10 Lesser-Known (But Incredibly Useful) WordPress Plugins
There are certain WordPress plugins that just about every web professional knows about. Usually, the big name plugins are well-known for good reason. But most of them, at one point, started out as smaller projects. Over time, their user base grew.
Today, we’ll look at 10 plugins that aren’t talked about quite so much. At press time, they all have fewer than 50,000 active installs according to the official WordPress Plugin Repository. Considering the millions of sites running WordPress, 50k is a fairly small segment.
Regardless of the number of installs, the plugins below are all quite useful. Hopefully, you’ll find a new go-to plugin (or two) in the bunch.
This plugin combines two of my favorite things: WordPress Custom Fields and Font Awesome font icons. This free add-on creates a FontAwesome icon field type in ACF. It’s great for allowing users to select or change an icon displayed on a site.
There are a number of creative things you can do with Ajax Load More – Infinite Scroll. Use it to lazy-load post archives, post comments or just about any type of WordPress Query you can think of. It features customizable repeater templates to allow for seamless integration with your existing theme.
Ajax Search Lite brings “live” search capabilities to your WordPress site. It will search through standard WordPress posts and pages, along with custom post types, excerpts and even custom fields. Images can be shown in search results.
Ever run into a situation where you have to reenter theme settings into the WordPress Customizer? Customizer Export/Import can be a huge timesaver. The plugin turns a tedious task into a very simple one.
Importing users into WordPress, especially ones that require special meta (like WooCommerce database fields, for example), can be a real pain. With this plugin, you can set up a CSV file for import and it takes care of the rest.
When implementing mobile navigation, some prefer the simplicity of a good old select menu. jQuery Responsive Select Menu will turn your existing WordPress menu into a select menu at a breakpoint of your choosing.
A simple (yet very useful) plugin that helps you display a list of post or pages via a WordPress shortcode. For example, you could easily list child or sibling pages as users go through a multi-page About Us section.
Strong Testimonials is a plugin for easily creating and displaying testimonials on your website. It’s quite flexible and supports things like custom fields, categories, slideshows, pagination, and is easily styled via templates and/or CSS.
Adding a simple, elegant weather widget to your site is a breeze with Weather Underground. Enter your locale, choose from a variety of templates and keep users informed of conditions. It’s a nice solution for tourist destinations or any organization where weather is a factor.
Display a notification bar with a number of options. Place it at the top or bottom of a screen. Set it to show up site-wide or just on specific pages. Clickable buttons can also be included.
Discover Hidden Gems
With such a wide swath 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 responses 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 dedicated developers gain attention and designers who simply need a good plugin to use on their site.
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