In today’s digital age, it’s no secret that a well-functioning website is an important place to start when it comes to putting your brand’s best face forward. WordPress, the industry-leading website building platform and content management system (CMS), makes it extremely easy to build a website and also to make your site perform essentially any function that you might need it to. There are 50,000+ free and premium plugins in the WordPress directory that serve as the key components and truly allow you to optimize your website functionality.
At BuzzShift, when we are building or optimizing a client’s website, we have our tried and true WordPress plugin go-to’s that we frequently recommended for our clients’ sites. These may help build out functionality for payments, customer service, subscriptions, and more. While we would usually recommend that eCommerce brands set up their websites on Shopify, there are many ways to optimize a WordPress site for eCommerce functionality. In this blog post, we’re going to cover the WordPress plugins that we have deemed absolutely essential for direct-to-consumer and e-commerce brands.
Elementor is a visual editor plugin that you can use to create beautiful, aesthetically-pleasing pages on your website. It replaces the standard WordPress page editor and is built to make page design quick and easy. You don’t need to be a trained developer or need to know code or CSS to make your website look great with the Elementor plugin. Its drag-and-drop functionality allows you to utilize various content widgets to add elements such as images, headings, buttons, and forms onto your page. Elementor also allows you to build forms with custom fields to collect whatever information you may need from your visitors.
The standard Elementor plugin is free in the WordPress plugin directory. If you’re looking for some more advanced features or want to use Elementor to design your entire site, including 404 pages, headers, footers, etc., you can upgrade to Elementor Pro starting at $49 per year. Elementor Pro packages also come with some pre-built templates which makes page design even easier.
If you have a WordPress website, SEO needs to be a top area of focus. After all, what’s the point of a great website if nobody can find it on a search results page? The Yoast plugin is the #1 WordPress plugin for SEO and it makes improving your site’s SEO effortless. Some of the best features worth mentioning are Yoast’s automated meta tags and optimized URLs, templates for writing your pages’ title tags and meta descriptions, an in-depth SEO analysis tool for writing content with your target keywords in mind, a readability analysis, and internal linking blocks which come with the premium version. Yoast also offers great educational resources through their Yoast Academy that help you stay on top of your game when it comes to your site’s SEO strategy.
The free version of Yoast SEO is a no-brainer when you’re deciding on which plugins your WordPress site needs. However, if you’re looking for some more advanced SEO-boosting features, you can upgrade to Yoast SEO Premium for $99 per year.
Another no-brainer plugin that we recommend for WordPress websites is Imagify. Imagify is a plugin that automatically resizes and compresses all of the images on your website. You can set your desired compression level for your images, and they will be resized automatically when you upload them. With the Imagify plugin, you’ll have perfectly optimized images and thumbnails on both desktop and mobile. This not only saves you hours of manual work but it can drastically improve your site speed and cut down load times.
For smaller websites, you can sign up for a free account which comes with 20MB per month. A second plan grants you a 500MB monthly plan for just $4.99 per month. For larger, more complex WordPress sites, Imagify offers their Infinite plan which gives you an unlimited quota for $9.99 per month (Worth it!)
If you have a lot of content on your site, we recommend upgrading your site’s search functionalities with the SearchWP plugin. SearchWP is a far more advanced search tool than WordPress’s default search function. Not only does it index all content on your site including custom fields, text files, and PDF documents, it gives you better visibility into what users are searching for when they’re on your website. The search metrics feature allows you to see what content is not being found via your search functionality so that you can make it more easily discoverable. SearchWP also integrates with eCommerce plugins so that your product attributes are easily found using your site’s search. By making your search functionality more user-friendly, you’ll keep your visitors on your site longer and keep them more engaged.
The SearchWP WordPress plugin starts at $99 per year.
If you’re an e-Commerce brand with a WordPress site, your best option is WordPress’ most popular e-Commerce plugin, WooCommerce. Whether you’re selling physical products or downloadable files, WooCommerce can power your e-Commerce store. The plugin allows you to fully manage all of your store’s inventory, and it comes with standard payment processing and shipping options. With WooCommerce, you’ll have access to hundreds of themes so you can customize the look and feel of your site. WooCommerce also integrates with most major apps and platforms for email marketing, shipping, payment processing, referrals, loyalty programs, reviews, and more. Other added benefits are customer support and online community forums.
WooCommerce itself is free; however, there are other associated costs you’ll need to consider such as website hosting, domain fees, paid themes, shipping and payment extensions, and more.
We’ve just scratched the surface on a few of our favorite plugins for WordPress websites. There are thousands of options available to make your site work best for your business. It can be overwhelming to build and manage a website especially if you’re not sure which plugins you may need. We’re here to help! Reach out today to discuss the best strategy for your WordPress website.
BuzzShift is a digital growth strategy agency with a focus on mid-market, scaling, purpose-driven DTC Brands. By combining the ideologies of branding, performance marketing, and retention agency, we are able to create memorable experiences with measurable results, and build long-term success for our clients with scalable, sustainable growth. Learn more about BuzzShift.