The world as we know it has changed right now but this too shall pass just like other tough times we have all as business owners experienced in the past. In this episode we will be taking a look at our top 6 WordPress plugins that can really help you to grow your business during tough times. Now not all of these WordPress plugins are free and in some cases the premium version will have additional functionality that can boost your results further.
The Online Concept
Top 6 WordPress Plugins To Boost Business In Tough Times
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Practical Solutions & Examples Included
Podcast Episode Description
In this episode of The Online Concept, we discuss our top 6 WordPress plugins that can help your business to grow online during tough times.
The world as we know it has changed right now but this too shall pass just like other tough times we have all as business owners experienced in the past. In this episode we will be taking a look at our top 6 WordPress plugins that can really help you to grow your business during tough times. Now not all of these WordPress plugins are free and in some cases the premium version will have additional functionality that can boost your results further. So tough times are here right now and it is super important at this time for your business to innovate and grow. By thinking outside the box your business could implement some life saving new functionality into your website. This new functionality could be as simple as adding simple form based ordering for a cafe, sharing content to social media, adding a comprehensive learning or membership system to continue business in new ways.
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Gravity Forms – https://www.gravityforms.com/
WooCommerce – https://woocommerce.com/
Jetpack – https://jetpack.com/
Learndash – https://www.learndash.com/
Paid Memberships Pro – https://www.paidmembershipspro.com/
Yoast SEO – https://yoast.com/wordpress/plugins/seo/
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Martin: Hello and welcome to the Online Concept. In this episode of the Online Concept, we’re going to discuss our top six WordPress plugins that can help your business to grow online during tough times. For all the new listeners out there, we would love to hear from you. So please visit our contact page and let us know how we can help you today.
Martin: Okay, so the world as we know it has changed right now, but this too shall pass just like other tough times we’ve had as business owners. In this episode we’ll be taking a look at our top six WordPress plugins that can really help your business to grow during tough times. So WordPress plugins that we’re going to talk about, some of them are free and in some cases there are some premiums that need to be paid or a combination of both, but in most cases, the premium version will have additional functionality that will really boost the results that you’re likely to get or increase the capabilities that you can roll out to your website.
Martin: So like I said, the tough times are here right now and it’s super important at this time for your business to innovate and grow. By thinking outside the box, you could implement some life saving new functionality into your website. This new functionality could be as simple as adding a simple form based ordering for a cafe or sharing content or social media, adding a comprehensive learning or membership system to continue business in new ways.
Martin: So these top six plugins that we are going to talk about tonight are Gravity Forms, which is a premium plugin pro, starts from around $59 per year and that comes with some basic add-ons including connections to most email marketing platforms and some CRMs, although you will need a pro or a late licence to do simplified ordering forms and connections with other platforms including Zapier.
Martin: The second plugin we’re going to talk about is WooCommerce and that’s a free plugin. It’s a full blown eCommerce platform that can help your business create beautiful and well thought out online shopping experiences. The base WooCommerce is free. However, if you want to expand it with more functionality, there are many free paid and freemium ad-ons available. So just in case you’re wondering what freemium is, that’s generally where there is a free version of an add-on or a plugin, but you can pay extra to have additional functionality.
Martin: So there are a lot of plugins available on the market that are in the freemium category. Okay, so the next one we’re going to talk about will be Jetpack, which is freemium and it’s a suit of tools that you can use to monitor, manage and share your content and your website. Some tools include the ability to share social media, others will monitor your statistics and your visitors and others will let you manage your website via the WordPress mobile app and much more. If you pay for a subscription Jetpack takes many of its features even further, including backups, speed optimization, and even more.
Martin: So the fourth plugin, we’re going to talk about is LearnDash, which is a premium plugin, but it’s a full blown WordPress based e-learning platform. Starting from $159 per year, for a single website, you can really generate some great income with this plugin. So with this plug in, you can take all the knowledge you’ve accumulated in your career and turn it into a course that you can sell. So e-learning is one of the fastest growing segments online today, and one of the easiest to get started with creating revenue from. Of course, you need to have something people are willing to pay for.
