wordpress_pluginsExtensive WordPress plugins listing for business websites. If you are in business and want to get the most from WordPress revue this list. I have tried and tested these plugins and if I find a better plugin I will update this list regularly. Bookmark this page as a reference and return when you need a plugin solution.

by Tony Cosentino (twitter: @thewordpressguy) inspired by Nancy Georges (twitter: @NancyGeorges) who wanted to know my favourite plugins.

Feel free to email me or send a comment with your favourite plugins or themes for that matter and I will add them in and link to your website.




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Admin tools

Technical Support

add a tech support panel to the user admin area so if a client needs WordPress help they can fill in a request form right from the admin panel that emails tech support directly.

Broken Link Checker

Keeps an eye on all the links you mention in the website and tells you if any have stopped working.

PrintFriendly

Make it easy for your visitors to print out you webpages and turn them into pdfs too. See bottom of this page for a demo.

Jetpack
Best way to get live stats and a stack of other built in options like social media widgets, spelling and grammar checking, the list is huge so pleasee go to the plugin for more info.

Smart 404
Instead of quickly giving up when a visitor reaches content that doesn’t exist, make an effort to guess what they were after in the first place. This plugin will perform a search of your posts, pages, tags and categories, using keywords from the requested URL. If there’s a match, redirect to that content instead of showing the error.  Great for when you change post link occasionally or relocate wordpress to a new folder on your server.

Contact forms

Gravity Formswww.gravityforms.com ($US39)

The professional option for online forms. A paid plugin = real ongoing support. These forms are ideal for business use. For example you can send the completed for to a specific person in your team depending on the nature of the form, eg Tech Support, Sales, Accounts. View and edit forms previously submitted. The list is long of features that free forms just don’t do.

 

Add a Table of Contents

Auto Anchor List
Add a table of contents to each post or page automatically with this plugin. You can see it in action at the top of this post too.

Managing Comments

Intense Debatewww.intensedebate.com
I can’t speak highly enough of this option. See comment area below for live example. If you want to take you comments to the next level install this plugin and sign up with Intense Debate. Comments are backed up offline and can easily be re-imported if your website dies for any reason and needs rebuilding, great anti-spam and general options and look are the best in this class.

WordPress Thread Comment (inspired by Heidi Allen from Heidi Allen Online or @dreamingspires on twitter)
Allows visitors to comment on each others comments which creates more conversation online and a mini community around your post

Shopping Carts

As tempting as free online shopping plugins seem I highly recommending paying for a plugin or plugin upgrade in this category. After all it is going to pay for itself in a very short period of time if it produces good results which paid plugins do.

WP-eCommerce (free + Gold cart upgrade for $40)
This shopping cart has really come a long way and is now my favourite option for eCommerce solutions. See my post on 9 great shopping carts.

WP Shoppwww.shopplugin.net ($US55)
The real deal in online shopping plugins. Originally created out of frustration with WP eCommerce plugin which is the most well known and probably the first shopping cart plugin.  If you want to get great support, lots of features, and the ability to extend you online shop this is the solution.

WP eStore ($US35)
Great online store option. Lots of short video tutorials on how to do any task.  Looks great and lets you add products to posts and pages specifically.

Backup

Backupbuddy ($75/year for 2 website)

A fantastic backup option that make self run automated backups a breeze. This is an essential tool. It also can run malware scans now too. Backups can be emailed or stored offline to Amazon S3 or Rackspace cloud storage. Automated to run daily, weekly or monthly.

VaultPress ($15-40 per month)

The ultimate backup option. Yes it costs as much or more than webhosting can per month but what you get is peace of mind. Imagine how it would feel if you knew that no matter what happened to your website it is backed up EVERY time a change is made and all of the archives are stored externally.

Google analytics and Google sitemaps

Google Analytics for WordPress
Talks to google to keep track of visitor stats.
Need to register with www.google.com/analytics/ to get an API key to use it (easy).

Google XML Sitemaps
Keeps google in the loop for new content on your page.
Needs registration with www.google.com/webmasters/tools/ (relatively easy process).

Images and photo galleries

NextGEN Gallery
Add groups of images with a great looking gallery that has a lot of options to control how it is presented.

Freebie Image

If you want to use stock images from Crestock who have a reasonable collection of quality images this is a way to use them for free and there is a small logo from Crestock but it’s not excessive and it’s free. Can take a little fiddling to get it to look right but for the cost it’s worth it. All the images in this post are from this plugin.

Social Media

Tweetmeme Retweet Button
A great way to allow people to retweet your posts and also display how many retweets there were. www.tweetmeme.com collects all of the retweet data too which will bring more traffic to your website also.

Twitter Goodies
As used in my sidebar this is a very customisable widget to display your tweets and it puts you twitter avatar on the top which is a nice touch. Adjust the colours to match your website easily.

Twitter Tools
I use this tool specifically automatically generate a weekly post with the tweets from that week. It allows visitors to catch up on your hints and tips tweeted throughout the week. It also keeps a weekly post coming out of your website weekly which is great for staying on the google search radar.

TweetPress
Use this with iPhone apps: twittelator pro or tweetie 2 that support tweetpress to post images to your website from twitter instead of the other twitter photo
sites (eg twitpic). That way when someone looks at your photo from twitter they come to your website which is far more useful than going to a picture hosting website.

Sociable
Add all those nice icons to the bottom of a post so that people who like it can easily post it to twitter, delicious, Facebook, digg etc

Writing content

After the Deadline (jetpack plugin)
This now comes as part of the Jetpack plugin. A great plugin that checks spelling and grammar and works really well. I was a little horrified when I used it to check this post and found a lot of spelling and grammatical errors. You need to setup jetpack first.

TinyMCE Advanced
If you are frustrated when writing posts about the lack of control you have over the styling and little things like adding extra line spaces in a post then this is the plugin you have been searching for. It takes writing content to the next level of control. Also inserts tables for those that are tired of hand coding html tables in every time they want to arrange some images or content neatly in a table.

Managing Posts

WP Archive-Sitemap Generator
When you have created a lot of great posts it becomes difficult for your readers to be able to find them easily.
The strategy I believe to help this situation without changing the look of your current blog area

  • Install the plugin
  • Add a new page as a submenu to your blog page labelled for example “blog sitemap”
  • add the code to the page

Forum

 

bbPress
Has been developed over many years and is really coming on strong now as a forum option. I have written a post on how to set it up with any theme here: http://wphow.org/2011/09/how-to-install-bbpress-with-any-theme/

Membership sites

s2member
Good solid option for membership facility. Free version will be adequate for many website needs and PRO version is very affordable and available here: http://www.s2member.com/

I think this plugin is as good and better in some areas than the more publicised and hyped up membership plugin out there. For developers and site owners this is a much more economical option and still does a great job.

 

 

 

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