If you are running WordPress for your Photography Website you will be aware of its plugin architecture to extend WordPress functionality. There are literally 1000’s of WordPress Plugins out there, but I thought I would layout my top ten list of recommended WordPress plugins for your photography website for key areas of site functionality.
Backups, backups, backups – as a former Head of IT, data backups were always my top priority, and for your WordPress site they should be as well.
The plugin I use for my WordPress backup is Plugin #1 “WordPress Database Backup” which backs up all my WordPress SQL databases on a scheduled basis and sends them to a backup location of my choosing.
The very next priority after your site backup is site security – you do not want your website hacked – trust me, I’ve been there it is not nice.
Currently there is a long-running brute-force login attack on WordPress sites which is targeting the username “admin” and using combinations of passwords on any wordpress site the hackers can find.
Step 1 – make sure you are not using the username “admin” on your WordPress site – choose a harder to guess administration username.
Step 2 – Install a WordPress plugin to improve site security and lock out failed login attempts. My particular favourite is Plugin #2 – “WordFence Security” which is a very comprehensive platform.
Part of Google’s search algorithm measures the performance of your website and to help improve your SEO results and improve your clients experience on your website, you need to make sure it is performing well.
My recommended Plugin #3 is “W3 Total Cache“, which is the best tool out there, but a complete pain to setup as it can very quickly break your site if you are not careful. (N.B. Not recommended unless you are experienced in IT).
Search Engine Optimization is of course the holy grail for many of us and our focus is on getting that site to number 1 on Google. Out of the box WordPress is very badly configured for SEO. Plugin #4 “WordPress SEO” plugin by Yoast will sort all those settings out for you.
The presentation of your site is fundamental of course, and for that we need to use WordPress Themes rather than plugins and my Plugin #5 is (okay I know it’s not a plugin) of choice for photography websites is “PhotoProBlogs“ – an extremely powerful theme, with no need to have to delve into HTML or CSS code to configure it – Highly Recommended
Once you have clients on your site, you need to make sure you know about it and that they can contact you. On our photography websites we use Plugin #6 – “Formidable Pro“, which is a very powerful form builder.
Once you have those client details, you can start building up a marketing database which is where the next Plugin #7 comes in – “Formidable to Mailchimp” which will automatically subscribe your clients to a mailing list for you.
Social Networks are where everyone seems to be at these days, and you need a piece of that action, so make sure you have Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus integration on your site – most themes offer this now. If you’re theme is lacking social integration, install recommended Plugin #8 “Shareaholic” which offers links to every social network out there.
Why do so many photographers make it hard for their customers to do business with them? With Christmas fast approaching how many of you are selling gift vouchers on your website? With Plugin #9 – “WP Simple PayPal Shopping Cart” plugin, it’s very simple to add an online purchase button on your site and start selling 24/7.
Then, once you have them on your sale page, you need to close the deal, and this is where Plugin #10 kicks in – “Scarcity Samurai” – this will really boost your sales for any short term offers you have. Linked to the psychology of selling, this is an amazing tool that we have been using for over a year now and we’ve seen fantastic results.
So there you have it, my Top Ten Recommended WordPress Plugins for Photography Websites.
Have some recommendations of your own? Please let us know in the comments – thanks!