It might seem odd to write about the most expensive plugins. Truth be told, it is not a traditional qualifier when recommending a product. But when it comes to plugins, we often get so caught up in what we can get for free that we stop thinking about the value that premium plugins can offer. More to the point, what does a premium plugin price tag get you? Often these prices are going towards upkeep, maintenance, updates, and most importantly- support. These things all take time, and we will never get the growth and advancement in plugins without the hard work that these premium developers put in. Here are a few plugins that we think have huge value, despite a larger price point.
Security on WordPress is paramount. If you are running a site without it, you are looking for big trouble. Sucuri makes this list because it is a real-time security solution that is constantly updated and curated, make it one of the best security plugins out there. With the, you can perform audits on the security of your site at any time. With the premium version you get so much more including real-time security monitoring, virus definition updates, and a firewall. If you’ve already been hacked, it gives you the tools that you need post-hack. It will also help you “harden” your site against any future attacks.
You cannot put a price on something that saves you time and work. If you could find a tool that would make your life easier when it came to WordPress, that’s something you cannot pass up. ManageWP is a suite of tools that helps to automate your workflow. It helps you manage updates, plugins, and themes. It will also help you with backups and cloning of your site and database (invaluable), client reporting, white labeling, SEO, security, and performance checks. These are all things that must be done to successfully run a site, and with ManageWP you can get it all done with one package.
VaultPress is another fantastic tool that offers security protection, but offers some features you won’t find in other plugins. It protects against a litany of threats that your site can face including hackers, host failure, viruses, malware, exploits, and the dreaded user error. It helps you do this with a host of tools like daily or on-demand backups, site migration, automated file repair, site restores, file scanning, and spam defense.
Do you do business on your website? Do you have an affiliate program? Then you need a tool that helps manage all of that. Linktrackr is a plugin that tracks every sale and lead that you receive from the original click. And it does with outstanding url cloaking. It gives you the ability to track everything about your sale from the source, the medium, and even the campaign. And you can easily decipher all of this information with ROI and profitability reports. So that not only can you track your sales, but you can see what they mean to your bottom line so that you can adjust as needed. And best of all, you can get real time tracking. So, if you have a big campaign push you can pull up the tracker and see the results as they roll in.
Did you know that unprotected forms are one of the most common ways that hackers user to attack your site? With an unprotected form, an attacker can use your form to send out thousands of spam emails at their leisure. And with many hosts, that can mean crashing your mail server and getting your website blacklisted. Gravity Forms is one of the biggest form plugins that you will find for WordPress, and with good reason. It performs a function that every site needs, and does it well. You can easily build forms with the visual designer- from the basic to the very complex and logic-based. It is also highly secure, so your site is protected against spam attacks. Not to mention, Gravity Forms integrates with PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, MailChimp, and a laundry list of other products and services.
Have you noticed a theme with security programs and tools for protecting your site? That’s with good reason. WordPress is a phenomenal platform, but security is not its strong suit. However, it can be hardened and made as secure as any other site if you use the right tools. iThemes has created one such tool. BackupBuddy puts it all in the title as a plugin that does one thing incredibly well, it backs up your site. But unlike some backup solutions this one is not only easy to use, it is a complete backup solution. Not only will it backup posts, or even your whole database, but it backs up everything about your site including your WordPress core, media library, and all files and directories.
If you send out newsletters to your visitors you are probably doing it one of two ways. Either the hard way by actually maintaining a mailing list and using outlook or gmail to manually send it out, or you use a service like MailChimp or Constant Contact. However, there is a solution that allows you to manage everything about your newsletters and email marketing while keeping everything in-house. MailPoet is the newsletter solution of choice for many WordPress users because not only does it do everything you need a newsletter client to do, it gives you all the tools you need to manage your campaigns. Plus, you can see at a glance how you are doing- both statistically, and if you are building a spam score.
Here is another newsletter plugin that is absolutely a value worth the cost. It manages your newsletters and takes care of all of the hard parts so that you can actually spend more time on your site without configuring complicated campaigns. It also makes designing newsletters incredibly easy. You can start sending emails out of the box with several pre-made templates, or you can design your own and save it as a template so that you can streamline your work. You will be able to track your results as well with an easy-to-use console that tells you how you are doing at a glance.