WordPress powers more websites than any other website-building platform, and these websites include small blogs, eCommerce websites, and large corporate websites, each with its own distinct functions and features.
In 2022, WordPress powered 42.9% of the web, which means 661 new WordPress websites are generated daily on average.
And you’re not alone if you utilise WordPress for your website. WordPress is also used by these well-known and big brand websites:
- The White House
- Sony Music
- The New York Times
- The Walt Disney Company
For more examples of big brand WordPress Site, click here.
The core version of WordPress serves as the foundation for creating a simple and useful WordPress website.
However, WordPress plugins enable websites to be customized to match a user’s requirements and goals.
To create a website using WordPress, you need to be aware of the best free plugins for your business websites.
They will make your activities on WordPress a lot simpler by enabling you to accomplish things that the conventional WordPress configuration does not provide.
Keep reading if you want to know what is a plugin in WordPress and how to add a plugin to WordPress.
What is a WordPress Plugin?
WordPress plugins are software that, like mobile apps for your smartphone, allows you to add new features and functionality to your WordPress website.
In the WordPress community, there is a phrase that goes, “There’s a plugin for that.”
There are over 60,000 free WordPress plugins (Updated for 2023) in the official WordPress plugin directory. Of course, not all of them are updated and used on a regular basis.
However, focus on the most popular WordPress plugins may surprise you on generating website, optimizing website performance and boost website visibility.
Depending on the features of the plugin, WordPress plugins can make little or major changes to how your site appears and functions.
Plugins can also be thought of as extensions for your web browser. All you have to do is download an extension, install it, and you’re done.
The ability to swiftly add or remove plugins from your site without disrupting basic operations is another advantage of using WP plugins.
How do WordPress Plugins Work?
WordPress is built in such a way that other developers can plug in their own code.
The WordPress plugin API has a lot of hooks and filters that developers can use to change or add new functionality to the way WordPress works.
WordPress also provides developers with the ability to save data in the WordPress database.
Plugins can make use of WordPress content types, taxonomies, and custom fields, allowing users to save more than posts and pages.
Each WordPress plugin you install on your site is saved in your WordPress database. You can turn them on and off as you wish.
Some plugins add generic functionality to your site to make it safer and more searchable, while others offer features tailored to specific needs, such as product pages and purchasing carts for an eCommerce site.
Some of these particular functionalities are added by selecting specific WordPress themes, but such features mainly pertain to altering the site’s structure.
A theme made for photographers, for example, would contain choices for a gallery or slideshow.
A WordPress eCommerce theme provides capabilities for creating product pages.
Plugins are add-ons for your WordPress site that come with a set of built-in features and allow you to change and configure them.
What can WordPress Plugins do?
Plugins make it simple to transform a basic WordPress site into a fully functional online store, blog, or website capable of managing a multinational corporation’s professional demands.
Plugins can improve your WordPress site by doing the following:
1. Enhancing the user experience
Plugins can help users navigate the site, find content, leave comments, subscribe to updates, and contact the site’s administrators.
2. Including critical security features
The core version of WordPress has some basic security measures in place.
But add-on plugins can make the site more secure by adding complex firewalls, alarms, user verification, and spam filters.
3. Increasing site loading time
Plugins can help a WordPress site load faster by enabling caching and optimizing media.
4. Streamlining your operations
WordPress plugins help you with things like making your site more searchable, adding editorial calendars, scheduling content, and managing social media sharing and email lists, among other things.
5. Enhancing the aesthetic of the website
Designer typefaces, galleries, sliders, and media players can all be added to your site using plugins. Some themes may need the use of specific plugins to function correctly.
6. Including elements required to achieve your website’s goal
Plugins can be used to add features such as product pages and shopping carts to eCommerce sites, as well as landing pages, paywalls, and a variety of other features to help the site’s intended purpose.
Where to find WordPress Plugins?
1. From the WordPress Directory
Every WordPress installation offers access to the official WordPress Plugin Directory from the site’s dashboard.
