
The car garage welcomes all taxis in the city. It can add the best of the best upgrades and even fit the cab with wings so that it can take off whenever there is a traffic jam. Does it mean that a random taxi driver can make a fortune from ferrying paying customers to and fro? Probably. Does it mean that they can beat all the other taxis in the city? Probably. Does it mean that the taxi is will never slow or break down? Probably. It all depends on the driver.