You might want to check Solution for Custom Menu Auto Converted Error in qTranslate-X first. We have added custom language URL by using qTranslate-X plugin. But now we want to change color of active language without ading any new CSS ID or Class.Lets see how we did it.
And this is how we did it:
Where there are 2 unique class .menu-item-30861 and .menu-item-30860 and we identify the language with this lang() property.
Presenting data to your blog readers as straight text gets boring very quickly and it takes much longer for most people to understand tables and text descriptions. If you have a lot of data, you need to get the point across in an effective way, and charts can help.
Using charts taps into readers’ visual brain, helping them understand data quickly. Using WordPress plugins can simplify the process of creating charts from your data and inserting them in your blog.
This article will review the eight best WordPress chart plugins (split between six well established offerings and two up-and-comers) looking at the pros and cons of each, as well as the most suitable scenarios for their use.
With over ten thousand active installs and a 4.6 star satisfaction rating, Visualizer: Charts and Graphs is the most popular plugin in the WordPress plugin repository for creating, managing and embedding interactive charts into WordPress posts and pages.
Different types of data require different chart types, and Visualizer contains nine chart types to suit your needs, specifically:
Adding a chart to your site is done via the Visualizer Library, which is added under the WordPress Media Library. The data for your chart is pulled in from a CSV file, either uploaded directly or linked to online. The latter allows you to base your chart on a Google Spreadsheet, for example. The data types that are allowed include string, number, boolean, date, time date, and time of day. Once a chart is created, it is added to the post or page with a shortcode.
You can customize the charts to match your website through an extensive set of options, as the plugin is based on Google’s Visualization API. Each chart can also be edited after it is created, and the plugin makes it easy to clone an existing chart.
For users with custom needs, the Visualizer plugin enables you to write your own hooks for chart series and data filters, both global (applied to all charts before rendering) and custom (for specific charts).
Visualizer is a solid option for most charting needs based on existing data. But with the limited data types, you may find that you need more advanced data management, so check out our next selection.
As the name suggests, this plugin does more than just enable you to create charts; you can create manage and display data tables from the admin panel and create interactive charts and graphs. You will however need to purchase the PRO version for $29 to create charts from your tables.
The table functionality of this plugin is fully-featured. Adding a table is a simple matter of entering a title and the number of rows and columns you wish to start with. The plugin provides a spreadsheet-like editor which enables you to easily add rows and columns, enter data in the table (including images, links and formulas) and customize the basic formatting for data cells.
You can preview the tables right from a tab on the plugin screen, and you have access to the table’s CSS to customize the display completely. You can use the settings tab to set up certain features of the tables such as pagination and sorting.
The Pro version of the plugin enables importing and exporting data, but more importantly for our list, creating charts and diagrams from your data. Creating a chart starts by selecting the data in your table and clicking the Add diagram button.
Like the Visualizer plugin, several chart types are available, namely:
This plugin is a great option if you need to manage your data inside the WordPress administration, but the charting functionality is not much different to the Visualizer plugin as they use the same Google Visualization API, so it may not be worth paying for the Pro version is you plan to import your data anyway.
Inline Google Spreadsheet Viewer produces feature-rich HTML tables
This next plugin takes a different approach by enabling you to embed data files in WordPress posts or pages as tables or charts. With over five thousand active installs and a 4.5 star satisfaction rating, the Inline Google Spreadsheets Viewer is a solid alternative for your chart needs.
Despite the name, the Inline Google Spreadsheet Viewer can also display data stored in CSV files and MySQL databases, as well as data output from a Google Apps Script. Simply pasting the in a publicly available URL for any of the supported file formats (CSV, XLS, etc.) will generate a sorted searchable HTML table.
You can also use this plugin to display live previews of other file types like PDFs and Word docs. To do this, or to display your spreadsheet data as an interactive chart or graph, you use a gdoc shortcode, e.g. [gdoc key=”filename.url”]. The key specifies the document to be used. Other optional attributes include the chart type, chart colors and custom queries.
The types of charts you can generate include:
Custom queries enable you to interact with the data as if it were a standard relational database table. You can also select just the relevant segments of data to pull into a chart. The query language is based on the Google Charts API Query Language and is both powerful and flexible.
This plugin would be ideal if you need to pull in data from various file types for display or if you have complex charting queries to generate.
Up next on our list is amCharts, which has over one thousand active installs and a 5 star satisfaction rating. Though less popular, this plugin has received some great reviews.
Unlike most of the other plugins listed here, amCharts focuses on creating chart code snippets which can then be inserted into WordPress posts and pages as shortcodes. You can use either the amCharts hosted libraries or point the plugin at your local server to use alternate libraries.
The plugin includes the following charts by default:
There is no visual editor for the charts or data, but the code can be edited directly. You can also pass custom parameters into the shortcode and reference them in the chart’s code.
Next is RJ Quickcharts, with over one thousand active installs and a 4.8 star satisfaction rating. Although it was last updated a year ago (and you should approach with caution accordingly), this plugin enables you to create beautiful HTML5 charts which are built and updated as you enter the data.
To use RJ Quickcharts, you first decide the type of chart you want to create. The chart types available are limited to:
You only have a few settings to configure for your chart, like the legend display, titles for the axes and the colors to use in the chart. You then enter your data in the spreadsheet interface below the chart setup.
The plugin does provide some sample data so you can see how to setup your data table. The chart preview is generated and updated dynamically as you enter the data. Hit Save when you are finished and the chart is ready to be inserted via the Add Media button in the post editor.
If you have very simple charts to add to your site based on small datasets, this plugin offers an easy way to get started.
wpDataTables enables you to easily create beautiful interactive charts from your data
The first solely premium plugin on our list, wpDataTables is a strong contender. With over five thousand sales and a 4.5 star rating, at $29 this plugin is definitely worth checking out. They say that over four thousand sites have the plugin in use, so you will not be alone in trying out this complete table and chart manager.
After activating this table, your first step will be to create or upload your data. wpDataTables enables you to use existing data in any one of several formats: Google Spreadsheet, Excel file, CSV, XML, JSON, or even MySQL queries, and has a Query Constructor to fetch custom data from your sources. You can also create the table manually inside the WordPress administration.
The table designs can be completely customized using the settings provided by the plugin, with no need for CSS. You can also set up responsiveness by selecting specific elements for display on different devices.
The data in both MySQL and manually created tables can be edited both in the WordPress administration but also from a front end form you create. User access for editing can be restricted to just the rows a user entered.
Using the Highcharts library (free for non-commercial use), adds the following chart types:
Developers can customize the plugin through provided WordPress actions and filters, so if the plugin is actually missing some behavior that you need (though it is very comprehensive), you can add it yourself.
Considering its flexibility, customization and the wide range of chart types available, this plugin is a great option if you are willing to pay for it.
These next two plugins are not yet widely used, but have a solid number of installs and good reviews, so may be worth considering for your needs.
Create HTML5 animated charts easily with Responsive Charts
The other premium chart plugin we chose to look at is not as popular as wpDataTables, with only 560 sales. But the 4.57 star rating and the beautiful animated charts made us want to take a look at Responsive Charts. For $15, it may be worth considering if the free plugins are not meeting your needs.
Similar to RJ Quickcharts described above, to use Responsive Charts you first create a chart and configure its settings. The chart types available to you are:
Each chart type has customizable styling for labels, tooltips and colors. There is no preview chart provided, so you will need to save your settings and move on to the data before you can view the effects of your customizations.
The main data set for the plugin can be imported from a CSV file, though you can add individual options using text fields provided. Additional data sets can be added manually if you are using line or bar charts. This enables you to show some data comparison in your chart.
Once you are satisfied and save your chart and its data, a shortcode is provided that you can copy and paste into your WordPress pages or posts.
This plugin is a simple way to create charts and is not very expensive, so if you need animated charts, it may be a good option for you.
