WordPress is the worlds most popular content management system and powers over 74 million websites.  After several years of working with multiple content management systems, we have found that WordPress is easy for non-technical people and technical people alike.  To help and provide guidance, we wanted to put out a post on free useful plugins that secure your website and improve the user experience.

Locking Down the Login

The plugin is called Login LockDown.  We need to be proactive and make sure that our site and its data is protected from data breaches and defacement’s.  This plugin, by default limits users to three attempts to login in five minutes.  If a hacker tries to guess your password it will take them a very long time since they will keep getting locked out from the login.

What we like about Login LockDown is that it records the IP address, the location the user is trying to login from.  If someone is trying to hack your user id, you will not get locked out as long as they are on another network.  If you forget your password and get locked out, you can wait an hour and try again or submit for a password reset.

Optimizing Your Pages For Search

Yoast SEO is a great plugin that you can use to optimize your pages and posts for search.  It achieved our list for its ease of use and overall effectiveness.  To maximize impact, it is recommended that you hire a professional who specializes in search optimization to configure and optimize your Yoast SEO settings.  If you would like to try to implement it yourself, Yoast SEO does have some great documentation for most of its features.

One aspect of Yoast SEO that I like in particular is the ability it has to simplify the process of connecting your WordPress site to popular webmaster tools.  To authenticate your website to Yandex, Bing, Google Search Console, and Alexa, you are required to authenticate your site with a special code.  Yoast SEO makes this very easy.  Once you install Yoast SEO click on ‘SEO’ on the left navigation bar of your WordPress dashboard and then click ‘Webmaster Tools’.

Online Commerce Made Easier

Setting up an online store can be difficult, but with this most useful plugin, users can add a store to their site in a few minutes.  WooCommerce has some added extensions that you may need to add for the best experience, but it comes with a fairly extensive core.  WooCommerce has over 7 million downloads and 350 contributors keeping it up to date and supported.

As you start to work with WooCommerce you may notice that its user experience is very similar to other online stores that you have shopped.  This plugin currently powers 29% of all online stores! That is impressive.

At its core, WooCommerce allows store operators to list and manage products with a variety of product types and variables.  It also provides a mechanism for managing your inventory.  This plugin allows you to have a fully functional shopping cart system that provides a seamless system for customers to buy products.  Additionally, WooCommerce allows you to manage sales tax, tax classes, and shipping prices.

WooCommerce has a simplified coupon system so that you can easily add coupons, along with automated discounts.

There are many more resources and functionality in its core.  For more information go to the WooCommerce site.