[Originally published on 8/1/09 then updated 9/30/15 and again 10/29/16.]
From late 2008 to late 2015 I built every site I ever owned—including this one—on Wordpress.
(I moved The Sales Whisperer® to HubSpot in late 2015 for a host of reasons [pun intended] but still have all of my satellite sites on Wordpress. If you'd like to discuss if that would be a good move for you, let's talk.)
Wordpress is a beautiful thing for entrepreneurs, business owners and sales people looking to grow their business without having to be snookered, swindled or bamboozled by every Tom, Dick and Harry that calls themselves a web designer.
Here's a list of the plugins I have used on my various Wordpress sites to grow traffic and sales since 2009:
Akismet (Anti-Spam Comment Filter)
Akismet has a lot of cool software they've developed over the years and I've used more than one. But their main plugin for keeping out Spam comments has been a lifesaver for me over the years. It's literally the first plugin I install on any new site and I recommend you do the same.
Blubrry PowerPress (For Podcasters)
I used this when I started The Sales Podcast (you are subscribed, right?) and I've kept it installed even though I use LibSyn for the hosting of my podcast audio files now. Blurry Powerpress is a great tool for helping you embed your podcast on your site as an attractive audio player and now they can host your podcast as well.
It's worth taking a look at.
What a cool app that I've used since at least 2013. At first I was using their free software to create a pre-written Tweet that readers of The Weekly Whisper or of this blog could simply "click to tweet."
Now they have a short code function that enables me to embed something like you see below, which creates a highlighted or callout feature that my readers can "click to Tweet." Give it a try now to show some love for this post and this plugin, won't ya please?
I've been using LeadPages since January 2014 and it's a powerful application supported by a great group of guys that are meticulous and relentless in providing you metrics on what pages are working best for what industry because they've collected over a billion data points, so you know their recommendations are reliable.
Most companies don't have traffic problems, they have conversion problems. This is the most affordable solution on the market to help you with your conversion problem. Give it a try.
As your site grows and you reorganize to emphasize or de-emphasize your offerings you may find yourself with new subdomains, new categories, new subcategories, etc. that change the URLs of your pages and posts.
While that is fine and dandy and understandable, you can hurt your traffic and conversions because visitors are impatient. If they find a 404 page (which is handled nicely with LeadPages mentioned above), many will just "bounce," which means they leave your site.
Not only does that hurt your business today, it can hurt you in the long run if Google sees you having a high bounce rate. Search engines see bounce rates as the general public saying "there is nothing here that I like...it's not what I thought it was...I'm out of here," and your site will suffer in the rankings.
This Redirection plugin helps you to easily "redirect" or re-route old pages or posts to your new pages or your new URLs, which may come about due to a site redesign.
You need to know your analytics and if you have them handy you are much more likely to look at them and take action on them.
Google makes this free plugin to accelerate your access to their information about how your site is performing, which you need to know.
This is like my American Express Card, "Don't go blog without it."
After Akismet, this is the next plugin I install on my sites. It's a powerful plugin to help you know if you've covered all of your SEO bases when creating new content.
You simply type in the topic or keyword you want to write about and it will give you suggestions. Once you select your keyword it then analyzes your post to let you know if you've included it in your Title, your URL, your Meta Description, etc. It also has some advanced tabs to do on-page analysis for things such as title length, keyword density, images, and more.
It's a great tool and I can't believe it's still free!
It's hard to describe this without getting all Geeky on you, so I won't.
My web master recommended it years ago and I've had it installed ever since. In a nutshell it speeds up your site's performance for your visitors, which is a good thing. Check it out.
Like most of the great plugins for Wordpress, all of the above are free, although plugins like LeadPages are worthless unless you buy the LeadPages program.
While I encourage you to be open to experimenting with plugins you need to recognize that there is a dark side to plugins. Not all plugins are compatible either with your site's theme, your version of Wordpress, or other plugins.
More than once I've installed or updated a plugin only to see my entire website go blank. Like LITERALLY completely white like a snow storm hit it.
I've had other plugins create just weird issues on my site such as not being able to save changes to posts, it changes the font of my posts, and other weird things.
Finally, these plugins are little applications that install new code on your site and when you deactivate and uninstall them later they could leave some "code residue" that could hinder the performance of your site over time.
So make sure you have a techie friend on standby or a good website host that will hop on the phone or chat to help you clean up your site in case you make a mistake, but after blogging on Wordpress since late 2008 or early 2009, the pros have out-weighed the cons in using Wordpress plugins for all of my sites.
If you need more help growing your sales, check out the following resources scattered around this site and a few others I operate, such as:
- Sell More This Month
- Automate Your Monthly Sales For Just $9
- Hire The Best Keynote Speaker
- Fix Your Follow Up Failure
- HubSpot vs Infusionsoft
- Ontraport vs Infusionsoft