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12 Fantastic WordPress Plugins You’ve Never Heard Of

Written by Tom Ewer on April 9, 2014 WordPress tips & tricks.

WordPress offers a vast diversity of plugins that can enhance your website. But those same plugins often suffer from technical errors and weak support. There are a lot of okay plugins floating around out there, but you shouldn’t settle for mediocrity – if you’re going to put the time and effort into creating a website, you should strive to find only the best.

Luckily, there are a lot of good choices out there. Many of them are well-known plugins and themes. However, if you dig a little bit deeper you cad find some real the diamonds in the rough.

In this post I cover twelve of these stellar plugins. They have all only been downloaded a few thousand downloads, and you may have never heard of them, but once you do you’ll no doubt want to try a few out for yourself.

1. Evergreen Post Tweeter

While blog posts gain their greatest exposure after being initially published, old posts can still hold a lot of value, especially for people who may not have been around a blog long enough to have seen them when they first went public.

Because of this, I wanted a way to tweet links to old posts automatically. That’s why I teamed up with the awesome Tito Pandu Brahmanto to develop Evergreen Post Tweeter.

Evergreen Post Tweeter

It allows you to schedule regular tweets containing links to randomly selected older posts. You can tinker with a wide array of options to make sure that you’re only tweeting the posts that remain relevant.

Download from WordPress.org

2. Widget Importer & Exporter

The Widget Importer and Exporter is a neat little plugin that you can use to create files containing your widgets that can be shared and uploaded to other WordPress sites.

It has a variety of practical applications. It can aid in the process of moving widgets from one site to another and it can also make your life easier if any theme changes mess up your plugin settings (with Widget Importer & Exporter, you can re-import them en masse and save time).

Unlike some more popular plugins in the same niche, Widget Importer and Exporter actually does what it claims to do. That would explain why it has quite positive reviews.

Download from WordPress.org

3. All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets

all-in-one-schemaorg-rich-snippets

Rich snippets are unique additions to your site’s link in search results. This plugin will add an author pictures, a star ratings, and an image.

All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets will enhance your search engine visibility by including interesting, interactive aspects in your search results. Such additions can help you stand out from the competition. This can strengthen your page’s ranking and will boost your click through rate.

It works for Google, Bing, and Yahoo. It can even direct Facebook towards the right info to display when people post links to your site.

Download from WordPress.org

4. Image Wall

Image Wall displays pictures that function as links to your posts and pages. It presents them randomly and allows for infinite scrolling.

Images are a great way to hold visitors’ attention in today’s day and age, when time spans are short and there’s no lack of competing content to browse through. Using Image Wall to display the picture links can help drive some traffic to old posts. It also doesn’t hurt that it looks good.

Still a bit confused as to what it does? They say that a picture is worth a thousand words (sorry, I couldn’t resist). But really – have a look for yourself.

Download on WordPress.org

5. Flexible Posts Widget

flexible-posts-widget

A lot of people like to incorporate a short sampling of recent posts into their sites’ sidebar. Flexible Posts Widget takes that to the next level, enabling you to customize a wide variety of options.

You can choose to display posts of certain types, or set it up so that only posts from specific categories will appear. These options give you far greater flexibility than you generally have with any recent posts widgets. You can even choose to manually enter in a group of post IDs, should you need to do so.

The plugin will also leave the standard options open to you: you can choose how many posts will appear and whether the links will include feature images.

Download from WordPress.org

6. What The File

What The File will add a section to your admin toolbar that displays the files and template parts that the current page utilizes.

This plugin could easily come in handy if you need to know what files are influencing a post’s appearance. Once you install What The File, you’ll have no trouble finding and fixing relevant files. All you’ll need to do is hover over the section on the admin toolbar.

Download from WordPress.org

7. Avatar Manager

avatar-manager

Avatar Manager gives users the option of selecting a Gravatar image or uploading their own avatar picture. They can do this right from their profile, meaning that the plugin integrates seamlessly with your existing site.

You’re also able to set custom user permissions and determine some basic settings like the default size of avatar images.

Download from WordPress.org

8. AddThis Welcome Bar

If used strategically, this plugin can help you expand your reach with social media. It adds a welcome bar to the top of your web page where you can urge people to take certain social media actions.

