For those of you who are new to WordPress, plugins are extra code that can be included to your site for additional functionalities. There are a thousand plugins that can be overwhelming to when you choose to try and implement a plugin for a desired website capabilities.
As for us church communicators, we have almost the same needs for our websites and so we ran a poll in our Church Communicators Facebook community to know which plugins work the best for their church websites. Here are the top five plugins that got the most votes in the poll:
5. Series Engine
One of the best things about WordPress is the tremendous community of developer support; there are countless numbers of themes and plugins available to choose from!
With that said, we know we’re not the only solution of our kind out there, but we do think Series Engine is the best… Here’s why:
- It’s Actually Easy to Use – Series Engine is extremely powerful, but its also designed to be easily understood. Where other plugins require you to edit code, write CSS and learn custom syntax, Series Engine allows you to set everything up, change the design and add content through simple point-and-click wizards. There’s no need to know CSS, PHP or even HTML!
- It’s Beautifully Designed – What’s the point of powerful features if they look ugly on your site? Series Engine’s custom media browser was meticulously designed to be easy-to-use, thoughtfully laid out and a pleasure for your visitors. With only a few quick clicks in the font and color chooser, it will look like it was built just for your site!
- The Right Features, The Right Way – From posting audio/video to attaching other materials to your Messages, we’ve agonized over the details. Our user interface and workflow is clean, smart and designed for ease of use. Managing your content should be a pleasure, not a chore.
- More Powerful Podcasting – Whereas some other solutions allow for basic podcasting, Series Engine allows you to easily create an UNLIMITED number of audio AND video podcasts from your content. Our simple point-and-click podcast builder allows you to generate a new podcast in a matter of seconds (including complete control over descriptions, categories and logos!).
- Theme Independent – Some themes (especially those built for churches) include some basic message sharing support right out of the box. It’s a great way to get started, but your content is held hostage if you want to go with a different look. Series Engine maintains the same content and setup no matter how often you switch your style.
- Mobile Friendly – The world is moving to mobile, and Series Engine is ready for the challenge. If you’re using a mobile ready theme (that supports shortcodes) Series Engine will gracefully simplify your content for great looks on the go!
- No Subscription Fees – The $99 one-time fee means the Series Engine is yours for life, including free updates!
4. Divi Builder
Divi isn’t just a WordPress theme, it’s a complete design framework that allows you to design and customize every part of your website from the ground up. You have control over everything down to the finest detail. Create the perfect websites for you and your clients.
If you are a web design professional, you will be amazed by Divi’s speed and efficiency. Divi isn’t just an easy-to-use website builder for beginners, it’s an advanced design system that can help take your team’s work flow to the next level.
Over 800 pre-made website layouts come packaged right inside of Divi for free. Brand new layouts are added weekly along with royalty free photos, icons, and illustrations.
Divi allows you to:
- Drag and Drop Building – Add, delete and move elements around on the front end of your website. No coding and no confusing back end options.
- True Visual Editing – Design your page in real time and see the results instantly. Create and customize your pages using intuitive visual controls.
- Custom CSS Control – Developers can easily combine Divi’s visual design controls with their own custom CSS. Divi’s interface is simple yet not limiting.
- Responsive Editing – Building beautiful responsive websites is easy. Divi is responsive by nature and also gives you full control over how your website looks on mobile devices.
- Design Options Galore – Enjoy dozens of unique page elements and thousands of design options. Divi gives you full design control over your website.
- Inline Text Editing – Just click and start typing! Editing your page has never been this easy. Draft pages on the front end and see the results instantly as you type.
- And many more!
Wordfence includes an endpoint firewall and malware scanner that were built from the ground up to protect WordPress. Our Threat Defense Feed arms Wordfence with the newest firewall rules, malware signatures and malicious IP addresses it needs to keep your website safe. Rounded out by a suite of additional features, Wordfence is the most comprehensive security option available.
It runs at the endpoint, your server, providing better protection than cloud alternatives. Cloud firewalls can be bypassed and have historically suffered from data leaks. Wordfence firewall leverages user identity information in over 85% of our firewall rules, something cloud firewalls don’t have access to. And our firewall doesn’t need to break end-to-end encryption like cloud solutions.
Wordfence Powerful features:
- Leaked Password Protection – Wordfence now includes protection against this specific threat. The feature allows you to block logins for administrators that use a known compromised password. Any administrator using a password previously seen in a breach will need to reset their password to log in. And we keep up to date with the latest breaches as the occur. We’ve done this by integrating our login security with the database provided by Troy Hunt’s version 2 of the Pwned Passwords API. Troy has built a substantial list of hundreds of millions of compromised passwords across hundreds of data breaches.
- Advanced Manual Blocking – Quickly and efficiently dispatch site security threats by blocking entire malicious networks and any human or robot activity that indicates suspicious intentions based on pattern matching and IP ranges.
- And a lot more!
2. Gravity Forms
Build and publish your WordPress forms in just minutes. No drudgery, just quick and easy form-building. Select your fields, configure your options and easily embed forms on your WordPress-powered site using the built-in tools.
Gravity Forms allows you to quickly and easily integrate with a variety of third party services such as PayPal and provides for even deeper integration with WordPress through our collection of optional Add-Ons.
Quickly build and design your WordPress forms using the intuitive visual form editor. Select your fields, configure your options, and easily embed forms on your WordPress powered site using the built in tools.
Gravity Forms brings a wide variety of form field inputs to your fingertips and trust us, your fingertips will thank you. Pick and choose which fields you want to use using the easy to use form editor.
Conditional Logic allows you to configure your form to show or hide fields, sections, pages or even the submit button based on user selections. This allows you to easily control what information your user is asked to provide on your WordPress powered site and tailor the form specifically to their needs.
1. Yoast SEO
In Yoast SEO you can enter the keyword or keyphrase you’d like your post or page to rank for in the search results. We then run a check on your content to check whether you’re using the keywords often enough – but not too often – and in the right spots.
While in the Premium subscription, we take this one major step further.
We will not only check for the keyword or keyphrase you enter, but we will analyze your text on all variations of that word or phrase.
If the keyphrase is “room decorating ideas” and the synonym is “apartment decorating ideas” all the possible word forms of each word are taken into account: ‘apartments’, ‘rooms’, ‘room’s’, ‘decorate’, ‘decorates’, ‘decorated’, ‘idea’, etc. This way, you are truly optimizing your text.
With Yoast SEO, you are now able to tell Google that your WebPage is an Article made by an Organization, and other combinations like that. This is the most convenient way for search engines to retrieve that information, and at this moment, Yoast is the only product or plugin offering this information this way!Others just tell Google it’s a webpage, an article and that there’s a brand, without connecting all together. This leaves a lot for Google to figure out itself. Only we tell the full story.
WordPress can be a beast, but with these plugins, you’ll be a CHAMPION in no time. Let us know what you think on the group or Twitter.