There are thousands of awesome plugins out there. Many of them, like WordPress SEO by Yoast or W3 Total Cache, are well known and widely used. There are, however, some out there that are just as amazing, yet not as well known; and, with more than 37,000 plugins in the WordPress Plugin Repository, and even more available as premium plugins, it’s easy to overlook them.
Today, I want to shine a spotlight on five awesome plugins that you may not have heard of, but will want to start using once you learn about them.
1. Webmaster User Role
If you’ve done work for clients before, you’ve probably gotten the call, “I installed a plugin and now my site doesn’t work.”
It’s what can happen when you hand the website over to the client and give them full control. They can accidentally break parts of the site, or crash it completely. That’s why Nathan Tyler built Webmaster User Role.
It creates an additional user role between an Administrator and an Editor. An Administrator has full control over the site, which you may not want your client to have; but the Editor does not provide enough of the control that your client may need.
The new “Admin” role that is created gives your client just enough control. For instance, it will disable the Appearance>>Editor and remove the ability for the client to switch themes (among many other things).
There is also a premium version available which lets you set the exact controls that the new “Admin” user will have. Even more awesome, Webmaster User Role integrates with some of the top plugins, so you can control your client’s access to certain plugin’s settings.
2. Testimonials by WooThemes
Adding testimonials to a site can seem pretty easy. Just add a text widget to your sidebar, add the testimonial, and you’re done.
But what if you want your client to be able to add new testimonials when they want…without having to mess with widgets or HTML code.
Not as simple.
Testimonials by WooThemes provides you with just that solution. It creates a new custom post type for testimonials that your clients can create just as easily as they would a post or page. To display the testimonial, you can either use a widget, a shortcode, or add some php code to your theme or plugin.
You also have a number of options to customize the display of the testimonials.
Download Testimonials by WooThemes
3. WP Security Audit Log
Imagine how much easier security and troubleshooting would be if you could keep a log of every action every user makes on your site.
As you may have already assume, that’s exactly what WP Security Audit Log does. Any time a user logs in or out, or a plugin is installed, or a page is created, it is logged. That way, if there is a security issue, you’ll be able to track it down.
Or if something breaks on the site, you can see what action caused the issue so you can fix it faster. WP Security Audit Log is free, but you can also purchase additional add-ons which extend its capabilities.
Download WP Security Audit Log
4. Draw Attention
As a developer or designer, our goal should be to simplify the user experience. One way you can do that is by creating interactive images within your website.
What does that mean exactly? Well, basically you can upload an image, and then make certain parts of that image a link; and you can specify the shape of that linked area.
Draw Attention is the absolute best plugin for accomplishing this. It is relatively new, but anyone who has ever used it knows how great it is.
There are so many great ways to use this plugin. As the description for Draw Attention describes: “Perfect for floor plans, trade shows, photo tagging, product features, and tutorials.” I’ve even had a client of mine use it to create an interactive map of the world.
Draw Attention makes the process of creating these interactive images incredibly simple. Defining your shapes is as easy as drawing around the area you want linkable. On top of this, the interactive images are responsive and accessible “regardless of device or capabilities.”
5. Simple Custom Post Order
Changing the order of posts or pages on your site is a complete hassle. The only way to do it is by changing the publish dates of pages or posts, which is completely counter-intuitive.
So instead, you should use the Simple Custom Post Order plugin. This plugin gives you the ability to change the order of posts, pages, and other custom post types using a simple drag and drop interface.
No more having to mess with dates to get the correct order. The order that you place the pages and posts in on the WordPress backend will appear that way on the front end (unless, of course, you have code that specifies a different order).
This plugin solves a problem that I know I’ve run into time and time again. Now, Simple Custom Post Order will make it quick and easy for you, too.
Download Simple Custom Post Order
What Great Plugins Do You Use?
Are there any plugins that you use that are just completely awesome but are either new or not as well known? Please share them in the comments below!
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