The 53 Finest WordPress Creations in the World - ManageWP

The 53 Finest WordPress Creations in the World

Yesterday we re-launched the ManageWP Blog with a new mission: to champion those of you in the WordPress community who are toiling away to create something of value – for yourself and for all of us.

With that mission set in stone, I felt that there was only one possible place to start – by celebrating everything that is awesome about WordPress. Not just themes and plugins – everything from core features, to community outposts, to third party tools.

And that brings us to the list below, of the 53 finest WordPress creations in the world. (It was 50, but we added another three due to popular demand in the comments section!)

I must of course start with a disclaimer: This is a list mostly compiled personally by yours truly. It is by no means an objective list (if such a thing were possible), and I have no doubt that many of you will feel that there are items missing. Also, as much as possible, I have chosen to avoid overlap in functionality (for example, you won’t find WordPress SEO by Yoast and All in One SEO on the list). With that in mind, once you’ve pored over the list, I invite you to share your opinions in the comments section. Enjoy!

1. The Codex

While the web abounds with tips, tricks, and tutorials of all kinds for the world’s best content management system, the WordPress Codex stands at the core of that effort to make knowledge about the platform accessible. It boasts exhaustive and comprehensive documentation about all aspects of WordPress – from initial installation, to theme development, to system development.

It’s a handy resource for everyone from the green-eared newbie to the rugged WordPress veteran.

Why is the Codex so snazzy? Anyone can contribute. It’s administrated by Matt Mullenweg and Jenifer Wells, but it – and thus the entire community – has benefited from the efforts of dozens of contributors.

2. WordCamps

WordPress doesn’t just exist as an online application – it has given rise to offline gatherings. Everything that’s good about the WordPress community can be experienced in WordCamps: camaraderie, support, collaboration and so on.

To resort to an elevator pitch, WordCamps bolster the WordPress community by offering tutorials and workshops to enhance the skills of beginners and experts alike.

Who do we have to thank? People like you, who have taken the initiative to host local WordCamps around the world. Since the first WordCamp in 2006, 346 of the conferences have sprouted up worldwide. To date, there have been WordCamps in 48 countries and 6 continents – be sure to get in touch with me once WordCamp Antarctica is in the works!

3. Make WordPress Blog

WordPress has thrived largely because of its community’s contributions. We’re lucky to have so many involved people, and to top that off, we have the Make WordPress blog to showcase that involvement.

The blog has sections about contributions to many parts of WordPress, like the following:

It embodies the open source spirit perfectly and shows just how transparent the development process is.

4. WordPress iOS App

With mobile devices capturing an ever-growing share of the market, it’s not enough for WordPress sites to have responsive layouts. There needed to be a way for people to blog from their smartphone. Luckily, Matt Mullenweg’s company Automattic stepped in.

When the WordPress iOS app first launched, it wasn’t so good. But it has come a long way – it’s now a must-have app for any iPhone or iPad user looking to manage their site on the go.

With its considerable progress and dependable functionality, this app demonstrates the forward-thinking nature of Automattic and the WordPress community.

5. Distraction Free Editor

The Distraction Free Editor – a core WordPress feature – gives bloggers a key commodity that’s so difficult to find in today’s world, especially amidst abounding distractions online: focus.

There’s an awful lot going on in the WordPress user interface. While all that functionality is fantastic, it can draw your eyes away from your writing. Thankfully, a simple button lets WordPress users toggle to full screen and get to work on writing.

If you’re interested, I’ve delved deeper into this function before.

6. Theme Customizer

Added in WordPress 3.4, the Theme Customizer enables you to fiddle with theme settings using a what-you-see-is-what-you-get interface. You can see changes in real time, which saves your time.

The Theme Customizer offers you the option of altering your site’s title, tagline, header, background image/color, and custom menus.

Expanded options would be a boon, and I’m happy to say that things are looking good: this particular feature is becoming better and better over time.

7. Comment Moderation

WordPress is a blogging platform first and foremost, and the ease with which you can moderate comments makes that clear.

Communication and interaction are key to blogging, but comment spam is the medium’s bane. WordPress lets you tweak the way your blog deals with comments, so that you can find a balance between spam-free pages and open discussion that works best for your blog.

8. TwentyX Themes

WordPress comes straight out of the box with simple, functional themes like Twenty Twelve, Twenty Thirteen, and Twenty Fourteen. Contrary to what one might expect, the default themes look great.

