A Few of My Favorite WordPress Plugins

Recommended WordPress Plugins

I gave a small talk on plugins at WordCamp LA recently and was inspired to start compiling a list of my most commonly recommended ones. I’ve also started collecting them as Favorites at my WordPress.org profile but there’s no way to organize them there according to topic or purpose. The list is by no means exhaustive so if you have any requests for recommended plugins of a certain kind, leave a comment and I’ll see about incorporating them into a future edition.

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Here’s what’s on there as of now:

CONTACT FORMS

Formidable (free and premium)
http://wordpress.org/plugins/formidable/
Formidable has both a free and paid version. The free version is one of the better free form builders available. For me, the workflow and interface is easier to work with than other free plugins such as Ninja Forms or Contact Form 7.

Gravity Forms
http://webtrainingwheels.com/recommends/gravity-forms/ (aff. link)
Gravity Form is strictly a premium plugin – there is no free version. I have invested in the Developer license and use it on most sites because it’s so powerful. This is more than just a contact form plugin – it gives you advanced data collection and processing capabilities. There are add-ons to integrate with other services such as PayPal, MailChimp and many others. Developers will find it very customizable via the many hooks and filters provided.

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Why Am I Getting Notifications of New User Registrations On My Site?

New User Registrations on WordPress Sites

A common question I get from new WordPress users (twice in the past week as a matter of fact), typically arriving in a panic-stricken email, is “Why am I getting notices of new user registrations on my site?” The follow-up questions are along the lines of “Have I been hacked??” “Is this spam?” “How do I make the madness stop?”

The answer is thankfully simple. There’s one little setting in your WordPress dashboard which is needlessly (at least in most cases) allowing people to register for your site. Unless you’ve deliberately customized it, the registration screen is at the same url on most WordPress sites:

http://www.yourdomain.com/wp-login.php?action=register

So it’s easy for spambots to find that page in an automated fashion. And those spambots love a good form to fill in whether that’s a comment form, a contact form or a registration form!

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4 Essential Online Marketing Resources

Smart Passive Income - Tim Ferriss

Figuring out WordPress and getting your website up and running is just the beginning of having a successful site. What happens next is where the real work begins! As a website owner you’ll need to know the fundamentals of online marketing – search engine optimization, conversion optimization and all kinds of other skills to help you generate traffic and business with your site. With Google constantly changing and new developments happening all the time, it’s tough to keep abreast of what’s going on. Here’s a few of my favorite resources for keeping up on online marketing from those who are already finding success. 

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Put Back What’s Missing in WordPress 3.9 – Advanced Image Options and Text Color Picker

missing-3.9

WordPress 3.9 came out last month and while the post/page editing screen has generally been improved there’s a couple of small features that have been removed. Chances are a lot of folks won’t ever miss them, but some of you will and already are.

The two main things I get complaints about are the missing border and spacing options for images, and the lack of color options for text. 

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The Best Free Image Slider Plugin for WordPress

Best Free Image Slider Plugin for WordPress

Image sliders are one of the most requested features from my clients but try Google-ing for a good one and you’ll find more than you know what to do with. One blog post promised 125 of them!! Don’t wade through that crap. Here are my top choices.

Let me first clarify what I mean by image sliders. This is not a “featured content” slider – so they don’t automatically show your latest blog posts or anything dynamic like that. You manually choose what images you want to put in your slider. This is not for image galleries so there’s no light boxes. This is simply for showcasing images in a rotating display.

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How To Add Social Icons To Your WordPress Navigation Menu

WordPress Plugin - Menu Social Icons

I’m loving this new plugin I recently discovered called Menu Social Icons. In a simple and elegant fashion it allows you to easily add icons to the major social networks directly into your WordPress menus. There has always been a multitude of plugins to let you add social icons to your widget areas, but sometimes there’s just not a widget area where you need one to be. So now you have the option of adding icons wherever you have a WordPress navigation menu.

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