Recommended Plugins

Some of the best free WordPress plugins from the official library.
These are my personal recommendations, all installed, tried & tested.
See “Jason’s comments” for tips & suggestions related to the plugin.
These recommended default plugins are included in the WordPress installation service.

Please contact me for further assistance.

Mar 032014
 

WordPress Plugin Name: Display Widgets
http://wordpress.org/plugins/display-widgets/

Plugin Author: Strategy11
WordPress profile: Strategy11
Contributors: sswells
Version: 2.03
Last updated: January 20, 2014 (3 months ago)
Compatibility (latest version): 100% (of votes)
Tested up to (WP version): WP 3.8.3
Download count: 414,761
Rating: 5 (out of 5)

Description


Change your sidebar content for different pages, categories, custom taxonomies, and WPML languages. Avoid creating multiple sidebars and duplicating widgets by adding check boxes to each widget in the admin (as long as it is written in the WordPress version 2.8 format) which will either show or hide the widgets on every site page. Great for avoiding extra coding and keeping your sidebars clean.

By default, 'Hide on checked pages' is selected with no boxes checked, so all current widgets will continue to display on all pages.

You can also find a development version where you can add translations and bug fixes on (GitHub)

http://strategy11.com/display-widgets/

Translations



Screenshots:


  1. display-widgets screenshot 1

    The extra widget options added.



Other notes:




Latest Change log entry:


  • Default to check for widgets on wp_loaded hook
  • Added dw_callback_trigger hook to change timing of first widget sidebar check
  • Fixed saving widget settings when widget is first added
  • Updated Polish translation


Tags:


admin, content, filter, hide, page, plugin, Post, posts, show, sidebar, widget, widget context, widget logic, widgets, wordpress, wpmu

Jason's Comments:


There are few plugins offering the same thing, “widget logic” requires filters, “widget logic visual” has not been updated in two years – this one seems to work well.


Feb 022014
 

WordPress Plugin Name: Sliding Panel
http://wordpress.org/plugins/sliding-panel/

Plugin Author: Justin Tadlock
WordPress profile: Justin Tadlock
Contributors: greenshady
Version: 0.2.0
Last updated: October 11, 2013 (6 months ago)
Compatibility (latest version): Unknown (of votes)
Tested up to (WP version): WP 3.7.1
Download count: 28,187
Rating: 5 (out of 5)

Description


The Sliding Panel plugin creates a new sidebar for your site that allows you to add widgets. These widgets appear within a responsive sliding panel at the top of your site on the front end.

Features

  • It's a jQuery-powered sliding panel. That's a feature in-and-of itself, right?
  • Uses widgets, so you can add pretty much anything you can add to any other sidebar.
  • Uses the WordPress-packaged jQuery.
  • Will automatically display with any correctly-coded theme.
  • Supports HTML5 and Schema.org microdata.
  • It's responsive, so it'll look good on any device.

Professional Support

If you need professional plugin support from me, the plugin author, you can access the support forums at Theme Hybrid, which is a professional WordPress help/support site where I handle support for all my plugins and themes for a community of 40,000+ users (and growing).

Plugin Development

If you're a theme author, plugin author, or just a code hobbyist, you can follow the development of this plugin on it's GitHub repository.

Donations

Yes, I do accept donations. If you want to buy me a beer or whatever, you can do so from my donations page. I appreciate all donations, no matter the size. Further development of this plugin is not contingent on donations, but they are always a nice incentive.



Screenshots:


  1. sliding-panel screenshot 1

    Sliding panel in its open view with widgets.



Other notes:




Latest Change log entry:




Tags:


html5, javascript, jquery, sidebar, slider, widget

Jason's Comments:


Top of the page, vertically sliding, widgets tab, for up to three widgets.
Some examples widgets for sliding panel: contact info / form, user login panel, shopping cart, social follow / share buttons…


Jan 072014
 

WordPress Plugin Name: YOP Poll
http://wordpress.org/plugins/yop-poll/

Plugin Author: yourownprogrammer
WordPress profile: yourownprogrammer
Contributors: yourownprogrammer
Version: 4.9.1
Last updated: February 12, 2014 (2 months ago)
Compatibility (latest version): Unknown (of votes)
Tested up to (WP version): WP 3.8.3
Download count: 94,086
Rating: 5 (out of 5)

Description


YOP Poll plugin allows you to easily integrate a survey in your blog post/page and to manage the polls from within your WordPress dashboard but if offers so much more than other similar products. Simply put, it doesn't lose sight of your needs and ensures that no detail is left unaccounted for.

