19 percent of the web runs on WordPress ~VentureBeat
Ok, I think I don’t need to say anything more about how important WordPress has become over the years! It’s easy to handle and specially for small businesses is WordPress a bless. It’s time and cost effective and there are thousands of Themes you can choose from. Even premium Themes are about $ 50 and the price for a whole WordPress page is also lower than other CMS solutions.
I’m not going to talk about WP installations today. If you need help on this please contact me, send me an email and I’ll help you. Today I want to talk about the whole WordPress Plugin things and which you need to run a solid webpage based on WordPress.
In fact there are many great WordPress Plugins but don’t forget one thing: Too much plugins will make your WordPress page slow. Be careful also about which plugins you use! Choose only WordPress Plugins from trusted authors because of security reasons!
Let me start with the security…
You should use https for Admin and Login Pages if possible. In many cases you have to pay little more for a website hosting and a simple SSL-Certificate but it’s worth it!
There are several WordPress Plugins which give you more control over your WordPress installation:
Acunetix Secure WordPress
Acunetix Secure WordPress Plugin is a free and comprehensive security tool that helps you secure your WordPress installation and suggests corrective measures for: securing file permissions, security of the database, version hiding, WordPress admin protection and lots more.
Acunetix Secure WordPress Plugin checks your WordPress website/blog for security vulnerabilities and suggests corrective actions such as:
- File permissions
- Database security
- Version hiding
- WordPress admin protection/security
- Removes WP Generator META tag from core code
Sucuri Security – SiteCheck Malware Scanner
Sucuri SiteCheck will check your site for malware, spam, blacklisting and other security issues like .htaccess redirects, hidden eval code, etc. The best thing about it is it’s completely free.
You can also check for malware, blacklisting, and overall security status by scanning for free at SiteCheck.Sucuri.net.
Sucuri SiteCheck detects various types of malware, SPAM injections, website errors, disabled sites, database connection issues and code anomalies that require special attention to include:
- Cross Site Scripting (XSS)
- Website Defacements
- Hidden & Malicious iFrames
- PHP Mailers
- Phishing Attempts
- Malicious Redirects
- IP Cloaking
- Social Engineering Attacks
WordPress Plugin Wordfence starts by checking if your site is already infected. We do a deep server-side scan of your source code comparing it to the Official WordPress repository for core, themes and plugins. Then Wordfence secures your site and makes it up to 50 times faster.
- Includes Falcon Engine, the fastest WordPress caching engine available today. Falcon is faster because it reduces your web server disk and database activity to a minimum.
- Real-time blocking of known attackers. If another site using Wordfence is attacked and blocks the attacker, your site is automatically protected.
- Sign-in using your password and your cellphone to vastly improve login security. This is called Two Factor Authentication and is used by banks, government agencies and military world-wide for highest security authentication.
- Includes two-factor authentication, also referred to as cellphone sign-in.
- Scans for the HeartBleed vulnerability – included in the free scan for all users.
- Wordfence includes two caching modes for compatability and has cache management features like the ability to clear the cache and monitor cache usage.
- Enforce strong passwords among your administrators, publishers and users. Improve login security.
- Scans core files, themes and plugins against WordPress.org repository versions to check their integrity. Verify security of your source.
- And more…
And don’t forget to backup your site! This is a great plugin:
The backup plugin BackWPup Free can be used to save your complete installation including /wp-content/ and push them to an external Backup Service, like Dropbox, S3, FTP and many more. With a single backup .zip file you are able to easily restore an installation.
Now that your WordPress installation is secure you need to optimize your homepage for the search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing to increase the visibility of your website.
There are two powerful WordPress plugins, which give you the ability to handle the whole SEO things on your site:
All in One SEO Pack
All in One SEO Pack Optimizes your WordPress blog for SEO
- XML Sitemap support – submit your sitemap to Google and Bing and improve your SEO
- Google Analytics support
- Support for SEO on Custom Post Types
- Advanced Canonical URLs
- Fine tune Page Navigational Links
- Built-in API so other plugins/themes can access and extend functionality
- ONLY plugin to provide SEO Integration for WP e-Commerce sites
- Nonce Security built into All in One SEO Pack
- Support for CMS-style WordPress installations
- And more…
WordPress SEO by Yoast
This WordPress Plugin is written from the ground up by Joost de Valk and his team at Yoast to improve your site’s SEO on all needed aspects. While this WordPress SEO plugin goes the extra mile to take care of all the technical optimization, it first and foremost helps you write better content. WordPress SEO forces you to choose a focus keyword when you’re writing your articles, and then makes sure you use that focus keyword everywhere.
After you have secured your Website you can go on with another steps like to give your visitors the possibility to contact you and subscribe to your updates. Keep in mind that blogging is business as usual today! Fresh and useful content will increase the visibility of your page and your reputation. Blogging will automatically connect you closer to your customer, prospects and influencers. It will help you to build relationship and trust! Therefore you have to create your own content instead of sharing another’s all the time! What you need here are: Share buttons, contact forms and RSS-Feed for subscription.
