WordPress is responsible for about 35% of all websites available today. To put that in context, around 455 million sites use the WordPress platform in 2020. WordPress offers excellent functionality. It's incredibly customisable. And it's open-source, meaning anyone can use it for free. You could run a blog on WordPress.com and pay nothing for hosting. Or you could run a blog on WordPress.org and take full control over your website.
Plugins are one of the most popular reasons that website owners make the switch from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. While not available on the former, the latter allows you to add functionality to your site using pre-packaged code. Plugin developers can make their code available online and users can install it with one click. To discover excellent plugins for your WordPress site, check out these top 17 WordPress plugins.
SEO is one area of website development that benefits from the presence of plugins. There are so many plugins available that will help you to optimise your website for search engines and make sure your website is discoverable. In this guide, we’ll run through seven of the most popular plugins for SEO that will transform the way you optimise websites.
Yoast is an incredibly popular SEO package that helps to guide website owners through the required steps to properly optimise their websites. Once installed, users will see the Yoast plugin on every page, post, media file and other elements on their site. They will be able to select a keyword and then find out how to optimise their page for that keyword. Yoast also offers powerful settings that will help to make sure your website is ready to get discovered. Free and premium options are available.
Like Yoast, All In One SEO Pack offers a one-stop-shop for website owners looking to optimise their websites. Once installed, you’ll see helpful hints on every blog and page that will ensure you’re on the right track. It also offers added extras such as easy redirects to ensure that you don’t have any broken links on your website. It will also allow you to take control of schema data, so you can change the way your blog posts and pages appear when shared to social media. Free and premium versions are available.
Becoming one of the most used SEO plugins, where is taking away some of the market share from the established two, mentioned above. See here.
An essential part of optimising your website for search engines is making sure that search engines know where to look. An XML sitemap is the easiest way to achieve this. A sitemap lists all of the pages and posts on your website and tells search engines what to do with them. For example, if you want a login page to not appear in search engines, you could place this instruction on your sitemap. It also shows the relationships between pages, so search engines have more context to help them understand and categorise your content. The Google XML Sitemaps plugin creates a customisable sitemap for your website that is recognised by all major search engines. This will be automatically updated as you add content to your site, so you never have to do a thing.
Broken links can damage your SEO efforts, and the Broken Link Checker can help you to avoid this common SEO pitfall. It identities the broken links on your site and then allows you to either fix them or redirect them to the correct location. This will help to ensure users never get annoyed when landing on a 404 error page.
One of the biggest parts of SEO is keeping track of your efforts. Knowing how much organic traffic your SEO efforts are generating can let you know if you’re on the right track. Google Analytics by MonsterInsights allows you to see all of the key information right on your WordPress dashboard. This is great if you want quick insights and helpful feedback. It’s also great for sharing select Google Analytics data with all of your contributors so they can see how their content is performing.
Caching your website content can help to speed up your website and improve your rankings. Cached content is saved on the user’s browser so they can easily return to the same place without loading everything from scratch. The W3 Total Cache plugin allows you to achieve this with no coding knowledge.
Having an easy to access mobile website is essential for SEO. Since the mobile-first ranking update, website owners have been focussing on making sure their websites look clean and easy-to-use on mobile. The WPtouch Mobile Plugin creates a simple and elegant mobile version of your website, no coding required. So you can enjoy all of the SEO benefits without any of the hard work that usually goes into creating a mobile website.
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