WordPress developers rely greatly on their plugin directory. Conventional programming that starts from scratch, where every function needs long and boring lines of code, is slowly succumbing to the same fate as the dinosaurs. Since the rise of WordPress as a full content management system, many PHP and HTML programmers converted to it.
Just think of it this way: If you want to implement a simple picture gallery, you will need to type in at least 300 lines of short code for, let’s say, 20 pictures, and that will take you a couple of hours... or you can simply choose between 300 different gallery plugins for your WordPress site, install them, customize them, and upload them in, let’s say, 20 minutes.
See the difference? There are already over 23,000 plugins launched so far for this exceptional content management system with over 480 million downloads so far. There is a great deal of them for every category, compatible for many different browsers. So, how do you opt for the specific ones? How do you define the right plugins for your plugin directory without overcrowding it?
Your plugin directory is your treasure. Carefully chosen plugins will represent pure gold for your line of work. It is important to have them categorized, so you will exactly know which ones you will use for various types of websites, such as news, blogs, photography portfolios, or business or corporate websites. That will most speed up your work and save you a lot of time (and a lot of nerves).
Every solid plugin directory should consist of approximately 100 well-categorized plugins (aside from the default ones). There is a great ever-growing community of Web developers behind this website platform, constantly working on its improvement by launching various plugins, extensions, and even themes based around all of them. There are approximately five to 10 plugins launched for WordPress every week, and over 900 have been launched just in 2013.
You need to stay fresh and updated regarding innovations and new plugin releases. Because many Web developers rush their plugin releases, without proper testing, they work on their updates for a few months (even years) to make their products reach their full potential and efficiency. Because of this, you shouldn’t rush to download them.
You need to do some proper research. I have prepared a top list of the most useful (and tested) plugins for you to check out. Each has had fine reviews and is fully responsive, which is an important attribute and should not be neglected in any circumstances.
So, let’s begin!
1. uSquare: A Fully Responsive and Multipurpose WordPress Plugin
uSquare represents a grid layout that can be used to present your content in a new and exciting way. It has a great minimalistic chessboard layout. This layout consists of an expanding square, which can be used to represent various types of content. You can use it to present your team, products, services, posts, and anything that comes up.
Although it’s designed to be minimalistic and efficient, customization options vary from typography, transition effects, content, and social sharing buttons, which can have icons of your choice. It is fully customizable and adapts to every mobile device, such as laptops, tablets, smartphones, and any kind of device with retina displays, with either the Android or the iOS platform. You can add up to 90 squares and still withhold your webpage load time. It is compatible for various Web browsers, such as Internet Explorer 8-10, Google Chrome, Safari, Opera, and Mozilla Firefox.
2. Royal Slider: Responsive Touch Slider Plugin for Your WordPress Website
There are already dozen slider plugins launched for the WordPress platform, but not many of them are as useful as Royal Slider. It is highly customizable and touch-friendly. It is clean-coded and allows you to implement slideshows consisted of multiple layers as well as video material. It is well-designed and compatible for all small devices with retina displays. It has been tested on Mac, PC, iPad2, iPhone4, HTC Desire, Lumia 920, Surface, and BlackBerry.
3. Social Network Tabs: Social-Sharing Buttons for Every WordPress Website
This plugin is possibly the greatest social sharing WordPress plugin so far. Having your website content shared and followed on various social networks can increase your website traffic. Social Network Tabs covers 17 different social networks and supports 70 different social features. It is extremely responsive and doesn’t make much impact on your page-load time. Aside the broad list of social networks it covers, its responsiveness and the small amount of resources it pulls are what make it quite powerful. This is one of the most popular and top-selling plugins for the last four months.
4. LiveChat: Beautiful Live Chat Plugin for Customer and Sale Support
LiveChat is a beautiful and responsive plugin for your WordPress website. It can be implemented on any WordPress website for customer and sale support, and it has a lot of customization options. It is an open source plugin, and it holds a wide assortment of features. Aside the typography options, you can customize the visual layout of the whole message box. It is fully responsive and an awesome addition to your plugin collection.
5. Frontend Builder: WordPress Content Assembler
This is the freshest plugin launched by Shindiri Studios dating from August 5. The Frontend Builder allows you to design a webpage on your website without having to know advanced HTML or PHP coding. It consists out of 18 elements (shortcodes) with around 20 customization options each. All elements can be placed on a webpage by simply using the basic drag-and-drop method, without having to worry about positioning the element. However, it is better to follow some basic rules in Web design.
A great feature of this plugin is that you can access the customization panel at any moment via both the back end and front end. Aside the classic WordPress plugin dashboard in the back end, the plugin’s customization interface accessed from a webpage looks interesting and fun. For on page access, you have to press the “Tab” key, and that is exactly where the fun starts.
When accessed, the right sidebar will be shown in which you can opt for any of the 18 elements you wish to add. Considering the variety of customization options for each element, be aware that you can have an enormous amount of freedom. If used well, you will generate a unique, SEO friendly and well-designed webpage. The customization panel for every element opens on the right side of the webpage. It is well-organized and completely user friendly.
This is my top list of the most popular WordPress plugins launched this year. Their authors have given a live presentation of each one, which can be seen along their updates and changelogs. They all have had great reviews by WordPress developers and have reached top sales for the past six months. They can make a great add to your plugin directory.