In this post, we round up the most cool and useful (oh, and free!) WordPress plugins added to the WordPress Plugin Directory from July to December of 2017. This roundup includes our top picks from each month so you’ll have a “best of” recap of our favorite new plugins.
The Postmenu plugin allows you to duplicate/clone posts, pages, menus or menu links (items of menu). Easily add your posts or pages to the menus and control who can see the content on the web using “User Roles” in the menu.
- An incredibly powerful plugin that does a number of useful admin tasks.
- Adds 3 options to the post/page list:
- Duplicate – copies the post/page as is with –copy appended to the title
- Advanced Duplicate – specify the new title, slug and other items to be copied
- Menu Link – opens a UI to the menu editor right in the post/page list
- Also adds Duplicate, Duplicate and Edit, and Advanced Duplicate to the Add New button in the post/page editor
- On the Settings > Postmenu page:
- Control where the postmenu functions are displayed and what roles can access them
- Duplicate full menus
2. WP Pexels
The WP Pexels plugin helps you search millions of free photos from pexels.com then insert into content or set as featured image very quickly.
- Pexels.com is a free stock art website with some excellent images
- Super easy setup – just activate the plugin. It adds a button in the WordPress editor
- Not the most intuitive interface, but not bad either.
- Search for your image – pagination is handled by a drop down (not the best UI)
- Select your image and you get three options
- Insert – inserts the image into the page or post directly from Pixabay (does not add it to the media library)
- Save & Insert – saves the image to your media library and inserts the image into the page or post (only available in the Pro Version – $15)
- Featured – saves the image to the media library and sets it as featured image.
- Similar plugin available from same author for Pixabay, but limited to 640px images.
3. WP YouTube Video Optimizer
The WP YouTube Video Optimizer plugin gives you the ability to optimize the YouTube videos on your website. By default, if you use the direct embed code, then it downloads the YouTube player on every occurrence of a YouTube video. This plugin shows a video thumbnail to your viewer and loads the YouTube video only when the user clicks the play icon.
- Could dramatically increase page load speed on pages containing videos.
- Lots of shortcode parameters available and well explained on the plugin page.
- Super helpful plugin to set up shortcodes without having to get into PHP.
- Create buttons, reusable calls to action and more simply.
- A powerful way to customize a site for a client.
5. Media Library Organizer
The Media Library Organizer plugin is a simple, effective WordPress plugin that allows you to categorize and search images, video and other media in your WordPress Media Library.
- A very handy plugin if your site has lots of media files.
- Remembers user preferences on sorting and sort order.
6. Smush Image Compression and Optimization
The Smush Image Compression and Optimization plugin allows you to resize, optimize and compress all of your images with the incredibly powerful and 100% free WordPress image smusher, brought to you by WPMU DEV.
- Probably the best image optimizer for WordPress.
- Image compression is offloaded to the WPMU servers so your site isn’t affected.
- Recently directory smushing has been added to handle images outside the media library too … pretty sweet.
7. Admin Select Box To Select2
The Admin Select Box To Select2 plugin is used to convert all simple select boxes to select2.
- Adds a searchable box to the top of all standard select boxes in the WordPress admin.
- Can be very helpful if you have long lists of taxonomies or dates that you need to quickly filter through.
8. Classic Editor The First of (Probably) Many Gutenberg Replacements
The Classic Editor plugin restores the previous Edit Post screen and makes it possible to use the WordPress plugins that extend it, add old-style meta boxes or otherwise depend on the previous editor.
- This plugin allows you to turn off the Gutenberg WordPress editor entirely or use the classic editor on only certain pages or posts.
- Uses Add New (Classic) and Edit (Classic) in a mixed use scenario.
- Checkbox to turn off Gutenberg is under Settings > Writing.
9. Tabify Edit Screen
With the Tabify Edit Screen plugin, you can make your post edit screen easier to navigate and manage by creating a set of tabs.
- It may take a moment to see how this plugin works, but once you do, it offers some splendid customization options for the page and post editor screens.
- Move metaboxes to tabs within the settings screen.
- Works for custom post types.
- Control who can see tabs based on role.
10. Install FitVids – Embed fluid width Videos
The Install Fitvids plugin allows you to add responsive video embeds on your blog.
- The ability to oEmbed videos from YouTube and other media by simply placing the URL on its own line in the content is a nice feature of WordPress.
- However, embedded videos are usually smaller than the content width and may not look fantastic as a result. And changing the width can be confusing for some.
11. WP Optin Wheel
The WP Optin Wheel plugin can help grow your email list by offering your visitors a chance to win a coupon, or link through spinning the wheel of fortune. Users have reported that their signup rate increased by 20%!
- Creative way to increase mailing list signups.
- Only available as a pop-up in free version. Pro version offers more options.
- Pro version of WP Optin Wheel available starting at €35/year for one site.
12. WP Shapes
With the WP Shapes plugin, you can add a transparent image using a shortcode and make the inline content wrap around the images on one side left or right. Content looks in a shape based on the image.