With just over two hundred active installs, the final entry on our list, M Chart, is not very widely used or well-known yet. But the early 4.7 star satisfaction rating suggests it is not to be counted out. By providing a simple way to add and edit data in the WordPress administration and add the resulting chart to posts and pages, M Chart has a good start.
Similar to the Data Tables Generator we looked at before, M Chart enables you to input your data in a spreadsheet interface from within the WordPress administration. You can then select from the six types of charts offered by M Chart:
Each chart type has options to configure the display, such as labels for the axes.
Instead of entering the data yourself, you can import a CSV file. Additionally, M Chart has export functionality built in, so you can export your data and use in another application, or even another WordPress site.
Charts are inserted into WordPress posts and pages using a shortcode that is generated when a chart is created. You can either copy and paste the shortcode directly, or insert the chart from the Add Media panel when editing a post or page.
M Chart is not as fully featured as the Data Tables Generator plugin, but it is completely free and so may be worth considering if you want to manage your data and charts within the WordPress administration interface.
As we said before, charts are a great way to present data to your audience in an engaging way. Choosing the right WordPress chart plugin will depend on the type of data you’re presenting and the charts you need. Other factors to consider are the data sources you need to work with and how you want to work with the data.
If you have very simple data and don’t need much beyond basic charts, you can start off with RJ Quickcharts. M Charts may be a better fit if you want to instead upload your data. If you are willing to pay for a solution and animated charts will add to your data presentation, Responsive Charts is a good option for you.
If you have more advanced data management needs and want a wider range of data types available to you, Data Tables Generator may be worth checking out. But if you’re going to have to pay for the charts functionality anyway, wpDataTables is a stronger paid option, especially with the advanced features it offers like the front-end data editing and custom actions and filters.
If you have data in multiple files in various formats, both wpDataTables and the Inline Google Spreadsheet Viewer are good options, depending on how you want to work with the data. Both plugins offer custom queries to pull data for your charts, so try the Inline Google Spreadsheet Viewer first since it’s free.
Plain text or tabular data is difficult for most people to grasp quickly and can be a turnoff for your readers. Charts are a good way to present data in an easily digestible format and get your point across.
Whether you are looking for a simple plugin to insert a one-off chart or you need a more extensive data table manager, you should be able to find a suitable plugin in our list above to make your data come alive for your readers.
We have tried to cover the best options for WordPress chart plugins, but there may be others we have missed. Comment below and share your experiences with these plugins or add any you feel were left out!
Optimizing your organic search traffic is a critical task for any site owner so anything you can do to make it easier for search engines to find your content should be high on your priority list.
Maintaining well-organized sitemaps is one of the simplest ways of ensuring your content (both new and old) can be easily found. Google actively encourages sitemap submission and a range of online tools means it’s never been easier to set your sitemaps up quickly without needing too much technical knowledge.
In this article, we’ll look at handling sitemap generation in WordPress and take you through our picks for the seven best sitemap plugins out there. We’ve broken these into three distinct categories to make things a little simpler.
Before we hit the list, though, let’s get some basics out of the way.
An Introduction to Sitemaps
If you’re coming to the subject of sitemaps for the first time, their value might not be immediately obvious. Originally introduced in 2005 by Google – and supported by Microsoft and Yahoo shortly thereafter – sitemaps play a huge role in helping search engines crawl a website in its entirety and thus index the content better.
The basic idea is simple. Ideally, a website’s sitemap should contain all the page URLs of your site along with associated data such as the date content was last modified, how frequently the content changes, and whether a particular URL should be given priority over other content. Sitemaps can be created for each type of content available on a site such as blog posts, images, videos and so on.
Google is powerful enough these days to get to the majority of your content eventually on its own but maintaining well-organized sitemaps makes it that much easier and quicker for search engines to index all of your content – and notify them when it changes – so it’s a step well worth taking.
The simplest possible sitemap is an XML document listing all the URLs to be crawled. You could, of course, create this by hand but it’s a job best left to automated tooling and that’s what we’ll be looking at for the remainder of the article.
If you’re looking to dive a little deeper into the technicalities behind sitemaps, check out the official Google sitemap pages, our own previous article on the importance of sitemaps, or the sitemap protocol documentation itself.
We’ve split our selection of plugins into three broad categories to keep things simple. Let’s start with the sitemap functionality offered by a number of popular SEO plugins.
SEO Plugins with Sitemaps
Given the importance of sitemaps in the indexing of a site by search engines, it’s no surprise that the most popular SEO plugins for WordPress tend to include the ability to automatically generate sitemaps.
1. Yoast SEO
With over one million active installs and an overall 4.5 star satisfaction rating, Yoast SEO continues to be one of the most popular SEO plugins in the WordPress ecosystem and made the cut for our 14 best WordPress plugins for 2015.
Based on years of in-depth SEO research from Joost de Valk and his team, the Yoast SEO plugin puts you in the driving seat in terms of WordPress SEO and includes some of the most advanced XML sitemap functionality of any WordPress plugin.
Creating XML sitemaps automatically with this plugin couldn’t be easier, it’s a simple matter of checking a box. Additionally, the plugin can notify both Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools of sitemap changes so they are easily found (you’ll need to register with these services to enable this obviously).
With no extra work on your part, Yoast SEO can also include images from your posts and pages in the sitemap, helping your visual content to also rank highly in search engines. You’ve also got options for controlling how categories, tags and other taxonomies are handled.
If you run a Multisite network, you’ll be happy to know that the Yoast SEO sitemaps feature also works smoothly in this context. You can even copy sitemap settings from one site to another, or have new sites default to the settings of a specified site.
Developers of larger sites can rest easy knowing that their needs will be covered as well. Yoast SEO uses the sitemap index feature of the sitemap protocol to create a sitemap for each 1,000 URLs, thus elegantly sidestepping the maximum sitemap size of 50,000 URLs issue.
Yoast SEO also comes in a premium version which includes handy extensions to consider if your website has additional content types that you want to be indexed. Premium extensions such News SEO, Local SEO and Video SEO enable you to create additional dedicated sitemaps to help your rich content be displayed more accurately in search engine results.
XML sitemaps often need debugging and tweaking to ensure the correct results are being crawled by search engines. Recognizing this need, the Yoast SEO plugin comes with XSL stylesheets for XML Sitemaps to help you easily manually review for errors and missing data.
All in all, it’s hard to fault Yoast SEO for either its general SEO options or its sitemap features. The only real risk with this plugin is that it may be a little overwhelming for less technical users.
Another very popular option for general SEO purposes, the All in One SEO Pack also has over one million installs with a solid overall 4.4 star satisfaction rating.
Though somewhat simpler in its implementation, and a little less fully featured, this plugin is a solid competitor to Yoast SEO and stood up well in our recent comparison of the two plugins.
Much like Yoast SEO, an XML sitemap generator is just one of a wide range of features All in One SEO Pack brings to the table. As with Yoast’s offering, the creation of the XML sitemap is automatic and invisible to the user, as are the notifications sent to both Google and Bing. However, All in One SEO Pack does include some useful settings worth mentioning when it comes to sitemap customization.
A series of checkboxes on the main settings page of the All in One SEO plugin enable you to include or exclude not just post types and taxonomies, but also categories, date archives, and author pages. The plugin also enables you to set the priority and update frequency of posts, taxonomies, and the website’s front page. You can also easily include non-WordPress pages in your sitemap by adding URLs to a list from the back end.
More and more plugins these days offer premium versions and All in One SEO Pack is no different. Amongst other features, the All in One SEO Pro version adds support for video XML vitemaps, enabling your videos to display with thumbnails and a snippet of text content in search results.
The All in One SEO Pack plugin is extremely simple to use and flexible in terms of its configuration. It’s a great choice for smaller sites with less technical developers or site owners.
Given the availability and widespread use of the two previous plugins – both free and providing excellent value with their premium versions – it’s not surprising that the number of sales of this next plugin only number in the thousands.
Premium SEO Pack is a relatively new entrant to the SEO plugin market but is already maintaining a solid average satisfaction rating of 4.25 stars.