With wide exposure, these themes provide a touchstone for the community, setting trends and standards alike. Their twin traits of simplicity and quality inspire us all.

9. Redux Framework

Many people in the comments clamored for this one to get a place on the list, and rightfully so! It is a powerful options framework for themes and plugins, saving developers time and helping options panels run smoothly.

Besides offering a plethora of customization options, the Redux developers release frequent updates to constantly improve the framework.

But it gets even better: Redux is fully open source. With clean code, full flexibility, and a supportive community, Redux is bound to be here for a long time to come.

10. Thesis

Created by DIYThemes, the Thesis architecture offers a visual template editor that’s friendly to users with zero coding experience. While your average WordPress theme offers few customization options beyond the bare basics, Thesis is all about changing things to meet your needs.

Some consider it the daddy; the original theme framework. It’s still going strong today.

11. Genesis

Like Thesis, Genesis enables you to dive in and customize your website to your needs. It’s a bit cheaper than Thesis, though there’s certainly debate about which one is better.

Genesis does have a lot going for it. Impeccable code and numerable child themes arguably make Genesis the most flexible WordPress framework available.

12. Canvas

WordPress companies and the WordPress community have crafted a myriad of marvelous themes, but some really stand out. Made by WooThemes, Canvas has a minimalist feel, yet offers extensive options for customizing design, typography, and layout.

Canvas has been WooTheme’s flagship theme for a long time, and with good reason – Canvas is a beauty.

13. PageLines

PageLines is a premium theme framework that seeks to stand out from the competition with a promise that it’s faster, easier, and better than the competition.

Whether or not you think PageLines beats alternatives, it has undeniably made a name for itself as a premier drag and drop theme design for WordPress. In that way, it has helped bring unique theme design to the masses.

14. ElegantThemes

For $69, you can get access to all 87 of ElegantThemes’s premium WordPress designs. The company offers customers some truly eye-catching themes at an incredibly low price.

You can admire the image-centric dazzle of Gleam, the one-page simplicity of BusinessCard, or the awe-inspiring flexibility of Divi – three of the many well-crafted themes that the company has forged.

15. Multisite

If you enable Multisite, you’ll be able to operate multiple sites from a single WordPress installation. Your installation can serve as a central hub for a number of sites. (Of course, ManageWP is a better solution for independent multiple website management ;-))

The likes of Edublogs and WordPress.com really showcase what’s possible with WordPress Multisite. WordPress.com uses Multisite to offer thousands of users the ability to create their own sites without having to hassle with self-hosted WordPress.

16. Akismet

As great as WordPress’ native comment moderation is, Automattic’s Akismet takes things to the next level. It is awesome enough that it comes (perhaps controversially) pre-installed with WordPress, although you have to activate it before it gets to work.

The powerful plugin refers new comments on your blog to the Akismet web service, which tries to determine whether the comment is spam. To do so, its algorithm relies on information compiled from all participating websites.

Akismet is the original spam protector, and in my humble opinion, it’s still king.

17. Antispam Bee

While it’s not a titan like Akismet, Antispam Bee has managed to garner 731,000 downloads and a 4.4 rating on WordPress.org.

While I don’t find it to be incredibly effective on its own, it’s a great tool to use on top of another anti-spam plugin – what Akismet misses, Antispam Bee catches. As WordPress users have come to expect if all else fails, disparate efforts in the community come together here to cover everything we need.

18. WordPress SEO by Yoast

In an online world obsessed with optimizing for search engines, WordPress SEO by Yoast is the most popular SEO plugin in the community: it has amassed 9.7 million downloads, yet it still maintains a 4.7 rating on WordPress.org. It’s good.

It contains a variety of features to help you boost your page rank. Page analysis checks each post for SEO fundamentals and Automatic optimization adds links elements and meta tags.

The plugin even shows a preview of how a post or page will appear in search results, allowing you to optimize it for real human beings and maximize click-through rates. These few features only scratch the surface.

19. W3 Total Cache

A slow site is a dead site these days, so site performance is key. That’s where W3 Total Cache can save you: it caches elements of your site to boost speed.

The plugin reduces page load time by minifying and compressing HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and caching pages in users’ browsers. W3 Total Cache was created by Frederick Townes.

