Top WordPress Plugins for 2017

Top WordPress Plugins for 2017

Does your company use WordPress for its website? If so, you’re hardly alone. The PHP-based open source content management system is the foundation for about 60 million websites worldwide. Fans of WordPress like it’s easy-to-use template system that allows them to choose themes. The solution’s other great attraction, of course, is the wide availability of WordPress plugins to extend its functionality. These plugins integrate seamlessly with WordPress to build on the Web site and offer tools and extensions for many other types of functionality, including sales and marketing.

At Agile CRM, we offer a WordPress plugin that helps small to medium-sized companies take their marketing and sales automation to the next level. By integrating your WordPress website or blog with Agile CRM, you can better engage your visitors with smart (perfectly timed and personalized) pop-ups, analyze their online activity, and increase sales conversions using the latest web-to-lead technology.

Whether you’re looking for more subscribers, a boost in sales, insight into customer behavior–or just an effective way to manage exit intent–Agile CRM’s integrated marketing automation features will help you get there faster.

There are, of course, a variety of other WordPress plugins that also can help you get the most out of your website, and it’s worth taking a look at a few of the superstars that no sales and marketing department should do without.

BackupBuddy

You’ve worked long and hard to build up your prospect and customer data, and if you’re smart (and using Agile CRM’s WordPress plugin!), you wield this data to make the most of marketing and sales opportunities. So imagine the scenario of a hardware failure, or a cyber attack (which is increasingly common in today’s world).  Is all your data backed up? WordPress does not come with built-in backups, and your host backup may not be sufficient in the event of a serious problem. If you’re not a large enterprise with pockets deep enough to run redundant systems from your dedicated data center, you could risk losing your marketing and sales data and having to start from scratch. Luckily, there’s a WordPress plugin for that.

BackupBuddy is one of the more reliable and easy ways to backup and restore your WordPress sites intuitively with just a few clicks from the WordPress dashboard. While other WordPress backup plugins backup the WordPress database only, BackupBuddy backs up your entire WordPress installation, making sure you also have a copy of all your WordPress site files in the event of a problem.

W3 Total Cache

While you may spend a lot of time fretting about your search engine optimization and your rankings, how often does speed enter the equation? In truth, speed is vital to SEO–faster websites rank higher in Google, and this means more visitors for your site and more sales conversions.

W3 Total Cache is a plugin that allows you to serve compressed and cached files to your visitors, reducing the load on your server and making your site faster. A plugin like this is particularly critical if you’re flirting with the idea of putting a video into your sales and marketing efforts, as content delivery network (CDN) integration reduces download times significantly.

Rank Reveal

While there are a lot of conventional SEO ranking tools available for WordPress, most of them have a limitation: they can only tell where your website is ranking from the keywords you provide. They can’t tell you what all the keywords your website is currently ranking for, which is highly useful information if you’re looking for “low-hanging fruit” keywords for a quick SEO boost.

The Rank Reveal plugin for WordPress helps companies go beyond the five or 10 keywords they track and find all their relevant keywords. It is essentially SEO tracking but in reverse. Rank Reveal will alert your company automatically when you’re ranking in new keywords, allowing your organization to take advantage of opportunities the marketing department may not have even known existed.

Social Pug

Being a smart marketer today, you’re probably focused on social media in an attempt to get on board with critical influencer marketing. This starts with making sure your content is easy for your biggest fans to share. A social share button WordPress plugin does just that: once it’s installed, it rolls out the social share button feature to all your posts.

Social Pug, one of the most popular of these plugins, lets users place the buttons (which are editable) before and after the post content or in the form of a floating sidebar that follows users as they scroll down through content. The plugin also displays share counts for all social networks, including Twitter.

All in One Schema.org Rich Snippets

You’ve probably seen eye-catching Google search listings that have pictures and ratings and seem to attract attention in ways that other listings don’t. It’s not your imagination: research shows that they get more clicks on the search results page from such images and rankings.

The companies whose listings look like this are using something called structured data markup (schema markup or “rich snippets”). The plugin, All in One Schema.org Rich Snippets, helps you add relevant structured data markup and create a short summary of your page in the search results of Google, Yahoo, Bing and even in the newsfeed of Facebook in an attractive, highly visual format with star ratings, author photos, images and more. Essentially, the plugin gives search engines only the important (to you) information to display in search result snippets so you can customize them to look better than those of your competitors.

WooCommerce

You’ve probably explored opportunities for turning your website into an ecommerce site, but you may have little idea how to go about it without a lot of trial and error. When WordPress first launched, ecommerce plugins were scarce, and now they’re almost too plentiful to choose among.

WooCommerce stands out from the crowd. It’s adaptable and 100 percent open-source. It also is fully customizable. Businesses can quickly turn their web sites into stores, complete with payment gateways (PayPal, Amazon Payments and more) and shipping options, both domestic and international. There are also add-ons available for calculating and paying sales tax, keeping track of inventory and building a subscription model for your paying customers.

These are some of the best WordPress plugins to check out, but of course there are many more good ones out there. What are your current favorite WordPress plugins? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

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Peter Kowalke

Peter Kowalke is a journalist and editor who has been covering business, technology and lifestyle trends for more than 20 years.

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