I actually hate using a lot of WordPress plugins.
I custom code all the websites I build and try to use as few plugins as I can, because it helps to improve compatibility.
There are, however, some plugins that every single solopreneur or coaching website should have to help them do more with their website.
Let’s just start with the mack daddy. The best plugin in my arsenal. Gravity Forms is simply the best plugin I’ve used for creating easy contact forms that actually get delivered to my inbox.
The cool thing? Even if for some reason that email doesn’t go through, there’s always a record in my Gravity Forms section of my WordPress admin. Meaning I’ll never lose an ever-important contact form.
There are so many add-ons that make this plugin incredibly powerful, too, and that make feeding forms on your website into your favorite email marketing tool.
I literally cannot say enough good about this plugin and how easy it makes contact forms for my website.
GDPR Cookie Compliance
There are a lot of different cookie and privacy laws that have come into play in recent years. Using a plugin like GDPR Cookie Compliance will help ensure that you’re following not only EU regulations, but California’s new CCPA policy as well.
If your business is at all “internet based” and you’re working with clients from all over, you need to care that you’re offering the privacy opt-outs that are required by these new laws. Even if you’re not focusing your efforts outside of the US, that doesn’t mean you’re not getting a lot of visitors from the EU. In this case, always better safe than sorry!
Enable Media Replace
This one is fantastic for when you decide you hate that picture of you and want to update it or you had a typo on your latest lead capture PDF. Enable Media Replace let’s you upload a new version of an image (or even a PDF!) without changing the file extension.
Why is this awesome?
Because we’re all human and make mistakes. This plugin means you don’t have to go manually change out that image or PDF link everywhere throughout your website. Just update the file and BAM you’re good to go!
Cut the headaches!
If you care even a tiny bit about your SEO and getting your website found on Google (you do, believe me), this plugin is never an option.
Yoast SEO is the best plugin I’ve found that helps improve your website’s SEO. It makes adding meta titles and descriptions to every single page and post (like this one) a breeze, which helps you control what Google shows when you show up in a search listing.
It also helps you optimize your content and create the sitemap Google crawls to see when you’ve created new pages and new blog articles.
At that’s just scratching the surface of what Yoast can help you do!
Jetpack by WordPress.com
Personally, I only use a few (and only the free ones!) of this plugin, but this is a great way to quickly superpower your website.
JetPack is kind of like all the awesome features WordPress.com websites have, but with the flexibility of being a WordPress self-hosted website instead.
If you look below, you’ll see Jetpack powered-comments on my blog articles that let my users leave comments with a variety of logins. It also lets me make sharing my blogs super simple through different social media platforms and even get quick site stats. It’s not a replacement for Google Analytics, but it is a way to quickly check how your website is doing on a daily basis.
This one is more optional, depending on how you sell your services, but if you want to offer any kind of direct-buy options for your customers, WooCommerce is simply the way to go.
WooCommerce is WordPress’s eCommerce solution and incredibly powerful with a huge variety of extensions available. The base plugin itself is free to use (though you need a theme that works with WooCommerce) and many of the payment options are free with the right kinds of accounts (like PayPal and Stripe).
I actually sell website packages through WooCommerce products on my website, though I end up selling most of my websites direct to my clients. But it opens up the availability for someone to just get started and see my price points.
WooCommerce works with a variety of Learning Management Systems (i.e. LearnDash) as well to make selling digital courses super easy!