WordPress Plugins & Tools

Essential WordPress Plug-Ins

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For many people, one of the many drawcards of creating a WordPress website rather than using a competing platform is the library of plug-ins – many of which are free – to customize, enhance, and add additional features to any website.  There are currently about 50,000 WordPress plug-ins available, with the vast majority of these plug-ins being completely free or offering free unlimited or basic functionality with a paid premium version.

Just as the various mobile device app marketplaces have exploded in popularity, leading many to believe that there truly is “an app for that” regardless of what “that” may be, in a very real way there is some type of WordPress plug-in that aims to solve any WordPress problem or add any desired functionality to a WordPress site of any type.  It comes as little surprise, then, that many WordPress sites have multiple plug-ins running at the same time.

The Problem With Too Many Plug-Ins

Every new WordPress plug-in you install promises to improve your site in some way.  We all want our sites to be the best they can be, so does it really matter how many plug-ins we install and activate?

Unfortunately, the plug-in marketplace is unregulated, and any person or entity can create a plug-in and make it available for download.  For many plug-ins, little to no support is available to help you put your site back together should it crash as a result of the plug-in. Additionally, since plug-ins are created by different people, two separate plug-ins may not work particularly well together, causing a conflict which must then be identified and resolved.

Another issue to consider is that every plug-in installed on your site will cause your site to take a little extra time to load, which can start to add up when you have multiple plug-ins.  Finally, WordPress plug-ins – like the WordPress platform itself – require ongoing updates to be installed. WordPress site hacking is a very real issue to be aware of, and it is estimated up to 80% of compromised WordPress sites had not been fully updated.

Choosing the Right Plug-Ins for Your Site

Rather than downloading and installing a huge number of free WordPress plug-ins and tools, consider narrowing down your selection to essential plug-ins that your site can truly benefit from.  Let previous users be your guinea pigs and choose plug-ins that are already used and trusted by many people.  

Read on for an idea of some essential WordPress plug-ins that could benefit you and your WordPress site.

Display Super-Fast Images with Image Optimiser

Image optimization can be a tricky concept, and while many WordPress site owners think that they’ve optimized their image file sizes, in reality they may have simply reduced the size of the image as displayed while still hosting the full-sized image file.  Image Optimiser takes away all the guesswork and resizes your images properly, which can have a dramatic impact on the loading speed of your website.

Offer Live Chat On-Site with Tawk.To

There are plenty of live chat options for websites, but Tawk.To is widely regarded as one of the easiest to navigate.  Firstly, it’s completely free. Secondly, messages from your website visitors can be sent directly to your mobile device in real time, allowing you to offer an online chat experience even when you’re not in the office.  And did we mention it’s completely free?

Fight Comment Spam with Akismet

If you’re planning on allowing blog comments on your website, you’ll need some way of sifting through the spam.  Akismet does a wonderful job of catching the majority of spam comments, leaving just the genuine feedback for you to look through.  Akismet comes pre-installed and simply needs to be activated in your WordPress backend.

Capture Contact Details with Gravity Forms

One of the primary purposes of many websites is to capture website visitors’ valuable contact details so potential leads can be followed up later.  Gravity Forms is trusted by millions as a deceptively simple way of creating an attractive newsletter signup form or offering a download or special content in exchange for contact details.

Ward Off Hackers with Wordfence

WordPress hacking is rampant these days, and WordPress site owners need to take every precaution to ensure their website is as secure as possible.  Wordfence is a highly trusted plug-in to protect your WordPress site from hackers and cyber-attacks and includes access to an established community of security experts ready to offer assistance and advice.

Make Social Media Sharing a Breeze with AddThis

AddThis is a simple way of allowing your website visitors to share your content on the social media platforms of their choosing.

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WordPress is now so popular on an international scale that approximately 27% of all websites worldwide are powered by WordPress, many of which run premium WordPress themes.  For many people, the vast library of free WordPress plug-ins and tools is one of the primary drawcards of the WordPress platform itself.  

But as we’ve now seen, downloading and installing multiple WordPress themes on an indiscriminate basis can cause compatibility issues, slow site-loading times, and a host of other problems.  The above lists some of the essential WordPress plug-ins loved by millions of users worldwide, and which could greatly benefit your site.To find out more about building a stunning website with a Creative Multi-Purpose WordPress theme like Revolution or anything else related to the world of WordPress, contact us today.  The team at Premium WordPress Themes – Fuel Themes are happy to answer your questions and provide advice at any time.

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