If you've chosen to use WordPress for your home builder website, you're in good company. Some of the biggest brands on the planet are using WordPress for their site. To keep ahead of the competition, a lot of those sites are also using some, or all, of these top 10 plugins for WordPress.
Reading time: 10 minutes
Skip to the section you're most interested in:
While WordPress has a lot of great features on its own, choosing the right plugins will allow you to customize your website. Some sites have a lot of media to serve to visitors, while others need to store lots of user data.
To get a feel for how your site could be optimized and running more smoothly than your competitors, find out what plugins could be best for your visitors. Here is our list of the top 10 plugins available now.
Who would be better to design a plugin for WordPress than the original team who created WordPress?! Jetpack has become a standard for just about every site on the market. It offers a wide variety of features that any site administrator would find useful.
Jetpack adds features for site security, performance, and making sure your traffic continues to grow. For designers, it also offers features to help with site appearance, image optimization, and other visual elements. This mix of features is what makes it one of the essential plugins for any WordPress site.
For sites with lots of original content, it will help get your content out to search engines and bring in those coveted SEO numbers. Jetpack gives you that extra boost by offering sitemaps, which help web crawlers index your site and quickly return results when people search for home building sites like yours.
With Jetpack, you'll be protected from the kinds of brute force attacks that can take a site down in a matter of minutes. You'll be able to get notifications and regular updates in case any nefarious users are snooping around your server.
One more plugin from the WordPress team that every site should be using is Akismet. In fact, it's so good that it's become one of the default plugins included in every installation.
It's an anti-spam tool that makes sure that you don't get overloaded with comments from industrious spammers trying to syphon traffic from your site. The last thing you want on that post about your brand-new show home is a ton of spam comments with bad links.
Every comment will get a status history so that you can be alerted to which ones appear suspicious. Your moderators will be able to see contribution stats for users and remove any that look to be spam. This plugin really helps keep your site more user-friendly.
Commercial sites might need to pay a small fee for it, but it's worthwhile for maintaining a clean site as your home building business continues to grow.
No list of top 10 plugins would be complete without one for SEO. According to Yelp's statistics, 97% of consumers are using search engines to find local businesses. Search engines base their rankings on a number of factors, not limited to keyword usage, load times, and site structure.
Yoast SEO will guide you toward improved content and better rankings. Yoast SEO aims to create content that's useful to your users while remaining friendly to SEO standards.
Good SEO will help you gain trust, sustain your rankings, and make sure you end up high in your potential visitors' search results.
After you choose your focus keywords for the page you're working on, page analysis goes through the image alt tags and meta description to see other uses of the word. It will recommend changes to improve usability and visibility that will be friendly when search engines send their web crawlers through.
Before you know it, you'll be writing better titles and descriptions, catching the eyes of search engines and users alike. This is a must-have for any site trying to gain WordPress success.
If you're allowing users to post or comment on images, you're going to need a solid registration tool. You can either allow anyone to register or you can add membership features to maintain oversight on your users.
This virtual registration plugin is user-friendly and makes it simple for potential users to register. You'll end up with a simple and elegant registration form with just a few minutes of set up.
You can customize the form to get information useful for your metrics. You can also maintain a level of security by adding ReCaptchas and email notifications for when you've got a new post or registration.
This one makes our list of the top 10 plugins because it offers so much for free! You get even more when you purchase the premium level of the plugin. If you get lost, there are lots of great tutorials to find online.
As mentioned a couple of times already, website security is crucial for every site and every plugin. While it's important that each of these plugins has some amount of security built in, having a dedicated plugin is vital.
Ignoring the security needs of your site will leave you vulnerable to a lot of risks. If your site is flagged as infested with bots and/or viruses, you could end up losing your data. A server owner is usually within their rights to eliminate access and wipe the infected folder from the database.
While this can seem harsh, it's sometimes the only way to keep that infection from spreading.
That's all the more reason to make sure your WordPress site is secure. Wordfence is one of the top 10 plugins because it offers firewall protection, automatic malware scanning, a blocking mechanism, and login security features.
You'll be able to get live traffic data and notifications to let you know when the site is in use by humans, taken up by bots, or returning a lot of 404 errors.
Wordfence uses two-factor authentication for an extra layer of security. Brute force attacks are stopped in their tracks by this authentication method.
