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Great Free Plugins and Widgets for WordPress

I’ve been using WordPress for around a year now and have had great success with it. When I began with WordPress I had the temptation to buy some great plugins. After further inspection I realised that a lot of these plugins have a free alternative that is just as good. After using these plugins for a year I can certain vouch for their quality. Here’s some of the fantastic plugins I’ve been using and I’m sure you will reap value your business also.

WordPress

ClickDesk live chat is a widget that lets users message the webmaster from the browser. Its essentially an IM client to the user. The webmaster logs into the WordPress dashboard and logs into the app. Once a user wishes to initiate a chat your terminal will ring like a cell phone. The feature I like about this is that the webmaster is aware which page the user is on during the chat and any changes are immediately shown. The free version enables you 30 free chats a month. For me this is enough as I don’t get huge traffic and I find I never exceed the 30 chats a month. I have got sales from this so I’d recommend it. Once my business grows I will consider getting the paid version.

Hello Bar is a fantastic free widget. This enables you to have a message across each page at the top in a bar. We see this a lot on various sites these days and its popularity is ever increasing. My sales went up soon as this was added. The text parameters are customisable and its fairly quick and simple to set up.

Go pricing is a plugin I use to display prices for my products in easy to read charts. The cool thing about this is that the menu will rise when you hover the mouse above it.  I was able to take an image and split it into three placing each segment into a different column which offered a great presentation of this easy to use pricing widget.

Im also using newsletter widget by Stefano Lissa. This has enabled me to build up my email database of uses coming to my site. It sits discreetly in the bottom left corner of my footer on each page and is an effective tool for future marketing activities.

Finally WordPress SEO by Yoast. This is a must have for SEO. It enables the user to add the relevant details to beef up the SEO elements of the page. Yoast will grade each page for its relevance to a keyword and tell the user what action is required to improve the performance of that specific page. For targeting certain keywords this really helps. Of course this is all free. I believe there is a premium upgrade available but the functionality of the free version really is sufficient enough.

There’s a few fantastic WordPress plugins that will surely help your business. Just remember before you rush out and pay hard earned money for plug-ins that there may well be a free alternative just around the corner.

Good luck!

 

The Best WP Plugins for your New Site

WordPress has changed things a lot in the world of Web design for small business and is becoming an increasingly commonplace platform for a site to be built on. This is down to the ease of creation, power and also the flexibility of the WordPress platform – in fact there are over 30,000 plug-ins for WordPress.

halowordpress

This sounds great and in a lot of ways it is, however it can lead to confusion. The paradox of choice is truly something that can cause problems for those trying to select the correct plug-ins to use on their site. So, to limit confusion, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourites.

WordPress SEO by Yoast

A personal favourite – WP SEO by Yoast is a great tool that adds to the already good SEO functionality of the site. The plug-in allows you to add a raft of Meta data easily, specify which pages Google should rank and even helps with social media integration and sitemap creation. It’s easy to use, powerful and a great addition to any site’s arsenal.

Disqus Commenting

Disqus is a commenting system that replaces the original WordPress option. Unlike the quite limited WordPress option, Disqus makes commenting easier, faster and more interactive. It also facilitates community creation, allows indexing of comments in Google and even auto syncs so your comments are backed up – great for a new WordPress web design.

JetPack

Originally only available if you hosted your site on WordPress, this nice clean plug-in is feature rich and shows a whole host of stats. From social networking, to contact forms, to site activity info – it collates a variety of information into one place, making keeping on top of your site a lot easier.

Floating Share Bars

There are a number of great floating share bars out there at this moment in time, though Digg Digg is possibly our favourite. Floating share bars run up and down the side of the page or blog in a neat and attractive manner – essentially floating around the page. The fact they are visible at all times on a page, no matter how long it is, means people are far more likely to click it. It’s certainly one to implement and one we’d recommend at bibblestudio.co.uk if you are hoping to create any sort of social following.

Akismet

There’s social media and then there’s spam and Akismet is there to prevent the former. It’s a powerful, free tool that is easy to add and just side lines spam, preventing it taking up space on your site and making your loved place look a bit scammy.

W3 Total Cache

Caching is often a necessity for sites with plenty of images as it helps speed up these memory hungry additions. W3 Total Cache is a great addition that adds all the caching features you require and speeds up your site – something that’s very important with mobile versions of a site.

404 Redirected

Hitting a 404 is a pain and a broken link can cause all sorts of SEO and usability issues. So, adding this plug-in will help as it automatically redirects anyone who falls on the dead page to an apt live one. This helps sites pass link juice between pages and means there are no dead ends.

These WordPress plug-ins are must have additions for a variety of websites and could go a long way to making using and caring for your site a lot easier.