To build a modern site we should first figure out what goes into a modern business website. Every year we see new trends, features, functionalities, design styles emerge and together they make a visual presentation of what a modern website should look and feel like. Within the last few years several must-haves have come on the stage and it feels like they are not going anywhere soon. Responsive layout, clean design, usability, social media integration, easy to navigate interface seem to be ruling recently. As you can see a modern website is all about user experience.
Nowadays more than ever before, users are at the core of website development, and the latest design trends strive to provide the best user experience for every single visitor. The good news is that you can now build a website for your business absolutely all by yourself without the need to hire a developer or a designer. With the powerful tools that the WordPress directory is rich with, you can build a modern website and equip it with the right set of features and functionalities.
Having said that, I suggest you have a look at the key must-haves of modern business websites and offer some cool WordPress tools that can help you bring those features to it along the way.
1. Modern Business Website Template
What I really mean by saying a modern template, is the functionality balanced with usability and clean and engaging design. A good looking, clutter free and easy to navigate website has all the prerequisites to stand out and create a trustworthy identity for your business.
WordPress Business Elite is one of those modern themes that combines style, functionality and ease of use. It’s responsive and is built with best SEO practices in mind. Its clean one page design is a perfect way to show off your company history, team, services, portfolio, blog and gallery. The theme comes with a full-width slider on the homepage and with a functional contact form to help you better connect with your customers.
WordPress Business Elite comes with 10 page templates that you can use to set up various pages. You can also fully configure layout, typography, and widget settings and adjust them to your business needs. It”s a nice looking business theme with an emphasis on user experience and functionality. You can check theme demo to find out how awesome it is.
2. Google Analytics
Understanding your visitors and customers well enough is the key to success for any kind of business. Google Analytics is a powerful tool to get to know your customers and make sure you you’re giving them what they need. It’s an important part for your business growth which can help you collect valuable data and make informed business decisions. Long story short- it’s kind of a tool your business website can’t go without.
If you already have an GA account I have some exciting news for you. You can now access your GA data reports right from the comfort of your WordPress admin area with Google Analytics WD plugin. It’s the official member of Google Analytics Technology Partners Program so its seamless integration and performance is guaranteed. It comes with the most advanced tracking, reporting, data filtering and goal management functionalities, and gives you valuable insights about your audience and kind of interactions they complete on your website.
The best thing about the plugin is that you can also track the sales stats of your eCommerce website, and get detailed reports on your AdSense and AdWords accounts. Isn’t this cool? Apart from the report types available in the plugin, you can as well get custom reports on any metric and dimension and track custom dimensions for logged in users, specific post types and categories, post authors and publishing years. The plugin provides very comprehensive tracking reports which you can also export to CSV and PDF files.
3. Google Maps
Google maps help people find where in the world your business is located. So it’s another must-have for business websites. If you’re website still doesn’t feature one, have a look at WordPress Google Maps plugin. It’s responsive and comes with custom everything to best adjust to your business needs. It allows you to add unlimited maps and mark unlimited locations on them using the built-in icon maker. You can also add polygon, polyline, rectangle, and circle overlays on the maps, and give them various looks with the available map themes and skins.
The best thing, however, that it has to offer to business websites, is its store locator and get directions functionalities. You can highlight several markers on the map within a specified radius and help your customers find the nearest locations around them. Also, enable them to get directions from one point to another with driving, walking, bicycling or transit modes.
4. Contact Form
Every kind of website, be it a personal blog, educational or a corporate one, needs a specific method to enable visitors to contact you. For business websites, the ability to timely respond to visitor requests can make a significant difference in sales or conversion. If you’re still using your email address as the only means to get in touch with you, it’s the high time to switch to a quality contact form. There is a wide variety of contact form plugins out there, but most of them are pretty pricey and are just hard to figure out. With this in mind, the best choice you can make is Form Maker, a great WordPress form builder.
It comes with tons of field options and allows you to create forms for pretty much any purpose, from simple contact forms to multi part forms for questionnaires, registration, application, surveys, etc. The forms come with fields for text input, time and date selection,checkbox for multiple choice, country select, number input, and captcha protection to ensure spam free submissions. There is a list of pre-made forms available and 41 editable themes for different form designs. Form Maker is responsive and super user-friendly.
5. e-Commerce Cart
If you own an online store the chances are high you’ll need a truly dynamic shopping functionality on your website. This is where WordPress ecommerce plugin can be a perfect solution. Ecommerce WD a great choice for online shops due to its intuitive admin interface, fully configurable settings, easy set-up and the availability of various styling options.
The plugin provides detailed information for products and manufacturers, and supports PayPal payment gateway. It comes with Thumbnails, Masonry, List, Blog style and Chess Product Views to best display the items on your store. You can create multiple shipping methods and apply individual taxes to each of them. eCommerce WD comes with order reporting functionality to help you monitor your sales with ease.
6. Search Engine Optimization
A truly indispensable part of every successful business website is SEO optimization. With the right SEO techniques you can get in front of your potential customers and drive significant traffic flow to your website. When we speak about search engine optimization, there is no other better choice to make than Yoast SEO. It’s the most widely used SEO plugin out there, which helps you create a website that search engines love.
The plugin makes you write a keyword rich content, insert image meta descriptions, enable permalinks, write relevant headings and subheadings for posts and, makes sure your post titles are long enough to fit in the search results. The best part about it is that you can see how your posts and pages will look in in the search results with its snippet preview functionality.
7. File Backup Tool
To ensure your website from hacking, server crashes and other types of errors, a good file backup tool is right what your need to obtain upfront. UpdraftPlus is one of those WordPress plugins that is simple, fast and awesome at the same. With its help you can easily backup your website files into the cloud, Dropbox, Rackspace, Google Drive or other available services, and restore them whenever you want. You can set up file backup schedules and select which files to backup and restore. The plugin comes with site a migration option, remote control option, debug mode and other useful features to make the backup of your website files as easy as possible.
8. Security Comes First
WordPress is a pretty secure platform by itself, but an additional layer of security won’t do your website any harm. For business websites security is a primary concern, as with a vulnerable protection you’re at risk of loosing your website and your clients along the way. Sucuri plugin can be your best partner in all matters related to the security of your website. It’s a super powerful tool-set which seamlessly performs security auditing, remote malware scanning, blacklist monitoring and comes with a website firewall. It keeps a good eye on every change that occurs within your website and takes actions to best address them.
9. Caching is Important
Taking into account the importance of caching your website files, we couldn’t miss out WordPress W3 Total Cache plugin. It takes care of the overall performance of your website by improving user experience, increasing server performance, reducing the download time.The benefits of using W3 Total Cache plugin include but are not limited to: improvement of the overall site performance for at least 10 times, improved conversion rates, browser caching, reduced page load time, handling high traffic periods, etc.
Here are some other great caching plugins:
A modern business website is, first of all, a combination of effective, authentic and relevant content. Combined with the above mentioned features and other SEO elements you can take it to the whole new level.
* Note: This is a sponsored post.