WordPress is an awesome content management system (CMS) because of its fantastic set of plugins. With so many free and premium themes and plugins, WordPress allows you to get pretty much any functionality you may want, right?
I have previously shared about some of the “must have” plugins that pretty much every WordPress blog needs. And you can refer to this post for reviewing the list.
However, in this post, I am going to share a few very interesting plugins that give us some unusual functionality. These plugins are not a must, but do add some advanced features to your website when used correctly.
1. More Control On Your Plugins With Plugin Organizer
I am somebody who likes to have control on what’s going on a website that I manage and for my website (which is image heavy anyway), I am always looking for ways to reduce the page loading time.
One thing that I never had control over on WordPress is the way it loads all the plugins, all the time, before rendering the pages. Many bloggers talk about it, and it’s a reason why people discourage having too many plugins installed.
Thanks to Kim from Just-Ask-Kim.com, I came across a plugin that solved my problem. Kim shared her experience about a free WordPress plugin called Plugin Organizer which allows you to control the loading aspect of every plugin installed on your WordPress powered website.
Plugin Organizer is a free plugin which gives you the control over the loading order of plugins on your website. It lets you select which plugins run globally (or don’t run globally) and which plugins load (or not load) on specific posts or/pages throughout your website. Not just that, it also lets you choose the loading sequence of plugins helping you prioritize loading of your plugins.
Plugin Organizer also lets you choose which plugins will run on mobile devices and which ones will load on desktops.
Now, if you ask me about benefits of this plugin, it’s huge! Now, I can stop WordPress from loading unnecessary plugins on specific pages of my website thus saving a second or two at least on page loading times. If page loading time is important to you and you can’t get rid of some of your WordPress plugins, this is a great way to speed up your website if you have interest in controlling this aspect of your website.
2. Try New Theme Without Upsetting Readers With Theme Test Drive
This is another great plugin for people who like to try new themes on their website. May be you want to try a new theme to see if you like it, or if it will work on your website. But you don’t want to accidently break your website and certainly you don’t want your readers to see what you are trying while you are still trying.
That is where Theme Test Drive plugin comes to the rescue. This incredible plugin was developed by the famous Vladimir Prelovac. I was searching for this feature for trying out different themes on one of my live websites and came across this awesome article by Dieter Petereit, who very highly speaks about this plugin.
The plugin allows you to activate a new theme only for the Admin user while the rest of the world still views your website with the default theme. Your readers have a usual day while you are testing out your website with a new theme which you can only let the rest of the world see when you are satisfied! Isn’t that such an incredible feature to have?
Check out the plugin’s page and Dieter’s post for details. You will be pleased!
3. Automatically Share Your Posts Using Social Networks Auto Poster
Content syndication is always a time consuming task, right? Why wouldn’t you save time by automatically sharing your new content to the social media and bookmarking sites where you share your content anyway every time?
SNAP (Social Networks Auto Poster) is a regular WordPress plugin with some cool features to make your life easy especially when you don’t have JetPack (and even if you have, they have cut down on their publicize feature heavily).
With third party API libraries, SNAP lets you automatically share your posts to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr and many more forums.
Here are the full installation and configuration instructions for this plugin.
When you are using this plugin, it’s a bit complex to configure (a bit more complex than even WordPress SEO). You will have to spend some time on learning this thing particularly in formatting your posts to work best with each network you are setting up for auto-sharing. But I can promise you one thing – the results are worth it!
How About Auto Sharing On Google+?
The reason so many auto-posting plugins and services don’t work with Google+ is, Google+ has not yet released an API to write for their system. Since there is no API available, most services have no way to get this functionality to work like Facebook and Twitter.
Fortunately, when you are using the Pro version of SNAP plugin, they have a custom built third party API Library which works with Google+ as well as many other networks.
That means, with this plugin, you can auto-post your new articles on Google+, LinkedIn Pages, Pinterest and many more sites where you had to do manual posting each time so far.
Their free version is good enough for a lot of things (including the ability to import comments from Facebook and Twitter as a WordPress comment and include in your post comments). But, their pro version brings some features which is worth the money. For example, here are pro features which makes it a plugin worthy of your investment:
You can choose to delay the auto-posting on social networks by your choice of minutes, hours or even days.
You can auto-post on Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn Pages and more.
You can auto-post to multiple accounts on the same social network.
4. Keep Your Content Strategy In Check With Editorial Calendar
You know how important it is to stay consistent with your post schedule if your blog needs to grow consistently.
