Once your website is set up and running, you’re probably going to start thinking about how you can add additional functionality, secure & back up your site, create email sign up forms and whatever else your mind can come up with. I have found that there is almost a plugin for any type of functionality you could think of. Much like the App Store there is a plugin for that. I’ve rounded up the top 10 free or paid WordPress plugins that we use and swear by for any home business. In the list of plugins mentioned below, you will find that in most cases I have provided a paid or free alternative for your review.
Security WordPress Plugins
VaultPress: Protect your content, themes, plugins and settings with real-time backup and automated security scanning. Created by Automattic who are the creators of WordPress.com, Jetpack, Gravatar and so much more. This is a paid plugin.
BulletProof Security: WordPress Security Protection: BulletProof Security protects your WordPress websites against XSS, RFI, CRLF, CSRF, Base64, Code Injection and SQL Injection hacking attempts. This a FREE plugin.
You may have no clue what any of the above means, however; I can’t stress how important it is that you implement some sort of a security layer on your site. The last thing you want is a client or customer calling you up one morning letting you know that someone has injected a pornography site into your server. That’s a true story and it happens all the time.
Jetpack: Jetpack brings the power of the cloud to self-hosted WordPress sites. Jetpack comes with WordPress Stats: simple and concise site stats with no additional load time. Comes pre-installed.
Social Metrics: Track how your website is doing across the leading social networking sites and services like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, StumbleUpon, Digg and Linkedin. Essentially, Social Metrics shows all your posts and how many times they have been shared across the various social networks.
Though Google Analytics is not a plugin, I recommend that you setup Google Analytics tracking on your site. It is a $60,000 Analytics suit that Google gives away for FREE. No other free analytics tool gives you the wealth of data like Google Analytics.
Search Engine Optimization Plugins
WordPress SEO: The first true all-in-one SEO solution for WordPress, including on-page content analysis, XML sitemaps and much more. Nothing compares to this SEO plugin, not to mention it is FREE.
Do not look for any alternatives to this plugin. The Dash has been using WordPress SEO for the past 4 years and we’ve never been disappointed.
Spam Protection Plugins
Akismet: Is possibly the best way in the world to protect your blog from comment and trackback spam. It keeps your site protected from spam even while you sleep. It is free for consumers, while businesses have a paid account.
reCaptcha: Is a FREE anti-bot service that helps digitize books. No computer program can read distorted text as well as humans can, so bots cannot navigate sites protected by CAPTCHAs. reCapcha can be integrated with Contact form 7, Gravity Forms, or you can integrate yourself.
Contact Form 7: Can manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail content flexibly with simple markup. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and so on. This plugin is free.
Gravity Forms: Quickly build and design your WordPress forms using the form editor. Not to mention endless add-ons, styling options and more. This is a paid plugin.
Content Consuming Plugins
NRelate Flyout: Easily allow related posts to flyout from the sides of your websites. You can customize when the window flies out and how many posts you want to display; they have various style settings. This a FREE plugin.
WordPress Popular Posts: Showcase your most popular posts to your visitors on your blog’s sidebar. Use WordPress Popular Posts as a widget or place it anywhere on your theme with shortcodes. This is a FREE plugin.
Please share this list of the top 10 free or paid wordpress plugins for any home business. This post is part of our Home Business Series and soon to launch Home Business Guide.