A collection of some useful plugins for WordPress

This page provides a collection of some useful plugins for wordpress.

Check my post HERE if you do not know how to insall a plugin from a downloaded zip file.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Add Anchor Link with a Plugin

One of the easiest ways to add an anchor link is with the free TinyMCE Advanced plugin. This plugin basically adds extra functionality to the editor with quick shortcut buttons. As of writing this, the plugin has over 2 million active installs with a 4.5 out of 5-star rating.

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  • Add Table of Contents with a Plugin

Perhaps you want to speed up the process even more. 😄 If you’re writing a lot of in-depth content and always want to include a table of contents (anchor link lists/jump menu) in your posts, then you should take advantage of a table of contents plugin.

One of the best free plugins is Easy Table of Contents. This plugin automatically generates anchor links for your headers and lets you insert your table of contents anywhere in your post with a simple shortcode. As of writing this, the plugin has over 30,000 active installs with a 4.5 out of 5-star rating.

Step 1

After you’ve installed and activated the plugin, there are a few settings you’ll probably want to change. These can be found under “Settings → Table of Contents.”

    • The “Enable support” option allows you to choose which post types you want to use the table of contents on. Most likely this is your “Posts” type.
    • You can then choose whether or not you want a table of contents automatically inserted or if you want to insert it manually. We would probably recommend doing manual if your posts change around a bit.
    • The “Show when” option lets you define how many headings the post should have before a table of contents shows up. For example, you probably don’t want a table of contents showing up on a short blog post, so doing at least four or more headers is probably best.

Easy Table of Contents settings

Easy Table of Contents settings

Step 2

To insert the table of contents manually, simply insert the shortcode where you want it to show up in the post.

EZ-TOC shortcode

EZ-TOC shortcode

The table of contents is then automatically generated for all of the headers in the post. How awesome is that?

WordPress table of contents

WordPress table of contents

You can also make more changes in the settings regarding what should show up, exclusions, appearance, etc. For example, perhaps you always have a “Summary” heading at the end of your posts. You can input that header into the list of exclusions in the settings so it’s not included in the table of contents.

You can use the default for most settings, but you need to set the following at least:)

 

  • TBA

 

 

 

 

References and Further reading list

3. Simple Social Icons

Simple social icons

It is a really simple widget to add social icons to your sidebars. All the configuration options are in the widget’s settings. You can choose which social networks to link to and add your profile URLs. You can also modify the icon by choosing background and icon font color. See our tutorial on how to add social media icons in your WordPress sidebar.

This is by far the best WordPress widget for adding social icons.

 

4. Google Maps Widget

Google map widget

An easier way to add a map to your site’s sidebar is by using Google Maps Widget. This simple widget allows you to display a Google map in a widget. When a user clicks on the map, a larger map opens in a lightbox popup. Checkout our guide on how to add Google Maps in WordPress for more information.

This is one of the best WordPress widgets for businesses who want to display their address and location on their site.

6. Image Widget

Image widget

If you need to add an image to a sidebar, then you need to write the HTML in a text widget. However, many beginners do not know HTML and cannot properly style an image. The Image Widget solves this problem by allowing users to add an image using the media uploader in WordPress. It also provides a graphic UI to add caption, alt text, and select the image size.

7. Custom Taxonomies Menu Widget

Display custom taxonomies in WordPress sidebar

By default WordPress comes with a categories widget. There is no default widget to display custom taxonomies in the sidebar of a WordPress site. Custom Taxonomies Menu widget allows you to easily display custom taxonomies in the sidebar. See our guide on how to display custom taxonomies terms in WordPress sidebar widgets for more information.

8. Compact Archives

Compact Archives

The default monthly archives widget shows your archives in a long list of months. This takes a lot of space and makes users scroll down. Compact archives solves this problem by grouping your monthly archives into years and displaying them in a compact form. It also comes with a widget which you can add to your sidebar. For more information checkout our tutorial on how to create compact archives in WordPress.

20. Feature a Page Widget

Feature a Page Widget

This neat plugin allows you to add a page as a featured page in your WordPress sidebar. It allows you to display a page title, featured image, and excerpt. See this article on how to feature a page in WordPress to learn more.

22. Date and Time Widget

Probably the easiest way for beginners to display current date and time on their WordPress site. This plugin uses the time you have selected in your WordPress Settings » General page. You can choose time and date format, font and background colors.

23. Google Calendar Events

Google Calendar Events

This plugin offers an easier way to display event calendar on your WordPress website. You can create your events using Google Calendar and then sync the calendar with the plugin to display the calendar on your website. We have a step by step tutorial on how to add Google Calendar in WordPress.

This widget can be handy for non-profits who want to display their events.

