One of the best things about wordpress websites are the ability to add plugins to your website, which essentially is just like adding apps to your phone. We thought we’d compile our top 5 wordpress plugins that we rely on for nearly every single wordpress website that we build.
The top 5 wordpress plugins (Oct 2012)
1) WordPress SEO by Yoast
We’ve been somewhat skeptical of WordPress SEO plugins in the past. WordPress by nature is relatively optimised for organic search, but when we installed SEO by Yoast we noticed that with a bit of tweaking we significantly improved our SEO rankings. It incorporates everything from a snippet preview and page analysis functionality that helps you optimise your pages content, images titles, meta descriptions and more to XML sitemaps, and loads of optimisation options in between. It actually makes SEO fun, with the ability to tweak each post for a set of keywords. All our websites now have SEO by Yoast installed by default, and we do basic customisation during the site build.
Gigpress is an event based gig listing. You can use it for more than just gigs/shows, but for any event. The day after the gig/show, it will update and disappear from your current shows list, and add itself to your archive shows. It has a drag and drop widget for your sidebar as well. The best feature, because its run on your database, is that it will remember the venues you’ve played in the past so once you enter the address you won’t have to enter it again! Because musicians are so time poor…
3) Picasa Express x 2
We are a big fan of all things Google, and one of the features we love dearly is Picasa. The ability to add your pics to your computer, and then sync to cloud is a breeze. We then thought it would be unreal to pull these pics into WordPress without having to reupload. Picasa Express is our gateway to our picasa albums. Once it’s configured you can open your Picasa albums right from your post editor, 2 clicks, some shortcode, and viola you have an image gallery.
4) Gravity Forms
Build and publish your WordPress forms in just minutes. It’s drag and drop simplicity. Select your fields, configure your options and easily embed forms on your WordPress powered site using the built-in tools. Configure your form to show or hide fields, sections, pages or even the submit button based on user selections. Gravity Forms allows you to quickly and easily integrate with a variety of third party services such as PayPal. It’s the most comprehensive form system we’ve come across.
5) Woo Commerce
Transform your WordPress website into a thorough-bred online eCommerce store. This plugin is literally an out of the box online superstore. It’s requires specific themes in order to make it look the part, but once installed and configured, you can sell virtual downloads, physical products with various shipping prices, and even upgrade offers. It connects with Paypal very easily, but you can also add additional shopping carts from the major Australian banks. Something we are about to tinkle with.