As with our previous selections, Premium SEO Pack offers a wide range of features to help optimize your overall SEO, of which XML Sitemaps are one. The plugin generates sitemaps for posts and pages automatically and also handles images, custom post types, and custom taxonomies. Settings are available to exclude specific content, including options to exclude by category and post type.
Premium SEO also includes modules to handle local content and video sitemaps in its base price. Like Yoast SEO, Premium SEO Pack uses the sitemap index option to generate files for larger sites. You can also enable XSL stylesheets to make the sitemaps more human-readable.
For the budget-conscious developer or site owner who is interested in premium features like video sitemaps, it may well be worth checking out Premium SEO pack.
Dedicated Sitemap Plugins
If you’re currently using one of the SEO plugins described above, you’re most likely already comprehensively covered for your sitemap needs. If you’re still lacking automated sitemap functionality, however, you should consider adding a dedicated sitemap plugin to your site to solve that critical piece of the SEO puzzle.
The Google Sitemap plugin has been knocking around for nearly five years and is a stable and mature sitemap generation option. The plugin does exactly what its description says and enables you to easily create a sitemap file and add it to Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools).
The plugin has been downloaded over a million times and reports over one hundred thousand active installs with an overall satisfaction rating of 4.3 stars.
You’re able to select which post types and taxonomies to include in the sitemap from the fairly limited amount of settings made available to you. Custom post types can be included via a simple hierarchical checklist for selection under the plugin’s Extra Settings page. Once you authenticate with your Google account, you can select to add the sitemap to Google Search Console or delete it.
As with Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack, a premium version of the plugin is also available. By purchasing the Google Sitemap Pro version, you gain the ability to exclude specific pages and posts from the sitemap file and can specify the frequency of sitemap updates. The pro version also adds Multisite compatibility and provides premium support options.
The Google Sitemap plugin is a simple, no-fuss way to add sitemap functionality to your site if that’s all you need.
With an overall rating of 4.1 stars and over 100,000 active installs, Better WordPress Google XML Sitemaps is a popular alternative to the Google Sitemap plugin but includes more advanced functionality.
The basic settings enable you to select which sitemaps you want to generate, including taxonomies (custom or otherwise), date archives, author archives and external pages. Better WordPress Google XML Sitemaps is also Multisite-compatible by default.
The plugin also has built-in functionality for creating sitemaps to submit to Google News. You can choose to include or exclude posts in certain categories in this sitemap, assign specific categories to predefined genres from Google News guidelines, and map categories to Google News’ suggested keywords.
Where this plugin really stands out is in the flexibility of its customization options. Filters can be added to customize the SQL queries used to build the sitemaps, excluding specific posts or terms for example. Custom XSL stylesheets can also be added to improve the display of sitemaps. Developers can take things even further by creating custom modules to define custom sitemaps using a powerful module API.
Better WordPpress Google XML Sitemaps is a very fast and flexible plugin that’s a great fit for developers looking to really take charge of their sitemap generation. Image and video sitemaps are unfortunately not available in the current version but are scheduled for an upcoming release.
6. XML Sitemaps (Free)
Produced by the same people responsible for the Semiologic SEO plugin, XML Sitemaps is a lightweight but powerful option for automatically generating sitemaps and notifying search engines when they’re updated.
Simple configuration options are provided to include or exclude date archives (for specific years and months), authors, categories and tags in the sitemap generated. Specific pages can also be excluded by ID. This plugin is one of the few which provides cached sitemaps (in the wp-content/sitemaps folder) and uses a rewrite rule to direct search engines.
Where this plugin differentiates itself is in its use of actual website data to assign the frequency of updates and the weight of URLs. Additionally, the plugin determines the number of blog, category and tag pages on your site so that the sitemap works well with custom query strings or other plugins – like Semiologic SEO, for example – which also use that information.
Image Sitemap Plugin
Some of the plugins described above include options for non-standard sitemaps such as images or videos either by default or as a paid extension. If you’re using a plugin which doesn’t provide that functionality – or if you have a site that primarily consists of image or video posts – you might want to consider a specialized solution like our final pick.
The Udinra All Image Sitemap plugin is a recent arrival on the WordPress scene but, with over ten thousand active installs and an overall 4.8 satisfaction rating, it’s clearly already filling a real need for site owners.
The basic functionality of the plugin lies in creating an XML sitemap for images on your website and automatically notifying Google, Bing and Ask.com of their whereabouts. Doing this helps ensure your website ranks well in the image search results of these search engines and image SEO optimization is not something you should ignore.
The plugin automatically updates sitemaps when posts and pages with images are published and you also have the option of making this happen on a set schedule. Images mapped will include featured images (not strictly speaking part of post content) and the image sitemap generated includes the image title, location, and caption all formatted to match Google’s image sitemap standards.
Udinra All Image Sitemap stands out for its overall speed. The interface is simple and easy to zip around in, while all database queries and code have been optimized to reduce server resource usage and overall load. Sitemap generation also produces a gzipped version of the image sitemap which keeps things manageable even if the site includes thousands of image URLs.
A Pro version of the Udinra All Image Sitemap plugin is available if you want to step things up a notch. The Udinra Image Sitemap Pro further improves image SEO by automatically generating image alt text. The plugin will also scan post content for images added directly by image tag instead of attached to posts or pages via the WordPress Media Upload. The Pro version of the plugin also enables large site support through the use of sitemap index files.
The Pro version includes support for NextGEN Gallery – the most widely used WordPress gallery plugin – and detects images and galleries including those added by shortcode. The premium version also integrates nicely with e-commerce plugins like WooCommerce, WP eCommerce, and Easy Digital Downloads to prioritize product images.
If your website is especially image-intensive, this plugin is definitely worth considering.
Selecting the Right WordPress Sitemap Plugin
Choosing the right WordPress sitemap plugin is a crucial step in optimizing your website for search engines. As we’ve outlined above, the best one for your site will depend on what else you’re using for SEO and the specific type of functionality you want. Other key factors to consider are the size of your site and how critical non-text content is to your strategy.
If you just want one solution for your SEO and sitemap needs, both Yoast SEO and the All in One SEO Pack are solid choices, with the latter being a better option for less technical users. Premium SEO Pack is a good fit if video sitemap generation is a priority and you don’t mind paying for all the basic functionality.
If you are looking for a sitemap-only plugin, both Google Sitemap and XML Sitemaps are simple starter solutions. For more advanced customization options, Better WordPress Google XML Sitemaps is the obvious choice.
Finally, if images are a huge priority for your site (with e-commerce or image gallery functionality a big factor), Udinra All Image Sitemap is the tool to turn to.
Sitemaps are a classic example of the amount of time and effort plugins save busy site owners on a daily basis. Both in terms of initial sitemap setup and ongoing updating, using a plugin to handle sitemap generation in WordPress is an absolute no-brainer.
Anything that helps search engines index your sites more effectively is very much to be desired and the more the process can be automated, the better. Every site is different of course so we’ve outlined a range of solutions above that we hope will hit the sweet spot for potentially every use case.
When it comes to food blogging, having Master Chef skills is helpful but it’s not all you’ll need. You’ve got to get those five-star recipes to the people – your fans don’t just want to know what you made, they want to know how you made it, and more importantly, how they can make it too. If WordPress is your platform, then a recipe plugin is the best way you can serve those dishes up to your audience.
Three things to keep in mind when choosing a recipe plugin are convenience, search engine optimization, and user experience. After spending all day in the kitchen perfecting a recipe, the last thing you’ll want to do is spend all night uploading it to your site. Plugins that provide a recipe template, especially an easy-to-use copy and paste one are key here.
When it comes to publishing recipes online, your search engine optimization needs to be set up a specific way in order to ensure that they are indexed properly with services like Google. This then makes them more easily searchable, helping more people find your kitchen creations. Plugins that are Schema.org or hRecipe compliant are your best choice for increasing the visibility of your content in the search engines. .
