WordPress (Photo credit: Huasonic)
One of the many reasons we believe WordPress is the best CMS for small business website owners and online marketers is the platform’s nearly limitless library of available plugins. These days, if you can think of a need or functionality you’d like to incorporate into your site, chances are someone’s made a plugin for it (and if not, call me and let’s create one together!). The following is our (not-so) short list of the bestWordPress plugins, covering every function from SEO, video and security, through e-commerce site speed and the end-all of most webstes; conversions.
Affiliate Marketing Plugins
- Pretty Link Pro – We use PLP for creating and managing affiliate links and internal links, helping our visitors find the resources and information they’re looking for.
Anti-Spam and Security Plugins
- Askismet – Akismet is quite possibly the best way in the world to protect your blog from comment and trackback spam. It keeps your site protected from spam even while you sleep.
Content Marketing Plugins
- Onlywire – Syndicates content on top 50 social bookmarking sites
- Zemanta – This is a ninja plugin that provides legal (creative commons) images, related articles and even suggested tags to your blog posts.
Conversion: Opt-in and Lead Generation Plugins
- Hello Bar – Opt-in bar on top or bottom, increases conversion
- Hybrid Connect – The ultimate plugin for web forms, light boxes and after-content web forms. Integrates with Facebook, Aweber and MailChimp.
- Optin Skin – Create great looking and high converting opt-in forms and banners that you can place virtually anywhere on your WordPress site.
- Formidable Forms – Easily customize forms with various fields in a matter of minutes.
- Math Captcha -Avoid spam by adding math captcha to your Formidable forms in a few easy steps.
E-commerce and Product-related Plugins
- Price Table – Creates a price table custom post type with a drag and drop builder. Based on the dashing price table.
Genesis Framework Plugins
- Genesis Custom Backgrounds – The first generation of this plugin will set a default image for post thumbnails for the Genesis framework.
- Genesis Footer Widgets – This plugin adds 3 footer widgets to Genesis 1.6 and higher.
- Genesis Layout Extras – This plugin for Genesis Theme Framework allows modifying of default layouts for homepage, singular, archive, attachment, search, 404 and even bbPress 2.x pages via Genesis theme settings.
- Genesis Simple Sidebars – Genesis Simple Sidebars allows you to easily create and use new sidebar widget areas.
- Genesis Slider – A featured slider for the Genesis Framework.
- Genesis Tabs – Genesis Simple Tabs extends the Featured Post widget to create a simple tabbed area.
Social Media Plugins
- AA’s Digg Digg Alternative– A floating share bar for sharing content. We used to use Digg Digg but it slows down pages and causes conflicts with other plugins. Use this instead.
- Facebook Like Box Widget – Show how many like your Facebook page in a simple widget.
- Social Media Widget – Adds links to all of your social media and sharing site profiles. Tons of icons come in 3 sizes, 4 icon styles, and 4 animations.
Testimonials and Reviews
- Review Schema – Adding this Schema.org markup will show your rating in the Google result and better your search ranking in general.
- Testimonials by Woo Themes – Testimonials by WooThemes” is a clean and easy-to-use testimonials management system for WordPress. Load in what your customers are saying about your business, and display the testimonials via a shortcode, widget or template tag on your website.
- LessThanWeb – Testimonials– Display client testimonials on your blog. Easily manage client testimonials for different products on a single blog by separating them into groups.
User Experience and Engagement Plugins
- Yet Another Related Posts – Provides a “related posts” footer on blog posts (based on categories).
- Lightbox Plus – Lightbox Plus implements ColorBox as a lightbox image overlay tool for WordPress. ColorBox was created by Jack Moore of Color Powered and is licensed under the MIT License.
Video: Online Video Marketing and YouTube Plugins
- Video Thumbnails – Automatically retrieve video thumbnails for your posts and display them in your theme. Currently supports YouTube, Vimeo, Blip.tv, Justin.tv, Dailymotion and Metacafe.
- TubePress – Displays gorgeous YouTube and Vimeo galleries in your posts, pages, and/or sidebar. Upgrade to TubePress Pro for more features!
- YouTube Subscriber Widget – Add a widget to display YouTube subscribe box in the sidebar.
Website Performance Plugins
- Use Google Libraries – For speed, uses Google’s cafes files instead of WP.
- WP Super Cache – Speeds up caching, A very fast caching engine for WordPress that produces static html files.