10 Must-Have WordPress Plug-Ins

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Our favourite ten WordPress modules.

It comes as no surprise for us to say that WordPress has a wealth of free and paid-for plug-ins. Being the world's favourite CMS, we can see why. Adding a plug-in is trouble-free. Its roots as a blogging platform makes it a natural choice for developers au fait with WordPress.com and WordPress.org for a start. Our ten chosen plug-ins, as with our previous round-ups for Joomla! and Drupal, cover as wide a spectrum as possible.

1. Akismet

If you've hosted a blog on WordPress.com, you may have some idea about Akismet. Using Bayesian techniques, it stops your blog or bog-standard website from being bombarded with comment spam. It has been part of the WordPress community since 2005. There is also pricing plans for professional clients, networks, business websites and universities. Lately, its code has been made available for other content management systems including Drupal.

  • Also Available For: Drupal (as AntiSpam), Joomla! (R Antispam), ExpressionEngine (Low NoSpam) and TYPO3 (Spamshield).
  • Website: http://www.akismet.com

2. Jetpack

Of similar importance to Akismet is probably Jetpack. It enables you to do a number of things often seen on WordPress.com hosted blogs. For example, it allows you to customise your website's CSS. You can also view site statistics, verify your site through social networking sites, or optimise it for mobile themes. Plus you can check spelling and grammar whilst composing your latest blog posts or adding new pages.

3. BuddyPress

BuddyPress enables you to create your own social network. You can add social networking features like user profiles and groups, and activity streams. Typical uses include niche networks for particular interests, a focused social network for new products, plus campus wide social networks and internal communications tools for business.

4. Theme Check

Ever wondered if your theme has valid CSS and HTML5 coding? Or the latest accessibility settings? Help is at hand with the Theme Check plug-in. If you're developing your own WordPress theme, the plugin checks for the latest web standards through a simple menu, and displays the results at once.

5. Ultimate Landing Page

Trying to do a landing page on WordPress may be a slight chore, but Ultimate Landing Page makes light work of it. You can set your landing page as a front page/home page; create forms and Coming Soon pages; and tweak CSS/JavaScript code. There's a number of templates to choose from, plus integration with MailChimp forms. A premium version is avaliable for a modest price ($23; £14.33 at 07 October 2014 rates).

6. Google Language Translator

If you use the Google Chrome web browser, you may be familiar with its automatic translation tools. Supposing you (or your fellow users) don't have Chrome, you can add similar facilities to any WordPress built website. A natty little sidebar enables you to translate your site from English to other languages from Afrikaans to Urdu.

7. WordPress SEO by Yoast

Contrary to popular belief, content management systems offer a wealth of SEO features. WordPress SEO by Yoast offers more comprehensive features and keyword analysis. What's more, you can tinker with Meta tags and Link elements, create XML Sitemaps and edit .htaccess and robots.txt files. There is extra features and one-to-one email support for purchasers of its paid-for equivalent.

8. The CartPress

Owing to its roots as a blogging platform, few may think of WordPress as a base for an online shop. The CartPress scotches that myth once and for all. It has a wealth of eCommerce related features supporting a multitude of currencies. Plus, there's search engine friendly URLs, the addition of two WordPress user roles (Merchant and Customer), and it fits in well with any WordPress theme.

9. Portfolio Gallery

Whereas Jetpack includes basic image galleries, Portfolio Gallery has a few more bells and whistles. There is various ways of toggling, full-height blocks, lightboxes and pop-ups, plus viewing options. The plug-in comes with a selection of sample images. Again, a professional version is also available.

10. Social Media Feather

For our tenth and final plug-in of our round-up is Social Media Feather. This lightweight plug-in enables you to add social media buttons in no time. You can also add grey fade effects and further skins. Not only that, it is probably the only Retina compatible social media plugin on the planet. The little WordPress widget on the sidebar will do the rest.

Get in touch

Contact Media Ventures Ltd,
Unit 4, Lingard Court, Lingard Lane
Bredbury, Cheshire, SK6 2QU
Call: 0161 406 0548
Email: team[at]contactmedia.uk

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