Top 10 Free WordPress Plugins of the Month — July 2013

Plugins of the Month

Every few months I’ll have a particularly troublesome plugins of the month edition.

What do I mean by “troublesome”? Simple — I come across a bunch of plugins that I really want to install on my own WordPress websites. The only problem with this is that if I allowed myself to install every single plugin I liked the look of, I would have a hell of a lot of plugins on my sites.

So I have to exercise restraint for the most part, but that doesn’t mean you have to! The plugins below are both diverse and of real quality; there’s something for everyone. Enjoy!

10. Smooth Scroll Up

Let’s start with something nice and simple. Smooth Scroll Up is a lightweight plugin that places a “Scroll to top” button in the bottom right of the screen on your website:

Smooth Scroll Up

If you’ve been in search of this functionality then look no further!

Download from WordPress.org.

9. Social Gallery Lite

For Facebook fans this plugin is a great alternative to vanilla image lightboxes:

Social Gallery Lite

Each image is presented alongside Facebook comments and likes. It’s a great way of boosting the social exposure of your images (and by extension, your blog).

Download from WordPress.org.

8. Contact Us Page

I’ve seen a few fancy contact pages in my time and this plugin enables you to create something equally flashy with relative ease:

Contact us

As you can see, the plugin includes a Google Map of your location along with contact cards for each of your team members. When a visitor mouses over a contact card that person’s location will pop up on the map.

Download from WordPress.org.

7. Clicky Analytics

I am a huge fan of Clicky Analytics; I use it more often than Google. And that’s why the Clicky Analytics plugin caught my eye — it displays Clicky Analytics data inside your WordPress blog (and more specifically, on your dashboard):

Clicky Analytics

This plugin also places the Clicky tracking code on every page on your site.

Download from WordPress.org.

6. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP

In the interests of equal opportunities, it would be remiss of me not to mention the Google Analytics counterpart to the above plugin.

Google Analytics Dashboard

As you can no doubt tell, these two plugins were developed by the same team. The functionality is comparable to the Clicky Analytics plugin.

Download from WordPress.org.

5. Feedweb

One of the best things about blogging is that you can get direct feedback from your visitors. If you ask the right questions (in the right way), they will tell you what you need to know in order to create better content for them in the future.

And that’s where Feedweb comes in. Check out this video to see how it can revolutionize your own content strategy:

The concept is pretty simple: you ask people key questions relating to your content and they give you the answers which empower you to create more (or less) of the same. A great tool for any blogger.

Download from WordPress.org.

4. Comm100 Live Chat

There are quite a few live chat plugins available for WordPress but this plugin is still well worth consideration. Comm100 Live Chat is based upon the Comm100 service, which was rated as top enterprise chat software by Top Ten Reviews.

It is a premium service (starting at $21 per operator per month) but you get a 15-day free trial to see if it is what you are looking for.

Download from WordPress.org.

3. BruteProtect

WordPress security is still (and will remain to be) a hot topic, hence the popularity of many security plugins. However, that doesn’t take away from the quality offering that is BruteProtect — a rather unique spambot firewall.

BruteProtect

BruteProtect utilizes the entire depth of its user base to identify suspicious IP addresses (i.e. those who unsuccessfully attempt to log into WordPress sites) and block them from accessing your site. It’s a simple concept, but perfect for those concerned about spambot attacks. I’ve already installed it on my blog.

Download from WordPress.org.

2. jonradio Multiple Themes

I’ve been looking for a plugin like this for a long while — one that incorporates functionality that I think should come as standard in the WordPress core.

The concept is simple — jonradio Multiple Themes enables you to install and use multiple themes on one website. One example of how you could use this is if you have a sales page that you want to have a particular look and feel compared to the design for the rest of your site. However, there are a huge number of applications, including:

  • Divide your site into Sections, each with its own unique look
  • Style individual Pages, Posts, or other elements (Site Home, Category main page, Archive main page) with a different Theme
  • Select a unique Theme for all Pages, Posts, Attachments, Category pages or Archive pages
  • Make slight variations to a Theme, using Child Themes, for one or more Pages, Posts or other elements (Site Home, Category main page, Archive main page)
  • Supports Multiple Stylesheets for Accessibility and other purposes (create one Child Theme for each Stylesheet)
  • Test a new Theme on one or more Pages or Posts
  • Convert to a new Theme a Page or Post at a time
  • Host multiple mini-web sites on your WordPress site, each with a different Theme
  • When a larger version of an image attachment is displayed, for example, when clicking on a gallery image thumbnail, use a different theme to display it, for one or all images attached to a Page or Post

Download from WordPress.org.

