When you have a business website, any task you can automate saves you valuable time. Luckily, there are plenty of tools you can use to lighten your workload.
Here are five of the best WordPress plugins for automating your business website tasks.
1. Automate Your Customer Service and Marketing Chats with WP-Chatbot
Chatbots are hot because they save everyone time. As a business owner, a chatbot frees you from answering the same basic customer questions over and over. And if your site ever gets swamped with a flood of inquiries from customers—say, during the holiday shopping season—you won’t have to scramble to get them answered fast. Bots are always on and they never charge overtime.
A lot of customers like chatbots, too. Ubisend’s 2017 chatbot report found that 69% of people prefer chatbots for customer service questions when they want instant responses. So, adding a chatbot is a win-win for you and your customers.
There’s a third possible win with chatbots, too. A well-designed bot can collect information from customer chats and use it to create personalized follow-up messages and marketing blasts. That can save you a lot of time writing email marketing messages.
WP-Chatbot is a free plugin that does all these things. Connect it to your WordPress site, Facebook business page and Facebook Messenger account for 24/7 customer service. WP-Chatbot is compatible with WooCommerce, and you can use it to set up drip campaigns, content feeds, ads and chat blasts with your customers.
2. Automate Social Media Posts with Blog2Social
Almost every small business and blog owner I know has a love/hate relationship with social media marketing. On the one hand, it’s free and you can get so much reach.
On the other hand, it’s a lot of work to generate hashtags, find the links you want to include in your posts and share your content across multiple networks. Blog2Social automates all of this for you, and it’s WooCommerce compatible, so you can share products from your store as posts, too.
The free version of Blog2Social lets you share your content to more than a dozen networks, including Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Medium, Twitter, Reddit and Pinterest. You can customize posts, share content from other sources besides your own site, and repost old posts whenever you like.
The premium pro version is about $9.20 per month (depending on the exchange rate with the euro) and lets you autopost and autoschedule your content. It also gives you a drag-and-drop social media calendar for easy scheduling and schedule changes.
3. Automatically Check for Broken Links with Broken Link Checker
Broken links create a bad experience for your site visitors. They can also be a pain to test and repair manually, especially as your site grows and you have a larger archive of content. The Broken Link Checker plugin takes care of this chore for you automatically, for free.
By default, this plugin automatically tests all new links and tests existing links on your site every 72 hours, but you can adjust the frequency. You can get email notices about broken links, and Broken Link Checker can recommend alternatives to any busted links it finds so you can fix things fast and get back to your main tasks.
Broken Link checker scans your WordPress pages and posts by default. You can also set it to check links in your product pages, blogroll and comments. And if there’s ever a situation where you need to check all your links ASAP, Broken Link Checker’s forced recheck tool clears out the plugin’s database and checks your site “from scratch.”
4. Automate Site Updates with Easy Updates Manager
Keeping your site up to date is important. Your plugins, extensions, theme and even the version of WordPress you’re running all impact the way your site looks and runs. What’s more, updates are important for site security, because some updates are designed to patch flaws that hackers and data thieves can exploit.
However, the more plugins and add-ons your site has, the less likely it is that you’ll be able to keep up with the pace of updates. You don’t have to, if you have a plugin like Easy Updates Manager. This plugin can automatically install updates for your site’s WordPress core, plugins, themes and translations. You can also customize the automatic update settings if there are elements you want to manage manually. In a pinch, you can undo all updates with one click.
The premium version of Easy Updates Manager adds
- safe mode, which prevents updates that are incompatible with your version of WordPress
- automatic update scheduling to avoid updates during peak traffic times
- update completion alerts
- automatic backups before updates through Updraft Central.
5. Automate Website Backups with Updraft Plus
There are so many reasons to back up your site every day: hackers, hardware issues, updates that crash your site. If any of those things happen to you, you can recover fast and get back to work if you’ve been good about backups. Just restore the most recent working version of your site and you’re good.
However, like most things we’re supposed to do every day, site backups can get ignored in favor of more pressing tasks. That’s why you need to put those daily backups on autopilot.
Updraft Plus is a popular free WordPress backup plugin that lets you choose how often to back up your site and where to store the backed-up files (Google Drive, FTP, email, etc.). Restoring files from Updraft Plus is easy—I’ve managed it with minimal effort after breaking my site.
Automate Your WordPress Site with These Plugins
When you automate these tasks, you can improve the experience visitors have on your site, deliver better customer service, market more effectively and protect your site from hacks and crashes. That frees you up to focus on other goals that plugins can help you with.