Each month we round up 10 cool and useful (oh, and free!) WordPress plugins available on the WordPress Plugin Directory. This month’s WordPress Plugin Roundup includes everything from an easy way to create charts on your WordPress site to a way to add a mobile “Call now” button.
iThemes Training members can check out the March WordPress Plugin Roundup webinar replay hosted by Nathan Ingram here.
1. Letter Avatars
The Letter Avatars plugin sets custom avatars for users without Gravatar. Avatars will be replaced by the first letter of username (or e-mail) on a colorful background.
- Adds a nice letter as a gravatar rather than the “Mystery Man” for unknown users.
- Uses your theme’s font by default, but you can select any Google font in settings.
2. Social Pug – Easy Social Share Buttons
The Social pug plugin helps to increase your social shares and your audience with these sleek social share buttons.
- Just enough options to give variety without getting fiddly.
- Free version has button options for a sticky sidebar and inline content.
- Pro version adds popup buttons and sticky base buttons for mobile.
- Pro version starts at $19/yr for a single site. Agency version with unlimited sites is $89/yr.
- Pro, Pro+, and Ecommerce versions available here
3. Free Online Plagiarism Checker
The Free Online Plagiarism Checker plugin allows you to check online plagiarized or duplicate content. Free WordPress plugin to check true text (unique content) with just one click.
- Adds a “Check Plagiarism” button to the bottom of the Publish metabox in the editor.
- Sends content of the post or page to be tested for plagiarized text.
- Could be very helpful to avoid duplicate content dings on a site with multiple authors.
4. MailChimp for WordPress
The MailChimp for WordPress plugin allows you to subscribe your WordPress site visitors to your MailChimp lists, with ease.
- This is maybe the easiest, most full-featured plugin to integrate MailChimp and WordPress.
- Tried and true with over 400,000 active installs.
- Adds a subscribe checkbox to the WordPress comment form
- Just add your API key and set up your forms
5. MailChimp Activity
The MailChimp Activity plugin shows activity for your MailChimp lists right in your WordPress dashboard.
- Depends on the MailChimp for WordPress plugin above.
- Adds a dashboard widget with dropdown filtering for an executive summary of mailing list performance.
6. The Hack Repair Guy’s Admin Login Notifier
With The Hack Repair Guy’s Admin Login Notifier plugin, you can receive an email notification each time an Administrator logs into your WordPress dashboard.
- Originally created to alert you in case a hacker tries to access a site using a compromised Admin account.
- Can also be helpful to send you an alert if you have given your clients a “just in case” Admin user.
7. Simple 301 Redirects
The Simple 301 Redirects plugin provides an easy method of redirecting requests to another page on your site or elsewhere on the web.
8. Easy Charts
The Easy Charts plugin, you can build simple, reusable, customizable charts on any page or post with ease.
- Charts are very easy to create and look great out of the box.
- Many different chart styles to choose from.
- Adds a chart button on the TinyMCE editor.
- Charts are created as custom post types and have a shortcode that is easy to use.
- Lots of customization options for color, appearance, animation and targeting accessible from the post editor.
- Charts are fully responsive and can animate when the page displays.
- Chart data can be entered manually via a spreadsheet-like interface in the post editor.
- Chart data cab also be copied from spreadsheet software and pasted into the chart post’s “spreadsheet” by clicking on the top left cell and pasting. The post’s “spreadsheet” will add the appropriate number of columns and rows to match the pasted data. SLICK!
9. Mobile Call Now & Map Buttons
The Mobile Call Now & Map Buttons plugin is a simple yet powerful plugin that adds buttons to call or look up location to your website for mobile visitors.
- Easy to use… just activate and tweak your contact information on the Settings page.
- Buttons may need a bit of CSS tweaking depending on your theme.
- You will probably need to adjust the mobile breakpoint to set the width at which the buttons will display.
10. File Manager
With the File Manager plugin, you can manage your file the way you like. You can upload, delete, copy, move, rename, compress, extract files. You don’t need to worry about ftp any more.
- Very useful plugin, albeit with an antiquated UI.
- Manage files from within your WordPress site with a tool similar to cPanel’s File Manager.
- Premium version available with MANY additional features, but the author’s website has no pricing or method of purchase.
Bonus: Retro Game Emulator This Month’s 8-Bit Wonder Winner
Retro Game Emulator plugin adds an NES player on your site via a shortcode in any post or page.
- Bring all the 8-bit glory of the original Nintendo Entertainment System to your WordPress site.
- Add the emulator using the shortcode [nes].
- Could be a great addition to make a fun 404 page.
- Upload .NES ROM files which can be found on many websites.
- WARNING: ROM download sites are uber-spammy, so be sure to practice safe surfing.
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