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9 WordPress Plugins Your Small Business Needs in 2016

Profile photo of Arielle Hurst Submitted by Arielle Hurst March 16, 2016


If your small business uses WordPress (as more than 60% of websites do!), you probably already have a shortlist of go-to plugins that are essential. Add ons like Yoast SEO, Akismet for comments, and Google Analytics Dashboard are all a must for businesses who want to easily and effectively manage their websites. But in 2016 there are some new essentials your business needs to be using if you want to get more leads and keep your website secure. Check out our list of nine must-have plugins you don’t already have for 2016.

1. WP Touch

With Google’s latest major algorithm update, the company enacted significant penalties for websites failing to meet its standards for mobile friendliness. That means you could be missing out on highly qualified organic traffic if your site isn’t accessible on mobile devices! To make sure your website is up to snuff, install WP Touch, a plugin that quickly helps format your site meet Google’s Mobile Test. Remember: In 2015 mobile digital media time surpassed desktop web traffic, so over half of your website visitors could be finding you on their smartphone or tablet.

2. Pure Chat

Even if you’re doing a great job attracting website visitors, more than 55% could be bouncing before you have a chance to engage them. To connect with and capture these potential leads, install a free live chat plugin like Pure Chat on your WordPress site. The plugin adds a chat box to your website that automatically pops up when visitors hit key pages, and turns into an email form when your team isn’t online. If your team isn’t at their desks often, Pure Chat also offers free mobile apps so teammates can respond to customers on the go.

3. Bloom

In addition to live chat, it’s also essential to add other kinds of lead capture forms that help you get the most out of your content marketing efforts. Once you’ve attracted a qualified website visitor, capture their information by embedding a form to access even more robust, gated content. Although there are a number of free options to do this, Bloom is the tool we recommend because it allows you to add forms to your site in six different ways – one of which is within lead-attracting content. Live chat is one great way to capture leads, but general email opt in forms are another.

4. Better Click to Tweet

To keep traffic flowing to these lead capture optimized pages, make sure it’s super simple for readers to share them on social media and drive more visits. The Better Click to Tweet plugin is free and creates beautiful callouts in your posts that make it a breeze to tweet key takeaways in a single click.

5. Testimonials Widget

Another way to make your webpages more persuasive and add credibility is to incorporate styled customer testimonials within your content. Nielsen found that 92% percent of consumers say they trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth or recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising. Install the Testimonials Widget and use current customer recommendations to make your company even more trustworthy and relate to buyers.

6. Related Posts

Want to keep leads engaged with your brand and content? Offer them more content they’ll love! The easiest way to do this is to install Related Posts. At the end of every blog post, Related Post will recommend other content that your lead is probably interested in based on what they’re reading now. The longer the prospect stays on your site, the more likely they are to see you as an authority in your industry and trust your brand when they’re ready to make a purchase.

7. Thank Me Later

Once you have website visitors who are visiting and engaging with more content, you want to make sure your brand stays responsive. One quick way to do this is using Thank Me Later. Every time a website visitors posts a comment on your blog, TML automatically sends a thank you email to that commenter. By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator, so little perks are a great way to go the extra mile.

8. Broken Link Checker

The Broken Link Checker plugin monitors links in your posts, pages, and comments to notify you when it detects links that don’t work, missing images and redirects. It also prevents search engines from following broken links, so you never create a bad experience by sending leads to a page that doesn’t work!

9. Wordfence Security

Although just under 40% of small businesses have experienced a “security breach” that cost an average of $20,000 in the last year. Still, many owners haven’t made airtight security a top priority (probably because 25% don’t know much about it). Add web security to the top of your to do list and install Wordfence to check if your site is already infected. The plugin will do a deep server-side scan of your source code and compare it to the Official WordPress repository for core, themes and plugins. Then, after the check, Wordfence secures your site and optimizes it to improve loading speeds.

What are your business’ most essential WordPress plugins? Are there any unknown gems that your team can’t work without? Let us know in the comments!

This post was originally published in by Arielle Hurst

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Profile photo of Arielle Hurst
Arielle is a marketer at Pure Chat, a live chat software for small businesses. As a journalism graduate she loves anything content related - from videos and podcasts to blog posts and infographics. Arielle is passionate about fashion tech, startups and secondhand shopping. Connect with her @ArielleHurst.
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13 Responses to “9 WordPress Plugins Your Small Business Needs in 2016” Leave a reply ›

  • Profile photo of Kevin Ross Profile

    Good post. I didn’t know of some of these plugins such as Pure Chat, Bloom and Better click to tweet. Thanks for introducing me to them.

    The Thank Me Later plugin is a good plugin and I think it should be used by all blogs with commenters.

    All these plugins you recommended are good, but what if I already have enough plugins?

    Do you agree with those who say adding more plugins than necessary will increase slow loading of your website?

    Also, talking of slow loading, you didn’t recommend any cache plugin for improving speed of blogs. Isn’t speed more important than lots of other factors today?

  • Profile photo of Satish Kumar Ithamsetty Profile

    Dear Arielle Hurst,

    The plugins list is very good. I am using most of the plugins in blogs, except Pure Chat and
    Testimonials Widget. These two are new to me. Thanks to the list.

    Thank you

    Satish Kumar Ithamsetty
    Satish Kumar Ithamsetty recently posted…The 10 Best Online Affiliate Marketing Programs for BloggersMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Sunday William Profile

    Hey Arielle,
    This is a very helpful post. It reminds me that using WordPress still provides the much needed flexibility for the webmaster.

    Although I have been using some of these plugins – WordFence, WP Touch, Broken Link Checker, and Related Posts, others like Pure Chat are new to me – and I will check on this chatting plugin to see how it can help improve engagement!

    For the best results in the use of these plugins, webmasters must choose what is best for them at every point in time.

    In other words, we must always select the most important plugins after installing basics that cover security, user experience, speed, SEO, and engagement!
    Sunday William recently posted…Who Is a Smart Content Marketer for You?My Profile

    • Profile photo of Arielle Hurst Profile

      Hi Sunday,

      Totally agree that you need to install essential plugins for security and SEO before some of these others! Hopefully these suggestions help you level up your website with added capabilities :)

  • Profile photo of Chery Profile

    Hello Arielle,

    You did a great job explaining the benefits of these 9 plugins here.

    They are all new to me except for the Wordfence Security Plugin which I do use.

    I am always leary of adding more because I was told using too many can slow down my site. So I do try to keep them to a minimum.

    So curious, how many plug-ins do you actually use?

    Great Share
    Chery :))
    Chery recently posted…3 Simple Steps To Help With Your Retirement PlanMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Celine Profile

    Hi Arielle,

    I agree with you that there are WordPress plugins to be used when it comes to security and lead generation.

    WordFence Security and the Premium version of Akismet are good for security.

    On lead generation, I will stick with GetResponse and Bloom.
    The 9 WordPress plugin listed here are effective for small business needs.

    It would be helpful if businesses can categorize what plugins would be okay for their security, lead generation, social media marketing, content generation, etc., in 2016

  • Profile photo of Sarah John Profile

    Hi Arielle,
    Small businesses need plugins that will improve the function and access to their WordPress.

    In this case, knowledge of the plugins that are right is crucial.

    There are thousands of WordPress plugins online and every business needs to install the “perfect” plugin for their business!

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