As a WordPress devotee I am constantly looking for new, helpful and easy to use plugins that not I will use on this site, but clients can use as well. Every few months I start a search for new plugins to test, use and share with others. I’ve already compiled a couple of lists of my favorites which you can look over here:
Now, I’ve compiled a new list with amazing plugins that I currently use or have used on client’s sites that I recommend everyone try out if they fit your needs!
WP jQuery Lazy Load – An absolute must have for ANY WordPress site that has lots of images in the posts. Lazy Load delays the loading of images on areas below the fold of your site until user scrolls down. You can see this in action right on CSSgirl!
Gravity Forms – Gravity Forms is the only plugin on this list that you have to pay for. That being said the low $39 cost is one of the best investments I’ve made since starting this blog. Gravity forms allows for easy form configuration and edits as well as more advanced functions such as conditionals, multiple pages and more!
Related Posts – Related Posts is a plugin I’ve been using for many years. The plugin searches your post title and uses keywords “to find entries that may be related to what the user may be looking for.” It then automatically generates a list of articles related to the current post and places it on the page with the parameters of your choice.
WP to Twitter – WP to Twitter allows WordPress to update your Twitter account when you add a new post. “The WP-to-Twitter plugin posts a Twitter status update from your blog. URLs can be shortened using a variety of services; the focus is on services which provide statistics for the link. Available shorteners are Cli.gs, Bit.ly, Yourls, and WordPress.” WP to Twitter also allows you to choose which categories it will publish (or not publish) and automatically shortens the urls of your posts.
All in One SEO – All in One SEO is a comprehensive plugin focused on the best SEO practices for WordPress. It has various options that will allow you to set your options generally globally OR per post/page.
Yoast Breadcrumbs – Yoast Breadcrumbs is a simple plugin that allows you to add a link trail to your posts. Not only are breadcrumb a recommended SEO strategy they also “provide a way for the user to easily navigate up and down your site, from post, to category, to the next post, or from child page, to parent page etc. It also allows search engines to more easily understand the structure of your site.”
NextGEN Gallery – NextGEN Gallery is one of the most highly customizable image galleries for WordPress. If I am in need of an image gallery or a slideshow this is the first plugin I turn to. It’s extremely easy to upload images, sort them into (multiple!) albums and edit descriptions. This is an extremely user friendly plugin that I recommend for every WordPress user.
article2pdf – If you require PDF versions of the articles you are placing on your site, article2pdf is one option you may want to consider. “You can setup a pdf file, that is used as layout template for the generated pdf file and images, links, formatings, lists, tables and some more html elements are included as well. PDF Templates and PDF options can be configured with the plugin admin panel. Generated PDF files can be cached to reduce server load.”
Theme My Login – This plugin very conveniently allows you to use your current WordPress theme as the base for your login, registration and forgot password pages. Also includes a widget that will allow you to add a login box anywhere on your site.
WP Google Fonts – WP Google Fonts allows you to seamlessly include and use plugins from Google Fonts. You can simply choose which standard HTML elements you would like these fonts applied to (ex: h1, h2,h3, p, etc) or use custom CSS selectors to drill down on select parts of the design.
Sociable – Sociable is a powerful plugin that allows you to (automatically) add a icon list of social networking sites below your post on individual posts & pages. You can choose which social sites to include, how you would like them arranged, and even replace the standard images packaged with sociable with custom images of your own!
TinyMCE Advanced – If you are a power user and have requirements for styling your articles that the normal WordPress editor doesn’t fit then TinyMCE Advanced is what you need. “This plugin adds 17 plugins to TinyMCE: Advanced HR, Advanced Image, Advanced Link, Advanced List, Context Menu, Emotions (Smilies), Date and Time, IESpell, Layer, Embed Media, Nonbreaking, Print, Search and Replace, Style, Table, Visual Characters and XHTML Extras.” It will also pull in custom style classes for the main theme and into the editor!
Broken Link Checker – And finally, possibly one of the most important plugins you can add – Broken Link Checker. The plugin will actually monitor your site and search for broken links to pages, posts, images, etc and will notify you via the WordPress dashboard and/or email if such links are found!