You’ve just spent thousands of dollars, countless hours, and have had more organizational nightmares than you’d care to admit, but you’re done.
The brand new site design you’ve been working on is finally finished — and it looks great.
However, after a few weeks, you notice something’s missing. Maybe it’s a simple design error, or perhaps, a feature doesn’t work or was overlooked.
Whatever it is, it’s missing and you’re not sure how to fix it.
Hiring an agency or directing your developer’s time to fix it are investment-heavy solutions that’ll eat up more of your budget and time.
Fortunately, there are tons of awesome website plugins that can quickly and easily improve the functionality of any site. Here, we’re going to explore 14 of them.
But first — what is a website plugin?
What Are Website Plugins and Why Are They Important?
Website plugins are individual services that improve a specific functionality of your site.
You might use a website plugin to quickly change visual elements, add extra information or content, offer smoother integration between your site and a favored tool, or even add a completely new feature and function to your web property.
The beauty of website plugins is in their simplicity. The name’s pretty apt, since all you do is download and install, or “plugin.” Simply set one up, and your site can run smoother and offer features your users want.
How to Assess if a Plugin is the Right Solution for You
I’m going to run through a couple of fantastic plugins for different goals below, but first, let’s dive into some general rules on how to find the best plugin for your site.
1. Understand your website platform.
If you’re running your website on Shopify, then a WordPress plugin isn’t going to be of much use.
This typically won’t be a huge issue for you, since a lot of the almost-done-for-you platforms (like WordPress and Shopify) come with simple built-in plugin libraries.
However, whatever your situation, it’s critical you ensure you know what your site’s running on to save you time looking into a solution that’s incompatible.
2. Know your goal.
What are you trying to achieve?
You need to know this upfront so you can look for the plugin with the right functionality.
When you’re figuring this out, go deeper than goals like “more money”. Instead, get specific and outline the issue people are facing on your site, and the action you can take to fix the problem.
For example, “The messaging on the site is too general. If we personalize the messaging we should see conversions increase by X% within [timeframe]”.
3. Conduct research.
Once you’ve narrowed down on your goal, you want to conduct research to find a solution best-fit for your specific problem.
Ideally, you’ll want a plugin that has good reviews, is compatible with your site’s platform, and offers the actual features that can help you achieve your goal.
Once you’ve found a good option, it’s time to get it onto your site for your first test.
Having trouble finding an option? Fortunately, we’ve conducted some of the research for you. Keep reading to learn about our 14 favorite website plugins for 2019.
Good social proof elements can be the difference between a user committing to buy, or exiting your site.
Proof allows you to add social proof in different forms across your site, including current live visitor numbers, notifications of current purchases, and reports of how many people have recently signed up. Ultimately, this is a good tool for you if you feel your site’s viewers could benefit from visualizing how popular your products or services are.
HubSpot’s WordPress plugin gives you an all-in-one marketing and lead generation tool to help you collect leads, create popup forms, live chat with visitors, and send all that data back to a free CRM to use for campaigns.
Of course, the HubSpot platform offers many other growth tools, some of which start free and many others that can help you accelerate your marketing, sales, and service operations.
With the WordPress plugin, you can install it quickly, get started easily, and it’s all free to get going.
RightMessage is a tool focused primarily on better serving your customers through personalized content.
It has a few key features that make it a fantastic solution. First, you’re able to segment users based on slide-in questionnaires, acquisition source, or tags from your email service provider or CRM. Then, based on those segments you can dynamically change messaging and CTAs to better appeal to that segment and increase conversion rates.
Additionally, the plugin integrates with a ton of site platforms including HubSpot, WordPress, and Squarespace.
LimeSpot is an ecommerce-specific plugin that’s available through the Shopify app directory.
It runs on powerful AI that analyzes user behavior as both an individual, and as part of a cohort to build out their user profile.
Once the AI’s analysis is complete, it makes dynamic product recommendations that are specific to each user — massively increasing relevancy and conversions.
Knowing how your users are interacting with your site is key to understanding where there are UX issues and design problems.
HotJar’s heat maps provide you with an overview of user engagement on the whole. It can help highlight which CTAs and links are too vague, where you’re losing people in long-form content, and even allows session recordings for real-time analysis.
As an extra bonus, HotJar offers feedback polls for more explicit data collection.
Simply put, Qualaroo takes the feedback element of HotJar to the next level.
With Qualaroo you’re given a suite of features that automatically collect user data through more advanced targeting. You also have the option of including elements like decision trees to dig deeper with your questions.
Jumper.ai is technically a social commerce tool that allows brands to sell directly through their social media channels without the need for a store.
However, Jumper.ai also offers a plugin that takes their checkout bot and allows you to run it directly on your site. With Jumper, you can add a conversational checkout bot directly on your product or service landing pages.
For instance, here’s how it would look on a blog post:
Ideally, a checkout chatbot can help you increase conversions and improve your site’s user experience.
Intercom allows you to install a small widget in the bottom right corner of your site to engage users with live chat solutions.
You’re able to have operators jump in to help users with live chat, or set up automated chatbots. Additionally, you can use the tool to offer in-app support if you’re running a SaaS solution.
Best of all, Intercom also comes with an email marketing solution to further meet your business needs.
OptinMonster is a lead generation service that gives you the ability to target your offers to specific user segments.
You can ensure that your OptinMonster offers and forms only show up when someone has been on your site for a set period of time, displays exit intent, or have visited certain pages. Ideally, this will help you guarantee your offers are reaching people once they’re eager to learn more.
10. Yoast SEO Plugin
SEO is a complex discipline to master, so every bit of help you can get will save time for you and your business.
Yoast’s SEO plugin isn’t a perfect solution, but if you’re not a professional SEO expert and just need a good overview of your actions, Yoast’s plugin can help you keep things on track and ensure you’re truly optimizing your site for search.
For instance, the tool can amend meta descriptions for you, so you know you’re only showing key information in search results and social shares. When you’re busy or don’t have the resources to dedicate to SEO, Yoast can help you level-up.
WooCommerce is one of the bigger ecommerce solutions out there. If you have a WordPress website and want to add ecommerce elements, WooCommerce is an incredibly useful solution.
WooCommerce is a pretty large service with a big user base. It’s a perfect addition for WordPress users who want to start selling their own products.
Drift has taken the concept of conversational marketing to the next level, and is a great addition to other marketing tools in your arsenal.
With its ability to target based on account, the messages you can send with Drift will be far more personalized and detailed than they would otherwise.
13. VWO A/B testing
Testing different elements of your site, from headlines and images to CTAs and messaging, is key to improving your marketing strategy over time.
However, running individual A/B tests can be time-consuming and difficult. Fortunately, the VWO A/B testing tool is an all-in-one solution that automatically runs A/B tests on your pages, and improves the overall optimization of your website.
Prooffactor adds social proof elements, including who recently bought a product and live visitor counts, to your site to ensure new visitors can quickly visualize the popularity of your products or services.
Best of all, Prooffactor also offers gamified pop-ups to add another lead generation element to your site and further engage new prospects.
What Website Plugin Will Work for You?
There are countless website plugins out there, and each one aims to solve a unique website problem.
Generally speaking, your goal with your website should be making your purchase or sign-up journey as frictionless as possible for your users — ideally, a plugin can help create a simpler process for your site visitors.
If you’re looking for a free website plugin that’ll help you generate more qualified leads, check out HubSpot’s free solution here.