Once your target audience can find your recipe, you’ll build loyalty by making it easy for them to read, print, and save to their device or bookmark. All the plugins on our list have plenty of options in this department. It just depends on the needs of your particular readers, and whether they use recipe database sites like Yummly, BigOven, Yumprint, or the any of the other many options available.
So let’s get started and explore six of the best WordPress recipes plugins that can help you get the job done right.
Recipe Card by Yumprint is the bread and butter of recipe plugins. It has the most active installs by nearly twice the number of any other plugin on this list, and for good reason. It’s absolutely solid with a 4-star rating. It’s also completely free, but some reviewers feel like there is a hidden cost.
Recipe Card offers over 100 mix and match options to make your recipe template all your own. The recipe entry workflow was modeled after WordPress’ own post editor, making it familiar to use. Instead of putting each ingredient in its own field, they can simply be entered as a list in the text box. Recipe Card will also let you add as many recipes per post as you would like.
This free food plugin makes your recipes visible to search engines using both schema.org and hRecipe formats. If you include a photo, the recipe will also be available in Google Recipe Search, giving your target audience another opportunity to find your site and its content.
Your readers will appreciate the recipe printing options, as well as the ability to rate the recipe and add reviews. There is also a handy save to recipe box feature to help your visitors build up a cache of recipes they can turn to over time. The Recipe Card plugin also provides nutritional facts, although this is only available in the beta version so proceed with caution.
All recipes added through Recipe Card are also shown on Yumprint.com, a public access online database similar to Pinterest. Through Yumprint, users can set up their own accounts and save and search recipe entries. Critics are mixed on whether that is a good or bad thing because it takes people away from your site – but Yumprint does state that the recipe files remain on your server. You cannot, however, disable the Yumprint search options.
Yumprint also offers email support for users of this plugin so you’re not alone if you do choose this option for your food blog or WordPress-powered recipe site.
Although WP Ultimate Recipe has only about half the active installs of Recipe Card, it holds a higher rating: 4.7 stars out of 5. This is pretty impressive and is a good indicator of the quality of this option. The basic version of WP Ultimate Recipe is free to use and offers a variety of features.
Publishing your recipes takes place after clicking on the “Insert Recipe” button or by using one of the convenient shortcodes. Multiple recipes can be added to any post or page, and photos can be added to each step of the recipe if you wish.
Ingredients and directions can be broken down into groups for multipart recipes like salads with a homemade dressing. Recipe Indexes can be added to any post or page as well, making it easier for your visitors to click through to another dish on your site, rather than exiting and going elsewhere for inspiration. All these features are wonderful for experienced WordPress users, but newbies may feel a bit overwhelmed due to the workflow and user interface.
Recipes are optimized for Google Recipe Search using only schema.org. Once input, recipes are also fully text searchable to help your visitors find a dish that contains a specific ingredient or method of cooking. The plugin integrates with BigOven, Food Fanatic, and Chicory in order to give you extra flexibility.
Your readers will appreciate the print option that excludes pictures, saving them plenty of printer ink and paper in the process. As this free plugin is fully responsive, you can be sure your recipes will look great on whatever device they are being viewed on, especially an iPad or another type of tablet that is being used to display your recipes in the kitchen. One really nice feature is the facility that is in place that allows site visitors to adjust ingredient quantities for more or fewer servings. If your visitors like what you’ve published, the plugin makes it easy for them to share your recipes on the top social media networks.
The premium version of WP Ultimate Recipe costs $74.99 for one site or $299.99 for unlimited sites. By upgrading to the commercial version, you will be able to customize the template editor and make use of additional import options, including sites like EasyRecipe, ReciPress, Ziplist, and others. Nutritional info can be auto-retrieved if you decide to upgrade.
Visitors to your site will be able to rate and review recipes, helping to add a community element to your food blog. Menus and shopping lists can be created right from your recipe pages too, which is a hugely convenient feature, and if you give them the option, your readers can even submit their own recipes to your site.
If you want to start out with a free plugin that gives you more than enough to get started with, but also provides plenty of room for expansion in the future, you shouldn’t have any reservations about taking WP Ultimate Recipe for a test drive.
Zip Recipes is a replacement for the ZipList Recipe plugin. Zip Recipes is simple to use but is lacking in a lot of features compared to the other options in this category. Recipe template design options are limited to bold and italicized styling and the ability to add a picture. This would be a great plugin for beginners or, perhaps, blogs that do more than just publish recipes and therefore, might not need as much additional functionality. However, those with more advanced needs will probably be better served elsewhere
Adding recipes to your WordPress blog is lightning quick thanks to the easy to use interface. The plugin helps to boost the SEO rating of your content by making use of the schema.org recipe markup. As mentioned earlier, this does a great job of increasing the visibility of your recipes in the search engines, by making your content more searchable. Zip Recipes also has the ability to automatically insert the post name into the recipe and pictures, saving you a bit of time in the process.
The free Zip Recipe plugin prides itself on being easy and intuitive to use, but nevertheless, there are step by step tutorials and email support available in case you ever get stuck – impressive for a free plugin.
The free version of GetMeCooking Recipe Template is like a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe. No frills but a favorite none-the-less. It is SEO-ready to ensure your recipes are listed in the right places online, but unfortunately, you will find little in the way of template customization options.
Only two features really stand out for this free plugin. Readers can specify if they would like to print the recipe with all photos, just the main photo, or with no photos at all. In addition to that, when adding a dish, you can specify if the recipe contains ingredients known to be allergens or trigger food intolerance issues.
The premium version of GetMeCooking Recipe Template costs $99.99 per site and adds a few more features including the latest recipe slideshow. Other less exciting options are a recipe index page, category listing, and nutritional info.
GetMeCooking Recipe Template could well be the right choice for your project. However, with more competitive options available, if this plugin has caught your eye it’s still worth carrying out a thorough comparison before making a final decision.
This open source, three plugin suite starts with the Recipe Hero plugin. Recipe Hero allows you to easily add recipes to your WordPress site. Just create a new article using the recipe custom post type that comes with this plugin and your dish will be published using the purpose built template.
Thanks to this approach, your recipes can be added to your blog in minutes, while also ensuring they are easily kept separate from your regular blog posts and the other types of content on your site. To help you check off the SEO box on your plugin evaluation sheet, Recipe Hero will ensure your dishes are fully optimized for the search engines.
Your mobile visitors are well catered for with the Recipe Hero plugin and they will relish following your recipes on their smartphones and tablets. To help make your content a little more interactive, your readers can rate the recipes on your site as well as leave reviews. This gives them the ability to provide feedback for you and the other visitors to your WordPress food blog.
When it comes to upgrade options, the Recipe Hero BigOven plugin is an add-on that allows you to add a “Save Recipe to BigOven” button to your site – an added convenience for visitors who are using this service.
Labels can also be added to your recipes by using the Recipe Hero Labels add-on. Labels include how many portions the base recipe consists of, the equipment needed, prep time, cook time, type of cuisine, and which course the meal is typically used for.
Recipe Hero is another free option that provides you with some useful upgrade options as your needs grow.
Yummly Rich Recipes is another WordPress plugin that is ZipList compatible. This free plugin has limited template options, but it does support copying and pasting of ingredients for a speedy upload. Multiple picture options are available, such photos that are inserted into the instructions section of the recipe for extra clarity.
SEO features for Yummly Rich include both schema.org’s and hRecipe’s guidelines, not to mention the auto-populate recipe name feature which is said to dramatically improve the optimization rating of your content.
Yummly Rich has improved their printing options. Now you can easily ensure that a URL or copyright statement is added to each printout automatically. This then makes it easy for your visitors to return to your site for more great dishes the next time they are looking for culinary inspiration. You will also find a “Yum” button that allows site visitors to add your recipes directly to their Yummly recipe box.
So there you have it, the best WordPress recipe plugins available today. While Recipe Card and WP Ultimate Recipe are at the head of the pack in terms of sheer numbers (active installs and numbers of reviews), Zip Recipes and GetMeCooking Recipe Template boast great reviews, indicating that they too have a loyal fan base.