20. Jetpack

Jetpack is perhaps Automattic’s most all-encompassing plugin. It packages together a number of useful features including site stats, contact forms, the WP.me URL shortener, widget visibility options, and automatic posting to social networks – this is merely a small sampling.

Jetpack exemplifies the ease of use that WordPress is known for, and extends that to the realm of plugins.

21. WooCommerce (+ Extensions)

With online shopping gaining steam, a viable e-commerce option for WordPress websites is a must have. We can all thank WooThemes for putting Mike Jolley and James Koster on the job – the two developed WooCommerce, which is a free, flexible and open source plugin for online stores.

As with anything WordPress, there are many extensions available to expand WooCommerce’s abilities, like MultilingualCustomizer and Product Add-Ons.

WooCommerce is a nifty plugin that testifies to the fact that WordPress today is far more than a simple blogging platform.

22. bbPress (+ Extensions)

Blog are about interaction, and online forums take a different spin on that concept. For those looking to manage a forum on WordPress, bbPress has led the way.

Ease and speed are core commitments of bbPress. It was developed by Matt Mullenweg, John James Jacoby, Jennifer Dodd, and Stephen Edgar.

It’s another Automattic creation that pushes the envelope of what WordPress can do.

23. Digg Digg

From Joel Gascoigne and Andrew Yates of Buffer comes Digg Digg, an all-in-one social sharing plugin.

With the plugin, site managers can give readers an easy option for sharing content on social media. It supports sharing for a number of sites, from big name networks like Facebook and Twitter and Reddit to more niche offerings like Marketing Land and WebBlend and Blog Engage. It is easily my social sharing plugin of choice.

24. TablePress

The TablePress plugin empowers users to display tables on their site. It can accommodate a wide array of data types and integrate in pages, posts, or text widgets.

Tobias Bäthge created the plugin and keeps it updated. Incidentally, he is a great guy too – someone who truly encompasses what the WordPress community is all about.

Even with over 1,100 ratings, TablePress still manages 5 out of 5 stars on WordPress.org – that’s proof that it’s a wonderful plugin of immense quality.

25. VaultPress

VaultPress is a comprehensive security plugin that maintains an up-to-date backup of your site while running security scans to keep it safe.

Subscriptions for the invaluable service start at just $5 per month. Its simplicity elevates it above many other offerings.

Developed by Automattic, VaultPress’s lead developers include Brian Colinger, Shaun Andrews, Apokalyptik, Joseph Scott, Alex Concha, and Mark George.

26. BackupBuddy

Made by iThemes, BackupBuddy is another option for those seeking to ensure that their site can rebound from threats. BackupBuddy is a plugin that automates regularly scheduled site backups and makes site restores easy as pie.

It backs up everything on your site: plugins, themes, posts, pages, widgets, the SQL database and so on.

27. EditFlow

Long gone are the days when every blog was a lone venture. Collaboration is a watchword for many WordPress sites these days, and EditFlow makes that easier for you to do. It provides a editorial comments, editorial metadata, user groups, calendar view for content, and more.

EditFlow caters to the increasing number of sites using WordPress to support full-blown news sources, high-volume blogs, or online magazines.

It was developed by Daniel Bachhuber, Mohammad Jangda, and Scott Bressler under the auspices of Automattic.

28. Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7’s page on WordPress.org states that it is “just another contact form plugin.” That may well be true on some level, but it lives up to its promise to be “simple but flexible.”

It provides an easy way to mange multiple contact forms, with flexibility when it comes to customization. It also offers CAPTCHA and integration with Akismet to stamp out spam.

With almost 17 million downloads, Contact Form 7 seems here to stay. Plugin developer Takayuki Miyoshi has done a stellar job.

29. YARPP

I guess that modesty is a hallmark of many WordPress plugins – Jeff Parker should give himself more credit for Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP).

The plugin does do exactly what you would expect, but it does those things extremely well: it shows your visitors posts and pages on your site that relate to what they’re reading. It stands out because of its customization, capacity to pull content from other sites, and option to earn money via sponsored content.

30. Relevanssi

Mikko Saari has crafted one of the most useful plugins available to WordPress users. Relevanssi sorts search results by relevance, and it’s backed up by powerful search functionality tailored to WordPress as a platform. I love it.

Before WordPress 3.7, WordPress search sucked so much that a plugin like Relevanssi was unquestionably necessary. Even now, Relevanssi’s powerful capabilities are bound to be an asset to any site.

