The 10 Best WordPress Plugins for Online Entrepreneurs
Stop! Don’t leave this page just because it’s a plugin list for WordPress. There are some surprises here. First of all, no Akismet and no All in One SEO Pack … you didn’t see that one coming, did you?
Anyway, let’s start with an explanation. How are online entrepreneurs any different from other WordPress users?
First of all, there are many possible uses of WordPress. It’s a great platform, suitable for virtually anyone who wishes to launch a website. That being said, different people have different priorities. A personal blogger doesn’t need all the plugins that online businesses or companies use.
Also, the nature of running an online business blog requires a couple of custom solutions, and an individual approach to some things. That’s why there’s a small set of plugins that only online entrepreneurs and business bloggers see the value of.
1. After The Deadline
I know your current WordPress installation has a spell checker built in it already. But I’m sure it’s nothing like the spell checker provided by this plugin.
It checks your content against bias language, clichés, double negatives, jargon, hidden verbs, and more.
The name of the plugin is not accidental as it can aid you when you’re literally after the deadline, and need to do some proofreading really quickly.
To be frank, this is a must-have for anyone publishing anything online.
2. Contact Commenters
This is a small plugin that lets you send a quick email to users who have left a comment anywhere on your blog.
For example, you can use this opportunity to send a short “thank you” message, and encourage them to comment some more in the future. It’s also good place to give them something – a freebie or a discount for one of your products.
Reaching out to people who have decided to spend their time on reading your posts and then commenting them sounds like a really good idea. You see, this kind of people have already made the decision to engage in what you have to say and participate in the discussion. Contacting them, and ultimately getting to know them may be a great way of building a relationship.
3. Contact Form 7
Every online business or blog needs to provide a way for visitors to contact the author. Simply displaying an email doesn’t seem to cut it nowadays. The main reasons are the increasing numbers of spam. Dealing with it gets harder and harder every day.
Contact Form 7 is one of many contact form plugins. I’ve chosen to use this specific one because of its simplicity and reliability.
4. FD Feedburner Plugin
This plugin has a very simple task – it redirects your RSS feeds to Feedburner.
Feedburner is a service used by bloggers for gathering various stats concerning the people who have subscribed to the blog’s RSS channel.
It provides things like: data about the number of subscribers, data about the number of clicks, an email subscription tool, and many others. You can learn more about Feedburner on its official website: http://www.feedburner.com/
As you probably know, stats are very important to every online business. You have to keep your finger on the pulse at all times, and have a way to find out whether your audience is growing or not. Which brings me to the next plugin on the list …
5. Google Analytics for WordPress
OK, this one you did see coming for sure. Google Analytics is a tool that lets you see and analyze your site’s traffic or even track your online business goals. If you haven’t signed up for it yet you need to do it right away (http://www.google.com/analytics/).
Google Analytics for WordPress connects your blog to your Analytics account. Apart from the basic functionality it also sets a number of custom variables that can aid you in looking into your business stats even more.
Easy to install and reliable. Well worth having.
6. Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin
This plugin is the ultimate Akismet replacement. You see, Akismet is one of the most popular spam protection plugins for WordPress, but it’s not the best.
Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin works a lot better, at least for me and a number of other people – i.e. everyone who has ever tried it.
7. Pretty Link
Pretty Link creates your own URL shrinking service on your blog’s domain name – your own personal bit.ly, so to speak.
This is of particular value to every marketer. You can use this possibility to track affiliate links, cloak the links you don’t want to be clearly visible (download links, for example), redirect traffic after changing the URL of an old post, and many other things.
This really is a must-have if you’re serious about tracking and analyzing various elements of your site.
8. W3 Total Cache
This plugin optimizes the performance of your WordPress site by caching some of the content. In essence, this makes your site run faster (shorter loading times).
Having a fast loading website is important due to two things.
First, visitors to your site are not very patient. So if the site takes too long to load they will likely go away and find the information they’re looking for somewhere else.
Second, if you’re up to date with news from Google you know that for some time now Google is taking the loading time as a factor when building their ranking. So in other words: the faster your site loads the higher it will appear in the search results.
W3 Total Cache is relatively easy to use. I mean, there are a lot of possible settings, but you can simply launch the plugin and go with default setting which is perfectly fine.
9. What Would Seth Godin Do
This plugin has a very simple task. What it does is it displays a custom welcome message to new visitors to your blog. You can set the number of visits after which the message stops to display.
This is a great opportunity to welcome all newcomers and let them know what your site is about and why it deserves their attention. It’s also a great place to convince someone to subscribe to your RSS feed or email updates.
I’ve written a more in-depth post about this plugin earlier this year. Particularly, about how to create a custom (and good looking) welcome box. Don’t forget to check it out: Show a Cool Message Box To Every New Visitor to Your Blog
10. WordPress SEO
Last but surely not least. This is the reason why there’s no All in One SEO Pack plugin on this list. WordPress SEO is the new, complete SEO plugin for WordPress.
The amount of things it can do is truly amazing. It’s like 4 great plugins combined into one. And when I say this I mean it. After installing this plugin you can safely deactivate All In One SEO Pack, Robots Meta, RSS Footer, and Google XML Sitemaps.
If by any chance right now you’re wondering whether you even need an SEO plugin or not let me make this clear: yes, you do.
Search engines are often the main source of traffic for many websites. Having a good SEO plugin will help you get their attention and provide the content in a way search engines are expecting it. If you’re not paying any attention to SEO you are leaving a lot of traffic on the table.
That’s it for now. I hope you’ll give some of these plugins a shot. Also, don’t forget to shoot me a comment if there are any other plugins you’d like to include here.
About the Author
Karol K. is a 20-something year old web 2.0 entrepreneur from Poland and a writer at ThemeFuse.com, where he shares various WordPress advice. Don’t forget to visit ThemeFuse to get your hands on some original WordPress themes (warning: no boring stuff like everyone else offers).