Maintaining security on your site isn't just about you. Users and visitors who see that you've got a secure site will know that you take your business seriously and that their data is safe with you.
Many users believe they can set up their site once and then they'll be good to go indefinitely. Unfortunately, as many sites are dependant on content that lives in other parts of the web, broken links can pop up all over your site without notice.
Websites with lots of contributing writers might use backlinks in their posts or add embedded videos. What happens when these videos are taken down or those videos are deleted?
Users who visit and click links on your site will see an overgrown field of weeds and paths that lead to nowhere. Your brand's reputation will suffer because of their poor user experience. It could take you a lot of work through your marketing and social media promotion to get those users back.
Broken Link Checker will go through your entire site and make sure your links are in tip-top shape. It will check through posts and comments to see if there are any issues. Missing images will come up flagged so that you can replace them as soon as they disappear.
An added feature prevents any search engines from going down the rabbit hole of broken links on your site. It can also prevent SEO from being negatively impacted by strange displays of broken links. You'll get notifications as soon as Broken Link Checker notices a problem so you can patch it up before search engines catch wind of it.
Caching on your WordPress site is a common solution for lots of performance issues. Your cache stores your site's data in a temporary folder to allow the site to load faster on the next visit to the same place. Caching is a common solution to speed issues on every computer system.
In order to allow caching on your site, you need to use one of these plugins. These plugins will save pages as static files served to users.
Rather than loading every different ad, resource, and dependency, there will be an alternative version.
This alternative version will make sure users see no hiccups even when there's no response from the outside resource. That increased speed bodes well for your overall SEO score and keeps you ranking high on search engines.
W3 Total Cache is one of the top 10 plugins because caching is so important and it works so effortlessly. For users not too familiar with database communications, it offers a user-friendly interface for database, page, and browser caching.
Images are vitally important to the current state of the web, especially as a home builder. Good images attract interest. They help to deliver the thesis of the text quickly and can help engage readers on a visceral level to prepare them for a post.
Good images also make people excited about what you have to offer.
Unfortunately, images take up lots of space and can slow the load time of your site. Slow load times will send new visitors packing, greatly impacting your bottom line of profit or search rankings.
WP Smush helps to compress your photos without losing the essential quality of them. Using advanced compression algorithms, WP Smush can save storage space for your JPEG, PNG, and GIF images.
If you have bulk data uploads, WP Smush will automatically smush up to 50 attachments while keeping your photos looking attractive.
One of the biggest issues affecting site load times is database clutter. WP-Optimize addresses this issue by getting rid of unnecessary data and clearing the cache of your database. By optimizing the speed of communications, this is one of the top 10 plugins any site should have for achieving solid SEO numbers.
Most people new to web design and development don't realize how much useless data can clutter up your database. This added fat weighs your site down and makes devices and ISPs work harder to get your site to respond quickly.
WP-Optimize will also keep an eye on spam and unapproved comments. You'll be able to find bad posts or self-promoting comments that users or bots try to post. Keeping your database clean will keep users from getting connection errors and keep your site looking professional.
In order to promote your home building website, it's important that you have high-quality images. Even if you've already smushed your images, a high quantity of images will still contribute to slower load times.
Lazy loading is the new way of loading a site quickly when there are lots of images. It has become one of the key elements of any successful site. BJ Lazy Load is one of the top 10 plugins around because it will replace your images with a placeholder until it's about to hit the screen.
It works on embedded videos, text widgets, and content iframes alike. All of these elements can keep a site from loading completely. While you may want nothing to display until your page is finished, rather than show a blank screen, you can load as a user scrolls.
If you've spent a lot of time working on crafting the perfect videos, you don't want users going to another site because yours didn't load fast enough.
For sites using lots of media content, this is a lifesaver. Lazy loading is the best compromise for the rise of mobile browsing and the increasing importance of media for successful sites.
No matter what industry you're in, having a successful site and having a smoothly functioning site go hand in hand. Search engines will rank your site not only by your use of keywords and meta tags, but also by how well your site is organized and how fast it loads. Using these 10 plugins for your WordPress site will make sure you stay ahead of the pack.
If you need more tips on how these top 10 plugins will help your site, contact us for more tips.