Going Google with WordPress Plugins
Peanut butter and jelly. Bonnie and Clyde. Yin and yang. Horse and carriage.
Some things just seem to naturally go together.
If you run a WordPress site, then unless you’re running a very unusual site in a very unusual way, you probably have it connected to Google in one way or another. Maybe it’s through Analytics. Or maybe it’s with Adsense. Maybe you use Google Maps. Or maybe you’ve embedded a YouTube video or two.
Whatever it is, if you stop and think about it, you’re probably connected.
Below we’ll give you some more potential connections – 25 to be exact. These plugins can help you connect to or integrate Google services in all sorts of ways. We’ll list them in alphabetical order.
If you know of other good ways, let us know in the comments.
The “Google Adsense” plugin, as you might imagine, lets you easily place Google adsense ads into your site. In addition, you can also change the look of your ads with it – changing the corners, the color of the elements, etc.
The Google Analytics+ plugin is one of our own here at WPMU DEV. This plugin lets you see your Google Analytics stats for both single sites and a Multisite network. This plugin also integrates with our Pro Sites plugin, which lets you charge users on your network for certain features.
As our Analytics plugin is not free, we’ll go ahead and mention a free one here too: Google Analytics Dashboard for WP.
The Google App Engine for WordPress plugin is one of only two plugins official maintained by Google itself. This plugin is meant to provide integration with the App Engine PHP runtime. It overrides WordPress’ core functionality in order to use the App Engine infrastructure things such as mail and uploading to Google Cloud Storage.
The Google Apps Login lets users who are already logged into Google to breeze through your WordPress login as well. The plugin uses OAuth2 authentication (as recommended by Google). The plugin author has listed a few known conflicts with other plugins, so you might want to check that first.
The Google Authenticator sets up two-factor authentication using the Google Authenticator app for Android/iPhone/Blackberry. It can be set up on a per-user basis. So, for example, you can require two-factor authentication for admins or other higher end users, but not for lower end users.
The AuthorSure plugin hooks you up with Google Authorship. It works for both single authors and multiple authors. In addition to setting you up with Authorship, it gives you a mini bio section with links to other social media sites.
The Google Calendar plugin brings your Google Calendar into your WordPress site and displays events in grid form, as list on a Page/Post, or in a widget.
The Visualizer plugin makes it easy embed interact charts into your site using the Google Visualization API. There are nine chart types: line, area, bar, column, pie, geo, gauge, candlestick, and scatter. Charts can be customized to fit your site.
The Chat plugin is one of our own from here at WPMU DEV. This is stand-alone chat plugin that can get quite sophisticated. You can configure it to operate in a number of different ways – as a pop up, on a Post or a Page, as a one-on-one chat, as an open chat, and more.
We include it here because one of its many features is that it lets users sign in with their Google+ account (or WordPress, Twitter, or Facebook).
The Google Doc Embedder allows you to embed PDFs, Microsoft Word docs, PowerPoint doc, Apple Pages, Adobe PSDs, and other types of files using the Google Doc Viewer – which requires no Flash or PDF plugins).
The Google Drive WP Media plugin gives you integration between your Google Drive and your WordPress site. You can manage Google Drive files from WordPress and insert them into your site, as well as send files from WordPress to your Google Drive.
The Easy Google Fonts plugin lets you choose from over 600 Google fonts to add to your theme. One of the nicest aspects of this plugin is that it integrates with the WordPress Customizer, so you can actually get previews of your changes before you save them.
The Google Forms plugin lets you publish Google Forms on your site with a shortcode. Google forms let you do things like conduct surveys, give quizzes, or plan events with others.
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The Yakadanda Google+ Hangout Events plugin creates notifications (with a countdown clock) for upcoming Google+ hangouts. You can style it in several different ways. If you’re a big Google Hangouts user, this could come in handy.
Another WPMU DEV plugin, the Google Maps plugin lets you easily embed Google map to any Post/Page or in a widget. You can customize the maps to suit your needs, save maps with street view, make you map dynamic with panoramio images, add your own CSS and more.
The Google Picasa Viewer plugin lets you display your Picasa Web albums in your WordPress site. Picasa, of course, is owned by Google.
You can display albums with shortcodes or in widgets. You also have control over the size of the albums.
Of course most Google+ social buttons come packaged along with buttons for other social sites, as they should. And so forgive us for recommending our own social media plugin called Floating Social. You can see Floating Social at work right here on this site to the left. You’ll notice that the bar follows you down the page as you scroll. Very easy to use and very effective as well.
The PurplesXMLs plugin creates a feed for your WooCommerce site that integrates with your Google Merchant Center account. You can output an XML feed from any category.
We mentioned before that Google had two official plugins. The Google Publisher plugin is that second official plugin. This plugin lets you use Adsense and Webmaster tools with your WordPress site. The Adsense portion lets you place ads seemingly wherever you like, and you can create different placements for different page templates.
Another WPMU DEV plugin, Custom Google Search replaces the default WordPress search with Google. It comes with a built-in widget to add to the search box in your sidebar. You can display the results on a page or in a pop-up.
Google XML Sitemaps generates a specialized sitemap for your site that you then submit to Google to help them index your site.
The Google Language Translator plugin lets you insert the Google Language Translator right into your WordPress site via a shortcode. You can even turn off the Google branding with it.
The Verify Google Webmaster Tools plugin does exactly as you’d think. It’s simple and convenient.
YouTube, of course, is owned by Google. And TubePress is a powerful but easy-to-use plugin that will let you put YouTube galleries on your site. You can easily pull in videos based on a search term, a user, a playlist, a user’s favorites, or related videos.
And finally, we’ll finish with the SZ – Google for WordPress plugin. This plugin does a number of things listed in individual plugins above. The plugin is written as separate modules, and you only activate the ones you’re interested in.
A sampling of the modules includes Analytics, Authenticator, Calendar, Drive, Fonts, Hangouts, Translate, and YouTube. There’s quite a lot to check out if you think you might be interested.
photo: google doodle