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

Top 10 WordPress Plugins of the Month — October 2012 Edition

Top 10 WordPress Plugins of the Month – October 2012 Edition

Compiling these posts requires a concerted level of discipline.

Not only do I have to narrow down what is typically a large pool of top-quality plugins to just ten picks, I then have to convince myself not to install a whole bunch of them on my own sites. Although the idea that a high number of plugins is bad for your site is a myth, one has to draw a line somewhere.

One thing is for sure — the WordPress community is not suffering from a lack of development talent. This month’s selection features another quality group of plugins, with every single one boasting a 4+ average star rating on WordPress.org. I still have to pinch myself occasionally to serve as a reminder that this is all free.

Enjoy!

10. Drag & Drop Featured Image

The image uploader drag and drop feature introduced by WordPress 3.3 was a great addition to the core. However, that functionality is missing from the featured image meta box on the new post page. The omission is rectified by Drag & Drop Featured Image:

Featured Image

The plugin comes complete with a few options which allow you to determine display options and acceptable file type and size:

Drag & Drop Featured Image

Download Drag & Drop Featured Image here.

9. User Switching

It is very rare that you see a plugin receive praise across the board, but User Switching can boast just that, with plaudits from the likes of WP Arena, Scribu, WP Candy, and now ManageWP.

Its functionality is very simple — it allows you to switch between user profiles on your WordPress site at the click of a button (as opposed to logging out and in manually):

User Switching

It may not sound like much, but for those who need to switch user profiles regularly (such as developers), it is a godsend. Furthermore, the system remains relatively secure, despite the convenience.

Download User Switching here.

8. Simple Login Log

On the subject of logins and security, Simple Login Log performs exactly as you would expect by keeping a log of all login attempts on your WordPress site. Check it out in this extensive video:

Download Simple Login Log here.

7. Liveblog

For those of you who don’t know, “liveblogging” is simply a method of publishing content dynamically without the user having to refresh the page. It is a genuinely useful form of delivering breaking news, and I am sure that its popularity will continue to grow.

That popularity certainly won’t be dented by the introduction of the Liveblog plugin, developed in part by the folks at Automattic. Here’s the lowdown:

Download Liveblog here.

6. Easy Recipe

Google is all about rich snippets these days — key pieces of information they can include within their results pages to better inform the user.

Recipes are one particular example of where rich snippets can really come in handy:

It all seems rather complicated though, doesn’t it? That’s where Easy Recipe comes in — an extremely powerful plugin that will create all the relevant rich snippets for you.

But that’s not all — it has a host of other features, such as plain text recipe converting:

Easy Recipe

…live formatting:

Easy Recipe

…and much, much more:

Easy Recipe

Download Easy Recipe here.

5. Plugin Organizer

I mentioned the “plugin number myth” at the start of this post, so it is fitting that I should feature Plugin Organizer this month. Because whilst the number of plugins you have on your site is irrelevant (in principle), how resource-intensive those plugins are makes all the difference.

If you have particularly demanding plugins that can take their toll on your site’s load speed, you may want to check out Plugin Organizer. It allows you to switch the order in which plugins are loaded, and also selectively disable plugins:

Plugin Organizer

Download Plugin Organizer here.

4. Anti-Malware

No one likes malware, but most of us could probably be doing more to protect our sites. Anti-Malware offers a perfect opportunity to do just that:

Malware Scan

The plugin features:

Download Anti-Malware here.

3. Black Studio TinyMCE Widget

We have featured plugins that improve the standard text widget before, and with good reason — the default widget isn’t exactly user friendly.

Black Studio TinyMCE Widget seeks to address that issue by adding the same text editor to the text widget as you use for creating pages and posts:

TinyMCE Text Widget

With this plugin installed, all of the formatting options that are available to you when creating a page or post are accessible via text widgets.

Download Black Studio TinyMCE Widget here.

2. PHP Code for Posts

By default, you cannot execute PHP code within pages or posts in WordPress. However, you can get around that issue by installing PHP Code for Posts.

There’s not a lot I can say about this plugin beyond the fact that it does exactly what you would expect — allows you to place executable PHP code into pages and posts. You can also save code snippets into a centralized database and insert them as shortcodes.

Download PHP Code for Posts here.

1. Social Networks Auto-Poster

Our top plugin this month is the latest offering that attempts to consolidate all of the most popular social publishing options into one plugin, and it does a pretty good job. Whilst any plugin such as this will not be without its teething problems, Social Networks Auto-Poster currently boasts automatic publication of new blog posts via the following platforms:

There is an extremely detailed setup guide for all major platforms, and it would appear that the developer is keen to ensure that this plugin remains operational for the long term.

Download Social Networks Auto-Poster 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!