31. Easy Digital Downloads (+ Extensions)

If you’re looking for a way to sell digital products on your WordPress site, look no further than Easy Digital Downloads. It offers many payment methods, a promotional code system, charts, and a great cart system. It also boasts a number of great extensions. Oh, and it’s free.

This digital goods e-commerce solution was originally masterminded and developed by none other than Pippin Williamson.

With an enviable 4.8 out of 5 stars in the WordPress plugin directory, it’s clear that Easy Digital Downloads works well.

32. Clef

Clef stands out amongst the WordPress plugins aimed at security. It is simple yet innovative: instead of using hackable passwords, you can use two-factor authentication involving your smartphone.

It’s another team effort from the WordPress community. This one is the work of Dave Ross, Jesse Pollack, Andrew Russel, and Laurence O’Donnell.

33. Redirection

Part of WordPress’ promise is that you don’t need to know any code to run a fantastic site. Redirection strengthens that promise by empowering users to manage 301 redirections and monitor 404 errors without knowledge of Apache.

Created by John Godley, it functions well and makes a good addition to your WordPress toolbox.

34. Broken Link Checker

Aptly named, this plugin by Janis Elsts checks your site for broken links. It also keeps on the lookout for missing images.

Broken Link Checker combs through your posts, pages, comments, and blogroll. It notifies you if it uncovers a problem, so that you can keep your site tidy.

35. OnePress Social Locker

It’s a perpetual problem for some bloggers: their social sharing buttons aren’t being used. OnePress Social Locker helps them get the likes, tweets, and shares needed to generate traffic.

What does it do? It allows you to block off a section of content on a web page until a user clicks a social button, which can boost shares. It’s a plugin that lets you implement the “pay with a tweet” concept.

36. WP Smush.it

Smush.it optimizes images to slim them down to size, thus boosting your site speed. It strips meta data from JPEGs, compresses files optimally, evaluates file format, and removes unused colors from indexed images.

From Alex Dunae and WPMU DEV, the plugin completes its functions automatically to save you time.

37. Fundify Crowdfunding

Fundify Crowdfunding is an extension for Easy Digital Downloads that enables crowdfunding along the lines of sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

The plugin can easily collect campaign information, and it only charges backers once the campaign reaches a predetermined goal.

It was made by Spencer Finnell and Adam Pickering.

38. WP Google Fonts

Web typography is always improving, and WordPress won’t stay behind the game – WP Google Fonts makes it incredibly simple for you to use typesets from the enormous Google Fonts library on your site. That means easier access to hundred of fantastic open source fonts.

There is also flexibility, since you can assign a Google font to a particular CSS element. WP Google Fonts is updated as Google releases new fonts, ensuring that you can always be on top of the game.

39. Gravity Forms

Built by the company Rocketgenius, Gravity Forms enables you to customize and tinker with forms on an advanced level.

Beyond the basics, Gravity Forms offers options to:

If you’re looking to make regular use of forms, the pricing isn’t bad. Gravity Forms is a premium plugin that strengthens WordPress with premium options.

40. OptinMonster

Collecting email addresses is a goal near the top of many bloggers’ lists. OptinMonster contributes to that goal by providing a platform for you to create optimized optin forms.

You can integrate the plugin with one of the following email marketing services: Aweber, MailChimp, Constant Contact, CampaignMonitor, or MadMimi. It also facilitates easy testing, so you can find out what really works.

The email list is the sacred cow of web-based marketing, and OptinMonster helps you feed it.

41. Fanciest Author Box

If you run a blog that features multiple content creators, chances are that you would like to spotlight those different authors and give them credit for their content. Fanciest Author Box is a plugin that adds to WordPress by letting you put author bio boxes on your site.

These author bio boxes feature author pictures, a written blurb, links to social media profiles, and a list of latest posts – features accessed separately but easily via tabs on the author box.

42. Raw HTML Pro

The Raw HTML Pro plugin is there for you when you just want to format a post or page using HTML. WordPress has a good visual editor, but it can sometimes warp the formatting that you’re trying to get.

Raw HTML Pro also offers the options of selectively disabling features like automatic paragraph creation and image emoticons.

By handing users the option to choose between the visual editor or their own HTML on a case-by-case basis, Raw HTML Pro makes WordPress that much stronger.

