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6 super WordPress plugins for SMBs

6 super WordPress plugins for SMBs

Posted 27th March, 2018 by Aliysa

WordPress powers 30 percent of the world’s websites, which—according to research company Netcraft—is over 64 million registered domains around the globe.

For businesses looking for a CMS, the number of developers using a platform offers a host of benefits. Firstly, because there are millions of developers working with WordPress, and because it is open source, the codebase is continually being improved and rolled out to users who—in most cases—are unaware of background updates taking place (as all most people see is an update email once the process is completed). Compare this kind of convenience and support with what you might get with a custom-built CMS, but for a significantly greater price, and you can see the appeal of WordPress.

And this is just one of the reasons that a business might choose WordPress as its default CMS. Other WordPress features include an arsenal of the best SEO tools, a simplified interface that anyone can use, full compliance with W3C guidelines, mobile compatibility, added security options, and access to 1,000s of free and commercially developed plugins, which can do most anything else you can think of.

This flexibility is the true appeal of WordPress. Plugins and themes take a vanilla WordPress install, and give you the ability to bend the platform to your own needs, and in this post we are going to showcase 6 of the best plugins to help you transform your business on WordPress.

IP Geo Block

There are a number of reasons that a business might need to block users by location (also known as ‘geo blocking’). You may only have rights to show something in certain countries, security threats may restrict where you can operate, or there may be local laws that you need to obey. With the IP Geo Block plugin for WordPress, you can address any and all of the above scenarios. Once installed, a new plugin will appear in your WordPress dashboard, where you can select from a host of blocking options, including logging and reporting (so you can identify and report any attacks). And if you need any reassurance, a quick look at the number of issues being resolved shows just how active the developers are at improving the plugin.

For more information visit: https://en-gb.wordpress.org/plugins/ip-geo-block/

WPForms

As a business, forms are an area that you need complete control over. You may have the requirement in a project to use geolocation, or maybe you need to run surveys or polls, or include PayPal integration into a form. Doing this from scratch is going to be a costly and time-consuming process, but with the WPForms WordPress plugin, you get all the functionality you could need, and it takes a matter of minutes to set up.

The only downside with WPForms is that it may be a little too costly for some, but with a price plan ranging from $39-$499, it should give every business the option to at least try it.

For more information visit: https://wpforms.com/

Yoast SEO (basic and premium)

When it comes to getting your SEO right, there can only be one WordPress plugin at the top of the pile—Yoast SEO. Having had millions of downloads since its launch, the Yoast SEO plugin has done a great job of educating web users about the benefits and best practices of search optimisation. Some of the features that have made Yoast SEO so popular include:

The ability to target specific keywords for each post or page Improving the readability of the copy and get a Flesch Reading Ease score The option to set canonical URLs, and avoid confusing Google No jargon (you don’t need to know about the likes of robots.txt, .htaccess files, and sitemaps) Yoast SEO is continually being updated to reflect Google’s algorithm

On the one hand, having a plugin do all of this for you is fantastic. It means that SEO is losing some of its mystique, and people are beginning to realise that it’s no dark art. On the downside, though, this means that every single one of your competitors has the same tools at their disposal, making it harder than ever too stand out.

Given the ubiquity of the free plugin, we’d recommend the Premium version as one to consider, as it offers the extra ability to get internal linking suggestions, features no ads, and provides extra reporting tools.

For more information visit: https://yoast.com/wordpress/plugins/seo/

MonsterInsights

If WordPress is the CMS of choice for people around the globe, then Google Analytics is its web reporting equivalent. In just over a decade, Google Analytics has democratised web reporting, and it is used by millions of individuals and businesses around the world. So it makes perfect sense to want these two products to work together, rather than having to constantly switch between the two—enter MonsterInsights.

MonsterInsights enables you to track sales, visitors, adverts, file downloads, form usage, and a whole lot more besides, and via the Google Analytics Dashboard that appears in your WordPress interface after installing the MonsterInsights plugin.

For more information visit: https://www.monsterinsights.com/

Insert Headers and Footers

Because of the nature of how WordPress creates pages, it’s often necessary for third-party apps and sites to place some text in the header and/or footer of your site. Because this can get a little fiddly, and some may struggle with knowing which file to edit, this plugin makes it a cinch to insert scripts, add Google Analytics codes, add custom CSS, and insert code into your pages.

For more information visit: https://en-gb.wordpress.org/plugins/insert-headers-and-footers/

UpdraftPlus

There are many points of potential failure when it comes to your site (such as hacks, user error, hardware failures, and good ol’ acts of god) and you can never be 100% sure that you’ve got everything covered. In fact, no one can, because there will always be new threats and exploits—this is why we back stuff up.

A simple, daily backup can save us from any worries over potential site failures but, despite this, a lot of us still don’t back up our data. This group, despite knowing the implications of files being lost, just refuse to countenance the possibility that it could happen to them. And it’s no small number, either, with a 2014 report of 500 SMBs revealing that a whopping sixty percent of small businesses don’t back up data on a daily basis.

All this means is that when you want someone to back something up, you had better make the process as quick, easy, and unremarkable as possible, which is exactly what the makers of the UpdraftPlus plugin have achieved. The plugin comes in two flavours (free and premium), and it enables you to do the following:

  • Backup WordPress files and databases
  • Translate into over 16 languages
  • Restore direct from backup files
  • Browse backup site versions
  • Schedule automated backups
  • Backup to remote storage (such as Dropbox, Google Drive, FTP, S3, Rackspace)

Thankfully, if you have a good web host such as Tsohost, you will be provided with regular backups as part of your package. But it never hurts to double up on backups, especially when it comes to your own piece of mind.

For more information visit: https://updraftplus.com/

Categories: WordPress, Tips, SEO

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