Over 455 million websites use WordPress. So how do you make yours stand out from the competition?
You might not be a developer or designer, but that doesn’t mean your site has to be basic. One of the best reasons to use WordPress for a business website is the sheer number of WordPress plugins available — over 55,000 in 2022, with more added every day.
No matter what your business does, the best WordPress plugins can make your life easier and take your business site to the next design, functionality, and performance levels with just a few clicks.
While some plugins serve niche functions, others boast millions of downloads. Why are they so popular? Because they solve problems and add functionality that every business WordPress site can benefit from.
Here are our picks for the best WordPress plugins for business and how they can make your brand’s site shine.
Creating a Professional First Impression
There’s no getting away from the fact that first impressions matter. If your site appears amateurish, this reflects on your entire business, and it’s about more than just design. Get off on the right foot with every new visitor by adding these plugins to your site:
WordPress themes are fantastic for an instant professional touch, but they’re rarely perfect for your unique business needs out of the box. You have infinite customization options, but it can soon become overwhelming if you’re neither a designer nor a coder.
Elementor is a page builder that works with just about any theme, as long as it adheres to WordPress’s technical guidelines. In addition, it adds drag and drop functionality to any area of your site and limitless editing options.
Even if you didn’t build the site yourself, if your developer uses Elementor, you can too for everything from minor tweaks to brand new, unique pages.
Ideally, you don’t want your visitors to wait for longer than two seconds for your site to load. But, unfortunately, the longer it takes, the more likely they will head back to the search results — where your competition is only a click away.
Speed matters on WordPress, and your hosting can often make or break performance. However, that’s not to say you can’t tweak WordPress for more speed and better performance.
WP Rocket represents the standard in WordPress speed optimization. It works by:
- Caching content to serve it quickly
- Reducing server load for enhanced performance
- Cutting unnecessary code and making necessary files smaller
- Setting images to load only when needed
- Optionally integrating your site with a content delivery network (CDN)
Getting Found and Keeping in Touch
With so many sites out there, following the ‘build it, and they will come’ mantra is no longer reliable. Instead, you need to optimize your content and, if it suits your business model, keep in touch with warm leads. Getting people to your site can be a challenge, as can encouraging website visitors to return. These plugins make it easier:
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of making your content as favorable in Google’s eyes as possible. While a plugin can’t hope to replace a professional, it can point any site owner in the right direction.
Rank Math assists with using keywords in articles, optimizing titles, and formatting text in a way Google will love. It also takes care of sitemap production, ensuring that Google’s search spiders can easily find every page on your site.
There’s nothing more vital to your continued success than warm leads. If someone shows an interest in what you do but isn’t ready to commit, you could cross your fingers that they remember to come back when they are. Alternatively, you can use the OptinMonster WordPress plugin to shift the onus from them onto you.
OptinMonster is a fantastic tool to capture email subscribers at the most basic level. However, it does so much more. There are hundreds of templates, all optimized for high conversions, and you have complete control over how your invitations appear.
This plugin for WordPress can make the difference between losing a visitor for them never to return and shepherding them into your marketing funnel, ready to start a new business relationship.
As your email list starts growing thanks to your efforts with OptinMonster, it’s vital to remind your subscribers you’re there.
Constant Contact is highly regarded among email marketing specialists, but you don’t need to be an expert to maximize this plugin’s potential. You can use it to create subscriber forms, just as with OptinMonster, or integrate the two for stunning opt-in forms and incredible email templates.
Monarch is a plugin from Elegant Themes, the brand behind the Divi theme. It’s designed to make your site more social and is widely regarded as the best WordPress plugin for social media sharing.
Its potency all comes down to the vast number of design choices. As well as supporting direct sharing to the most popular social media platforms, you’ll have complete control over where buttons appear. Your options include:
- Automatic on-page popups and fly-ins
- A floating sidebar that moves as visitors scroll
- Above and below your main content
- Attached to media including videos and images
Turning Leads into Clients
How do you close a conversion? Ultimately, your business wants to turn contacts into paying customers, and these popular WordPress plugins help make it happen.
You might be happy to speak on the phone or chat over Zoom, but client contact often starts with an email inquiry. So don’t go old school with a link that opens your visitor’s email software of choice. Instead, keep them on your site and seamlessly integrate contact functionality with WPForms.
Contact forms are nothing groundbreaking, but they’re an essential first step, especially for businesses that focus on service provision. If you know how to use a word processor, you have all the skills you need to create and manage professional forms with this plugin.
Does your business thrive on face time with new and existing clients? The Amelia plugin can transform your WordPress website from a simple online presence to a fully functional booking platform.
Available in both the free version and paid version, the plugin enables business owners to integrate calendar, booking, and payment functionality into any existing WordPress site. You set your available hours, and the plugin takes care of letting people know when you can meet.
It also keeps you in the loop with real-time phone notifications and automatic Google Calendar synchronization. Amelia is even designed to work directly with WooCommerce, another essential tool for most business websites.
