Q & A Video

Ben Holland discusses essential plugins for WordPress back end development that will help your site look great and will allow for easier visitor usability.


Hi, I’m Ben Holland, Account Manager here at Vertical Measures, and today I’m going to answer a question: How do you choose the right WordPress plugins to improve the back end of your website?

The first app you want to install is going to be a SEO plugin. I’m a big fan of the WordPress plugin by Yoast, but there are tons of them out there. Play with whatever one you like and install the one that you feel best using. This is going to help you optimize your meta tags and your title tags as well as provide you with an XML sitemap that automatically updates whenever you put in some fresh content. Without one of these SEO plugins, you’re going to have your pages not match your sitemap, and that means that Google is not going to index your page properly.

Another thing that you’re going to want to install is this tool called heat mapping. I’m a big fan of Crazy Egg. There’s an app plugin that you can install that allows you to see where people are clicking on your site and how far they’re scrolling down. This lets you know if maybe an image is really popular. You might want to move it above the fold, or if people aren’t scrolling down, maybe you need to move that piece of content a bit higher on your page so people are reading it.

After that, you definitely want to install Google Analytics. It’s hard to put it in the head of your site like you would normally because of how WordPress strips all of the JavaScript off of your website. So you need to actually use a plugin for that. It’s simple. You just put in your UA code, and it allows you to have the real time tracking, and it lets you to use the search tracking. So it’s a lot easier to implement than actually putting the code in the head of your website.

Another tool that you’ll want to use is a page speed tool. Now I’d use two of them. Both of these are going to make the file size of your page smaller so it loads quicker, and this is becoming a bigger element in the algorithm for Google. So I recommend WordPress GZip Compression. So that’s going to zip all of your files so they’re really small, and then you want to use a plugin called W3 Total Cache. That’s going to use Amazon’s CDN Network to save basically an image of your website and then throw it on there when Google pulls it up as opposed to having to load it from your server every time. It’s much faster, and it’s easier for Google to work with.

A couple of other things that you’re going to want install are for security. I like Login Lockdown. It limits the amount of times people can try to log into your website through the admin. You can limit it to three or five, however many you’d like, and then it will block that IP for a set amount of time.

The last thing is a CAPTCHA. You want to put this on all of your forms so people have to fill it out and bots can’t just go in there and fill in your forms arbitrarily.

So by installing these six plugins for your WordPress website, you’ll be able to improve usability, optimize your website properly, and prevent hackers from getting to your site. I’m Ben Holland, and thank you for watching.