WordPress has a 50 to 60% of market share in the global CMS marketplace, which makes it the most popular CMS around. It is also the fastest growing Content Management System as more than 500 websites are built using WordPress every day. Compare these states with the Shopify and Squarespace that get 60 to 80 websites daily.
Now that we know how important WordPress is in the CMS market, we can imagine where the value of WordPress plugins stand. According to a survey, about 1.83 billion WordPress plugins were downloaded in the year 2016 and the figures are swelling every month. These stats and the technical abilities we had were more than enough for the motivation to introduce this top WordPress search plugin to the market, named as wpsolr. The idea is not new buy the features that we have embedded into this plugin are absolutely a no match compared to its lookalikes.
Let’s start our analysis and rankings for the top WordPress plugins of 2018.
One of the most desired and searched plugins of 2018 were related to browsing and advanced search. We know what value a search engine adds to a website. The visitors love it when they find quick and accurate results and have the luxury to filter the results according to their requirements. Most websites that offer an accurate and user-friendly search have a greater conversion and satisfaction rate. Wpsolr is an advanced WordPress search plugin that lets you search faster and with greater control. Let me enlist some of the most common features you will get if you use this search plugin.
- Fast Results: Time is important, we have seen that the visitors have enough number of websites to buy their products from. They do not wait for the results for long and move on to the next available marketplace. There are about 10 million websites created on a daily basis, about 1 billion products added to the stores every month and a total of 80 million blogs or related content added every year to different websites. Now imagine where you will stand if your website has a search that takes time to fetch the data. How will you retain your visitors with a slow and outdated search plugin? Well, worry no more. We have got you covered. We are offering the advanced AJAX-based WordPress search that uses HTTP to HTTP requests and asynchronous calls to fetch and display the results in no time. We know how Google remains the top search engine, its algorithms are extremely efficient and they provide the fastest results to the users. Imagine filtering results from a billion websites and displaying results within a second. That’s what makes Google the best out of the lot. This is exactly what we have embedded in our search plugin, we have used algorithms that enhance the user experience by producing accurate results in no time. Try WPSOLR once, you will know the value yourself.
- AJAX based search results: AJAX is a technique that displays search results without the need to refresh all the page contents. Which means faster results. You will get the specialized sections updated according to your search query and the rest of the content will remain the same. The auto-suggestion and auto-completion add more value to the user experience. It doesn’t matter if you do not know the exact name, you can try some letters and get the results like you get on Google.
- Pinpoint Accuracy: We have seen that 60% of the users have a slight clue of what they want, they need the website to complete their query by suggesting the relevant results. WPSOLR makes sure that the website visitors get the most accurate results matching their query.
- WordPress Advanced Search Filters: Browsing with desired search filters is the second most used feature in WordPress search plugins. This is where WPSOLR stands out with amazing new features and advanced search results. When a user gets the results displayed, he can select the search filters to narrow down the results. Personally, I don’t think that any search is complete without the search filters. If the user can’t narrow down the results, the plugin is essentially useless. Most websites have thousands of products in different categories, and it is very tiresome to go through each page and find the desired product. We make it easier for the visitors to reach where they intend to. The plugin admin can select from a wide range of options and embed the filters into their website.
WPSOLR packages and offerings
WPSOLR is offering two packages that include all the basic features in each package while some high-value add-ons in its premium package. Let’s have a look at the details of these packages
a- Starter Pack: This package offers all of the aforementioned features with complete control on the plugin. Following is the list of features you will get in the starter pack that costs only €48/Year/Site
i- Unlimited data and queries, which means it does not matter if you have even a million products in your WordPress website
ii- AJAX search templates to enhance and customize user experience
iii- Filters widget that we spoke about. You will have full control
iv- You can get search features for any type of posts
v- You can add custom fields and taxonomies
vi- You can use the attached files feature that support about 70 formats
vii- Zendesk support is also included in the starter pack
This, in short, includes all the modern features you need to embed a high-value search on your WordPress website.
b- All Packs (Premium): This package will cost you €199/Year/Site and includes all the features that we discussed in the starter pack. You might be thinking, what are the extra features you will get? Well, let me enlist all the extras that you will get in this package
i- You will get theme advanced customizations and the Crontab generator JSON API
ii- Yith woocommerce AJAX search and Listify
iii- You will also get woocommerce and Yoast SEO plugin.
iv- All in one SEO pack plugin
v- Geolocation and tablepress WordPress plugins, ACF PRO Custom post type user interface.
vi- WPML, Ploylang, Groups, s2member and bbpress plugins
vii- You would be able to embed any document
viii- Google doc embedder and a plugin that will allow you easy file transfers if you switch from one server to another without losing any data.