1. All In One WP Security and Firewall

Finally, we have yet another security plugin. But it’s a good’un — you can’t argue a 4.9 out of 5 average star rating. Check out this video to get an overview of the feature set:

It’s a pretty slick offering; one that all security-conscious WordPress users should consider.

Download from WordPress.org.

Access, manage, update and backup all your WordPress sites from one powerful dashboard

Sign up - it's free!
post a comment

26 Comments

  1. really nice post keep it up thanks for sharing and plz share some blog themes for WP

  2. Mike says:

    Awesome, I somehow missed that Social Gallery Lite was on this list.

    There's a video on vimeo here: http://vimeo.com/75810820 which shows the benefits (some features are PRO only though)

    Cheers

    http://www.socialgalleryplugin.com/

  3. Jordan Sali says:

    Nice plugins. Really interested with clicky analytics. Thanks a lot. Btw, do you have free cool events calendar plugin for wordpress 3.6? I need it. Pls?

  4. Great plugins. Another interesting analytics plugin is Hotspots User Tracker. It tracks what users are doing including heat maps overlayed on your website and shows the sequence of user activity including mouse clicks, ajax calls, page loads, form submits and custom events.

    It's free, no registration required, all in the WordPress admin and all data is stored locally on your WordPress database. It also caters for responsive web design and touch screen devices.

  5. Wajid Khan says:

    You are providing an excellent collection of WP Plugins include free-of-cost and premium plugin. This list important for new WordPress site.

  6. iGyan says:

    ​​
    I really enjoyed your presentation. will definitely try some things I want to try out on our stuff.​

  7. Ann says:

    Thank you for this very helpful list. I've installed Smooth Scroll Up and it's an elegant little plugin, which does just what it says. It's easily customizable both in its inbuilt editor options and via the CSS coding. Works a treat!

  8. Paul says:

    Thanks alot! Now I'm having the same problem as you. I can't decide which plugins to remove to make some room!

  9. Anthony says:

    thanks for the list, was looking for something like the "social gallary lite" plugin.

  10. I will have to take a look at Brute Protect and All In One WP Security and Firewall, they could be very useful solutions.

  11. Joe says:

    Some great plugins on this list, especially the scroll up one, will install that now.

    Thanks.

  12. Eric says:

    Nice list…Feedweb and Clicky Analytics are great toys for the site.

  13. Francesco says:

    Great plugins. Especially like the scrolling one and the two security ones. Will install them tomorrow.

  14. Amin says:

    Thank you for including the security plugin in this list :)

    @Glenn, I wouldn't mind learning a little more about what caused the database table prefix renaming to fail on your site. Can you please post the issue on the forum?

    Thanks

  15. Great to know "All In One WP Security and Firewall", it 's really useful. I think it 's better than "WP Security". Thanks Tom Ewer.

  16. Samuel says:

    I guess there is plugin for the "scroll up" function of a blog!

    I always thought you had to code that. But I guess not!

    Interesting set of plugins, including a few about analyzing your site's performance traffic-wise.

    Samuel from Internet Dreams

  17. Musilda says:

    Google Analytics Dashboard is great tip, thank you.

  18. Glenn says:

    All In One WP Security and Firewall took about 3 minutes to crash my site. Renamed the database table prefix but didn't change the wp-config file to match. htaccess rules might have stopped that from happening. I think this plugin is not for the novice user and if you're not a novice then you can achieve most of it manually.

    • Niccolo says:

      @Glenn,
      I totally disagree with you…..I've used at least 10 security plugins on my sites over the past few years and this new one (All In One WP Security and Firewall) is the most user-friendly and novice-friendly I've used so far!

      Just putting in my 2 pence worth :)