The Best WordPress Tools and Plugins for Web Design
Is your website or blog powered by WordPress? Are you looking to enhance its usability, appeal, reach, and potential, without spending a fortune? If so, then you’ve definitely going to want to try out some of the best tools and plugins that are specifically intended for WordPress websites and blogs.
Scrolling through the WordPress Plugin Directory is kind of like scrolling through the design inspirations on Pinterest. Page builders, malware scans, search engine optimization; there’s a plugin for pretty much any function you can think of! It goes without saying that with so many options available, you’ll have no trouble enhancing your website or blog; however, there’s a downside to having so many options to choose from: trying to figure out which ones are worth your while can seem like a daunting task. So, how do you decide which ones are worth your while? While ultimately, the answer to that question is up to you and really depends on your specific needs, we’ve taken the liberty of doing the legwork for you! After sifting through the entire WordPress Plugin Directory, we’ve narrowed down the options to what we think are the best of the best. All of the options we selected are really easy to implement, are super usable for website design, and are highly reliable.
So, without further ado, let’s dive in and take a look at the most essential WordPress plugins and tools that all business owners should use according to our own Liverpool website designers.
What Are WordPress Plugins, Anyway?
If you’re saying, “Wait, what exactly is a WordPress plugin?” Good question! Sometimes we get ahead of ourselves and assume that everyone is already knowledgeable about the topic, when that isn’t necessarily the case. So, in order to make sure that everyone is on the same page, the following is a brief overview of plugins.
WordPress plugins are third-party programs that are specifically designed to add and improve the functionality of a website or blog. Themes are designed to improve the look and feel of a webpage, and plugins offer the actual features; thus, they can have a substantial impact on a user’s experience.
Because plugins tend to be specialised, they allow you to create a comprehensive experience with multiple programs. For instance, if you wanted to incorporate a secure eCommerce store to your website, you could use the WooCommerce plugin for the store, the Jetpack plugin for the security, and the Elementor plugin to create your customised storefront.
WordPress plugins can also impact the back-end experience. To illustrate, you might find that you would like to incorporate tools that are designed to make your website more user-friendly. The volumes of available software means that the chances are really high that you’re going to find a tool that will meet your unique needs.
The Top WordPress Plugins
So now that everyone is up to speed and has a general understanding of what a plugin is, let’s jump in and take a look at the WordPress plugins that, in our opinion, are the best of the best.
Nothing can destroy the credibility of your website faster than spam. With Akismet, you can eliminate the risk for spam – and the impact it has on your credibility. An anti-spam plugin, Akismet is designed to analyze every comment posted on your site, and will make sure that they’re kept neat, clean, and tidy; and more importantly, that they’re free of malicious content. Akismet checks each comment posted to your site to identify if they’re spam or not. Additionally, this plugin shows URLs in the comment, so you’ll be able to spot links that may be lurking in the shadows right away.
Of all the WordPress plugins, Jetpack is arguably the best of the best. Considered a “jack of all trades” plugin, Jetpack provides WordPress website and bog owners with an easy and convenient way to start utilizing, maintaining, managing, and customizing their website. Jetpack jacks sites up with a variety of really robust features, such as malware scans, real-time backups, content tools, and more!
Featuring robust tools that are designed to assist you with customizing your website’s design to instinctive services that are intended to protect your website from potential invaders, Jetpack is jam-packed with options that you can use to optimize your site. Of all the different WordPress plugins available, Jetpack is arguably the most versatile, which is clear, as at the time of writing, there were more than five million active installations of the plugin.
Everyone knows that mobile website design is important. Fortunately for sites that are powered by WordPress, a large percentage of that work is already taken care of for you with WPtouch. The WPtouch plugin is designed to optimize a website’s design and layout for smaller mobile screens. WPtouch is so great that it’s actually recommended by Google, which is certainly great news, as Google is ranking your site. Plus, you can make basic customizations to your website with WPtouch.
While All in One SEO and YoastSEO may be two of the most popular plugins, so many users claim that RankMath is much better, as it most definitely boosts the functionality of web design. It assists your site with implementing the best SEO standards. The plugin lets you see what’s wrong with a post on the best SEO practices. The tool suggests a few minor changes, which can range from the most basic to the most advanced. You also have the ability to increase the functionality of your site with this plugin. The installation is seamless, it offers a pleasant and clean interface, it provides advanced SEO analytics reports, and it even ranks keywords for posts – and those are just some of the functionalities!
What began as a plugin to insert a slider into a WordPress pages all the way back in 2012, Slider Revolution has certainly evolved into something that’s more than just a simple slider plugin. Fast forward 10 years and you can use this plugin to design your WordPress powered website or blog. Slider revolution features a drag and drop editor, it offers more than 200 templates for websites, media, and content, and the design elements are simply stunning. It also features an attention-grabbing “Hero” section.
With the Elementor website builder, designing a website has never been easier, as there’s no codding to worry about! A live page builder that you can design sites in real-time, as well as view the updates to the site. The drag-and-drop interface is easy to use and hopefully, it works effortless.
Every website designer need to create an easy to reach portfolio to aesthetically display your work. Envira Gallery is a photo gallery plugin that will provide you with complete control over the display, as well as an easy to use drag and drop editor for your portfolio. With such an easy to use gallery plugin, you can create your own web design portfolio in a matter of minutes!
Smart Slider 3
Smart Slider 3 makes it a whole lot easier to design and implement a fully responsive SEO –optimized, and it can work with any and all WordPress theme. This group is a great way to show off your building skills, while acquiring new skills, and hopefully hook visitor into converting.
The Smart Slider 3 plugin makes creating dynamic sliders for your WordPress powered site a whole lot easier. You won’t ever need to worry about implementing any code. If you’re looking to optimize your website, we can’t recommend the Smart Slider 3 plugin for WordPress enough!
Next on our list of the best WordPress plugins is OptinMonster. If you’d like to add pop-ups and content upgrades so that you can grow your email list, then OptinMonster is a great choice. It allows you to customize the look of each opt-in, and it integrates well with pretty much all email providers, allowing for relatively seamless list building. With a wide array of opt-in styles with loads of customizable options, making the plugin fall in line with your brand is pretty easy.
If you want to add an eCommerce store to your website or blog, then WooCommerce is a plugin that you’re really going to want to explore. A flexible, open-source eCommerce plugin that integrates your website content with your commerce needs. Straight from the download, the plugin provides a variety of robust features, ranging from turnkey solutions to customizable setups
WooCommerce offers the most basic amenities for an online storefront, including products, carts, and secure payment checkout pages. This plugin is loaded with numerous logistical features, too!