WordCamp UK: WOW Plugins 2011
This year at WordCamp Portsmouth, Michael Kimb Jones of WonderThemes, did a great round-up of plugins. When I showed up I thought there was a possibility that he would be talking about World of Warcraft Plugins, but once he got going I could breathe a sigh of relief.
The presentation was basically a round-up post, live. It was split into two halves – popular and well-known plugins, and then plugins that Kimb installed on a site and demoed for us.
Here’s a quick round-up of the plugins that he installed. A few of them got some “ooooh”s and “aaah”s from the audience.
If you’ve got hundreds of pages this plugin is a great way to keep them organise. Rather than having to trawl through your list of pages, CMS Page Tree View gives you a nice tree. You can use it to drag and drop pages to different places, view pages, edit pages and create pages. It’s a must for managing sites with lots of pages.
If you want to go so far as to move all of your processes onto WordPress then CollabPress could be the plugin for you. It’s a project management system that works straight from your WordPress dashboard. You can create projects, assign different users to them, schedule email reminders and track activity.
Everyone loves contact forms, and Contact Form 7 is loved by more than 4 million people. That’s a lot of downloads! I’m a Contact Form 7 user, mainly because it remains simple while having all of the flexibility that you need for most types of forms. There are also a number of plugins that people have created to extend Contact Form 7 even further.
Tables can be a bit of a pain to insert into a post or page, and WordPress doesn’t make it that easy. This plugin adds an icon to your TinyMCE which lets you insert a table. What is particularly nice about it is that it is bundled with the jQuery tablesorter which lets your visitors sort your table live on your page.
Custom Post types are relatively easy to create but with this UI they become even easier so that even novices can create custom post types without having to get their hands dirty with code. The UI is easy to use, enabling you to create and administer custom post types and custom taxonomies.
This is a great little plugin which is simple but solves a problem. Ever wanted a list of files that are attached to a page? A list of PDFs or documents for example. This plugin adds an icon to your WYSIWYG editor. Click it and it will insert a shortcode to show a list of files that have been attached to the page.
Anyone who deals with clients / family members that are uncomfortable using a computer will love this plugin. Once the plugin is installed and set up, logged in users can edit pages and posts from the front end. You can restrict it to just posts, or to all types of content including custom post type. You even get a handy WYSIWYG editor so you can format and insert files.
This is a handy plugin for regenerating thumbnails if you need to change their size. If you have changed thumbnail size in Settings -> Media you can regenerate all of the thumbnails across the site. It’s also handy if you have changed your theme and want to resize your thumbnails to match it.
This plugin creates in-page widget areas. Create the widget area in the settings and insert it into the page using a shortcode. If you want a front page with lots of widget areas that you don’t want to use across the site this can be a great way to achieve it.
When I saw this plugin it scared me a little bit. Eek! Imagine the power of taking your site back to zero. Scary thought. But if you run a lot of test sites this is a great way to reset your WordPress database. It returns WordPress to its defaults, deleting all content. Use with care!
And the rest…
He also covered a number of popular plugins:
- Forms: Gravity Forms
- Social: BuddyPress, bbPress
- Comments: Disqus Comment System
- SEO: WordPress SEO, Google XML Sitemaps
- Caching: W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache
- E-Commerce: MarketPress, WP E-Commerce, Jigoshop
- All-in-one: JetPack
Like what you see? What plugins make you go WOW?