WordPress has thousands of plugins. Some are free, and some require a payment. Some are quickly set up, and others fiddly. Whatever they are, though, they almost always enhance your site through:
- Protection against Spam & Virus attacks
- Increased site functionality
- Better appearance
- Search engine optimisation
- Site statistics, and Google Analytics
When installing wordpress, the following are installed as part of the package.
- Google Analytics – This gives access to site visitor numbers, and where they have arrived from. Have they come from referral sites, or Google searches, or direct input of the domain. It also tells you how long people stay on site, and how many back track to Google to look elsewhere.
- Add to Any – This is a great little add on which installs a facebook and other social bookmark link to each page, to make it simple for people to post your page to these networks.
- Exclude pages – Sometimes you want pages which people can’t see straight from the main menu, perhaps hidden, or linked to from other sources, eg within another page, or from an email you send. This allows you to switch on or off any page.
- User locker – If people try too many times to access the site, the user in question will be locked out, pending a reset via an email to them.
- Captcha – This means any comments made, or contact forms used will require a human entry of some scrambled text, reducing spam and virus attacks.
- Widget Logic is a strange little add on which allows control over where elements of the site’s sidebar appear. You may want different message on different pages.
All of these get your site off to a great start. To enhance it further, the following add-ons are available at a small additional charge, either because they require some considerable configuration, or there is a charge to get the fully functional version, or a donation may be made to the developer.
- Ultimate SEO – This launches your site still further up the Google rankings, allowing keywords to be inserted in the hidden ‘metatag’ area of the site. Each page has the facility to write a unique page title, description for Google, and specific keywords.
- Contact Form 7 – Here you can put a form on the site to get just the right info from an enquirer. The details are then sent straight to your email. This works without disclosing your email address if that is a requirement.
- WP-Ecommerce, Gold Cart – This is a great add on which allows you to run an online shop with unlimited products, variations, categories using Paypal, Google Checkout, and numerous other payment services.
- Calendar – Here you can list and update booking times, perhaps for fitness classes or other times services.
- Opt in Manager – This is an extremely powerful addition to WordPress. It allows people to sign up to your blog, or news feeds. You control how often and how much people receive from you. This is a great way of sharing latest news or offers with your loyal clients. It is fully Data Protection compliant, where people can opt out, and opt in required clicking an email link which they receive to confirm they are genuine subscribers.
- Banner rotator is an add on which allows very high quality images to be put on a slide show. It gives a high class feel to a website.
- Page Restrict allows you to control access to certain pages via a username & password. Great for sensitive data for clients.
Ask for a quote for any of these to really transform your site’s performance.