And so the time has come for the last plugins of the month post in 2012. It would seem that the cold weather has WordPress developers retreating to their caves and coding furiously as I had a shortlist of no less than forty highly rated and recently created or updated plugins to whittle down to the ten you find below.
In much the same way that I struggled in picking just five themes just the other day, selecting a scant few plugins for inclusion was no easy matter. On the plus side, the great level of competition has resulted in a pick of ten top quality plugins — there is certainly something for everyone here. Enjoy!
10. Sliding Widgets
This is the type of plugin where the name says it all. Sliding Widgets enables you to place — you guessed it — sliding widgets on your WordPress blog. In case you can’t quite picture it, here’s a screenshot:
These widgetized areas can be manipulated like any other from the Widgets screen on the WordPress backend.
If your blog has anything to do with travel (or is in any way location sensitive) then you might find it useful to be able to associate your posts with physical locations. This is where a plugin like Google Post Map comes in:
As you can see, a meta box which allows you to attribute a specific location is added to the New Post screen. The plugin will also show markers for other posts published in related categories (a nice way for people to find entries that are related by location).
If you’re a freelancer then you will know that your time is invaluable. As such, a reliable automated appointments/meetings booking system can save a lot of time and hassle. Appointment Booking Calendar promises to be just that:
The booking form can be linked to a PayPal account for payment processing if you are billing out your time directly. The plugin comes with a wealth of options as well as a solid backend system for keeping track of your schedule.
One way to build up a content-packed website is to allow visitors to add to the content, much like Wikipedia does. Such “Wikis” are common across the web now, so why not create your own?
Encyclopedia Lite bills itself as a solution to “create, manage and present a knowledge base” — whether it be an encyclopedia, lexicon, glossary, wiki or dictionary:
It comes with all of the standard features you would expect from such a plugin and seems like a great option if you are looking to create any of the above website types.
I am a big fan of WooThemes so although I have featured testimonials plugins on ManageWP before I wanted to take a closer look at this particular offering.
WooThemes delivers as you would expect with a clean and simple interface for creating and managing testimonials to display on your site via a shortcode, widget or template tag (i.e. you can place them anywhere on your site):
5. YOP Poll
I ran a poll recently amongst my blog’s subscribers and found it to be a highly rewarding process (not least because the feedback was so positive ;-)). For anyone who has even a small base of readers I would recommend polling in order to better tailer your content, products and/or services.
With that in mind, YOP Poll looks to be an excellent solution:
You can create your own polls, draw from poll templates, and of course view your poll results.
Flyout boxes seem to be in vogue at the moment as webmasters look to strike a balance between catching readers’ attention and not irritating them, and that’s where upPrev comes in:
The widget pops out when a reader reaches the end of a post and allows you to present from a selection of posts:
- Previous post
- Previous in category
- Previous in tag
- Related (using the awesome YARPP)
This is a simple plugin but I really like it. Feature a Page Widget utilizes the featured image and excerpt you can define in any page to present a truncated preview of any page in widget form:
This plugin could be utilized alongside our number two pick this month to great effect.
WooThemes are at it again but this time with a plugin that gives you greater control over your widgetized areas. In a nutshell WooSidebars allows you to create custom widgetized areas for specific pages. This video explains its functionality in detail:
I featured this awesome plugin just a few days ago but I had no hesitation in naming it the top pick of December’s plugins of the month. Put simply, TablePress is the only solution you need for creating tables for your WordPress site(s):
The plugin affords you a level of customization and control that would be pretty complicated to achieve with HTML code and its interface is extremely easy to use. If you need to create a table in WordPress, look no further.