To name just a few improvements, you can create polls to include both single or multiple answers, work with a wide variety of options and settings to decide how you wish to sort your poll information, how to manage the results, what details to display and what to keep private, whether you want to view the total votes or the total voters, to set vote permissions or block voters etc.

Scheduling your polls is no longer a problem. YOP Poll can simultaneously run multiple surveys (no limit included) or you can schedule your polls to start one after another. Also, keeping track of your polls is easy, you have various sorting functions and you can access older versions at any time.

Designed to intuitive and easy to use, this plugin allows shortcodes and includes a widget functionality that fits perfectly with your WordPress website. For more details on the included features, please refer to the description below.

Current poll features:

  • Create/ Edit / Clone/Delete poll - allows you to create or intervene in your survey at any time, if you consider it necessary.

  • Poll scheduling: programs each poll to start/end on a certain date. You can simultaneously run multiple polls you can use this option to schedule your polls one after another.

  • Display polls: you can choose to display one or more polls on your website by simply adding the corresponding poll ID. You can also decide for a random display of your active polls.

  • View all polls: lists all your polls that you can sort by number of votes or voters, by question or by date and includes a search option.

  • Poll answers - allows other answers, multiple answers and includes a sorting module by various criteria: in exact order, in alphabetical order, by number of votes, ascending, descending etc.

  • Poll results - offers a great flexibility when displaying the results: before/after vote, after poll's end date, on a custom date or never. The results can also be displayed by vote numbers, percentages or both. You can choose to include a view results link, view number of votes or number of voters.

  • Add new custom fields - is a complex option that you can use to ask for additional information from your voters, information that you can then download and use for.

  • Reset stats - proves useful when you wish to restart a poll.

  • Vote permissions: - limits the voting accessibility to guests, registered users or both, or blocks user access by cookie, IP and username.

  • Archive options - allows the users of the website to access former polls statistics. You can choose which polls to display according to their start/end date.

  • Edit/delete/clone templates - allows you to customize the poll using either the html or the visual modes. You can also customize the result bar.

  • Display Options - displays answers and results tabulated, vertically or horizontally.

  • Logs and bans - user logs and bans can be seen in the admin section. You can ban users by email, username and IP and you can set the limitation preferences for all your polls or for just one of them.



Screenshots:


  1. yop-poll screenshot 1

    Add New

  2. yop-poll screenshot 2

    Templates

  3. yop-poll screenshot 3

    View All

  4. yop-poll screenshot 4

    YOP Poll as a widget with a custom field defined

  5. yop-poll screenshot 5

    YOP Poll on a page with a custom field defined



Other notes:


Donations

We've given a lot of thought to make this application one of the best ones available and we continue to invest our time and effort perfecting it. If you want to support our work, please consider making a donation.



Latest Change log entry:


  • Fixed issue with Template preview not working in IE8
  • Fixed issue with wpautop filter
  • Redefined admin area allowed tags: a(href, title, target), img( src, title), br
  • Fixed issue with Other answers


Tags:


poll, polling, polls, survey, vote, voting, yop, yop poll

Jason's Comments:


You can set up and manage one vote per person (Vote permissions) using the built in filter cookie and IP address, but it’s not bullet proof, without burdening the user to register, and then filtering vote permission with username.


Dec 052013
 

WordPress Plugin Name: Kebo Twitter Feed
http://wordpress.org/plugins/kebo-twitter-feed/

Plugin Author: Kebo
WordPress profile: Kebo
Contributors: PeterBooker
Version: 1.4.11
Last updated: April 10, 2014 (1 week ago)
Compatibility (latest version): Unknown (of votes)
Tested up to (WP version): WP 3.9
Download count: 104,261
Rating: 5 (out of 5)

Description


Hassle-free and user-friendly way to add a Twitter Feed to your website. Get started in just a few clicks without the need to setup your own Twitter App. Use the provided Widget or Shortcode to easily display your Tweets on your website.

Why use Kebo Twitter Feed?