AddThis Welcome Bar’s greatest strength lies in its ability to detect visitors’ social network preferences. That means that you can tailor your site to a number of different social media demographics.

There are also some cool options to customize. You’ll be able to pick which social buttons to display (for instance, you can choose a sharing button for a welcome bar). You also have the chance to customize the color scheme for your bars.

Download from WordPress.org

9. Testimonials by WooThemes

This great plugin comes straight from WooThemes itself. It’s an easy-to-use testimonial manager.

testimonials-by-woothemes

Testimonials features intuitive fields of info that you’ll need to enter: things like the person’s name, their testimonial itself, a byline, and a URL. For images, it’s easy to grab the person’s picture from Gravatar. If that’s not an option, then you can just upload one of your own.

There are a few ways that you can ultimately display your testimonials.

  1. Widgets. Once you install the plugin, you’ll see “Testimonials” pop up in the widgets list.
  2. Shortcode. You can easily insert a small bit of generated code into any post or page on your website.
  3. Template tag. This option can help with more dynamic displays.

I need not delve extensively into the benefits of showing testimonials of the work you’ve done. Suffice it to say that if you can build credibility, you’re doing yourself a huge favor. There is also decent documentation meant to introduce you to the basics.

Download from WordPress.org

10. Our Team by WooThemes

Our Team is a system for managing profiles in WordPress. One of the best things about it is that it is clean, simple, and easy to use.

With the plugin in hand, you can easily display all of your team members on WordPress. Much like WooThemes’ Testimonials plugin, there are separate fields available to enter in all relevant information. Then, you have several choices about how to display your team members to your visitors.

There is another cool thing that you should consider trying with this plugin. You can organize team members categorically, which may prove useful if you are with a large organization that has different divisions or departments.

Download on WordPress.org

11. WP Job Manager

wp-job-manager

Job boards are a key source of information for those seeking employment on the Internet, and with this plugin, incorporating a job board into your own site should be pretty easy.

The key to WP Job Manager is that it is lightweight – it won’t suck away your resources or drastically overburden the server.

Given that the plugin is implemented with shortcodes, it will be easy to integrate your job board, regardless of the theme that you have chosen.

The plugin is nice because it focuses on the needs of both the job listers and the job seeker. On the front end, your jobs board will boast a searchable directory of past job listings. Behind the scenes, job listers will get the full complement of reasonable, professional services that they have a right to expect.

Download on WordPress.org

12. Features by WooThemes

Much like the other awesome WooThemes plugins on this list, Features does the good work of lending you a hand with inputting and displaying information. In this case, you can enter in the features or benefits that your company or service can offer to customers.

The information can be displayed without the loss of copyright.

The interface for managing this plugin is refreshingly simpler, too. If you need to lay out some features for your visitors, this plugin is a great way to do it.

Download on WordPress.org

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21 Responses

  1. dryfly
    April 9, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

    Thanks Mark – I look forward to trying several plugins I had not used before.

    Cheers.

  2. Nick Cobb
    April 9, 2014 at 6:26 pm #

    Thanks for all the new toys! Really excited about tinkering with the posts widget plugin and What The File.

  3. double_u
    April 9, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

    Thank you Mark, but unfortunately the links to the subjects 8 and 9 are incorrect.

    Regards from Germany

    • Mark Forrester
      April 9, 2014 at 7:31 pm #

      Thanks for taking the time to let us know. I’ve fixed the links.

    • Jake
      April 10, 2014 at 5:37 am #

      Plugin #2 also has the links from #1.

      I assume this is it http://wordpress.org/plugins/widget-importer-exporter/

      • Ryan Ray
        April 11, 2014 at 6:19 am #

        Thanks Jake, I fixed that wrong link. 🙂

  4. Jeanette From WifiTea
    April 9, 2014 at 7:20 pm #

    We are using number 9 on our website, so others can read costumer-respond on our co-working space and tearoom. Both the WifiTea-team and costumers love the plugin.

