One of the great things about our business is that we’re constantly being asked to solve new problems. A client will ask for something we’ve never run into before, but in theory is totally doable with WordPress.
So what do we do? We go out and find a solution.
As mentioned before, it’s likely there’s a WordPress plugin already created that will deliver what the client is looking for (and if not, one can be created). It’s funny that oftentimes we’ll solve a problem for a client and, within a week or two, another one will have a similar (if not the same) issue — and we’ve got the solution ready.
With that in mind, here’s five more of our favorite WordPress plugins, each of which our clients are using to solve their problems.
WordPress and tables don’t always play nicely together, since most web development these days tries to shy away from table-based layouts. While it’s easy to say “Use CSS for that!” there’s plenty of data that just makes more sense to be displayed in a table.
One option is to hand-code (or use a WYSIWYG editor like Dreamweaver) to create tables, but it’s cumbersome and WordPress can affect the display.
TablePress gives you an easy way to add and edit tables, including importing from CSV and Excel files. It even has a built-in CSS editor so the tables outputted are branded appropriately for your site.
We’re always pushing our clients to make sure they’re capturing their customers’ email addresses for follow up marketing, and this plugin makes it really easy to do it. It integrates with WordPress’s built-in comment forms and registration form, then connects to your email marketing provider (whether it’s Mailchimp, Constant Contact or others).
If you’re using Buddypress, it can integrate with your registration form, and with bbPress, it connects to the New Topic / Reply forms. It’s a low-hanging fruit to build out your email marketing lists.
CMS Tree Page View
This is a back-end plugin that makes it a lot easier to view the Pages on your site — especially if you have a ton of them and there’s a lot of parent / child relationships. Rather than getting the plain view of all your pages listed out, this plugin only shows the Parent pages and, when you click on one that has child pages, those children automatically display.
I like to use this plugin as one of the first I install on any new site. It takes your logo and automatically uses it instead of the default WordPress logo on the Login screen.
That’s it. It’s really simple, but it helps brand the site and bit and makes it feel more unique for the client.
Here’s another handy plugin for posting; this one adds a button to the Editor that allows you to insert a YouTube URL for embedding. It’s a lot easier than grabbing the YouTube iframe embed code and putting into the Text editor (and less likely to break).
If you’re like me and somehow forget the button is there, you can also use the shortcode, which is simply (remove the spaces next to the brackets):
[ youtube_sc url=any_youtube_video_url ]