What is a WordPress Plugin?
If you have recently discovered the wonderful world of WordPress and all the functionality and flexibility it offers in building a professional website, then you are one step closer to success. Consider yourself to be in good company. According to a survey by W3Techs, 23.3% of the top 10 million websites use WordPress for their blogging and content management systems (CMS) platform. Yet, with over 1.2 billion websites worldwide, only 60 million are using WordPress. Knowing this can give you hope that you may have a competitive advantage over the non-WordPress sites and WordPress sites that are not taking full advantage of WordPress plugins.
What is it Exactly?
The simplest way to describe WordPress plugin is this: bits of software uploaded to expand the functionality of a WordPress website. The scope and breadth of plugins vary, but one thing is for sure – if you want your website to work a certain way, you can bet there is a plugin for that! You do not have to be a programmer to get what you want, either. Why re-invent the wheel when professional and open-source developers are constantly adding to the functionality of WordPress by building new plugins and improving existing ones. These developers often build and improve on these plugins to help themselves, and others, to give an advantage over their competitors.
WordPress Plugins that can Give You an Advantage.
With so many WordPress plugins to choose from, one does not know where to begin. Many plugins can offer your site a better look or fancy bells and whistles. Other plugins are so powerful, they can give you an advantage over your competition. Here are two WordPress plugins that are necessary if you want your site to stand out.
1. WordPress SEO by Yoast: If you choose not to do anything else to your site, you should, at the least, install WordPres SEO by Yoast. You cannot ignore the importance of Search Engine Optimization and Yoast makes it simple and intuitive. In fact, Yoast is more than an SEO WordPress Plugin; it is a complete website optimization package. This free plugin offers everything you need to optimize your site.
2. Gravity Forms: You may have a website that is laid out perfectly and it leaves a lasting impression on your visitors. However, if you do not capture leads, a fancy website that does not encourage visitors to come again is all for nothing. The Gravity WordPress Plugin makes the process of adding opt in forms a simple process. It is one of the most beginner and developer friendly contact form WordPress Plugin on the market.
Testing WordPress Plugins
After installing the most important plugins, continue to search for other plugins such as social media sharing plugins. An excellent one is Social Network Auto Poster (S.N.A.P) by Nextscripts. This plugin saves you time sharing a recently published blog post by posting to over 50 social media sites. In addition, many of the plugins are free. Test them out and if you do not like them, you can easily uninstall. The beauty of WordPress Plugins is you can test and retest until you find the right plugin that works for you.