Stand next to water cooler at a meeting of web designers and inevitably the topic of favorite WordPress plugins comes up. It is not unlike a first meeting of two iPhone users…What apps have ya got? So without further ado…here is my
Top 10 Favorite WordPress Plugins for Website Designers
(The WordPress plugins for website designers are presented in almost no particular order. Unless otherwise noted, these plugins are FREE.)
10. BackupBuddy – When doing a website re-design we often have to build the new site in a sandbox and then transfer it to the live server. Absolutely nothing is easier to use for this purpose than BackBuddy. The entire process typically takes less than 15 minutes from start to finish.
Cost for Developer Version: $150 (includes free updates)
9. Global Translator – As a website designer in North Texas, we often encounter the need to offer one-click translation into Spanish. The Global Translator creates a simple widget with the choice of translation into any of 45+ languages using Google Translate. One of our clients was born and raised in Madrid, Spain and claims that the Spanish translation is about 95% accurate – and certainly functional for internet use. That’s enough for me.
8. Google Analyticator – Log into your Google account and set up Google Analytics and then simply visit the Google Analyticator settings and connect the plugin to the account and “BOOM” – Google Analytics is now set to track your WordPress website. No coding. No cut and paste. Too simple, really.
7. Google XML Sitemaps – Automatically create sitemaps with one click for Google, Yahoo, Bing and friends. More involved developer type settings are available for those who care, but this plugin is a must-have for any WordPress site or blog.
6. All-in-One Event Calendar – Easily the most beautifully designed event calendar available for WordPress designers, this plugin includes styling, upcoming events widget and a host of options that make it the perfect solution for providing visitors with upcoming event info.
5. Statpress Visitors – This plugin really serves no purpose other than making client feel warm and fuzzy without having to take the time to check out the far superior data provided by Google Analytics. Statpress Visitors shows the last 30 days of traffic separated by Visitors, Pageviews, RSS Feeds and Search Engine Spiders. It will also show you that last 30 or so keywords and search engines that brought visitors to the site. I wouldn’t rely upon the data to sell advertising, but for an overview it does provide a quick snapshot.
4. Social Media Widget – In real life being followed is creepy, but online we all want it. The Social MEdia Widget makes it simple to include dozens of links with relevant icons to your WordPress site. It’s to simple to use to consider anything else.
3. Gravity Forms – While Formidable Forms is a bit less expensive, it doesn’t quite offer the functionality of Gravity Forms. Building forms is a simple point and click process and the ability to create multiple notifications and multi-page forms makes Gravity Forms far and away the winner. By the way, yes, we’ve used Contact Form 7. Since we train our clients how to make basic updates to their own sites, Contact Form 7 didn’t make the cut because of its complexity by comparison.
Cost for Developer Version: $199 (includes free updates for a year)
2. MapPress Easy Google Maps – I used to use Simple Google Maps just because it was easy and quick to implement, but MapPress Easy Google Maps is even simpler to use and provides far more functionality including on-page, one-click directions (instead of having to leave the site to go to Google).
1. SEO Ultimate – I discovered this awesome plugin when faced with updating the title and description tags for an 800 page website. All in One SEO Pack was sadly lacking in capability when it came to updating multiple pages. With SEO Ultimate, I could update all of the titles via a single page, all of the descriptions via a single page, etc. And then I discovered that SEO Ultimate does about a thousand other cool things ranging from a Nofollow Manager to a Rich Snippet Creator. For the time-pressed or the lazy, SEO Ultimate makes on-page optimization a simple process. This is by far the most powerful of all WordPress plugins for website designers.
Did I neglect to list your favorite plugin? I’d never claim to know them all. Please feel free to share your favorite(s) by leaving a comment. I always like trying new things.
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