On the other hand, when it comes to Recipe Hero and Yummly, they don’t have as many features. This may make them easier to use for newbies, who can always upgrade to a richer-featured plugin down the road. That said, it’s often easier to grow into a plugin than it is to switch to a new one in the future. Migration is rarely an easy process, especially if it means updating or revising hundreds of recipes.
As with all plugin choices, it’s best to weigh your current needs, your budget, and the preferences of your audience before proceeding. Is there a specific recipe database site that your readers use most, and if not would they appreciate using one if you added the option to your site?
Food bloggers just starting out will want to pay special attention to the more robust SEO features on offer, as being indexed and ranked by Google is often the first step towards building an audience.
The number of available membership plugins has increased dramatically over recent years. If you are launching a membership website, this is great news since you have more options available. But making the right choice can be an overwhelming process. To make things a little easier for you, I’ve put together a list of some of the best WordPress membership plugins currently available
With so many membership plugins on the market, it becomes challenging to figure out which one is most capable of meeting your needs. To help with this process, we are going to take a look at some of the more important features and line each plugin up against a standard set of criteria.
No two businesses and no two plugins are alike. People ask “what’s the best theme for my website?” or “what’s the best plugin to accomplish XYZ?”
There’s no correct answer, unfortunately. It’s like asking which car is the best one to buy. The answer will vary depending on your needs and the situation with membership plugins is no different. The best thing you can do is start by writing out a list of your criteria. List the must-have and the nice-to-have items and then, get comparing.
We’re going to include the cost in our review simply as a point of reference. But don’t let cost be a determining factor. The least expensive plugin is useless if it doesn’t work with your desired payment processor or offer the functionality you require. For that matter so is the most expensive one.
Below is a list of the most common features that are included across a broad sample of WordPress membership plugins. These are also the features you’re most likely to require. Not every one of these features is included with each plugin so make sure you understand which ones are important to your business before you get started. Picking the right plugin is always a question of balance.
When you first launch your membership site you might only have 2-3 membership levels in mind. There’s a good chance that a few years down the road you’ll want to expand the types and number of memberships you’re offering. Make sure you think long term.
Protecting content is at the core of membership plugins. A subcategory of this is the ability to offer content on a pay-per-view basis which allows you to sell a specific piece of content. Some membership plugins allow for protecting pages and posts while other will also protect video, either natively or through the use of a secondary plugin.
If you’re providing downloadable content to your members, you want to make sure it stays out of the hands of non-members. Most, but not all plugins allow you to restrict downloadable content, buts it’s a feature that is worth checking for if this is something you plan to provide.
Much like how an email autoresponder works, content drip allows you to deliver your content slowly over time. If you have a lot of content on your site or are providing material in a course format, dripping content to your members will make it easier to digest. Members might also have a higher lifetime value if they can’t access everything you have to offer from day one, which is always nice.
Offering an affiliate program makes new member acquisition easier. Instead of relying on just yourself to attract new members, you can get help from a network of affiliates. This is a popular feature that is not available with all plugins. However, there are third-party plugins out there which will take care of this functionality for you.
If you plan on charging for access to your membership site or to download specific content, this is a very important consideration. Not just access to “any” payment gateway, but access to the payment gateways you need to run your business. While some options like PayPal are almost standard, other payment gateways can be country specific. Make sure you perform adequate research before making a decision.
There are times when premium support comes in handy – especially during the set-up phase. As you’re learning to use your new membership software, having access to premium support will make your life easier.
Beyond selling memberships, if you plan to offer courses, eBooks or physical products for sale, pay close attention to which eCommerce features are important to you. Some membership plugins are restricted to digital products only while others allow for physical products.
Now that we’ve covered the most important features you should be looking for in a membership plugin, it’s time to investigate the different options available for adding this type of functionality to your WordPress website.
Restrict Content Pro
Restrict Content Pro by Pippins Plugins was initially released in early 2013. Keeping things simple, this plugin provides everything you need and nothing you don’t. With the ability to create unlimited membership packages as well as restrict access to posts and pages, or just a portion of them. By making use of post excerpts, you are able to keep a portion of the content visible for everyone, including search engines.
Additional features include discount and promotional codes, member management, full reporting and more. RCP allows you to create a custom membership pricing page including feature tables. In case you have a specific payment gateway that you’d like to use, there is also significant developer documentation available.
Unlimited Membership Levels: YES
Content Protection: YES
Restrict Downloads: NO
Content Drip: NO
Affiliate Program: NO
# of Payment Gateways: 3
Premium Support: YES
eCommerce Features: NO – but integrates with WooCommerce
MemberPress is a straightforward membership plugin that focuses on ease of use. Almost air-tight integration with WordPress means that the MemberPress experience is pretty seamless when it comes to administrating your website. You’ll be able to manage both memberships and digital products with this plugin. Restricted content can include pages, posts, categories, tags, files and videos (using the MemberPress AWS add-on).
Creating attractive membership pricing pages is a snap and several pricing page templates are included right out of the box. Once someone becomes a member they’ll have the ability to update, upgrade or cancel their subscription. Member payments and their appropriate access levels are all fully managed by the plugin, with no input required you.
A fairly new feature of MemberPress is the ability to send out reminders on various triggers. These automated reminder triggers can include payment card expiry, approaching membership renewal dates, and other events that might cause a member to involuntary leave your program.
Price: $99/$199 developer
Unlimited Membership Levels: YES
Content Protection: YES
Restrict Downloads: YES
Content Drip: YES
Affiliate Program: YES
# of Payment Gateways: 3
Premium Support: 12 Months
eCommerce Features: NO
People were waiting a long time for this WooCommerce extension to arrive. When it was finally shipped last June, the general consensus was that it was well worth the wait.
WooCommerce Memberships allows you to create multiple membership tiers, either paid or free. Members are also given the control they deserve over their memberships with this extension – providing the ability to upgrade, downgrade, pause or cancel their memberships.
But wait, it gets even better. You can also offer trial, complimentary and discounted memberships. Or, if you’re using WooCommerce to sell products, you can include a membership as part of a physical product purchase. On the flip-side, you can offer discounted products for people who are members, similar to a buying club.
With the ability to tie into WooCommerce Subscriptions, you can also have complete control of customizing membership subscriptions. Of course, all the other features you’d expect are there as well including multiple memberships, drip content, restricted content, and products, as well as plenty of payment gateways to choose from.
Price: $149 / single site license
Unlimited Membership Levels: YES
Content Protection: YES
Restrict Downloads: YES
Content Drip: YES
Affiliate Program: YES (Affiliates Pro extension)
# of Payment Gateways: MANY
Premium Support: YES
eCommerce Features: YES
MemberWing-X offers plenty of features and a free evaluation version of their software. MemberWing-X features what they call a “3 minutes to fast-start membership site” which translates to being able to get your membership site up and running pretty darn quick. This is a big positive if you’re not technically inclined.
Selling access to specific content or using a combination of fixed and subscription access are both possible. SEO is another area where this particular plugin performs well including the ability to provide teasers which can be indexed by search engines.
MemberWing-X also has lots of great features like content drip, unlimited membership levels and the ability to sell digital products. However, it’s missing a few features that you might consider important, such as Stripe integration and the ability to email members prior to expiration (a feature requested in their forums). Although MemberWing-X offers decent payment gateway support, several of the gateways require that you use e-junkie.com.
Price: $89 / $129 / $199
Unlimited Membership Levels: YES
Content Protection: YES
Restrict Downloads: YES
Content Drip: YES
Affiliate Program: YES
# of Payment Gateways: 6
Premium Support: 12 months
eCommerce Features: YES
MemberMouse is a little different than the other plugins discussed today in that it’s not a plugin requiring a one-time purchase. Instead, MemberMouse operates as a SaaS model with a recurring monthly payment. The starter plan begins at $19.95 and has 3 price tiers. Alternatively, you can go straight to the Advanced plan at $99/month.
