When it comes to a platform to run your website on, WordPress is a pretty common one. As everyone probably already knows, WordPress is only limited by the plugins available or the development skills you have. In other words, you can literally extend it in any way you want.
While there are many plugins, some simply make small changes that help your workflow or management of your website. However, in this article, I will highlight 10 plugins that are very powerful and extend your website in more ways than one.
The first plugin is Gravity Forms. It is not a free plugin, but it can be had for as low as $39 per year for one website.
Gravity Forms allow you to create anything from simple contact forms to complex order and user management forms. In addition, there are also many plugins available for Gravity Forms which you can use to further enhance the features available for your website.
When it comes to tabular data, you simply need a nice table to display it in. Unfortunately, WordPress editor does not have an easy way to manage and create tables, thus you will most likely need a nice table plugin. That’s where the free plugin TablePress comes into play.
TablePress can be used for any type of table. It allows you to manage tables using an easy-to-use interface and then you can insert that table into your pages or posts with a simple shortcode.
If you have used WordPress, chances are you have heard of WooCommerce already. It is a full-featured e-commerce solution for WordPress websites that can be used for small or large retailers.
As with most other WordPress things, there are many plugins that further extend the functionality of WooCommerce.
Although Magento was the leading e-commerce platform for years, WooCommerce has overtaken that position recently. According to Datanyze, WooCommerce comprises of 24.1% of all e-commerce websites while Magento stands at 22.6%.
As great as WordPress was, it was at times a bit difficult for average users to make more advanced updates to their pages. The simple editor the WordPress provides is not powerful enough for drastic changes. Fear no more, Visual Composer fills that gap.
Although it costs $34, it is probably the best $34 you will ever spend for your website. It has so many powerful features that will allow you to make drastic changes on your pages very quickly.
The best part about Visual Composer is that it works with any theme. It also includes many different types of content elements such as social media boxes, tabs, Google Maps, videos, rows, columns, progress bars, and much more.
WordPress Multilingual Plugin
If you need to have a website that supports multiple languages, WordPress Multilingual Plugin (WPML) is what you need. You can get it for as low as $29.
Some of the features of WPML include:
- easy installation and language setup
- the ability to translate all page elements
- powerful translation management with support for professional translation services
- multilingual e-commerce support
- translation for theme and plugin texts
WordPress is great and all, but sometimes you need something more. Maybe you want to have a place where your users can interact with one another. And that’s accomplished easily with forum software.
Trying to integrate third-party forum software with WordPress can be a big hassle. That’s why WordPress’ own bbPress is a much better option. It integrates with WordPress out of the box and seamlessly.
Another WordPress official product is the BuddyPress plugin which allows you to have any type of social media network on your website.
Even though this will not give you a full-featured Facebook clone, it will give you the most essential features of the social network including member profiles, activity streams, user groups, messaging, and friendship management.
JetPack By WordPress.com
If you’ve used WordPress.com before, you probably have gotten to love some of the features that are not available on self-hosted WordPress websites. That’s primarily the issue that Jetpack by WordPress.com aims to solve.
It brings over some of the most beloved WordPress.com features to your own blog such as traffic analytics, additional security, image performance optimization, and social media integration.
This plugin is feature-packed so on some slower web hosts, it might slow down your website more than you’d like. Take caution with it.
UpdraftPlus Backup And Restoration
Out of all the backup plugins I’ve used over the years, UpdraftPlus is probably the best so far. It is available in free and pro versions, both of which are useful.
The best part about Updraft is that it allows backups and restoration of only specific parts of the website such as themes folder, plugin folder, or database. So if you only need to restore one, there’s no need to restore everything at once.
Another awesome feature is that you can send backups automatically to third-party storage services such as Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace Cloud, and more.
The best plugin you can get for WordPress is the Yoast SEO. Although it is available in both free and paid versions, the free version will suffice for most websites. The paid version adds few additional and useful features such as redirect manager, multiple focus keyword support, and support.
In addition to basic SEO on-site optimization features, Yoast also includes other useful little features such as automatically-generated XML sitemap for Google Webmaster Tools, canonical tag implementation, breadcrumbs, and RSS enhancements.
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