WordPress is hands down, the best content management system in the world. It’s open source, it’s got a huge community of developers and theme designers and there are plugins out there that can do just about anything. Here are just 10 of my favourite under-rated plugins that transform wordpress in to much more than just a blogging platform…
1. Google Analytics Dashboard
Fancy having google analytics integrated within your wordpress dashboard? Thought so. At a glance you can see analytics data once you login to your admin panel.
It’s basically a CMS within a CMS and adds a whole range of cool features to wordpress like ‘in place’ editing (think flickr) & custom write panels (for quick posting or idiot proof posting if you’re building sites for clients!).
Adminize allows you to hide menu’s within the admin panel. So let’s say you’re building a site for someone with ZERO web experience. Hide all the ‘settings’ and ‘plugins’ menus and crap like that – just leave them with ‘add new post’ so that even the most clueless person will figure out how to add content – they only have one option
4. wp-db manager
Speaking from experience, it’s very important your database is backed up and optimized as much as possible. If you install billions of plugins like me and then ditch them after 2 seconds, most of them leave their crap behind in your database and the average user doesn’t realise it. This plugin allows you to repair and optimize your database with a few clicks. It’s a bit like running some sort of cleaning software on a PC – the first time you run it, expect a massive boost in performance afterwards… from then on, run it regularly just to keep your house in order.
This little gem has saved me on many occassions. Want to put something in a sidebar quickly? Fire in your php in to this widget and it’ll do it for you.
This blog now contains almost 1400 blog posts. I’m constantly quoting myself and linking back to past articles, so if i had to manually crawl through the blog page by page to find the article i’m looking for i’d quickly crack up. Insights allows you to search and find post urls, images etc… from within your dashboard. Very handy for those larger blogs and lazy people 😉
How cool would it be if you could google an image, rip it and use it as your own? Unfortunately we can’t do that 🙁 but we can use photodropper which allows us to search for creative commons images to use on our blog. Simply write a post, search for a picture and insert the one you fancy. Photodropper automatically adds a little link back to the creator. It saves bandwidth, saves you’re ass from getting hit with copyright infringement notices and it’s pretty quick and easy to use too.
8. My Page Order
WordPress can be pretty crappy in areas as well, don’t get me wrong. A great example would be their ‘page order’ system. Quite simply, it sucks. Luckily, some kind hearted developer came up with a nice drag and drop solution called ‘my page order’ which does page ordering like it should be done 😉
Want a shopping cart feature? Wait, come back, close those os commerce and zen cart links…. wordpress can do the job too. wp-ecommerce plugin is a beautiful shopping cart plugin which has tonnes of features and because it uses wordpress that makes it cool :mrcool:
10. Private WordPress
Again, this should be standard in wordpress – it allows you to restrict access to your site to just admins or users or whoever you want. Let’s say you’re launching a new site and don’t want anyone to see it. Just enable this plugin and everyone else will be sent to the login page. The plugin also allows you to add a custom message to the login page.