These three WordPress plugins can enhance your website – and they’re all free!

Developing your site using WordPress makes it simple for ‘non techie’ people to continually add content after your site has been built, without needing to know anything about coding. You obviously need some creativity to make it look good in the first place, but if creative website design is what you’re after, I can help with that. What we are talking about here is what happens AFTER your site is built, when you inevitably want to tweak it and add fresh copy, images, or something a little more adventurous. With over 44,000 WordPress plugins available, updating your site to something more bespoke is a piece of cake – in fact, these fantastic plugins are partly what has made WordPress so popular in the first place.

What is a WordPress plugin?

First of all, let’s clarify what a plugin is. Do you want a special sort of contact form on your website? Not a problem. With a WordPress site you don’t need to be able to input long strings of code, you simply head to your WordPress dashboard and search the plugins for something like ‘contact form’. A list will appear, you select one you like (there are reviews and feedback to help you), hit install, activate it and voila! You’ve got a contact form. The principle works across the board and virtually anything you can think of, whether ‘fun’ or ‘practical’, will have a plugin to make it possible. Here are a few of those that I frequently recommend to enhance your website – they’re the practical ones, but I’ll be recommending some fun WordPress plugins at some point too:

Akismet

(Excuse the fact that it sounds somewhat like an Indian restaurant.)

A blog is a simple and effective way to connect with your audience, but the downside is that unless you have strong privacy settings, it opens up the door for some people to populate the comments section of your blog with spammy links to bad websites.  This can negatively impact your own site, but you can manage this by installing the Akismet plugin. This convenient plugin will scan any comments left on your website behind to identify those that could be potentially fake. It will filter those into a spam folder for you to look through. Anything that you approve can then be placed back in the comments section.

Yoast SEO plugin

(Excuse the fact that it sounds somewhat like an Indian restaurant.)

A blog is a great way to connect with your audience, but the downside is that some people will inevitably use the comments section of your blog to do nothing but fill it with spam links to their own sites. This can hurt your site, but you can take care of the issue by adding the Akismet plugin. This handy tool will scan the comments left behind to look for potentially fake or spammy remarks. It will shuffle those off to a spam folder, which you can then peruse when you have time. Anything that you deem to be fine can automatically be added back to the comments section where it belongs.

Google XML Sitemaps for Videos

Websites that have video content always seem to do well in the search engine rankings, assuming of course that Google can recognize and index all of the videos on your site.  If you have a site that relies heavily on video content, you should take a look at the Google XML Sitemaps for Videos plugin. This cool little plugin will quickly generate a sitemap for all your embedded videos so that Google will easily be able to recognise them all.

Those are just a few of the many plugins that can add functionality to your WordPress website. Log into WordPress and take some time to browse through all the plugin categories, as they might just inspire you to add something creative and exciting to your website than you hadn’t previously thought of.

For further advice, or for help with building or designing your website, please get in touch.