The Best WordPress Plugins for Making Websites That Make Money: Part Three of the Installing WordPress Plugin Series

The best Wordpress plugins to use on your website.

This post is part of Vital Point Analytic's guided  internet marketing analytics implementation.  Check out the full course for free by entering your name and email below.

Before we get to the list of the best WordPress plugins to install on your site, let's recap...

In Part One of this three part series on WordPress Plugins we learned what a WordPress plugin is and made some changes to Azure's PHP settings so we can install the more complex and larger plugins available.  In Part Two, we installed and configured our first WordPress plugin on Akira's Custom Tattoos - a Google Analytics plugin that is now hard at work collecting usage data that we'll use later to make the site profitable.

In this Part Three - we're going to install the best WordPress plugins on Akira's Custom Tattoos.  Each one serves a specific purpose and is necessary to complete this training exactly as I've laid it out.  I call them VPA approved plugins and currently, they are the best WordPress plugins for making websites that make money in the shortest time possible that I know of.

You most certainly could do without some of them, but that means you are doing something manually that requires coding or a fine-tuned awareness of how the internet works to achieve the same results.  We're interested in getting websites built fast, with no coding, using data to support decisions leading to higher profitability.  The VPA list of the best WordPress plugins below lets us do that.

Not All WordPress Plugins are Free...

As you saw in Part Two - there are many, many plugins that are free to install on a WordPress site.  Most get listed in the gallery and it's a simple matter of finding the right one, clicking the installation button and activating.  Some of those are in the recommended list below.  On the other hand, some WordPress plugins are not free and are not listed in the gallery.  We're going to use some of those as well.  Yes, that means that if you're going to reap the benefits of this training to enjoy a profit making site someday, you're going to have to invest in your business.

A Very, Very, Very Brief Introduction to Affiliate Marketing

In the world of internet marketing, a key monetization strategy (way to make money off your website) is called affiliate marketing.  Basically, you recommend other people's products or services to your visitors and if they buy, you get a portion of the sale.  Obviously, there is incentive for you to only recommend products for which you make money, but that is completely the wrong way to go about implementing an affiliate marketing strategy on your site.

Online - your credibility is your most valuable resource.  If people trust you they will follow you and even buy products that you recommend.  Building that level of trust takes time and total transparency, especially if you plan on building a sustainable, long-term business.  Anyone can trick someone into buying from them one time - building a level of trust where that same person buys from you many times over is far more profitable and beneficial to both you and your visitor.

We're going to cover affiliate marketing the right way when we start monetizing Akira's Custom Tattoos, but you need to know that some of the plugins and products I recommend you to buy to follow this training, are products that Vital Point Analytics makes a small commission on should you decide to buy.  A good affiliate marketer makes sure their visitor understands when there is a monetary (or other) incentive in play to recommend a certain product, and a good affiliate marketer should be completely familiar with and usually even use a product or service that he or she is recommending.

Good Affiliate Marketing is a Win-Win for the Visitor, Product Owner and Site Owner

As a visitor, that does not mean that you need to immediately discount the value of any product being recommended under an affiliate scheme.  In many instances, and it's the case with the ones VPA recommends, the site uses the product and believes 100% in its value.  The fact that the person who owns the product is willing to share a percentage of the sale with the recommending site means sites like VPA can offer training like this for free rather than lock it behind a paywall that requires a subscription to access.  It's a win-win for you, the product owner, and the recommending site.

Of course, that business model relies on you building a high level of trust with your visitors, and that means not recommending every product that comes along offering to give you a percentage of the sale.  Some products, including some of the best WordPress plugins, are worth paying for - some aren't.  You can't start recommending products that have no benefit.  If you do, your business will suffer and die.

Hopefully, VPA is starting to build that level of trust with you to this point in the course.  Hopefully you have, or are starting to realize that this course is super-detailed, helpful, and focused on helping you build websites that make money and that I'm not trying to hide anything or trick you into buying things that will have no return on investment.

Don't Buy Something for Your Business if it Will Not Produce a Positive Net Benefit

You've probably heard the cliché that it takes money to make money.  Sometimes it actually does, but you should never buy something for your business that is not going to result in a benefit (which is usually profit).  Your expected profit or benefit must be higher than what you spend.  You're looking for positive returns on any investment.  Same goes for the paid plugins in the list below.  They have to work for you and provide a positive net benefit either in terms of actual profits or by saving you time which is then freed up to focus on making profits.

