Best WordPress Plugins for Developers and Designers

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Best WordPress Plugins for Developers and Designers

Photo Credit: Content Marketing

Photo Credit: Content Marketing

There are millions of WordPress plugins to choose from, for all kinds of purposes. Some are used to increase engagement or integrate popular social media sites. Some help enhance a site’s SEO strategy. And there are many plugins that provide video or image galleries. These are all helpful for designers and developers. But there are a few you just can’t live without as someone in this field of work. Here, we explore a few examples of these essential plugins.

Akismet
If a client requires comments on their site, this plugin will be very useful. Akismet runs all comments the WordPress site receives through its spam database. This allows the plugin to catch any comments that may be spam and filter them out. The spam it catches can be seen and reviewed by any site admin in the backend of the WordPress dashboard.

LinkWithin
LinkWithin is a popular program that produces the “related posts” feature at the end of an article on a website. If the client requires this element in their WordPress site, LinkWithin is a good option. It finds multiple related posts from around the web and lets you insert thumbnails.

BuddyPress
Many companies and clients want social media functionality on their website. BuddyPress is perhaps the most feature-rich plugin that provides this functionality. It is a social network that lies on top of the WordPress system and allows users to login, build profiles, message each other, and upload documents. It can also allow users to view their newsfeeds from other social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter, all within their BuddyPress profiles.

SevenDays
This plugin allows the Webmaster to turn features on or off on their site based on the day of the week. If you have a client who needs to offer specials or discounts only on Wednesdays or Saturdays, this plugin provides that function. This can be a great program for websites maintained by museums, restaurants, retailers, or bookstores. SevenDays can organize all weekly events, discounts, sales, or membership perks.

Fanpage Connect
This plugin allows all fan pages on Facebook to be managed through WordPress and become fully integrated into the brand’s site. This is a vast improvement over Facebook’s standard alternative. Normally, Facebook provides code for a standard display badge for your Fanpage, and it can be copy and pasted onto your site. But the design of this basic display was made to fit the look of Facebook, and that may not look good on the client’s site. So if you want a Fanpage display that can be customized to fit the client’s taste and needs, Fanpage Connect provides that flexibility.

Facebook Tools
In addition to managing Facebook fan pages, your client will likely want other features that integrate the social behemoth’s sharing power as well. That’s where this plugin comes in. Facebook Tools integrates the other elements of the social site such as the like button, Facebook comments, and the automatic insertion of OpenGraph tags.

Build Your Own
If you have a hard time finding a plugin that accomplishes what you want, there are many ways to learn to build your own WordPress plugin. You can work with an IT solutions firm such as Mentel, or follow tutorials like this one that describes how to build a plugin that provides a downloads gallery.

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Comments (9)

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  1. JeriWB says:

    Akismet is the best! I try to check the spam folder every now and then just in case somebody's comment goes there that shouldn't. Spam is great for an eye-rolling laugh when I'm in the right mood, and I swear some of them would make great grammar exercises for students to correct 🙂

  2. Just like Jeri, I love my spam folder through Akismet. It gives me some humor reading for the day. I will say I have now learned how to recognize spam when I visit the other people's sites. It is surprising how many people don't use a good filter.

  3. A.KAndrew says:

    Great list Cheryl. Thanks for this.

  4. Jeannette Paladino says:

    Well, for the first time ever, Hostgator shut down my site today because it was overloading the server. One issue was too many plugins so I'd advise everyone to review your plugins and delete the ones you no longer use so you can add the more useful ones, such as those suggested by Cheryl. I'm back up, thankfully.

  5. Susan Oakes says:

    Good list Cheryl and I had not heard of Build Your Own

  6. Susan Cooper says:

    Cheryl – You know I love the plug ins that you have talked about in the past. This is a great list and I will need to check out some of these.

  7. Great list Cheryl. Use Akismet, and fanpage connect already. For links to other articles I have written at the end of an article I use Shareaholic.

  8. patweber says:

    Askimet is SUPERB! Hmmm. I'm not sure I want to mention this list to my webmaster. She wants me to reduce the number of plugins I have. It IS a terrific list Cheryl. Thanks.

  9. namirusso says:

    The LinkWithin looks pretty handy. There are so many plug ins for WP – it's good to know – thanks!