Note: You may also be interested in Six must-have WordPress plugins.
Last week, I talked about six WordPress plugins we install on nearly every WordPress website we launch for our clients.
Of course, we actually install twelve. I assume you’ve been chomping at the bit to know the other six, so let’s get to it!
Google Analytics Dashboard for WP
Google Analytics is a great free way for organizations to track their website statistics. While some companies may need a more robust option, Google Analytics is usually sufficient.
We’ve tried a few different plugins to auto-magically insert the Google Analytics code needed in every page of WordPress websites, and this was our favorite. It also displays some basic statistics on the dashboard when you first log in to WordPress.
If you’re counting the first six plugins we went through, this is the second premium, paid plugin in our list. Again, we think it’s well worth it.
Gravity Forms is the self-proclaimed “easiest tool to create advanced forms for your WordPress powered website.” And we agree. There are other paid and free options out there, but we’ve found Gravity Forms’ interface and add-ons to be well worth it.
You may know already that you can change the actual sizes of the images in your media library. In other words, you can customize how big Large, Medium, and Thumbnail really are. But it turns out that when you change those sizes, it doesn’t really magically resize all the image you’ve already uploaded. It will change how big they display on web pages, but it won’t resize the actual images.
Thank goodness for the Regenerate Thumbnails plugin. By utilizing this plugin, you can resize all those images that are already in your image library.
WordPress’ search functionality isn’t as great as it could be. There are a lot of plugins that extend the basic functionality of it, but the only thing we really wanted was to get excerpts that operate more like Google’s excerpts when you search. In other words, they show the part of the page or blog post that matches the search string.
Although it’s been a long, long time since it has been updated, we still like the simple Search Excerpt plugin.
Simple Page Ordering
You can drag and drop to rearrange menu items in WordPress, so why isn’t the same thing possible with pages?
Now it is! Simple Page Ordering makes it possible to drag and drop any hierarchical post type. And if you don’t have any clue what that means, just think of pages.
WP Ajaxify Comments
So someone has just read a blog article on your website, and they love it so much they go to leave a comment. However, they accidentally leave a required field blank. Bam! Suddenly they’re taken to an error screen that looks nothing like the rest of your website.
This plugin takes care of that issue. Instead of showing your website visitors that completely un-styled error screen, it displays a pop-up error instead, which leaves the visitor far less confused.
That’s our list! It’s ours, and we’re pretty happy with it. Until we find some additional must-have plugins, of course.