43. Foobar

Made by themergency, Foobar can create nifty notification bars for your site. The bars are open to customization and can be featured on the bottom or top of a page. $14 gets you the regular license and allows you to make unlimited foobars.

As a nifty bonus, you can also integrate Twitter and RSS feeds. Once again, a plugin has filled the void where native WordPress functionality was lacking.

44. SlideDeck

SlideDeck was developed by Digital Telepathy, and it opens the door to high-quality digital sliders in WordPress. With the plugin, you can make custom sliders featuring images, text, video, and HTML.

The slide editor lets you go through, slide by slide, to make sure everything fits together just right. You can add captions or text to each slide, and enhance the visual appeal with lenses.

SlideDeck has set a new standard for visual content on WordPress.

45. PrettyLink

PrettyLink is a neat plugin by Blair Williams. Its most basic feature is the ability to shorten links using your own domain name, rather than a third-party link shrinking app like bit.ly.

It has a myriad of uses: you can cloak affiliate links, track where visitors are clicking, view where visitor hits came from, share links easily, optimize your site with testing, and more.

46. Restrict Content Pro

A basic WordPress site allows anyone and everyone to see your content. While that’s great for many people, Restrict Content Pro caters to those who want to create a site (or portion of a site) with premium content restricted to members only.

It’s flexible: you can divide users into an unlimited number of custom membership levels (like free, trial, and premium). It keeps the money side in mind, too, as you can track payments and even create coupon discounts.

Restrict Content Pro is an easy, one stop shop for any WordPress user looking to create premium content.

47. VelocityPage

VelocityPage is a plugin that allows you to create and edit pages on your site from the front end. You read that right: with VelocityPage installed, you can forget about your admin panel when it comes to editing pages. It’s a what-you-see-is-what-you-get approach: you get to view how the page will appear to readers as you’re making it.

This one only comes as a premium plugin, but it’s well worth it. You can work with text, headers, media, spacers, and contact forms. It’s all drag and drop, so it’s easy. VelocityPage makes the list because really does offer something unique and game-changing for WordPress.

48. Event Espresso

A premium plugin with a three-tiered pricing option, Event Espresso integrates with WordPress to help you manage event registration and ticketing.

The plugin includes key features: seating limits, custom registration forms, discount codes, multiple price options, printable tickets, and even seating charts.

With full-time support, Event Espresso is an excellent tool for managing almost any kind of event (you could well organize a WordCamp with it ;-)).

49. Yoast’s Guide to WordPress Theme Anatomy

Looking out at the great swathes of themes and plugins available to alter the look and feel of your site, it’s almost hard to remember that WordPress began as a simple blogging platform. However, the same basic structure underlying that platform remains to this day, and Joost de Valk explained it all in a comprehensive post and infographic a few years back.

Joost delves into the loop, different PHP files, and other under-the-hood parts of your site.

The guide is a superb resource to bolster your knowledge of WordPress and start you off on more advanced manipulation of the platform.

The guide also highlights another important fact: there’s a lot going on with WordPress. Even at its most basic, it’s not fair to say that WordPress is a “simple blogging platform.” The beauty of the system’s underlying code is impressive.

50. Page Builder by SiteOrigin

This plugin provides you with a means to easily make responsive column layouts. It turns the widgets that you know and love into the bricks that you stack to create your page, and to that end, it adds some new widgets to the mix.

With widgets for images, galleries, and video – on top of the standard fare – you’ll be set to use Page Builder’s drag and drop interface to craft pages that work.

Boasting over half a million downloads, Page Builder has earned a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on WordPress.org – an accomplishment proving that you might want to download it right away.

51. Advanced Custom Fields

Created by Elliot Condon, this plugin provides a graphic user interface for WordPress’s native custom fields function.

It makes intuitive sense – after installation, it’s easy to make a field group, add fields to that group, and set location rules.

For developers, there’s an awesome API.

52. DesktopServer

Made by ServerPress, DesktopServer is a popular platform for local development in WordPress. It lets you quickly and simply build virtual servers that can come in handy for theme development, website previews, or plugin testing.

You can choose fictional domain names to customize each project. More importantly, it’s a speedy process so that you can get right to work.

It also works with ManageWP’s native backup format, so it’s a win-win for everyone.

