WordPress is one of the best tools to build a website with, it’s easy to use, cheap to host and is very flexible.
There are thousands of free or virtually free plugins you can add to give you any feature you could want on your website.
Essential WordPress plugins
There are a handful of essential WordPress plugins we suggest you have in every site. Some aren’t the sexiest thing but are vital to keeping a site running well.
This fantastic plugin ensures that your site is always backed-up. Backing-up is one of those things most people forget, or hope they’ll never have to do. It sounds scary and complicated. Updraft takes all that worry away. It enables you to set up remote back-ups to virtually wherever you like.
I have mine set to go to DropBox, but you can just as easily use Google Drive or one of the other cloud hosting systems.
Once that’s all done, it takes two seconds to set Updraft to automatically back-up your whole, or just a portion, of your site at regular intervals.
Once that’s done you can forget about it. Until you have a problem with your website, then you’ll be glad of spending five minutes setting it up.
Without search engine optimisation your site may as well not exist. Yoast SEO is your best friend when it comes to ensuring your WordPress pages are optimised for search. This simple plugin gives you full control over every element of your page which effects how Google ranks your pages.
Yoast SEO works on a traffic light system, getting Yoast to give you a green light on your chosen keyword. Of course, you need to ensure you’ve done your keyword research beforehand to ensure you’ve optimised for phrases which actually drive searches.
Every website needs form, or how are you going to collect enquiries? The best we’ve used, by far, is Gravity Forms. It’s so easy to use you can have a new form set up in minutes.
The plugin is a drag and drop with a large array of options available including radio buttons, check boxes, dropdown list and everything else you need to create great looking forms.
You also get the ability to set responding emails to customers who complete your forms, as well as the ability to redirect users to a “Thank You” page which is really handy for measuring conversions in Google Analytics.
Unlike the other WordPress plugins Gravity Forms doesn’t have a free version, but it’s worth the investment.