And with that, let's get to VPA's recommendations for the best WordPress plugins for making websites that make money.  ​

Full Disclosure:  Sometimes VPA recommends products for which it receives a commission if you decide to buy.  At no time will VPA recommend something that does not translate into a positive net benefit if used correctly.  VPA uses every product it recommends and fully believes in the value of doing so or it would not be on the list and it most definitely would not be recommended to you.  You have my word that any product VPA recommends you purchase is reputable, high quality, and useful in the context in which it is being recommended.

Aaron Luhning
Vital Point Analytics               

VPA's List of the Best WordPress Plugins for Making Websites that Make Money

Akira's Custom Tattoos has some of the functionality it needs to start staking a claim in the online world, but not all of it.  We need to install some more plugins.  When the time comes to use them, we'll configure them and go through the details of how they work.  For now, we're just going to get them installed and activated on the site.  If you want more information on them, just follow the link provided for each to see the details.

Thrive Themes ($)

Thrive Themes is a collection of plugins and base themes that we're going to use. Each of them integrates to form a seamless suite of business tools. Each plugin in the suite was built with one thought in mind - increase conversions.  We'll be using them to capture leads, theme your site, and drive sales.

These plugins are not available from the plugin manager.  Click the button to check current pricing and get them from Thrive Themes.

Postman SMTP

Your WordPress site needs to be able to send emails to your visitors and users.  For marketing, we're going to setup autoresponders and broadcasts with Aweber, but for general site admin emails, this plugin lets WordPress talk to your email provider to send emails through your main account.

Login and install from the plugin manager in your site or download the zip file to upload by clicking the button.


Akismet is a spam filter to protect your Wordpress site.  WordPress powers over 20+% of the websites out there, which makes them a target for spammers.  Without something like Akismet, all those little spam bots on the internet will fill up your comments sections with their spammy little messages. 

Login and install from the plugin manager in your site or download the zip file to upload by clicking the button.

EasyAzon ($)

Amazon's Associate Program is one way to monetize a website. EasyAzon makes it super easy to integrate with Amazon, but where it really excels is how it attaches Amazon customers to you.  Using EasyAzon means that you get the commission after someone is referred to Amazon even up to 90 days later.   You can't set that up directly from the Amazon Associates Program.

If you're only building sites for yourself, you just need EasyAzon's mult-site version.  If you plan on building sites for others, you need the developer version. 

This plugin is not available from the plugin manager.  Click the button to check current pricing at EasyAzon.

Google Analytics

You may already have this installed from Part Two of this WordPress Plugin series. 

As described there, this plugin lets Google Analytics record what your visitors are doing on your site, where they are coming from, for how long they visit, what pages, and so on.  Absolutely essential plugin to enable the data-driven decisions you're going to make.

You need decision-quality data and Google Analytics provides it and the ability to run data experiments on your website.  Once you learn to listen to it - you can't fail.

Login and install from the plugin manager in your site or download the zip file to upload by clicking the button.

W3 Total Cache

Website loading speeds are important.  The faster the better as a slow loading site will repel visitors instantly.  W3 Total Cache is a performance optimizing caching system that will help make static pages out of your dynamic website so they load far faster which will keep your visitors happy.

Faster speeds also help your site rank better in search engines.  Right from the first visit, this plugin will improve your visitor's experience and is in the category of essential WordPress plugins.  We'll cover this in much more detail when we tweak your site's performance.​

Login and install from the plugin manager in your site or download the zip file to upload by clicking the button.

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO makes it super easy to analyze and write content that is search engine and reader friendly.  Using a series of green, yellow, red indicators and recommendations, the Yoast analysis engine tells you exactly how to improve your site so it ranks quicker and higher in Google and the other search engines.  It also makes sure your visitors can easily read and understand what you write.

Login and install from the plugin manager in your site or download the zip file to upload by clicking the button.

Application Insights

Application insights is another data gathering plugin that connects your WordPress installation to Azure's application insights.  While Google Analytics is tracking how visitors interact with your site, Application insights is focused on how well your site is performing technically.  Page loads, server usage, memory usage - that sort of thing.  It will be an important part of your data strategy.

Login and install from the plugin manager in your site or download the zip file to upload by clicking the button.

In Summary...

And there you have it - the VPA approved list of the best WordPress plugins for websites to make money.  So off you go to install each one on your site.  See you in the next lesson where we'll start branding and theming Akira's Custom Tattoos to make it look absolutely incredible.

This post is part of Vital Point Analytic's guided  internet marketing analytics implementation.  Check out the full course for free by entering your name and email below.