OpenSourceVarsity

9 Essential WordPress Plugins For A Professional WordPress Blog

WordPress has been specifically created so that non-technical, but talented writers can install, configure and run a Blog site successfully. I think that the greatest attribute built into the WordPress core, is how easy it is to extend the functionality of the WP core using essential wordpress plugins.

While the built-in WordPress Admin interface delivers pretty much all the functionality that you may need as Blog site owner, there is some WP Admin functionality that becomes easier to deal with using a plugin. In this Blog post I’d like to share my experiences with various WP Admin plugins I’ve used either on my own Blog or installed and configured for a client on their Blog.

Adminimize

Adminimize Plugin

URL: https://wordpress.org/plugins/adminimize/
Author: Frank Bultge

What does Adminimize do?

This WordPress Admin plugin, is compatible with WP upto version 4.1.1 changes the default WP administration backend and gives the Blog site owner the power to assign rights on various parts of the admin backend.

For example:

  • Admins can activate/deactivate every part of the menu and even parts of the submenu
  • Meta fields can be administered separately for posts and pages
  • Certain parts of the write menu can be deactivated separately for admins or non-admins
  • The header of the backend is minimized and optimized to give you more space
  • The structure of the menu gets changed to make it more logical

AND – All of this can all be done per user so each user can has their own admin settings

If you are running a Multi-user WordPress Blog, or one that accepts a fair amount of Guest Blog posts AND you want to fine tune the administrative access to your Blog site, this is a superb plugin to consider using. You will be amazed at the superbly granular control, of WP Admin functionality, that this plugin offers.

Client Dash

Client Dash Plugin

URL: https://wordpress.org/plugins/client-dash/
Author: Kyle Maurer

What does Client Dash do?

Client Dash empowers WP admins to have fine-tuned control of the WP-Admin area. The end goal is helping improve the User Experience of the Blog site specifically for clients. There are a large number of powerful features implemented for simplifying and customizing the WP Admin dashboard.

The WordPress admin menu is completely customizable using a built in, drag and drop, menu system identical to what WordPress offers. This will enables you to:

  • Reorder all menu items
  • Rearrange menu items
  • Remove menu items
  • Customize menu items (label, link, icon, etc.)
  • Add new menu items

Using Client Dash, it is really easy for anyone familiar with the existing WordPress menu system to customize the WP Admin Dashboard menu system. Admin menus are controlled on a per role basis hence you can customize admin menu items individual roles.

Client Dash implements powerful dashboard widget control. This works exactly the same as the WordPress widget manager. Now, adding, removing, rearranging and customizing WP dashboard widgets is easier than ever before.

There are a ton of other great features. Do give Client Dash a try, you’ll find it so worth it.

Remove Dashboard Access

Remove Dashboard Access Plugin

URL: https://wordpress.org/plugins/remove-dashboard-access-for-non-admins/
Author: Drew Jaynes

What does Remove Dashboard Access do?

  • Limit Dashboard access to admins only
  • Admins + editors,
  • Admins + editors + authors,
  • Limit by specific capability
  • Choose your own redirect URL
  • Optionally allow user profile access
  • Optionally display a message on the login screen

AND a whole lot more.

Read all that the Remove Dashboard Access plugin can do.

Admin Color Schemer

Admin Color Schemer Plugin

URL: https://wordpress.org/plugins/admin-color-schemer/
Authors: Helen and Mark Jaquith

What does Admin Colour Schemer do?

Create your own admin colour scheme, right in the WordPress admin under the Tools menu. Go simple with the four basic colours, or get into the details and customize to your heart’s content.

Admin Bar Button

URL: https://wordpress.org/plugins/admin-bar-button/
Author:  David Gard

What does the Admin Button Bar do?

Admin Bar Button is a plugin that creates a simple button which replaces the default WordPress Admin Bar displayed on front end, Blog pages or posts.

When using this plugin, the full height of the page is used by your site, which is particularly handy if you have fixed headers.

After activating the plugin, if you wish you can change how the Admin Bar Button looks and works by visiting the Settings page (Settings » Admin Bar Button).

WP Help

Publishing Help Plugin

URL: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-help/
Author: Mark Jaquith

What does WP Help do?

How often have you wanted to give clients access to tutorials on how to use WordPress from within the WP Admin dashboard itself? Well now it’s possible using WP Help.

WP Help is a plugin that will empower you to deliver access to appropriate tutorials to your clients (or anyone) unfamiliar with WordPress right within the WP Admin Dashboard.

The WP Help plugin adds a new section below the Dashboard menu where you can create hierarchical sections of tutorials dealing with content such as creating posts and/or pages or editing posts and/or pages and so on so that your clients can read and understand how to go forward using WordPress.

Good Writer Checkify

URL: https://wordpress.org/plugins/good-writer-checkify/

What does Good Writer Checkify do?

As a Blog site owner, I’m sure you’ve often wanted to make a quick reference to a checklist just prior hitting that Submit button.

The check list could have some common sense things that one ought to do like, ensuring there are no spelling mistakes, or Grammar errors, checking to ensure that links used within the Blog post all point to where there should, (i.e. no 404’s or links pointing to the wrong page), Crediting images used within the Blog post and so on.

If everyone who was given permission to Blog post via your Blog site, had access to / used this checklist, perhaps you would be able to spend more time engaging with your Blog site visitors.

Rather than cleaning up Blog post errors that should have been caught before the Blog post was made live.

Sexy Author Bio

Sexy Author Plugin

URL: https://wordpress.org/plugins/sexy-author-bio/
Author: Andy Forsberg

What does Sexy Author Bio do?

The Sexy Author Bio plugin adds a sexy, customizable About the author box below their posts for single and/or multiple authors on your Blog site.

The Sexy Author Bio box is responsive.

It includes five sexy social icon sets to choose from, with support for a ton of social networks including Behance, Blogger, Delicious, DeviantArt, Dribbble, Facebook, Flickr, GitHub, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, MySpace, Pinterest, RSS, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, Twitter, Vimeo, WordPress, Yahoo! & YouTube.

Members

Member Plugin

URL: https://wordpress.org/plugins/members/
Author: Justin Tadlock

What does Members do?

The foundation of members is its extensive role and capability management system. This is the backbone of all the current features and planned future features.

Members Features:

Role Manager: Allows you to edit, create, and delete roles as well as capabilities for these roles

Content Permissions: Gives you control over which users (by role) have access to post content

Shortcodes: Shortcodes to control who has access to content

Widgets: A login form widget and users widget to show in your theme’s sidebars

Private Site: You can make your site and its feed completely private if you want

In Conclusion

These are some of the WordPress plugins I use to give my WordPress driven website a really professional look and feel. What WP plugins do you use? Do share your plugin recommendations in the Comments section below.

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