WordPress is a publishing platform that excels through the efforts of designers and developers. The free platform is unique in giving individual’s access to their code and image files. There are many theme and plugin options to create websites of any kind. The real trick is knowing which ones work best at doing what you want to achieve.
AMR Shortcode Any Widget
If you want to break the right sidebar design mold, consider the AMR Shortcode Any Widget plugin. It allows a widget’s use anywhere on the site and not restricted to the sidebar or footer. This is useful if you find widgets you want to use in the page. For instance, you can use Mailchimp’s widget as a call to action section in your contact page. It can also be a visual break on your homepage.
WP Recent Posts From Category
Getting a person to your website takes effort and marketing. Don’t lose them after one page. Keeping someone on your site can be as simple as providing them options to read more content. The WP Recent Posts From Category plugin creates a visual navigation below each post.
The most powerful marketing resource you can use is someone’s email address. You can reach people through many channels, but the inbox is still the most read and personal space there is. Keep this in mind during the design process of your website and integrate your email agent. Mailchimp is the most popular because it offers design templates with an easy to use interface. It also has comprehensive analytics and a robust free package. You can use Mailchimp’s native code and paste it into WordPress, but it is far easier to use their plugin.
Contact Form 7
Allow people to contact you without getting spammed by using a contact form. The most popular contact form plugin is Contact Form 7 as it adapts to your theme and design. You can create several forms and place them throughout your website with shortcodes.
Dashboard Sticky Notes
Building and maintaining a website takes time and often requires many people. Use the Dashboard Sticky Notes to keep notes within the platform and on your backend’s front page. Keep article protocols, branding rules, or scheduling notes for yourself or team.
WordPress Editorial Calendar
Consistency in a blog is key to keep readers. If your readers know to expect something new every Thursday, keep that promise. The first time your reader finds this not to be true will most likely be the last time they will come to find out. Use the WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin to schedule out your posts. This works best for people who sit down and write several posts at once and then want to space them out over time.
Delete All Comments and Disable Comments
To keep your website running as fast as possible, keep it lean. If you blog but do not accept comments, there is no need to keep them on your server or to allow posting in the first place. You can use the Delete All Comments plugin to clean current comments and the Disable Comments plugin to stop them all together.
WP Smush Pro
Images on your site also need to be lean. When you upload, keep in mind websites only need 72dpi and a 1200 pixel width to be crisp on-screen. If your theme has many different ideal image sizes, write them down for reference. A good place to keep them is in the Dashboard Sticky Notes. Also, use the WP Smush Pro plugin to reduce image size for all images in the media library.
The greatest SEO trick is unique content. Creating your new and personal blog posts will far surpass anything else. The Yoast SEO plugin creates a new section within the editing section of your post for keywords. It is interactive and uses color coding to let the user know how much more SEO is possible for each post.
If you are building a website for affiliate marketing, the AffiGet Mini plugin works with the Amazon Affiliate Program. It is built similar to WordPress’ native post and Press This features. As you browse Amazon and find an item you want to promote, you click on AffiGet Mini’s website browser extension. Almost instantaneously the product’s information and photo is transferred to your website. It is transferred to the plugin’s Reviews section, which is a duplicated posts section that is editable. Remember to edit the content and give your unique perspective to encourage SEO and give value to your blog readers. The basic plugin is free with advanced features available at a cost.
If you want to download almost of all the plugins you could need for a business website, look at WPMUdev. As the self-proclaimed WordPress experts, they offer 100+ plugins, themes, and customer support. Pricing starts at $99/month. The plugins’ most unique use is creating a multisite. The Ultimate Branding plugin whitelabels a multisite on the website’s front and back end.
Pairing Ultimate Branding with the MembershipPro 2 plugin creates tiered paid memberships. You can add this to a larger monetization plan for your website or as a stand-alone option. If you already have a fan base and won’t need marketing, paid memberships might be all you need.
Keep in mind what you are trying to achieve for your client with your WordPress blog hosting. If your client is using your website to book a spa appointment, is it easy for them to book? Once you know the precise actions you want your viewer to take, you can begin building a plugin resource. Our list above is just the beginning. If one works for you, begin looking how other websites are using it and build out your resources. Research alongside your website plan, which includes WordPress blog hosting available through many providers.