In the past I’ve shared individual posts dedicated to some of the WordPress plugins I’ve used over my sites. Now having just completed a move from the overly expensive SiteGround to the realistically priced and UK based Krystal Hosting, I’ve been spending some much needed time with my current website properties. In this time I’ve needed either new or improved functionality and so have been searching and testing plugins left, right and centre. Here is a list of the useful plugins I am now using, for future reference really.
Please bare in mind that some of these plugins are out of date, or may cause errors if you are unwilling to troubleshoot. Some of them may restore features that the WP Developers have removed. But that’s the great thing about WordPress, it’s based in open-source culture where changing things is the normal. Links for these plugins have been provided where available, however all are searchable on wordpress.org unless premium.
TinyMCE & TinyMCE Recover – TinyMCE I believe is the current standard WordPress visual post editor, but that is soon to be replaced by this new editing experience they are testing at the moment. However as an old-school WordPresser, I still like the TinyMCE interface for normal post publishing. However WP decided a while ago to get rid of the Fully Justify and Underline buttons from the toolbar. And that’s what TinyMCE Recover does. Re-enables these options. Simple. But useful.
WP Menu Image – I use this plugin currently on ihadthiscrazyidea.co.uk and it quite simply allows for an image to be used next to a menu item.
What the File – This is an older plugin which I don’t tend to need too often these days, having learnt generally how WordPress works with its pages and template system. But it’s still useful for those pesky situations. The plugin plays a menu item on the admin top bar. This item tells you what template file is rendering the current page you are on. A Timesaver.
Admin Columns – This plugin lets you configure different layouts for the post, page and custom post types you may be using in the WordPress administration backend. Extremely useful plugin.
All-in-One WP Migration – Still my go-to migration plugin for WordPress, for those without the luxury of a staging area.
Featured Images in RSS – A no brainer for me. I use RSS for syndication on a few websites now, have done for a while, and I believe it’s functionality is way overlooked. However it does as standard lack some features and is becoming ‘old’ quickly. Having featured images sent via RSS is every useful to me. Otherwise its a case of importing what could be hundreds of posts and manually providing a featured image for all of them.
Yellow Pencil Pro – This is the first paid or premium plugin featured on my list. I bought Yellow Pencil via CodeCanyon a few years ago now, it still provides me with useful features when I need to make small tweaks to template files. Yellow Pencil provides a visual editing through which these edits are possible. Of course this is the lazy approach that ‘real coders’ wouldn’t use. But I am not a ‘real coder’, I am a user, a creative, and sometimes I don’t want to go three hours deep into research to change the size of a few pixels on a page.
Admin Taxonomy Filter – This is another bit of basic functionality that doesn’t seem to be in WordPress as standard. This plugin allows a filter to be placed on administration pages which allows the filtering of the post list by taxonomy. Useful if you have many CPT’s installed on the same site.
Child Theme Wizard – We should all use child themes when making template changes right? Yes, but how many of you forget to make a child theme before you start tweaking? – Oh just me then. This helps.
Ductile Responsive Video – This plugin is great. I have to admit, this is probably possible through basic embed code, but once I’ve found something that works in one place, I find I have to try it elsewhere too.
Essential Grid – By ThemePunch. This is another premium plugin. It is incredibly capable and detailed when it comes to all of its options for creating Post Grids. There are may a post-grid plugin out there, but none as detailed (and confusing) as this one. It’s well worthy of its steep learning curve however.
Hide Featured Image – If your theme doesn’t provide you with an option via the Customizer, this plugin should give you that option when editing your posts.
WCK – This is one of many Custom Post Type generator plugins that exist for WordPress. The process is the same across all these style of plugins, and yes it’s possible again to do by inserting code into functions.php – But that in itself isn’t really promoting ‘best practice’. I’ve now used WCK on multiple sites and I’ve learnt the process well enough to not require guidance or copy & paste every time I setup both a Custom Post Type and a new Taxonomy. (Slowly learning). I think this plugin does the job well without overwhelming the user with options.
Admin Menu Editor – This is an admin backend plugin that allows for the advanced editing of the WordPress Admin Menu. You can completely recreate your admin menu with the help of this plugin, or you can use it, like I have to make small adjustments and group your links into sections, hide unwanted / unneeded menu items and more.
FeedWordPress – This is the plugin I use for Syndication via RSS. I’ve found in my research that the Atom RSS links seem to be the most reliable these days. Plugin provides options but again isn’t overkill for users who simply want really simple syndication.
I think that’ll about do it for now… More in a few more years when the rest of them become outdated and I remember to post again.