WordPress is the leading content management system out there in basically any industry. Emerged as a basic CMS for blogging, it evolved to a powerful publishing tool for any kind of website or web app. Whether you’re working on company websites, online shops, or social communities. Everything’s possible with WordPress.
There are many great and mighty WordPress plugins out there for improving your websites.
In this post I’m going to show you 15+ unknown and free WordPress plugins every WordPress developer should know when building up his/her WordPress portfolio.
So let’s get started. WordPress plugins are a great way to make your websites and apps better, faster, more secure and better performing. Here’s a great list of WordPress plugins for developers.
The Debug Bar is a super useful plugin which adds an additional menu to the WordPress backend displaying query, cache, memory usage and other helpful information.
Additionally you can also enable PHP warnings and notices when WP_DEBUG is enabled.
Whether you’re a WordPress Theme developer or just a developer working with 3rd party themes. The Theme Check plugin for WordPress is a must-have!
The Theme Check plugin is an easy way to test your theme. The plugin uses the same criteria as WordPress.org does for their theme submissions. By adding this plugin to your tool kit you can make sure that your created or used theme supports the latest WordPress theme standards and practices.
Theme Check runs automated tests checking the conformity of your themes.
While working on WordPress websites you probably get a lot of feedback from your clients, colleagues or friends. With the Usersnap WordPress widget you have found the perfect place for every single piece of feedback. Whether it’s about discovered bugs (hopefully not 😉 ), change requests or simply new ideas or general feedback.
By adding the Usersnap widget to your site, a little feedback widget is displayed on your website, enabling visitors – or if wished – clients and certain colleagues to provide feedback.
User Switching is a super helpful plugin which allows you to easily switch between multiple registered users. After installing the widget, there’s no need to enter usernames and passwords again. You’ll get instantly logged out and logged in as your desired user.
Especially really handy while working on your WordPress test environment.
If you’re a WordPress theme developer, Monster Widget will be a great time saver! Monster Widget itself contains of 13 different WordPress core widgets – like the tag cloud or category widget – consolidated in one.
When testing your new WordPress theme, this widget comes in handy, since you can test multiple widgets at the same time.
Not only useful for WordPress developers, but for all WordPress users as well. The Simple History plugin displays recent changes made within WordPress directly on the dashboard page.
While working and developing a new WordPress website, a lot of changes are made. With Simple History you get a quick overview on recent changes – such as which plugins have been activated/deactivated.
Further on Simple History shows information on failed user logins, widgets information or new posts and pages.
Query Monitor is a very helpful debugging plugin for WordPress which adds a new toolbar at the WordPress admin bar. With this toolbar querydata are displayed along with other features which are not displayed in any other debugging plugin.
W3 Total Cache
When it comes to optimizing your website’s performance, W3 Total Cache is your plugin to choose. Optimizing the speed and load time of your website can be quite a challenge. With the W3 Total Cache plugin you can make use of caching.
When developing a WordPress website or app for international markets, chances are high that your website might be viewed by people reading from right to left. Arabic for example is the most widespread Right-to-Left reading system.
With the Right-To-Left Tester you can test your themes or plugin in RTL mode. After installing the RTL Tester, the plugin adds a button to the admin bar, which allows you to switch text direction on your site.
I guess I don’t have to mention how important backups are. Right? 😉
With BackWPup I’ve found an awesome plugin doing a great job when it comes to saving complete WordPress installations to external services, like Dropbox, S3, FTP servers and many more.
And as I’ve read on their plugin page: The most expensive backup is the one you never did! True story.
The WordPress plugin “Helpful Information” is a great, little helper displaying additional information about the currently viewed web page. It shows information, such as the current post type, enqueued scripts and styles and included files on a page.
WP Login Security 2
Although this plugin hasn’t been updated for a while, it’s definitely a great resource when it comes to security matters of your WordPress website.
WP Login Security 2 basically offers you a white listing of IP addresses. If a certain IP address is not recognized, the plugin will send an email to the user with a link containing a one-time key. Optionally the admin can be notified as well.
On the other hand, if you try to log in from a known IP address, you are let in straight away.
All In One WP Security & Firewall
All in One WP Security & Firewall is a easy-to-use security plugin for your WordPress site. The plugin adds some new security features to your WordPress site in order to reduce the risk of vulnerabilities.
In an own security dashboard a so-called Security Strength Meter is displayed which keeps you up-to-date on how “secure” your WordPress website is.
In a brute force attack someone tries various combinations of username and password over and over again in order to gain access to your site. These brute force attacks can lead to server and performance issues, since bots are trying to log in so many times that it can overload your server.
With the Brute Protect plugin these situations can be prevented. If someone tries to log in to your site many times, his/her IP address is restricted from your website.
WordFence is a popular WordPress security plugin. After installing it, it starts checking your website regarding infections and malware. It’s done with a server-side scan of your source code. Also themes and plugins are scanned.
According to the plugin page, the plugin is 100% free and open source. With an included caching engine, WordFence claims to make your website 50 times faster. Further on, you can monitor your traffic in real-time and WordFence checks if there’s any threat or attack.
There are quite a few WordPress plugins especially for web developers which will make life easier while developing WordPress websites. You don’t need to install all of the presented plugins – just try a few ones and see if they are a time saver for you.
What additional WordPress plugins can you recommend? Let us know in the comments!
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