It takes only a brief look at the impressive statistics surrounding website builder WordPress to realize what an online juggernaut it really is: Currently, nearly 75 million sites are built on the platform and half of all those accounts are hosted directly on the company’s site. Additionally, WordPress-related keywords get 37 million searches each month; the program is available in 40 different languages; and 22 percent of new U.S. registered domain names run exclusively on the platform. Awe-inspiring to say the least, given the free and open-source content management system (CMS) is just over a decade old.
It’s now great surprise, therefore, that such a powerful and all-encompassing platform is being constantly upgraded from both within and without, and nowhere are the changes more apparent than in the addition of new plug-ins, a software component that adds a specific feature to an existing computer program.
Currently there are more than 45,000 plug-ins available on the WordPress CMS. And with that staggering number at your fingertips it may be hard to decide what you really need. Here are some of the best, can’t-miss add-ons that can vastly improve the user experience, increase responsiveness and make management of the site much easier.
- As the top plug-in for WordPress, SEO by Yoast optimizes a site’s content to ensure the absolute best Search Engine Optimization results, as well as provides editing features and much more.
- BackupBuddy is a critical tool to be sure that all a site’s content is safe and sound and won’t be lost in the event of a total meltdown. Experts recommend installing it immediately when building a WordPress site (it’s easy to setup), and configuring it to create routine scheduled backups.
- Speaking of security, any WordPress site owner should take potential hacks seriously. Sucuri places a lock on a site, monitors for and scrubs out malware and blocks attacks, all with one plug-in.
- So many sites these days use at least one type of form, and many utilize several. CaptainForm and WPForms make the task of creating and uploading forms quick and easy, whether it’s for a sign-up subscription, e-tail order, contact sheet, payment form etc. The latter also engages a drag-and-drop element that gets your form up and running in just a few clicks.
- When a site editor or administrator is disorganized, it’s invariably apparent to visitors and users. Edit Flow allows a site manager to get a handle on all their editorial content in one place, helping to create workflow strategies, create and sync calendars and more.
- Everyone—managers and visitors alike—want a site that’s easily accessible and moves fast. W3 Total Cache allows for automatic caching that makes downloading and navigation fast and seamless, greatly enhancing the user experience.
- For those who use lots of digital imagery on their site, Enviro Gallery guarantees that images load quickly and cleanly, eliminating a main point of user annoyance.
- Apps rule the online world, and WPtouch allows WordPress users to convert their site into an app so visitors can view it in a properly rendered format on a mobile device rather than just in the desktop version.
- Certain websites tend to amass a good deal of content that needs archiving. Compact Archives does literally what its name suggests: stuffing archives into a smaller display format that’s much more efficient and easier to manage.