As of 2017, there are over 45,000 plugins for WordPress and while it is reassuring to see the number of WordPress users increase steadily, with 27 percent of the web using it so far, it is probable that some outstanding plugins are overlooked. Here are 13 useful WordPress plugins that you may not know are available.
1. Yoast SEO
OK, more likely than not, you’ve heard of Yoast SEO by Team Yoast. While technically not a hidden gem, there’s no denying that Yoast does what it advertises, and does it extremely well.
For those who are uninitiated, Yoast thoroughly optimizes your WordPress site to be search engine optimization-friendly, so your blog can get the amount of traffic it deserves. Its features include:
• Page analysis to check for things like post length, proper subheadings, meta descriptions, etc.
• Social Integration for popular social media sites like Google+ and Facebook
• Advanced XML sitemaps functionality that integrates post, photos, and videos, so your site is visible to most search engines
Those are but a few of the many nifty features Yoast provides for you to trick out your site to draw more visitors — but you get the idea.
Check it out: Yoast SEO
2. Backup Buddy
It doesn’t matter if you’re a high-traffic site owner or a small-time blogger; you’ll be kicking yourself all the same for not keeping backups of your site when you need them the most.
Fortunately, whether a malware hit your site, a wrong command, hacks, human error, or any other digital disaster, Backup Buddy has got your back.
What separates Backup Buddy from the rest of the pack is that it schedules timely, complete WordPress backup (database and all your WP files) and allows you to store your backups off-site. Think of it as a key holder of sorts, but for your website.
Backup Buddy isn’t free, however. It’s a subscription-based service, with the cheapest plan starting at $80 a year. That comes with one year of plugin updates, one year of ticketed support, 1GB of BackupBuddy Stash storage space, one year of access to Stash Live, and 10 iThemes Sync sites.
You might struggle to justify the expenditure if you’re just starting out with WordPress, but if you’re an experienced site-runner that manages multiple websites/blogs, Backup Buddy’s Gold package is worth the look.
Priced at $297, it includes all of the perks mentioned above and also lets you back up an unlimited number of sites over a lifetime; that’s a one-off payment for a myriad of benefits.
Check it out: Backup Buddy
3. Testimonial Widgets
Have you ever wished you could have those sleek-looking testimonial boxes on your product page, but had no idea how to implement that yourself? No worries! Testimonial Widgets has you covered.
Testimonial Widgets goes above and beyond, letting you fully customize the appearance of your testimonials with such functions as carousel fade, filter slideshow features, and slide text. Testimonial Widgets is free to download and also has a premium option that offers several other useful features.
Check it out: Testimonial Widgets
4. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP
Google Analytics is a useful tool for keeping track of your site’s average sessions, bounce rates, and traffic, as well as the countries where you get the most visits.
It’s not exactly the most convenient tool because you have to sign in through your analytics account if you want to monitor your site’s traffic.
If you’re like 1 million-plus other users, you’re probably using Google Analytics Dashboard for WP. True to its name, it allows you to view your site traffic data right on your WordPress dashboard.
It comes with a few other cool perks, like tracking which pages drive the most traffic. The best part of all is that it’s completely free.
Check it out: Google Analytics Dashboard
5. All 404 Redirect to Homepage
Some of the best plugins are those that scratch the itch you didn’t even know you had. One such plugin is 404 Redirect. Save yourself (and your users) a few seconds by redirecting them to your homepage automatically.
Check it out: All 404 Redirect to Homepage
6. Author Bio Box
Author Bio Box is for sites that have a lot of contributors and writers on hand. It gives you a neat and tidy space for a short bio, a profile picture, and social media links. It is one of the more underrated plugins hosted on WordPress.
Check it out: Author Bio Box
7. CSS Hero
Although there are thousands of free WordPress themes that give users a wide range of options for customization, you could still find the one theme that would be thoroughly perfect – save for one detail: maybe the layout is off, or maybe there’s just something in the color scheme that bugs you. CSS Hero can come to your aid.
CSS Hero offers a simple yet slick CSS editor, complete with an easy-to-navigate GUI. Even the most inexperienced coders can still tweak their theme to their heart’s content.
Check it out: CSS Hero
Freshbooks is a fresh take on cloud-based accounting software. Designed for professionals by professionals, it includes every feature a humble accountant could ever need for sending/receiving payments, invoices, and finance management.
Check it out: FreshBooks
9. Quick and Easy FAQs
Another one of those hidden treasures is Quick and Easy FAQs, which lets you add FAQs quickly and easily. It includes everything you’ll need to make a personalized FAQ list so you can answer every question that you always find yourself answering.
Check it out: Quick and Easy FAQs
Whether you’re a once-a-month blogger or a business tycoon, you’ll need a way for your followers/clients to contact you. Thankfully, WPForms has you covered. It’s got a simple drag-and-drop-based system so you can add email forms, subscription forms, and every other form you didn’t think you’d ever need.
Check it out: WPForms
OptinMonster is ideal if you need to grow a mailing list. It achieves this by converting one-time visitors into loyal subscribers through a comprehensive series of analytics, A/B group testing algorithms, and content evaluation so if you think you can step up to handle your subscriber list “game”, check it out.
Check it out: OptinMonster
If you ever wanted an easy way to manage clients via WordPress, then BirchPress might be your solution. It’s a simple plugin that not only gives your WordPress site booking and appointment capabilities, but also includes support for international currency, employee-assigned tasks, pricing, and multiple staff members.
Check it out: BirchPress
Let’s be real: keeping an eye on your competition is crucial if you’re to stay in the game. SEMRush could be that plugin that gives you the edge on your competition. It does so by letting you see which keywords they’re ranking highest with, as well as track their organic traffic and paid keywords.
Check it out: SEMRush