Welcome to the last plugin roundup of 2013!
There were a large number of great plugins to choose from this month and as always the final ten are all of extremely high quality.
This month I have an eclectic selection of plugins for you to look at. Some of them are worth installing on every website, especially our number one plugin for December. Others may have more limited reach, but for those people looking for that specific functionality, they will be invaluable.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on our final plugin selection for 2013 in the comments below. Enjoy!
10. Sticky Header
Sticky Header is really quite self-explanatory: it allows you to add a sticky header section to any theme.
What this means is that your header section will always be displayed as your visitor scrolls through your content. This keeps your navigation and website branding available to them at all times.
9. Pics Mash
Pics Mash allows you to create image rating contests on your website.
There are a lot of potential uses for this plugin. You can use it for fun competitions, or for more serious decisions. It could be used to find out which image gathers more attention on your blog — whether that’s a new logo or product packaging image.
It’s a great way to include a unique social element to your site and engage with your readers in order to decide which images are more popular and should be used.
The Custom Facebook Feed plugin allows you to display a completely customizable feed of any public Facebook page or group. Unlike most plugins of its type, the feed created is crawlable by search engines which will add to the SEO of your website. Learn more about different social sharing plugins.
This feed can be embedded into a post or page and becomes especially useful if you want to have different feeds on different pages. It is a great way to build a portal of Facebook feeds revolving around one central theme such as sports teams, or companies in the same niche.
The Recent Tweets Widget is developed to work with the new Twitter API and uses a cache to ensure that you don’t face any limitations from Twitter. This means that it reads your status updates from your WordPress database rather than constantly querying Twitter.
You can modify the frequency of the cache updates and the number of tweets that are displayed on your website. This is a very simple but effective plugin and is ideal for anyone who wants to display their tweets on their website.
The Redux Framework is a completely responsive yet simple options framework for WordPress themes and plugins. Redux includes options for multiple custom field types, error handling, field and validation types, methods to import and export your settings and a great deal more.
This is a useful plugin for everyday users, but is ideal for WordPress developers. Redux allows developers a streamlined and extensible framework to build on and is built to simplify the entire development cycle.
If you’ve ever wanted to duplicate a theme, or create a child theme for design tweaking then this plugin is ideal for you. Duplicate Theme allows you duplicate any themes or child themes you have installed from your WordPress admin dashboard.
You simply choose the theme to copy, give it a new name and you’re done. This is a simple and secure method of creating new themes to test and redesign without all the hassle of using FTP programs.
If you have multiple authors on your blog then you need a good way to showcase them all. The team over at WooThemes has developed a plugin to make this as simple a process as possible.
The Our Team plugin is a simple and clean profile management system. It allows you to display the profiles of your authors with a shortcode, sidebar widget or template tag and includes options to add social account information to each user.
You can have the team member information managed by a single source or assign each member to their corresponding WordPress user account to all them to edit their own profile.
It’s a fantastic way to showcase your team. It is worth looking at if you have multiple authors for your website or team members in your company.
If you’re tired of having to leave the admin area of WordPress to check that a widget still looks correct after you make changes to it then this plugin might be exactly what you need.
Widget Customizer allows you make changes to your sidebar widgets and view those changes in a realtime preview. Each widget added to the customizer receives its own section allowing you to focus on each one individually. As each widget is registered when used by the customizer, it receives revision management functionality allowing you to easily roll back any changes you make.
The Nice Login Widget allows you to create a simple and elegant login box to any registered widget areas on your site. The plugin has Ajax enabled authentication allowing you to login and register accounts all on the same page without having to be redirected to the WordPress login page.
The widget can be styled to display horizontally or vertically and can be styled with simple CSS configuration.
If you require your readers to login or register before they can comment or access sections of your website then this plugin is worth investigating. It is also SSL compatible so that you can keep your website login process completely secure.
Page speed and website performance are huge factors in how your site is ranked by Google. It’s also a huge factor in your reader happiness and engagement. We don’t have time to wait on slow websites loading up these days and we begin to think poorly of those that do after a very short period of time.
With the Google Pagespeed Insights plugin you are given data on multiple aspects of your website’s performance. The performance information is visualized to allow you to quickly make decisions and spot problem pages on your site. A large component of this plugin is that it supplies you with various recommendations based on current industry tactics and advice on how ways to improve your website’s performance.
This is an exceptionally useful tool that every webmaster should implement on their website.