Agile web development with Laravel 5.7
October 19, 2018

Wait?! What are plugins?

If you have worked with WordPress in the past or are even remotely familiar with it, chances are that you know what a plugin is and what purpose does it serve. In case you are a beginner, however, we’ll be happy to shed some light on the matter.

The “WordPress Plugins” are basically extensions for WordPress which give your website additional functionality. There is a plugin for just about anything nowadays, so it’s pretty easy to find something which will get the job you need done. A quick Google search is usually more than enough to locate a perfect match for your needs.

 

Well, which plugins do I need, for example, if I start an e-commerce?

You can find several “universal” plugins for e-commerce which are useful for just about any basic online store out there. Plugins which are light-weight and bring only all around benefits, we are going to list some of them here:

 

1. WOOCOMMERCE

Are you looking to build an eCommerce website and sell online? Then look no further than WooCommerce, the current “ruling king” as far as WordPress eCommerce extensions are concerned.

WooCommerce is a free eCommerce plugin that allows you to sell absolutely anything on your website. Built to integrate seamlessly with WordPress and offering literally hundreds of both free and premium additional extensions for it. Subscription payments, automated shipping tax calculators and others can be utilized.

It supports a massive amount of payment gateways, and those which it does not support by default are more than likely supported by one of many payment gateway extensions.

The plugin is light-weight and very easy to configure even for people who are not all that familiar with the admin part of WordPress.

 

2. SHIELD SECURITY

Regardless of the purpose of your website, you’re going to need some sort of anti-hack protection and security. With the rising number of website breaches, spam bots and malware floods, it never hurts to be prepared in advance. Of course, unless you are willing to risk losing all your hard work or, worse, personal information stored on the website.

Shield Security is a mandatory anti-hack foundation, offering both a free and premium versions with a plethora of protection settings, IP tracking and configurable defenses for your website.

 

3. YOAST SEO

SEO (Search engine optimization) is important for every website, it’s your primary method of gaining popularity and through it – views. While there are many plugins which can assist you with the link building and SEO configurations of your website, Yoast SEO is by the fast the largest, most supported and secure one which you can use.

It is entirely free to download. The plugin has a user-friendly interface, which can be found under every single post or page on your website. Allowing you to select focus keywords, to edit the meta title AND meta description of your website as well directly edit the SEO URL for that particular page or post, Yoast SEO is the best.

 

4. W3 TOTAL CACHE

A quick, light and responsive website is fundamental to the success of your endeavor, be it selling online or providing information.

It has been proved that more than 90% of users will click away from a website if a page loads for over three seconds. As such, it is almost always recommended (especially for big and heavy websites), to install and configure a caching plugin of some sort.

W3 Total Cache improves both the SEO and user experience of your site by increasing website performance. It can reduce load times via features like content delivery network (CDN) integration and the latest best practices.

W3 Total Cache can improve your page rankings during google searches as well. It is best used in combination with a fully configured Yoast SEO plugin.

 

5. MONSTER INSIGHTS

In most cases you are going to want to know what’s happening to your website. If you are getting enough traffic, if you are reaching your target audience and, if not, start working on improving it.

Monster Insights is the best analytics plugin for WordPress. It allows you to monitor all visitors: where they are from; how often do their visit; etc. All this from the admin dashboard of WordPress. The plugin is light-weight and very easy to use. The plugin have to be linked with a Google analytics account in order to function correctly. The linking process takes no longer than 2 minutes, perhaps less if you are fast at clicking!

If you know exactly how people find and use your website, it’s easy to double and even triple your traffic with the right tools and effort.