53. ManageWP

The inclusion of ManageWP on this list is arguably a bit biased. Perhaps it is, but I think there are compelling reasons for seeing ManageWP as a prime part of the WordPress community.

Going back a few years now, ManageWP completely shifted the playing field by providing one central interface from which users could keep tabs on all of their WordPress sites. It’s indispensable for many developers and WordPress “power users”, and saves literally hours and hours of time for the half million people who have downloaded it.

ManageWP has revolutionized the way people manage multiple WordPress sites, and that’s good for all of us. And what better way to finish up this roundup than with the very tool that is the reason for this blog’s existence?

What’s Your Favorite?

So here’s where things get interesting. I’m sure you’ve got your opinions on what should (and shouldn’t) be on the list, and it only seems right that we open things right up and let you share your views.

So, fire away in the comments below – tell us what you love the most about WordPress! We’ve already added 4 new items to the list in response to feedback in the comments, so we are paying attention 😉

Tom Ewer

Tom Ewer is the founder of WordCandy.co. He has been a huge fan of WordPress since he first laid eyes on it, and has been writing educational and informative content for WordPress users since 2011. When he's not working, you're likely to find him outdoors somewhere – as far away from a screen as possible!

73 Comments

  1. Jonathan rom

    Thank you very much, I have found here a lot of plugins that will be useful!!

  2. Taloweb

    You forgot Pods Framework, the WordPress pushed to a real Cms Level, it’s so amazing that you cannot try it!

  3. itamar

    i think it was the bast post that i ever read. thank you

    1. Tom Ewer

      You’re welcome, and thank you for a great comment.

  4. Milan

    Absolutely full-range!! Thank you, Tom :)

  5. Nicole Montgomery

    This is great and very helpful – thank you! I would add Themify to the framework/themes list – 70-some to pick from and drag and drop simplicity for layout and styling from every one of them. :-) Price is about the same as ElegantThemes. I use both and they both, by the way, have amazing support!

  6. Puneet Sahlaot

    This is something I have always been looking for!
    If possible, I would love to see Thomas Griffin’s Plugin Activation Library on the list :) http://tgmpluginactivation.com/

    1. Tom Ewer

      Seems like an intriguing plugin, but perhaps not one that would make it onto this list…

  7. Marc Remblance

    Redux Framework surely needs to make this list – http://reduxframework.com/ As a WP theme dev for some years now, I have used countless option frameworks over this time, but have settled happily with Redux.

    To me, it seems like the de-facto theme options framework now, and truly deserves a mention. Great community behind it, super-frequent releases, rock solid codebase.

    Big fan of the Redux.

    1. Tom Ewer

      Take another look Marc 😉

  8. puurchoco

    Why is not the plugin Site Origin Page Builder on this list?

    1. Tom Ewer

      It is now – great suggestion!

  9. Simrandeep Singh

    Hey

    You have prepared really good list but you forgot about one thing and that is Redux Framework. It is one of the best options framework built for WordPress. Most of the themeforest premium themes are nothing without this framework.

    Thanks

    1. Tom

      Thanks!

  10. Chris Howard

    As a dev, I look for tools that save me time, especially ones that make the repetitive stuff easy, like laying out pages, drawing metaboxes.
    – Headway Theme framework. Quickly and easily create any layout. Dream come true as a dev. And the original drag & drop them, and still the only one that fully realises that objective.
    – Redux framework. Really, this is so good, and so proactively developed, WP shouldn’t even bother making their own.
    – Redux framework extensions and other services
    – WP-PageNavi. Another awesome time saver.

    1. Tom

      Thanks Chris!

  11. Kathy

    I used Elegant Themes for a while… the theme I chose was indeed beautiful. But ManageWP couldn’t automatically update the theme for me, which was too much hassle for me. So I switched.

    BTW, why isn’t there a Search box on your blog so I can search for other topics I’m interested in? :-)

    1. Tom

      Sorry to hear that Kathy. There is indeed a search box for your use! Click the menu button in the top right hand corner of the blog!

  12. mark

    LayerSlider wallops SlideDeck and all the others hands down. Not even up for discussion.

    1. Tom

      In that case, I won’t discuss it Mark 😉

  13. Ciaran Whelan

    There are three that I do not see on the list.

    1. Redux Framework: Adds all the options I could ever want to place in my themes. it covers the most simplest themes right through to the most advanced themes out there.

