You already know that implementing the right plugins into your WordPress web design will extend the functionality and accessibility of your website. Although it’s important to remember that your industry and branding will play important roles in determining which free and freemium WordPress plugins are the best fit for your website and your audience, there are some plugins that every WordPress website and blog needs.
Introducing the WordPress Repository
Regardless of your business needs and goals, Security, speed, and SEO optimization are just a few of the universal concerns website owners, and web developers cannot afford to ignore.
Fortunately, the WordPress plugin repository has more than 47,000 WordPress plugins to choose from; this is especially good news for website owners and web developers. As an open source platform, the WordPress repository means there is a plugin for almost every function or feature you may need to incorporate into your WordPress web design.
Know your WordPress plugin options
Because WordPress is open source, a lot of the options featured in the WordPress plugin repository are either free, premium (paid), or what is known as ‘freemium.’ Freemium WordPress plugins are those that are free but come with an upgrade option for a premium version of the plugin with advanced and enhanced features.
Plugins to Incorporate into Your WordPress Web Design
Now that you know the difference between free, premium, and freemium, check out our list of the best WordPress plugins we’ve seen this year:
Coming from the same team that gave us WordPress, JetPack is a powerful plugin from Automattic that offers a “pack” of useful features and tools to help your website to fly. JetPack will take care of your WordPress site’s security, performance, traffic growth, image optimization, website appearance, and much more.
The plugin also features an enhanced distribution function that automatically shares your published content to third party services like search engines; which, of course, helps increase your website’s reach and traffic. Jetpack also creates sitemaps which make it easier for search engines to index your site.
Once installed, JetPack will monitor your site every five minutes for downtime and will notify you if it finds any issues. Perhaps most importantly, JetPack also works to protect your WordPress website from what is known as a “brute-force cracking.”
Yoast WordPress SEO (freemium)
As you know, search engines are THE primary source of traffic for all websites. And, as the numbers of Internet and search engine users increases steadily, SEO is more important and relevant than ever. That’s where Yoast comes in.
Yoast SEO is easily one of the most used freemium WordPress plugins because it guides you through the creation of better content. As you know, better content improves your rankings on search engine results. Yoast focuses on creating and publishing content that is useful to your audience and technically SEO friendly. With Yoast, the goal is to encourage your visitors to trust your site as a source of quality information; which, will also help your WordPress website sustain its rankings in the long run, which we call sustainable SEO.
The key to success with Yoast is that the plugin makes you choose a focus keyword and use it correctly in the article or blog piece you are writing. A page analysis feature included in the plugin’s functions, then checks for the use of your the focus keyword in your image alt tags, meta description, headings, and throughout the entire post. Yoast will also make suggestions for setting up your test and images for improved usability and visibility on search engine results.
In addition to helping you optimize your site’s SEO, Yoast also guides you through improving the way your page or posts look on search results by allowing you to create a snippet preview. The Readability feature in Yoast is particularly helpful as well; using it will ensure that your onsite content is straightforward and reader-friendly. Yoast will also help you write better headlines and encourage you to include a catchy Meta description to help increase the click through rates for your WordPress site.
The functionality of Yoast skyrockets when you buy the premium version which includes more keywords per page; previews on Facebook, Twitter, and Google; internal linking suggestions; content insights and much more. In fact, Yoast SEO is so useful that we include the use of the plugin’s premium features with every WordPress website we build for our clients.
Google XML sitemaps (free)
Last, but certainly not least on our list of 2017 plugin highlights, is Google XML Sitemaps. This SEO plugin for WordPress helps search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Safari to index your site with a customized XML sitemap. Yoast has great built in XML sitemap functionality, however, if you’re unable to use the Yoast plugin, this one will definitely suit.
Once you activate the plugin, Google XML will automatically generate an XML sitemap for your website, which makes it easier for search engines to index. A sitemap is important because it allows search engine bots to view the complete outline of your site and retrieve pertinent results in a more efficient way. And, because the plugin also notifies all major search engines each time you publish a new post or update to your site.
Meet a Team of Web Designers with the Resources You Need
At Mvestor Media, we specialize in the WordPress CMS platform and creating cutting-edge web design solutions that will engage and grow your audience. Connect with Mvestor Media today to learn more about our process!