One of the best things about WordPress is the seemingly unlimited range of its plugins that you can use to add any web based features to your website or blog. It makes it so easy for even the most amateur web users, with no coding skills, to create and manage their own websites. This is the reason why WordPress is the preferred CMS for millions of webmasters across the globe.
However, you cannot install too many unnecessary plugins to your WordPress website since that can hurt your site’s performance. You need to choose simple and the right plugins that can perform multiple functions for you and save your website from any additional load.
To make this choice easier for you, here’s a list of some of the most useful WordPress plugins that cover almost all the functions that any modern day website needs.
In the past, if you wanted to add the PayPal Pro payment gateway to your WooCommerce install, you needed to buy an extension. There is now a free extension that you can use to add credit card checkout via WooCommerce.
If you have been running your site for some time and are regularly updating it with fresh, high-quality content, chances are you have built up a good amount of traffic over time. As a result, your visitors are most likely sharing your site via various social media networks, following it and commenting on your posts. And a high-traffic blog or website, in turn, gives you some bragging rights.
If you are running a larger WordPress site covering multiple topics, your visitors might have to sift through a lot of items in their RSS feeds in order to find content that is of interest to them. To solve this problem, you can provide them with an option to subscribe to different RSS feeds that are specific to each category.
How long have you been thinking of starting a membership site where your users can be charged for what they use, and everything happens automatically? Whether it’s been years or just days, the part to think is now over and the moment to decide is here. Introducing you to the WP eMember Plugin – A complete solution for creating a membership site using the popular WordPress platform.
Though the plugin performs greatly when used all by itself, the word ‘great’ can be transformed to ‘best’ if it is used along with its other two companions – WP eStore and WP Affiliate Platform which are by the same developers. This trio can open up an eStore for any sort of products that you would like to sell within minutes. Some examples are – Digital Products, Digital Media, Videos, Tutorials, eBook, Premium Content, Physical Products (to be shipped by the seller) etc. Continue reading
I stumbled upon a plugin called Buttons for WordPress plugin today which is a really good tool to create beautiful CSS3 buttons inside your WordPress admin dashboard.
The WordPress CSS3 Button Creator Plugin has a nice button creator interface that allows you customize every aspect of the button (example, border radius, transition, padding, margin, background color, font color, font etc.)
If you are making landing pages on your WordPress site and looking to create beautiful call to action buttons then go ahead and download this free CSS3 button creator plugin and try it out.
Today I will review the WP eStore plugin (shopping cart for digital products). I have used this WordPress plugin for a few years now and I love it. This plugin has become a very important part of my eCommerce business. In this WP eStore review I will try to go over the pros and cons of the eStore plugin.
One thing I really love about the eStore plugins is the automation of my eCommerce business. I just did some simple setup (they have great video tutorials) and I have been off and running since. This plugin has freed up so much time and allowed me to concentrate more on making my products rather than how I am going to sell them.
The WP eStore has way too many features to list here. I have provided a link to the full WP eStore’s features page at the end of this review. I will mainly focus on the features that I think are worth mentioning in this plugin review. Continue reading
Some users have a habit of installing a lot of WordPress plugins in their site. You actually don’t need that many plugins for your WordPress blog. You can get away with a handful of essential WordPress plugins. This makes your ongoing site maintenance job easy and also keeps your site performance top notch.
Here is a list of Essential WordPress plugins that you probably should install on your WordPress powered site:
- Akismet – Best guard against comment spam for WordPress blog! This will definitely make your life easier.
- WordPress Database Backup – This plugin allows you to do on-demand backup of your WordPress database. You can also schedule a cron job so the database backup is sent to your at a regular interval. It will help you restore your site if anything unexpected happens to it.
- Google XML Sitemaps – An XML sitemap is good to have for your WordPress site. This helps with the Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This plugin generates an XML-Sitemap compliant sitemap of your WordPress blog. This format is supported by Ask.com, Google, YAHOO and MSN Search.
- WordPress SEO by Yoast – You don’t need a ton of SEO plugins. Just one good SEO plugin is all you need since Google will favor you if you focus more on creating good cotent. I prefer to use Yoast’s all in one SEO solution for your WordPress blog.
- Google Analytics for WordPress – You probably want to know some in-depth statistics of your blog. Using Google Analytics is probably the best thing for that. This plugin makes it simple to add Google Analytics tracking to your WordPress blog.
- W3 Total Cache – A caching plugin helps with your site performance. If you have low traffic then it doesn’t really matter that much but when you start to get high traffic look into using the W3 Total Cache plugin. It is the fastest and most complete WordPress performance optimization plugin.
Some Other Useful Plugins
If you are just using your WordPress site for blogging then you most likely won’t need anything more than what is already listed above. However, if you are trying to monetize your site by using Adsense, selling products, selling memberships etc. then you will want to use some of the following plugins:
- WP Simple Adsense Insertion – You can insert Google Adsense just by pasting the ad code directly in your theme’s template file but sometimes it helps if you use a simple plugin. The WP Simple Adsense Insertion plugin allows you to quickly and easily insert Google Adsense ad code to your posts, pages and sidebar by using a shortcode or a PHP function. I mainly like this plugin since it is lightweight.
- WP Simple Shopping Cart – There are lots of good WordPress ecommerce plugins out there but if you need a lightweight and simple shopping cart plugin then use the WP Simple Shopping Cart plugin.
- WP-Polls – Sometimes you need to get feedbacks from your users. Using a polling plugin is the best way to collect feedback data. The WP Polls plugin adds an AJAX poll system to your WordPress blog.
Feel free to share your opinions in the comment section below.
WordPress is so functional and easy to use that it is now becoming one of the biggest platforms for eCommerce websites, blogs and forums all over the world. Plugins are different types of applications, if you will, that allow a different level of functionality based on your needs and your website. Since WordPress plugins have become essential, there are more and more plugins to choose from which raises the question, which one do you choose? Taking the time to shop around for the right plugin for your shopping cart functions is very important because even though a couple of plugins may be the same price, they may not be of the same quality. Knowing the essentials to look for in your WordPress shopping cart plugin can save you a lot of time and possibly money too. Continue reading