In this post, we recap the best WordPress plugins that were added or updated in the last 30 days on the WordPress Plugin Directory.
1. Require Featured Image
Plugin Description: The Require Featured Image plugin requires your various post types — as specified in a simple options page — to have a featured image set before they can be published. If a lack of featured images causes your layout to break, or just look less-than-optimal, this is the plugin for you.
- A handy way to remind clients, or (ahhem) yourself, to add a featured image before you publish a post.
- Works with pages, posts and any standard WordPress custom post type, like WooCommerce products.
- Plugin’s settings page allows you to specify which post types should have featured images enforced and the minimum size of images that can be set.
2. Lucky WP Table of Contents
Plugin Description: The LuckyWP Table of Contents plugin creates SEO-friendly table of contents for your posts, pages or custom post types. Great
- Fantastically simple to implement, create a nice table of contents based on the headings on a page.
- Many, many options to customize the and behavior of the table of contents.
- Display automatically by post type or with a shortcode, widget or Gutenberg block.
3. Shortcode Variables
Plugin Description: Do you want to use the same snippet of text or HTML throughout your site but only have to change the value in one location? If so, this plugin may be just what you need.
- A powerful way to create shortcodes for repeated snippets site-wide without having to get your hands dirty with php.
- Use the integrated classic editor to create snippets visually or in code.
- Support shortcode parameters (see plugin description for details).
- Premiun version with more features and premade shortcodes available for £5 per year per site.
4. Log Out Shortcode This Month’s Simple but Useful Plugin #1
- Hiding the admin bar from the user is pretty common, but then giving them a way to log out can be an issue.
- This plugin creates 3 shortcodes: logout, logout_to_home, and logout_to_current.
- 3 parameters can also be added to change the link text, the redirect URL and the class of the link.
5. WP Revisions Control This Month’s Simple but Useful Plugin #2
- A very simple way to control how many revisions a particular post type will store.
- Go to Settings > Writing to make adjustments.
- Protip: If you have a custom post type that isn’t appearing, make sure revisions are enabled for it.
6. Post Date Time Change This Month’s Simple but Useful Plugin #3
Plugin Description: Collectively change the date and time of each article of post or page or media library.
- Allows you to quickly change the date and time of WordPress pages and posts.
- Very helpful to mass update a website or change dates in your starter site.
- Does not support custom post types without an add on ($20).
7. WP Sticky Sidebar – Floating Sidebar On Scroll for Any Theme
Plugin Description: The WP Sticky Sidebar plugin will make your floating sidebar menu visible at all times, making it permanently visible while scrolling.
- Especially helpful for pages with long blog posts that leave a sidebar menu behind.
- Has settings for specifying the sidebar ID and changing positioning, etc.
- Worked with no additional settings on the Astra theme.
- Pro version offers several additional settings starting at $9/mo per year.
8. Messenger Customer Chat
Plugin Description: The Messenger customer chat plugin is the official free Messenger customer chat plugin for WordPress by Facebook. This plugin allows you to interact with your customers using Messenger by integrating it on your WordPress website.
- All you need to set up this plugin is to be logged into a Facebook account that has a Facebook page.
- Setup took me less than a minute and I had a chat icon on the test site. Pretty amazing.
9. Smart Image Resize for WooCommerce
Plugin Description: The Smart Image Resize plugin prevents an image from being cut-off to perfectly fit your website layout while preserving the aspect-ratio.
- This plugin solves a real problem for WooCommerce sites: making images crop correctly when some are portrait and some are landscape.
- This plugin forces images to crop to their aspect, then fills the rest of the space with whitespace rather than cropping the image.
- You will need to regenerate thumbnails after you add your settings to this plugin. See the plugin description page for info on this.
10. WP Post Rating This Month’s Plugin to Watch #1
Plugin Description: WP Post Rating plugin is a simple plugin which allows users to rate your posts, pages. This plugin shows average rating, stars with each comment, floating links and also support Google Rich Snippets.
- A nice feature to allow your visitors to easily leave feedback on articles or rank posts.
- Use shortcode [wppr_avg_rating] to show a post’s average rating.
- Downside: currently does not have the ability to display a summary of “Top Rated Posts,” but the author is working on adding this feature.
11. Meks Easy Social Share This Month’s Plugin to Watch #2
Plugin Description: With this social sharing plugin, you can easily add social share buttons to your posts and pages. The plugin is highly flexible and provides you with various styling to match your theme design.
- An excellent balance of easy to use and highly configurable.
- Lots of options of how to display sharing links to the most popular social networks.
- Downside: doesn’t support custom post types (even WooCommerce products) at present.
12. Search Engine Insights for Google Search Console
Plugin Description: The Search Engine Insights plugin adds your website to Google Search Console and helps you verify site ownership. Search Engine Insights will help you understand your site’s search engine traffic and performance, by displaying key stats in a widget, on your WordPress dashboard.
- Created by Alin Marcu, the original developer of Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress (GADWP), my favorite GA add on for the dashboard.
- Adds a wealth of insights to your WordPress dashboard about traffic performance and search terms used to access your content.