The popularity of WordPress continues to grow among small business owners and entrepreneurs, as this popular Open Source Content Management System (CMS) steadily matures in to a robust platform for everything from landing or “squeeze” pages, to marketing and membership websites, ecommerce platforms, and more.
One of the greatest benefits to using WordPress is the flexibility offered by the large number of WordPress plugins, small modular add-ons that expand the functionality of the WordPress platform. As a small business owner or entrepreneur there are a number of WordPress plugins that should be considered “must haves” for your WordPress site.
1. WP Maintenance Mode
The maintenance mode plugin adds one of several selectable splash pages to your website that lets visitors know your site is down for scheduled maintenance. Logged in administrators get full access to the site, including the front-end, but normal site visitors are greeted by a simple, stylish message that informs them of the status and when the site should be expected to be available.
2. SEO Smart Links
SEO Smart Links provides automatic SEO benefits in the form on internal links, crosslinking between website pages and posts based on keywords. The plugin provides addition SEO features such as the ability to custom keyword lists, insert nofollow meta attributes in to links, and more. Search engine optimization and search ranking is an essential component to any website, making this type of plugin critical to your online success.
3. Gravity Forms
Gravity Forms is a low cost, commercial plugin that allows you to quickly design and post customized forms within WordPress pages and posts. Form submission and processing is an essential part of membership, marketing, and small business sites of all types, and this plugin helps to connect you with your site visitors, members, and customers.
A paid service, VaultPress uses a plugin to automate the real-time backup and recovery of your entire WordPress site. Everything from posts, pages, and comments, to the complete WordPress database, including all WordPress settings. VaultPress is a highly rated backup and recovery service offering real protection of your WordPress based business or venture. More information about VaultPress can be found at VaultPress.com.
5. WP Security Scan
This plugin scans your WordPress installation for security vulnerabilities and issues that are easy to overlook. Beyond a simple scanning and reporting tool, this plugin provides several automated security measures that make a WordPress website more difficult to hack, and much more reliable for your customer or member base..
Most of these plugins can be found in the WordPress Plugin Repository, along with many others that can provide a great deal of value to a small business website operating under the WordPress CMS platform.