So, you will get all the plugins you need to start a fantastic WordPress website with modern and advanced features. This is your choice if you need all in one pack that makes your life easier.
Now let me elaborate some of the most important points that make WPSOLR the top WordPress plugin of 2018. We have not ranked it the number one without some facts and figures. Let’s have a look.
i- The number of websites in each category has been increasing exponentially. No doubt the external results of the search engines is still the most important in order to get more sales. But the conversion rate is the second most important factor that most webmasters work on. WPSOLR makes sure that the user gets the same level of search results on your website and reach the desired product.
ii- Most websites nowadays have thousands and even millions of products. This gets them ranked on Google and other search engines but they have to include a search engine within their website to enhance the user experience as well.
iii- The premium package offers add-ons that will enhance your website even more
According to a survey by NetCraft, there are more than 1 billion websites created to date. The stats show that over 200 million websites are currently in an active state as well. So, why are these stats important? They are important because you know you will have a lot of competitors waiting in line with more or less the same product you are about to launch. You will have to do a lot to stand out and earn your share.
This is what makes YOAST SEO the second best WordPress plugin of 2018. They are offering a user interface in the WordPress admin panel where you can customize all your pages for the on-page SEO and also customize what the viewers see on the search engines. According to a study, the search engine snippet performs a key role to increase the click-through rate. So, even if your website is ranked well and you get impressions, you will need YOAST SEO WordPress plugin to enhance the user experience by providing the liberty to customize search engine snippet.
No matter how hard you work on your off page SEO and get thousands of backlinks, it is always a matter of On Page SEO that gets you better results. A strong base is important to build a structure that lasts long. I am enlisting some of the basic yet handy features YOAST SEO plugin is offering
- On Page Search Engine Optimization: Most of you would be familiar with the term SEO. The term on page SEO means that your page has the correct meta tags and sitemaps for the search engine crawling. Your website should tell the crawlers what you are about and what you are trying to sell. This is the only way you will get relevant traffic through the search engines. YOAST SEO provides you with this feature. You can go to the pages of your website and see your SEO score. It is very easy to understand and start using this plugin without any experience or expertise. Even if you are a beginner, you can easily go along and complete the configurations by following simple steps.
- Search Engine Snippet: It is important how your content appears to the viewers on the search engine. This is something that you might not know already. Only the expert SEO analysts know the details and the importance of search engine snippet. Let me explain it this way, if you go and search a specific product on Google, you will see ten results on the first page of Google and all of the results will be relevant to your query. How do you think the viewer will decide which link to follow? The user will definitely follow the link that offers more relevant and organized content. This is where YOAST comes in handy. You can customize your content, blogs, and products and control how it appears on the search engines. The amazing prototype view of your snippet will appear as soon as you start adding a new post edit an old one.
- Suggestions for optimization: YOAST SEO also offers suggestions to improve and enhance your content. Let me explain each step in a little detail.
This is where you see the required actions to make sure your content is SEO optimized. You will see 5 to 8 points suggested by YOAST SEO WordPress plugin to optimize your plugin. If you follow the rules, you will be taken to the next step.
This is where you will see some improvements that will enhance the user experience on your website. YOAST will suggest what you should do to improve your content’s visibility.
YOAST will have this step to suggest some extras that will make your content stand out from your competitors.
- If you are a beginner and do not know much about SEO, this plugin will help you get along and get better results without investing thousands of bucks paying SEO analysts to do these simple things.
