5 Best Free WordPress Plugins for Your Startup Online Business
Customizability has always been WordPress’s strong point, which is why the CMS remains one of the most popular platforms for business websites. A countless number of free plugins it offers allows companies to expand web functionalities while keeping expenses low. Plus, WordPress hosting is also relatively cheap, so startup companies can focus their budget on other development aspects.
In this article, we’ll take a look at five of the best free WordPress plugins to kickstart your startup’s growth in 2020.
Plugins extend the functionalities of WordPress. With so many selections available, picking the best one to build your startup website can be tricky. Luckily, there are some suggestions you can take into account to help you choose more effectively.
Just like any product, the reputation of a plugin tells a lot about whether or not it’s worth your time. This is reflected by the user ratings and reviews submitted to the WordPress official directory.
You can locate these ratings on the sidebar of the plugin page. To see the reviews, you can click the Reviews tab or any of the rating options. Be mindful, however, that sometimes people don’t bother to leave ratings or reviews, and that even a five-star plugin may not have a lot of active installations.
Regardless, this is still a good way to gauge the quality of the plugin you want to use. You can also turn to external sources, like forums or blogs, for more third-party inputs.
Plugin screenshots are like product photos; it can give you a general idea of what to expect from the plugin’s interface and features and you can find them under the plugin’s description.
Check whether or not it has the features you want to use, and take any additional information into account.
Another good way to measure the plugin’s quality is by examining its customer support. Usually, for free plugins, this comes in the form of an online forum. You can find it by clicking the plugin’s Support tab.
In general, the more active the forum is, the better. It means the developers are committed to maintaining the plugin in the long run, which brings us to the next point.
Before installing any plugin, make sure it’s compatible with the latest version of WordPress. You should also check the last time it’s updated because plugins can get insecure and obsolete rather fast if not regularly maintained.
Just like support forums, frequent updates show the developers still care about their products. You should also take a look at the plugins’ changelog to see what features are added and what bugs were fixed.
To find out how well a plugin is coded, do a series of simple technical checks to see how it affects your site’s performance.
You can do a speed test by checking how your website performs before and after the plugin installation. You can use speed-checker websites like Pingdom or GTMetrix to do this. A poorly-written plugin will slow download time and decrease your site’s grade.
Or, you can also use plugins like P3 or Query Monitor to check how much memory a plugin takes and how many databases queries it makes. Those two aspects also play a role in determining your website’s performance.
Now that we know what to look for, let’s examine some of the best free plugins for online startups you can try:
1. Yoast SEO
A newly-made startup website may require some additional work before it gets a sizable amount of traffic. This is why you need Yoast SEO to optimize your content for search engines.
The plugin’s highlighted features include keyword optimization, with one keyword limit in the free version, readability check, snippet preview, content analysis, and page indexing to increase your site’s discoverability.
If you want to try their Yoast SEO Premium version, you can unlock more features by paying $89/year.
To help you come up with a better content marketing strategy to increase traffic, you will need to monitor your visitor data and statistics.
MonsterInsights is just the right plugin for that. It’s a tool that incorporates Google Analytics functions to your WordPress in a user-friendly manner. With it, you can customize and manage your analytics data easier.
Some of its key features are demographic stats, ads and e-commerce tracking, content report, Google optimization, and conversion tracker.
MonsterInsights Plus version can be purchased starting from $99.50/year.
Jetpack is an all-in-one tool for WordPress security, site optimization, and management. It works by connecting its features to WordPress.com, reducing the extra workload of a self-hosted server. As a result, you need to create a WordPress.com account to use it.
Its primary features include protection, backups, file caching and optimization, website stats, mobile app integration, and much more. Essentially, it’s a jack-of-all-trades with a massive library of functionalities. To prevent site bloating, you’re given the option to only activate the modules you need.
Jetpack Professional can be purchased with $29/month.
Quick loading time is one of the features of a great website. W3 Total Cache is a plugin that can help your site achieve just that. It incorporates the industry’s best practices to optimize both speed and user experience.
W3 Total Cache’s main highlight is its content delivery network management. It’s a network that virtually shortens the distance between data and front-end users using cache. Other notable features include compression and minification of data, SSL support, mobile optimization, and caching stats for performance insights.
W3 Total Cache packs more advanced features if you choose to go with the Pro plan for $99/year.
Spams are more than just annoying; they can also be harmful. Not only do they lower your site’s rank in search engines, the data of your visitors and site integrity are also at risk.
WordPress approval system mitigates this risk somewhat, but it doesn’t make comment moderation any less tedious. As your audience grows, fast responses become more crucial when building an approachable brand image. Luckily, there are plugins to filter these comments faster and Akismet is one of the best to do just that.
The free version comes with key features such as automatic spam filter, spam blocker, comment status history, and hidden or misleading URL display.
If you need additional features, paid packages are available as well starting from $5/month.
All of the plugins we listed in this article have been widely tested to prevent any compatibility errors, but it doesn’t hurt to know how to fix one, just in case. When you find this error, try the following workaround:
1. Go to the Plugins tab in your dashboard.
2. Try deactivating one of your active plugins, starting from the most recent one.
3. Check the front-end look of your website for any changes. Repeat the previous step until you find the culprit.
4. Remove the incompatible plugin.
Mary is a passionate blogger and the chief editor at her own content marketing company PRable.com. Since college, she’s been interested in break-through technology and technical writing about innovative products and services that change our everyday lives for the better. She’s also interested in web design and photography.