What’s In My WordPress Plugins Toolbox

WordPress PluginIf you’ve been working with WordPress for more than 15 minutes, you know the power of plugins. With only a couple of clicks, you can deploy any number of high end functionalities to your Web site, often for free or for what amounts to pennies on the dollar for premium versions.

That said, every WordPress designer has a list of their favorites, and I’m no exception. Here are some of the plugins I’m currently using on client sites that are definitely worth exploring.

Stay tuned for more in future posts!

1) iThemes Security

Simply the best WordPress security plugin I’ve found. In this day and age, nothing is impenetrable from hackers, but the developers at iThemes guard your site from attacks like a rabid, junkyard dog! For WordPress newbies and technophobes, the free version offers a one-click option to secure your site immediately. A premium version is available, but, honestly, I’ve never had any issues (or successful attacks) using the free version.

2) Media Library Categories

One of the downsides to the WordPress Media Gallery is the inability to categorize your files. This is especially frustrating if you’ve amassed hundreds of pictures and haven’t used a precise keyword scheme to aid in your library searches. The Media Library Categories plugin is your solution. Like blog posts, you can create an infinite number of categories to classify everything from photos to PDF files, which can then be used to sort and filter your files from a pull-down menu right on the media library dashboard.

3) Scroll Back to Top

True to its name, SBT allows you to position a back to top arrow of your choice on your pages and posts, and you can even specify its color, opacity and animation settings. I absolutely love this plugin, and highly recommend it for consultants who write longer blog posts or sites that have lenghth pages where a back to top option would aid end users. Plus, it’s responsive, so it works seamlessly within mobile-ready themes.

4) UberMenu

If you’re looking for the sexiest navigation options available in the WordPress world, look no further than UberMenu. From multi-column drop down panels to fly-outs with iconographic cues, there’s literally a choice for every site and every navigation challenge. And, you’ll be amazed that it only set you back $19.00!

5) WP RSS Aggregator

There’s no better way to supplement your original content than by incorporating free RSS feeds from third-party publications into your blog or news area. WP RSS Aggregator does it better than any other, and lives up to its claim of being the “No. 1 RSS feed importer and autoblogging plugin for WordPress.”  The free version offers a laundry list of features with copy/paste back-end configuration and painless shortcode implementation. The base version is free, but for a few dollars more you can add a powerful array of premium modules to amp up your feed presentations.

So What’s In Your Tool Box?

I’m like a kid in a candy store when it comes to WordPress plugins, so feel free to drop me a line with your favorites!

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Pat McKenna is a digital strategist, social media manager/instructor, web designer and founder of MojoWeb Productions, LLC. in Milwaukee, WI. He can be reached via e-mail or by calling (414) 732-3397.