10 WordPress Plugins You Should Be Using in 2016

 

Improving and managing your digital sales, cutting back on time needed to create your content, streamlining your SEO and speeding up your website – these are just some of the perks of checking out our list of WordPress plugins you should be using in 2016. Read and discover your new favorites.

We all know that one of the most exciting things about WordPress is the great variety of plugins it offers. They provide millions of ways to extend a generic site with all kinds of features. But do you know which plugins specifically you could use to improve your website and workflow? We’re sharing some of our favorites – for eCommerce, content management, content marketing, page optimization and more!

Take control of your SEO with Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is undoubtedly a remarkable plugin. It is recommended by a lot SEO experts. But even if you are not one, you can still use it to your advantage as it is very straightforward. The free version allows you to position each of your websites for one specific keyword and gives you plenty of useful information on how to best do it. What kind of information? Take a look at the example below:

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As you specify your keyword, the plugin makes sure that you used it in all the important places such as the title, URL, meta description (even though meta tags are no longer taken into consideration by Google, it is still a good idea to include your keywords there as they may come out in bold in the search results) and your entire copy, including heading. The green light means that you successfully implemented this specific recommendation. Any other color means that you can definitely do better.

The Yoast SEO plugin can be used for free, but the paid premium version gives you even more features, including support for multiple focus keywords and the ability to easily manipulate previews of your URLs on social websites.

Save yourself (tons of) work with Easy Content Templates

Easy Content Templates isn’t quite as famous as Yoast. And yet it’s still a tremendously useful tool. This lightweight plugin allows you create templates that you can later load as you prepare to publish another post or page in your WordPress panel.

You can specify the styles for your headings, paragraphs and any other type of content, including placeholders for images. For a placeholder text, just add some lorem ipsum. Once a template is created, it all comes down to loading it in your post editing window and replacing placeholders with the actual the copy and images.

Aside of being a huge time saver, another great benefit of this plugin is that it makes the look of your site very consistent. As long as you use your templates, all of your posts or pages will be formatted in the same manner – down to the exact shade of gray you love to use in your headlines.

Get them to tweet with Better Click To Tweet

Are you writing quality articles for your website? That’s great. But since you are taking so much time to prepare that copy, you should also make sure that you get as much as you can out of it. The Better Click To Tweet plugin is one of the most unique plugins that can help you in this quest.

With Better Click To Tweet, your visitors can turn a piece of your content into a tweet and post it instantly on their Twitter account. To make this plugin work, you should ensure that your article contains short pieces that are actually “shareworthy” – quotes or brilliant punchlines can prove useful. Then, just wrap it up into a shortcode and you’re all set. Don’t forget about the Twitter limit of 140 characters per tweet!

The shortcode below will generate a beautiful click-to-tweet box in your WordPress post

Translate your site for free with Polylang

Are you struggling to make your website multilingual? There are a few plugins that can help you. Some of them are excellent, but require you to pay up quite a bit. Others are free, but of subpar quality. Polylang for the most part has the best of both worlds as it is free, reliable and allows you to turn your website into a beautiful bilingual or multilingual WordPress site. But why did we say “for the most part”? Well, that’s because Polylang isn’t the easiest plugin to use, though thankfully it doesn’t require you to write any code. You can learn more about Polylang in this SitePoint tutorial.

Collect and manage your contacts with Form 7 and Flaming

Contact Form 7 is a well known plugin as it is often featured in both free and premium WordPress themes. It provides you with a simple contact form, which you can modify by adding or removing short codes.

But much fewer people know about Flamingo and how well it works with Contact Form 7. With this simple plugin, you can store and manage email addresses collected through your Form 7 contact forms. You can then export your email in order to, say, use them as your mailing list. Free, lightweight and handy.

Generate sitemaps with XML Sitemap & Google News Feed

Sitemaps are used to quickly generate the entire map your website that contains information on all of its URLs. They are essentially useless for average users, but they are useful for search bots. As they crawl through your website in search of content, sitemaps make it easy for them to understand all your URLs.

The XML Sitemap & Google News Feed plugin is one of the easiest ways to generate a sitemap in WordPress. It also allows you to set priorities of URLs for search bots (note that there is no guarantee that the bot will actually follow it) and create an extra sitemap for use in Google News.

Boost your digital sales with Easy Digital Downloads

Easy Digital Downloads is basically all it says it is. It’s an easy way to sell your digital downloads via your WordPress site. Are you selling audio files, articles or eBooks? With Easy Content Downloads, you can offer limited or unlimited downloads of your files to customers who purchase your product, provide discount codes and track your customers’ activity. You also get a fully functional shopping cart system. You can meddle with it a little using this demo.

And if you are missing some features, you can probably find and purchase them here.

Grow your mailing list with Optin Monster

At Polcode, we believe that the conversion rate is an essential metric that you just have to measure and take care of. And Optin Monster is a great tool to improve conversions on your Wordpress site.

Optin Monster is a robust service that aims at greatly increasing the size of your subscription list. This lead generation tool allows you to create beautiful forms and then display them at various moments right before your visitor is about to leave your website. Its exit technology aims to increase the likelihood of conversion.

Note that Optin Monster is a paid service. The plugin linked above is only meant as a connector for WordPress users. Once you install it, you need to use it to purchase a subscription plan first.

Back up your site with Backup Buddy

Backing up your WordPress site is quite a painful activity, especially when you need to do it consistently and be up to date with all the WordPress updates. And some websites have a lot of sensitive content that needs to be saved and stored on a regular basis.

Backup Buddy provides an easy and semi-automatic way of backing up your site. You can then download the file or send it to a hosting service for safe storage. Backup Buddy is a paid service, but for large WordPress sites it is a perfect plugin as it takes the hassle out of backing up your website forevermore.

And speed it up with MaxCDN

On many occasions we’ve stressed the importance of optimizing your website for speed. Mediocre page load time is quite common with WordPress sites, especially when it uses a lot of plugins.

MaxCDN has the potential of greatly improving the speed of your site, especially when it uses a lot of images or videos. By storing your content on MaxCDN servers, your users get to download it from servers located geographically closer to them, decreasing response and download time in the process. Is it worth it? Ask yourself the question of just how important do you believe speed is in your specific case. If it can make a difference, give it a go.

What do you think about our 10 WordPress plugins to use in 2016? What plugins would you add to it? Leave your comments below.

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