We don’t have to tell you why WordPress is our preferred platform and recommendation for clinicians in private practice. What we will tell you is this: these are the best free WordPress plugins that we install on many websites. Throughout this blogpost, we’ll be describing plugins in simple terms – you can take it in and choose which of these are right for your website. If you read through this and decide you need assistance with it, we can help!
Unlocking Potential: Why the Best Free WordPress Plugins Are Vital for Clinician Websites
If you aren’t familiar with WordPress and maybe on another platform like Showit, Squarespace or Shopify that doesn’t have “plugins”, let me explain. Plugins serve as things we can use to “add onto” the functionality of our websites. For an example, when you initially create a WordPress website, it doesn’t automatically have the ability to have an online shop. To achieve this, we have to install a plugin to do so.
Now, it’s important to make note that while plugins are awesome and can really provide us so many different functions on our websites, they do have their tradeoffs.
The more plugins you have, the slower your website can get. Imagine that you had an amazing website with 150+ plugins installed to achieve your desired functionality. You then have to decide if features are more important than function. A slow website is a big no!
How The Best Free WordPress Plugins Benefit Your Website
That said, the right plugins can really kickoff your website and make it unique in comparison to your competitors. In our opinion, it’s best to have a powerful website (built in a smart way) that can do many things – creating a sense of “I can’t get this anywhere else!” is a huge way to generate leads through your website.
Let’s use the rest of this blogpost to outline the plugins that we’d recommend for your WordPress website. It’s super important that you read through each plugin and what the purpose is. Not all of these plugins are right for every website out there.
The Best Free WordPress Plugins: A Round Up from Chloe Creative
Best Free WordPress Plugins for SEO
All in One SEO: Plugin for SEO Optimization
- Quite the surprise given that many individuals hear about Yoast SEO 🤪. Yoast is a great plugin, but requires that you upgrade your plugin for their premium features. I’ve used All in One SEO for over two years now and consider it way better than Yoast because of how intuitive it is. In my opinion, the layout is cleaner and I LOVE the guided suggestions it gives you for how to better optimize your pages or posts.
Link Whisper: Plugin for SEO Optimization
- Part of the process of optimizing your blogposts (or pages) with SEO is linking out to external or internal resources so that users can stay on your website longer. Linking out to external resources helps to set you up as a professional who can provide even more helpful information outside of what you create within your website. This is one of the best free wordpress plugins because it works as a “scanner” in that it scans keywords within your blogpost that can hyperlink to resources. I love this for hyperlinking to internal blogposts!
Imagify: Plugin for SEO Optimization / Image Compression
- Part of SEO is about optimizing your images in the best way for speed. Speed is a crazy game to play with, but it’s 100% necessary when auditing your website for SEO. I love Imagify because it’s super easy to learn and they have a free plan depending on how many images you upload each month. Essentially, this plugin will automatically optimize and convert your image formats upon upload – so you don’t have to re-optimize after you’ve already put it into your library. It also has a bulk optimizer in the event you have a bulk of photos to optimize.
Best WordPress Plugins for Miscellaneous
Akismet Anti-Spam: Removing Spammy Bots
- If you have a WordPress website, you know the pains of dealing with the spammy bots that seem to always comment on your posts or submit a form. It’s one of the most annoying things about WordPress – but it has nothing to do with your website appearing spammy. In order to get rid of these, you can install this plugin to filter out those unwanted messages.
Smash Balloon Instagram Feed: Linking Your Instagram to Website
- You shouldn’t stop marketing all areas of business once you have your website up and running. Instead, find ways to connect them! With the Smash Balloon plugin, you can embed your latest posts on your website. This allows users scrolling through your website to click on your feed and be automatically directed straight to your profile. I always include these on client websites.
Tidio Chat Bot: Lead Generation
- Hear me out: I know that chat bots can get annoying when they pop-up on your website everytime you land there. However, I REALLY love this plugin. I’ve converted a handful of clients just by someone messaging and asking a question. You can install this plugin to enable an automated bot to send a message to your website visitors like, “Hey! Anything we can help you with?”. If they respond, you can respond back as a human with your own response just like a text. I love that there’s a free version, but you would need to upgrade if you have lots of traffic on your website per month.
WordPress Fastest Cache: Site Speed Optimization
- Caching is one of those website things that is just plain annoying. If you’ve ever had a website problem and had to speak to technical support, I’m sure they’ve asked you, “Have you tried clearing your browser cache?”. This plugin allows you to manually clear your cache to avoid any styling errors or slow speed times. Sometimes when websites have been visited a lot, they’ll get stuck in a version without edits being seen. Thus, a caching plugin is needed!
WP Code Lite: Custom Headers & Footers
- When you hire a custom website developer, they will surely need to add code into your header or footer. When a developer does this, they are ensuring that the code reflects across your entire website instead of just page by page. This plugin is very simple and works effectively – we normally use this to install header code for email marketing.
Best WordPress Plugins for Website Building
Elementor / Elementor Pro: Page Builder
- Most of you know that I (Chloe) have an extensive background in several types of development: application, desktop application, website and database. Can I build your website strictly from air with code? Yes. Will that be absurdly hard for you to edit? Yes. That’s where page builders come in! They make it easier for you to make edits to your website with confidence – and that’s truly what we want. From using other page builders in the past (Beaver Builder, WP Bakery, Gutenburg, Classic WP Editor, Divi), we firmly believe Elementor is the right choice. It’s fast, easy to edit and they are constantly making improvements to it over time. One of my favorite features is the custom CSS option because it allows me to code fun elements into your website while on a page builder 🥳. Elmentor is free, but we recommend getting Elementor Pro for all of the custom features.
WP Recipe Maker: Recipe Cards for Blogs
- If you are a dietitian, likely you will be blogging about recipes (or you should be, anyway). If so, you need WP Recipe Maker. This is a free plugin that allows you to create recipe cards on your blogpost with the click of a button. Plus, if you know a developer like us, we can custom create your recipe card to be branded with your fonts, colors and logos. Recipe cards are also so important to a dietitian website because they can be pinned to Pinterest.
Memberpress: Membership Functionality
- As a service at Chloe Creative, we can build a custom membership right within your website. This plugin allows for that functionality. Here, you can create gated content that’s paid or unpaid. You can also create courses which is super fun. When creating a membership, we’d also create a “login area” where users can login right to your website and gain access to the materials just as it would if you used Teachable, Kajabi or another leading course platform.
Use These Best Free WordPress Plugins On Your Project!
Book a discovery call with our team if you are intrigued by WordPress and want to explore what it can do for your dietitian or clinician website. We love finding new plugins and developing websites that are going to create that sense of urgency!
Ready to Supercharge Your Site? Share Your Best Free WordPress Plugins or Ask Questions in the Comments Below!
As a design agency for private practice clinicians, we are constantly updating this post with our latest and greatest free website plugins. If you have one that’s not listed, comment below and we’ll add it.