Simply Awesome Plugins For WordPress

Plugins can be thought of as add-on’s which improve the functionality of your self-hosted WordPress Site.  There are literally thousands of them to be found in the WordPress Plugin Repository.  Here’s a list of plugins to make your WordPress site both fun and easy to manage.  All of them are either free or very low-cost.  Each of them can be found on the WordPress.org site in the plugins area.  They are meant for self-hosted sites.

Sweet Captcha

Sweet Captcha for WordPress

Sample Sweet Captcha Image

This plug-in is meant to prevent spam bots from taking over your world!  More than that though, it’s simply fun.  Instead of the standard “type the letters and numbers seen below” approach, Sweet Captcha uses fun little pictures.  In order to prove you’re human, all you need to do is either drag and drop or click the picture which answers the riddle presented.  It’s perfect for those sites which have a demographic which is young and fun; and it breaks up the monotony for the demographic which is older and more serious.  It can be used in a number of places on your site; on the log in page, in the registration page, in the comments section of posts.  That plugin can be found in the WordPress Repository.

 

Default Featured Image

Default Featured Image Plugin found in the WordPress Repository

Simple Set up for Default Featured Image Plugin

 

We know photos are an important part of running a WordPress site.  Sometimes though, it’s just tough to remember or there’s no really appropriate photo to go along with the subject you’re making a post for.  In comes Default Featured Image.  This plug-in is great because it will automatically put in a place-holding image as the featured image.  Depending on how your blog is set up, it looks funny or unbalanced if you don’t have an image in the space where the featured image should be.  This plug-in is cool because you can still set up all your descriptions, captions and alt text so you’ll still be pleasing your SEO factors; it’s just less work for you when you’re posting.  That plug-in can also be found in the repository right here.

 

Bookly Lite

Bookly Plugin found on WordPress

Bookly Plugin

By far, this was the nicest looking and most functional appointment booking plugin I have found.  The lite version is free for a single user.   It has lots of customizability.  You can change the color to whatever you like using hex codes,  you can add your business hours, services and block of holidays either at the business level or on the individual service provider level.  Once you’ve entered your business and staff information, it’s easy to add the calendar and booking feature to any post or page.  The plugin places a Bookly button in the editor so you can just drop the short code into any page and tweak it to suit your needs.  The only bump I ran into was that it’s not always mobile friendly.  On mobile devices, from time to time, the calendar would just disappear from the page.  The lite version is free and the paid version is only $38 at time of writing.  The upgrade to pro enables a few features like having more users and being able to take payments through a gateway such as PayPal.  That plug-in is in the WordPress Repository here.

 

Pixabay Images Plugin

Pixabay Image Plugin | Search Results

Pixabay Image Plugin | Search Results

 

If you’re ever stuck for images to insert into your posts, here’s a solution.  Pixabay Images Plugin connects you to Creative Commons free images which don’t require having attribution or link backs.  once installed, the plug-in puts a Pixabay button on top of your editor and you click it, type in a search term and then choose from hundreds of photos to place in your page or post.  It’s just like using the WordPress photo editor, it’s so simple.  That one is right here on the WordPress.org site.

 

 

PureChat

Pure Chat Plugin Widget Settings

Pure Chat Plugin Widget Settings

 

This plugin is great for live support on your website.  There are many options to insert this plugin onto your site by using a widget once you’ve customized the appearance you’re after.  It’s free for one user for up to 30 chats per month, and at the time of writing, it was only $5 for each additional user you add.  They have a highly functional mobile app as well that you can download on your smart device to be able to respond to chat support requests on the go. You always have the option to use the dashboard in the web-based version too. The ability to customize the appearance is probably the coolest feature of the plugin.  If you want a logo or a photo to appear in the pop-up chat window, you go it!  That plug-in can be found here.

 

 

WP Legal Pages

Often overlooked when people are setting up a website, particularly for business owners wanting a DIY site, are the terms and conditions and privacy policy pages that should be contained on every site.  WP Legal pages can help with that. It’s as simple as filling in your business information and the plugin does the rest, auto-populating and publishing your legal pages.  All you have to do is add them to your menu where you’d like them to appear on your site (the footer menu is most common).  Quick and simple, you can have your terms and conditions set up in about five minutes.  Check out the plugin here.  Be sure to go back and re-read the pages and check for oddities in language; make sure it’s perfect!

 

Leenk.me Plugin

Leenkme Plugin Settings Editor on Post

Leenkme Plugin Settings Editor on Post

Yes, I’ve saved it for last and it’s my very favorite!  This plugin is AWESOME!!  Many people have multiple social feeds that they like to post to.  This plugin is a real time and insanity saver.  It allows you the ability to automatically post updates from your website onto your Twitter account, your Facebook account and your LinkedIn and Friend Feeds.  What really sets this plug-in apart is that it allows you to drill down and specify whether you’d like those posts to be on your Facebook Page, as opposed to your personal profile on Facebook.  That is a game changer!  Once installed, the plugin places a special editor box below your post editor at the bottom of your page and you can really customize the way your post will appear on each of the feeds.  You’ll also have the option to exclude that specific post from one individual feed or from all of them, depending on your preferences.  You can edit the heck out of how it will appear, including headlines and content.  This plugin has made my life so much easier.  Go get it here.

 

 

Go check them out!

Check out all these fabulous plugins just by searching for their names on the WordPress.org Plugins page.  If you need any help with the installation and set up of any of them, give us a call at Orange Ambition, we’d be happy to help!