3 WordPress Plugins You Need to Know About if You are a Small Business
Vested or not, you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t have an interest in WordPress. It’s a tool that can be invaluable to a company and it has the capabilities to support any type of website. It’s free, really user friendly and has the basic customizable and marketing options a small company needs in its early stages. Whether you’re using WordPress for your online shop, a blog or a simple brochure webpage, these plugins are a must!
Akismet is a plugin I wish I had of known about before my inbox and blog post comments flooded with messages from the Princess of Nigeria and her friends. Akismet flags spam and then will track it or trash it. The best thing about this plugin is how accurate it is when it detects spam. It’s one of the most popular plugins on WordPress for obvious reasons and it guarantees that you don’t get inundated with irrelevant and useless data.
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimisation and WordPress SEO will help your small business get higher on a related Google searches. For example, if you are a freelance wedding florist located in Bendigo, Australia someone would have to be very specific in their Google search to find your website. This SEO plugin will help you to tailor your options to ensure that your SEO is optimized for the keywords you choose. So if you want your website to appear when someone searches for ‘Wedding florist Australia’, it can. It helps to market your content, and if you have a blog (which you should in order to increase the content on your website) it will guide each post you make in the direction of better SEO by showing how strong your SEO rating for each post in accordance to your own set guidelines and keywords. If used correctly it can be a very useful and powerful plug in.
The Google Analytics Dashboard is the kind of plugin that will provide a whole host of information about your website that you won’t be able to find anywhere else – something that is invaluable to any small business. On a basic level it will track page clicks, page views and file downloads. On a deeper level you can view sales funnels and exit rates for specific pages. You can then use this information to make changes to your website in order to suit your business’ marketing agenda.
If you have a blog on your website then WP Touch will ensure exceptional functionality in addition to looking pretty when it’s viewed on a mobile. Having mobile capabilities also makes your website more relevant and thus ranks higher in Google searches, so if you care about SEO this plugin is valuable to you.
TIP – Don’t install too many plugins!
If you install numerous plugins the performance of your website can suffer. If you go on a plugin downloading spree (don’t act like you haven’t wanted to) you risk downloading badly coded and underdeveloped plugins that will result in your website running slowly and your back end running even slower. If you have numerous plugins it can be hard to figure out which are the ones causing the problems, so it’s better to just stick to a few that you need and know work to improve your website rather than to its detriment. If in doubt always refer to the WordPress plugin repository where users offer ratings on each plugin.
WordPress has the power to be invaluable to your small business if you know how to use it. Even if you are creating a simple webpage, your back end doesn’t have to be simple, you can implement the right tools and plug-ins to get WordPress working to your advantage. However, WordPress is considered a very basic development platform in some regards. There are numerous systems that have far more marketing and design options. Programs like Sitecore DMS and the Kentico CMS for example. Given the complex nature of these programs they usually require the aid of an expert or an agency to use for your website. But for now, be content knowing that you know more about WordPress than I did when I first started using it and I don’t doubt you will continue to learn.
April Lipson is a Digital Manager at Loud&Clear, specialists in a variety of CMS systems, app development and web design. You can follow them @loudclear on Twitter.