The New Year is well underway and it’s a time of resolutions and new beginnings. A popular resolution for many? “I will get my website done this year!”
This is not only an exciting resolution but a pretty important one.
Building a website is powerful!
It gives you a platform and a presence. Now, it’s no secret that I love building sites on WordPress. It happens to be a fantastic platform that’s robust and flexible. It’s flexibility comes from the fact that they’re an open-source platform.
That means that many people can create awesome little programs so you can carry out tasks that make your life a little easier. Isn’t that kind?
These little programs are called PLUGINS and they’re wonderful!
Plugins for WordPress should be picked out strategically.
Too many plugins can slow your site down. I’ve worked on sites where the user had way too many plugins that just weren’t necessary. I’ve also worked on sites where I’ve added one or two to help the owner out.
What’s a good balance? I’d say, the balance isn’t so much in the number, although you shouldn’t have too many, but in the tasks that are carried out. If there are tasks that you have to repeat constantly, those are good tasks for a plugin to take care of. There are other plugins that save you from having to go too deep into the code of your site to get smaller things done. That’s also a good reason to employ a plugin. The less you touch the code on your site if you’re not comfortable doing it, the better.
So here is a list of my favorite plugins for WordPress. Some I’ve been using for a while, others I’ve learned about recently and really enjoy. I hope you find them useful!
Eazy Under Construction
I’ve been using this plugin the longest. It’s super simple and that’s why I like it. It’s the very first plugin I install after I install WordPress on a website. I’m a design snob (obviously) so I like to make my own coming soon page. This plugin allows me to either make a very simple one through the plugin itself, redirect the current site to another page or put in some HTML that will display a custom page. I use that last option every time. I build a custom HTML page with the site logo and short coming soon message and sometimes include a form to capture visitors’ emails, which is pretty handy.
This is probably the next plugin I’ll install. It makes it very easy to hook up your Google Analytics account to your site so you can monitor traffic. All you need is your Google Analytics ID and it takes care of everything for you. If you don’t have one, just open an account with Google and you’ll get an ID. Easy peasy.
One of THE best plugins for WordPress! With it, you will improve the SEO on your site and blog posts. Yoast monitors your posts as you write them and gives you tips on how to improve the SEO and readability. It takes some getting used to, but eventually, you even get better at writing. I also just found out that Yoast provides a Sitemap file to submit to Google. I used a separate plugin to do this but got rid of it and resubmitted the sitemap I got from Yoast. No need for extra plugins!
Header and Footer Scripts Inserter
This is a handy plugin I found recently. I typically code everything on my site but every now and then a girl likes to make things a little easier on herself right? In comes this little gem that saves me from having to go in and out of WordPress’ delicate files. This plugin gives you the ability to add scripts that need to go into the Header and/or Footer of your site. You know, those scripts that you need to have on ALL the pages of your site, not just one? That’s where this little guy comes in. Just hop on the plugin page and pop your scripts in, hit save and you’re golden!
A hidden gem I recently discovered. A lot of people don’t know about it, at least in my circles and we have to change that. This little guy hops right on your site and starts helping you grow your audience. It’s super easy to install! You can pick which platform to grow, either Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook + your email list or grow them all at once by alternating between them. MiloTree* gets to work popping up on a little corner on your page with a follow button. Makes it so easy for lazy people who like your content to just say, “hey, I like this stuff, sure, I’ll follow.” Magic!
Magic Action Box
Melyssa Griffin gets all the credit for this one. I’m taking one of her amazing classes and in it she mentions this great plugin. Basically, it is a powerful plugin that enables you to build an ad or promote a form. You can put this ad or form anywhere and it’s incredibly useful at the bottom of blog posts. It’s a great way to grow your list by offering your audience quality content that they can sign up for.
If you use ConvertKit*, you could use their WP ConvertKit plugin instead, which adds a form of your choice across all your blog pages. The Magic Action Box just seems to have a little more flexibility so I prefer it and I can still use it with ConvertKit*.
Disqus Comment System
I had been hesitant to add this plugin to my site for a while. I just didn’t see the need for it because WordPress can handle comments. However, after dealing with just a few spam comments it was time to give it a try and I’m very happy with it. I don’t have to worry about spam and I offer a comment system to my users that is becoming more standard around popular blogs.
Instagram Slider Widget
While far from necessary, this plugin is an easy way to add images from your Instagram feed right into your site. It’s another way to make it easier to grow your audience while simultaneously presenting valuable content to new visitors. Win-win.
Now this is a great plugin if you use Leadpages*. If you use Leadpages, you already know how great it is and this plugin makes it even better by allowing you to connect your pages to your website. How is this useful? Well, the plugin allows you to designate a lead page to a URL of your choosing on your website. This is useful if you want to create pages to capture information on your site.
For example, the Courses page on this site is actually a lead page. Currently, I’m working on my courses and instead of having an empty page, I created a lead page to capture the emails of anyone interested in learning when my courses become available. If you aren’t familiar with Leadpages*, I really can’t say enough great things about it. I use it daily and this plugin makes the connection with my site seamless.
Facebook Conversion Pixel
Lastly is the Facebook Conversion Pixel plugin. This nifty plugin allows you to track what actions people take on your site after viewing your ads in Facebook. It’s very valuable as it allows you to measure how successful your campaigns are across multiple devices too. So you can determine how successful your ads have been and where you should tweak them.
So there you have it. Those are my top 10 favorite plugins for WordPress. Of course, the list doesn’t stop there. There are plenty more plugins that help with other things on the site.
For now, grab this checklist and make sure you get all of these up on your site to start optimizing it and taking advantage of all the help these plugins offer.
* This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I may receive a small commission. I ONLY endorse products that I have used myself and am very happy with.