A Simple Must-Have Plugin Checklist for an Affiliate Site

If you operate an affiliate site with a WordPress blog, then you know how frustrating it can be to figure out which plugins you need. There are many choices out there on the web, and some are expensive, difficult to understand, and complex. And if you aren’t all that tech savvy, it can be overwhelming. Which plugins are high quality? Which are safe to install and won’t “break” your affiliate site? The goal of an affiliate website is to make money. Therefore, if it goes down due to a faulty plug in that was installed, this could be the same as throwing money down a drain.

However, the good news is that there are a number of plugins out there that are easy to use, to install, and that won’t break the bank. Read on for a brief yet effective checklist of the best plugins for an affiliate site.

1. Wordfence Security (Free)  

There are many different types of security software out there, but as an affiliate you need the peace of mind knowing that your site is fully secure and at a reasonable price.

WordFence Security is a protective barrier, shielding websites against cyber attacks, hackers, and other threats. WordFence also offers a deep set of security utilities that can protect your website from security threats. The premium set of features is available for a nominal monthly fee.

Features:

  • Firewall – A complete and scalable protection from security threats, including intrusions and brute force attacks.
  • Scan – Real time threat defense that monitors websites for spam and malware, that is comprehensive and constantly updated.
  • Live Traffic – This feature allows you to view; blocked cyber threat attempts, Google crawler activity, bots and crawlers, as well as human visitors.
  • Tools – A simple, yet powerful feature, Tools allows you to enable two-factor authentication, repair files, and monitor disk space.

2. Yoast SEO (Free)

Yoast is a very popular, full-feature SEO optimization plugin that offers a collection of products to help websites get found in a Google search.

Here is a rundown of some of the pros and cons of the free version of Yoast:

Free Version Pros

  • Keyword optimization
  • Preview of your page
  • Readability check
  • Full control over your breadcrumbs

Free Version Cons

  • No internal linking suggestions
  • Must check text very thoroughly to make sure it is focused
  • Ads for other products offered by Yoast

3. UpdraftPlus (Free)

This plugin sets the standard for all backup software designed for WordPress. In essence this plugin will protect your site from hackers, crashes, corrupt updates, and user errors by providing backups that can replace any possible data contingency.

Why Choose UpdraftPlus

  • Easy to use – The interface is simple yet comprehensive, with a one-click backup or restore feature.
  • Trusted – Updraft has been tested in more backup and restore scenarios than any other backup plugin for WordPress.
  • Comprehensive – A complete and general-purpose backup and restore plugin, with more features and tools than any other software.

What UpdraftPlus Does

  • Backup – Completely backs up critical files, databases, plugins and themes, either manually or scheduled.
  • Set a Schedule – Schedules can be broken down into four hour blocks, or spaced out over days, weeks and months.
  • Restore – A simple and easy to use restoration process, controlled right from the WordPress control panel.

4. WP Fastest Cache (free)

All affiliate sites need a good cache plugin. This plugin is free and speeds-up load times faster than any other Caching plugin offered for WordPress. The free version has the features below.

  • Desktop Cache
    • The desktop cache is a remote cache from your website that doesn’t need to be on the host server. The desktop cache increases data transfer rates. This means that pages load faster on your website.
  • Cache Statistics
    • A set of statistics used to monitor the cache, mobile cache, javascript and CSS memory.  

The premium version has a long list of features and tools. One tool, which helps boost overall speed is the Image Credit system. This feature reduces image sizes in order to boost load times while also maintaining quality, resolution, and clarity. You purchase credits in the free version, but in the premium iteration you receive 1000 credits. One image equals one credit.

5. AdSanity ($49)

This plugin increases ad generation performance. It allows you to easily and seamlessly create and manage website ads. AdSanity also offers statistics on views and clicks.

Here are some of the powerful features an affiliate site would use.

  • Scalability – Many of the features can be added through the add-ons feature. Only the core features are included upon installation. This makes the plugin scalable, light, and very fast. Other features can be added as needed.
  • Graphical Statistics – AdSanity is setup for ease and function. A per ad statistic is generated so the administrator can quickly gauge the performance of individual ads. Also, the administrator can call up custom statistics for individual ads in a specified date range.
  • Publishing Options – The plugin allows for two publishing options: infinite or date based. Either option can be applied to individual ads.
  • Display Options – AdSanity was developed with the idea that ads should be easy to place on a website. There are widgets, shortcodes, and template tags available to place ads anywhere on a website.

One can clearly see that finding and installing the best plugins for affiliates site is entirely possible. There are a handful of paid and free plugins available; however, all of them involve very little upfront costs and time.

Even if you determine that a paid plugin will work best for your affiliate site, the costs are still relatively low, and they can easily help maximize ROI. After all, affiliate websites are designed to make money. So, regardless of your affiliate business or website, you are sure to benefit from this short checklist of must-have plugins.

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