In this post, we round up 10 cool and useful (oh, and free!) WordPress plugins available on the WordPress Plugin Directory. This month’s WordPress Plugin Roundup includes everything from a way to add Yelp Reviews to your WordPress site to a way to do giveaways from your website.
Major Changes to the WordPress Plugin Directory
You may have noticed that recently the Plugin Directory got a facelift. Here’s a WPTavern article describing the new design of WordPress plugin directory.
Here are some of the highlights of the WordPress Plugin Directory’s new look:
- A cleaner visual design and more description text.
- The new search algorithm should give generally better results.
- The new search algorithm prioritizes resolved support threads, keeping plugin up-to-date, and testing on the latest version of WP.
- You can now search for concepts (types of plugins) with better results.
- Note: It can be harder to find plugins by exact name (note: adding the author’s name helps with this).
1. Any Posts Widget
The Any Posts Widget plugin provides a widget where you can choose any post to display quickly with drag and drop ordering.
- Quick and simple to use. Not a lot of options here.
- Displays thumbnail of featured image and post title.
- Might need some CSS to make things look the way you want.
- Very useful way to add your choice of posts in a widget area.
2. WP Yelp Review Slider
The WP Yelp Review Slider plugin is a great way to increase SEO. You work hard for your 5-star Yelp reviews, now you can easily display them on your WordPress site.
- Makes it very easy to download and display Yelp reviews on your site.
- Basic review template should look good on most sites.
- Some useful functions crippled in the free version.
3. WP Facebook Review Slider
The WP Facebook Review Slider plugin makes it easy to download or display Facebook reviews on your site.
- From the same developer as the previous WP Yelp Review Slider plugin.
4. Country Content Controller
The Country Content Controller plugin allows a website owner the ability to hide/show divs to specific countries. This is done through the use of shortcodes on the specific page you want the content hidden.
- Add the shortcode with appropriate attributes to each page where you want to show or hide something based on the visitor’s country.
- Shortcode will show or hide an ID as you specify.
- For multiple countries, multiple shortcodes are currently required.
5. Nearby WordPress Events
The Nearby WordPress Events plugin updates the existing WordPress News dashboard widget to also include upcoming Meetup events and WordCamps near the current user’s location. If you have multiple users on your site, each one will be shown the events that are close to their individual location. The dashboard widget will try to automatically detect their location, but they’ll also be able to enter any city they like.
- Really handly little dashboard widget that shows upcoming Meetups and WordCamps near the city you select.
- A nice addition to your personal site.
6. WP Growl
The WP Growl plugin allows you to show your WordPress admin notices in a Growl-like / better way, and snooze them whenever you see fit. This WordPress plugin aims to make admin notices more colorful and noticeable so they are really an addition to your admin.
- Nice upgrade to standard WP notices
- Dismissable notices appear and then disappear after 6 seconds
- Nondismissable notices can be snoozed.
7. Giveaway Boost
The Giveaway Boost plugin allows your audience to enter to win physical products, digital products, or anything else. Get set up in under five minutes and start running your first giveaway today.
- Excellent free giveaway manager.
- Probably will require some CSS tweaking to look great on a site.
- Has a referral link manager that gives entrants more entries when someone uses their link.
- Automatically selects a winner when you’re ready
8. Lazy Load Video Players
The Lazy Load Video Players plugin modifies the HTML output of any video players which have been embedded in the content area or in the site using the oEmbed technique. Any video player which is included on the page will only be loaded if/when it is/becomes visible within the current browser window.
- Speeds up pages with lots of video content.
- Videos only load when they scroll into view.
9. Role Based Storage Limiter
The Role Based Storage Limiter plugin allows the admin to set a storage limit (in MB) for each user based on their role. If the user attempts to upload a file, the plugin will check if the user meets the maximum amount of storage space and will throw an error.
- Excellent solution for sites with a lot of users that you want to keep from uploading lots of media items.
- Simple configuration panel under Settings.
10. IP Address
The IP Address plugin adds a widget that will show a visitor’s IP address.
- Very useful if you need your client’s IP address for some reason (like they’re locked out of their website from too many bad login attempts).
Bonus: Easy Login Styler
The Easy Login Styler plugin allows you to white label the WordPress login page so that you can easily customize just by uploading a logo and background image.
- We’ve seen a lot of login page customizers in plugin roundups, but this is one of the best.
- Looks really good without doing anything other than uploading a logo and a background image.
- Add a professional, customized login page in less than a minute, literally.
This post is based on the April 2017 Plugin Roundup webinar by Nathan Ingram. In this webinar, Nathan demonstrates how to use each of these plugins so you can get a better idea of how they work. Check out the entire series of monthly WordPress Plugin Roundup posts here.
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