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Essential WordPress Plugins

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A WordPress website enables you to grow your online presence from a small static site to an online shop or membership site with comparative ease. This is what makes it so popular – it is so versatile.
For those not familiar with WordPress you start off with the very basic version (usually provided by your hosting company) and then add “Plugins” to create functionality for your site.  Many plugins are free and these may be all you need to design your site.  Most will also have a paid option for additional features and these are often worth purchasing as they will add the extra oomph you need.  They also need regular updating so I would highly recommend some sort of website housekeeping reminder in your diary.

 

 

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Divi Builder

As well as the Gutenberg WordPress builder, there are other website “builder” systems around such as Elementor and Beaver Builder but my favourite, go-to builder is Divi Builder by Elegant Themes (which is paid for).  Technically this is a theme rather than a plugin now (they’ve just had a major update) but it does provide hugely customisable themes and module settings, meaning your limit is only your imagination! I’ve also added a number of extras to my sites to improve the plugin functionality of some of the various modules ie, testimonials or icons – have a look at here to find out more about this.

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Wordfence

Hackers, trolls, bots and many others for some reason seem to have nothing better to do than infiltrate other people’s websites to try and inflict damage to them (sometimes financially).  Whilst your hosting company should have decent security on their servers, you should also think about adding an additional plugin yourself to your own website.  Available in a free and Pro version Wordfence is my plugin of choice.

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GDPR

Everyone’s favourite topic!  In order to comply with GDPR regulations, you DO need to ask visitors to your site whether they give you permission use their data if they continue to browse your site (even if it is anonymous) – this information includes data from cookies, the Facebook pixel if you have one and any other data gathering software.  There are a number of well-respected plugins that work really well, all of which can be found via your Dashboard. Check out the individual reviews to see what others have to say.

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Yoast SEO

We all know how important SEO is for your site and whilst everyone is fighting for that number one spot on the first page of the search engines, this is your opportunity to increase your chances by using Yoast.  The Yoast plugin helps you fill in various bits and pieces which are important for SEO and ensures that you focus on what your customers may be searching for.  Another option is to also start paying for Google Ads but that’s for another blog!

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Google Analytics

I do love data and having a website (or using social media) is so much than just creating an online presence and waiting for the business to roll in.  Yes, you should have a main Google Analytics account and dashboard (and regularly check to how your site is performing) but using a Google Analytics widget on your WordPress dashboard gives you a quick picture on your WordPress dashboard to show what’s happening and this may alert you to an important trend on your site.

Which WordPress plugins should I always consider using?

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