Whether it’s a full website or your personal blog, eCommerce site or even a social networking type of site, WordPress is by far my hands down favorite content management system to use. I feel as though I’m somewhat knowledgeable on the subject of WordPress as this point, having utilized it for over 10+ years, not to mention designing & developing hundreds of websites. While I don’t blog much about WordPress, I thought today I would make an exception.
Plugins are a pivotal part of the WordPress CMS as a whole. They work basically just how it sounds: instead of having to hand-code certain special add-ons into your website theme, you can use plugins which are pre-built. Ya just plug ’em in. So..
Presenting my a few of my recent favorite free WordPress plugins to enhance your website.
This plugin is perfect for client websites. While if it’s your own blog you’re working with and no one else really will see the login page, this may be unnecessary but still, it gives a nice clean edge to your site. Easy to customize and install, this is great for newbies as well, or the “not-so-code-friendly” inclined.
Alpine PhotoTile for Instagram
Alpine Press is known for their wonderful image gallery tiling plugins completely free of charge, and while they’re all similar, my favorite is the Instagram PhotoTile plugin. It’s flexible, and it’s easy to setup and integrate into your blog in a variety of different places. You can display photo galleries based on an Instagram users account, or based on a single hashtag. I used this for a client website. At the Event the website was built for, they instructed visitors to use a specific hashtag when posting photos from the event to Instagram. This plugin worked amazingly well and I set it up quickly.
Custom Facebook Feed
This is another great plugin I’ve utilized quite frequently on sites I build for clients. Considering the overwhelming power behind social networking these days, it’s always a good idea not only to have a Facebook Page for your Business or Company, but also to make that page accessible – easily. Social networking is an incredibly useful marketing tool, namely because it allows your customers to associate a more friendly, personable sort of image of your company. Also, the ability to post up-to-date, engaging content is something of a gem. This plugin works great on responsive layouts too- don’t even get me started on the importance of responsive websites.
This plugin is handy for websites that, again, are not blogs or necessarily the kind of websites that you want outside feedback on. Commenting is a powerful part of WordPress, but if you don’t need comments at all, it can be bothersome. This plugin easily allows you to disable all comments in one go.
As far as Google Analytics WordPress plugins go, this one is by far my favorite. Complete with added Dashboard Widget which displays your analytics in a line graph, this is an extremely easy to integrate plugin with the added UI bonus.