Martin: The next plugin we’re going to talk about is Paid Memberships Pro, which is also a freemium plugin. In the free version there are a little limitations, so we do recommend going with one of the premium options, just for the fact that you’ll get a lot more functionality and capability out of it. But Paid Memberships Pro will allow you to create a membership site for your business. So whether you’re just wanting to create a pay for access to content such as tutorial videos, or whether you want to run an entire online community. So with this plugin and some other plugins that are available as part of its premium subscription, you can build your own versions of Facebook. It’s a really recommended plugin if you have an inkling to do that.
Martin: Finally we’re going to talk about a plugin called Yoast SEO, which is also freemium and it’s pretty much the gold standard when it comes to SEO based plugins for your business. With both the limited free version and a paid version available, you need to make the decision for your business needs. When it comes to the plugins we already mentioned above and the implementation of the ideas that we’re going to look at in this podcast, it’s important to get your SEO sorted, otherwise you will have done all of that work and nobody will be able to find your website.
Martin: So in our first section we’re going to talk about building an online ordering system or an online store. So for that you’ve got two options. I recommend Gravity Forms even though it’s a premium plugin, it is by far, one of the most polished form plugins that I’ve used in my career. Now in saying that, there are alternative plugins available such as Contact Form 7, which will do very similar features, but I’m just not as big a fan of it as what I am of Gravity Forms.
Martin: So Gravity Forms has some great benefits. You really need to look at some of the higher tiered plans in order to get the full functionality that you may be wanting. And certainly in this case where we’re talking about building an online ordering system. So what you can do is you can instal Gravity Forms. Now you will need at minimum the pro licence and you can then connect Gravity Forms up to say ActiveCampaign or Mailchimp or one of those email marketing platforms. So that A, you’re collecting the data is for everybody who orders and adding them to your list so you can actually send them out specials. And in tough times like this where like at the moment most restaurants and cafes physically can’t be open to allow people to dine in. So a lot of them are pivoting to use and utilise online ordering and things like that. The cheapest and most economical way to do that is to have a limited menu and run it via a paid form that takes payment.
Martin: So you would need the pro version because whilst you can connect it to your email marketing platforms on the free, on the basic plan to connect it up to payment gateway such as PayPal and Square, then you’re obviously going to need the pro plan because those plugin add-ons aren’t included in the basic level. Now I find it’s the best value to go to the elite plan because on top of those plugins you also get things such as coupons and discount codes, which is where you can give your purchases some additional benefits for coming through to you. And it also gives you the Stripe platform as a payment gateway.
Martin: Gravity Forms is a great tool if you’ve got say a limited menu that you want people to be able to just jump on your website, fill out a form, have it email you the order and it to collect the payment through one of the various online payment gateways. It’s always a great platform to get things rolled out really, really quickly. Now of course the next option is WooCommerce. So WooCommerce has the benefits of being a full blown shopping cart system. So you can use that to literally sell anything. So whether that’s selling an electronic download, so say you’ve written maybe a recipe book or something like that that you’d like to sell online to your website visitors, that is certainly an option. You can sell physical products. So if your store sells widgets or anything, clothing, you can certainly build an online presence and an online retail capability into your website using WooCommerce.
Martin: So some practical ideas. As I mentioned before, you can do simplified online ordering. You can do membership subscriptions in a very basic way using both Gravity Forms and WooCommerce and those platforms will take you a long way towards generating income during tough times.
