All the Must-Have WordPress Plugins (Reviews & More)
The strength of any CMS lies in its versatility. That's why we believe that WordPress plugins are what have made WP the success it has become.
Simply put, you can achieve almost any result you need thanks to the proliferation of plugins for websites powered by WordPress.
Plugins are what enable complex functional websites, at a very low cost. Imagine if everybody who needed an SEO plugin, had to ask a developer to write one from scratch for them, instead of going for Yoast. Or imagine you wanted to go for a complex plugin such as Jetpack - could you imagine paying to get that functionality developed for your site?
Or imagine, you wanted to secure your website, and rather than going for a security plugin, you would have to hire a security expert to implement all of the changes which most security plugins are able to perform in a matter of minutes.
Plugins are a win-win situation for everybody involved in the WP community.
Users are able to get great features for their website for free, or a nominal fee (as compared to development of that plugin), whilst vendors and developers are able to spread their development effort over multiple customers, keeping the price low in the process.
The economics of this have made plugins, the 2nd most lucrative industry, after WordPress themes.
At https://www.collectiveray.com, we do love plugins, in fact, we've also developed quite a few of our own.
Besides actually developing and releasing quite a few plugins, we're also very much in the habit of reviewing some of the greatest plugins out there.
Given our experience in the web design, WordPress and related industries, we can identify good plugins, and be able to make a good overall judgment whether that piece of software is good for your website or not.
WordPress plugins developed by CollectiveRay
One of the first things which we focused on when we started CollectiveRay, was the release of a number of plugins which we had a specific need for ourselves. These have proven to be very popular and very useful for our visitors. As time goes by and we come across needs which are not well served, we will develop more and more, to fulfill that gap in the industry.
Let's describe some of our plugins.
WP Facebook Like Popup
This was one of our very first plugins. This is essentially a way to boost your Facebook fans without having to spend too much money on Facebook ads. Essentially, what this plugin this is nudge or create a Call to Action to your users to Like your Facebook page by bringing up a popup which focuses their attention from the rest of the page.
It has been proven over and over again that these types of actions are able to boost your Likes and fans significantly, infact, we've typically seen a 10x increase in fans.
Paypal Donation Plugin
Plenty of people needs to accept donations on their websites, almost all non-profit organizations will need this function. Given our success with similar plugins for other CMSes, we decided we should develop this function for WP too.
Full Screen Responsive Menu
A few months back, when responsive design was still picking up, a new trend had come up, where menus would be displayed as a full-screen, taking over the whole site. It's great for both desktop and mobile devices, which is what makes these menus so popular. We've taken the concept and created a flexible menu plugin which allows users to customize it's features as much as possible.
WP Plugin Reviews
Besides our own plugins, we also review other popular plugins. We also create plenty of great WordPress roundups around a specific need for websites.
The following are some of the areas we've focused on so far.
- Security plugins: we've reviewed some of the best plugins which you can use to harden your website against hacking and other malicious attempts on your website. Given the vast number of malicious robots scouring the internet, this is an essential need for any website.
- WooCommerce booking plugins: for those of you who have created an online shop using WooCommerce, it's only a matter of time before you actually start taking bookings for services. We've created a nice roundup of plugins which allow you to take bookings and appointments on your WooCommerce site.
In terms of specific plugins we've reviewed, we've discussed the following.
- Bloom by ElegantThemes: this is a plugin which can help you boost the subscribers of your email list. We love all plugins by ElegantThemes, and this specific plugin is no exception.
- Pagelines: another great plugin by Platform5 is this page builder which we've reviewed extensively following our experience using this plugin.
- The X Theme and Cornerstone PageBuilder: once again, these plugins are some of the most popular plugins and themes found on ThemeForest, which we absolutely love. It's no wonder that these plugins and themes are so popular - they are simple awesome to work with on your website.
- Divi vs BeaverBuilder: one of our most popular posts has been this comparison between BeaverBuilder and Divi. These two great WP pagebuilders have proven their worth over and over again. But they have very different uses, technical users who are more comfortable with development should opt for BeaverBuilder, whilst people are more towards design, should opt for Divi.
Besides the above features, we've also done a few great roundups. We've featured a few Must-use WP plugins, some of the more popular and useful plugins, how to create Tables in WordPress using plugins, and the best ways to create a popup for your website.
If you've got or come across any fantastic plugins, let us know, we'd be happy to review them.