  • Get started in just a few clicks. No setting up your own Twitter App.
  • Fits seamlessly with your current site design.
  • Friendly and active support.
  • Compatible with any WordPress hosting.
  • WordPress Multisite compatible.
  • Refreshes Tweets in the background, never impacts pageload.
  • Translation ready (see below for included languages).

Other solutions usually require you to create a Twitter App and provide the plugin with oAuth credentials yourself. We don't believe it should be that hard, and with our plugin you can get the Tweets displayed on your website with just a few clicks.

We make this so easy by managing all the complex oAuth requests on our own server using our Twitter app. Our app only asks for read permission and we only ever request publically available information. Your data is never stored on our system and you can read more about how we treat your information in our privacy policy.

Main Features

  • Hassle-free setup (no creating a Twitter App).
  • Easily display Tweets with a Widget or Shortcode.
  • Choose to show a profile image, attached media and much more with your Tweets.
  • Advanced Caching, so that we never impact pageload speed.
  • Local cache backup, in case the connection to Twitter has problems.

Included Translations

Rate Us / Feedback

Please take the time to let us and others know about your experiences by leaving a review. If your use of our plugin has not been a five star experience we would like to understand why, so that we can improve the plugin for you and other users.



Screenshots:


  1. kebo-twitter-feed screenshot 1

    This is the settings page for the plugin, you will need to connect your website to Twitter by clicking the 'Conntect to Twitter' button.

  2. kebo-twitter-feed screenshot 2

    Once you have setup a connection to Twitter, this is what the settings page should look like. You will now have access to our Widget.

  3. kebo-twitter-feed screenshot 3

    This is the Widget you can use to display your Twitter Feed.

  4. kebo-twitter-feed screenshot 4

    The Widget in action on the soon to be released theme 'Twenty Thirteen' coming in the next major WordPress update.

  5. kebo-twitter-feed screenshot 5

    An example of how the Widget fits into the design of a theme automatically.



Other notes:


Styling the Widget

We use the the inbuilt methods to output the Widget and Title containers so that it should fit seamlessly into your website.

If you want to style the inside of the Widget below is the HTML structure:

<ul class="kebo-tweets">

    <li class="ktweet">

        <div class="kmeta">
            <a class="kaccount"></a>
            <a class="kdate"></a>
        </div>
        
        <p class="ktext">
            <a><img class="kavatar" /></a>
        </p>

        <div class="kfooter">
            <a class="ktogglemedia"></a>
            <a class="kreply"></a>
            <a class="kretweet"></a>
            <a class="kfavourite"></a>
        </div>

        <div class="kmedia">
            <a><img /></a>
        </div>

    </li>

</ul>

The slider has one significant change which is that the containing unordered list has an ID of 'kebo-tweet-slider'.

Developers Notes

You can directly access the object containing all the Tweets like this:

<?php $tweets = kebo_twitter_get_tweets(); ?>

This function checks the cache and refreshes the data if needed. Then returns the object containing all the Tweets. Below is an example of how you might use the data:

<?php $tweets = kebo_twitter_get_tweets(); ?>

<?php $i = 0; ?>

<?php if ( isset( $tweets[0]->created_at ) ) : ?>

    <?php foreach ($tweets as $tweet) : ?>

        <?php echo $tweet->text; ?>

        <?php if (++$i == 10) break; ?>

    <?php endforeach; ?>

<?php else : ?>

    <p>Sorry, the Tweet data is not in the expected format.</p>

<?php endif; ?>

What data is available?

The object we store contains everything that the Twitter API returns, leaving what you use in your control. Below are some of the most useful items:

$tweet->id_str // Tweet ID
$tweet->created_at // Date/Time created
$tweet->text // The content text (URLs already HTML links)
$tweet->user->id_str // Author ID
$tweet->user->name // Author display name
$tweet->user->screen_name // Author screen name
$tweet->user->location // Author location
$tweet->user->description // Author description
$tweet->user->followers_count // Author followers count
$tweet->user->friends_count // Author friends count
$tweet->user->profile_image_url // Authors profile image URL
$tweet->user->profile_image_url_https // As above but with HTTPS

There are many ways you could use this information for more than just a Twitter Feed. For example you could also use this to track the follower count of your Twitter account for display on your website.

