Since its initial release in 2003, the WordPress community has grown rapidly. Today, it’s the biggest Content Management System (CMS) on the market, and it’s not slowing down any time soon. It’s so huge it now powers 30% of websites on the internet. What makes WordPress so popular? The appeal lies in its key features: it’s free and open source. Because it’s so easy to use, edit, and redistribute, it’s the go-to choice of most new webmasters and business owners today.
Because WordPress is open source, there’s an endless list of plugins that can be installed onto the platform to edit or add to the experience. From automated cloud backups to performance boosters, there are no limits to the WordPress platform.
Because there are so many plugins to choose from, many new WordPress users find themselves confused at where to even begin. What plugins are worth the download and which should be left alone? This guide will cover the best plugins for optimising your WordPress website from start to finish in order to give your visitors the best experience resulting in making your business fly.
If you want to succeed on the WordPress platform, you can’t store your website on the free platform at all. While WordPress.com has free hosting options, these come with strict limitations that will hold your website back. You’ll need to purchase a custom domain and host your website through a hosting service in order to have full control over your content.
While you can choose a variety of hosting from shared hosting to a dedicated server, cloud hosting is one of the best options today. With cloud hosting, you rent computational resources on a pay-per-use basis. This means you don’t have to pay for more than you use, and there is a lot more flexibility. Here are the two most popular cloud hosting options for WordPress.
Amazon Web Services
With Amazon Web Services (AWS), you can get your own virtual private server for as little as $3.50 a month depending on your needs. That’s quite the bargain for reliable, secure hosting. Through Amazon’s Lightsale, it only takes a few clicks to get your WordPress site up and running. Click here for a full list of AWS services at a glance.
Aside from AWS, Siteground is one of the fastest growing cloud servers. It has the best level of service as any host, and it’s also the easiest to use with their one-click WordPress installer.
Because it uses light-weight Linux containers, it’s excellent for saving space and boosting the overall performance of your WordPress website.
Once you’ve got an established site and business it makes sense to invest in fully managed cloud hosting, which is optimised for WordPress to provide your visitors with the best experience possible. A fully managed WordPress site care service takes care of all the technical stuff including WordPress updates, cloud hosting, security and more so you can focus on growing your business.
Running an e-commerce website in the age of big-name retailers is more complicated than ever.
However, WordPress breaks down barriers by making it easy for websites big and small to build their own comprehensive online stores.
If you want to sell products or services online, you need an e-commerce platform you can trust that’s fast, secure, and user-focused. Luckily, you have quite a few options with WordPress.
These plugins below are easy to use, even if you don’t have much e-commerce experience.
In the world of e-commerce, WooCommerce is king. This plugin transforms any website into a fully functioning e-commerce store. It currently powers 20% of all e-commerce websites, so you can trust that they know what they’re doing. If you use WooCommerce, you’ll need a theme to go along with it. Luckily, WooThemes is built around just that.
Though not as popular as WooCommerce, WP eCommerce is still seen as a key player in the world of e-commerce plugins. It’s dashboard is incredibly easy to use, and it’s free to download the core plugin. If you want more features, you’ll need to pay for them, however the price is around $99 for a single website with Gold Cart features.
If you aren’t storing backups automatically, you’re risking your website. No matter how much we try to prevent problems, things still happen. Having automated backups is easy with the plugins below, so you won’t have to worry about manually saving your important files.
BackupBuddy is a premium WordPress plugin, but it has a lot of features that make it worth it.
With BackupBuddy, you can easily schedule daily, weekly, or monthly backups to any cloud storage of your choice. You can even email it to yourself. With the WordPress app, restoring a backup is as simple as a single click.
UpdraftPlus is one of the best backup plugins that you can get for free. With this plugin, you can create complete backups of your WordPress website to the cloud or downloaded to your computer.
However, it’s not as simple as BackupBuddy when it comes to restoring your WordPress site from their platform.
Finally, let’s talk about ways you can improve your WordPress performance with a few simple plugins. You only have a few seconds to make an impact with your website. You can’t have things like slow load times, big files, and broken links to slow down your performance. Make sure you have these plugins below to make a positive impact.
WP Rocket is the most well-known caching plugin on WordPress. It’s beginner-friendly, so you don’t have to know a lot about how caching works to get started. In essence, it saves data from your website in user’s browsers to keep load times fast. With WP Rocket, users can instantly cache their websites with a single click.
WordPress comes with a lot of options enabled that might slow down your website performance. With the Perfmatters plugin, it’s easy to disable any features you’re not currently using so you can boost your website speed. It’s great to use in addition to a caching plugin.
Because WordPress is so popular, there is a wealth of resources to utilise to improve your website at all stages of development. You don’t have to be a computer wiz to master the basics of WordPress. These plugins do the heavy lifting for you so you can worry about the things that matter most for your business or blog.
However, plugins can’t completely erase the need for a real-life human to monitor and optimise your website. Having a WordPress expert on your side helps limit problems, optimise your website, and secure your data. You don’t have to manage your WordPress website alone in this day and age.
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