Top 10 WordPress Plugins of the Month - December 2012 Edition - ManageWP

Top 10 WordPress Plugins of the Month — December 2012 Edition

WordPress Plugins of the Month

And so the time has come for the last plugins of the month post in 2012. It would seem that the cold weather has WordPress developers retreating to their caves and coding furiously as I had a shortlist of no less than forty highly rated and recently created or updated plugins to whittle down to the ten you find below.

In much the same way that I struggled in picking just five themes just the other day, selecting a scant few plugins for inclusion was no easy matter. On the plus side, the great level of competition has resulted in a pick of ten top quality plugins — there is certainly something for everyone here. Enjoy!

10. Sliding Widgets

This is the type of plugin where the name says it all. Sliding Widgets enables you to place — you guessed it — sliding widgets on your WordPress blog. In case you can’t quite picture it, here’s a screenshot:

Sliding Widgets

These widgetized areas can be manipulated like any other from the Widgets screen on the WordPress backend.

Download Sliding Widgets.

9. Google Post Map

If your blog has anything to do with travel (or is in any way location sensitive) then you might find it useful to be able to associate your posts with physical locations. This is where a plugin like Google Post Map comes in:

Google Post Map

As you can see, a meta box which allows you to attribute a specific location is added to the New Post screen. The plugin will also show markers for other posts published in related categories (a nice way for people to find entries that are related by location).

Download Google Post Map.

8. Appointment Booking Calendar

If you’re a freelancer then you will know that your time is invaluable. As such, a reliable automated appointments/meetings booking system can save a lot of time and hassle. Appointment Booking Calendar promises to be just that:

Appointment Booking Calendar

The booking form can be linked to a PayPal account for payment processing if you are billing out your time directly. The plugin comes with a wealth of options as well as a solid backend system for keeping track of your schedule.

Download Appointment Booking Calendar.

7. Encyclopedia Lite

One way to build up a content-packed website is to allow visitors to add to the content, much like Wikipedia does. Such “Wikis” are common across the web now, so why not create your own?

Encyclopedia Lite bills itself as a solution to “create, manage and present a knowledge base” — whether it be an encyclopedia, lexicon, glossary, wiki or dictionary:

Encyclopedia Lite

It comes with all of the standard features you would expect from such a plugin and seems like a great option if you are looking to create any of the above website types.

Download Encyclopedia Lite.

6. Testimonials by WooThemes

I am a big fan of WooThemes so although I have featured testimonials plugins on ManageWP before I wanted to take a closer look at this particular offering.

WooThemes delivers as you would expect with a clean and simple interface for creating and managing testimonials to display on your site via a shortcode, widget or template tag (i.e. you can place them anywhere on your site):

Woo Testimonials

Download Testimonials by WooThemes.

5. YOP Poll

I ran a poll recently amongst my blog’s subscribers and found it to be a highly rewarding process (not least because the feedback was so positive ;-)). For anyone who has even a small base of readers I would recommend polling in order to better tailer your content, products and/or services.

With that in mind, YOP Poll looks to be an excellent solution:

YOP Poll

You can create your own polls, draw from poll templates, and of course view your poll results.

Download YOP Poll here.

4. upPrev

Flyout boxes seem to be in vogue at the moment as webmasters look to strike a balance between catching readers’ attention and not irritating them, and that’s where upPrev comes in:

upPrev

The widget pops out when a reader reaches the end of a post and allows you to present from a selection of posts:

Download upPrev here.

3. Feature a Page Widget

This is a simple plugin but I really like it. Feature a Page Widget utilizes the featured image and excerpt you can define in any page to present a truncated preview of any page in widget form:

Feature a Page Widget

This plugin could be utilized alongside our number two pick this month to great effect.

Download Feature a Page Widget here.

2. WooSidebars

WooThemes are at it again but this time with a plugin that gives you greater control over your widgetized areas. In a nutshell WooSidebars allows you to create custom widgetized areas for specific pages. This video explains its functionality in detail:

Download WooSidebars here.

1. TablePress

I featured this awesome plugin just a few days ago but I had no hesitation in naming it the top pick of December’s plugins of the month. Put simply, TablePress is the only solution you need for creating tables for your WordPress site(s):

TablePress

The plugin affords you a level of customization and control that would be pretty complicated to achieve with HTML code and its interface is extremely easy to use. If you need to create a table in WordPress, look no further.

Download TablePress here.

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!

5 Comments

  1. Johnny Vasquez

    I love Tablepress! We just started using it in a couple different ways on our site. We use it to list lesson modules in our classes, and for comparison charts. I really like that you can use images and html in each field.

  2. dorothyb

    I hope Woo is paying you for your slavish endorsements.

    1. Tom Ewer

      No — I just like their products so I promote them when it’s relevant to do so, as I do with many other plugins and themes :-)

      1. Matt

        There is nothing wrong with promoting relevant items if they’re good – hell, if the entire list consisted of Woo-only plugins and they were all excellent and versatile, who really cares?

        As long as the plugin itself serves a purpose in an elegant way, who actually cares where it came from or who it was developed by?

      2. Pepe Magaña

        On my side I really don’t like “Testimonials by WooThemes”… instead I would choose “GC Testimonials”.
        But both of the plugins are lacking on the use of templates (single and archive)… If I choose another markdown I would be forced to edit the plugin. A plugin must use templates and first trying to load the template file from your theme and then if not found the default template from the plugin.

        Also on both of the templates they use nasty thing like :
        echo ”;

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