WordPress, as most of us experience, is so strong and flexible. It is hard to think of a website that can’t be brought to life with it.
Besides this power, it is still simple which is great. This simplicity sometimes ends up in some non-existing features which would actually be nice if they were available when needed -seems like the definition of plugins: )-.
As a designer/developer who spend lots of time with WordPress, I want to share a list of plugins which I use for almost every WordPress setup and they end up saving lots of time.
First of all, of course, I’ll begin with a shameless self-promotion. The first plugin (Reporteur) is developed by me but I assure you that it fits the title of this post perfectly (else, I’m sure that the editor would probably remove it without even me knowing).
Oh, I’m also going to include the author’s names, especially for avoiding mix-ups. There are many plugins so closely named but so far apart on features, usefulness and quality.
It is a simple Google Analytics reporting tool.
If you want to get your information right in the WordPress admin instead of going to the Google Analytics website, this is for you.
The plugin gives a basic information about your website (which were useful enough for my family and friends who forced and tortured me to create this plugin).
This is a stable Google Analytics code including plugin.
We all know that, things work by just copy-pasting the Analytics code to the footer. Or was it better to the header? And how do we track outgoing link clicks or downloads?
Well, with this plugin, you don’t need to worry about all that.
Author: Joost de Valk
This plugin is good for creating XML sitemaps of your posts, categories and everything else for Google to index.
There is definitely a need for automation for this processand you need a dependable tool for that.
Also, the plugin notifies Google, Bing and Ask.com when there is anything fresh in the sitemap.
Author: Arne Brachhold
This plugin was AStickyPostOrderER by AndreSC and Max Bond improved + continued developing it.
It is useful for ordering your posts when listed under different taxonomies, categories or tags. And they all can be different.
You can show a post as first under some category and as third under one of its tags.
Author: Max Bond, AndreSC
BackWPup is a vital plugin as you should always backup everything and never trust no computer!
If you are moving to another server, you’ll use it. If you are working locally and going to deploy it, you’ll use it. If you want to feel safe and don’t want any data loss, you’ll use it. If you want your database to be mailed to your home email every night, (it’s completely not weird) you’ll use it. Simply, you’ll use it.
Author: Daniel Hüsken
There are several contact form plugins to choose from. On several occasions, there has been times which I’ve forgotten that I had a contact form setup on one of my websites, till the day that Takayuki’s Contact Form sends me a mail.
Author: Takayuki Miyoshi
This is an extremely useful plugin, that should definitely be a part of the core.
When you add a picture or any media to any post in WordPress, it adds a database entry to a table that attaches the media to the post.. but WordPress does not show you that.
File Gallery does. And it does not stop there. You can order the media with it or set one as a featured image.Or, you can make a theme that uses a real gallery with it including a chance to order your images and without the need to use custom fields or embedding images into your post.
Also, you can attach PDF files (any files) and list them separately from your post as related files.
Author: Bruno “Aesqe” Babic
You have ordered your posts but you didn’t order your categories.
My Category Order allows you to set the order in which categories will appear in the sidebar by using a drag ‘n’ drop interface for ordering.
It also adds a widget with additional options for easy installation on widgetized themes.
Author: Andrew Charlton
A complete SEO solution for your WordPress blog.
I like it because it adds automated tags and categories to the head meta blocks and when you change a permalink for your posts, it will handle this without giving you any trouble.
Again, there are several SEO plugins available, but this one makes you work less for the result you want to get.
Author: Rajesh – Techblissonline Dot Com
This plugin will save your life many times if you are the developer but not the designer of your website or you work with a customer that measures the screen with a ruler (believe me, I saw that). There is always a possiblity to change the thumbnail and medium image sizes after you coded the theme and uploaded all thousand images to WordPress.
When such an update is needed, just ask this plugin to kindly regenerate every image for every size again. Oh my, life saver.
Let’s face it, WordPress does not search everything. As the name suggests, this plugin does.
It adds search functionality without modifying any template pages: activate, configure and search.
Options Include: search highlight, search pages, excerpts, attachments, drafts, comments, tags and custom fields (metadata). Also offers the ability to exclude specific pages and posts or password-protected contents.
Author: Dan Cameron of Sprout Venture
After changing two hosting providers, one because I blamed them for being so slow, other because they blamed me for using so much resource, I met this plugin.
WordPress may use server resources, that’s normal. But with this plugin, you can cache everything and make static copies of the pages instead of regenerating them for every request.
It also minifies your assets and may even put them to CDN for you. That’s nice.
Author: Frederick Townes
This plugin is actually both fun and useful.
It adds an Ajax rating system for your WordPress blog’s post/page. You can use it to put simple hearts or like buttons for your own blog. Or, create a rating-based website easily.
Author: Lester ‘GaMerZ’ Chan
Of course there is Google Analytics. But ,WP-Postviews satisfy another need; viewing the number of views each post get in real-time.
You can make a list of most visited or -my favorite- least visited posts lists for your sidebars. Because your least visited posts are the ones that actually need more visitors.
Author: Lester ‘GaMerZ’ Chan
Everyone uses PageNavi as it adds a more advanced paging navigation to your WordPress blog. Enough said.
Author: Lester ‘GaMerZ’ Chan & scribu
If you need to create a multilingual website, first you need patience, than you need content in multiple languages. And, finally, you need a plugin that does not make your life a hell.
Writing multilingual content is already hard enough, why use a plugin even more complicated?
qTranslate makes creation of multilingual content as easy as working with a single language with an easy to use interface.
It supports infinite languages which can be easily added/modified/deleted via the comfortable configuration page.
All you need to do is activate the plugin and start writing the content!
Author: Qian Qin
Do you schedule posts? Remember which post will be published for next Tuesday? What about the Friday after that?
WordPress doesn’t make it easy to see when your posts are scheduled. The Editorial Calendar gives you an overview of your blog and when each post will be published. You can drag ‘n’ drop to move posts, edit posts right in the calendar, and manage your entire blog.
Author: Colin Vernon, Justin Evans, Joachim Kudish, Mary Vogt, and Zack Grossbart
Ok, you schedule posts. Did you realize that WordPress sometimes misses them? This plugin fixes that. Comes to rescue and that’s all it does. But, does it well.
This plugin adds a splash page to your blog that lets visitors to know that your blog is down for maintenance.
Logged in users can get full access to the blog including the front-end (depends of the settings you configure).
Author: Frank Bültge
Sidebar-Login has both a widget and a template tag to allows you to have a login form in the sidebar of your blog. It lets users to login and redirects them back to “the page they logged in” rather than the backend
Author: Mike Jolley
If you have gazillions of categories you’ll definitely love this (and the next plugin).
It increases the height of the category checklist meta box on the post editing screen so that all categories are shown. No more scrolling! All of your categories will be visible.
Author: Mark Jaquith
This plugin is actually a categories autocomplete for the admin. It will make the process quick and easy for your writers to select categories. As they type in the search box, categories will be shown and hidden in real time, allowing them to easily select what is relevant to their content without having to scroll through possibly hundreds of items.
Author: Jason Corradino
Let your visitors share a post/page with others. Supports e-mail and posting to social bookmarking sites. You need a publisher key if you want to view you sharing stats or getting a weekly report. That’s always nice.
Author: ShareThis, Manu Mukerji
You know you need this plugin after finding its perks one by one when you start using it.
It will definitely make your life easier by replacing your WordPress comment system with your comments hosted and powered by Disqus.