11 Free WordPress Plugins to Improve Your Site

As a new year gets underway it’s only natural to think about how to make the most of it. For myself and millions of WordPress users that most likely includes some reflection on how we’re using WordPress and what we can do better this year as opposed to the last. To that purpose I’ve decided to collect what I believe to be eleven WordPress plugins that can help almost any WordPress improve their site in 2013

1. Edit Flow


Edit Flow empowers you to collaborate with your editorial team inside WordPress. It includes a post Calendar, custom post statuses, editorial comments, editorial metadata, custom email notifications, story budget, and user groups. Everything an editor needs.

Download Edit Flow »

2. Easy Digital Downloads


Selling digital downloads is something that not a single one of the large WordPress ecommerce plugins has ever gotten really right. This plugin aims to fix that. Instead of focusing on providing every single feature under the sun, Easy Digital Downloads tries to provide only the ones that you really need. It aims to make selling digital downloads through WordPress easy, and complete.

Download Easy Digital Downloads »

3. Types


Types makes it easy to customize the WordPress admin. Define your own content using custom post types and custom taxonomy. Redesign editing screens using custom fields.

Download Types »

4. Pricing Table


WordPress Pricing Table plugin will help the admin to publish pricing table on WordPress page or post content. WordPress Pricing Table plugin packed with all features you will ever need to build a pricing or features table for your products or services in the easiest way. Use simple short-code [ahm-pricing-table id=999 template=template_name] (999=use any table id here and replace template with valid template name “green” or “gray” ) inside page or post content to embed pricing table.

Download Pricing Table »

5. Better Internal Link Search


Better Internal Link Search improves the default internal link searching feature in a number of ways, making it faster and easier to find the content you want to link to.

The most basic feature limits results to posts and pages that contain your search query in their titles, rather than returning every post that contains the query in the title or content fields–this greatly reduces the number of results on sites with a large amount of content and should improve accuracy. In addition, term archives are included in the results so you can more easily link to them.

Beyond those simple changes are more powerful features that can be customized for your particular site, including creating shortcuts and even searching external sites without leaving WordPress!

Download Better Internal Link Search »

6. Global Content Blocks


Global Content Blocks lets you create your own shortcodes to insert reusable code snippets, PHP or HTML including forms, opt-in boxes, iframes, Adsense code, etc, into pages and posts as well as widgets and directly into php content. You can insert them directly using shortcodes or via a button in the TinyMCE visual editor toolbar. You can also insert the entire content of the Content Block instead of the shortcode or use other shortcodes within the Content Block. You can also modify the output of the Content Block via a hook.

Download Global Content Blocks »

7. TablePress


TablePress enables you to create and manage tables on your WordPress site. No HTML knowledge is needed, as a comfortable interface allows to easily edit table data. Tables can contain any type of data, even formulas that will be evaluated. An additional JavaScript library can be used to add features like sorting, pagination, filtering, and more for site visitors. You can include the tables into your posts, on your pages, or in text widgets with ease. Tables can be imported and exported from/to CSV files (e.g. from Excel), HTML files, and JSON.

Download TablePress »

8. P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler)


This plugin creates a profile of your WordPress site’s plugins’ performance by measuring their impact on your site’s load time. Often times, WordPress sites load slowly because of poorly configured plugins or because there are so many of them. By using the P3 plugin, you can narrow down anything causing slowness on your site.

This plugin uses the canvas element for drawing charts and requires requires Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, or IE9 or later. This plugin will not work in IE8 or lower.

Download P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) »

9. WP MashSocial Widget


WP MashSocial Wigdet : A beautiful widget inspired by Mashable to be used in sidebar, it allows you to add your Pinterest, G+ , Twitter , Facebook and Feeds Subscription in it.

Download WP MashSocial Widget »

10. Code Snippets


Code Snippets is an easy, clean and simple way to add code snippets to your site. No need to edit to your theme’s functions.php file again!

A snippet is a small chunk of PHP code that you can use to extend the functionality of a WordPress-powered website; essentially a mini-plugin with a lot less load on your site. Most snippet-hosting sites tell you to add snippet code to your active theme’s functions.php file, which can get rather long and messy after a while. Code Snippets changes that by providing a GUI interface for adding snippets and actually running them on your site as if they were in your theme’s functions.php file.

You can use a graphical interface, similar to the Plugins menu, to manage, activate, deactivate, edit and delete your snippets. Easily organise your snippets by adding a name and description using the visual editor. Code Snippets includes built-in syntax highlighting and other features to help you write your code. Snippets can be exported for transfer to another side, either in XML for later importing by the Code Snippets plugin, or in PHP for creating your own plugin or theme.

Although Code Snippets is designed to be easy-to-use and its interface looks, feels and acts as if it was a native part of WordPress, each screen includes a help tab, just in case you get stuck.

Download Code Snippets »

11. SEO Facebook Comment


SEO Facebook Comments embeds a Facebook Comment Form on your blog and also looks at each of your blog posts searching for Facebook Comments already posted. All new found comments will be added to WordPress Database.

Remember: You don’t need to use any other Facebook Comment plugin with this one, SEO Facebook Comments will do all that is needed for you.

Download SEO Facebook Comment »

In Conclusion

Every year sees loads of new WordPress plugins developed and released. In fact as WordPress continues to grow in popularity and it’s community of developers swell with new members I expect 2013 to produce more than ever. The list above represents some of the best pluginsof 2012 and I encourage you to let me know if I missed any that you found particularly useful. And I also hope you check back in throughout 2013 as we will be using and reviewing a lot this year.

Nathan B Weller

Nathan B Weller

Hi! I'm Nathan B Weller: writer, book lover, and digital publisher. I use WordPress to launch blogs, products, businesses and portfolios for myself and my clients. If you'd like to see what I'm up to on a regular basis stop by my website at www.nathanbweller.com.

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11 thoughts on “11 Free WordPress Plugins to Improve Your Site”

  1. Hi thanks for that post!

    One free plugin you should include in that list is “Table of Contents Plus” a powerful yet user friendly plugin that automatically creates a context specific index or table of contents (TOC) for long pages…

  2. Hi, I am just building my site. I have drawings that I created in SketchBook Pro 6 and I would like to put them in my website. I am in the early learning stage. Is there a plugin that would allow me to upload drawings/

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