One of the great things about WordPress is the number of plugins available that can pimp out your site. Plugins are just little website accessories that increase the security or functionality of a website, making your online presence that much more impressive.
There are plenty that we love and recommend, but these top 5 WordPress plugins are our favorite. Trust us, you need all of them.
1. Yoast SEO
The Yoast SEO plugin is a must-have for any website. Not only does it help your page’s SEO score, but it’s easy to use, offering a color coding system to let you know if you’re on track.
After you write your content, simply enter your selected focus keyword and the plugin will update with a score—from red to green—showing you how well you represented that keyword within your page. Got a bad score? Yoast lets you know how to improve it: either by uploading more photos, using the keyword more times on the page, or adding links to other websites.
2. Login Lockdown
It’s not just big websites like Target and Ashley Madison that are “targeted” (excuse the pun; it was right there) for online hackers. Any website can be attacked by people hoping to upload their SEO-riddled articles to your site. (It’s the equivalent of McDonald’s breaking into Burger King and setting up a Big Mac stand.)
Basically, once a shady site gets a hold of one username, they run a program that tries random password after random password over and over again, just hoping to find a match. Login Lockdown prevents that. If a certain IP address—say, a computer from China—tries to login to your site too many times within a given time frame, that IP address is blocked and the date and time stamp of each login are recorded.
If you’re shaking your head and saying you don’t need to worry about that, we should warn you: Clarity and its clients have had multiple hacking attempts in this last year. It can happen to anybody.
This WordPress plugin, simply put, is a lifesaver. Because you can never predict when something catastrophic will happen to your website (like a server crash), it’s important to have the security of knowing you can restore your entire website with the click of a mouse. That’s where BackupBuddy comes in.
It creates a backup of your entire site—pictures, articles, plugins, you name it—either on an automated schedule or whenever else you tell it to. If and when something happens, it’s easy to restore everything back to normal.
It’s one of the first plugins we install onto every site we create, because we know that keeping your beautiful site exactly how you like it is paramount.
4. Contact Form 7 / Contact Form DB
Contact Form 7 is our favorite plugin for collecting information from loyal (or potential) customers on your website.
Say you want clients to sign up for your newsletter, or you want to take inquiries from potential clients for your photography business. (Maybe you just want a soap box available for people to talk to you.) A simple contact form on your website allows them to sound off without having to switch to a separate tab and login to their email provider. And then—because mistakes happen—Contact Form DB (database) saves a copy of each form submission on your server for future reference.
High-resolution images are easy on the eyes, but hard on your hard drive. TinyPNG reduces the size of your marketing images without sacrificing quality. (“Size” in this case refers to the resolution of your image, not how big it is on the screen.)
Think of it as a kind of diet for for digital images. Without all those pixels taking up unnecessary space on your website, the page loads faster, which—as you know by now—helps boost your search engine ranking.
Naturally, these 5 plugins are the fundamental ones that we add onto every website we create. But, depending on your business, there are thousands more that you can use. Chances are, if you can dream it up, we can find a plugin that’ll do the job. Contact us (yes, using Contact Form 7!) to see how we can help you!
Clarity Creative Group is a web design & internet marketing company located in beautiful Orlando, Florida. In case you’re wondering, this article got a green “good” score from Yoast. Booyah!