There are several notable WordPress plugins that just about every web professional knows about. They have a large following and tend to be market leaders in their niche. But most of them, at one point, started as smaller projects. Their popularity grew over time.
Today, we’ll look at 10 plugins that don’t have that same level of name recognition. At press time, they have fewer than 200,000 active installs according to the official WordPress Plugin Repository. Considering the millions of sites running WordPress, 200k is a fairly small segment.
Regardless of the number of installs, the plugins below are all quite useful. Hopefully, you’ll find a new favorite (or two) in the bunch.
Web hosts can be quite stingy when it comes to file upload size limits. Big File Uploads lets you adjust those limits, along with other handy features. File size limits can be set according to user role, and large files can be split into smaller “chunks”, helping to avoid timeout errors.
Using an insecure password is an invitation to getting your website hacked. Passwords Evolved helps in a couple of ways. First, it securely checks the first five characters of administrator passwords (and other user roles, if you choose) against the Have I been pwned? API.
Users will be forced to change their password if it has been previously compromised. Secondly, it strengthens the encryption of passwords within the WordPress database.
Branda makes it easy to create a white-label experience within various portions of WordPress. Administrators can change the login screen, admin menu, dashboard widgets, or even add custom CSS.
It also provides features for the front-end, including author boxes, and a GDPR/cookie banner. You’ll find plenty of settings to explore here.
WordPress doesn’t provide a way to easily share unpublished pages and posts. The only workaround is to have a client or colleague log into the site and view the item.
Public Post Preview creates a shareable link that allows others to preview the item while it’s still in draft form. By default, generated links are viewable for up to 48 hours – but that can be changed via custom code.
Ever wonder what’s slowing down your WordPress website? Activate a copy of Code Profiler and it will measure the PHP performance of your theme and plugins. Data visualization helps you make sense of the results, as they are placed into easy-to-read charts.
From there, you’ll see which items are hogging up your server’s resources. Also of note: it can measure both front and back-end performance.
When you’re debugging a WordPress site, it helps to have some basic information regarding the install and its hosting environment. Simple System Status provides details on PHP, MySQL, themes, plugins, and registered post types. The best part is that everything is available on a single screen.
Following up on the subject of debugging, fatal server errors can be difficult to trace. It helps to know when an error has occurred – something site monitoring services could miss.
Fatal Error Notify will send out an email when it detects an error on any page or process. A settings screen lets you choose which errors you want the plugin to watch for.
Bringing users and WooCommerce customers over from another website can be a pain. The Import and Export Users and Customers plugin helps by working via CSV files. It can auto-detect items such as user meta, and can even send new users an email once their account has been added.
In addition, it works with popular membership plugins and Advanced Custom Fields. Oh, and you can also export users for migrating elsewhere.
Adding live search capabilities to your website can be a big help to users. It allows them to find what they’re looking for more quickly. Ajax Search Lite offers a simple way to implement this functionality – instantly improving the standard WordPress search UI.
With a simple drag-and-drop interface, Rearrange WooCommerce Products lets you reorder the display of products on both the main shop page as well as individual product categories. Perhaps a niche function, but it comes in quite handy when you need it.
Discover Hidden Gems
With such a wide variety of available plugins, there are bound to be many that get overlooked. Some cater to a niche that isn’t often talked about. Others are counterparts to larger competitors who are already well-known.
Regardless, if you use WordPress long enough, you’ll start to uncover some amazing plugins that aren’t necessarily on everyone else’s radar. When you do, be sure to share them with others.
You’ll help the plugin’s author gain well-deserved attention. Plus, other web designers will be happy to discover a new addition to their toolbox.
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