Every year brings new plugins, widgets and security updates for WordPress. Since WordPress is an open source site building platform, developers from all over the world keep creating additions and making improvements to the platform itself and to the list of available plugins.
Why does your WordPress website need plugins? Imagine your site as a basic dress, without embroideries and accessories. Think of what you might want to add to the dress to make it more unique: a belt will make a fine waist stand out, a brooch will give it a splash of colour, and a discreet safety pin will make sure that a loose zipper or button stays in place. All these extra accessories are like the plugins you can install on your website.
You may have already read our previous article on WordPress plugins. But with each new year, you need new plugins. The ones we have just selected will make your small business website more accessible to the user, as well as faster to load and easier to manage.Here are our recommendations:
- Google Language Translator
This helpful plugin lets people from all over the world access your content and understand it, by translating it into their native language. Powered by Google Translate (which has become very accurate and sophisticated after many contributions from users), the Google Language Translator plugin is a must-have for small businesses which sell general purpose digital products.
It will help you reach new audiences and grow your brand image among non-English speaking leads and subscribers. By removing the language barrier, you gain new opportunities to educate people, win their trust and, finally, close more sales.
- Symple Shortcodes
As a small business owner, you cannot afford to hire a programmer every time you want to add more elements to your website. For instance, if you want to add a Google map on the contact page, or change the layout of a specific page from two columns to three columns, you probably want to be able to do so yourself.
This would usually require writing code lines–but Symple Shortcodes does the writing, while you use easy-to-understand menu functions of this plugin to effect the changes. With a few clicks of the mouse you can add social media buttons, insert stylised testimonials in your product pages or add new clickable buttons.
- Ultimate FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) is a useful page every website must have. It contains answers and explanations to the most common inquiries you received in the past from prospects and customers.
With the Ultimate FAQ plugin, you can create and style your FAQ page easily, apply custom CSS codes which will make it look similar to the rest of the website, and even export the contents of the page as a PDF file which you can offer your leads as a helpful guide.
- Yet Another Related Post Plugin (YARPP)
This plugin is extremely helpful in keeping your visitors on the website for a longer time. It does so by suggesting blog posts or product pages which are similar to the ones they are currently browsing.
The plugin uses an advanced algorithm for identifying keywords in the page the visitor is reading, and then identifies related and relevant content in your website. Thus, you can make sure that website visitors spend sufficient time on your website to learn more about your business and become confident that your products and services are a good fit for their needs.
Spam comments are a huge problem for WordPress website owners. It takes a lot of time to read them and filter them before allowing genuine ones to appear on your site. The Akismet plugin does that for you quickly and accurately.
The plugin is trained to notice the difference between posts created by real people and posts created by bots, and has a frequently updated list of blacklisted domains which are known as spamming websites.
- Gravity Forms
Forget about spending time looking for the perfect format for a contact or checkout form. The Gravity Forms plugin knows exactly what you need and allows you to customise your forms with various built-in options and design styles to fit your website perfectly. You can add payment options such as PayPal or modify a form to fit various needs (product refunds, warranty claims, etc.).
- W3 Total Cache
Caching is an operation that stores bits of your website on its visitors’ computers or mobile phones in order to make the website load faster on repeated visits. With W3 Total Cache, you have the control over how your website is cached on users’ devices for improved speed. Among the features this plugin offers you, we like that you can decrease download time with content delivery network integration and support for Accelerated Mobile pages.