19 Comments

  1. Mario

    Great round up of plugins. SNAP looks like just the ticket I’ve been looking for, so I’ll definitely give it a try. And then upgrade to the paid version for Google+, or try use it in conjuntion with HootSuite as someone suggested. Will play around see what works well. Thanks again!

  2. kobi

    Hi, was looking for new auto posting plugin and saw this blog
    You have some nice tips & programs!

    There was a guy Shane who said he made new plugin… What does it do? Just curious?

    Anyone have any input between which you prefer if you you have used either, for Amazon
    API/feed sites, in ten USA…

    WP Zongrabbing vs WP Azon plugin

    Thanks so much!!

  3. Ajling

    Cool collection. Thanks very much for sharing!

    1. Tom Ewer

      No problem :-)

  4. The Web Design Guy

    Thanks for the great article, I hadn’t heard of the social networking auto post before. Does it do a good job?

  5. theitbros

    Wow I tried NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster plugin about a year ago and wasn’t that impressed. After reading this article and seeing Brad’s comment, I decided to give it another try. They have really improved their plugin. I already have it hooked up and we will see how it goes. $49 one time payment for addition of Google+ and Pinterest posting is worth it in my opinion. Saves two minutes after each post from having to pin it yourself and then paste into Google+ :)

    Keep up the good articles!

    1. Tom Ewer

      Will do :)

  6. apexad

    For your next update, consider my plugin, Secure Hidden Login.
    Thanks!

  7. Shane Clark

    Tom,

    I love your blog and would love to get a chance to feature the plugin I created on your site. I recently released the WordPress portfolio plugin I created to dynamically showcase my work by categories and multiple categories.

    Here is the link to the WordPress plugin download.

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/shane-web-guy-portfolio/

    Here is a link to the demo site.

    http://www.shanewebguy.com/shanes-portfolio/

    I look forward to any feedback you have.

    Thanks,

    Shane

    1. Tom Ewer

      Hi Shane,

      I’ll check it out. It might help your download rate to have some kind of description + screenshots.

      Cheers,

      Tom

      1. Shane Clark

        Tom,

        I just uploaded screenshots yesterday. Thanks for the heads up!

        Shane

  8. George Serradinho

    Wow, looks like some useful plugins to go through. I was looking for a way to auto post to social networks and ‘Social Networks Auto-Poster’ plugin might be the solution. Will have to go and give it a quick view.

    ‘Plugin Organizer’ also looks interesting to me. Not many users think about the order, so it might help out many bloggers.

  9. Brad Dalton

    Like the last one but there’s one big problem.

    WordPress do not allow you to share your posts to a free hosted WordPress.com account.

    They will permanently suspend your account if you do this.

    You’d also want to be careful where you share your posts on Linkedin as well.

    Any solution Tom?

    1. Tom Ewer

      Hi Brad,

      I’m not sure what you mean — are you saying that WordPress.com will suspend your account if they see that you have shared a post you already have on a self-hosted WordPress site to your WordPress.com site?

      Cheers,

      Tom

      1. Brad Dalton

        Exactly. Especially if it links back to your self hosted site which contains any form of commercialism.

        I emailed Matt about this and he gave me a really lame answer and then didn’t reply to me second email.

        In my opinion, they don’t want to give back links to their keyword competitors and they use their own bot to check all this stuff!

        Do you guys have your own bot?

        1. Tom Ewer

          In that case, forgive me for my obvious answer but I would recommend that you don’t do it 😉

          I’m impressed you managed to get any sort of a response from Matt — he never replies to my emails!

          Our own bot for what?

    2. Ludwig Van Normainen

      Some Social Networks and sites/blogs want you to fill them with good unique content, so they can monetize it. They don’t want you to use their services to promote your own.

      It doesn’t matter if you auto-posting or doing it manually.

      So far we got such problems with WordPress.com, Blog.com and Tumblr.

      Facebook, Twitter, Google+/Blogger, Pinterest and bookmarking services (Delicious, StumbleUpon, diigo) don’t care about what you are posting. Never heard of any LinkedIn problems as well.

      Ludwig Van Normainen
      NextScripts.com

  10. josbradley

    Awesome list, Tom. I started using SNAP (Social Networks Auto Poster) a couple of months ago, and the time it saves is huge! The developer is very hands-on with any fixes, as well. I had a small problem after updating, and he had it fixed within an hour. :)

    One small FYI: The link to the Plugin Organizer is leading to the Easy Recipe download page. But I found it anyway!

    I’m a firm believer, as well, that if a plugin is coded correctly, the ‘lag time’ it causes should be extremely minimal. I have over 50 active plugins on some blogs with no problems whatsoever, EVER! However, I have always thought it would be nice to be able to change the order in which some of them load.

    Again, great list. Thanks for sharing. – Brad

    1. Tom Ewer

      Hey Brad,

      Thanks for the extra info and the heads up on the incorrect link — appreciated!

      Cheers,

      Tom

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