WordPress’ core advantage lies in the fact that it offers endless customizability for small business owners. The basic core software will just let you create and run a very basic website, but for added features and functionality of any sort, you will need to add plugins to your site.
Other CMS platforms and website builders have a lot of rigidity in what they offer in terms of website functionalities and that’s exactly why business owners flock to WordPress. The open source WordPress community continues to churn out a high amount of innovative and value oriented plugins to suit almost any purpose. Whether you need to block spam, increase website speed, optimize conversions or anything else, you can get a specialized plugin for it.
But with over 55,000 plugins available, how can you find the right one for your small business that offer the right capabilities and are stable enough to not harm your website?
You can go and search on your own as well, but if you are not that technical or don’t have much knowledge regarding plugin stability, you can potentially harm your site by getting the wrong plugin.
The other, a much better method is to go through these 10 best WordPress plugins that small businesses need to install on their website urgently in order to optimize their site and increase its security and performance.
Top 10 Best WordPress Plugins
1. Yoast SEO:
The best SEO plugin for WordPress sites, Yoast SEO will provide you with an incredible number of features that you can leverage to improve your site’s performance on Google leading to an immediate increase in the amount of organic traffic you get.
Google’s search algorithms have gotten fierce in recent times, implying that you have to set your site in a way that there is nothing Google can penalize you for. The Yoast SEO plugin offers website owners with the ability to conduct a comprehensive SEO analysis of their site and find out the major areas they need to work on.
With Yoast SEO, you can create XML sitemaps, optimize your content for a good Hemingway score, preview meta titles, descriptions and snippets, get large scale edits done much more easily with the block editor, get access to multiple content features that let you optimize internal linking strategies, create canonicals for your URLs among others.
Without this plugin, your SEO is as good as dead on a WordPress site. Get it immediately and if you want access to even more specialized features, upgrade to its premium version.
2. Akismet Anti-Spam:
Hackers don’t just insert malware on your site directly, they can also leave comments on your site that redirect users to potentially dangerous links. And if these comments remain present, Google will undoubtedly penalize your site resulting in a significant de-ranking of your keywords and loss in organic traffic.
But you cannot just remove your comments section, right? Akismet Anti-Spam will save you from such an ordeal by running a collective anti-spam campaign on your site, highlighting and blocking any comments it deems as spam.
This plugin is already there on any WordPress site, so it doesn’t need installation. However, you will need its key to activate it. This key is a paid feature, but spending money on it is valuable if you don’t want your small business website to be penalized by Google just at the start of your journey.
3. W3 Total Cache:
Slow websites are absolutely painful to use by anyone and it’s understandable that Google doesn’t rank those sites high which fails to load quickly. How big is the margin here? Most surveys say that if a website loads after more than 2 seconds have passed, the user will definitely mark your site for offering a bad experience and will probably never come back.
The W3 Total Cache will help your site overcome this issue through cached HTLM file creation so that a user doesn’t have to wait for the site to load from scratch every single time it visits.
This plugin is a must have if you want your site to offer a great user experience.
4. Google Analytics Dashboard Plugin:
Looking to increase the number of conversions you get on your small business website? Then you really need to get the Google Analytics Dashboard Plugin installed on your site.
The plugin will let you get a complete report on how your site is performing, which pages are getting the most traffic, determining bounce rates, blog traffic conversions among many other important data points that you can leverage to improve your conversion strategy.
Without this plugin, you will have to login to Google Analytics every time you want all such information.
A single malware infestation on your small business website can make it go offline for hours, devastating your data, any changes you might have done and your Google rankings.
Security on the web currently requires a multi-faceted approach that saves you from a wide variety of potential attacks.
Sucuri plugin offers exactly that and much more. This security plugin for WordPress is best for monitoring any security based issues and preventing them from happening.
From hacking attempts to DDoS attacks and from malware presence detection to attempts to breach your firewall, Sucuri prevents everything. Coupling this plugin, which also features a dedicated firewall, with a good web security hygiene will keep your website safe and secure on a consistent basis.
Backing up your site regularly is essential if you don’t want to lose any data on your website in case of a security breach or coding malfunction during an update. On top of this, regular backups make it easy for you to get your website back up in case you face a ransomware attack that encrypts all of your files.
While a WordPress maintenance service provider can help manage your backup profile sustainably, if you want to do it yourself, then there are very few options that compare to UpDraftPlus.
The way this plugin works is simple, you schedule times for the plugin to load automatic backups and define a place to store them and the plugin will do the rest.
Modern day users require almost instantaneous assistance these days, so outdated contact channels like email and phone have taken a major backseat. Adding a livechat feature on your site can help fulfill this need and on WordPress sites, you can do this easily through the LiveChat plugin.
LiveChat can help you place canned messages, que customer requests for interaction, and send notifications to users among others in its wide range of chat specific functionalities.
But what’s even great about this plugin is that you can integrate it with your current CRM like Salesforce and optimize your conversions in an even better manner by creating an optimized channel to collect valuable lead based data.
WordPress wasn’t previously renowned to be a good option when it came to creating E-commerce sites. This blunted out a lot of potential small business owners who didn’t have the budget to create a fully functional Ecommerce site through a different platform.
Different plugins were available that could Ecommerce functionality to a WordPress site, but they were just not good enough, until WooCommerce came along.
All the popular, WordPress based Ecommerce sites you see today, have been created using the WooCommerce plugin. For small businesses looking to sell on their site, WooCommerce is a necessity and it even has its own themes and plugin which you can use to customize WooCommerce in an even more customized manner.
If you running your small business smartly, then you must have a social media presence for it as well on all major platforms. Then, how great would it be if you could interlink your website with those profiles and power an incredible cross platform strategy that could increase your brand presence?
The SharedCounts plugin is perfect for this as it will allow you to show share counts on your site on top of allowing you to add social integration for your online business. Its user friendly and not complicated to setup or use, so no matter how inexperienced you are with WordPress plugins, you can easily leverage this plugin to get the most of your website and social presence.
If you are running a blog or have some screen real estate left over, then placing ads on it can be your next big revenue churning opportunity. Google Adsense gives great rates along with a platform through which you don’t have to worry about getting brands to advertise on your site.
But Google AdSense cannot be directly added to your site, so you will need AdSanity for it. This is a specialized, one of a kind ad management plugin used by a wide majority of WordPress sites.
Whether you want to see how many users clicked on the ad, how many went through or just want to get data on views of the ads placed on your website, AdSanity is perfect for that.
Small businesses can give their digital presence a major boost by leveraging these 10 plugins on their website. Covering everything from SEO to website security, these plugins can be the reason for you achieving your business goals much more easily this quarter.
If you have already used any of these plugins or have other even better plugins for small business websites on WordPress, then let us know about them now.
Alan Mathew is a professional digital marketer with years of experience in leading brands, working with multiple industry verticals. Currently, he is a Managing Partner of WPPals, which is specialized in providing WordPress maintenance and support services. Being a powerful industry voice, Alan also offers his services as a consultant in building and implementing brand growth strategies.