In this post, we recap cool and useful (oh, and free!) WordPress plugins available on the WordPress Plugin Directory. This month’s list includes everything from a way to check the health of your website to a way to brew beer with WordPress (for real!).
1. Dismiss Gutenberg Nag
By Luciano Croce
Plugin Description: The Dismiss Gutenberg Nag plugin allows you to dismiss the “Try Gutenberg” nag, dashboard widget, when it is activated, or automatically if it is in mu-plugins directory.
- The “Try Gutenberg” dashboard widget (nag) will appear in WordPress 4.9.8 which is slated to drop today.
- It’s unclear to which roles this nag will show.
- This plugin prevents the nag from showing altogether – highly recommend for clients sites!
2. Central Color Palette
Plugin Description: The Central Color Palette plugin replaces the color picker for choosing a text or background color found inside the TinyMCE toolbar with a bigger and customizable color grid. The palette of the color picker found especially in the Theme Customizer can also be set through a central palette. You can define this central color palette through the settings menu. All plugins that make use of WordPress’ color picker can benefit from this plugin as well.
- This is a lifesaver for setting a consistent color palette site-wide.
- Also integrates with Beaver Builder and Elementor.
3. Clean Login
Plugin Description: The Clean Login plugin is a responsive frontend login and registration plugin. A plugin for displaying login, register, editor and restore password forms through shortcodes.
- Nice replacement for Theme My Login which was recently re-written and has caused some issues on existing sites.
- Works very well with page builders to drop in a login box on a page.
- Includes options like reCaptcha, login/logout redirect and many others.
- Shortcodes include:
- [clean-login] – standard login box
- [clean-login-edit] – edit user profile on front end
- [clean-login-register] – user registration form
- [clean-login-restore] – reset password form
4. WP Health (Formerly My WP Health Check)
By Frank Corso
Plugin Description: The WP Health plugin will check your WordPress installation to ensure that it is healthy, up to date and secure. Use the WP Health page to quickly see the results of these checks using the simple color-coded sections.
- Checks a variety of important details about a WordPress website and displays them in an easy to understand list.
- Access WP Health from the heart icon in the admin bar or under Tools.
- Excellent option for a quick website evaluation.
5. Fast User Switching
Plugin Description: The Fast User Switching plugin allows you to switch between users and roles directly from the admin bar or the user list – switch from a list or search for users/roles by id, username, mail etc.
- A new take on the User Switching plugin. Adds an admin menu item that can be restricted by role.
- Search for users and switch from the admin menu dropdown. Switch back under the “Howdy” menu on the right.
- Recently switched users are remembered in the drop-down.
6. Anonymous Restricted Content
By Taras Sych
Plugin Description: The Anonymous Restricted Content plugin is as simple as you were looking for! Just mark the content you want to hide from anonymous (not logged-in) users as restricted – and it’s done!
- Adds a checkbox to pages, posts and categories to require users to be logged in to see them.
- Works with custom post types but not custom taxonomies (like WooCommerce product categories) or standard tags.
- Redirects non-logged in users to the WordPress login page.
7. FAQ Block This Month’s Gutenberg Sneak Peak Block Plugin #1
By Jordy Meow
Plugin Description: The FAQ Block plugin is a block for Gutenberg. With it, you will be able to create a Frequently Asked Questions page on your website very easily. Simply add a block for each question and you are done.
- An excellent example of the way Gutenberg will allow rich content editing simply in the page editor.
- Look for more block plugins like this, and enhancements that will allow styling of the block display with live preview.
8. WordPress Persistent Login This Month’s Good Idea or Bad Idea Plugin #1
By Luke Seager
Plugin Description: The WordPress Persistent Login plugin is a simple plugin that keeps users logged into your website unless they explicitly choose to log-out. Now with support to keep users logged in across multiple devices.
- If users complain about having to constantly log in without being remembered, this could be a good option.
- Annoyances: uses Fremius and adds submenus under its settings option.
- Paid version starting at $9.50/site/year allows you to control which user roles stay logged in.
9. Limit Comments and Word Count This Month’s Good Idea or Bad Idea Plugin #2
By Artios Media
Plugin Description: The Limit Comments and Word Count plugin will limit the number of comments and word length each user can add to a WordPress blog post. The plugin adds above the comment box an active letter counter, word counter, and comment counter, that provides a user constant visual access to their input activity.
- Pretty simple to set up but requires the user to be logged in.
- Could be helpful to thwart serial commenters.
10. Bash It Out This Month’s Good Idea or Bad Idea Plugin #3
Plugin Description: The Bash It Out plugin is a simple WordPress plugin that provides the slovenly with the overbearing pressure they need to bash out that word count. Set a word goal, writing time limit, how often you want to be nagged and then bash it out! Reach your word count goal before the countdown! Impress your cat!
- A little quirky to get used to at first. Create a new post and then click the Bash It Out menu.
- Set the amount of time and the urgency of the nag.
11. Switch Pages This Month’s Simple but Useful Plugin #1
By Brijesh Kothari
Plugin Description: With the Switch Pages plugin, you will get a dropdown list of pages/posts from which you can select which page you would like to edit. No more hassle to go to the “Pages” page again and again when you want to edit another page/post. Simply choose the page and you will be taken to the editor of that page.
- Simple addition to post editor to quickly switch to other posts within that post type.
- Works with pages, posts and custom post types (even WooCommerce products).
12. BrewPress – Brewing with WordPress This Month’s “I Didn’t Know I Could Do That With WordPress” Plugin
Plugin Description: The BrewPress plugin is a brewery controller that runs on the Raspberry Pi and allows you to brew beer using WordPress.
- Really nifty Geek Factor 10 plugin with integrations for devices to run a microbrewery.
- Learn more at BrewPress.