Photo by Chris Metcalf
While WordPress is wonderfully easy to use, and, with a nice theme, aesthetically pleasing, it’s the plug-ins that give your site the functionality you need for your site. From optimizing e-commerce to ensuring that your visitors will return, plug-ins allow you to turn your site from just another WordPress site into something that is designed to work for you.
There are a number of good free WordPress plug-ins for you to try, but sometimes you need to pay for something that will deliver the efficiency, quality, and service you need. After all, you don’t want to rely on the kindness of strangers to ensure that your e-commerce functions are up and running. Here are five paid—or, as some call them, “premium”—plugins that are essential for almost any WordPress site.
Whether you’re running a day care or a dog walking service, you need forms so your customers can supply their contact information, enter contests, or order goods and services. Gravity Forms makes the process of building forms and gathering their content easy, so you don’t have to worry about a simple mistake costing you thousands of dollars in lost business. Like most paid plug-ins, Gravity Forms has a range of pricing plans, so you can start small and upgrade when your business grows.
While a terrible site will have trouble attracting any worthwhile visitors, a very good site can still get lost on the web if you don’t have help. SEOPressor is a fast, easy to use search-engine optimizer that will help you get the most of the work you put into building a quality WordPress site. With strong analytics and a simple pricing structure, SEOPressor is a must-have when you need to be on the first page, or even number one, in a Google search.
There’s nothing worse than suffering a server crash. Losing a WordPress site is especially traumatic, particularly if you rely on your site archive to reach clients. Backup Buddy makes backing up your site simple and automatic, allowing you to depend on your WordPress site even if your website is clunkier than you’d like.
Although this plug-in has a free version, the pro version allows you to produce brand-free and mashed-up maps that give your users great directions to your business, whether it’s been there for a hundred years or if it’s a food truck.
Slidedeck allows you to create image, video, or text dynamic slideshows, or sliders for use in your WordPress site. With custom Lenses (think themes for slideshows), you can personalize your slideshows, allowing to integrate appealing visual content into your website in a few easy steps.