What plug-ins to install on your website?

what plug-ins to install on your website

A plug-in on a website is a software that is installed to add functionality. It performs a specific function on your website. Some functions of plug-ins can be seen or used on the front-end and others are for the back-end to improve the running of the website.

There are thousands of plug-ins for every need. However, you should have only the plug-ins that you need, in order not to slow down your website unnecessarily. The more plug-ins, the slower the website. It is also wise to choose a plug-in carefully. No good having one that hasn’t been updated in yonks or one that is not compatible which could potentially mess up your website.

You can discuss what functionalities you need and have them included on your web design package or add them later.

Here are some useful plug-ins:

Front-end

Testimonials

You can have those glorious words from your customers or clients displayed randomly on your web page or perhaps they can be displayed on a rotator, one testimonial appearing for a few seconds before another one appears. Or they can be displayed on a page and you could have a testimonial submission form too.

Forms

This plug-in helps to create forms, be it a contact form, an enrolment form or an enquiry form.

Social Media

There are plug-ins that facilitate your visitors to share your website on social media networking websites. And there are plug-ins that encourage your visitor to ‘like’ or ‘follow’ your page. Also, the postings on your Facebook or Twitter account can be fed onto your website as a live-feed with your latest news.

Mailing list opt-in

A little pop-up box asking visitors to subscribe to a website’s news is proven very effective. This Opt-in plug-in can be integrated with the mailing account you use, such as MailChimp, Mad Mimi, Aweber, Infusionsoft, etc. See it in action here

Online Shops

This plug-in transforms your website into a shop, with the ability to display your products and perform transactions. Then there are many plug-ins to extend the fuctionality of your online shop, such as one to give more shipping options, to have a magnifying glass for customers to view your product more closely, to upsell your prouducts, issue coupons, and much more.

Events

Events can be displayed on a calendar or on a list. You can use Google Calendar and have them automatically fed onto your website or you can have an ‘in-house’ plug-in whereby you enter your events on your website.

Bookings

Perhaps your website takes bookings for accommodation? or appointments? There are plug-ins for these.

Forums

Forums or Bulletin Boards, enable discussions to take place on your website.

RSS

You can have excerpts of blog postings from other websites automatically fed onto your website.

Recipe cards

Thinking of a cooking and recipe website? A recipe card plug-in will display your recipes all laid out like one of those recipe cards at the shop; complete with ratings, reviews, etc.

Chats

A little box in the corner with something like ‘Got a Question? encourages visitors to make contact and from there on, it’s up to you to chat your way to convert them into customers!

Back-end

Anti-Spam

It puts spam comments straight in the trash where they belong. There are also Captcha plug-ins to prevent spam bots from submitting comments on your blog posts or contact forms.

Speed

A cache plug-in helps your website to load faster. There are also plug-ins that help reduce the size of your image files so that they load faster too.

Hits Counter

Just to know how many people have visited your website, where in the world they came from, which search engine or website did they come from, what browsers they used, who their ISP is, etc.

Security

This protects your website from hacking attempts. It locks down the log-in when such attempts are detected. It can also hide important system files from being viewed or accessed.

Page Builder

If the building of your pages does not come with a drag-drop capability, yes, there’s a plug-in for that too. It makes the formatting of complex layouts easy without using codes.

Self deleting posts

This enables you to put a date on a blog post to delete itself automatically. Saves work for notices and posts with information that expires after a time period.

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So, what plug-ins to install on your website? There are so many possibilities to extend the functionality of your website. If there is anything in particular that you want your website to be able to perform, just ask Jade. They can either be quoted along with your web design fee, installed and set-up while your website is being developed or as add-ons for later when the needs arise and funds permit.