All serious bloggers maintain a blogging calendar. Some of us use Google calendar and others have their own comfortable task management system to keep track of their blogging schedule.
Well, there is yet another powerful way that anybody can use and become professional at maintaining blog schedules for past, present and future right from their WordPress administration dashboard. That is by using the WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin which makes all of your forward planning for your blog a pleasant experience.
Basically, it gives you the calendar view your WordPress posts (all of your posts) whether they’re draft, pending, scheduled or published. Can you imagine how easy it will be if you can see at a glance how many posts are ready for any given day and how the content is spaced out over a period time?
It also allows you to easily move your posts within the calendar to spread out the content for different dates or change the publishing schedule. It’s a great way to know and control the way your content is scheduled properly so your can prepare your writing strategy accordingly.
This will be an easy install as it is a very intuitive plugin. Install, activate and you will be able to see the benefits of using its features right away.
However, my personal disclaimer is, to avoid having one more plugin which I could avoid, I do not I use it on this blog anymore as I switched my blogging calendar to Google which is not as comfortable as this one, but it saves me from installing another plugin on a website which is already running on 25+ active plugins.
This is an ongoing topic and as I find more awesome plugins, I will publish more of these posts. But I couldn’t wait to get these out the door. Most probably one or more of these advance WordPress plugins will resonate with you and you will love them as you use them.
Have Questions Or Want To Add Something To This List?
If you have any questions about any of these, let me know , please. Also, if you have any awesome plugin which is not common but very powerful, please feel free to share it with me through your comments.
I look forward to your comments now. Thank you kindly.
Hi Kumar, Wow, this is a very valuable collection of plugin recommendations. I had almost stopped reading plugin articles because 1) I thought I knew about all of the best WordPress plugins, 2) I have way too many plugins on my site already, and 3) I might be tempted to add another plugin to my bloated blog. But I came over here because your articles always add value so I decided to check out what you recommended.
I’m so glad I did! I didn’t know about these plugins and each one seems extremely beneficial. As someone who is a plugin hoarder, I really should check out Plugin Organizer. That may help the speed of my blog tremendously.
Theme Test Drive I will check out when I inevitably switch themes.
Social Networks Autoposter seems very helpful for the times when I’m traveling so have an article scheduled to publish ahead of time. Then I can’t share my article on social networks so my traffic drops. SNA seems like the perfect solution for this. I’m against auto-posting in general but this could really make a difference when I can’t do it myself.
Editorial Calendar seems like a great solution, I like how it works with your dashboard to autofill the calendar. But like you, I am already on overload with my plugins so perhaps I will continue to use my Excel spreadsheet as my calendar.
Do you think Plugin Organizer might help with Editorial Calendar so we could use EC without affecting the speed of our blogs? I am so tempted…
Aha! I am glad you liked the post and yes, reading another post on plugins doesn’t seem to be very compelling idea 🙂 But I am glad you didn’t think it was a waste of time getting to know yet another plugin.
Yes, plugin organizer helps with every plugin and especially since you can disable loading of any plugin (including EC) on any page where it doesn’t contribute. So, that way, it won’t load for your site visitors. However, I would rather not install EC if I already have a way to maintain my EC using excel and I have too many plugins. I mean I have about close to 30 plugins on this website itself. Adding one more? I don’t think so until it is absolutely necessary 🙂
But you should definitely try the Plugin Organizer. It seems to help improve the speed on most of my sites.
Wonderful list yet again 🙂
Yes, just like Carolyn mentioned, I was just thinking I hope it’s not another plugin list because in the long run, we all want to reduce the plugins instead of adding more of them.
Plugin Organizer seems different and I would surely check that out, though I think you can check the load time and then remove it too, just in-case it’s all working well for you. I don’t quite much like Social Networks Autoposter or similar other plugins that do the auto posting as there is no personal touch to the shares on the social medias, but yes, when you are caught up with events your end, or are travelling, these can help in more ways than one. I had used them but removed later – very short time.
I haven’t tried Editorial calender as yet but would surely look up that as well, though my schedules and dates are pretty well set in place so perhaps one can do without it also, isn’t it?
Thanks for sharing this wonderful list with us. Have a nice week ahead 🙂
A great set of plugins which every blogger should have.
Thank you for sharing this great plugins and serving to us, Mr.Kumar.
Like Harleena mentioned, I read the title and said to myself Yikes more plugins….
But here you have given ones that really can help our blogs. I’ve read Kim’s post on Plugin Organizer. It looks beneficial to me!