If you sell products, it’s all about closing the deal while people are on your site. WooCommerce is arguably the best WordPress eCommerce plugin for product sales and transforms your site into a bona fide eCommerce store.
Whether you only sell a couple of ebooks or you’re looking to take on Amazon, WooCommerce is only limited by your time, server space, and imagination.
This plugin’s prominence in the WordPress ecosystem even boasts dozens of plugins built around it. For example, YITH WooCommerce Wishlist enables your shoppers to add items to their favorites. At the same time, the PickPlugins Product Slider for WooCommerce allows you to turn your product listings into attractive ads.
The LiveChat WordPress plugin does exactly what it says on the tin. So if your business lends itself to answering queries and interacting with leads in real-time, this is how to do it.
What makes it one of the most must have WordPress plugins for live chat is how it goes above and beyond a simple messenger service. If you’re offline, it provides another opportunity for visitors to sign up for your mailing list. If you plan to be offline for a while, you can even use the company’s market-leading AI chatbot to answer common visitor queries.
Seeing What’s Working — And What Isn’t
Whether your website is designed purely for attracting leads or you love to add content to a WordPress blog, it’s essential to measure analytics and understand where your blog traffic comes from.
Solid reporting can indicate areas to boost blog performance and give you an idea of what to do next. These are the best WordPress plugins to ensure your WordPress site and everything on it perform in the categories that matter to you.
If you’ve got a WordPress website, you’ve probably heard of Google Analytics. It’s the de facto reporting tool to see how many people visit your site, where they’re from, and how they interact.
You could measure analytics through Google’s platform or integrate your data directly into your WordPress dashboard. There, you can track stats and blog traffic in real-time, check up on user behavior and stay on top of your search rankings.
Broken Link Checker
Remember the section above on creating a professional first impression? It’s not just about how things look and how quickly they load, but also whether they do what they should.
Broken links are surprisingly common. There are even entire link-building strategies built around helping other site owners to fix theirs. In this case, charity begins at home, and the Broken Link Checker plugin will ensure that the internal links you control work and the external ones that are out of your hands.
The Best WordPress Plugins to Ensure Peak Website Performance
If your site goes offline or becomes unavailable for any reason, it’s like bringing down the shutters. A closed store makes no sales, of course. Unsurprisingly, numerous plugins are out there designed specifically to keep you up and running. These are the ones you can’t afford to live without.
Sixty percent of small businesses never recover from a cyberattack. In many cases, it’s the data loss that cripples them.
Business owners that aren’t given a reason to worry about cybersecurity rarely consider the impact data loss could have on their business. Still, there’s no excuse not to keep WordPress website backups — especially when UpdraftPlus makes it easy.
This WordPress backup plugin is easy to configure and will back up files, content, databases, and everything else that makes your site tick. Moreover, it can do so automatically on any schedule that suits. Crucially, it can also send these backups away from your hosting server, such as delivering them by email or uploading them to Dropbox.
Wordfence is an all-in-one security plugin, and the best part is you don’t need to be a security expert to use it. From bad actors trying to guess your admin login to keeping malware far away from vital files, it’s as close as you can get to a dedicated cybersecurity team without hiring one!
If you want an industry-leading WordPress security plugin on a budget, the free version of Wordfence is adequate for most smaller WordPress sites. There’s also a clear upgrade path to a premium version as your site’s requirements increase.
Three More of the Best WordPress Plugins
Some plugins don’t quite make the cut as being essential, or they don’t fit nicely into any business-critical category. Sometimes, you just want to make life a little easier. These three plugins are optional but worth considering:
Some site owners turn off comments and make filling in contact forms a chore. Others like to encourage discussion and make it easy for potential leads to get in touch. If you fall into the latter category, Akismet can save you a lot of manual clicking.
It’s an anti-spam plugin and saves you time by checking your blog for spam comments and contact form entries against global lists of known spammers.
Print, PDF, Email by PrintFriendly
Do you produce content that people would love to share with colleagues or print for reference? PrintFriendly’s free plugin drops into your content to give visitors this option. Best of all, it does the hard work for you. It intelligently works out the best way to present your content in print, email, and PDF formats, leaving you to create posts and pages as usual.
WP Call Button
If you read the part above about preferring to speak to leads by phone and thought, ‘that’s me!’ then WP Call Button is a nifty addition to your site. It’s simple but effective and adds a button to your site that users can click to call you immediately.
It’s customizable, so there are no worries about it sticking out in your design any more than you want it to. It even integrates with Google Analytics so you can track who clicked the call button!
Achieve Peak Site Performance with Our WordPress Maintenance Services
Choosing the right plugins is only one part of creating the perfect WordPress website for your business. The best WordPress plugins, including those covered in this article, receive regular updates.
Unfortunately, outdated plugins cause an estimated 90 percent of WordPress security breaches, but we can ensure your site never becomes part of that statistic.
Our WordPress website maintenance services ensure your WordPress site is always on the latest version and that your WordPress themes and plugins are always up to date.
Take a look at the available packages, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch!