With WordPress releasing it’s third (3rd) major iteration to the open source platform, we’ve seen more developers joining the crowd to release plugins en mass. Although the free options for plugins may seem endless there are software firms offering concrete premium plugins at very affordable prices. These generally contain never-before-seen features and offer help documentation for those less tech-savvy.
But where is the market heading? Can we really expect to see any growth in this corner of the web over the next few months? Below we’ll examine the nature of premium WP plugins and hopefully answer a few of these questions.
I’ve also included a small gallery towards the end of this post. Included in the showcase you’ll find some of the most popular and well to-do plugins from our generation. These are mostly very cheap and only require a few steps for installation.
Premium vs. Free Options
When breaking the ecliptic ring of premium and free WordPress themes, there are a few barriers to cross. Many of the popular free options today fit well for some of the most basic solutions. These may include SEO, custom post options, or even in-page widgets.
Premium options step this up a notch with some fantastic additions. SEO has become one of the most important aspects in development. Well written articles and tags will only get you so far with blogging. Some of the most sophisticated plugins can develop a blog sitemap, ping RSS engines and web crawlers automatically. Others can work building meta tags and further behind the scenes techniques for a strong Search Engine presence.
There may be a slew of plugins which can replicate these tasks. But operating at that amount plugins can become tiresome. Generally, premium plugins will come included with forum support and documentation for those willing to spend some time researching. Although a bit convoluted at first, once you understand how to harness the power of premium WordPress plugins, your blogging experience may never be the same again!
The Shrinking Market
I’ve discussed many times whether the market for WordPress is currently shrinking. With the vast improvement of open source technologies it seems plugins are being developed quicker and with less resistance.
So as the digital markets adapting, there are still these two sides waging a war. Many developers fight for an open and free Internet where sharing is based upon the common good of everybody. Towards the other end of our spectrum, small development firms are releasing powerful WordPress plugins for dirt cheap price – many of which can turn a small profit given enough time.
It’s still much too early for predictions towards this market as a whole. If you’ve got strong ideas and notice a gap where nobody else has filled I encourage active development in these areas. Or even better, scour the web for an already-made solution. Premium or free, you may be pleasantly surprised with how active and thorough WordPress’ development community can be.
Along with plugins many development firms will offer great premium themes, too. WordPress’ theming engine is extremely powerful and demonstrates just what is possible behind a PHP/MySQL stack. Check out our small premium themes gallery if you’re interested in delving further here. Often times you’ll run into custom plugins pre-packaged with larger theme collections (a very nice added bonus!)
Exploring the Possibilities
WordPress is not any sort of magical content management system, although it does provide a slew of possibilities in the right hands. I will not recommend installing massive quantities of plugins just to ramp up your site. The effect will actually simulate quite the opposite – bogged down user experience with a cluttered administration panel.
Consider perusing some of the many popular options of plugins mentioned in blogs and forum discussions. Not only the individual collections, but even larger categories such as admin widgets, sidebar panels, user management, e-commerce solutions… you get the idea!
The quality of premium plugins will stand for themselves. I find many of the best plugins on the market today will be offered at similarly low rates. You’ll certainly be paying less than custom template work.
These top-quality plugins will often include online demos and screenshots to get a taste of the software before you buy. As a webmaster, use your best judgement to gauge which functionality you really need to push your blog into the next level.
25 Premium Plugins Worth Knowing
Below is a small showcase of popular premium WordPress plugins. These range from a wide variety and could be found useful in almost any blogging situation. Even when installing WordPress as a community or static webpage, this collection is invaluable to those wishing to harness true power out of the CMS.
Scribe exist for one simple reason – to make search engine optimization easy for all your blog posts. It analyzes your natural, reader-focused content, and tells you how to gently tweak it to spoon feed search engines based on 15 SEO best practices.