    2. ServerPress (Desktop Server): Simply the most incredible and powerful local dev for building out and deploying WP quickly.

    3. WP-Types and Views: What can I say, simply one of the most powerful ways to turn any WP into anything you want.

    1. Chris Howard

      +1 on all three ofthose

    2. Tom Ewer

      Comments duly noted – the list has now been updated Ciaran!

  14. Margie

    I agree that Redux should be added to the list. FANTASTIC developer tool. And they’re constantly working on it to improve it.
    :)

    1. Tom

      Thanks Margie!

  15. Dovy Paukstys

    *cough* Redux Framework *cough*

    Here’s why: http://jsfiddle.net/dovy/3dLqu/2/embedded/result/

    And tons more not even on that list. 😉

    1. Dovy Paukstys

      Oh and http://wpdemo.io 😉

      1. Tom

        😉 Thanks Dovy!

  16. Webcreations907

    Nice list you got going there, like these type of posts where you can have a go to place for whats useful and trending :)

    +1001 for Reduxframework for the developers/freelancers for a powerful/loaded theme options panel with WP customizer support, you can also get the easy to add(basically drop them in) extensions for meta boxes, sidebars and such to add to it.

    *Bookmarking post now* 😉

    Thanks again

    1. Tom

      Glad you liked it! Thanks!

  17. Sean Davis

    It’s brand spankin’ new, but I can see Ninja Demo being added to this list in the future for sure.

    1. Tom

      Thanks Sean!

  18. Arrie Pieterse

    Really think this is one of the best posts I’ve read. Really well done :) One thing I’d add to the list of super awesome wordpress things is the Redux Options Framework. Makes life so much easier, I’ve tried so many frameworks, but this one simply steps ahead of all of them. Also Easy Digital Downloads is awesome!

    1. Tom

      Thanks Arrie!

  19. Daryl Griffiths

    Great post Tom, although I’m intrigued to know what was originally at #5!

    At least it gives you a spot to now add one of the commented about plugins… Good luck picking one over the others though :)

    1. Tom Ewer

      Good spot Daryl! Something needs to be added there, but I don’t think I’m going to keep it to 50 – who needs round numbers anyway? 😉

  20. Troy Dean

    I am biased but Video User Manuals really is exceptionally useful and has been around since 2008 :)

    1. Tom

      😉 Thanks Troy!

  21. Andrew Urevig

    Elegant Themes definitely deserves its place on this list! Divi is a powerful theme that gives a non-coder, non-designer like me the kind of flexibility I never thought I’d have with WordPress. Besides that, I love many of their other themes, which I plan to use in upcoming projects.

    That said, it’s a shame that the BusinessCard theme isn’t responsive.

    1. Tom

      Thanks Andrew!

  22. gal

    great stuff.
    one thing to notice is – clef has noting to do with being two factor authentication :)

  23. Mike

    Let’s not forget Weaver II. Some Web hosts include it among their pre-installed themes. A fully-responsive mega theme, Weaver II adds an incredible array of design options to your WordPress backend. I think it’s the best value with regard to theme frameworks. Best of all, it’s free (though a small donation is a great way to thank the developer).

    There is a modestly-priced Pro version (current pricing is a $29 one-time fee for a single site; $49 one-time fee for a developer license), but the free version is robust enough for most blogs or Web sites.

    1. Tom

      Thanks for the suggestion Mike!

  24. Brenda Barron

    What a great list! I found myself nodding in agreement as I scrolled down at every selection you included. I have to say, the value of the Codex and the network of Make WordPress blogs can’t be touted enough. They’re a constant, growing resource that I find myself referring back to time and time again. Thanks for putting this together!

    1. Tom

      Thanks Brenda!

  25. Seth Shoultes

    Thanks for including Event Espresso!

    1. Tom

      Well deserved! You’re welcome!

  26. Jan Paul

    Nice post, though Advanced Custom Fields is missing. Best plugin ever.

    1. Seth Shoultes

      +1, great plugin.

      1. Brendyn

        +1 for ACF, we use it for every site we build

    2. Tom Ewer

      +1 from me too – it should be in there. Getting closer to simply adding some more onto the list…

  27. Tom Townsend

    This is an excellent post. I use many of the items you mentioned in this article, dare I say more than half ? At the top of the plugin list is of course, ManageWP. You are quite modest listing it last. Its much higher on my list for sure. It has now allowed me to expand my business…I have moved beyond video to providing complete Biz Portals for clients with my SMBsocial.com site launching this month. ManageWP is a cornerstone of our support offering. Thanks for an awesome article and product!

