Anyone who works with WordPress will know that one of the greatest attractions of the platform is the myriad of options that plugins give us (to the uninitiated, think of them as mini-programs that plug into your WordPress website). Of course, with thousands of plugins out there (22 000 at WordPress.org alone), it can get confusing or time-consuming to figure out which ones work the best.
Since so many people have blogged “Best WordPress Plugin” lists, i’ll leave the most common ones, the ‘basic’ kind, for another post. Now, let me rather mention others that you may find as useful as i have.
Some long-term users may groan at this being mentioned first but maybe you are like i was i.e. my comfortable a.k.a. lazy attitude resisted changed. Jetpack is a SUPER-PLUGIN! It is currently 19 plugins in 1 (and will only grow). I don’t use all of them but have found Stats, Subscriptions and Extra Sidebar Widgets to be very handy. Although some sites want a fancy option, others may find the simple look of the social media Sharing option to be enough. I’m in love with Carousel which reinvents your gallery into something slick (without the extra effort that most gallery plugins require). Checkout how cool it can be with a black background for this gallery of Demotivating Determination Posters. They’ve even added in a Mobile view that’ll make your site look good on a smartphone. Download the Jetpack plugin here.
BROKEN LINK CHECKER
So simple yet so necessary for regular bloggers. Not only don’t search engines appreciate tardy websites but it’s a poor impression on you when a reader follows your recommendation only to encounter a 404 Error page. This plugin will send you notifications when there’s a problem. Of course, servers can go down and then return so always check the link’s validity before deleting. Download the Broken Link Checker here.
Most of us have been guilty of swiping other people’s photos for our use. If your conscience is bugging you, then this will be sweet tasting medicine. Compfight searches the net for Creative Commons licensed photos. It especially utilizes Flickr as a source. It’s not only a simple way of finding legal pictures/photos but will automatically insert the maker’s credit. Download Compfight here.
Know what it is? If not, look on the tabs above your browser and you’ll see little pictures (icons) associated with the websites you’re visiting. Some WordPress Themes will provide an easy option to upload such but many don’t. This plugin sorts that for you, offering a bunch of images to choose from. Or a way for you to easily upload your own. I no longer see it on the WordPress so i’ve uploaded Favicon for you here (right-click, Save As).
If you don’t have a massive email database and want to easily send them blog notifications, then this is a wonderfully free solution. On 5 of my personal websites, i use a variety of options ranging from Feedburner to Mailchimp but on the sixth, WickedMike.com, i use this. It automatically mails my subscribers weekly and gives me to the option to send email too.
Replaces ← Older posts | Newer posts → links with the titles of the previous and next blogs. Download WP-PageNavi here.
There are many weather services but none i’ve experienced have been as simple to use…and as accurate. There’s also a wide range of icons so that it can look different on different websites. You can view what it (and the next plugin) look like at LoveKnysna.com. Download WP Wunderground here.
VIDEO SIDEBAR WIDGETS
Very handy way to show videos in your sidebar menu. You can adjust the width and height. The best part is that you can have up to 5 videos show randomly (but note that only 1 will work if you have a cache plugin operating). Download Video Sidebar Widgets here.
We’ll chat about “basic plugins” for spam, SEO, optimization etc. on a later blog.
Now it’s time for you to go have fun with you WordPress!
PS: Don’t ask me how to make your plugins work. Check out the plugin pages that have been provided.