WordPress is the most popular platform for creating websites and blogs. There is one key reason for the popularity of this premium platform. It is its support of a wide variety of useful plugins and templates. This makes it a highly flexible and customizable tool.
There are literally thousands of WordPress plugins to select from. This is certainly good news for website designers, but it has a downside as well. Just how does one go about separating the wheat from the chaff in the search for the right plugin? Or, for a plugin that offers the precise functionality, you need to accomplish a given task?
We’ve done the search for you, and proudly present nine of the top plugins on the market today. These nine were selected in part on the functions they perform. These functions are most useful in satisfying the needs of clients and users alike.
Table and chart building can be tedious tasks, especially when you take the data management tasks that are often involved into account. wpDataTables makes it easy. This best-selling WordPress plugin is currently in use by more than 12,000 companies.
This powerful plugin is an excellent choice for anyone working with statistical, financial, or scientific data, as well as for anyone who simply wants to create unique, responsive, colorful, and easy to maintain charts or tables. You can publish responsive tables in WordPress with many other purposes in mind as well, including product and price comparisons, product and services price lists and catalogs, sporting event rundowns and statistics as well as for organizing all types of data collection.
wpDataTables’ Conditional Formatting function is particularly useful. It enables you to highlight and even color code rows, columns or individual cells based on their content. Not only will your finished products be superbly organized and highly readable, they will be flat-out immaculate.
Sliders are often used to add pleasing special effects to a website or to call attention to an item or items of significance. LayerSlider is a premium multi-purpose animation platform that can do so much more for you.
In addition to creating sliders based on a variety of layouts, you can create slideshows, image galleries, and animated page blocks and popups. You can even create landing pages and a full website using this multi-purpose platform.
Since LayerSlider is responsive and device friendly, your sliders, image galleries, etc., will look great on any kind of screen size, whether it is on a desktop, a tablet, or a smartphone.
A visual drag and drop editor enables you to easily do what you need to get done without any need for coding. LayerSlider is developer friendly as well, and the documentation is superb as is the technical support.
NextGEN Gallery and NextGEN Pro both qualify as the premier plugins of their type on the market today. NextGEN Pro offers more features and is therefore the most powerful of the two, but NextGEN Gallery has served as the industry standard over the past decade, and this open-source software solution is free.
Both the Gallery and the Pro version are easy to use for a newbie looking to build a small gallery, yet powerful enough to accommodate a creative artist wanting to showcase a huge number of images.
You’ll be able to manage and display thousands of images with ease, create albums, allow clients to pick items, sell prints or downloads, and accept payments via Stripe, PayPal, and personal check.
We suggest giving NextGen Gallery a try. Having done so, you can check out the various extensions available in the Pro version.
MapSVG is a tool that enables any SVG file to be converted to an interactive vector map. The package includes a worldwide selection of geo-calibrated vector maps that allow users to add markers by simply entering an address in the search field.
MapSVG is at present the only WordPress plugin having the ability to create vector maps, Google maps, and image maps.
WP Review Pro provides the ideal solution if you are reviewing products, movies, books, games, or whatever. 14 types of snippets are supported, and the 16 pre-made templates can be customized to fit your brand. A choice of star, point, percentage, circle and thumbs ratings systems allows you to fit the type of review to the type of product.
Review Pro is WooCommerce compatible, compatible with any WordPress theme, mobile friendly, and offers 24/7 dedicated support.
Essential Grid by ThemePunch is the Number 1 WordPress grid-building solution. With the highly customizable grid feature this plugin gives you, it’s possible to display your content in virtually any format you can think of.
Essential Grid is a highly useful tool to have at your fingertips when you are creating image galleries or blogs, or building WooCommerce shops, social media streaming capabilities, or almost anything else you can imagine.
Heroic FAQs helps you manage and build your website’s FAQ section. You can use one of the 5 styles featured or use the Visual FAQ Creator, the Drag and Drop FAQ Builder, and the FAQ Style Configurator to create your own.
Heroic FAQs allows you to create a comprehensive FAQ section that contains no redundancies or repetitive questions, while at the same time providing instant answers to questions users are most likely to ask.
The PhotoBlocks Grid Gallery plugin provides one of the most flexible WordPress gallery solutions on the market. You can mix different media, use both horizontal and vertical images in the same galleries and span them over multiple rows or columns.
Your pixel perfect gallery grids will always be justified and responsive. Multiple hover effects are available.
Blog2Social is an all-in-one social media automation solution that supports LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, and 10 other social media networks. Now, you can automatically schedule and share your social media posts and cross-promote content.
Where Blog2Social really shines is it enables you to take into account the differences between social media platforms, customize your messages accordingly, and avoid the sometimes-serious problem of sending identical messages to every platform.
We hope you’ve found a design solution you’ve had a need for. Any one of these plugins should positively impact your workflow. Your clients will shower you with additional assignments and referred customers.
Add all 9 plugins to your tool kit, and there’s no limit to what you can accomplish in 2018 and beyond.