WordPress Plugin Roundup – September 2015

This month’s list of 10 cool, powerful and useful (oh, and free!) WordPress plugins include everything from an easy way to clean your WordPress Media Library of unused files to an SSL quality checker. To make this list, plugins must have been recently added to the WordPress.org Plugin Repository.

iThemes Training members can check out the September WordPress Plugin Roundup webinar replay hosted by Nathan Ingram here.

1. Postman SMTP Mailer/Email Log

With the Postman SMTP Mailer/Email Log plugin, you can take control of your outgoing email with a modern, friendly and #1 rated SMTP Mailer for WordPress.

Nathan’s Notes:

  • Replaces the standard wp_mail() function
  • Delivers WordPress transactional email using authenticated SMTP which should help to increase deliverability.
  • An excellent alternative to Mandrill, which is no longer a free solution.
  • Uses OAuth 2.0 for connection to Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail accounts.
  • Never asks for your email password like many WordPress SMTP plugins do, and does not store your password in the WordPress database.
  • Slightly complicated setup process, but it’s explained well in the plugin FAQ.

2. Email Popup by Optin Cat

The Email Popup by Optin Cat plugin helps you create an email popup in less than 2 minutes.

Nathan’s Notes:

  • Nice simple popover for email subscription offers.
  • Includes a delay trigger and redirect.
  • Works with most major mailing list providers (Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Aweber, etc.)
  • Requires pasting in the list provider’s generated HTML form for your list
  • Easy to use customizer for colors and text
  • Pro version offers more build in styles and additional features starting at $ 29/year

3. SVS Pricing Tables

The SVS Pricing Tables plugin is a WordPress plugin that makes it easy to create and publish beautiful pricing tables using a wizard and a visual builder.

Nathan’s Notes:

  • Quite possibly the best free pricing table creator I’ve seen to date.
  • Several attractive built-in pricing table styles.
  • Super easy drag and drop interface.
  • Nicely responsive

4. Gallery Lightbox

The Gallery Lightbox plugin displays all gallery images into a lightbox slider in just a few seconds.

Nathan’s Notes:

  • Just enable the plugin and all standard WordPress image galleries have a nice lightbox effect rather than linking to the attachment page or media file.
  • Helpful how-to video, although the plugin is very easy to use.
  • Works nicely with its companion plugin Image Carousel.

5. Video Grid

The Video Grid plugin offers beautiful responsive video grids with responsive lightbox.

Nathan’s Notes:

  • Easy to create a nicely styled grid of YouTube or Daily Motion videos by pasting in the URL. The plugin grabs the video title and thumbnail with a click.
  • Custom thumbnails can be uploaded as well.
  • Videos play in a lightbox, and everything is responsive.
  • Only one grid per site in the free version.
  • Pro Version available ($ 17.13) that adds unlimited number of grids, effects, and support for Vimeo and Metacafe videos.

6. New User Dashboard Widget

The New User Dashboard Widget plugin adds a dashboard widget for Displaying New Registered member in your site.

Nathan’s Notes:

  • Creates a dashboard widget that lists the newest users added to your site with date, username and role.
  • Helpful as a bird’s eye view for membership site admins.
  • Just install and activate. No settings.
  • Developer needs spellcheck.

7. Media File Cleaner

With the Media File Cleaner plugin, you can clean your WordPress Media Library and Uploads directory from files which are not used.

Nathan’s Notes:

  • Powerful tool to remove media files which are no longer linked to any content.
  • Free version will allow you to delete one media file at a time. To bulk delete, the pro version is required ($ 15 for 3 sites).
  • Be sure to backup ALL THE THINGS first.

8. SSL Quality Checker

With the SSL Quality Checker plugin, you can ensure your SSL certificate is valid and your server is configured for best security practices.

Nathan’s Notes:

  • Brings the excellent Qualys SSL Labs test tool to the backend of WordPress
  • Set scans for SSL quality for daily, weekly or monthly interval.
  • Adds a backend notification and sends an email to admin if the quality is below a threshold that you set.
This Month’s Obligatory Google Maps Plugin

9. Responsive Styled Google Maps Simplified

With the Responsive Styled Google Maps Simplified plugin, you can easily display a responsive Google Map (classic map or black & white map) using an incredibly easy shortcode.

Nathan’s Notes:

  • One of the easiest simple Google maps plugins to use. Only requires a shortcode.
  • Example: [resmap address=”Eiffel Tower, France” style=”2″ zoom=”14″ height=”500px”]
    • Address: the address you wish to show
    • Style: “1” for a classic map or “2” for a black&white map
    • Zoom: a number between 1-19 (Google’s parameter)
    • Height: in pixels, for instance 300px, or 400px
  • Commercial version available on Code Canyon with more features, color themes, etc. for $ 16
  • Nicely responsive. Fills 100% of its container’s width and allows manual setting of height in the shortcode (height defaults to 500px).
This Month’s Copyright Infringement Enablement Plugin:

10. LH Add Media From URL

With the LH Add Media From URL plugin, you can surf the web and add content to the WordPress media library via a bookmarklet.

Nathan’s Notes:

  • While this is an interesting plugin concept, it’s a bad idea to add any image to a website unless you are certain you have rights to use it.

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This post is based on the September Plugin Roundup webinar by Nathan Ingram. In this webinar, Nathan covers all 10 of these plugins plus 3 more bonus plugins to add to your free plugin arsenal. Be sure to check out the entire series of monthly WordPress Plugin Roundup posts here.

The post WordPress Plugin Roundup – September 2015 appeared first on iThemes.


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