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10 Essential WordPress Plugins For a Small Business Website

Whether your small business niche is plumbing, SEO services, or wedding planning, you want your small business website to deliver on your business goals. 

One of the many benefits of using the WordPress platform is the ability to use plugins. They extend functionality and add needed features to help you grow your small business. 

In this article, we will discuss ten plugins every small business website needs:

  • Yoast SEO
  • WordFence
  • Social Warfare
  • Akismet
  • Broken Link Checker
  • W3 Total Cache
  • Smush Image Optimization, Compressions, and Lazy Load
  • Google XML Sitemaps
  • Simple Author Box
  • Google Analytics Dashboard

Yoast SEO

Get more visitors to your website and increase your search engine rankings with Yoast SEO. 

With millions of users worldwide, this SEO plugin for WordPress offers the toolset you need to please search engines and users.

Below are some of the powerful features of the free version of SEO Yoast.

  • Create an XML sitemap.
  • Avoid duplicate content by setting canonical URLs.
  • Add title and meta descriptions to improve branding.
  • Take control over site breadcrumbs by setting primary categories and determine taxonomies.
  • Write SEO-friendly text, including focus keyphrases and SEO snippet.
  • Get SEO analysis and actionable suggested results.
  • See a snippet preview of how your post or page will look in search results.
  • Optimize your site structure with internal linking and content features.
  • Control access to different sections of the plugin for teams or colleagues.
  • Use the bulk editor to make large-scale edits.

SEO Yoast offers a premium version with even more capabilities.  They also offer paid training. Anyone can read the helpful tips on their blog.

If your target audience can’t find you online, they can’t purchase your products or services. SEO Yoast helps your potential customers find you.

WordFence

WordFence makes it harder for someone to hack your WordPress site and protects it from potential hacking, brute force attacks, and other security vulnerabilities. WordFence will scan your site, track, and alert you of suspicious or malicious behavior. 

See an overview in the dashboard of the security of your website, including status features, notifications, and attack statistics.

Some of the features of the free version include:

  • Blocks and identifies malicious traffic with the web application firewall.
  • Limits login attempts to protect from brute force attacks.
  • Protects your website at the endpoint.
  • Checks core files, plugins, themes, backdoors, bad URLs, malicious redirects, SEO spam, and code injections with the malware scanner.
  • Alerts you to known potential security issues and security vulnerabilities.
  • Scans your files, comments, and posts for suspicious content and dangerous URLs.
  • Blocks administrator logins when passwords have been compromised.

There is also a premium version with more security options and resources.

Social Warfare

Social Warfare is a fast and visually appealing social sharing plugin. Unlike other sharing plugins that may slow down your website, Social Warfare doesn’t.

It isn’t bloated with unnecessary code and loads faster.

The plugin is easy to set up and enables users to customize the share buttons.

If you move or change your domain name, there is no need to worry about losing existing social shares.Social Warfare’s Share Recovery feature protects your social proof and saves your share counts.

The free version of Social Warfare comes with:

  • Social sharing buttons for the major social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
  • Share counts.
  • Click-to-tweet.
  • Button placement locations.
  • Content-protection.
  • Popular posts widget.
  • Shortcodes.

The free version can be downloaded from the WordPress repository. There is also a premium version if you want expanded capabilities.

Akismet Anti-Spam

Akismet automatically checks all the comments on your site to filter out spam. Site owners can see which ones were caught as spam in the comments section of the administrative dashboard.

Akismet comes pre-installed in WordPress but must be activated to use. You will need to get an Akismet API key to use the plugin. Keys are free for personal use. Commercial and business sites must get a paid subscription.

Why do you need Akismet? You want to prevent hackers from creating new user accounts on your small business website. If they add spam hyperlinks, you can get penalized by Google. This also includes spam comments. 

See overall stats in the settings of your activated plugin. Click on Detailed Stats to see a breakdown by month.

Broken Link Checker

Broken links will hurt your search engine rankings. Broken Link Checker will monitor your site for broken links and missing images. It will notify you if any are found.

With Broken Link Checker, you can:

  • See broken links in content differently than other links if selected in settings.
  • Monitor links in comments, posts, and pages.
  • Edit broken links from the plugin page.

Broken Link Checker is highly customizable. Change the settings in the plugin dashboard. 

Fixing broken links can create a better user experience, reduce bounce rates, and increase page views.

W3 Total Cache

Website speed and user experience are essential ranking factors for SEO. Webpages that take too long to load will reduce your search engine rankings. They will also create negative experiences for your users who don’t want to wait.

W3 Total Cache increases your site performance by increasing load speed. It creates cached HTML files so that visitors don’t have to wait for all your site’s functions to load every time they land on a page.

Smush Image Optimization, Compression, & Lazy Load

Large, unoptimized images take up a lot of space on your website, slow down site speed, and harm your search engine rankings.

Some of the many features and benefits of Smush include:

  • Optimize your images while preserving the quality.
  • Automate the image optimization process.
  • Detect incorrect image sizes.
  • Compress any image in any directory.

Increase your rankings by using Smush to help your small business website load faster.

Google XML Sitemaps

Every website needs a sitemap to tell the search engines which pages and posts on your site to crawl. 

If you are running Yoast SEO, you don’t need a separate plugin for this. Google XML Sitemaps helps you create and upload one without coding or using HTML.

With this sitemap, it is easier for the search engine crawlers to see the structure of your site and retrieve it. 

Also, every time you create a new post or page, the search engines will be notified. The plugin is free for personal and commercial use.

Simple Author Box

For sites that have multiple bloggers, Simple Author Box is a must-have. Easily add a mobile responsive box at the bottom of your blog posts.

The main features enable you to:

  • Customize options to match your brand design.
  • Show author name, website, gravatar, description, and social icons.
  • Insert the author box at the end of each post automatically.

With Simple Author Box you can clearly differentiate between different authors on your site. The plugin is free, but if you want additional features, you can upgrade to Simple Author Box Pro.

Google Analytics Dashboard

Knowing how visitors are getting to your small business website, how long they stay, and which pages they are landing on is essential to small business owners.

Rather than having to log into your Google Analytics account, track your stats and get in-depth posts and pages reports inside your WP installation with Google Analytics Dashboard.

Some of the robust features include the ability to:

  • Track events easily.
  • Customize dimensions to track.
  • Use Google Tag Manager as an alternative tracking code.
  • See your analytics in real-time right inside your WP dashboard.

The Google Analytic Dashboard is compatible with multisite network installations.

One of the many reasons people choose to use WordPress for their website is the ability to enhance and customize it using plugins. Consider the plugins listed above to help your small business grow.


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