If you own or operate a website, then you are probably familiar with plugins. If not, you will be soon. A plugin is a type of software that typically acts as an extension to a web browser. Plugins typically offer added functionality to enhance user experience. They also help to optimize your site for the search engines and protect it from spammers. It’s an easy way to upgrade your website without completely rebuilding it. Plugins will typically allow browsers to display content that was not included in its original purpose. For instance, the Macromedia Flash Player is a plugin which allows browsers to display animations with the Flash format. Plugins come in various formats. Some are complex while others are simple. Many plugins are popular while several of them are not. Most plugins, however, are available as a free download. Here are some plugins that will help enhance and optimize your website while keeping your audience happy.

Forms

This one is kind of a no brainer, but it had to be said. Every business needs a contact form and it should be easy to find. Your audience will undoubtedly use it. Ideally, this form should integrate with popular payment platforms. This just makes things easier. Some forms plugins will also integrate with marketing platforms ensuring that there is a steady stream of leads flowing in. Many times, there will be a free version and a professional version to choose from. If you are on a mission to grow your business, it may be worth paying for the professional version with added features.

Optimization

This is hugely important. Believe it or not, there are plugins that can help you optimize your site for the search engines. They will help you get more traffic and even add meta tags that will help your site get found. The right optimization plugin can help you build a sitemap and even optimize for social media platforms. None of these is easy tasks on their own. However, the right plugin can simplify things for you while getting everything done in a timely fashion. Talk about being productive!

Security

Security is an issue in any business and even more so online. There are plugins that can help protect your website from the threat of attack and malware. Different security plugins come with various capabilities. Some are very focused while others protect against a myriad of issues. Some even offer a web application firewall that can really enhance your security settings. The right plugin can help protect against DDoS, XXS and even brute force attacks. If your website is doing well, you will benefit from this type of security plugin. There are always unscrupulous people who would rather take what you have than do the hard work themselves.

Backup

Yes, there’s a plugin for that too. Some of these plugins will even let you set automatic backups. This allows you to store your digital data in a remote location. These particular plugins can be invaluable. Some of them are free and there are paid versions too. When it comes to backing up your data, you get what you pay for. Its one of those things you are really grateful for the first time you have to use it. These are the types of plugins that really enhance your site and are relevant across most industries.

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