There are many (really many) share buttons out there and depending on your taste you have the free choice but take a look at this two:
- Display all popular social sharing buttons with count, such as Twitter, Buffer, Facebook Share, Facebook Like, Digg, LinkedIn, Google +1, Reddit, dZone, TweetMeme, Topsy, Yahoo Buzz, StumbleUpon, Del.icio.us, Sphinn, Designbump, WebBlend, BlogEngage, Serpd, Pinterest, Pocket and Tumblr.
- Facebook Like (Iframe or XFBML), support thumbnail generation, multiple languages, show faces and send button.
- Great customization options. Choose a floating bar like here: http://blog.bufferapp.com or sharing buttons at the top or bottom of the post.
- Lazy loading to increase website performance.
- Left or right scrolling effect like Mashable.com.
- Support in excerpt mode.
- Support for email and print services.
- Nearly any button out there you can think of.
Up your website’s social score with a little social Flare! Easily configure and share your blog posts across some of the most popular networks.
Flare allows you to:
- Add a Follow Me widget – place widgets on your site with links to your social networks to get more followers.
- Configure multiple share icons for some of the most popular sharing services like Twitter, Facebook, Stumble Upon, Reddit, Google+ and Pinterest! More coming soon!
- Easily order your icons, customize their icons‘ appearance
- Control which post types your Flare appears on
- Display your Flare at the top, bottom, left or right sides of your post content
- Flare displayed on the left and right of your post follow your visitors down the page as they scroll and conveniently hide when not needed
Contact and subscription plugins help you to stay in touch with your audience and readers. I can highly recommend these two:
The Contact Form plugin allows you to implement a feedback form to a web-page or a post in no time. It is an extremely easy form, that doesn’t require any additional settings, though there are some available options. All you need is just to activate the plugin and insert the shortcode [bestwebsoft_contact_form] into the text. There is also a premium version of the plugin with more useful features available.
Contact Form 7
WordPress Plugin Contact Form 7 can manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and so on.
I use Contact Form 7 for every WordPress installation. I just love this WordPress Plugin! 🙂
WordPress Contact Form Plugin by vCita
WordPress Plugin contact form by vCita was designed and built with WordPress developers in mind and will take your websites’ lead generation to new levels of success. Build the contact form you need:
- Simple Contact Form– Choose a template and customize fields, colors, fonts and layout – no coding is required for our contact form for WordPress websites.
- Dynamic Contact Form – Our contact form plugs in at the bottom of every page on your website, and displays a contact button or a lightBox to generate more leads.
- Sidebar contact widget – Add a contact box to the sidebar of your website.
WebEngage Feedback, Survey and Notification
With WebEngage you can do the following:
- Get feedback from your customers. We make it easy for them to report issues or suggest ideas. And we make it easier for you by offering a nice management console to reply back, keep a track and analyze all your data.
- Collect customer insights by conducting in-site short surveys. You can run product feedback survey, customer satisfaction surveys, lead generation surveys etc. Analyze all the data using our powerful reporting and analytics modules.
- Drive conversion and push sales on your website using our in-site notifications. You can use notifications to offer discount code, push a feature update message to all your visitors or announce a downtime on your website. You can target these messages at specific audiences on your website to create an effective campaign. We offer powerful analytics for each of your notifications including statistics like click-through rates, country wise distribution etc.
Depending on which email marketing provider you use, you can implement different sign in forms or you can start and build your list with these two awesome WordPress Plugins:
Optin Revolution: WordPress Popup
Optin Revolution Lite is a WordPress Plugin (popup) and is quite possibly the best way in the world for you to create supercharged unblockable WordPress popups to grow your list of subscribers! Optin Revolution is a killer free WordPress Plugin for people who want to have unlimited customization on their optin popups, with the ability to be highly creative without having to know how to code.
OptinMonster Converts Visitors into Subscribers & Customers. Imagine having the power to turn your website visitors into subscribers and customers. OptinMonster enables you to create professionally designed optin forms without writing a single line of code in 60 seconds flat.
WordPress Plugins to improve comment activities on your page:
Before I start consider this: Are blog comment dead? Click on the link and you’ll see what industry professionals are saying about it! Is it dead? I don’t want to start a big discussion here (we can start one in the comment section bellow J) but think about this: Comments on social networks are lost after some hours or days but they will stay forever on your website! You can bring the discussion to the social networks by using special plugins like Social Comment Plugins and if you do so, you’ll have a win-win situation. You’ll have all comments on your webpage and also on different social networks.
Here you can find a list of WordPress Plugins to improve and socialize comments:
This WordPress Plugin adds Google Plus Comments system, Facebook comments and / or Disqus Comments to your site.
Comments Evolved for WordPress
Comments Evolved makes the comment section tabbed seamlessly adding tabs for G+ Comments, Facebook, Disqus, WordPress Comments, and Trackbacks
Or just use Facebook Comments!
The Comments box lets people comment on content on your site using their Facebook profile and shows this activity to their friends in news feed. It also contains built-in moderation tools and special social relevance ranking.
I hope I could help you with this article to find the right WordPress Plugin for your WordPress installation in the huge „WordPress Plugin Jungle“ and if you have any questions or another recommendations, please use the comment section below and share your own experiences and thoughts with us.
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