10 Free Plugins to Improve WordPress Content Creation

WordPress offers some basic content creation capabilities out-of-the-box. It’s great for dead-simple websites, but lacks some advanced features for serious content creators. That’s where its vast library of available plugins comes to the rescue.

No matter what type of site you’re running, there’s bound to be a plugin to enhance your ability to add and edit content in a more powerful way. You’ll be able to tweak parts of the WordPress backend to reflect your specific needs.

Here’s a look at 10 free plugins that will help you create better and more complex content:

TinyMCE Advanced

TinyMCE Advanced

The WordPress visual editor uses an open source software package called TinyMCE. TinyMCE Advanced is an all-around powerhouse – allowing you to add/remove/rearrange toolbar icons, utilize TinyMCE features that aren’t available in the standard WordPress install (like creating tables), along with some other advanced options. It’s a great way to customize WP’s visual editor to fit the tasks you do the most.

TablePress

TablePress

If you need to create complex, feature-packed HTML tables, check out TablePress. Its editor is reminiscent of a spreadsheet, making the chore of adding or editing content simple. You can even import data from several sources. Best of all, some JavaScript magic allows users to sort and filter tables.

Widget Content Blocks

Widget Content Blocks

The standard WordPress Text Widget is not so user-friendly. Replace it with Widget Content Blocks, which will let you create widgets with WYSIWYG – the same way you already create pages and posts. A custom post type is added to WordPress, where you can create and edit “widget blocks”. Format text, add images – basically anything you can do with a page or post. When done, head over to the Appearance > Widgets screen to add your new widgets to a sidebar.

Rich Text Tags

Rich Text Tags

Blogs with multiple categories and authors can make great use of Rich Text Tags. This plugin will add the TinyMCE WYSIWYG editor to the category and tag description fields. If your theme utilizes these descriptions, you can finally format them in a more attractive way – even adding images. You can also use it for author biographies.

Note

Note

Note is a unique plugin that will let you add and preview site content using the WordPress Customizer. You can add content to any sidebar, including images, and preview it in real time. You can also add additional sidebars above or below page content – right from the Customizer.

YouTube Embed Plugin

YouTube Embed Plugin

While you can already use WordPress oembed to add YouTube videos to your site, the YouTube Embed Plugin adds further capabilities. The plugin adds a visual search for YouTube videos, channels and playlists. You can then easily embed them into any page or post. There are also several useful features, like volume initialization, iOS playback settings and HTTPS support.

Easy Bootstrap Shortcode

Easy Bootstrap Shortcode

If you’re using a Bootstrap WordPress theme, you can now easily implement styles directly through WordPress. Easy Bootstrap Shortcode adds a row of Bootstrap buttons to the WordPress visual editor. Just click to start adding elements from the popular framework.

TinyMCE Templates

TinyMCE Templates

Find yourself needing to use the same basic HTML over and over? TinyMCE Templates will let you save commonly used templates and add them into a page or post via a button.

Advanced Excerpt

Advanced Excerpt

A well-made post excerpt is now within your reach with Advanced Excerpt. You’ll be able to control the length of auto-generated excerpts, retain HTML formatting and more.

HTML Editor Syntax Highlighter

HTML Editor Syntax Highlighter

Editing code in the WordPress text editor leaves a lot to be desired. Using HTML Editor Syntax Highlighter will result in a much better UI for code editing. Code is highlighted, indented and is a lot easier to browse than the default setup.

Make WordPress Work for You

The backend of a WordPress website should enable you to work the way you want. Instead of learning to deal with any shortcomings, it’s important to setup a work environment that requires as few workarounds as possible. With the plugins mentioned above, you’ll have the power to make content creation more efficient and fun.

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Eric Karkovack is a web designer with well over a decade of experience. You can visit his business site here. In July 2013, Eric released his first eBook: Your Guide to Becoming a Freelance Web Designer. He also has an opinion on just about every subject. You can follow his rants on Twitter @karks88.

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