In this post, we recap the newest cool and useful (oh, and free!) WordPress plugins added to the WordPress Plugin Directory. This month’s list includes everything from a new way to add an image gallery plus several new block plugins for the Gutenberg WordPress Editor.
By Carl Alexander
Plugin Description: The goal of the Passwords Evolved plugin is to shore up WordPress authentication using standard security practice recommendations. The plugin improves WordPress authentication by doing the following: enforcing uncompromised passwords, and using stronger password hashing.
- Uses the Have I Been Pwned API to test for password compromises for your users.
- If a user’s password has been found compromised, they will be unable to log in until the password is reset.
- This functionality defaults to administrator only, but can be added to any role on the settings page.
- This functionality also works when a password is changed.
- Replaces the standard WordPress password hashing to bcrypt
- This will make decrypting passwords more difficult in the event of a data breach.
- Important note: The developer says that if you remove this plugin, you’ll have to reset the password for all users on the site because they have been re-hashed with bcrypt. I was not able to reproduce this, however.
PhotoBlocks – Image Photo Grid Gallery
Plugin Description: The PhotoBlocks – Image Photo Grid Gallery plugin is an image gallery/photo gallery/portfolio gallery/tiled gallery in one plugin! You can zoom the images thanks to a fast lightbox. Add special effects to your grid gallery. Use our builder to create justified galleries.
- One of the better gallery builders I’ve seen so far.
- Doesn’t use standard WordPress interface to build the gallery, but it’s very intuitive.
- Gallery embeds with a shortcode.
By Bill Erickson & Jared Atchison
Plugin Description: The Shared Counts plugin adds high-performance social sharing buttons that preserve your non-HTTPS share counts. Shared Counts was created with site performance in mind, even at large scale.
- An excellent free alternative to maintaining share counts after you move a site to HTTPS.
- Simple but powerful plugin with several built-in styles.
- Insert before or after page content or by shortcode.
- Uses native counting (contacting each social property individually) or the SharedCount.com API which allows 10,000 calls daily free.
WPA Clean Updates
By WP Assist
Plugin Description: With every major update from WordPress, WordPress pushes new versions of default themes to your server. Though the default themes are relatively safe, every line of unused code on your server forms a potential security risk. With the WPA Clean Updates plugin, your websites will not be bothered with the new plugins.
- This plugin is a single line of code that can be added to your wp-config.php file.
- Disables addition of new WordPress default themes and plugins.
- This code is not a bad idea to add to your starter WP install (if you have one).
Years Since This Month’s Simple but Useful Plugin #1
By John Alarcon
Plugin Description: Texts such as “I have worked for x years in web dev” are quickly outdated within a year. The Years Since plugin keeps these types of time-span references up to date with a simple shortcode.
- Keep year totals up to date dynamically with this shortcode.
- I have been working in web development for [years-since y=1995].
- It has been [years-since y=1776 m=07 d=04] since the United States declared independence.
Brozzme Change Username This Month’s Simple but Useful Plugin #2
Plugin Description: The Brozzme Change Username plugin is a one-click tool to modify any user username everywhere. To apply a new name, you just need to select a user and put its new username.
- Core WordPress does not allow for usernames to be changed once created, and even has a message to that effect.
- This plugin has an interface to select and change a username (at Brozzme > Change username), and adds a Change Username button to each user’s details.
WP Last Modified Info
By Sayan Datta
Plugin Description: Most WordPress themes usually show the date when a post was last published. This is fine for most blogs and static websites. However, WordPress is also used by websites where old articles are regularly updated. This last updated date and time is important information for those publications.
- Lots of useful last modified functionality created by the WP Last Modified plugin.
- Add last modified info to the beginning or end of content or by shortcode.
- Can be activated for pages, posts or both.
- Doesn’t currently work with custom post types.
Atomic Blocks – Gutenberg Blocks Collection
Plugin Description: Atomic Blocks is a collection of content blocks for the new Gutenberg block editor. Blocks are chunks of content such as paragraphs, images, galleries, columns, and more. Building blocks give you more control to quickly create and launch any kind of site you want!
Stackable – Ultimate Gutenberg Blocks
By Gambit Technologies, Inc
Plugin Description: The Stackable – Ultimate Gutenberg Blocks plugin adds the missing design blocks and options you need in the Gutenberg editor. Stackable gives you more customization options that aren’t found in the current set Gutenberg blocks, like adjusting corner radius for buttons and different styled dividers.
Gravity Forms Gutenberg Block
By Gravity Forms
Plugin Description: The Gravity Forms Gutenberg Block is a content block for the new WordPress Gutenberg page editor that allows you to add any of your saved Gravity Forms as a content block from directly within the Gutenberg editor. The Gravity Forms Gutenberg Block is available to any user who has an active Gravity Forms license.
By unCommons Team
Plugin Description: Gutenberg is a great editor but sometime you could want to disable it for Pages, Posts or other post types. Gutenberg Manager allows you to enable/disable the editor where you want. It will also allow you to disable default Gutenberg blocks.
CoBlocks – Gutenberg Blocks for Content Marketers
By Rich Tabor from CoBlocks
Plugin Description: CoBlocks is a collection of page builder Gutenberg blocks for content marketers, built by the fine folks at ThemeBeans. More coblocks blocks: Accordion Block, Alert Block, Author Block, Click to Tweet Block, Dynamic HR Block, Gif Block, GitHub Gist Block, Spacer Block, Social Sharing Block.
By Phpbits Creative Studio
Plugin Description: More controls over your WordPress Gutenberg Editor Blocks! Assign restrictions per devices, user logged-in/our state and custom display logic. Block Options feature-packed options below each block settings tab to help you better manage your editor blocks. Its main goal is to let you have better contents to serve your visitors on every devices and pages.
Un-Gutenberg Your Site
By WordPress Contributors
Plugin Description: Classic Editor 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.
Dismiss try Gutenberg Nag Dashboard Widget
By Luciano Croce
Plugin Description: Dismiss try Gutenberg nag dashboard widget hides the “Try Gutenberg” dashboard nag.
- A neat trick is to put this single file dismiss-gutenberg-nag.php (not its parent directory) in the /wp-content/mu-plugins/ directory (create it if not exists) so you won’t even have to enable it.
- Read the hotly debated thread here.