10 Must-have Free WordPress Plugins For Your Local Business Site In 2014

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  Some plugins that were must have a couple years ago, are no longer updated, or have been replaced with better more efficient solutions.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.


1)  Fast Secure Contact Form

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.


2)  Quick Cache (Speed Without Compromise)

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.


3)  Jetpack by WordPress.com

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.


4)  Adminimize

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.


6)  Added WP Functions by QP

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.


8)  WordPress SEO by Yoast

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.


9)  Better WP Security

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.


10)  Sociable

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.

Behold the Power of WordPress: Our Favorite Plugins

We like WordPress. Aside from it being user friendly, powerful, flexible, and SEO optimized, it also has almost as many plugins as the iPhone has apps. Well maybe that’s not quite true, but here are some of our favorite plugins.

Akismet – Akismet allows you to check your comments easily and quickly against their web service to see if they are spam.

Google XML Sitemaps – This will genrate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines better index your website.

WP SuperCache – This plugin creates static html files from your WordPress website to serve, instead of much heavier and larger PHP scripts. This makes for extremely fast page caching and a more responsive site. Traffic bursts that would normally cause a crash are easily handled by WP Super Cache.

HeadSpace 2 – This SEO plugin does it all and is very powerful. It handles tagging posts, meta data, titles, and descriptions.

WordPress Automatic Upgrade – You’ve got to take the good with the bad, and WordPress likes update their software. As some of you may know it can be a huge pain to update your WP version everytime they change something. WordPress Automatic Update allows you to upgrade with just a few clicks.

TweetMeme Button – This plugin allows your users to easily tweet about what’s on your site.

Action PopUp – This is an awesome WordPress tool for finding subscribers and building your email marketing list.

Contact Form 7 – Easily add contact forms to your site.

Disqus Comment System -This is a great plugin for any blog or website with social interaction. It takes commenting to a new level, allowing you to create a blog that integrates the top social media platforms seamlessly. Disqus helps your content go viral by using Facebook connect, letting visitors post their comment on their FB wall, showing all their friends what they found.

MobilePress – With mobile web browsing becoming larger by the day, you want to make sure your site is compatible and fast for the iPhone or droid. This plugin makes your website smart phone friendly to keep them coming back for more.

SEO Slugs -This plugin optimizes your site’s URLs for better search results.

Pretty Link -With Pretty Link you no longer have to build redirects or upload tons of PHP files. This plugin quickly and easily cloaks your affiliate links. You can share and track any URL on the internet from your site with Pretty Link. It will track each hit and give you an in-depth report on click stats.

Feedburner – This plugin redirects the main feed and optionally the comments will feed easily and transparently to feedburner.com

Popularity Contest – Want to know which of your posts are getting the most traffic? Install this plugin.

SexyBookmarks -Your users can quickly and easily share their posts on all the popular social media sites with this plugin.

Search Unleashed -This plugin extends the standard WordPress search to include data from posts, pages, comments, meta data, and even data inserted by plugins.