I recently loved WP-Engine’s guide with Torque called “The Ultimate Pre-Launch Checklist for WordPress Websites“. So when they sent me a link for The Ultimate Guide to WordPress Plugins, I was intrigued enough to click-through, sign up, get the ebook and start reading.
As with the Checklist, it is divided into multiple simple sections:
Marketing — Instagram, SEO, and Sitemap plugins were standard fare, but they also added lead generation, and contest plugins, most of which I would never use but I’ve also never even thought of them as categories that WP had in their repository.
Development and Design — Child themes, sliders, forms, and lightbox plugins are all standard fare, a good collection. I would have expected a bit more “getting started” plugins before those, but good choices. Typography and shortcode plugins though are really good additions, even if they are more “level 2 or 3” for people new to WordPress.
Monetization — I am not very interested in this area, but I liked they added simple things like PayPal integration, crowdfunding, and e-commerce in general, not just ad systems and affiliate links.
Media Plugins — I was really curious to see what they had listed, particularly just after I did my pic and video integration project. They have audio (not interested), graphs and charts (simple choices, but good), and two video plugins. Not awesome.
Customer Experience — Adding a knowledge base to your own site? I didn’t realize you could do that with a separate plugin, but okay. Translation plugins? Those are giant flags for me as automated translation is often a crapshoot. Live chat plugins, okay. Ratings plugins? Well, that’s a bit different to see. I don’t normally see those covered. And tooltips, whatever.
Security — basic security plugins and role managers? Hmm. I guess since the security packages tend to be all-in-one, I guess that makes sense. I was expecting a suite of smaller functional plugins.
Business Improvements — booking and calendar functions, looks decent. Could put that with customer experience though. Same with directory plugins. Invoice plugins…wouldn’t that go with your e-commerce area? Project management plugins…hmm, now there’s a question if that warrants it’s own item from the rest. Although it gets close to “running the business” to me, kind of like monetization too.
Site optimization — Often these look like snake-oil salespersons, but at least the ones mentioned are reputable. Don’t now how much good they do outside of large business sites. There’s also responsive design, mobile compatibility, etc.
And then the ubiquitous “other” category. But what a category. Plugins to embed games; holiday related plugins; map tools; real estate plugins — wait, what? that’s pretty specific; and comment plugins — why isn’t that with forms and ratings?
A pretty good list overall, and worth my time, even if a bit uneven in places and not as good as the previous guide they shared. I’ll double-check my game and wordsite options, good flags for me.