YOAST basic is for free and it is enough for the beginners. You will get keyword tools and search engine snippet tools. The on-page SEO tool is also included in the basic plugin features. So, why should you buy the premium YOAST SEO plugin? Let me tell you why.
- The first major feature you will get is a tool that allows multiple focus keywords within one post. You might have to target more than one keywords within one post, this will definitely result in higher search rankings as one product could be searched with different keywords on Google.
- A social media preview tool that will allow you to set how your content appears on social media websites. This is important when you share your content on social media to get some traffic and brand awareness.
- Keyword linking tool is also a part of the premium YOAST plugin that allows better and enhanced keyword linking within your website. If your content is well linked within your website, Google will know that your content is authentic. It will also enhance the time a user spends on your website.
All of these features combine to get your website ranked well. This is why YOAST SEO plugin is one of the best in 2018.
3- Comet Cache:
It is important to understand how caching effects a website before we go deep into the details of Comet Cache WordPress plugin. We see that a browser has to fetch two types of data when we enter a specific URL into the address bar. Data that is to be fetched from a dynamic database has to be refreshed every time, for example, the search results. There is data that is mostly related to the design and static images. Imagine how the speed of a website will improve if some of these static images and text content are fetched from a local library and the rest from the updated database? This is how caching work, you tell the browser what data is to be stored in the cache and what is to be fetched from the server every time the website is reloaded. This is what Comet Cache does. It allows you to select the data that you want to be reloaded every time and the data that you want to be stored in the browser cache. This will greatly enhance the website loading speed and thus help in conversions.
The best part is the Comet Cache is absolutely free to use, you don’t have to pay anything to enhance the website speed and the user experience. I will enlist some of the main features of this WordPress plugin.
- Controlled caching for the website content through an easy to use user interface
- Caching for the WordPress theme and plugin developers
- URI pattern controls
- 404 response caching with greater control
- WP-CLI Compatibility within the plugin
- Ability to control or neglect URLs with GET query strings
- HTTP referrer exclusion patterns that are supported on wildcards as well. Client-Side Caching and the ability to set an automatic expiration time for cache files.
With all these controls, you create a user experience that is valuable and helps to convert more visitors into customers. The reason why we find Comet Cache the best out the many Caching plugins is that it is free to use and has all the features that are required. Comet Caching falls on the number 3 in our list of top WordPress plugins in 2018.
4- Contact Form 7:
You know how important it is to make sure your website’s visitors have a modern and easy way to contact you. Contact Form 7 provides a beautiful layout and a strong backend to manage this feature. You get a user interface control and data control all in one place. You can control where your data goes after a user clicks on the submit button. Some clients would want the data to be emailed and others would want to see the data in their admin panel. Contact form 7 has made it very easy to handle, you just have to follow simple steps to control all sorts of form operations on your websites. Their beautiful form widgets and snippets present a wide range of design options. The liberty to customize your contact forms make this plugin the best among the others. This plugin is absolutely free to use and a major reason why so many people are using it. You don’t pay for a service if you are getting the same and even more for FREE. Ninja Forms is another excellent plugin that does almost the same and yet charges eighteen pounds a year.
5- Easy social share buttons:
With all the new social media websites and mobile apps trending in the year 2017 and 2018, it is very important that your website has a proper and professional integration of social media share buttons. Almost every person who uses a smartphone has some sort of social media installed and activated. If your website has easy share buttons you are most likely to get ten times more visitors and sales. Easy social share buttons WordPress plugin is not free to use, it will cost $19 and you will get full control of every social media activity on your website. You can select and customize what social media buttons appear, where they appear and how they appear.