Thousands of free plugins for various functions are available in the directory. Some are free with a premium option, while others are exclusively accessible with premium subscriptions.
2. From Other Sources
Because WordPress is free and open-source software, anybody with programming knowledge can create a plugin for WordPress.
Many free and paid plugins, including SEO plugins, are available for purchase from digital asset marketplaces, theme and plugin developers, and even individual users.
How to Choose Plugins for a Business Website
There is already a large collection of over 60,000 WordPress plugins available for you to pick from.
To figure out which plugins are needed for your site, you first need to figure out what your site needs.
Although there is almost no limit to the number of plugins you can install on your site, a backlog of unused or obsolete plugins can slow down your site and pose security threats.
So, think carefully about the purpose of your website. And, with that in mind, look for and install high-quality plugins that promote that purpose.
In general, you should install plugins that provide the following features:
- Security features
- Performance enhancements
- Search engine optimization
The next thing is to consider what features your website should have.
People who write blogs, for example, need different plugins from people who make designs or sell things on the internet.
Remember, whatever plugins you want to install, be sure they are compatible with your WordPress version.
Some may include code that is incompatible with the WordPress version you are using or with other plugins you have installed on your site.
When updates to installed plugins are available, WordPress normally alerts users. Accepting these upgrades is critical to maintaining all aspects of the site running effectively and to avoiding security concerns that might lead to malware and viruses.
Free & Basic WordPress Plugins For Your Business Website
1. MonsterInsights Lite
MonsterInsights Lite makes it simple to link your WordPress website to your Google Analytics account.
You can use it to analyse how people find your website and what they do while there.
With this information, you can capitalize on what site users enjoy to keep them coming back for more.
2. All in One SEO plugin
The fantastic All in One SEO plugin offers you total control over your WordPress website SEO.
It is already used by over 2 million websites to optimize their posts, pages, and WooCommerce products.
It’s an excellent alternative to Yoast SEO and Jetpack.
3. WP Mail SMTP
This free plugin reconfigures the wp_mail() PHP function to utilize the correct SMTP provider.
In other words, it ensures that any WordPress emails that are supposed to be sent from your WordPress site are sent to the intended recipient’s inbox.
4. Smash Balloon
Smash Balloon is a great WordPress social feed tool because it has a lot of great plugins that work with a lot of different social media networks.
Smash Balloon is a mix of five WordPress plugins.
You can use Smash Balloon to add custom Facebook feeds, Instagram feeds, Twitter feeds, and YouTube feeds to your WordPress site without even engaging a developer.
5. Uncanny Automator
Uncanny Automator is the most user-friendly WordPress automation plugin available. It makes connecting things on your WordPress website a breeze.
You can automate your WordPress site without writing a single line of code using this plugin.
Create automation (in minutes) that uses billions of combinations to link your WordPress plugins, sites, and other apps. Then relax and let your website do the work for you.
Through social proof, TrustPulse leverages FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) to help drive more conversions and sales on websites.
Social proof is a psychological and social phenomenon in which people base their decisions on the behaviours and responses of others.
One of the best live chat tools available is the LiveChat plugin. It is, without a doubt, the most well-known, and for good reason.
If you’re thinking about getting into Conversational Marketing, this is a great place to start.
If you’re searching for an excellent data visualization plugin, Visualizer is the one for you.
The Visualizer plugin lets you use the power of your data to make beautiful, responsive, and customizable charts and tables that you can edit right in your post.
If you’re wondering what the best WordPress plugins are for selling things online, the answer is simple.
Most online businesses use WooCommerce to sell their products, and it’s always at the top of the lists of the best WordPress plug-ins for eCommerce.
Plugins provide WordPress site owners with nearly limitless control over all elements of a site’s functionality and aesthetic.
With the aid of thousands of plugins from a global pool of developers, WordPress users of all skill levels can add the features and functionalities they need to create a unique, fully functional WordPress site with the aid of powerful plugins.
Related article: Most Useful WordPress Plugins List
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