— Posted in Wordpress/Blogging
My 5 Favorite WordPress Plugins for Small Business
My main business is wordpress blog design and internet marketing. I also create and run a ton of other various blogs including this one. So needless to say I work with wordpress a lot both designing for myself and my small business clients. Over time I have gathered a group of plugins that I can’t live without so I thought I would share some of my favorites with you to help with your wordpress design projects.
In some of these categories specifically I have tested a lot of plugins that do the same thing with little success. The ones I listed here always perform for me the way they are supposed to with ease.
1) FormBuilder – FREE
This plugin is exactly what it says it is it is used to build various web forms on your site. It acts as a great add on to your contact page allowing people to send your comments or questions directly from that page. It is also great for creating other web forms such as questionnaires for example I have created various questionnaires that allow me to quickly grab the base information I need when someone orders a website or video. The forms are submitted through emails so anytime someone fills one out on your site you immediately get all the details of the form in your inbox. This plugin offers a lot of options for setting up your forms as well and the interface is simple and easy to use.
2) Simple PayPal Shopping Cart Program – FREE
If you use paypal to accept payments on your website this plugin works flawlessly. I tried quite a few others before I came across this one and none of them seemed to work quite right for me. Once you install it you simply go to the settings page and set your paypal email and choose the options you want and then a simple piece of short code placed anywhere on your blog will create a add to cart button. You can place the actual shopping cart where people see what’s in it in any widget box. The only con I will say about this plugin is for the shopping cart to look right you must have a space that is wider than 300px or some of the shopping cart widget is not visible. So you need to be conscientious of that when you plan where to fit it into your design.
3) Add to Any Share/Bookmark/Email Button – FREE
One of the best ways to get traffic to your site or blog is through sharing of your content. Having someone post your site on Twitter, Facebook or other sites can send your daily traffic soaring if it goes viral or gets noticed by someone with big followings. So it’s essential to make it easy for your viewers to share you content. What I love about Add to Any is that allows you offer so many sharing options without it taking up huge amounts of space or looking intrusive.
4) AutoBlogged – PAID
So the reality is while I love WordPress and I love blogging I do have some blogs that are kind of red headed step children.
I created them because it was a niche I had some interest in or I thought I might get around to really marketing them to sell one day but I just don’t love them the way I do some of my others. So creating content becomes more of a chore than a pleasure. So on these blogs I set up autoblogging.
This is another area where I have tested a lot of plugins and didn’t really find one that worked for me until I went ahead and bought AutoBlogged. This plugin allows complete customization and allows for set it and forget it blogging. You can choose from RSS feeds, Blog searches, video searches and whole bunch of others to really customize the content that you think reflects your blog viewers. In addition you can choose how much you post from any particular feed in a variety of ways including percentages, 2 out of every 10 or whatever you think works. It also keeps track of everything in a feed even if you didn’t publish it which allows you to go back and post things you think are great and were eliminated through the regular algorithm of it. This plugin is paid and has 3 different versions ranging from $60-$390. $60 is for one site, $130 for 50 sites or $390 for unlimited sites. I found this plugin is well worth the money if you want to autoblog but quality is still a factor for you.
5) WordPress Affiliate Platform Plugin – PAID
Affiliates generate millions and millions of dollars in revenue each year for all sorts of different types of companies and if you use wordpress with this plugin it makes it simple to set up your own self contained affiliate program on your site. It allows for affiliate account creation, tracking, stats, banners basically everything you need to run a successful affiliate program on your site. And it’s super quick and easy I have seen a lot of 3rd party affiliate platforms that are just a ton of work to set up…..you can have your affiliate program set up with banners and all in a few hours. This plugin is $39.95 and is a great value for what you get.
Also, as a side note this plugin is brought to you by the same people who created the paypal plugin I spoke about above although it does work with many shopping cart services but with their free paypal plugin installed there is no set up on this part needed. They also make an e-commerce plugin that I haven’t used so I can’t vouch for but if you were looking for something like that based on my experience with their other products it would be to definitely check it out.
So there you have it those are my top 5. There are a few other plugins I really like but they are more for automating monetization so I don’t think they apply as well for every small business so I will save those for another post.
Hope this helps you with being able to do the core things a business site needs to be able to do on WordPress. I have done a lot of trial and error with some of these plugins so maybe this will save someone out there some time!