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Top 15 Plugins To Use WordPress As Your CMS

Website Design February 10th, 2009


wordpress-cms-plugins I received quite a bit of interest in my post which I explained why WordPress can be used as a CMS to manage the content of your website.  As promised, I am now providing my 15 favorite plugins which will help you buid your website property!

I have lots of experience with WordPress.  So I figured if I could help anyone by providing this list that I should!  I should warn you that some of these plug ins will take a bit of technical know how while others will be more simple.  You may even notice some of these plugins on our internet marketing blog!

Here is a list of my Favorite 15 Plugins to Help you Build your Website Property!

  1. Navigation:  Personally I like to integrate the drop down menus manually instead of plug-ins. You can either make use of http://users.tpg.com.au/j_birch/plugins/superfish/ or http://www.dynamicdrive.com/dynamicindex1/ddsmoothmenu.htm

    For those of you who are not accustomed to editing css and getting it integrated, you can go for this plug-in

  2. Search: WordPress comes with a Search Module by default but it’s limited in functionality. Get the ‘Search Everything’ Plug-in which allows you to practically search anything on WordPress including pages, posts, comments. Want a more functionally search with search hints?  Get yourself ‘Live Search Popup’ !
  3. BreadCrumbs: Want to put a nice little one-two-three level trail to help visitors understand where they are on your website? Go and get the ‘Breadcrumb NavXT’ plug-in
  4. Newsletter: Yes even this solution is available and it is free. The functionality offered by ‘Mail Press’ can match any commercial script available
  5. Events Calendar: Do you have upcoming events and no way to announce it intuitively. Worry no more get yourself the ‘Event Calendar 3’ Plug-in. It allows you to display calendar added events on it which become visible when hovered.  A detailed description can be provided via light box effect and even a post can be created of the same and a link put inside the light box window.
  6. Forum: Want to run a forum like PhpBB but don’t want to have a separate admin for it but run it along with WordPress? Simple forum will help. It’s a good replacement for PhpBB. Maybe not that functional but will satisfy most of the same requirements. 
  7. E-Commerce: is this possible with WordPress? No – not possible right? While not the most robust there actually is some solutions!
  8. Media: Want to display media files, create video playlist, add videos in your posts? WordTube does all this and more! It even lets you use videos from YouTube
  9. Gallery: Want to create photo galleries or albums? Add descriptions? NextGenGalley is the right plug-in for the job. It’s easy to install, upload files, and manage galleries and albums. While displaying images you can choose from a variety of effects   such as lightbox, thickbox, shutter etc. This Plug-in has been developed by Alex Rabe who has also developed the WordTube Plugin mentioned above.
  10. Forms: this is an integral part of any website and a very important way for people to get in contact with you. Luckily for you, the guys at DeliciousDays have developed a plug-in called cforms II which helps you create forms, customize them add validation. The functionality and features offered by it should satisfy most of your form requirements. You can create multiple form templates. The creation part is simple and can be handled with ease. This Plug-in rocks and is a must have!

    Phew!!! 10 Plugins and still the list is not over. Exhale… here we go!

  11. FAQ:  Faq’s are required by certain sites. The best plug-in that I have so far used is FAQ-Tastic. It allows you to add questions, answers and allows you to add a rating option for as well. It goes a step further putting a contact form below the FAQ enabling users to ask questions that are not present in the FAQ’s which will be directed to your backend.  You can then either answer it directly and can post it to the FAQ section.  I had downloaded this to test it and saw that it was incompatible with WP2.7 a solution to fix this can be found here: http://wordpress.org/support/topic/225393
    1. To ‘AJAXify’ your FAQ get this plug-in. The only downside mentioned by the developer is this doesn’t not display the rating. However, I fiddled with the CSS code and got it working.


  12. SEO: In today’s world your site had to rank well on Search Engines!. Heres a list of Plug-ins that should help you optimize your site.
    1. All-in-one-SEO-Pack: Title, Description, Keywords; manage it all individually for each post and page.
    2. Head Space 2: This plug-in does all that’s mentioned above and much more.
    3. Google XML Sitemap Builder:  generate am xml sitemap pain free.
    4. Google Analyticator: Insert Google analytics to you page.
    5. Stats: Want to see stats from you backend?
  13. Page Management: Want to manage your page dynamics like page order, create page links that point to external links? Get these plug-ins to do the job Page-Links-To PageMash . By default whatever you type as the page title in the backend will be used as the name when a page link is created. So to overcome this use this plug-in
  14. Blog: Now wait a second –  don’t forget that WordPress was predominantly meant for blogging. Here’s some cool plug-ins to enhance your blog.
    1. WP-Rating: want to see what users think of your post? Well ad this rating plugiin. Its easy to install and manage. The ajax functionality is really good from a usability point of view.
    2. Bookmarking: I recommend  ‘Sociable‘,  but if you want the extra option of email to friend get the ‘Share This’ Plug-in
    3. Related Posts: it’s always good to have this plug-in which will give an opportunity to the users to delve more into your site.
    4. Tag Cloud: Tag clouds are cool, make it even more cool with a flash 3d representation. I won’t say more – so install WP-Cumulus and have fun!
  15. Custom Fields:  There are some cool custom field management plug-ins to help ease your workload and at the same time make it much more user-friendly for the end user.
    1. Flutter: This plug-in is a life saver. It helps you give absolute control over custom fields, group them, add media/text area options to it. The possibilities are endfless. It’s a must have.
    2. Custom Field Template: This also helps manage custom field. If the above plug-in is too much for you resort to this

Have you made it this far?

I think the above list should be more than sufficient to meet the requirements of running a CMS website for small companies. Do you have any plug ins that you think the community could benefit from?  Please make sure to list them in the comments section!  WordPress developers have put in a lot of effort to develop these tools and your contribution will not only make it worthwhile for them, but also motivate them to improve and even develop new plug-ins for the benefit of the WordPress online community.

Post By Prashant (3 Posts)


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Top 15 Plugins To Use WordPress As Your CMS

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