25. WordPress Popular Posts

WordPress Popular Posts

Just like the name suggests WordPress Popular Posts plugin allows you to display your website’s most popular posts in a nice widget. You can display popular posts by number of views or display popular posts by number of comments.

 

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How to add and use widgets in WordPress

This post introduces how to use widgets in WordPress.

What are Widgets? Why You Need to Use Widgets in WordPress?

Widgets are tiny blocks of specific functionality that you can place in your WordPress sidebars (also known as widget-ready-areas). This is an easy way to add things like galleries, quotes, popular posts, and other dynamic items such as maps on their WordPress site.

Widgets can be found on Appearance » Widgets page in your WordPress admin area.

 

You will see the widgets that you can add under the list of available widgets.

On your right hand, you will find the designated areas on your WordPress site where you can place these widgets. These designated areas are defined by your WordPress theme. They are called sidebars or widget-ready areas.

If you don’t see a specific widget you’re looking for, then it can likely be added with a plugin (more on this later).

Adding Widget to a Sidebar in WordPress

There are multiple ways to add widgets to sidebars available in your WordPress theme.

(1) The easiest one is to simply drag and drop them to your sidebar.

Animation showing how to drag and drop a Widget to a sidebar in WordPress

(2) You can also click on a widget title from the list of available widget. WordPress will show you the list of sidebars where you can add this widget.

Simply select the sidebar where you want to add the widget, and then click on Add widget button to add it.

Add widget button

 

How to Remove a Widget in WordPress?

Removing a widget in WordPress is just as simple as adding them. Visit the Appearance » Widgets page.

Look for the widget that you want to remove in your sidebars and click on the widget title to expand it.

Removing a widget by deleting it from your WordPress sidebar

Below the widget settings, you will find the link to delete the widget. Deleting a widget will remove it from your sidebar and will also delete widget settings like title or any options that you selected.

Some widgets are too simple and don’t have many options in their settings while others have many options and settings. If you would like to remove a widget without losing the settings, then you need to drag and drop it to the inactive widgets section.

Removing a widget without deleting its settings

Deleting or sending a widget to inactive widgets does not remove it from the list of available widgets. You can always add a widget again from the list of available widgets or inactive widgets.

What Kind of Widgets are Available for WordPress?

A default WordPress installation comes with some built-in widgets like recent posts, recent comments, archives, search, etc.

Many WordPress themes and plugins come with their own plugins.

For example, Envira Gallery plugin allows you to create beautiful image galleries in your WordPress posts and pages. But it also comes with an Envira Gallery widget, which you can add to a sidebar to display image galleries in WordPress.

Envira gallery widget

Similarly, countless other themes and plugins add widgets, so their users can add things to their WordPress sidebars without writing any code or html.

There are hundreds of WordPress plugins that just add widgets for you to use in your sidebar. See our list of the 25 most useful WordPress widgets for your site.

 

References

How to Add Categories and Tags for WordPress Pages

This post provides instructions on how to add Categories and Tags for WordPress Pages.

By default, for a wordpress site, there are only Categories and Tags for posts, not for page. And it is not possible to edit the categories name once entered. However, once you read through this tutorials, you will be able to add Categories and Tags for both you Posts and for Pages, as well as edit them.

Download and install Post Tags and Categories for Pages plugin.

First, you need to download the plugin to your PC by clicking the “Download”.

click “install Now”

Activate the Post Tags and Categories for Pages plugin.

Once activated, go to Pages » Add New and you will find post categories and tags now available for your pages too.

That’s it. No complex setup. This plugin just works out of the box.

Before and after enabling categories and tags for WordPress pages

What this plugin does is that it modifies the default categories and tag taxonomies and associate them with Page post type along with the default posts. Lets say you have a category called “books” that you use to sort your posts. Using this plugin, you can easily add a page and file it in the same Books category, so your page will appear in the category archive along with your regular posts.

 

References

How to Add Categories and Tags for WordPress Pages (September 10th, 2017 ) — PDF

Categories vs Tags – SEO Best Practices for Sorting your Content (April 5th, 2018 )

What’s the difference between Categories and Tags?

Sorting Your Content

Categories are meant for broad grouping of your posts. Think of these as general topics or the table of contents for your site. Categories are there to help identify what your blog is really about. It is to assist readers finding the right type of content on your site. Categories are hierarchical, so you can sub-categories.

Tags are meant to describe specific details of your posts. Think of these as your site’s index words. They are the micro-data that you can use to micro-categorize your content. Tags are not hierarchical.

For example if you have a personal blog where you write about your life. Your categories can be something like: Music, Food, Travel, Rambling, and Books. Now when you write a post about something that you ate, you will add it in the Food category. You can add tags like pizza, pasta, steak etc.

One of the biggest difference between tags and categories is that you MUST categorize your post. You are not required to add any tags. If you do not categorize your post, then it will be categorized under the “uncategorized” category.