We have had the fortune of seeing a large % of the WordPress plugins out there first hand, running on our WordPress Hosting system. Sometimes we come across a gem or two and we think, wow this one really does a good job addressing X or Y. Here are a few WordPress plugins that are pretty useful that you may not know about.
Custom post types are the bees knees of WordPress. You can do all sorts of things with them like creating special ‘content types’ like a portfolio. These items inherit all sorts of great WordPress functionality like archive pages, custom fields and more.
For the average WordPress user taking full advantage of the power of custom post types may prove difficult without above-average programming skills. If you have a basic level of php skills though the Types plugin can do much of the heavy lifting for you.
Types makes creating and managing custom post types a little easier. It does not have the most intuitive interface, but it is powerful. We have used it on a number of our own sites lately. What I like about it is that it makes it fairly simple to use custom fields to augment your custom post types.
Displaying the custom post data in a template requires the use of php, calling functions with arguments. The authors have a product called Views that does this for you if you are not keen on crafting your own page templates.
So bottom line, if you have a little bit programming skills but not enough to code your own custom post types, you can use Types to setup and manage custom post types with ease.
P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler)
We mentioned this a few months back, it is worth another go round.
Curious where the bottlenecks are on your site? Which plugin may be responsible for that extra few seconds of page rendering? This plugin does a fantastic job tattling on other plugins that are slowing down your site. There are a couple scanning modes which provide a detailed analysis of where the speed is going. Hint: Use it on a site with a couple thousand posts and a related post plugin active.
Here at pagely we do this at the server level with help from New Relic and other monitoring tools we run. However we do not make the information public to the user unless we find something that needs addressing. P3 is a solid plugin, use it and speed up your site.
Category Grid View Gallery
This suggestion comes courtesy of our friend James Hicks. On his repeated recommendation I checked out the Category Grid View Gallery plugin and am pretty impressed. Essentially it allows you to place via shortcode a grid of thumbnail images from recent posts of specific category. Huzzah.
The same effect could be achieved with a little hacking, but why bother. This plugin works as advertised.
And there you have it.