  5. Dorothy Le
    April 10, 2014 at 2:15 am #

    Email Marketing is also a great way to interact with followers and sending then valuable content with a personal touch. What is also an advantage is that email marketing softwares allow you to segment your contact list (i.e new subscribers, loyal long-time followers, etc) so that you can create the specific content just for them. And with the freedom to create your own templates in color and design, you can make any campaign your own unique style.

    Benchmark Email has a new easy to use plugin called Benchmark Email Lite that combines your WordPress site with the traffic-generating benefits of email marketing. You can install an email sign-up form onto any page (it actually scans the colors of your page and adjusts itself so that it blends seamlessly into your theme), track down analytics, and even send email-friendly version of your blogs posts straight into your readers’ inboxes. And all straight off your WordPress dashboard.

    Definitely a two-in-one program that will save your time, let you exercise your creative, and increase engagement with your followers 🙂

  6. Matt Maldre
    April 10, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

    Does the Avatar Manager work with the Woothemes Scrollider theme? I have a corporate website that will soon have over 200 authors. Managing the avatars using Gravatar has been quite an ordeal with my current 10 authors. I can’t imagine trying to walk my 200 authors sign up through Gravatar. Avatar Manager would be great if it puts the ability to update avatars on Scrollider into my hands. Is that true?

    • Ryan Ray
      April 11, 2014 at 6:18 am #

      Hey Matt,

      It would indeed, we use WordPress’ user system (which uses Gravatars). The plugin would override that. 🙂

  7. drewmcmanusllc
    April 11, 2014 at 5:30 pm #

    I have a real beef with listing the Our Team plugin here:

    * It isn’t listed in the list of plugins at the help desk when submitting a support ticket
    * The necessary CSS to display the custom post types as they are in the plugin demo are NOT included with the plugin and the instructions for including the CSS are apparently out of date (I can’t get it to work at all).

    What good is offering up a plugin that requires editing the master CSS files or creating one for a child theme in order for it to function? I get the idea of making it a lean plugin but why not simply make a check box option in the plugin’s admin panel to activate/deactivate the CSS but at least load it so users don’t have to do it manually?

    Seriously, who would expect a plugin advertised with this layout result: http://wordpress.org/plugins/our-team-by-woothemes/screenshots/ but only produces this on activation: http://screencast.com/t/Xj0rFnRLr to be a worthwhile addition to functionality?

    I hate to gripe here in the comments but this rises to the level of calling out publicly.

  8. Noumaan Yaqoob
    April 12, 2014 at 11:06 am #

    Bookmarked the Avatar Manager and Image Wall. They both look interesting.

  9. blaubaer
    April 13, 2014 at 9:39 am #

    The number 1 is the one from the list, I didn’t know and I installed it inbetween and yes, I like it. Thanks for the tip.

    But beside to all of your plugins, in case I bought a short time ago the Follow-up Email Autoresponder for WooCommerce from you and there I translated all strings Poedit could get from source code into my native language. But still there are some strings that come up in english, which Poedit couldn’t get from source. Thats a pain, having translated to another language and still seeing english strings. Please make all your plugins ready for translating in near future, because I have so many customers which drive a store but would like to see native language interfaces. This is very important. Thanks, Adrian.

  10. Arafin Shaon
    April 15, 2014 at 11:30 am #

    Found some handy plugins. Specially Flexible Posts Widget which seemed pretty useful to me. Gonna try it in my site. Thank mate for the post 🙂

  11. Tuan Anh
    April 17, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

    Thanks for introducing All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets, it’s really helpful to me. I’ve been working with Schema.org for a long time, mostly coding. This plugin saves me a lot of time for clients’ websites!

  12. Maurice
    April 23, 2014 at 11:09 pm #

    Thanks for the list. Will check out these widgets soon I know that some of our costumers will want to have these on there sites. Keep u the good work.

  13. Amit Kapoor
    April 24, 2014 at 11:14 am #

    awesome all wordpress plugins Thanks for sharing. I have also a WordPress plugin please check it out socialappshq.com/widget/landing or https://wordpress.org/plugins/twitter-widget-with-sentiment-analysis/ and Give me feedback

  14. henryv
    April 24, 2014 at 10:39 pm #

    Nice list of plugins. A few new ones I need to test. Thanks for sharing.

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    May 6, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

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