If you’re looking for tips on how to create a website for your business, look no further than WordPress. Originally intended for blogging, this free Content Management System (CMS) has evolved into the most popular way, by far, to bring business or personal websites to the masses. Out-of-the-box, WordPress is a powerful platform for most needs, but if you intend to use it for a business website, there are a few tools (plugins) that give you a better chance to turn browsers into lifelong customers. The following six plugins should be an indispensable part of every business owner’s top tools to create a high-powered website.
This free plugin should probably be the first tool you install on your website. If you’re new to the online business game, you need to absorb something into your cranium. The most important information you can ever have is to know where your visitors come from and which pages they visit while they’re on your website. You should use this information to guide content creation and marketing strategy. Google Analytics allows you to see which ads work and which don’t. It can stop you from pouring money down a bottomless pit and spend it more efficiently. If you have a web page or two that draw an inordinate amount of interest – that’s what you need to create more of. Are you seeing how analytics can be the difference between success and failure?
Well, this seems like a pretty boring, inconsequential tool, right? Wrong! The Google XML Sitemap tool is highly rated and a must-have for your business website. In short, this plugin makes it easier for search engines to index your site by creating a sitemap in XML, which is the latest version of HTML. Don’t worry about the acronyms. All you need to know is that not having a sitemap leads to search engine confusion. When search engines are confused, your website ends up on page 4,397 in search results. That’s a not a good thing. This particular plugin alerts search engines when there is new content to crawl. That is a good thing. The bottom line is that a proper sitemap allows for your customers to see your content faster.
If you want to sell products or services from your website, this plugin is essential. Think about each step along the way from posting a picture and description of each product to the end goal of checking out. Woo Commerce guides you each step of the way, helping you design and install a shopping cart, choose which forms of payment to accept, and then actually bill credit and debit cards, routing payment to your bank account. The Woo plugin has been used by millions of business owners. Also consider integrating your shopping cart with specially designed WordPress themes to create a brand that sticks in a customer’s mind.
WP Super Cache
Studies have shown that you have a tiny amount of time, measured in seconds, to snag a visitor’s attention and keep them around long enough to review your offer. This plugin increases the speed with which your website loads by converting dynamic content to static HTML content. If that doesn’t make sense, think about it like this. Advanced page elements using the java language, images, CSS, video, etc. slow down the speed with which your page loads. Using WP Super Cache converts the parts of these active elements that aren’t active to simple HTML, which puts less of a demand on commands flowing back and forth from the website to the host’s SQL database. Got it? Good.
While the precise opt-in plugin you choose isn’t so important, the idea of offering customers and visitors a way to interact with you is. Some experts say the chance of a business finding success in online sales is directly proportional to how easy it is to reach someone in customer service. These days, telephone calls seem to be falling out of favor, but you better have a way for people to chat with or email you. One plugin you might consider is WPForms. This plugin provides a simple way to design and install a contact form for your website. At the same time you should be building your email list, which requires a form also.
By now, you’re probably starting to notice a theme. Many of these WordPress tools are intended to improve your discoverability through perfecting your website’s SEO. By creating a website that looks good to Google’s search engine, you automatically catapult yourself ahead of those who don’t understand how the game is played. Yoast is a SEO plugin that has been popular for a long time. Installation is easy. After that, follow the instructions to optimize your site as a whole as well as each individual post. If you get stuck at any point, there are a host of free tutorials floating around the Internet that will soon put you on the right track.
WordPress plugins are an essential part of learning how to create a website that leads to amazing business success. Once you install WordPress, login to the dashboard area. Somewhere along the left side of the screen you’ll see a link that allows you to browse available plugins. Some are free and some come at a cost. Others allow for limited functionality for free but require you upgrade to a paid pro version in order to access advanced features. Whether or not the upgrade is worth it depends upon what exact functions you need. The good news is that most plugins are less than $10.
The important point in this discussion is that there is no way your business website will be highly optimized until you do some tweaking with some or all of these tools. Keep in mind that more plugins isn’t always a good thing. Sometimes a plugin from one company creates conflicts with other plugins. A simple search should reveal if others have had a similar issue. There are many credible WordPress hosting companies and WordPress support community is an incredible resource you should not be afraid to take advantage of.