When it comes down to it, you know me well, and I wouldn’t put a plugin in myself, but rather come to you. I know how diligent you are when it comes to plugins. You test them, you make sure everything works together. I might think about this particular one. Hmmmm…..
That’s right Donna! People hosted at Krishna World Wide servers do not need to worry. If your website needs any of these, just let me know and I will get it setup for you 🙂
Have a great day!
Thanks for sharing these, I think they will be very useful. I’m especially interested in Plugin Organizer and Theme Test Drive, I think I could make good use of those two and will be checking them out for sure.
A useful plugin I got hold of not too long ago is called WP Page Boss. It makes it much easier to manage your pages and posts and to find where things are. It does this by displaying everything all on one page rather than you having to wade through page after page in search of what you’re looking for. You can also assign a note to each page/post which is useful if you want to remind yourself of exactly what’s in there, etc. It’s a just a basic, simple plugin but I’ve found it to be a lifesaver!
Thanks for sharing your list, Kumar, take care. 🙂
Thank you for sharing about WP Page Boss. I will be checking it out too.
And yes, the two from my list that you liked, are the ones I have in my top list of plugins as well. I am doing design work all the time and I have a lot of plugins. Both the cases are important and so, I use them as well.
Thank you for dropping by and sharing to add value.
This entry makes so much sense.
I am particularly in love with the first two plugins on this list: Plugin Organizer because I am a lover of awesome functionality on my site and don’t really appreciate just a few plugins and them Theme Test Drive because I am currently shopping around for a new theme and would not want to disrupt user experience…
I can’t wait to activate these two and I must sincerely appreciate this entry at this point in time.
Thanks for the enthusiasm and I am glad you found some of them helpful.
I will look forward to finding out your results.
I am glad your sucuri problem is behind and you are able to visit and comment on my blog regularly. What a relief!
Have a great rest of the week!
So far, the first two plugins have been installed and are currently playing out beautifully! I am currently contemplating purchasing a new theme soonest. When that happens, I’ll still let you know how successful I have been, test running the new theme in the background!
I am equally glad that I comment now without bothering about Sucuri!
Like most have already shared, when we read a headline about plugins we usually cringe because we either have enough, some people are always wanting more or we think we’ve heard about them all already.
I’ve never heard about any of these but in all honesty, none of them are some that I particularly need. I don’t have a lot of plugins right now and I just had my blog and database all cleaned up so it shouldn’t be lagging because of either of those issues. Not that that plugin isn’t necessary I’m sure but unless I add a bunch more I think I’m good.
As for the others, I don’t ever check for new themes, I don’t like to automatically post to the social sites unless I’m traveling which is rare and I don’t use an editorial calendar. I’m sure that others will jump on these though.
Thanks for the heads up with these Kumar.
You are very welcome Adrienne! Yeah, you are right. Many people will jump on some of these and others who either don’t have enough plugins or those who don’t like to play with the code, will not find it interesting to them.
Thank you for dropping by and sharing your thoughts and your story with plugins 🙂
Amazing post and great content. Couldn’t find better than this. Really appreciated. It was so engaging and connected. You almost covered every basic issues that most of bloggers or users have regarding managing their websites.
Great points and solutions.
Just one thing. I read about SNAP but I didn’t find the link to download.Can I get a free version of this plugin? Because bufferapp too focus on the same concept. Then which one is better? Could you please advise?
Also I looked to your post and you made few multiple links to the same page of WordPress plugin, Plugin Organizer. Is it really cool? I mean can we make multiple backlinks to the same page in the post. I am not sure about this.
May be you can help.
Bufferapp is different from SNAP in many ways and one being the difference in the number of networks both these services connect to. Bufferapp is more like a social media management tool than just being a plugin for content syndication which SNAP is designed for.
Yes, SNAP also has a free version and that you will be able to download from the same website. Just pay a little close attention and you will be able to figure that out 🙂
Let me know how it goes.
Some great finds here!
I had a plugin display controller I tried and posted about a while back, but this organiser sounds even better!
I think I will take a look, because sometimes the load order of the plugins causes a mess (I still can’t get comment luv premium working).
And being able to get an overview of what is going on under the hood is perfect.
Also being able to trial themes for live websites is cool. Of course I still do dev work locally, but for a non-techie this is perfect!
thanks for finding these gems
Plugin organizer is one of its kind and a good one! As donna mentioned, even Kim recommends that plugin and she won’t recommend something she hasn’t tried herself. So, yeah, that adds extra credibility to the plugin from my perspective apart from my own trial and error 🙂
Good luck and let me know what you find when you try this.
