I am painfully aware of the problem that is inherent when bigging up any plugins of the month post.
The problem is the next month. If you hit a real peak, what are the chances of it being sustained? What are the chances of being able to turn up next month and say, “Hey – I just found a whole load more awesome plugins!”
Given that last month’s selection was rather special, I thought that I would be coming across that very problem this month. Fortunately, that has simply not been the case. Before I had even started trawling through the most downloaded (with a 100,000 download cap) and highest rated plugins that have been released or updated in the last month, I already had 4 plugins for the list that were a shoe-in. Picking out just 10 plugins to showcase this month has perhaps been more difficult than ever before.
So it is fair to say that next month has got a hell of a lot to live up to. But forget that for the time being – let’s look at this month’s picks!
10. WP Sidebar Login
If one were ever to get excited about a WordPress login plugin, this would be it.
WP Sidebar Login allows you to place an ajax-ified login form anywhere on your blog (either via the built-in widget or template tag). The login process occurs without a change of page, leaving the user where they were before they logged in.
I’m a fan of the Facbeook like boxes that you see scattered across the blogosphere. There’s just one problem with them – they can stall your site’s loading speed.
Given that we featured a plugin last month that lazy loads images, it seems rather appropriate that feature another lazy loading plugin this month. This time around, widgets have to wait their turn before loading, which means that Facebook like boxes and other resource hogs won’t slow down the rest of your site.
CSS can help you achieve all sorts of fancy graphical effects, but that isn’t much use if you don’t know CSS.
However, you can have your cake and eat it too with Drop Shadow Boxes:
With this plugin, you can pick out any piece of text on your blog to highlight with CSS styling. It includes both a widget and the shortcode builder that you see above. You can see a collection of effects possible with Drop Shadow Boxes here.
In the interests of full disclosure, I should say that I co-developed this plugin. But then I would feature it even if I had nothing to do with it, which rather evens out the playing field.
In a nutshell, Easy Tweet Embed allows you to embed pre-populated tweets within links on any blog post or page, like this. I have found time and time again that by including “embedded tweets” like this into your blog posts, you can boost your re-tweet rate dramatically. You can find multiple examples of me using this strategy on my own blog, such as here:
There are seemingly hundreds of backup plugins available for WordPress. At ManageWP we of course offer our own automated backup tool, but that doesn’t mean we’ll simply ignore the available alternatives.
In case you don’t know, Google Drive is a free (up to 5gb) storage facility, similar to Dropbox. It is also where Google Docs will soon reside permanently. It is also a place where you can save backups of your WordPress site with Google Drive for WordPress. Just follow the instructions you can find here.
I’ll leave it to the plugin’s blurb to accurately explain Vimeography:
Vimeography is a WordPress plugin that allows you to create beautiful, custom video galleries in 30 seconds, tops!
Not only that, but the plugin author took the liberty of producing a video showing you just how easy it is:
Since we’ve featured a video gallery plugin, it seems fitting that we take a look at a photo gallery plugin too. More notably, the JetPack Gallery Carousel without one ingredient – JetPack itself.
There are plenty of people out there who don’t like JetPack – whether its because of the manner in which it games the system, or enforces changes on users’ WordPress installations. So if you like the Gallery Carousel but don’t like JetPack, here’s your chance to take the pros without the cons.
It seems fitting that we feature a security plugin this month, given our security article published the other day. And Wordfence Security is quickly gaining popularity, with nearly 70,000 downloads and a near-perfect star rating at the time of writing.
It comes complete with a whole host of security features that you can check out in full on the plugin’s page. There is also a premium version which includes even more options.
It puzzles me that WordPress doesn’t come equipped by default with audio embedding options, but HTML5 jQuery Audio Player is ready to step into the fray with an extremely functional and attractive interface:
You have control over the image, description, rating, and track listings. You can even insert “Buy” buttons.
With multiple content sources, lenses, and a wealth of customization options, SlideDeck really is the ultimate slider plugin for WordPress.
Whilst SlideDeck 2 Lite can be used as a standalone tool in its own right, if you want the full selection of content sources, you will have to go premium.