Almost all content management systems feature the absolute basic and fundamental components that a simple website needs. Many of them also provide an API (Application Programming Interface) where we can extend the functionality of a site by adding Plugins and modules.

Without a doubt WordPress is an excellent platform to build highly customized websites. In this post I’m going to share 15 hand picked WordPress plugins that we use every day here at Frontcube.

  1. Simple Image Size

    Simple image sizeWordPress comes with 3 different image size presets – thumbnail, medium and large and it doesn’t have an option to add any additional presets (for example for a featured slider image). With the help of Simple Image Size you can create any number of image presets you might need for your WordPress website.

    This plugin also provides an easy way to grab the PHP code for your new preset to place in theme files.

  2. Regenerate Thumbnails

    REGENERATE THUMBNAILSThis plugin is something of a companion plugin for Simple Image Size. When you add a new image size preset, WordPress doesn’t have the ability to automatically regenerate the images those are already uploaded to the site. That’s where the Regenerate Thumbnails plugin comes in handy. You can regenerate thumbnails for all of the prexisting image files with just the click of a button.

  3. Enhanced Text Widget

    Enhanced widgetWidgets are super cool utilities that can be used to empower any website, but WordPress default widget settings are pretty limited. The Enhanced Text Widget WordPress plugin adds dozens of cool features like embedding JavaScript, Flash, WordPress Shortcodes and even PHP. It also provides a couple of useful option like, ‘Open URL in a new window’, ‘Do not display the title’ etc.

  4. Widget context

    Widget contextThere are a few circumstances in which we will need to show and hide certain widgets for certain pages. Think about an opt-in box that we only need to place on a sales page and do not want to show sitewide. Using Widget context we can assign a context to each and every widget establishing where and when they should be appear.

  5. Custom widget classes

    Custom classesThere are some occasions where we need to add unique styles to certain widgets. WordPress adds some generic classes like widget, widget-first, widget-odd/even, by default. If we need to add unique classes to widgets, that’s where Custom widget classes comes in really handy. The plugin gives you a separate interface where you can add new classes with a description. The plugin also enables a drop down menu in every widget where we can assign classes to appropriate widgets.

  6. WordPress SEO by Yoast

    wp_yoastThere are dozens of plugins available for search engine optimization in the plugin directory. In my opinion this is one of the best, hands down. From XML sitemap creation to individual post optimization and robot.txt file creation, you can do everything utilizing this plugin.

  7. Broken link checker

    Broken linksBroken links directly affect the search engine indexing of websites. The Broken Link Checker plugin will email you when you have a broken link in your website. At Frontcube we’re so obsessed with delivering well tested and high quality services and products and the Broken link checker plugin helps us to take care of the products we build even after their delivery.

  8. Juiz Last Tweet Widget

    wp_juiz_tweetNowadays, it’s a well known convention to embed the latest twitter feed in personal and co-operate websites. We’ve tested many twitter widgets, but by far Juiz Last Tweet Widget is the one that works best for us. It comes with several designs and really cool features like caching, auto slideshow and the ability to fully customize the design of the widget.

  9. Stealth login

    Stealth loginThis is a neat plugin for security enhancements. To login to a WordPress site you just need to type /wp-admin after the URL. It’s not rocket science and everyone knows that. Moving the login screen with a secret URL will add an extra layer of security to your site. Once you give your secret path to login, Stealth Login will redirect users to the home page when they try to visit the /wp-admin path.

  10. Duplicator

    DuplicatorDuplicator is our team’s all time favorite plug-in. If you are WordPress developer, you know the real pain of deploying a locally developed website to the production or staging server. You need to move all the files to the server, create a database, import tables and finally manually change the site URLs in the {wp_options} table.

    In Duplicator, when you ready to move a site or push to production, you can package the site up with a click of a button. There is no need to worry about database migration as it is also included in the package. Then you need to upload the package and the installer.php file to the server and you can simply complete the deployment process with few clicks.

  11. Author Image

    Author imageWordPress uses Gravatar for author images. Which is okay, but in some instances people want to use a special or more professional avatar rather than their Gravatar. Author Image allows authors to upload an avatar directly from their profile page. Even though it provides a PHP function for theme files, the inability to use the function outside of the loop is the biggest drawback of this plugin.

  12. Advanced custom fields

    Advanced custom fieldsThe basic post and page fields are not enough for certain projects. Think of developing a huge portfolio, you’ll need add the client name, year, budget, testimonials etc. Of course, you can have everything inside the body or use the WordPress default custom fields feature, but Advanced custom fields will save you a lot of time in the long run. This plugin comes with advanced fields like: calendar, color picker, location field and tons of other cool add-ons. The basic version of this plugin is free but for some add-ons you will need to pay few bucks.

  13. Contact Form

    Contact FormIt is conventional to have a contact form on any standard website and there are tons of plugins out there in plugin directory that can do this for you. Contact Form is by far the best and most simple plugin we have come across.

    If you are looking to build a complex contact form, you should try Contact Form Manager.

  14. White Label CMS

    wp_whitelabelIf you want to provide a fully customized WordPress back-end experience to your clients, this plugin is your friend. As the name implies, you can completely re-brand WordPress with this plug-in from replacing the login screen logo to hiding the admin dashboard widget and settings page.

  15. NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster

    NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-PosterIt is important to let the world know about you new blog post. Yes, you can manually share your posts via social media, but it is always better to automate these type of repetitive tasks. When you publish a new blog post, this plugin will automatically update your social profiles. The free version is only supports a limited set social profiles. NextScripts also sells a pro version of this plugin, which supports huge list of social websites.

Question: Did we miss any great plugins on this list? Please let us know in the comments section!