In itself, WordPress may not be the most efficient and exciting platform to work with. Yet, given the ability to customize it with plugins and themes, it’s possible to create any website. And do so with comparative ease.
WordPress plugins offer great ways to integrate useful and important features into a website. Many WordPress themes include several popular themes in their package. And some web designers use custom-made plugins to suit their individual needs.
If there’s a problem with plugins, it’s that there are so many of them on the market. Some very good, and some are not all that good; which can make finding the best of the bunch a challenge.
We’ve taken care of that for you. You’ll find the ones we’ve listed here are not only useful, but in a couple of instances the functionality they provide is essential, if you don’t already have it.
wpDataTables provides a multitude of data management functionalities, including the ability to construct editable tables and charts. In many respects, working with this WP plugin is not much different than working with Excel, except you can do so much more.
wpDataTables allows you to work with extremely large amounts of data. The tables you create can be managed in a number of ways. Since data management is handled by the MySQL server, operations typically happen with lightning speed.
A particularly useful wpDataTables feature is that, since the tables you create are natively responsive, you needn’t concern yourself as to how your information will appear on mobile devices.
You can also create editable charts from your data tables. When data changes, both your tables and your charts can be made to reflect those changes in real time. You can also highlight rows, columns, and individual data cells in accordance with the nature of their content.
You’ll find wpDataTables very useful, whether you work with small, or huge, amounts of data.
LayerSlider it is used by so many websites, that you can be forgiven if you thought that their slider is custom coded. You’ll find sliders being used effectively in many modern, thoughtfully-designed websites, to create some out-of-this-world slideshows, display a product line, and even tell a story. Sliders are found on home pages, landing pages, image galleries, and page blocks.
With LayerSlider the content can be presented cyclically or randomly, you can create multi-step animations, use pop-out sliders as a special effect, and more.
LayerSlider is easy to work with, since you can do most of what you want done by drag and drop, plus coding is not required. A selection of importable, customizable templates are included to help you get started, user support is excellent, and you can count on receiving future upgrades.
Personalization is changing the face of online marketing with dynamic messaging and tailored content. Logic Hop brings the power of personalization to WordPress and makes it easy to add to your website.
Logic Hop uses real-time data to target individual users and show the right content at the right time. By harnessing behaviors and actions, this powerful service can be a huge conversion booster and is a must-have tool for online stores and marketers.
Additional website security is a benefit you should not want to pass up. Wordfence Security’s Web Application Firewall is designed to protect your website from hackers. In this respect, Wordfence Security could be looked upon as being a "must have" WP plug in.
It will alert you instantly if your website is at risk of being compromised, plus it provides a real-time indication of any hacking attempts that might be underway.
W3 Total Cache is another plugin that fits nicely into the "must have" or "essential" category. Performance and download times are important characteristics of any website, and are critical for some.
The WordPress plugin can help you to seriously increase performance and reduce download times, and consequently improve the UX and SEO attributes of your site. A visit to the W3 Total Cache website should convince you that this plugin belongs in your toolkit.
Final Tiles is a useful plugin for photography sites, but almost any web designer who wishes to incorporate a gallery in his/her site will appreciate what Final Tiles can accomplish.
Most gallery images feature identical sizes and aspect ratios. Final Tiles allows you to use a grid layout that is adjustable to any size and aspect ratio you choose, on a per image basis.
The Yellow Pencil plugin allows you to edit a website design in real time. It is a CSS-style editor that gives you the option of clicking on a design element and editing it, whether you’re working on WordPress, or working with a WordPress theme.
With over 50 styles and properties, you’ll have more control over your design than you ever thought possible. Visual resizing and an advanced responsive capability are included in Yellow Pencil’s features.
WooThumbs will be a nice addition to your designer’s tool kit if your product pages need some spicing up by using special effects. Feature like image zoom, follow, hover, and outside zoom not only make your site more professional-looking, but help users as well.
These features are often most effective when used subtly, so you don’t want to go overboard. With WooThumbs, you can also position thumbnail images around main images.
(Update: Content Timeline has since retired.)
Website owners at times include content that lends itself to being displayed on a timeline. Examples of this would be posts on a blog site and customer reviews. The Content Timeline plugin makes it possible for you to display blocks of content in a sliding timeline.
Use Content Timeline’s drag and drop capability to sequence and sort your content. You can then add, delete, or edit the timeline when there is need to do so. 12 customizable Card Layouts that come with this plugin can be used to give your timelines an added flair, or a more professional look. You can also create a card from scratch.
Swipe functionality has been included to benefit touchscreen and device users, and you can sort posts by month, year, or category. Users have posted excellent reviews, and given Content Timeline close to a solid 5-star rating.
As you have probably noticed, these WordPress plugins have a great deal to offer; ranging from conveniences, to must-have features. Pick one or two, or bulk up your tool kit by choosing them all.
Some are available for free for a trial period; others are premium – period. Visit the various websites to discover extra features that may not have been mentioned here.
Read Also: How to Use AMP with WordPress