My all-time favorite WordPress plugins include a little bit of SEO, a little bit of FAQ, and just about everything in between.
Do you know who builds the software that makes up all of WordPress’s most fancy and helpful features? Most people don’t, so if you’d like to be supremely “in the know” then listen up.
Here’s who: anyone and everyone. It could be the woman sitting across from you right now at your local coffee shop or the guy you sat next to on your last flight. It could be that person you always seem to see at your weekly yoga class, or the person sitting right behind you on the bus.
Here’s why: WordPress is a piece of software that is OpenSource, meaning that its source code is freely and publicly available to anyone and everyone in the world. And THIS means that anyone can make add-on software for WordPress, commonly known as “plugins.” A plugin can add virtually any feature to WordPress that a person can dream up and create.
Pretty neat, huh?
As you can imagine, WordPress website owners LOVE plugins (me included). After all, they’re like little bundles of joy add-ons that can make your WordPress website do all sorts of awesome stuff. And as such, I often get asked what my all-time favorite WordPress plugins are.
And so, without further adieu, here’s the *official* list!
(NOTE: All of these plugins offer some type of free version available via the Plugins tab in the WordPress site admin. Many of them also include a premium paid version with expanded features and capabilities. Prices vary.)
Yoast SEO for Everyone
The Gist: Yoast allows you to set a target keyphrase for any page or post on your WordPress website and then provides you with a comprehensive list of tips for how you can better incorporate that keyphrase into your page/post, thus boosting your SEO!
Why You Need It: SEO always helps and never hurts. When you develop a practice of shaping your pages and posts to a specific target keyphrase as you work, you’re creating a habit of boosting your SEO as you go.
The Gist: Ultimate FAQ lets you add collections of toggle open and toggle close FAQs to your website on as many pages and posts as you want. For example, on my Ellanyze website, I have at least four different pages which each have their own list of internal FAQs. To experience how these FAQs toggle open and closed, check out the bottom of my Services page.
Why You Need It: An awesome FAQ page saves you tons of time by answering your prospects’ most popular questions ahead of time. It also gives you an SEO boost and lets your audience know that you totally “get them.” It’s a win win win!
The Gist: WordPress blogs can be a total spam comment magnet if you don’t know the necessary precautions to take. The Akismet Anti-Spam plugin is one of those no-brainer precautions which helps dramatically by sensing which blog comments are spam stopping them from coming into your comment queue in the first place.
Why You Need It: Spam is annoying. Enough said?
The Gist: My clients’ dream: a WordPress website that allows them to easily and confidently edit their website content without fear or danger of altering their website’s layout or breaking anything. With Beaver Builder, this has become completely possible! Beaver Builder’s intuitive drag-and-drop interface lets you edit (or create your own) page layouts using rows, columns, and modules of whatever type of content you might want on your site (photos, text, video, maps, icons, or you-name-it). Experience what Beaver Builder is like first-hand in their free online demo.
Why You Need It: Beaver Builder puts you in the driver’s seat, allowing you to create your own unique page layouts. What’s not to like about that?
The Gist: Gravity Forms is a drag-and-drop form builder with every form input element under the sun (text input, radio buttons, checkboxes, dropdown, paragraph – you name it!). I’ve used a lot of form builder plugins for WordPress over the past ten years, and Gravity Forms is the industry standard for good reason.
Why You Need It: Gravity Forms gives you all the advanced features you might need to create all of your website contact forms and it also saves all your entry submissions on the backend of your website just in case you ever have an email notification “snafoo”. At $5/month for their basic premium plan, it’s a bargain.
The Gist: The Redirection plugin does one single thing really well: forwards any URLs on your domain to any other URLs on your domain. For example, you can set your-domain.com/page-a to forward to your-domain.com/page-b.
Why You Need It: There are SO many reasons I can think of that you might want to forward one URL to another. Here are two: 1) You revamp your website and your page URLs have changed, so you forward the old ones to the new ones to avoid broken links. 2) You want to create an easy-to-remember “shortcut” URL that forwards to a longer URL packed with SEO friendly keywords.
Responsive Pricing Table
The Gist: Ever notice those fancy pricing columns that allow you to see at a glance which offered plans include which features? This handy plugin allows you to set up those pricing tables yourself without all the coding.
Why You Need It: Your customers love options. Why offer them just one service/package when you could offer them a choice of three with varying levels of features and each at a different price point?
Smooth Scroll Up
The Gist: This plugin adds a small upward arrow in the bottom right corner of your website that allows users to click it and jump to the top of your website in a fraction of a second.
Why You Need It: If you have any longer pages (particularly on mobile), this plugin helps users to be able to quickly and easily get back to the top of your site without having to manually scroll back up. Make it easy for them!
The Gist: Boxzilla allows you to make popup windows and put any content inside them that you wish such as text, photos, a sign-up form, buttons, or anything else.
Why You Need It: Are popups annoying? Yes. But do they work? Yes. If there’s something in your business that you are making a priority and trying to get some traction on such as a new downloadable lead magnet or a free online course, popups are a fantastic way to ensure that your visitors most definitely see them.
Coming Soon Page, Under Construction & Maintenance Mode by SeedProd
The Gist: This plugin creates a simple “Coming Soon” page that, in essence, hides your entire website on the backend, showing just a simple “Coming Soon” message and any other content of your choice on the front end.
Why You Need It: If you’re ever doing some editing or construction on your current site and just want things hidden for a bit, this plugin is a super easy and simple way to make that happen.
When you have a desire to add a new feature to your WordPress website, the first thing you should always ask yourself is “Is there a plugin for that?” Because with over 40,000 plugins existing today in the WordPress plugin directly, there’s a good chance there is indeed a plugin for that.
And now, I’d love to hear from you! What’s YOUR favorite WordPress plugin and why? Let us know in the comments below 🙂