Pro Plugins for Your Website
Great backup plugin that has cloud backup support, full encryption, and the ability to schedule backups. We usually set this one to email us a copy of the database everyday, just in case.
It only has one job and it does it well. A 301 Redirect is absolutely crucial if you ever change the url to a webpage. Just paste in the old url and the new url, and search engines and bookmarks will automatically forward to the new page. Easy as pie and no more need to deal with that .htaccess file.
Have you noticed that not every theme has a place to edit CSS other than the main style sheet? Sure you can create a child theme, or just use this plugin to override your themes native CSS.
W3 Total Cache is one of the most popular Wordpress plugins for caching you can find. The only problem is it’s VERY advanced and can quickly bring your site to a crawl when not set up properly. When there’s a plugin conflict breaking a theme, this is usually the first place we look. This plugin can perform miracles when in the right hands. If you’re having major speed issues, considering hiring an expert to set this up.
Perfect plugin for that moment when you realize you’ve been on W3 Total Cache forums all day long. Easy to set up and always gives a speed bump after being activate.
Page Layout Tools
Want to create nice even columns but don’t know CSS? Page Builder has a very nice drag and drop interface for creating page elements. Not only does this plugin help create columns, but let’s you create dozens of different page elements using shortcodes including, buttons, price lists, call to action boxes, and more. Page Builder also includes extra widget tools to help easily embed images and videos.
Elegant Page Builder
Made by the good folks at Elegant Themes, the Elegant Page Builder is a great tool for laying out pages in WordPress. It also includes a great set of layout tools including pre-made buttons, lists and call out boxes.
Contact Form Builders
There are a lot of popular contact forms plugins available including Gravity Forms, Custom Contact Forms and our favorite, Contact Form 7. With this plugin you can easily create highly customized forms with as many fields as desired. We also recommend adding reCAPTCHA functionality with the Contact Form 7 reCAPTCHA and WP-reCAPTCHA plugins. If you don’t know the story behind reCAPTCHA, it’s a fascinating story and you can read more here.
WooCommerce is the most popular WordPress plugin available for small to medium sized eCommerce stores. WooCommerce uses a fairly unique pricing system whereby they provide the core plugin for free, but provide 3rd party ‘extensions’ to give the plugin more functionality including a huge array of payment processing and shipping methods. The free version is still quite robust and can handle just about any digital download (ebook, music, etc) and has built in PayPal functionality which takes just seconds to setup. We’ve been using WooCommerce for a couple of years now and it’s our current favorite at MadTown SEO.
Dollar for dollar, you’re not going to find a better eCommerce plugin for WordPress. Available from the WordPress ninja masters at WPMU DEV and can be picked up for just $19. While MarketPress is a year or two behind WooCommerce in terms of features, it’s still a very robust platform with more than enough payment gateway and shipping carrier options.
WordPress by Yoast has pretty much become the industry standard for Search Engine Optimization and WordPress. Perhaps it’s greatest feature is the Page Analysis report that not only tells you what’s missing, but also give details on how to fix it. This tool alone has done more to help us teach the basics of SEO than anything we’ve used before. Once our clients start using it, they never look back.
Integrating Facebook and WordPress does a lot to help bring a website to life. While this plugin isn’t perfect, the Facebook plugin provides a quick and easy way to replace the native WordPress comments with a Facebook comment box. This plugin also adds a few useful widgets including recent activity and recommendations.
Email marketing is the #2 most effective way to increase traffic and revenue, with organic SEO being #1. As one of the most popular email marketing platforms available, getting a newsletter up and running has never been easier.