It’s been awhile since I’ve created a favorite WordPress Plugins post so I felt that a new post of this nature is long overdue. Lots have changed since my original WordPress plugins post so let’s get things going!
Shopp is no longer a top pick. I’ve used it for a client site and although we successfully delivered and deployed the website. 3 years later we’re looking to scrap the website because it no longer works with PHP 5.4+ and Bluehost recently decided to upgrade their servers to this version of PHP. The version we were using 3 years ago was 1.1.9 and it might be true that 2.0 which came out after the site has been launch made much improvement, I find that while working with the plugin and making customization that their code-base was extremely messy. Technical support was not great at all. And their ability to offer upgrades without breaking previous functionality to be very iffy. On the bright side, their documentation for hooks and filters were fantastic. I would stay away from Shopp. It can get quite expensive since everything is ala carte. Want FedEx? USPS? PayPal Pro? All of them are separate modules at $45 a pop.
The worst part about Shopp? NO EXPORT OPTION!! It’s like they want you to be locked in.
What I’ll recommend instead for a WordPress e-commerce plugin? I’ve seen demos of WooCommerce and I like what I see. Out of the box, it seems pretty powerful. It’s also free. The downside is that if you want advance or even basic functionality, some of their plugins are pretty pricey. For example, the CSV Import, so you can bulk import large amount of products into WooCommerce is $199! Still if I was going to create another WordPress e-Commerce site, I would consider WooCommerce myself.
BuddyPress is pretty nifty. Basically your own Facebook software to use with your website. I’ve had the chance to use this on Touch Assembly. Was really impressive. Internal chat, post liking, member statuses, create groups, add friends, etc.. it was all there out of the box. I highly recommend it.
Gravity Forms – Magic. Simply said. Drag and drop form maker at it’s best with reporting features. I’ve used Gravity Forms to create logins, international payment / checkout forms, surveys, generic contact forms, and it is simply awesome. Save tons of time.
Backup Buddy – Best backup for WordPress hands down. Automated backups, easy file retrieval, backup to S3 and various other options, and a great tool for migrating websites. Easily one of my most favorite plugin.
NEW TO THE LIST
Bulk Plugin Installation – Every website I do, I end up installing quite a few plugins. Its always been such as hassle searching and installing each one. Well, with Bulk Plugin Installation, my prayers have been answered! With BPI, I’m able to copy and paste my plugin list and it automatically downloads the each of the plugins in the list and installs them into the WordPress website I’m working on!
Password Protected – Working on a website that isn’t ready to be seen by the public but you want your client to see it after entering the secret password? This plugins for you!
Custom Post Order – Sometimes you install plugins that don’t have ordering ability. Such as a slider plugin and you want to order the slides. Or a picture gallery that doesn’t allow you to order the pictures. This plugin allows you to set an order to items in other plugins. This works on 95% of the plugins out there.
Display widgets – Want to control a widget to show up on certain pages or to show up only when someone is logged in? This one does that.
Enable Media Replace – I still don’t know why WordPress doesn’t have the ability to update a picture or it might be that I havn’t figured it out yet. But this plugin basically allows you to update a picture in the Media section of WordPress. Simple as that! This is a mandatory install for all my WordPress website!
Post Snippets – For those who want to create shortcode consisting of CSS, Javscript, HTML, and PHP but don’t want to or have access to functions.php, this plugin allows you to do this quite easily. Note that there is a glitch using this with Chrome when saving so avoid Chrome when using this plugin.
WP Orbit Slider – An awesome, elegant Slider that I highly recommend especially when using Zurb Foundation for your front-end framework. Else go to the next slider suggestion.
Types – Complete Solution for Custom Fields and Types – This is the most recent plugin I’ve been using. I’ve been a sucker for all these years creating my own custom post types, taxonomies, and custom fields. This plugin does it all for me with a nice WYSIWYG interface. Using this in-conjunction with Custom Post Order above and I can create any customized fields and objects. This is an obvious must have for advance functionality and development. If you have no idea what I just said in the past 3 sentence, this plugin isn’t for you.
EYEING TO TRY
Event Expresso – This is a ticketing system. Probably the best in the WordPress community. Just havn’t had a project that needed it.
Genesis vs. Thesis vs. Woo – WordPress frameworks for rapid custom theme development. This is something I’m been itching to try. Leaning towards Genesis. But I would consider Woo as well especially if I was going to create an eCommerce site. I saw a demo of WooCommerce and was quite impressed with it.
What are your favorite plugins? Feel free to leave some suggestions in the comment section!