Worried about WordPress? Maybe you heard it’s really complicated and hard to maintain?
It’s true, WordPress can be a challenge for the newcomer. Like any new software or gadget, it’s like a foreign language at first. And because of that, it’s really easy to get confused and overcomplicate things.
The most common way to mess things up in your WordPress site is to build your site piecemeal, meaning without a plan. However, it is completely possible to have an elegant, well-managed WordPress site that can power your entire online business.
The trick is to have a plan. (I’m all about planning in case you haven’t noticed. 😊)
In this post I’ll share with you the exact plugins I use to run my entire business on WordPress.
In alphabetical order, here is a list of plugins I use. I stand behind every one of these plugins because I have used or tested well over a hundred plugins over the years, and I have made plenty of my own mistakes. This is my definitive list and these are the exact plugins I teach new online business owners to use in my Digital Product Launch program.
Every plugin listed is free (or has a free version) unless otherwise noted.
The best anti-spam plugin ever. $5 a month for professional web sites (or as little as $5 for personal blog sites).
WordPress has a new page editor called Gutenberg. It came out late last year (2018) and for anyone who has been using WordPress for more than a few years, it’s nearly impossible to work with. If you’re a complete newbie to WP, give it a try, you might like it. If not, join the rest of us and install the Classic Editor plugin, which will restore the pre-Gutenberg page editor.
What a life saver this one is! It’s especially valuable if you plan to create multiple landing pages to attract new subscribers to your mailing list (which you absolutely should be!). Duplicate Post gives you a simple link to “clone” an existing post or page, so you don’t have to build new pages from scratch.
As an online business owner, your business is all about data. How many people are coming to your site? What are they looking at? How long do they stay, where do they live, why do they leave, what kind of device are they using, what keywords did they use to find you, and on and on. Google Analytics is the best solution for small businesses.
Jetpack is uber-powerful but you won’t initially use most of its features. Don’t get too involved in this one — it’s only on the list because it’s required for WooCommerce (see below).
Mailchimp for WordPress
I’m a huge fan of Mailchimp for email marketing, and it’s what I teach in my program. This plugin is awesome for integrating your Mailchimp account with your WordPress site, so new subscribers can join your mailing list via an opt-in form on your landing pages.
A one-time $200 purchase gets you the entire Optimize bundle and a year’s worth of premium support. Subsequent annual support plans are extremely reasonable.
The Optimize Bundle includes:
This Optimize plugin features a fantastic landing page builder, complete with pre-built high-converting templates for multiple kinds of offerings. This was the company’s first product and they have optimized it over the years. IMO, there’s no better option out there in terms of WordPress Landing Page builders.
This is the crème de la crème when it comes to landing page plugins for WordPress. The Experiments package is an add-on to the OptimizePress plugin. It lets you perform A/B testing on your landing pages. This feature alone makes Optimize the best choice for landing page creation.
This plug in is for creating membership sites and digital courses (including dripped content). Using this plugin for digital course delivery can literally save you thousands of dollars (or euros) in monthly software fees. Before you go all in on one of the big expensive platforms (Kajabi, Katra, Thinkific, etc), give this one a try.
If you are considering purchasing Optimize Press bundle, I would love it if you used my affiliate link here: Explore Optimize Press
A simple but uber-useful plugin, Redirection lets you map one URL from your website to another URL, which can be either on your web site or anywhere else on the internet. When a visitor comes to the redirected page, they see the new page you mapped it to instead. This “redirect” is almost completely unnoticeable (unless you are watching the URL bar, but who does that?). This has a wide variety of uses, such as affiliate marketing, web site traffic analysis, pretty urls, and renaming pages.
WooCommerce is the number one plugin for accepting payments on your web site. Whether you have an online store, a membership site, or offer hourly coaching sessions, this plugin is easy to use, has been around longer than any of the others, and has amazing community support.
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Are there other good plugins besides these? Most definitely. I have tried many of them. However, when you’re starting out, you want to keep things as simple as possible. Using a vetted list, whether it’s mine or someone else’s, will help you avoid the rabbit holes of trying plugin after plugin, and getting frustrated and confused.
So make your choice(s) and run with it. Try not to second-guess yourself. As an entrepreneur you don’t have time to be flip-flopping with your tech. Own it and move on. You’ve got a business to build!
I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below. 👇👇👇
Photo credit: Kevin Phillips on Pixabay