Frankly speaking i have a poor technical knowledge but i am trying to get that is why i reached to your website.Actually is started my blog on blogger and then shifted to wordpress with the help of a technical person…Now i got the wordpress blog redesigned few days back only,again with the help of a professional,paying him handsome money..But not satisfied that much…Now i am trying learn technical stuff myself….I found your article useful…The plugin organiser looks interesting…
Hello Mr. Singh,
It depends on your professional goals really. If you are learning technical stuff so you could manage your website by yourself and that activity will no hurt your business, it sounds like a good deal.
But, if your goal is to build a business, you will rather be happy finding a more qualified professional to do the technical management of your website (somebody you could be satisfied with) while you should focus your energy on building your core business.
thank you so much kumar for this useful article
I think the SNAP plugin will save me plenty of time, and the pro version definitely looks to be worth the investment.
I’m not sure if and how Plugin organizer will help me.
Wonderful post and great plugins, Well I’m just using SNAP plugin among the list ones and I will try all of them soon enough.
Thanks for share.
Awesome Samir! SNAP seems to do a great job! I am glad you are able to configure it and put it to work!
I’ve no idea how Plugin Organizer (PO) works, so my question may not be very appropriate. But I’ll still ask it 🙂
Saving one or two secs is useful indeed, but isn’t that saved loading time lost due to PO itself? I mean, PO needs some time to be loaded and implement your prior decisions, isn’t that so?
Case a) PO loads itself and then inactivates 5 plugins. In such case, I guess there’s some saved loading time. However, that looks like theory. In practice, you won’t want so many plugins being inactivated, will you? Well, if the user is a noob who installed almost all possible plugins on his blog, that’s another story… 🙂
Case b) PO loads itself (you lose 1 sec – assumption) and then inactivates 1 plugin (you save 1 sec – assumption). This case looks closer to a real case, but if one sec-assumptions are correct or almost correct, you’d better not use the plugin at all 🙂 You don’t really save time and the more plugins you use, the more possibilities for a hacker to hack your blog.
How’s it? Are my 1 sec-assumptions incorrect or very far from reality? Did I miss something?
Okay. As always, you have some very interesting questions. Okay, so, my “disclaimer” first 🙂
I am not the developer but I did seem to have an improvement in performance (probably may not only because of the Plugin Organizer alone, but hey, I believe it contributed!).
Alright. Now, let’s think about the logic you mentioned.
First of all, I don’t think WordPress plugins load that way or Plugin Organizer is designed to load itself first and then “inactivate” others because if it did that, the designer of the plugin has to be too dumb, which I don’t think is the case here 🙂
So, the loading of plugins, are in hands of the WordPress core and obviously, it has it’s own database table entries against each plugin and it loads when it(WordPress) loads itself.
So, as I understand, the plugin does two things:
1. It flags some plugins for not to be loaded on certain devices and/or certain pages (which WordPress would honor when it does the loading part).
2. It also sets priorities of loading for various plugins depending on which one should load first vs which one should last and so on. Now, this also is a flagging. WordPress has to honor the priorities and perform accordingly.
Does it make sense now? Well, let me know if I answered your question, or I was completely off the track 🙂
Kumar, I’m not very sure that it makes sense ;-( Let me try to re-phrase it…
Affirmation #1 – WP plugins take time to load
Affirmation #2 – If you use PO you can save some time (1, 2 seconds) “wasted” due to #1 above.
Question: Isn’t PO a plugin itself? It is. Therefore isn’t the affirmation #1 valid for PO too? If it is, there’s a circle.
Is my Affirmation #1 incorrect? Is “WP plugins (except for PO) take time to load” the right affirmation?
I have to admit that I’m not a developer and maybe I’m missing something. I don’t even pretend that I’m right. Just trying to understand… 😉 If you can’t explain more than you already did, let’s forget about it. I don’t want to waste your time as long as I’m not 100% technically-ready to get your explanations.
The plugin that interests me the most is the plugin organiser. This is because I love my plugins. I’ve actually gone over a couple of my blogs to try and work out which plugs I’m going to give the flick. A Couple of the blogs had over 30 plugins!
Not all of the plugins were free either. Some I actually paid for and they had to go as well. Just goes to show that not all paid plugins are worth what you pay for them. Naturally the one I refuse to let go is Andy’s CommentLuv Premium 🙂
Me too Peter 🙂 I think CommentLuv is a great plugin too and giving that up is not something I plan to do in near future either!
PO seems to help and I am sure you will know as you begin using it.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts!