Top 10 WordPress Plugins of the Month - March 2013 Edition - ManageWP

Top 10 WordPress Plugins of the Month — March 2013 Edition

Plugins of the Month.

Spring is just around the corner — the birds are singing and the flowers will soon be blossoming. At least, that’s how it should be — here in the UK it is currently snowing. Go figure.

But weather doesn’t affect hardy plugin developer types — with a roof over their heads and a reliable Internet connection they can get on with their work no matter the conditions outside. And that brings me to yet another stellar selection of plugins this month — with one in particular that I have been a long time fan of (and yet only has around 1,000 downloads at the time of writing). Enjoy!

10. Drop Shadow Boxes

Who doesn’t like a bit of clever CSS to spice up their site? It is truly amazing what you can do with CSS these days and the Drop Shadow Boxes plugin is a demonstration of the possibilities:

Examples of Drop Shadow Boxes' functionality.

Wrapping your content is a piece of cake with this plugin and you have complete control over the effect. Although the possible applications of Drop Shadow Boxes are numerous, one great idea would be to use the drop shadow effect to highlight Calls to Action.

Download Drop Shadow Boxes.

9. Signature Watermark

This plugin does as you would expect — it enables you to overlay your images with a digital watermark to protect them from theft. You can actually see exactly how Signature Watermark operates by watching the following video:

As you can see, the plugin is feature-packed and gives you a great deal of control over the appearance of the watermark.

Download Signature Watermark.

8. Ditty News Ticker

To quote directly from this plugin’s WordPress.org page:

Ditty News Ticker is a multi-functional data display plugin.

That’s a pretty unsexy way to promote the functionality of a plugin so I’ll give it a go myself. Ditty News Ticker performs as you would expect it to: it enables you to create dynamic scrolling and rotating blocks of text that you can embed within your WordPress site.

A screenshot of Ditty News Ticker in action.

A still screenshot doesn’t really do this plugin justice so check out a demo here if you like the look of it.

Download Ditty News Ticker.

7. Related Posts by Zemanta

There are plenty of related posts plugins out there but I like to keep abreast of the latest developments and this is actually a pretty good effort. Zemanta claims that related posts are produced using its “world-class semantic service.” Now I don’t know about that but I do know that the plugin looks pretty good:

Screenshot of Related Posts by Zemanta.

You can actually include related posts from other sites (although I’m not sure why you would want to do that) and you get analytics data. It’s certainly an interesting alternative to the likes of Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.

Download Related Posts by Zemanta.

6. WD Twitter Feed

As with related posts plugins, Twitter feed plugins are a dime a dozen. However, WD Twitter Feed sets itself apart with a pretty funky AJAXified display:

Screenshot of WD Twitter Feed.

This means that the tweets are loaded in the background without interrupting the load time of the rest of the page. This is great news considering that many social media plugins are a real drain on the resources and can significantly increase the load time of your site.

Download WD Twitter Feed.

5. RDFa Breadcrumb

If you’re into SEO then you’ll know that optimizing how your site is displayed in the search engine results can make a big difference to click through rates. By making your site seem more attractive when compared to other results you can actually increase search engine traffic to your site without increasing your rankings.

RDFa Breadcrumb can help with this by inserting navigational “breadcrumbs” into your site that also show up in Google search results pages:

RDFa Breadcrumb screenshot.

Download RDFa Breadcrumb.

4. Flare

Most bloggers have a preferred social sharing plugin but every now and then something comes along that potential disturbs what is a well-established group of popular plugins. Flare could be just that.

This plugin has a slick interface and a bunch of different options including the placement of social sharing buttons as well as the display:

Screenshot of the Flare plugin.

If you’re on the fence as to which social sharing plugin is right for you, Flare may well be worth a look.

Download Flare.

3. Fancier Author Box

Author Boxes are underrated; even on single author blogs. Having a little reminder of the face and personality behind the words is always a good thing. Engagement more often than not comes from a reader feeling like they know the author.

That’s where Fancier Author Box comes in — a plugin that offers a lot in terms of increasing reader engagement. It enables you to place a box at the bottom of posts that can contain everything from a photo, to a bio, to social media links, to your latest posts:

A screenshot of Fancier Author Box.

Brought to you by the fine folks over at ThematoSoup, Fancier Author Box is definitely worth a look.

Download Fancier Author Box.

2. WP Social Stats

Social media is seemingly becoming more important with each passing day which means that we should study our sites’ social performance in the same way that we pay so much attention to search engine traffic. WP Social Stats lets you do just that by giving you a simple display of how many times each of your posts has been shared across a number of social networks:

A screenshot of WP Social Stats.

With this plugin you can figure out which of your posts performed the best in terms of social sharing and by extension figure out how to replicate that success.

Download WP Social Stats.

1. What The File

Finally we have a plugin that has been on my radar for a long time. I’m delighted to feature it here today. What The File is a very simple yet very helpful plugin — it adds an extra field to your WordPress toolbar that informs you what PHP file is being used to display the current page:

A screenshot of What The File.

