28th May, 2013

Time Saving WordPress Plugins For Designers…

After writing an article about the best SEO-based WordPress plugins on the market, and hopefully saving people some precious time, I thought I would put together a short article on 5 of the best general WordPress plugins. These are all ones that I’ve come across which can help you produce some excellent front end designs, with very little input.


woo commerce plugin

I came across this plugin for the first time when building a site for a close friend and since then I have never looked back. E-Commerce can always be a nightmare when building a website for clients, coding can be long and draining and then the stress of passing control over to the client…. well that is nothing you’ve experienced before.

Woo-Commerce is a versatile addition to your WordPress artillery, allowing you to create advanced e-commerce cart solutions with the ability to re-design the layouts extremely easily, just like standard WordPress pages.

The ability to easily control your payment gateways, products, orders, customer receipts and  customer emails makes the whole e-commerce experience a lot less painful. Woo-Commerce controls everything for you and lets you sit back and look after the most important part of your sales… your customers!

Also, when you pass the login details to your client for the first time, they will be over the moon with the fantastic admin panel that you have been able to provide for them. They’ll be extremely impressed at how easy it is for them to use; a win win situation. Plus, the client doesn’t need to bother you with constant price updates and they’ll love you for giving them freedom on their products.

Price Table Plugins

price table plugin

We see price tables across millions of websites everyday, and let’s be honest they are very effective to get the cost of your service and what is included in them. So what could be better than a plugin that creates these pricing tables for you?

The team at Site Origin have put together a very simple to use plugin which allow you to create professional looking pricing tables that will blow your competitors away. With simple design and a smooth, sleek look, the buttons can be used across all themes of the website with just a few simple changes.

Although these types of tables are really not that hard to built yourself, it is always a lot easier to have a plugin that will enable you to update information easily without having the skim back through your code. It also allows your client to update price changes and package information whenever they desire.

A strong plugin that you will use more than you think…. will be staying in my bookmarks for future reference.


Slide Deck WordPress Plugin

Everyone loves sliders, and everyone loves looking at sliders to get a feel for the website they are on. Clients are going to love you when you provide them with a responsive slider that looks awesome and makes their services stand out on any page within their website.

SlideDeck is possibly the most versatile slider plugin I have used across all CMS platforms, plus the fact that it is responsive makes it one hell of a piece of kit.

You can create multiple sliders to use across your website, pulling from various different sources including all your social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and many more. It also provides you with fantastic editing facilities within the control panel, allowing you to change theme easily, add content to your sliders and change the colour and appearance by simply using input selectors. If you want to change the navigation type on the slider you can, as well as changing how the slider plays back, the time it takes to change, the order in which it pulls back the media and what effects you want to use.

I end up using sliders a lot on websites we build. Most of the time they are customised to meet the clients requirements but I will also use SlideDeck as it speeds up development times and provides so much functionality for your money. This is also one plugin that I would advise moving onto the premium version.


wp touch WordPress Plugin

Sometimes, clients don’t have the budget to enable you to build a fully customised, responsive theme that will work across all the platforms and devices that their users can visit their website on. With this in mind, sometimes you need to help your client out and cut some corners.

I came across WPtouch not too long ago, and although I don’t particularly like to use it, as I always end up fiddling with the code and designing new layouts anyway, there is no denying that this plugin is very useful when used in the correct scenarios.

I’m genuinely trying to convince you to use this plugin, honest, but….for a high end website the building of all your responsive work should come from a javascript plugin, such as bootstrap or custom coding. This plugin is built to the highest spec around and provides you with all the latest coding languages, always up to date, gives you an amazing admin panel and is SEO friendly (which is extremely important to Essential Marketer).

If you are looking for an easy option and you want your client’s website to be viewed on mobile/touch devices then this is the top plugin around, I would definitely keep it in your library of plugins to use one day in the future.



Jet Pack Plugin

Jetpack is your one stop solution for all beginner WordPress needs, providing you with a host of extremely useful plugins to enable you or your client to create all the basic elements you could ever need on your site.

Jetpack is probably one of the most well known plugins available on the market, and it’s easy to see why once you’ve install it. As soon as it is installed you’re provided with a number of fantastic plugins, such as social buttons, contact form builders and security features. Alongside this, all of its features are free to use, which in my book is fantastic for keeping costs down.

If you want to keep you WordPress dashboard nice and compact with one plugin to feature all the add ons you require, then Jetpack is definitely the plugin for you.

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