6- Optin Monster:
You might have seen pop-ups on many websites that you visit. The pop-ups that as for your email and offer some value in return. These are generally used to generate leads. This is something you need so that you can contact your website’s visitors in person and tell them your customized packages if they don’t like what they see on the website. Optin Monster allows you to this with liberty and offers a lot of lead generation options. The following features are included in the basic package of the plugin that will cost you $108 per year
Pop Up forms:
These forms appear on your website when someone reloads a page. Most people tend to ignore it, but there are many who would happily leave their email so that you can contact them later. A better way is to offer some value in return so that more people are urged to input their contact email address. You might also have seen that a pop up appears just when you are about to leave a website, this is the best time to show your pop up. This plugin can do that for you, so you can sell the packages on your website but in case the visitor find them irrelevant, you can offer the best you have. It was not long ago when I visited a website hosting company’s web portal. Just when I was about to leave they offered me a flat 50% discount, I clicked on the add coupon button and it worked. However, I still wanted to leave so it offered me an additional 20% discount again. The price went so low that I couldn’t resist buying the package. This happens in most cases. This is the reason why we have put Optin Monster among the top WordPress Plugins in 2018
It also offers floating bars that go alongside your content and you can use them to add some call to action buttons. These buttons can either be used for lead generation or a higher number of conversions. For example, if your website has a blog section and your blog about a certain product gets ranked. You will get traffic on that blog page, but how do you think this traffic will help in more sales? I think floating bars would be the best way to tell the readers that you are actually selling these products at discounted rates or with added value.
Optin Monster adds a lot of real-time value to your website and it will help you generate more leads and get more sales. The features are not limited to pop up ads and floating bars, but these are the most important features Optin Monster has to offer. You can also use their sign up forms that are specific to mobiles and tablets.
7- Page Builder:
Most of the themes have a built-in page builder that allows changing the page layout and design patterns. However, not all of those page builders are easy to use. Page Builder is free to use plugin that allows changing the design layouts of your landing pages or the post pages. Now, you can customize your website’s pages and posts as per your requirements. You can add customized rows and columns to your page and change colors, background images or embed videos. It is very much a drag and drop page builder that requires no technical skills to create new pages or to edit the existing ones. Let me enlighten you on some of the finest features this plugin has
Drag and Drop:
It has a drag and drop section where you can add rows or columns to your website pages. These sections are customizable as well. For example, changing text, color, images or embedding videos.
This page builder also allows you to embed some widgets into the new sections added to an existing page.
You can either import or export designs from other sources, or clone the current pages using the Page Builder.
Page Builder is absolutely free to use whereas its competitor Beaver Builder is very costly. They charge $99 per year for one website and $399 if you remove their branding from the page designs. Beaver Builder is also a front-end page builder that lets you create or customize website pages with more or less the same functionalities.
8- WP-SpamShield Anti-Spam:
If you have ever owned a website that is ranked well on Google. It is highly likely that you have already used some sort of anti-spam WordPress plugin. WP-SpamShield protects the websites from spammers. It introduces Captcha whenever someone tries to bombard a website with spam in comments or in contact forms.
Once you have established a good ranking on google, have a good representation of content on your website, this plugin becomes handy. You will need it to avoid a lot of unseen content on your website and in your inbox. I have personally been irritated by the spammers many times. As for no reason, they would try and submit their links and product descriptions on websites that are not even relevant. If you want to avoid that, you would love this WordPress anti-spam plugin. It is free to use and offers top-notch services. It adds an anti-spam layer and protects all your form data and comments. The best thing about WP-SpamShield is that it integrates perfectly with almost all of the contact form WordPress plugins available on the market. This is on the number eight in our list of the top WordPress plugins in 2018. It’s competitor ‘Clean Talk’ charges $8 per year and is also a very good spam shield. You can choose either one of those plugins as the price of CleanTalk is quite affordable.
Have you ever lost your data because the server collapsed? Or because your web hosting provider ended the agreement? Well, you are lucky if you haven’t experienced it yet. To avoid it in the future, you must have some sort of backup of your files. Most of the web hosting providers have this option but they are quite expensive to use. So, why not try the new UpdraftPlus WordPress plugin that is free to use. It allows you to create multiple backups of your files and upload them to popular servers such as the Dropbox, Amazon, Rack Space, Google Drive or Cloud Files. There are many reasons backups are handy. Websites are open and prone to attackers and hackers. It is always wise to have a complete and updated backup of all your files in order to prevent a huge timeout and loss of precious data. UpdraftPlus offers the solution in its basic package. There is also a premium version of UpdraftPlus that allows uploading to some additional servers and also allows cloning of the websites. The premium version can also be used on multiple websites and it costs $70 per year. Which is not that expensive, looking at the services you are getting. Vault Press is another WordPress plugin that is related to security and backup. It also has a free and a paid version. You can try this one out as well, it offers more or less the same features. Currently, there are about 800,000 websites that are using this plugin.