For anyone who has been left frustrated and confused by what PHP file is serving up what page on your site, this is an instant remedy. It’s been a lifesaver for me on more than one occasion and I refer to it often.

Download What The File.

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!

44 Comments

  1. Enmanuel

    How about this one. Pretty useful plugin to create hover animations visually. Check it out
    WP Visual SlideBox Builder

    plugin page

  2. Taslima

    Great job! Thank you so much for sharing these plugin info. I am now using some of these including the fancier auth plugin.

    Thanks again

    1. Tom Ewer

      Thanks Taslima! Glad it helped :-)

  3. wpdil

    Some plugin here is very useful for blogger.

    1. Tom Ewer

      Thanks!

  4. Paul

    You missed Twitter slider & User card for WordPress a very useful plugin to allows to display tweets in a fancy slider and you can show the tweets of an user, search or hashtag. Tkae a look: http://bit.ly/185iUWQ

  5. Rosasiva

    related post from Zemanta is the best .. thanks for post ManageWP

  6. Akshat

    Finally a life saver “What the file”..thanx man for your awesome list :-)

  7. Pablo

    Drop shadows are nice but if you run a responsive site they are no good as they do not respond.

  8. andreimoto

    i still find the best and suitable plugin for my site & finally i found it here. thanks

  9. kiran

    its is my good luck to find website like yours

  10. kiran

    nice post i like that post much more
    thanx guys

  11. Gary Darling

    Thanks for the awesome post. I think the Fancier Author Box is exactly what I have been looking for one of my blogs. I have multiple Authors on it and that is going to be perfect. I wish I had known about it before. Is it a newer plugin?

    1. Tom Ewer

      Not that new :-)

  12. David

    I must say I really like this, very useful

  13. Guillaume

    Very cool post ! I didn’t know half of those plugin.. I will go try it :)

  14. Vipin

    What about Yet Another Related Posts Plugin..? im using nRelate Related contenet for my wordpress blog…

    1. Tom Ewer

      Fantastic plugin (covered it here: https://managewp.com/yet-another-related-posts-plugin) but is way too popular for this list (which covers less well known plugins).

  15. alex nielsen

    I think Flare is the best. Very professional. Thanks for the post

  16. Abhi

    Nice post.
    I liked Fancier Author Box very much. I will use it.
    Thanks for sharing

  17. george quinones

    too many plugins
    too many opinions

    OMG what to do :)

    I am going to give flare and fancy author box a try

    :)

  18. Ashok Jaria

    Thanks for sharing. I liked your post and I think all these are very useful plugins.

  19. Alex Miklin

    I had trouble locating the authorship plugin

    1. Tom Ewer

      Are you talking about Fancier Author Box? The link’s working fine on my end…

      1. Alex Miklin

        I got it working! Thanks

  20. Liton Arefin

    I have been looking this kind of wordpress plugins. Great collection of wordpress plugins. Thanks for share.

    1. Tom Ewer

      No problem :-)

    2. Jane Phillips

      Hi Liton,
      I have tried different social media cross posting plugin but for me Blog2Social is the best user friendly plugin. You can post across all different platform from a single dashboard in which prefilled posting texts are provided and obviously it doesn’t require any server side installation.

  21. Haisbur Rahman

    Great plugins here!Thanks For Shearing.

    1. Tom Ewer

      Pleasure :-)

  22. mattwest101

    I find these list so useful. I’d like to a plugin, Sendola. It allows users to send your contact details to their phone for free. check it out

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/sendola/

    1. Tom Ewer

      Cool idea, thanks for the suggestion!

  23. Ray Renk

    Thanks for the share.

    Love “What The File”

    1. Tom Ewer

      Me too — simple yet extremely useful!

  24. Jaipurwebs

    These are really killer plugins for wordpress. I have used them. Thanks for share.

  25. Arye

    Hi Tom,
    You might want to check our plugin ; http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/cross-promotion-content-recommendations/ It recommends your related FB posts as well as on site posts, plus cross-promotes pots within the niche sites on our network

  26. Colin Crawford

    Thanks Tom, I found two plugins that was very useful and solved my problems. The Ditty News Ticker works like a charm and the ‘What the File’ will be invaluable.

    Cheers

    Colin

  27. King

    Flare is promising and I really like that over Digg Digg and sharebar plugins.. the one currently used on wpbeginner is also good..

  28. Mathew Porter

    I wish I knew about the: RDFa Breadcrumb plugin before I spent the time adding Rich Media Snippets to my code. Nice find for the future to speed things up though. Thanks guys.

  29. Dragan Nikolic

    Thanks Tom,

    Tried Zemanta, as I was looking for a nice “related post” plugin. Seems like this one might do the trick.

  30. Rashid Rupani

    Some cool plugins… I was actually download two plugins after reading your post.

  31. Clay Asbury

    Good stuff. Thanks for sharing. The what the file plugin should be part of WP core IMO.

  32. Yannick Van Broeck

    Great plugins here! I’ve set up Flare for my own website and I’m loving it.

  33. Candis Hidalgo

    Love these roundups! Just replaced DiggDigg with Flare and like it so much better. Looks neater and I love how it has the follow buttons built in. Thanks!

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