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Best WordPress Plugins: Build Core Functionality

Posted by Mr WordPress on 03 08 2015. in WordPress

Best WordPress Plugins: Build Core Functionality

You can use this list of the best WordPress plugins to put together your essential website functionality. From contact forms to galleries, FAQs, events, testimonials and job listings. Chances are that there is a good reliable and secure WordPress plugin that will cover your needs.


The Best Contact Form Plugins

The most widely used contact form plugins are Contact Form 7, Ninja Forms, and Gravity Forms, these are a staple of almost every WordPress website out there. Once upon a time we custom wrote code to hack contact forms into WordPress, but now the available plugins make things so easy that you barely have to worry about this critical component.


The Best Gallery Plugins

Nowadays WordPress has a basic photo gallery built right into the Media Library, this is sufficient for most needs when combined with a lightbox plugin, if the theme doesn’t already use one. Many themes also include their gallery type pages as custom content types, often integrated into a Portfolio, but sometimes you need to use a specific gallery plugin to manage your images and galleries into albums to display on pages, here are your best bets..

NextGEN Gallery is a long established plugin with a ton of options, though the styling is a little outdated and I’ve never had much love for the integrated slideshow and lightbox when there are a lot better standalone options out there.

The plainly named WordPress Photo Gallery plugin is a bit more vibrant in its feature list and is a great lightweight alternative to NextGEN.

Lastly, a plugin simply named Camera has some useful features that might peak your interest, and gives a third option that does the job just fine.


We have loads of Events – I want to show them

If you put on any events in the course of your business or organisation activity, or even regularly attend them, then it often makes sense to add an Events Calendar plugin to your site, or base your theme around a single event (see the Wedding themes – they are great for this, and offer multiple sub-events to boot). You are in luck, there are a few free WordPress plugins that do the job really well, and events calendars are easily and often best added as a plugin rather than something to dedicate your theme to. If you aim to get into the world of paid listings and user submissions then you will probably have to go for a premium plugin option, but the free options are fine for most people who just need to tell people about the events they put on themselves.


Frequently Asked Questions – Make a Q&A section

WP Awesome FAQ is a great lightweight WordPress plugin that provides attractive FAQ page with a nice expand/collapse user interface. Placement is handled by a shortcode and you can assign categories to the questions & answers. The interface is easily customised using CSS to tailor the colours and styles to your site.


Client Testimonials

Testimonials Plugin by WooThemes is a handy little testimonials WordPress plugin, you can display your testimonials in popular content slider formats that scroll through each testimonial, or show them one at a time or in a list format. It is clean and fits the style of many flat looking themes that are out there. Many themes come with a testimonials section built in, but if you don’t have one, or want a little more control over things, then give this a try.


Offer a Support Ticket System to your Users

Handle your customer support in a manageable way – and stop them calling you every five minutes. Set up a support ticket plugin on your WordPress website – these work great as a plugin component that just acts as an add-on to your main website focus  so you can run a directory website and set up a support ticket plugin on the side to deal with customer requests. There are numerous plugins available


Create a Knowledge Base – Cut Down Support Enquiries

Often combined with a support ticket system a knowledge base tries to answer a customer’s questions before they even need to contact you. There are loads of well functioning knowledge base plugins available, and some dedicated WordPress themes.


We hope that helps you find some of the best WordPress plugins to use for your new website.

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