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Top 10 Plugins for WordPress

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Are you trying to build an interactive and informational website on a platform that is easy to update and feature rich? We are huge fans of WordPress and highly recommend you consider building your church or organization’s website on the WordPress platform. If you don’t know what WordPress is or how it works, here’s a great intro video that will give you the 4-1-1 in less than two minutes:

Now, let’s dive into our suggestions for top ten plugins for your website. These suggestions aren’t the only plugins you should use, nor do we suggest you need all of them for your website. But we highly encourage you to take a look at them and see how they would help you connect with your visitors and expand your message.

Top 10 Plugins for your WordPress website:

1) WordPress SEO by Yoast

This free plugin gives you complete control over the SEO properties for your website. It covers the main site descriptions as well as giving you SEO controls for each page and post you create. This plugin is crucial for helping Google index your website and crawl through your content so as to boost your ranking in Google searches.

2) Google XML Sitemaps

Sitemaps are highly favored by search engines like Google and Bing as they give a central location for search bots to know how much content your website has and where it is all located. This plugin automatically collects all that data and provides the information to those search engines.

 3) MailChimp for WordPress

Adding sign-up methods for your MailChimp lists to your WordPress site should be easy. With this plugin, it finally is. MailChimp for WordPress helps you add more subscribers to your MailChimp lists using various methods. You can create good looking opt-in forms or integrate with any other form on your site, like your comment, contact or checkout form.

4) Google Analytics Dashboard

What good is a website if you don’t know who is coming to it and how they are interacting with your page? If you don’t already, you should be using Google Analytics to know how many visitors your website is getting each month and learn what pages get the most traffic as well as what pages cause them to leave your website the most. This free plugin tells you all of that and more. The best part is it brings you all that information to your WordPress Dashboard so you don’t have to go to Google Analytics and get the most important information. It also integrates with all your pages and posts to tell you how many views they get and how many times people exit your website from those specific pages.

5) Click to Tweet

Click to Tweet is the most popular click to tweet plugin for WordPress for good reason.

This plugin allows you to easily create tweetable content for your readers. Using a simple shortcode, your selected text is highlighted and made tweetable.

6) Broken Link Checker

If you have a lot of links on your website, this free plugin will be a great resource to help you know if those links ever stop working. It constantly keeps track of all hyperlinks you’ve posted and will notify you immediately if they ever break down. It then gives you the option to remove the link, turn it into plain text, or update the link if you need a new URL address.

7) Slick Social Share Buttons

Giving readers the ability to share your content on social networks is one of the most important features your website should have. If you want to significantly increase your web traffic and make your content viral, then use this free plugin. It creates a column of social sharing buttons on the left-hand side or bottom of the posts. We encourage you to only use this plugin for your posts and it may be a bit overkill if you use it on your pages as well.

8) Shareaholic Bookmarks

Want more options on what social networks viewers can share your content on? This free plugin allows you to choose from a massive variety of channels as well as giving you the ability to add counters and track how many times your content has been shared. Easy to set up. Easy to use. We definitely recommend this plugin!

9) Full Throttle Calendar

If your theme does not have a calendar option, this is a great, free plugin that allows you to add a calendar to your website. It easily gives you the ability to turn any page or post into a calendar item, create categories for your calendar that are color-coded, as well as robust features like making calendar entries repeat. All it takes to set up is inserting a shortcode to the page you want the calendar to show and then the plugin does the rest of the work.

10) Good List of Backup Options

Here’s a great list of backup plugin options. Here at CTT, we use UpDraftPlus, but there are many other options available. A good backup solution is an invaluable addition to your site.

What plugins do you currently use? Have you found one you could not live without?

Lauren Hunter
Lauren Hunterhttps://laurenhunter.net
Lauren Hunter is a writer who loves the big picture of God’s journey we are all on together. In 2007, she founded ChurchTechToday, a website for pastors and church leaders to harness technology to improve ministry. Married to her high school sweetheart, Lauren lives in Northern California with her husband and their four children. Her latest book is Leaving Christian Science: 10 Stories of New Faith in Jesus Christ. She can be found online at https://laurenhunter.net.

9 COMMENTS

    • Hey Jtrandolph – you can probably make your own, using Gravity (which is awesome). I used Wufoo to send out custom e-vites, and it worked exceptionally well. I’ve just now switched to Gravity for my forms, and will try to duplicate the efficiency of the other e-vites. Let me know if you want some help using it for your own e-vites.

      • I’ve got to check out Gravity. Thanks for the reminder about this option. Love to hear about your church e-vite strategy – do you use these for people to invite friends to church? Please share!

  1. I’ve used Thank Me Later and considered it for this post! It’s a good one. I’ve tried Disqus, but decided to stick with Intense Debate. Exclude pages is one I haven’t tried. Will look into that!

    And Pretty Links sounds very impressive. Will definitely try it out. Thanks Lauren!

  2. I would add to this list “Thank Me Later”, “Tweet Old Post”, “Disqus Comment System”, and “Exclude Pages”

  3. I would love to add Pretty Link to the list of great plugins. When you install Pretty Link (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/pretty-link/) you “shrink, beautify, track, manage and share any URL on or off of your WordPress website. Create links that look how you want using your own domain name!”

    So when you go to tweet your blog posts, you can use your own URL so that people know where they are headed.

    Thanks for the great plugin recommendations, Kyle!

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