Shortcodes

Currently there is one Shortcode which can be used to replicate the behavior of the Widget. You can call this shortcode in the content of a post and/or page using:

[kebo_tweets]

Or by using PHP directly:

<?php echo do_shortcode('[kebo_tweets]'); ?>

Here is the shortcode with all the available attributes and their default values:

[kebo_tweets title="" count="5" style="list" theme="light" offset="false" avatar="off" conversations="false" media="false"]

The available options are:

Title - Text
Count - 1-50
Style - list/slider
Theme - light/dark
Avatar - on/off
Offset - 1-50
Conversations - true/false
Media - true/false

Embedded Tweets

WordPress has inbuilt functionality for embedding Tweets directly into posts/pages. You can do this by simply pasting the full URL of the Tweet into the content, the URL will look similar to this:

https://twitter.com/BarackObama/statuses/266031293945503744


Latest Change log entry:




Tags:




Jason's Comments:


Plugin short code is useful for displaying in a page, with various display options.


Nov 142013
 

Version: 1.0.8
Last updated: October 28, 2013 (6 months ago)
Compatibility (latest version): Unknown (of votes)
Tested up to (WP version): WP 3.7.1
Download count: 24,905
Rating: 5 (out of 5)

Description


The plugin adds a button in the richtext editor which allows you to easily generate the short code for WordPress Simple Paypal Shopping Cart. It saves you typing the short codes and therefore reducing the chance of typos. The plugin is very easy to use. You just fill out a form and it will generate the necessary shortcode.

Support

If the shopping cart doesn't work or the shipping doens't work please ask those questions in WordPress Simple Paypal Shopping Cart's forums

If the icon doesn't work then this is an issue with UI for WordPress Simple Paypal Shopping Cart whose

Support is handled on our site: http://club.orbisius.com/support/ Please do NOT use the WordPress forums or other places to seek support. New: We have launched our membership site which gives you access to all of our premium plugins at an affordable price.

Author

Svetoslav Marinov (Slavi) | Free Local Classified Ads - MiniAds.ca



Screenshots:


  1. ui-for-wp-simple-paypal-shopping-cart screenshot 1

    Plugin dashboard icon

  2. ui-for-wp-simple-paypal-shopping-cart screenshot 2

    Plugin UI for entering product details



Other notes:




Latest Change log entry:




Tags:


digishop, e-commerce, e-shop, e-store, ecommerce, online shop, payment, paypal, Paypal shopping cart, sell digital products, shop, shopping cart, store, wordperss ecommerce, WordPress shopping cart, wp

Jason's Comments:


This plugin makes the WP simple shopping cart plugin easier to use with a simple form to fill in all the purchase button details.


Nov 142013
 

WordPress Plugin Name: ThemeFuse Maintenance Mode
http://wordpress.org/plugins/themefuse-maintenance-mode/

Plugin Author: Themefuse
WordPress profile: Themefuse
Contributors: themefusecom
Version: 1.1.3
Last updated: June 22, 2012 (2 years ago)
Compatibility (latest version): Unknown (of votes)
Tested up to (WP version): WP 3.3.2
Download count: 124,535
Rating: 5 (out of 5)

Description


ThemeFuse Maintenance Mode is a coming soon plugin that enables you to inform your users when your new website is going to be live while you are working on building it.

View live demo now!

Key Features:

  • Twitter integration
  • Newsletter subcribe form
  • Time count down
  • Custom admin message
  • Custom background
  • Custom logo

Don't forget to check our awesome Premium Wordpress Themes



Screenshots:


  1. themefuse-maintenance-mode screenshot 1

    ThemeFuse Maintenance Mode

  2. themefuse-maintenance-mode screenshot 2

    Plugin detail

  3. themefuse-maintenance-mode screenshot 3

    Footer js tabs

  4. themefuse-maintenance-mode screenshot 4

    Plugin back end

  5. themefuse-maintenance-mode screenshot 5

    11 packed in backgrounds



Other notes:




Latest Change log entry:




Tags:


admin, administration, anticipate, coming soon, construction, maintenance, mode, offline, splash, unavailable

Jason's Comments:


Snazzy look with visual editor for inserting an info blurb and built in email subscribe.


Nov 142013
 

Version: 2.0
Last updated: July 5, 2012 (2 years ago)
Compatibility (latest version): Unknown (of votes)
Tested up to (WP version): WP 3.4.2
Download count: 11,799
Rating: 4 (out of 5)

Description


Sure, WordPress has a widget for displaying your most recent posts, but what if you want to only display the posts from a single category in a widget, and not everything? This plugin Widget lets you set the title, category, and quantity of posts to display, then it kicks out a list of the most recent posts in that category.



