7 Essential WordPress Plugins for the DIY Entrepreneur
If you’re a DIY entrepreneur using WordPress, you need a good arsenal of plugins in your tool box. While there are hundreds of great plugins in the WordPress community (both free and paid), I’ve found seven that I absolutely can’t live without and recommend to all my SEO clients…
Broken Link Checker
This is one of my favorites.
Broken link checker is a 24-7 watch dog that sniffs out broken links and sends you an email report with the results. This means no more waking up at 3am in a cold sweat thinking “Is there a broken link on the __ page of my WordPress site?”
Broken link checker gives you the option of getting updates every 24 hours, or even on the hour if you’d like. It also allows you to quickly edit each reported link right from your WordPress dashboard.
WP Customer Reviews
Customer reviews are the most powerful force in the world of online marketing. This plugin is second to none when it comes to collecting customers reviews AND having them show up in the Google search results, like this:
Who wouldn’t’ want to click on a site that offered dozens of positive reviews as opposed to a site which had none? That’s a no brainer, just like this plugin. I especially like how the reviews are subject to your approval before they go live and how you can control what customer information is required and displayed in the reviews.
I would have saved myself hours of editing and updating work if I’d had this plugin my first year in business. Just imagine having a “find and replace” option, not just your individual posts and pages, but on all the content in your WordPress site. That’s what Search Regex does.
I’ve even used this plugin to replace html codes as well as plain text, which is great if you’re changing the link to a site wide offer you’re promoting. Just be sure you’ve got a solid idea of what you need to update before you do a find replace for your entire site.
WPMU DEV Infinite SEO
There are hundreds of WordPress SEO plugins, and some of them make some pretty outrageous claims about how much they can help your rankings. I’ve used some of them and been very disappointed, even suffered some penalties using automated link building plugins, which in my opinion are a waste of time.
But if you’re ready to stop chasing magic potions and use an SEO plugin that gets the job done and is super simple to use, the WPMU DEV Infinite SEO is just what the doctor ordered. It’s also a lot less data entry intensive than most WordPress SEO plugins, as you’ll see in the screen shot below:
WPMU DEV Pro Sites
Ever wanted to become a reseller of premium WordPress designs without getting your hands dirty with coding or managing a team of developers?
If so, you’ve got to check out this plugin. You can use it to resell premium WordPress themes to your customers and even give them the option of setting up a domain and hosting their site with you.
While this plugin does have a reasonably steep learning curve, it’s certainly a lot more practical than learning to code in PHP, jQuery and MySQL.
Best of all, if you don’t want to look like you’re simply repackaging WordPress themes, WPMU DEV even has a set of rebranding plugins that can make WordPress look like your own branded creation.
Though it’s not as feature rich as some other options, this is still my favorite WordPress plugin for embedding videos and audios into your blog posts and pages. Embedding the media is literally this simple:
[flv:/yourdomain/video.flv 480 360]
“video.flv” would be the name of your audio (it works with MP3 files) or video file and the “480 360” can be edited to control the display on your post or page. You can also add a simple logo to the top corner of your videos.
I’ve found this plugin very useful for protecting and selling multi-media products using the WPMU Pay Per View plugin.
WordPress plugins for Social Sharing and bookmarking are also pretty darn common, but this is really the only one you need. This plugin adds a simple toolbar to the bottom (or top, your choice) of all your WordPress pages and posts, allowing readers to share your content on Facebook, Twitter, and Google +.
There are other plugins which allow bookmarking to dozens of Social Media sites, but in my opinion Facebook, Twitter and Google + are all you need to make a huge impact. I suggest using this plugin along with the “WP Customer Reviews,” to increase your social proof online.
That’s all I’ve got for now, but there are dozens of other great plugins, most of which can be found on the WPMU DEV website. As you know, if you want something done well, you usually have to do it yourself, these WordPress plugins just make it easier.