Using the SaaS model means MemberMouse is more expensive than some of the other Membership plugins. But it also comes with a ton of features that make it very appealing as well as support and documentation that consists of 200+ articles and over 60 videos.
Features like drip content, the ability to upsell and down sell memberships, trial memberships, and coupons are all included. International currencies are available and international tax support is on the way soon.
Price: $19.95/month / $99/month / $299/month
Unlimited Membership Levels: YES
Content Protection: YES
Restrict Downloads: YES
Content Drip: YES
Affiliate Program: YES
# of Payment Gateways: 8
Premium Support: YES
eCommerce Features: YES
iThemes Exchange Membership Add-on
iThemes Exchange by itself is a simple eCommerce plugin that’s extensible. While the base plugin is free, the membership add-on costs $97. What represents an even better value though is the ProPack which includes the following additional features
iThemes Exchange is a lightweight plugin as well, only requiring you to use the add-ons that are important to your business. Outside of the ProPack, add-ons are priced between $9-$97 which makes adding the required features affordable. You’ll also find some add-ons listed on CodeCanyon and in the WordPress plugin repository as well.
IThemes offers a super easy to use interface for drip content. A far as currently available payment gateways, iThemes Exchange include PayPal, Stripe, CyberSource, 2Checkout and Authorize.net which means you have a decent selection of options.
Unlimited Membership Levels: YES
Content Protection: YES
Restrict Downloads: YES
Content Drip: YES
Affiliate Program: NO
# of Payment Gateways: 5
Premium Support: 1 Month
eCommerce Features: YES
The competition for WordPress membership plugins has become pretty intense. Even though we covered 6 of the best WordPress plugins in this post, there are quite a few more available. In fact, there are over 25 membership plugins available – some of which are also great options.
The vast number of plugins currently available is probably a sign that the market is due for some consolidation. To me, this makes picking a membership plugin with an active user-base important as well. You want them to be around for as long as possible.
In the meantime, the competitive market is great for customers because it keeps developers on their toes. Unable to rest on their laurels, new features are constantly being pushed out and as a result, membership plugins, in general, are becoming better.
If you’re looking for an ideal membership plugin for your website, there is truly no perfect answer. It will depend on which features you need and the complexity of your requirements. The criteria we looked at for this post covered many of the most important features – payment gateways are worth noting in particular as they are a vital piece of the puzzle.
What features are important to you for your membership website? If you’re currently running a membership site, please share which plugin you’re using and why in the comments below.
In one of our recent online shopping project, client request us to disable the reviews tab from the product details page. You might also want the same result, that’s why you landed on this page. Here is the solution. Just add the following code in your theme’s functions.php file and that’s all.
add_filter( ‘woocommerce_product_tabs’, ‘wcs_woo_remove_reviews_tab’, 98 );
An award-winning blog serves up information to readers like a five-star restaurant. Taxonomies are the menu advertising “food” to both guests and SEO spiders. Categories and tags are part of the active ingredients that make your bouillabaisse bubble with tasty morsels of nourishment that your readers crave.
Simple tools like plugins can make your WordPress website’s blog content super-accessible. Your goal as a publisher is to increase the number of people who visit your website year over year with original, exciting content. However, I will suggest that while your content must follow the taste of your readers, your basic WordPress physical structure remains consistent.
Consider your blog layout like comfort food. Key ingredients like perceivability, operability, understandability, and use of assistive technologies, are discussed as part of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) relating to the technical aspects of WordPress theme accessibility. I want to suggest, in comparison, tools and tips that make your page, your post, and your blog content super-accessible. Let’s use a restaurant menu as a model.
People who sit down at a table in a restaurant and look at a menu know why they are there and what they want. Your home web page, if not the entire site, is like a restaurant menu.
Physical access and consistency are critical because your readers already know why they are viewing your pages. The fact you have, for example, a consistent and recognizable color palette and font family, helps identify your “brand”. One tool that helps organize colors, logo, and overall online presence is Ultimate Branding v188.8.131.52.
In terms of basic layout, consistent use (or perhaps a more significant non-use) of, for example, a left-hand or right-hand sidebar not only identifies your “brand” but gives your readers a more predictable, comfortable “feeling” as they focus on your content.
However, a general website’s silo architecture doesn’t have to be boring because your chosen topics are organized into separate areas or pages. If you want to change the look and feel of one or more of your WordPress pages or posts while keeping the overall structural consistency of your website, use Multiple Themes v7.1.
Using assistive technologies like GSpeech v2.0.1 not only reflects well in terms of WCAG 2.0 mentioned above, but also adds both novelty and convenience to your pages. Consider using a text-to-speech plugin, not only for your readers but also as an aid to editing your content. Zoom v1.2.6 is a plugin that enables your readers, in a similar assistive way, to customize the size of a predefined area in your website.
Consider using WP Accessibility v1.4.3 as an overall check of your online presence. I have this plugin as my personal pick because of minimal setup time, and reliability in finding and correcting many common accessibility issues.
The above tools and tips address the physical appearance of your website in terms of recognizable branding, theme, and pages. Returning to our restaurant theme, it’s much like looking at a fancy, leather-bound menu or simple, laminated listing of Today’s Specials. The accessibility of content listed inside the menu is also important because the way you describe your food determines whether or not your reader or a search engine web crawler will want to “consume” it.
People read a restaurant menu to decide what the restaurant is offering. The faster a person understands how a restaurant menu is organized, the faster they find what they want to eat. In a similar way, search engines use content layout to determine page ranking, which in turn provides greater accessibility to your content.
Accessibility is not just about adjusting for a reader’s impairment. Search engine web crawlers (commonly called spiders) rank your website and make your content super-accessible by collecting the best information (in terms of originality, content value, and freshness) in the fastest, most direct ways. You need to include navigational guides and contextual directions in your content to help your reader and the search engine crawler find their way to your target.
There are several excellent plugins that help make your content super-accessible. Yoast SEO v2.3.4 and SEO Ultimate v184.108.40.206 are two very popular tools every WordPress publisher should consider using to help super-charge their website and the presentation of their content. Simple changes like adding a breadcrumb trail – the navigational aids on a web page that track where a reader is located in a website – helps readers and search engine web crawlers find their way through your content.
Consider Pretty Link Lite v1.6.8 (and the premium Pretty Link Pro) or adding a Link Library v220.127.116.11 as additional ways to “dress” your hyperlinks and improve access to your data. A plugin called WP Post Navigation v1.2.3 also adds navigational markers “Previous” and “Next” to the Edit Page in your administrative area.
You want to avoid search engine penalties if you are considering using SEO plugins or adding page structures that cross-link your content. Some of these third-party plugins offer easy-to-use features that enable you, for example, to activate selectively the index or follow functions associated with layout components. Look for this capability in, for example, Yoast SEO v2.3.4, under SEO/Titles & Metas, in specific tabs for Post Types, Taxonomies, Archives, and Others.
From a bird’s-eye view, super-accessibility is all about knowing where you are, where you have been, and where you want to go. Yoast SEO v2.3.4 and other plugins like Multisite Sitemaps v1.1 by WPMU DEV automatically generate sitemaps for search engines. The WPMU DEV plugin has the additional benefit of automatically creating and updating these maps for every website in a WordPress network.
Sometimes a restaurant has separate menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In fact, many restaurants offer a separate wine listing! Separating your material to make your content super-accessible is part of the silo architecture I mentioned in the first section about physical layout. You can also logically organize your general “post” content into hierarchical categories and informational tags that match your content and your business. These logically ordered lists are called taxonomies.
Taxonomies can make content super-accessible, much like a more-specialized restaurant simplifies their offering with a price fixed menu and a complete but pre-selected multi-course meal. Imagine a search engine spider accessing the website owned by a small French restaurant. The restaurant has a streamlined listing of only a handful of specially-selected entrees, making it far easier to index.
You can use plugins like Types v1.7.11, Custom Post Type UI v1.1.2, or Pods v2.5.4 and their premium add-ons to add or replace the more general “post-type” object with a custom post type (commonly called CPT) designed specifically for a custom website. This is an advanced example of super-accessibility because the WordPress installation is changed to exactly match the needs of a business or expectations of a reader.
