Best WordPress Plugins for a DIY website

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We’ve been working on a lot of websites lately, and most of them have WordPress as a backbone for their content management system. We’ve discovered and somewhat mastered the art of getting a WordPress website up and ready a short span of time. Here is a list of the best WordPress plugins that make our life easy:

1. Contact Form 7 & Contact Form DB

Contact Form 7 is the best form plugin available for WordPress. For briefkase.in, we’ve built all our forms using Contact Form 7. This plugin can be configured to send you an email once someone has filled out the form. Secondly, it allows the web administrator to setup an auto email response. Thirdly, one can redirect users to Thank You pages as a next step [ Tip: on_sent_ok: “location = ‘http://domainname/thank-you-page-url/;”  is the code that needs to be put into additional settings field of any Contact form to redirect users to thank you pages ].

Contact Form DB displays all leads received via your Contact Form 7’s within WordPress. You need not dig into your mailbox to keep track of leads. Here is a snapshot of leads that we have received using the landing page http://briefkase.in/outsource-ppc-india/ which has a Contact Form 7.

2. Yoast WordPress SEO

Yoast is a complete on-page SEO plugin. It allows you to optimize every page (Title, Meta Description, focus keyword) and shows how your page will be displayed in Search Engine results (snippet preview). It also provides an Advanced page analysis that helps you make content tweaks.

Other features include XML sitemap generation & auto publishing (improves crawlability of the website), changing Permalink settings to maintain clean URLs and avoid canonicalization, RSS content feed management (helping search engines identify you as the original source of the content) and Social SEO (Adding Facebook Open Graph Meta data, Twitter card meta data or linking Google+ page to your website).

3. Revolution Slider

Revolution slider is a premium slider jQuery plugin with a range of popular features such as fixed, custom, auto-responsive, and full screen layouts;  easy creation of slides that allow embedding different type of media such as video, images, or text ; animating slides with slide transitions and setting up keyboard or mouse events.

You can get your homepage or product carousels ready in no time with Revolution Slider.

Another carousel plugin that we recommend would be LayerSlider WP (See it in action on briefkase.in homepage).

4. Landing Pages

The Landing pages plugin developed by Inbound Now allows webmasters and marketers to quickly create landing pages for campaigns (Note: This plugin does not work for certain WP Themes such as iBusiness). A/B Testing of Landing pages can be easily setup with pre-configured landing page templates or those purchased from Inbound Now.  Landing pages come with form creation functionality (Our wish list: Integration of Contact Form 7 with Landing Pages plugin!)

5.  Google Analytics for WordPress, Google Sitemap, Verify Google Webmaster Tools, Redirection plugins

These are the basic, must have plugins for any site administrator / developer.  Google Analytics plugin allows you to setup the javascript GA code on all pages of your website, thus easily enabling you to collect traffic data and insights. The Sitemap & Webmaster tools plugins are a no brainer for site admins who want to have rich information of how Google’s search engine perceives the website.

Redirection plugin allows you to setup 301 redirects and manage 404 Error pages for your website.

6.  Google XML Sitemaps

Google XML Sitemaps by Arnie Brachold helps to create a compliant sitemap for your WordPress website. It is simple to use and does not require any PHP skills or file changes. Settings like by-blog and network activation make XML sitemap compatible with Multisite. This plugin allows the webmaster to submit an index of URLs which they want to include in Googles web search. It’s free to use and helps Google to get an overview of the web pages.

7. Duplicate Page

Duplicate Page plugin helps you duplicate a post, page and/or custom post with ease using just a single click. The duplicate post/page created can be saved under one of these options, draft, pending, private or public. Some of the key features are options to add post prefix and post suffix..

8. EPS Redirect

A redirect is a simple way to reroute traffic from the requested URL to different destination URL, which improves your SEO and guest experience. EPS Redirect is a user-friendly interface, also is easy to install and configure. This plugin is perfect when designing new sites, repairing links after you re-organize your existing WordPress content, or when your site includes content that has expired and want to avoid sending visitors to 404 pages.

9. SumoMe

SumoMe is a simple plugin which offers a plenty of tools to help you grow your email list. You can ask visitors, coming to your website, for their email address by that appear at the top of the page, corners of the page and/or pop-ups that slide in. SumoME can be used to increase website traffic and increase social share on your blog.

10. AddToAny Share Buttons

The AddToAny sharing plugin for WordPress increases traffic & engagement by by allowing people  to share your posts and pages to any service. Services include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Reddit, and over 100 more sharing and social media sites & apps. You can make custom additions the sharing buttons.

11. Whats Help Chat Button

The Chat button by WhatsHelp takes a website visitor directly to the messaging app such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp and allows them to initiate a conversation with you. This helps both you and your customers to follow up anytime and anywhere!

12. W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache improves the SEO and user experience of your site by increasing website performance and reducing download times via features like content delivery network (CDN) integration.

We’ve compiled this list of the best WordPress plugins purely based on our experience with WordPress. Some examples of the websites we have developed in WordPress include bikamp.com, www.som.iitb.ac.in/epm-iitb, ctechlabs.in, cloudlendinginc.com (customization done by third party developers), rootstock.com (SEO redirection plugin) and our own website briefkase.in.

If you are looking for help with developing your site in WordPress, contact us today.

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Mandar Marathe
mandar@briefkase.in

Mandar Marathe brings 9 years of experience in Digital Marketing. Starting off his career at Digitas (Publicis Groupe) in the United States to leading a small team at Reprise Media (IPG Group) in Mumbai to where he is today, at BriefKase, Mandar likes to dabble in SEO, Analytics & UX Design.

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