With a few plugins, widgets, and add-ons, you can boost your website’s performance. These are the essential tools every digital publisher needs to know about.
What does it take to run a digital publication in 2021? It takes a lot of hard work, for sure. But standing out from the crowd also means having a website that runs at peak performance. Mobile optimization and lightning-fast page speeds are only the beginning.
Having a website with slow load times leads to poorer performance in Google search and higher bounce rates. It also leads to decreased rates of engagement, since readers on their mobile devices don’t want to sit around waiting for slow article pages to load. Surveys have shown that just a one-second delay can reduce visitor satisfaction by 16%.
How can you make sure your website is achieving peak performance? Digital publishers who run their websites on the WordPress platform are finding that they can use specialized plugins, widgets, and add-ons to optimize their websites for mobile users and decrease page load times.
In this article, we’re introducing you to the very best plugins, widgets, and add-ons designed to boost your website’s performance. Here we go!
6 Plugins, Widgets, and Add-Ons to Boost Your Website’s Performance
1. WP News and Scrolling Widgets
How can you increase the dynamics of your website and make it easier for visitors to navigate? Consider adding news archives, scrolling news widgets, and thumbnails. WP News and Scrolling Widgets is a simple solution that digital publishers are using to create and manage special news sections on their existing websites. The plugin adds a News tab to the admin menu, so you can enter news items just like you would normal posts. A number of premium features are also available if you want more customization options, including newer layouts, designs for the news grid, and Gutenberg block supports.
2. Ditty News Ticker
If you want a more custom news ticker, then the Ditty News Ticker is a WordPress plugin that’s worth checking out. Ditty News Ticker is actually a multi-functional data display plugin with three ticker modes: scroll mode, rotate mode, and list mode. It’s built to easily be extended to account for extra ticker types, including post tickers, Twitter tickers, and Facebook tickers. Each individual ticker post has multiple settings that publishers can customize.
3. WP RSS Aggregator
RSS feeds are a topic that a lot of digital news publishers are interested in. WP RSS Aggregator turns any WordPress website into a content aggregator. Publishers have the ability to quickly import, merge, and display RSS feeds on their websites without any coding whatsoever. Larger publishers with multiple websites will appreciate the ability to quickly pull content from those websites onto other publications and blogs. That includes articles, of course, but also job listings, real estate listings, and other types of content.
We’ve talked about the best commenting plugins, widgets, and add-ons before. By far, the most popular pick among today’s digital news publishers is Disqus. Disqus helps publishers engage directly with readers via a commenting system that replaces WordPress’ default commenting system. Disqus installs quickly, and it automatically imports all existing comments, so you aren’t starting from scratch after making the switch. Disqus helps to improve website SEO by getting user generated content ranking on Google, which ends up being one of the single best ways to boost your website’s performance.
5. WordPress Popular Posts
One way to increase content discoverability on your website is by listing the most popular posts somewhere prominently on the homepage. With the WordPress Popular Post plugin, you can add a widget to your website that displays your most popular posts based on real-time traffic data and page views. Depending on your needs, you can even create multiple widgets, each with its own settings. This allows you to put your best-performing content front and center, so you can entice visitors to stick around your website for longer.
6. Widget Options
What should you do once you’ve added most (or all) of the essential plugins for local news publishers to your website? How do you take your website to the next level? One way is by trying a plugin like Widget Option. Widget Options is a WordPress plugin that allows you to control your sidebar widgets by assigning different contents or contexts to those widgets. If your website has multiple pages that you want to manage from a single dashboard, then Widget Options can provide you with a way to configure your widgets’ settings based on the device being used to view the webpage. For example, you can assign pages visibility or restrict widgets on specific pages or posts.
Looking for even more plugins to boost your website’s performance? Check out Web Publisher PRO’s list of the top social media plugins for digital publishers.