Our 5 Favourite WordPress Plugins
6th June 2013
Web Development

Our 5 Favourite WordPress Plugins

As a web developer you are always looking for handy plugins that not only make your life easier, but allows you to make life easier for clients updating the websites.

Initially created as a blogging platform, WordPress’ popularity has grown into one of the most widely used Content Management Systems on the web and we use it here at Digital Developments to create all our wonderful websites.

Here are our 5 favourite WordPress plugins:

5. BWP Google XML Sitemaps

It might look boring, but every website needs an XML Sitemap. Period. This allows Google and other search engines quickly access your content and determine what and when they need to crawl and index. What I like about BWP Google XML Sitemaps is that it allows you to split up different sections of your site into separate sitemaps, which is greate as Google can only index a certain amount of posts in any one sitemap.

The plugin is pretty much plug and play, but has a couple handy options including the ability to remove different post types from the sitemaps.

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4. Codepress Admin Columns

For years I struggled to find an easy way to modify the columns on the custom post type edit list section within the WordPress admin. With the sheer number of field types that are used it was very time consuming to add and manage the columns that you wanted to display. 

This is where I stumbled across Codepress Admin Columns. Now with the click of a few buttons I can easily select which fields I want to show on the edit post list, so that clients can easily manage their posts, especially if they have large quantities of them.

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3. Gravity Forms

As a developer, creating fully customised forms can be an absolute nightmare. The sheer number of problems you have to worry about when creating them is staggering from validation to security and the ongoing issues of anti-spam.

Enter Gravity Forms! Not only does it have almost unlimited uses, it’s surprising simply to use yet extremely powerful and it takes care of all those ongoing issues with online forms.

Creating simple contact forms is easy as pie (we’ve even had clients create forms themeselves), however where it really shines is its ability to easily connect with other platforms including Paypal, MailChimp, Campaign Monitor and FreshBooks.

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2. Ultimate Metabox Tabs

This plugin was actually created by one of the developers here at Digi Dev. A problem we found when creating sites with a lot of content is that the Post Types and Pages tended to get cluttered with a large amount of metaboxes. Thus, Ulitmate Metabox Tabs was born, allowing you to simply group the metaboxes into customised tabs for ease of use. No longer did you have to scroll endlessly to find the content that you wanted to edit, making it simpler for clients to manipulate their websites.

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1. Advanced Custom Fields

Many developer would agree that Advanced Custom Fields is possibly the best plugin ever created for WordPress. Not only doesn’t it push WordPress from a pretty standard blogging system into a full blown customisable CMS, it is surprising easy to use as an admin, providing a clean, simplistic interface for both developer and the client.

One of my favourite things about the plugin is that it was created by young developer from Melbourne, just like myself. 

Basically, ACF provides the functionality to quickly and easily add almost any field type to any area of the website, leaving you with endless developmental possibilities and reducing the number of other plugins that you have to rely on. 

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