Last but not least, niche software products like Gwolle-GB 1.4.4 or Visual Recipe Index 1.2.8, specifically designed for the food-serving industry, might help our restaurant improve access to their content. Leverage the experience of other designers – don’t forget that super-accessibility is giving people not only what they want but what they expect. As previously mentioned, help readers focus on your message by providing them with a consistent and familiar scheme or layout. You expect to read a menu when you go to a restaurant!
What is often taken for granted or overlooked are the keys to making five-star cooking super-accessible: simple ingredients, original composition, and clear presentation. It works the same way with WordPress websites. I have suggested tips and tools that will make your content available to larger numbers of readers.
Super-accessible content is like bringing out the flavors of familiar comfort food. If you keep your meals fresh and balance your ingredients, you will leave your readers, and search-engine crawlers, returning for another serving. Bon appétit.
In WooCommerce you can see all the information added as attributes in Additional information tab in single product page. But for some reason in one of our recent development process for one of our client, we wanted to remove this tab completely and we came accross the following solution. You just nee to add the following code in your theme’s functions.php file
add_filter( ‘woocommerce_product_tabs’, ‘woo_remove_product_tabs’, 98 );
function woo_remove_product_tabs( $tabs )
One of WordPress’ greatest strengths is its constant state of evolution. A solution that doesn’t exist today may well exist tomorrow. And while it can be all too easy to assume that the best plugins are those that have been in development for years, the latest plugins have a great deal to offer, even if they haven’t attracted a huge number of downloads (yet).
With that in mind, I took it upon myself to trawl through the WordPress.org plugins directory to unearth some of the best free plugins available that were first released in 2015. I was surprised at how easy it was to find high-quality plugins, and I had to cut the list short at 10. In reality, I could have featured far more.
Whether you want to better manage comments, customize WordPress to match your branding, add social sharing buttons, turn your website into a fully-fledged digital media e-commerce store, or achieve something else altogether, there is something for you below. Enjoy!
WordPress comments management is, in my humble opinion, one of the most underdeveloped features within WordPress core. I’ve attempted to tackle that issue myself with Advanced Comments Moderation, and I’m always on the lookout for complementary plugins.
Enter Yoast Comment Hacks. Developed by one of the most reputable WordPress development teams in the world, this plugin offers a number of small ‘hacks’ that are used by the Yoast team in moderating their own site (the following list is taken from the WordPress.org plugin description):
- Cleaner comment notification emails.
- The option to disallow comments below a certain length.
- The option to redirect first time commenters to a thank you page.
- An input field on the comment edit screen to change the comment parent ID.
- Links in the admin comments section to email individual commenters.
- A button in the WordPress toolbar to email all the commenters on a post.
I’m impressed with all of the features, but especially the comment notifications clean-up. That particular feature aside, if you’re involved in comments moderation on a WordPress blog, I heartily recommend that you give Yoast Comment Hacks a close look.
The standard WordPress login screen is functional, if underwhelming:
It’s fine for your average blogger, but if you run a site that requires user/member login, the standard WordPress login screen is hardly going to augment your brand.
That’s where the snappily titled Custom login Plugin-Login Page Styler (shortened above to prevent your brain from imploding) comes in:
This plugin has a flawless five-star rating on WordPress.org, which is no mean feat, especially considering that it is a freemium offering. (Usually you’ll have at least one disgruntled WordPress user marking it one star for that reason alone.)
- Hide or change logo.
- Hide or show the login error message.
- Reposition the login form.
- Edit the login box’s styling.
- Edit the form labels’ styling.
- Edit the Log in button’s styling.
There are plenty of plugins like Custom login Plugin-Login Page Styler available, but it stands out – which is all the more impressive when you take into account that it was only originally released earlier this year.
It can be easy to dismiss relatively new plugins on the basis that they can’t be particularly advanced in terms of functionality, but Portfolio proves otherwise. Just check out the following video:
If that doesn’t impress you, check out any of Portfolio’s varied live previews:
In fairness, you’re not going to get all of the functionality that you might expect from the free version – for example, you only get one layout style, as opposed to the premium version’s three. That said, Portfolio certainly offers enough functionality to stand on its own two feet as a genuinely complete plugin; something that cannot be said for all free versions of premium products. Furthermore, if the developer’s responses to feedback on WordPress.org is anything to judge by – especially this completely unfair one-star review – their support is top notch.
The WordPress core team appear to be hellbent on further developing the WordPress Customizer, in the face of not inconsiderable opposition. As such, it’s hardly surprising that anti-Customizer plugins such as Customizer Remove All Parts have started cropping up.
The developer’s own description says it all really:
[Customizer Remove All Parts] prevents any Customizer scripts from loading and removes all links and buttons to [the] Customizer in the dashboard and admin toolbar.
As you might reasonably expect, the Naked Social Share plugin doesn’t have cover art.
Like Customizer Remove All Parts, Naked Social Share is another fantastic option for WordPress developers, though for different reasons. This plugin focuses on adding useful functionality, rather than removing it.
In a nutshell, Naked Social Share enables the easy insertion of plain, unstyled social sharing buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, and Google Plus: You can opt for minimal styling if you wish, which really appeals to my minimalistic leanings.
Think of it as a social sharing buttons framework for you to build upon. It’s a great option if you’re building a theme and want to incorporate social sharing buttons in a specific style.
Five ratings (at an average of 4.8) from less than a hundred active installs (at the time of writing) demonstrates that Naked Social Shares’ limited user base truly appreciates its clean and simple functionality.
With the bare bones covered, let’s now move onto a more bells-and-whistles solution for social sharing buttons.
You might reasonably think that when you’ve seen one social sharing plugin, you’ve seen them all, but AccessPress Social Share is worth a closer look. There are a few things that, in my opinion, set it apart:
- Five different button themes to choose from.
- Efficient API usage (for minimum load burden).
- Caching functionality.
- Responsive design.
- Intuitive settings.
- Proactive support.
There is a premium version of AccessPress Social Share that offers many additional features, which is great news not only if you want that functionality, but also because it vastly increases the likelihood of long-term quality support for the free version.
Yes, there is a huge number of social sharing plugins available, but this arguably looks as good an option as any. And I’m all for championing the underdog
7. Swifty Bar
Swifty Bar is definitely one of my favorites from among this roundup. You can gain a pretty solid understanding of exactly what this plugin does from the above image alone, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be impressed.
Swifty Bar enables you to add the following elements to a ‘sticky’ (i.e. static) bar at the bottom of your WordPress website:
- Post title.
- Post category.
- Author name.
- Social sharing buttons.
- Number of comments.
- Link to comments form.
- Previous/Next post links.
- ‘Time to read’ feature.
In my professional opinion, Swifty Bar pretty damned sweet. It’s definitely a plugin that deserves more than the ~200 downloads it has attracted so far. Check it out.
LearnPress developers – color me impressed. This plugin is a fully-fledged LMS solution for WordPress, with add-on functionality in the same vein as WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads (which I consider to be the best plugin monetization method around).
The breadth of LearnPress’ functionality might be somewhat intimidating to a newcomer, but it’s broken down into the aforementioned add-ons, which helps to keep things manageable. Free add-ons include:
Premium add-ons offer more commercially-minded features, such as:
There are plenty of alternative LMS plugins out there – Sensei being an obvious example – but LearnPress is free to use, easy to expand through add-ons, and developed by a clearly conscientious team.
So a sitemap plugin is never going to get your heart racing, but Simple Wp Sitemap provides a clean and simple solution to a universal requirement among WordPress webmasters. In short, it dynamically generates both HTML and XML sitemaps of your WordPress website. There’s not much else to say about Simple Wp Sitemap – it simply works!
Symbiostock works with WooCommerce to create a fully-fledged e-commerce platform for digital media downloads. It has more features than you can shake a very large stick at, and if you run into any trouble, offers both standalone support forums and a knowledge base.