Screenshots:




Other notes:




Latest Change log entry:


  • Now Multi-Widget Friendly, with 200% more awesome!


Tags:


categories, category, widget

Jason's Comments:


Useful if your theme does not have their own widget for displaying single category posts as a widget. Suffusion theme has this widget built in. If you only want to display a list of posts in that same category then combine with Display Widgets plugin, to control where to show.


Jul 192013
 

WordPress Plugin Name: Background Manager
http://wordpress.org/plugins/background-manager/

Plugin Author: Mike Green (Myatu)
WordPress profile: Mike Green (Myatu)
Contributors: Myatu
Version: 1.2.5.2
Last updated: October 29, 2013 (6 months ago)
Compatibility (latest version): 100% (of votes)
Tested up to (WP version): WP 3.7.1
Download count: 145,916
Rating: 5 (out of 5)

Description


Background Manager is a powerful replacement for the default WordPress background manager.

It allows you to create multiple image sets, from which an image is selected and displayed as the website background. The images can be uploaded from your local computer, selected from the images available in your Media Library, or import them from other plugins and third-party sources.

With an easy to use menu, you can also define how the background image is displayed, such as full-screen (with ratio correction), tiled, fixed or scrolling, define where the image is positioned and how a background image is selected (random or in sequential order).

You also have the ability to add an overlay to the background images with a choice of pre-defined patterns. And of course it is also possible to add a background color.

Where supported, in full-screen mode the the background image is optionally "eased in" when it is ready to be displayed. No longer will visitors with slower Internet connections have to endure watching a background image load from top down.

You can also limit the background images to certain parts of WordPress, for example only on the front page or a full-page post. And for each individual page, post, category or tag, you can also override the images, overlay or color used as the background, which allows you to have pages or posts with a different background theme.

Each individual background image can also be linked to a specific URL, which allows a visitor to click anywhere on the background and be redirected to another page or website. Impressions and clickthroughs of clickable backgrounds can optionally be be tracked via Google Analytics.

All this is done without the need to edit the theme or any other files!

Demo

Visit the Background Manager Demo Site for a live demonstration of the plugin.

Features

  • Integration with WordPress Media Library
  • Full support for the WordPress Theme Customizer
  • Full-screen background images
  • Full control over position for images in normal display mode (tiling, positioning, scrolling and stretching)
  • Optional "Ease in" of a full-screen background image
  • Multiple Image Sets to select a random or sequential image from
  • Override the Image Set for each Post, Page, Custom post type or by Tag(s) or Category, including WP e-Commerce and WooCommerce Product Categories
  • User defined display interval between the background images (timed slideshow)
  • Optional transition effects between the different background images displayed:
    • Fade-in/Fade-out (Crossfade)
    • Slide (Top, bottom, left or right)
    • Cover (Top, bottom, left or right)
    • Fade-in and Zoom
    • CSS3 transitions: Bars, Zip, Blinds, Swipe, Random Blocks, Sequential Blocks, Concentric and Warp
  • 18 pre-defined background overlays
  • Enable or disable the background images on the Front page, Error pages, Custom post types, etc.
  • Optional thumbnail/information tab for the visitor to learn more about the background
  • Import from various sources, such as:
  • Define the background opacity (available in Full Screen only)
  • Background image links (click-able backgrounds)
  • Track background clicks and impressions via Google Analytics
  • Uses AJAX to load background images, keeping the website's footprint small and improves caching
  • Graceful degradation for visitors without JavaScript and older browsers
  • Option to add a "Pin It" Pinterest button

This product uses the Flickr API but is not endorsed or certified by Flickr.



Screenshots:


  1. background-manager screenshot 1

    A full-screen background behind the TwentyEleven theme

  2. background-manager screenshot 2

    The main settings of Background Manager

  3. background-manager screenshot 3

    Editing an Image Set within Background Manager



Other notes:




Latest Change log entry:


  • Fixed: Bug with NONCE check on AJAX requests, affecting some versions of Firefox and MSIE


Tags:


background, flickr, image, photo, random, rotate, slideshow, theme

Jason's Comments:


I use this for full screen responsive backgrounds.