Another month, another collection of plugins for you to download, test, and experiment with. It’s not a bad life, that of the WordPress developer. But I digress.
This month’s plugins are pretty narrow in terms of function but that’s perfectly okay with me. I mean, they do one thing and do it well. And that’s all you can really ask for in this game. So, we’ve got browser checking, menu image adding, form creating plugins to help you tweak and fiddle with your site to your heart’s content. And there’s a WYSIWYG editor, a lightbox, and security boosters, too.
Take a gander at our top ten plugins for June 2014 and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments. And as always, enjoy!
10. Smart Forms
You can’t beat a plugin that uses the doge meme in its directory banner. And if you want to build forms on the fly, Smart Forms might just be the plugin for you. Its simple drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to insert a form in any widgetized area on your site. Each form element can be styled and the finished product is completely responsive. Includes calculated fields to display totals. There are other plugins out there with greater options and a slicker interface but this is pretty nice for a freebie.
Useful For: Building quick forms for lead capture or general information gathering on sites across every industry.
About the Developer: Edgar Rojas is fairly new to the WordPress plugin development scene but he does have one other plugin under this belt – Smart Donations – which works seamlessly with Smart Forms. Follow him on Twitter @edgarerojas.
9. Scripts to Footer
Scripts to Footer does one task and one task only: moves scripts from the header to the footer section of your site, which can increase site speed and make pages load faster. It allows you to disable it on specific pages or posts if you wish and offers support for custom post types.
Scripts to Footer is straightforward and simple, and that’s what I like about it.
Useful For: Anyone who wants to speed up their website.
About the Developer: Joshua David Nelson is a WordPress web developer. Scripts to Footer is his only plugin in the directory so far but it’s the perfect example of targeting a specific function and executing it well. Keep tabs on what he’s up to @steadystater.
8. Advanced Browser Check
Advanced Browser Check allows you to set a popup warning that notifies visitors that their browser isn’t supported on your site. It works with Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, and Internet Explorer. You can customize the popup to say whatever you want and you can display download links for a current compatible browser version if you wish. You can let users hide the popup for 24 hours before it reappears again, too. The plugin has been tested and works with caching plugins, too, like W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache.
Useful For: Giving visitors a head’s up about their browser’s compatibility with your site.
About the Developer: Mattias of DarkWhispering.com has developed eight plugins so far, including Simple Instagram Embed and EP Social Widget. He’s also worked on a variety of other web development projects. Follow him on Twitter @silentium90.
7. Menu Image
This is another example of a plugin that focuses on adding one simple feature and doing it well. Menu Image works by allowing users to add an image that displays within the link for an item in a menu so that it’s positioned before the text link. You can add a second image as well to create a mouseover effect, and it is WPML compatible for good measure.
It’s simple but works well and I can’t help but appreciate that!
Useful For: Adding a bit of customization to your site’s menus.
6. Easy SMTP Mail
If you’d rather use SMTP to send mail within WordPress rather than PHP mail() then this is the plugin for you. It adds an email option to your “Settings” list, which allows you to configure all the finer details. This is the perfect fix for themes that have built-in contact pages that redirect to a message sent page upon submission even though the admin never gets an email. This plugin is the remedy and works with most mail providers, which is nice.
Useful For: Sending emails from within WordPress.
About the Developer: Created by Webriti Themes, the Easy SMTP Mail plugin was actually put together by founder Priyanshu Mittal and Ankit Agarwal. They’ve also made the Appointment Calendar and Easy Coming Soon plugins. Follow development on Twitter @webriti.
5. Visual Website Editor
If you’re hungry for a way to edit your website in WYSIWYG fashion, then you might find Visual Website Editor to be an interesting plugin, indeed. It’s powered by Tidio Elements and once installed, puts a visual editor just one click away in your Dashboard. It’s drag-and-drop and one of several visual editors to hit the plugin space in recent months. There are Pro packages available, of course, but the free version offers quite a bit of functionality to get you started.
Useful For: Building websites without diving into code.
About the Developer: Tidio Elements offers an all-in-one tool for adding plugins to your website, WordPress-based or not. They have a few other plugins in the WordPress Directory at the moment like Free Live Chat by Tidio Elements and Tidio Newsletter.
4. FooBox Image Lightbox
The FooBox Image Lightbox is simple, lightweight, and beautiful. It’s fully responsive and ensures your images scale down for tablets and phones perfectly and changes where the controls are located depending on whether portrait or landscape view is being used. It works with WordPress galleries, captions, and requires no configuration whatsoever to get up and running. A Pro version is also available.
Useful For: Adding a stylish lightbox to your site, whether in or out of galleries.
About the Developer: FooPlugins.com is responsible for a wide range of plugins — both free and premium — from FooTable to SocialWiggle. Founder Brad Vincent blogs at Themergency and tweets @themergency.
3. WP Security Audit Log
With WP Security Audit Log, you can find out about security issues the moment they arise. The audit log allows you to keep track of single sites as well as Multisite installations. You’ll easily be able to track suspicious activity and you’ll receive automated alerts when a variety of activities occur on your site like when a user changes his role, password, or the settings for another user. Or when a new user is created. Other things it keeps an eye out for is when a user uploads files, makes changes to plugins, creates new posts, modifies existing posts, or installs a theme. Failed login attempts are also tracked and a whole lot more.
Useful For: Adding another layer of security to your site.
About the Developer: WP White Security offers security services to WordPress site owners and plugins to help developers control and monitor their own security. Their other current plugin is WP Password Policy Manager. Keep up to date with them @wpwhitesecurity.
2. Huge-IT Slider
Yes, there are more slider plugins out there than you’d ever think possible but Huge-IT Slider is really trying to up the game. It allows you to add custom sliders to site templates, posts, and pages with just a few clicks. You can add as many images with titles and descriptions as you want, too. And thanks to a shortcode, you can insert the sliders you make anywhere on your site. Other features include adding different sliders to different pages, adding links to titles and descriptions, and adding multiple sliders on one page.
Useful For: Showcasing your best content, photography, or services in a sleek, stylized way.
About the Developer: Huge-IT offers web development, design, and promotion services alongside its first plugin. Pro versions of Slider are available as well.
1. WordPress Simple Firewall
WordPress Simple Firewall is a robust plugin that offers six ways to protect your site and ramp up security. It requires a separate security key to log into the settings for the plugin. Plus it sets up firewall protection against web requests that don’t meet your specifications. It also includes two-factor authentication, brute force login protection, comment spam protection, and a WordPress lock down feature that enforces SSL and blocks file edits. You can also control WordPress updates before they automatically happen thanks to this plugin.
Useful For: Kicking your site security up a notch.
About the Developer: Dave and Paulie of Host Like Toast are the developers behind the WordPress Simple Firewall plugin from iControlWP. They’ve also created iControlWP – Take Control of WordPress, WordPress Twitter Bootstrap CSS, and Custom Content by Country. Keep up with their latest developments @iControlWP.