Martin: So in our next topic, we’re going to talk about building an educational platform or a membership website. And these are probably two great ways to help out businesses in say the fitness industry such as personal trainers. Basically LearnDash has the ability to really build your knowledge that you’ve already got into a course. Now, that can be a written course, it can be an audio based course, or it can be a video based course. So if you were, say for example, a personal trainer and you wanted to operate your classes online, you could prerecord a whole pile of workouts and training sessions and then sell a subscription to that package where people can download and watch and use the videos. Or you can simply create a workout system and package it all up into a course and sell that one course. You can also use it as a lead magnet by giving away free courses. That might be a pre bootcamp workout or something like that. Now obviously at the moment you can’t take your classes outside, so here’s a great way for you to deliver them electronically.
Martin: Paid Memberships Pro is the next plugin. It allows you to build a community. So you can actually put Paid Memberships Pro and LearnDash together so that you could, for example, if you were a gym and you ran regular classes, you could run your classes through LearnDash and have people subscribe to an online membership through Paid Memberships Pro. Ultimately allowing you to continue operating your business, albeit in a remote fashion. So if you’re in sort of those spaces, it’s a great way to go. But you can do this with pretty much any type of business that has some form of knowledge that you can sell to people. So that could be, like I myself at the moment, I’m working on a couple of courses to help business owners better understand the website space in the industry and had a better plan for your next website build or rebuild.
Martin: Finally we’re onto promoting, monitoring and sharing, which is where we’re going to have a chat about Jetpack and Yoast SEO. So Jetpack is a suite of tools and you can use that suite of tools for many things, but some of the best ones, monitoring the visitors to your website and keeping track of your statistics. It’s always great to know what people are looking at because then you can better tailor your content for the types of visitors that are coming to your website. Another functionality of Jetpack is it allows you to put social media sharing buttons on the bottom of every blog article on your website. You can even have them show up on the bottom of pages effectively allowing you and anybody who visits your site to share that content with anybody else via social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn.
Martin: Now, there are additional benefits to Jetpack that come with the premium setup which includes doing extra backups and things like that for you as well as speed optimising your website, which is very important when it comes to your overall SEO benefit, which leads me onto Yoast SEO. Now Yoast SEO is the gold standard when it comes to WordPress based SEO plugins. Basically you can tailor what Google feels that your content is about. So you can choose your keywords so that when Google comes along and searches for your website and searches through those pages, it’s going to know what the content on your page is about. It also allows you to set the image that comes up when somebody shares that page on social media.
Martin: Now, I’m not going to go into all of the benefits of Yoast SEO because there are literally bucket loads of them. And if you go onto the paid platform and the paid version of Yoast, then you can set a page up for multiple keywords. But Yoast itself provides excellent training both built into the plugin and also through several eBooks that they have available for sale on their website. So I can’t recommend that plugin highly enough. And if you were going to do anything to help build and boost your business online, having a decent SEO plugin and learning how to create your content for search engines would be the biggest thing that you can possibly do.
Martin: Okay, so those are the top six plugins that can really help your business grow. Now, what we’ve done is we’ve just gone through a few of the solutions and the options that are available and there are literally so many other options that are available that depend on what industry you’re in. Even though we’ve only gone over a few of these, what we would like to offer anybody listening to this podcast is a free 15 minute strategy call via Zoom where we will sit down with you and go over your website, your industry and come up with some really great ideas that you can use and implement for as cheap as possible to help boost your business and to keep your business going during these tough times. So you’ll find the links to get that free 15 minute strategy call as well as the links to all six plugins and various other information as to where you can find more about us and learn more about us and about our podcast.
Martin: That is it for this episode of the Online Concept. I really hope you got something out of it. And if you’ve got any suggestions or tips for what else you’d like us to podcast about, please reach out to us via firstname.lastname@example.org and we will see whether we can a scratch up a show for you. All right. Thank you. And until our next episode, have fun and stay safe out there guys, and make sure that you keep on top of promoting your business because right now, if you don’t promote your business, no one else is going to, and you really need to make sure that you keep working on things because the more you work on them, the more you’re going to get through this, just like the rest of us. Alrighty. And we will see you next episode.