WordPress plugins extend the functionality of the core WordPress files. Plugins can add features like making it easier to add or update SEO content, add an eCommerce shopping cart or allow you to create contact forms without knowing HTML.
At the time of this post there are over 54,000 free plugins available in the WordPress repository and countless more available from third-party developers and companies. With all these plugin options, where do you start?
This is the first post in our monthly series: Must Try WordPress Plugins for Your Small Business Website
Ninja forms is our primary choice in contact form plugins. They have an amazing drag-and-drop backend that makes it incredibly simple to create, edit and publish forms on your website. No HTML knowledge is necessary and the plugin can store your submissions in the database. So a copy of each message will be in your WordPress admin.
Simple 301 Redirects
Simple 301 Redirects provides an easy method of redirecting visitors to another page on your site or elsewhere on the web. This plugin is useful if you remove or rename a page. Instead of showing a page not found to the visitor, redirect them to an appropriate page that will provide useful information. Having a 301 redirect will also help your SEO rankings if any pages have been moved.
Updraft Plus is a backup and restoration plugin made easy. Configure the backup to run daily, weekly, monthly or whatever schedule works best for you. Then save the backup on one of their offsite storage partners like Dropbox or Google Drive. This plugin can backup your theme files, plugins, media uploads and database. Having an updated backup of your website will help if your site is ever hacked or something happens on your server where your files have been deleted or destroyed.