WordPress. Plugins. Blogs. You are familiar with them all, but how can they work in tandem with your business? Plugins are an essential tool to add into any website or blog site, whether you are a professional blogger or amateur looking to grow your craft. So what is a Plugin? A plugin is a piece of software or code that embeds itself into your website. Once activated, a plugin will give your site features and functionality that it wasn’t originally designed to display. So, in a sense, a plugin could become your secret weapon to success!

Most sites are designed with the basic functionality you will need to design and create a website, but if you want to take your business to the next level, you will need to add some awesome plugins. There are so many plugins available now that you can get caught up in choosing the right ones for you. Look at what they offer and how they will build your business and make life easier for you.

We have compiled a list of our top 5 must-have WordPress Plugins that we use and recommend.

1. Yoast. Formerly known as WordPress SEO By Yoast, this tidy little plugin will take the guess work out of SEO and keep you on the straight an narrow. Yoast will guide you every step of the way with easy to read red and green lights that tell you if your blog is going to be good for rankings or poor. In a sense, it walks you through what your blog needs in order to be a great blog and will pick up any misses such as keyword repetition or lack of outgoing links. Yoast isn’t free, but it will save you a lot of time and stress!

2. Akismet. This plugin will help filter out the spam from the legitimate comments. It automatically checks each comment that is posted onto your blog and sends it to a separate folder if it is suspected spam. As you know with your e-mail, the spam folder fills up quickly, so you don’t want to be wasting time sifting through the spam to find your legit comments! This plugin will cost you around $5 a month which is another must-have time saver!

3. All In One SEO. As you may already know, WordPress is a pretty all-rounded set up and already geared for SEO. But, it can’t hurt to give your blog or article a little bit more of a boost with the All In One SEO. It will fine-tune your blog, making it even easier for search engines like Google to read your content and rank you. The great news is the basic plugin is free!

4. Social Sharing Plugins. Social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter are the hub for most businesses these days and what better way to get your blog to the masses than having it shared across cyberspace. Plugins like AddThis or ShareThis automatically add the Facebook and Twitter social media icons to the top and bottom of your blog. So every time someone loves your post and wants to share it, they just click a button!

5. Google Analytics For WordPress. We all love Google and the technology they release and Google Analytics is no exception. This plugin will bring Google Analytics right to your WordPress dashboard giving you easy to read stats. WordPress has its own stats counter, but Google Analytics for WordPress will go one step further filtering out bot traffic and counting visits as well as page views. Yep, this one is free too!

As with modifying any website, it is best to check the plugin you are adding is supported by WordPress and is compatible to your version. With helpful plugins added to your WordPress site, you will be blogging like a pro in no time at all and hopefully watching your rankings rise ten-fold!

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