10- WP Smush:
Your website’s design is very important, the designers use different sections, colors, and images to make sure the page looks appealing to the eyes. Images play a vital role in enhancing the overall design, but they also take a lot of space. Particularly if you have used HD images. Which is usually the case because the low-resolution images often look stretched and thus they make the web page look bad and unprofessional. WP Smush is a WordPress plugin that is used to compress the images used on a web page. The plugin has the option to either automatically reduce the images sizes or leave it up to you to manage images in different chunks. Google Page Speed Insights show that WP Smush plays a vital role in reducing the file sizes and thus improving the website speed. That too without affecting the design patterns of the website.
This is your way to success if you are looking for an effective internet marketing plugin. It lets you know what people are sharing, what they are clicking and the latest trends that could be handy for your current campaigns. This is the plugin to use if you are looking to grow your email list using its multiple features like pop-ups and welcome bars. Surveys have shown better results with SumoMe Pro than the basic FREE version, so you should buy the Pro version if you are really serious about growing your business online.
12- NEXGEN Gallery:
More than 3 million people install different plugins for image galleries every year. Half of these people use Nextgen Gallery plugin. This is the best WordPress plugin in 2018 to manage your images and offerings. Most of the websites that have images as showcase products tend to use this plugin. Artists, photographers and travel enthusiasts find it very useful. The number of daily and monthly downloads of this plugin compelled us to include it into the list of top WordPress plugins in 2018.
13- Google Analytics WD:
There is a possibility that you have already used Google Analytics for your website’s data analysis. Now, you can see the Google Analytics data on your WordPress Dashboard using this amazing plugin. The idea is absolutely amazing and the plugin is very accurate in showcasing the results.
If you are not already familiar with the Google Analytics, let me explain it to you. It is a service by Google where you have to put a shortcode in your website’s header and Google provides you with a dashboard. This dashboard contains all the data related to your website. The daily and weekly visitors, the place of those visitors, the device these visitors are using and the content that is being visited the most. It also offers a real-time tracking of the sessions, which means you can see how many people are using your website at a given time. You can view their locations and the devices they are using. You can also see which page or product is getting the most number of hits.
Getting all this data on your WordPress dashboard is absolutely amazing. This is what inspired us about this plugin and we had to put it on the list of the top WordPress plugins in 2018
14- DISQUS comment system:
Your products and blog posts can reach more people if you use DISQUS for the commenting. It is a plugin that can be integrated with ease and is also free to use. It enables the visitors to leave comments on your blog posts or the products. Most people use DISQUS to share the post with their friends as well. There are other plugins for the commenting as well, one popular plugin is the Facebook commenting plugin. But for that, you have to have a Facebook account and you have to be logged in to as well, in order to leave your comments. Most people are not logged into Facebook on all their devices, however, most people are logged in to their Google accounts which is most commonly used to sign up for DISQUS.
15- Zendesk Chat:
Studies have proved that live chat is important in converting the visitors into customers. The stats show that most of the websites that have a live chat option and have the agents to respond quickly are more likely to get regular clients. Zendesk offers a live chat solution. This is one of the finest plugins in 2018 and it provides great value to your website. According to a survey, about 83% of the visitors need customer support while they are ordering something online, now do your math and imagine what this plugin can add to your website’s value. A live chat plugin with a professional customer support agent will increase your sales exponentially. Zendesk Chat WordPress plugin should be your first choice for this purpose.
The year 2018 has been remarkable for the IT industry. We have seen many new startups and many ideas getting to life. We have seen that WordPress has also evolved as the best CMS for many businesses. The official website of WordPress is one of the most visited websites in the world. The WordPress Plugins that we mentioned in this article have been evaluated with great care and we are certain that most people will agree with our rankings. If you have a different opinion, feel free to add your comments. Thank you for reading.