You’ve heard the spiel before; WordPress is as amazing as it is because of the community of developers, designers and business folks working every day to help it grow and make a real impact on the world.
We’ve yet to run into a client request that’s outside the bounds of what WordPress can do, especially thanks to the great plugins that expand its functionality and solve people’s problems. Many of the plugins are free from the WordPress Plugin Directory, while others come from paid directories like at CodeCanyon (where we tend to buy them).
You probably know about Akismet, the spam-fighting solution, or W3 Total Cache, the popular caching plugin, but we wanted to share some of our favorite (and completely underrated) WordPress plugins with you. Some of them add functionality, some of them are great for troubleshooting, and others just make WordPress even better.
Executable PHP Widget
The simple Text widget is great for what it does, but if you ever run into a situation where you need to run some PHP code in the sidebar (either a loop, or calls to template files, for example), this allows you to do it. Plus, it accepts simple text and HTML as well. It’s a huge help.
The Events Calendar
This is the only plugin we recommend for a full-featured calendar. With both a free version and a paid version, you’re getting rock-solid functionality, great support and lots of customization options. We have licenses for the paid version not just for the expanded options, but to support great developers who build high-quality plugins like this one.
P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler)
If your site is running slowly, there’s often two reasons why: you’ve got cheap web hosting or your plugins are out of control. This plugin, believe it or not developed by the folks at GoDaddy, measures how much load time each plugin running on your site adds, allowing you to deactivate the troublesome plugins or find alternatives.
Post Status Notifier
This plugin provides a slew of notification options for setting up editorial or publishing workflows. When posts are first saved, submitted for review, published or any other status, an email can be sent off to whoever needs to see it. We’re using this plugin on a project where all content needs legal approval before posting; it’s exactly what we need.
WP All Import
If you’ve got information in a spreadsheet or XML file that you need to get into WordPress, this is the way to do it. We’re in the process of migrating a site from eBay’s store platform to WordPress, and this plugin — with an extension for WooCommerce — has made it a cinch to take a non-Wordpress export, line it up with the new fields for WP/Woo and import it all. A huge time saver.
What are you underrated plugins? Let us know in a comment below.