12 May A-Z Guide of WordPress Plugins: Part 1
The new VMP website is up and running and we’d be under exaggerating if we said we hadn’t learned a thing or two in the process. Specifically, we’ve spent hours trawling through the vast, murky and sometimes questionable (see: hello dolly plugin) depths of popular website developer WordPress’ plugins directory so that you don’t have to. Some have even been given the VMP tried and true tick of approval! With this newfound knowledge in our heads and your convenience in our hearts, we’ve put together an A-Z guide – an alphabetical almanac, if you will – of the most basic, beautiful and bewitching WordPress plugins available.
Without further ado:
All In One SEO Pack
Who doesn’t like starting off with a bang? All in One SEO Pack is not only the most downloaded wordpress plugin ever, it may just be the most helpful. Used to automatically optimise your site for search engines, this plugin is the fastest and easiest solution to the major Search Engine Optimisation boom we have seen in the business world in recent years. Just download, install, reap benefits.
Nobody likes waiting on a slow-loader. What is this, the Nineties? This plugin allows you to combine and minify your CSS and JS files, which, put in plain English, will vastly improve page load time. Basic, yes, but a goodie.
Contact Form 7
Roll your eyes all you want, we all need one. This particularly simple and flexible contact form plugin allows you to manage multiple contact forms at once and customize your forms and mail contents easily. Trust us – we’re using it right now.
Often times when creating a website it becomes necessary to create several clones of an original post or page for publication. Now, we know this sounds like the scarily technical stuff you pay your local IT nerd – sorry, valued and respected computational expert – to do for you. Hear us out: download, copy, paste, publish. It’s that easy.
The Events Calendar
The Events Calendar plugin is a well-made, easy to use and extremely malleable addition to your WordPress site that allows you to share upcoming events with your viewers. Described in the directory so well that we couldn’t put it better ourselves, The Events Calendar is ‘beautiful, solid, awesome’.
Fast Social Share Buttons
WordPress GIF Player, put basically, is an easy to use GIF Player with the added benefit of boosted page load time via the prevention of GIF files loading with the initial page load. Use this plugin to harness the unending power of movement and interaction in capturing your viewer’s attention, because let’s face it – nothing is more enticing than a well placed Simpsons GIF.
Hot News Manager
Hot News Manager allows you to not only create ‘news’ posts for any information of viewing importance but comes with a built-in ‘hot news’ feature which will publish chosen posts to your front page. Runs off an easy and simple form and even includes a fully functional previewer. “That’s so hot right now” – Paris Hilton.
Although often shrugged at, maintaining site security is just plain important. The IThemes Security plugin protects your site by fixing common holes, blocking automated attacks and strengthening user credentials. No longer need you worry about the effort it may take to fight off those hackers and keyboard warriors with nothing but the brute force of seven calls to the WordPress customer support team and a threat to tell their mums – this plugin is mostly a one-click activation
Think of Jetpack as your best friend in the online world. Not the one you chatted with on Omegle when you were 14, either. Jetpack can be used to increase your traffic, view your stats, speed up your site, and protect yourself from hackers… plus it’s free. For us, it was love at first install.
While this WordPress plugin is still small potatoes right now, we’re betting on it to begin kicking goals all over in the near future. Kandy is a full-service cloud platform that enables real-time communications for business applications. Think peer to peer audio calls, video calls and collaboration between any two users that are logged into your site. Sweeeeet.
Lightbox Plus Colorbox
Venturing over the the aesthetic side of your site once again, the Lightbox Plus Colorbox plugin permits users to view larger versions of images, simple slide shows, videos and content all in an overlay. It’s sleek and beautiful layout and comes with the ‘good personality’ of plugins, ease of use and a simple installation. We’ve certainly found it to be the beauty of our ‘new site’ ball.
Mailchimp For WordPress
If you are using WordPress to create your own business site, much like us here at VMP, you are most likely in need of a punching-a-hole-through-your-monitor-in-pure-rage-free way to subscribe your site visitors to your mailing list. If you are using MailChimp, specifically (as many businesses do), you are in luck. This plugin uses various methods to add subscribers to your mailing list while allowing you to create or integrate good looking opt-in forms. After years adding our clients to our mailing list through extensive conversations via carrier pigeon, we think this is pretty cool.
There you have it, you newly-minted WordPress aficionados, you! A detailed guide to the coolest plugins at WordPress High (from the first half of the alphabet, that is), published for your viewing pleasure. If we have missed any of your favourites or you would like to harness the use of video – one of the fastest expanding phenomenons in online communication – for your site, feel free to contact with us any time at email@example.com.
Keep your eyes peeled for Part 2 in the near future!