Developing even the simplest things for a website takes time. Many companies and individuals turn to WordPress to create a site that can be functional in minutes, but they often still need developers to come in to create the more complicated elements.
Often, however, the same issues crop up time and again. Some WordPress plugin developers noticed this, and they created lots of plugins to address these needs. Below are just five of these useful WordPress plugins.
Contact Form 7
If you need a flexible contact form plugin, Contact Form 7 is for you. Contact forms can take a lot of coding hours, even if they are straightforward, but it will only take you minutes to install and start using this plugin.
With it, you can manage many forms, customise the forms and mail the content of them easily, all with simple markup. It also has Akismet-based spam filtering, Ajax-run submitting, CAPTCHA and more. Best of all, the interface is clear and simple, so even non-developers can use it.
WP Super Cache
Calling up a constantly changing, PHP-heavy page can create long load times for users, and everyone knows a long load time is a cardinal sin in developing. WP Super Cache addresses this by caching all your WordPress pages.
Essentially, when users who aren’t logged in or users who haven’t commented look at a page on your site, they’ll be seeing a static html file, rather than the dynamic page. That static file will load faster, without the user feeling like he or she is missing out on something.
Facebook Comments by Fat Panda
If you want your Facebook page and your site to be just a bit more linked up, Facebook Comments will help you out. Basically, it replaces the default WordPress commenting with Facebook Commenting, so whether your users comment through WordPress or Facebook, their comments will be seen on your site. The plugin also imports your Facebook comments to your WordPress database, so you will always be able to access comments.
If you already have a Facebook Application, you can use this plugin immediately. If you don’t, setting it up is free and easy, so it’s really just a matter of completing a couple extra steps.
Comprehensive Google Map Plugin
Embedding a Google Map into a page isn’t particularly difficult, but it’s also not particularly useful. You pretty much get one marker and a bit of a map. With the Comprehensive Google Map Plugin, however, users can get pretty much all of the functionality of Google Maps without leaving your site.
Amongst its many features, the plugin has a directions feature, and it allows you to aggregate all your markers into one map. You get over 250 custom markers, and the markers can show the Street View of the place they are marking right within themselves. Moreover, you can have an unlimited number of maps.
Insert HTML Snippet
No matter how flexible WordPress and its plugins are, you will find yourself adding snippets every now and again. If you keep adding the same snippets over and over again, you need the Insert HTML Snippet plugin.
This plugin creates shortcodes for whatever snippet you want, so all you have to do is select the shortcode from a drop-down menu to pop it into whichever page or post you need it in. The idea is simple enough, but its practicality makes it a genius plugin.
These are just five of the most useful plugins for web developers. They’ll save you time and effort, you’ll be able to discover some of the rest with all the spare time you’ll have.
Helen has a passion for marketing and design, she works as a Marketing manager for Clickinks. In her spare time Helen enjoys reading about WordPress and experimenting with new features.