WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system (CMS). There must be something about it that makes it so attractive to organizations and individuals looking to build a world-class website or blog. Of course just because your website runs on WordPress doesn’t guarantee that it will grow.
In fact, the vast majority of WordPress blogs (to be fair, just like sites on other CMS platforms) stagnate or die. If you want to harness the power of WordPress and increase your blog’s odds of success, leveraging certain tools is key. Here’s a look at some of the most important plugins for a WordPress blog’s growth.
The more interactive your blog is, the keener visitors will be to return. The most important feature of an interactive website is the ability of customers to reach you. That begins with having a contact form. Contact forms are better than providing an email address because the user doesn’t have to exit your website for them to compose and send their message.
There are many contact form plugins for WordPress but WPForms is arguably the most user-friendly. With the drag & drop builder, you don’t need to have a tech background to create high quality contact forms, order forms, payment forms, subscription forms, user registration forms, user surveys and even login pages.
WPForms seamlessly integrates with leading payment and marketing platforms.
2. Yoast SEO
Search engines (mainly Google but also Bing, Baidu and Yandex) are the primary source of visitor traffic for the overwhelming majority of websites. When someone goes to a search engine’s input form and enters one or more words that describe what they are looking for, the search engine will generate hundreds, thousands or millions of results.
The order in which these results appear isn’t random. The search engine looks at certain attributes of a web page to determine how high up it should appear in the results. This results ranking is why search engine optimization (SEO) is so important for your blog.
Yoast SEO is by far the most popular (and likely most effective) SEO plugin for WordPress. It offers comprehensive yet straightforward features and recommendations that are easy for a non-techie to follow and apply. Quickly generate sitemaps, add meta tags, optimize for social media and auto-redirect broken links.
If you are setting up an ecommerce store, its success will greatly depend on how seamless the searching, shopping and purchasing experience is for prospective customers. You could always build a store from scratch but the cost and time it would take makes that unviable for most website owners.
In active use by more than 4 million sites, WooCommerce is the number one ecommerce plugin for the WordPress CMS. It has a wide range of features that make it relatively easy to build an online store. These include shipping features, payment options, beautiful design, subscriptions, memberships and numerous product categories.
So dominant has WooCommerce become that there’s now an all-encompassing WooCommerce ecosystem that includes a hosting plan, numerous themes, payment gateways, WooCommerce Support and additional plugins for WooCommerce itself.
Email is as old as the Internet. Yet, despite the emergence of multiple alternative channels of electronic communication including social networking platforms (like Facebook and Instagram), and messaging apps (e.g. WhatsApp and Messenger), email is more relevant as a tool for business marketing today than it’s ever been.
Email is a means of staying in touch with your blog’s visitors long after they’ve left the site. Constant Contact is one of the most widely used email marketing tools in the world. The WordPress plugin makes it easy to build an email list, send out eye-catching newsletters and combine it with lead generation plugins such as WPForms and OptinMonster.
Contact forms and email marketing tools are great. However, today’s consumer has grown accustomed to near instant responses to their requests. Nobody wants to wait for several hours for their email to be responded to if there’s a much faster means of communication.
Live chat is especially useful for an ecommerce store as it can make the difference between the customer proceeding with the purchase or abandoning it altogether. LiveChat is the number one chat support application so perhaps it isn’t surprising that it’s the leading live chat plugin for WordPress. LiveChat is easy to install and use and comes with plenty of customization options. It smoothly integrates with your CRM, support software and email marketing tools.
We’ve covered the most important tools but there are tens of thousands of WordPress plugins. Ultimately, you have to determine what your blog’s overall goals are then look for plugins that will help you achieve them.