WordPress plugins, like anything in the technology industry, are constantly evolving. Some plugins that were must have a couple years ago, are no longer updated, or have been replaced with better more efficient solutions.
Here are the top ten plugins we recommend using on your local business site to maximize the effectiveness of your site in 2014.
This plugin provide the most flexibility we have seen in a contact form. It provides the ability to easily add a completely customized contact form to any page or section of your WordPress site. This is one that has been around for a long time and is likely to stay on our top ten list for some time to come.
Caching plugins can be very complicated and cumbersome. If you want something that is as easy to configure as checking the “Enable” option and works great, this is the one. They still have advanced configuration options if you are insterested in using them, but they are not required to greatly reduce your site’s load times.
This is actually more of a toolset that becomes available when you connect your wordpress.org site to a wordpress.com account. Many powerful features ranging from Site Statistics to Social Network Integrations become available with minimal configuration.
If you have different people logging into your backend to manage content. This is the best free plugin we have found to limit there accessibility to certain functions and areas of the backend.
5) XML Sitemaps
This plugin automatically creates a sitemap of your site in an XML format for search engines to read. You can then login to Google and Bing webmaster tools to submit your XML sitemap to get your website indexed faster and more accurately.
This plugin allows you to make many different useful customizations to how your site operates by simple checking them to activate them. Normally these functions (for example Disabling HTML in WordPress comments) would take some pretty advanced coding in the functions.php file. But this plugin makes it very simple.
Now there are many other SEO plugins out there, and many of them are very effective as well. However, we have found this one to offer the most flexibility without being overly complicated.
This free plugin will lock down your site and keep you ahead of the curve with hackers. No site is completely hack-proof, but if configured correctly, this plugin will get you pretty close.
A great and very customizable plugin to add social sharing buttons to your site. This plugin makes it easy to add the sharing button how and where you want them.
So that is our list of free plugins that will great improve the functionality of your WordPress site. There are many other useful plugins out there but the free ones above are an excellent way to get the most for your money.