WordPress is a great platform for your website, even if you don’t maintain a blog, because you can easily add functionality to your site without spending a fortune on programming. There are literally hundreds of plugins available free right from your WordPress dashboard.
In an earlier post, I compiled a list of essential WordPress plugins that I install on every WordPress site that I touch. This list is a bit different; these plugins add cool functionality but aren’t necessarily essential.
7 Cool WordPress Plugins listed in alphabetical order:
Ad Squares Widget
This plugin creates a widget for your sidebar that displays 125×125 ads. You control how many ads (2, 4, 6, or 8 ) AND their content. Unlike displaying adSense ads, your site will never display an ad for a website or product you don’t endorse.
Comments are the life-blood of your blog; get more comments by rewarding your readers when they comment with a link to their site. This plugin will visit the site of the comment author while they type their comment and retrieve their last blog posts which they can choose to include at the bottom of their comment when they click submit.
Sometimes you want different widgets to appear on different pages. Avoid creating multiple sidebars and duplicating widgets by using the Display Widgets plugin. The plugin adds a check box to each widget in the admin (as long as it is written in the WordPress version 2.8 format) which will either show or hide the widgets on the pages or categories you select.
You can have the benefits of track/ping backs (know when someone writes about posts) whilst keeping the comments clean and uncluttered. After enabling the Hide Trackbacks plugin, trackbacks and pingbacks are no longer shown on your posts and the comment count is updated correctly to reflect this. You can still access them via the admin panel so you can see who is linking to and referencing your content.
When you are working on your WordPress site, sometimes what you are doing will mess up how things look for a time. Instead of allowing your visitors to see you site “in process,” install Maintenance Mode. You visitors will see a splash page instead of your blog that lets them know your site is down for maintenace and to check back later.
Relevanssi replaces the standard WordPress search with a better search engine, with lots of features and configurable options. You’ll get better results, better presentation of results – your users will thank you. One of my favorite features is a list of the most recent searches on my site. This information helps me make sure that I am addressing all of the questions that my visitors have about my content.
The Subscribe / Connect / Follow Widget plugin creates a widget that displays image links (icon buttons) of up to 5 subscription services and social networking sites in your sidebar (or any widget holder). There are 30 different services supported, including RSS feed, email subscriptions, and numerous social networking sites.
I love that I can think of something to add to my site and usually find a plugin available that will do what I want. If you have other cool plugins to suggest, please leave me a comment below.