By Chris Reynolds of WebDevStudios
This year, WordCamp Orange County (coming up on June 6th and 7th) is doing something a little different. Plugin-a-Palooza a plugin-building hackathon/competition that they first announced back in February. The rules are pretty simple: pitch a plugin idea, get it approved, write a plugin, submit it by a specific time, make sure it’s GPL, and then talk about it.
I volunteered to help Suzette Franck build out a plugin to submit to Plugin-a-Palooza that would let artists easily sell their work from their website without having to do a lot of technical inventory management stuff.
The result is WP Art Store, and you can check it out on WordPress.org or GitHub. The plugin is a fairly simple custom post type plugin that adds a new post type for works of art along with several ways of grouping those art works together–by medium, by theme or subject, or by technique…
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I participated in an expert roundup by PSDtoWP.net on the best WordPress plugins for several different main categories: SEO, Social Media, Commenting, Performance/Caching, Spam, and Payments/eCommerce. Below are my responses, but you may read the entire article at: https://psdtowp.net/wordpress-plugins.html.
Suzette Franck’s Favorite Plugins
WordPress for SEO by Yoast – I trust this plugin to be the best SEO plugin as Yoast is very involved in the community and is an expert in the area of SEO. I know SEO is very research intensive in general, and I don’t have time to do the research, so I listen closely to what Yoast publishes. This plugin is also the preferred favorite for SEO among my WordPress developer friends.
- Social Media:
Jetpack – Jetpack offers the most comprehensive social media features including the Sharing and Publicize modules. The Sharing module allows you to configure the social media buttons at a bottom of your post or page while the Publicize module will push your new posts out to the social media networks such as: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus. Both of these modules are invaluable and I find that they are necessary for every blog site that I have done.
Gravity Forms – I had problems receiving feedback from Jetpack contact form, so I recently switched my sites’s contact form to Gravity Forms. Gravity forms is the best contact form plugin and there is so much you can do to customize it with free and paid extensions. The developer license is what I recommend and you will never have to worry about not getting your responses on any of your sites again.
- Performance / Caching:
WP Super Cache – This is my favorite caching plugin because it is easy to setup, and can be customized to optimize your hosting environment. It helps make your site faster by caching pages for fast loading later.
- CAPTCHA / SPAM:
Really Simple Captcha – When I used Contact Form 7, this plugin really helped to prevent spam from coming into my inbox, and was very easy for the developer to set up, as well as for the the website visitor to decipher.
WooCommerce w/Paypal – WooCommerce is the easiest e-commerce plugin to set up and allows for shipping and tax calculations, as well as payment through PayPal and other payment gateways with the use of free or paid extensions. It also has an inventory control feature which is very handy for those selling very limited stock.