One of the worst things to encounter is a cluttered, confusing website. Not only does bad website design irritate users, it can actually harm your Google rankings. While good website design can’t be found in anything as simple as a WordPress plugin, there are plugins that you can use to simplify your site from both the user’s perspective and your own. These 5 will get you started on the right path.
If you have an e-commerce website, it’s especially important to simplify. The average web user is still hesitant about pulling out their wallet to make an online purchase. They may trust Amazon, but do they trust your site? By incorporating the eShop WordPress plugin, you can avoid many of the mistakes that lower user trust and drive customers away. With eShop, you can put downloadable products on your site, send your customers automatic emails once a purchase has been made, and incorporate easy merchant gateways to PayPal, Authorize.Net, and more. Don’t be turned off by the sparse updates; the creators of eShop are very supportive.
Is a blog really a blog if comments are disabled? Many website owners grow frustrated with low quality comments, spam, and criticism from surfers. Turning off the comments is one way to deal with the problem, but Akismet offers a more elegant solution. With an advanced algorithm you can customize, this plugin will send spam comments to you for approval before they are published on your blog. While it may catch a legitimate comment or two in the process, there are few better ways to make sure your site isn’t being used as a backlink haven for marketers.
All In One Favicon
Nothing says “amateur” like a website without a custom favicon. Unfortunately, it can be an exercise in frustration to add a favicon to your site without a little help. All In One Favicon delivers that help in a way no other plugin can. You literally don’t need to know a thing about coding to make great use of this tool. Find or create an image you want to use, shrink it to the proper size, and upload it (in .ico format) into the plugin’s form. All In One Favicon will handle the rest.
CW Image Optimizer
Images attract users, keep them engaged, and give your site another way to rank in the search engines. But poorly optimized images make your site look terrible and can have quite the opposite effect. CW Image Optimizer can help you make sure that doesn’t happen. The benefits of this plugin are numerous. You’ll see increased page speed, lower bandwidth usage, and pictures that don’t make your website look amateurish. It is one of the best ways to simplify and improve a website.
WordPress SEO by Yoast
No website can be successful without covering the basics of search engine optimization. But even these basics can be difficult to implement when you’re focused on writing the best content possible. The WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin takes a lot of the guesswork out of the process. Its system forces you to pick a keyword to build your posts around, which will keep you from writing tangential content that isn’t going to help your site. That’s only the beginning, however. Other features included in the plugin include snippet previews, automatic meta tag insertion, RSS optimization, social integration, and more. It is not only one of the most powerful tools for website simplification, it is one of the best plugins on the WordPress marketplace.
Kyle Sanders is a WordPress designer and runs Complete Web Resources, a website optimization company based out of Denver, Colorado. When he’s not optimizing websites, he enjoys craft beers, live music, and visiting obscure cities on the occasional weekend.