    1. Tom Ewer

      Well it’s better to modest than arrogant, I’d say 😉

      To be honest, the numbering isn’t intended to imply some kind of ranking, so take it as you wish. I for one am delighted that ManageWP is high on your list!

  28. Bet Hannon

    While not as popular as Thesis or Genesis, I really like iThemes’ Builder framework. Not only is it good solid responsive themes to start with, they are easily adaptable and extensible. Plus, their support team rocks!

    1. Tom

      Thanks!

  29. Gregg Franklin

    The item I was surprised not to see on the list is DesktopServer; a great tool to use for local development and works with ManageWP’s native backup format.

    1. Clifford P

      +1

    2. Tom Ewer

      Fair point Gregg, you could make a good argument for including something along those lines on the list. My bad!

  30. WordPressLover

    As a WP developer I like to add Hide My WP plugin!

    It hide the fact you use WordPress in your site. I use it for almost all of my projects.

  31. Tito Pandu Brahmanto

    In my point of view as developer, I think there are many things that we need to do to make WordPress and other WordPress based creations to become the best. Sadly almost all code that I read from plugins and themes, there is almost no structure that can be easily read and/or extended. We need to work harder to provide better code that can be easily extended with other developers so all of our users can take advantage of it. But anyway, this is an awesome list of all the finest WordPress frameworks, plugins and themes.
    Thank you Tom for compile it into one blog post that we can easily refer when we need to do something in WordPress.

    1. Tom Ewer

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Tito! Although I’m not particularly technically minded and know about as much about PHP as you could write on the palm of your hand, I do agree with you in principle. And since you do plugin development work with me, it’s great to know you’re so conscientious about clean coding 😉

    2. Mikko

      Tito, you’ll love Relevanssi, then. It’s full of filter hooks (one of the finest features in WordPress in my mind) you can use to adjust many things – and if there’s something that can’t be adjusted, one email to me and you’ve got the filter hook you want in the next version.

      TablePress is another plugin which does the filter hook thing right, it has amazing flexibility that has been very useful many times.

      1. Tito Pandu Brahmanto

        Thank you for your recommendation Mikko. I will take a look at your plugins.

  32. Allen Taylor

    Easy Digital Downloads is awesome. I’d also recommend Add Signature, originally designed by Dragon Design. This is an incredible plugin that allows you to add signatures to your blog posts. You can have up to 7 shortcodes for signatures.

    For typography-conscious content creators, you can get Drop Cap Shortcode and use it to make the first letter of paragraphs, sections, or pages, more visually appealing.

    1. Tom Ewer

      Here was me thinking I know about every plugin out there – I’ve never heard of Add Signature! Thanks for the tips Allen :-)

  33. Emils

    Awesome Resource Tom!

    The one thing I would include is WMPL – in case you need your WordPress site in more than one language.

    1. Tom Ewer

      That’s a great suggestion Emils, and arguably should be in there! Enough suggestions like this and I’ll have to expand the list…

  34. Lauren Tharp

    Excellent list, Tom! I’m using (or have used) quite a few of the plugins you mentioned. And I was very pleased to see that FooBar made the grade! I love Fooplugins — I use both FooBar Pro and Social Wiggle on my websites. :)

    This is a great resource for WordPress users.

    1. Tom Ewer

      Thanks Lauren!

      FooPlugins seem to be doing some great stuff – I should have a closer look at what else they’re working on…

      1. Adam W. Warner

        @Tom, thanks for the mention of FooBar, and if you would like to take a closer look at any of our plugins (like FooBox), please don’t hesitate to shoot me a direct email. We also have something brewing that the community of image-centric WP users will be interested in…and it will be available in the repo.

        @Lauren, thanks for your patronage of the Foo:) We appreciate your support!

        1. Tom Ewer

          @Adam I’ll take you up on that offer…would love to work on something that we could write up for the blog.

  35. Melanie Shebel

    Oh my god, this is one of the best WordPress posts I’ve ever read. I think this is my new favorite site, haha. This is going to help me so much with my blogs!

    1. Tom Ewer

      No problem Melanie, glad to be of service!

      Is there anything that you think should be on the list that is missing?

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