One of the best things about WordPress is that its plethora of add-ons and plugins makes it incredibly easy to set up. But this can also result in ambiguity as it can be difficult to choose from this wide range of assortments.
In this article, we’ll run the rule over the best free and premium plugins and tools that we use here on DesignBombs to familiarize you with the ins and outs of getting the best out of your WordPress site. We will cover all of the plugins we’re using in this article from those that take care of its hosting to those that create pretty URLs.
Let’s get started.
01. Genesis Framework by StudioPress
Genesis Framework is a jack of all trades when it comes to building WordPress websites. You can be an expert and love the options that you get or you can be a novice WordPresser and love the simplicity it provides; Genesis Framework has something to offer to everyone.
You can buy the license for $59.95 or go for the pro-plus, all theme package for $499.95 with which you get a lifetime access to all child themes that are made by StudioPress as well as any new themes they release in the future. Now that’s quite a bargain.
Whether you’re interested in design or optimizing your content for search engines, Genesis Framework has got you covered. It’s loaded with an extensive array of themes and you get access to a lot of tutorials that are very helpful (especially if you’re new to WordPress).
Getting a lot of subscribers is a must-have for most websites and blogs and OptinMonster is a great way to make this task as smooth as possible. It is a marketing tool with a lot of great reviews. There are a lot of features that earn this plugin a place on this list, but here I will go through the most prominent of these.
Exit-Intent tech nology is a feature that strives to reduce the number of abandoning visitors to your website by detecting when a visitor providing targeted campaigns towards the visitor. This feature is useful for minimizing both e-cart abandoning and for content marketing.
Page level targeting and customer segmentation is also a great tool which gives targeted campaigns, content and offers based on the location of the visitor and how they interact with your website. This increases the overall relevancy of the website to the individual visitor.
It also has mobile specific popups, eye-catching floating bars, and sidebars with complete data conversion that assist in analyzing decisions about your website which combined with the other features such as A/B testing and page level targeting gives it a better overall functionality.
And then are the signature MonsterEffects that provide great animated visuals that draw the attention of your visitors.
OptinMonster has three plans on offer: basic plan for $9/month, plus plan for $19/month and pro plan for $29/month which you can select according to the features you require for your website.
Canva offers you a field of designs that you can use for creating visually stunning documents and templates and social media images.
“The easiest to use design program in the world” – The Webbys
It offers a range of layouts that you can use to create professional documents or presentations. It has everything from high-quality images to filters that you can leverage to give your site that extra zing.
You’ll also get a ton of fonts and icons to pick from so you can unleash the artist in you and build the layouts that appeal to you, your site’s visitors and most importantly, the subscribers.
You can use Canva on WordPress by installing it to your site and start graphic designing with its simple drag and drop toolbar.
If the content you provide requires code to be displayed alongside your content then Syntax Highlighter is your go-to resource.
It can be a nightmare if the formatting gets messed up and you realize that after you’ve already uploaded the code. The solution is Syntax Highlighter. This plugin makes it relatively simple to post syntax highlighted code on to your WordPress site without the fear of messing up its formatting or having to edit the code manually. The readability is also enhanced due to the code being separate from the text.
Kinsta brings convenience to a whole new level for you. It is an all-in-one WordPress Hosting service provider that manages your entire website’s infrastructure for you.
Bringing in play a wide array of features and functions that will leave almost no venue untouched, Kinsta offers free site migration, a premium tech support, and takes care of maintaining the speed of your website as well. It has 10 data centers across the globe and you can switch to the one where the majority of your visitors are in order to speed up load times of your website.
You get CDN network support from Kinsta and you are free to use any third party CDN if you prefer as well. It has free SSL and SPDY support and provides IPv4 addresses and for those of you with a passion for techy words and an in-depth function breakdowns, it uses Nginx, an event-based web server, and also the much more recent HHVM interpreter. Also, it has TLS support for all CDN setups and HTTPS stacks with the best performance, basically, it’s really fast!
The most prominent feature is Dynamic load balancing which makes a network of three virtual machines and leaves very little chance of software or maintenance downtime, which is a really great thing.
MaxCDN is a content delivery network which not only has all the standard features that come with a CDN but also provides you with real-time data through API, allowing you to view logs in real time and make a decision accordingly.
There is no additional charge for HTTPS and also a great support team is available 24/7 at your disposal. They offer plenty of secure sockets layer (SSL) options like dedicated for $250/month and Wildcard for $600/month.
MailChimp is one of the most popular plugins out there. It’s easy to integrate and get used to with a simple drag and drop designer to build your own and email and to create campaigns.
It automates a lot of work and makes it easy for you to segment your customers according to their preferences and behavior. It is easy to integrate with most of the commonly used plugins because of its compatibility with numerous apps and services like Facebook, Google, and Twitter.
You can create series of emails with a single API click and it also provides you analytical data that you can access from anywhere. It also has mobile-ready templates and forms right out of the box.
Backups have been an important part of everything digital and it does not seem like that is going to change very soon. For easy backup, migration and restoration of your WordPress site, we recommend BackupBuddy.
It is very easy to create backups with this plugin and you can schedule one of two backups to take place — full or routine. You can choose which files and tables to exclude from the backup. It lets you store your data on the BackupBuddy stash for a complete set of your backups or you can also use other offsite storage such as Dropbox or email. You can also create different profiles associated with their own backups and settings.
09. Unsplash WP
Most of us are familiar with the website Unsplash.com. It is a website that provides a staggering amount of free images for you to use and now you can upload images directly to your WordPress Media Library without having to leave your WordPress Dashboard by using the Unsplash WP Plugin. Do I hear extra marks for convenience?
10. Pretty Link Lite
We have all used lengthy and cluttered URLs and used bit.ly or tinyurl.com to create shortened links. A far more suitable alternative to that is Pretty Link Lite. And guess what? With Pretty Link, you can use your own domain name to shorten the link while making it cleaner at the same time.
It allows for 307 and 301 re-directs only and is a great tool for receiving detailed links of your URL such as hits per link and unique hits per link.
To Sum It Up
Managing a website is a full-time job. It is like owning a farm. Not only do you have to take care of the farm but also market what the farm produces so you can profit from it. After getting all these plugins, taking care of your farm (website), will no longer be a hassle and you will be able to focus more on the production, which, in this case, would be content development.
Let us know what plugins you find essential to your WordPress site and why, in the comments section below, we love hearing from our readers!