It’s clear that the developer has gone great lengths to integrate seamlessly with and complement WooCommerce, rather than fight against it.
What is Your Favorite WordPress Plugin of 2015?
We’re past the halfway point of 2015 already, but if the above list of plugins is anything to judge by, there’s far more to come in terms of added functionality for WordPress.
I know for a fact that I’ve missed a whole bunch of great plugins that were released in 2015, so if you have any suggestions as to what should have made the list, please fire away below.
No longer a clunky, text-based interface, email has become a searchable filing cabinet, to-do list, CRM and project management tool all rolled into one. If you’ve ever tried a little productivity app called Rescue Time, you were probably shocked to discover exactly how much time you spend in your inbox. If you haven’t tried it, give it a whirl. I think you’re in for a surprise.
When you first started your WordPress business, you probably felt pretty organized; it’s a natural feeling when starting out with inbox zero. Over time though, your client list grows and with it the questions increase, the support calls multiply and you begin struggling to keep up. Your virtual filing cabinet grows increasingly complex. But, there’s a better way to do things.
Today, we’re going to talk about the importance and benefits of help desk software, and review four potential options. These are solutions that will help you become more efficient, allow you to get more done and potentially remove yourself from the front lines of the support process.
When Should You Introduce Help Desk Software?
In general, the best time to introduce a client to your help desk software is after the client’s site goes live. Depending on your business model, maybe you were responsible for developing your client’s website or maybe you took over maintenance and optimization once the site was complete. Either way, this is a very different phase than development.
The need for regular communication typically decreases and the types of issues that need solving change. Your scope of services will vary, but you might find yourself dealing with small website tweaks, logo changes, setting up new email addresses, backups, posting content and more. Some are regularly scheduled tasks and some will be one-time client requests or unexpected problems.
How you deal with client support requests can have a dramatic impact on the efficiency of your business, and that’s where the advantages of using help desk software just begin.
Three Advantages of Help Desk Software
1. Eliminate the Small Talk
ypical email from a client starts off with friendly banter because it’s the more polite thing to do. How’s your week going? How is the business? What’s new with the family? All perfectly normal questions. And buried at the bottom of the email will be one or two lines describing the problem they would like you to take care of.
Friendly conversations are important when the timing is right. But wouldn’t it be easier if they just cut to the chase? Emails that start out with a slew of personal questions leave you feeling obligated to respond. Imagine the chaos when you have 15-20 client websites to manage. Can you see how your inbox becomes capable of devouring time?
Eventually, the challenge of juggling multiple client support requests becomes unmanageable.
Using help desk software forces both you and your client to focus on the issue at hand. You no longer feel like you need to start and end every conversation with a personal story, as the information your client shares with you can be controlled via a contact form. You conversations become simplified, for example:
- My email isn’t working. Please can you look into it.
- Our logo has been updated, can you change it on the website.
- We added some new services, please add the following information to the site.
Overnight, the small talk is reduced and everyone feels more comfortable limiting the discussion to the issue at hand.
2. Focus on One Thing at a Time
How often do your clients send you a laundry list of things to do in an email? Some items are quickly solved while others take a day or even a week to resolve. This is how your inbox becomes a to-do list.
You’ll find yourself frequently going back to reference the email, replying to the same client multiple times as you cross things off your list. Or maybe your system is more advanced – copying the to-do list into your task management software, checking them off as you go.
By using help desk software, you’ll be able to limit support requests to one or two issues at a time. As soon as you stop allowing clients to send you endless to-do lists in giant emails, you’ll become more organized.
3. Scale Your Business
You can keep your client communications in your inbox if you want – but what happens as you grow your business? What happens when you want to hire someone to help manage client support? Are you going to hand over the reins to your inbox? Probably not. And that’s another reason why help desk software makes sense – if you have plans to grow your business.
The ability to have all of your client support tickets in a self-contained environment means you can hand off control to an employee or contractor at any point in time. No need to change email addresses, forward dozens of emails or notify clients of a contact change.
The Four Best Options for Managing Client Support Tickets
There are more than a few options when the time comes to choose a provider for your help desk software. We’re going to explore four of the most popular options.
Groove has attracted as much attention for its outstanding blog as it has for its helpdesk software. Founder Alex Turnbull has done a great job documenting Groove’s journey from startup to a standout contender. Reading their blog will actually give you a good idea about who they are as a company and what they stand for. Take note, content marketing naysayers.
If you’re on the fence about help desk software in general, the good news is that Groove offers a free version for up to two users and one support mailbox. Great for a small development agency or a developer working solo. As your business grows, the full-featured version starts at $15/user per month – hardly enough to break the bank.
I look at Groove as the BaseCamp of help desk software. It has exactly what you need without too many bells or whistles. It’s easy for your clients as well, as you can integrate both Gravity Forms and Ninja Forms with Groove, creating a seamless experience.
Speaking of client experience, Groove also keeps track of important customer service statistics. You’ll be able to see exactly how quickly you responded to a new ticket, or your average response time for many tickets. Also, how long does it typically take to resolve issues? All these details will be at your fingertips.
Compared to Groove’s website, freshdesk feels more complicated right out of the gate. And with over 65 items in their feature list, it appears this holds true for their software as well. Some features like gaming mechanics are just not necessary for a typical WordPress development agency.
Pricing for up to three agents starts at $0/month for their toned-down “Sprout” account. A more full-featured “Blossom” version starts at $19/month per agent ($16 if billed annually). Depending on your needs, the price goes all the way up to $70/month per agent. With five plans to pick from, their pricing structure is a little more complicated than the competition.
Increased complexities aside, freshdesk still provides the same integration capabilities that Groove does. Using Zapier, you’ll be able to integrate freshdesk with dozens of popular apps. If you offer paid support you’ll be able to integrate with apps like Freshbooks and Harvest, creating automatic invoices.
3. Help Scout
Sometimes it’s the subtle differences that cause a company to stand out. When researching different help desk options, one of the first things you’ll notice about Help Scout is that their about page has the founder profiles mixed among all the other employees. Everyone is described as a “Customer Champion”. It really says something about Help Scout’s overriding philosophy.
Like the other two options above, a scaled down free plan is available. It’s limited to three users, one inbox, and no API access, as well as each email having Help Scout branding. Once you’ve decided that you’re happy with the software, you’ll probably want to upgrade to their $15/user per month plan. Access to their API should be seen as a critical feature, since integration with third party apps like Zapier allow for automation, saving you a lot of time in the long run.
In case you’re dead set against relying on a SaaS option, there just so happens to be a great plugin available that will enable you to use your WordPress site as a help desk. Installing the plugin on a subdomain also means you have your own help desk void of monthly fees.
Following a business model similar to Ninja Forms, the Awesome Support plugin has add-ons or extensions you can purchase based upon your functionality requirements. For around $200 you can add the top five extensions, making this a very different approach from the other choices. You’ll have to think carefully about your long-term needs before settling on this option.
There are some things (such as the need to create an account) that make Awesome Support slightly less user-friendly, but there is no reason why you couldn’t complete that step on behalf of your clients. Another area where this plugin falls short is in reporting. As your business grows, it’s nice to be able to see how quickly you are responding to support requests overall. Although you might not get reporting without going for a paid subscription on the SaaS options, it’s not available at all with Awesome Support.
I can sense the resistance – you’re still feeling attached to your inbox. It’s like having all of your customers in one place. A giant, searchable database of every client conversation you’ve ever had and email threads a mile long.
Help desk software is as much for your clients as it is for you. Sure, it will help you become more organized, more productive and enable you to scale your business more easily. But those improvements also benefit your clients.
Their problems will be solved faster, and you’re both less likely to scan over an important item within a lengthy email. As your business grows, so to do your support issues – the growth of your business should never impact your clients.
If you’re still on the fence, consider this: All four options we covered in this article provide a free version. If your WordPress business is small, that might be all you need. If your business is growing, you might find yourself able to spend less time on support issues and more time building your business further.