Which plugins make WordPress easier

11 versatile WordPress plugins: from editorial systems to classified ads

With WordPress, plugins can not only provide useful additional functions, but also radically change the entire character of the website. In this article Birgit Olzem presents 11 particularly interesting representatives of this category.

introduction

WordPress has become increasingly popular with publishers in recent years. This is also thanks to an active and large community that is constantly involved in the improvement of WordPress. After all, it's an open source system that anyone can participate in. There is therefore hardly anything that cannot be implemented with it. In her UPLOAD article, Annette Schwindt shows, for example, what is already possible with WordPress on-board tools and without any programming.

And if that's not enough: Many other functions can be implemented via plugins. More than 50,000 are already available and the associated possibilities are therefore very versatile. From gastronomy to e-commerce to job exchanges, websites from practically every industry benefit from this.

In this post I would like to show you an example of how extensively WordPress can be expanded and modified with it.

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Blog, magazine

WordPress originated in blogging. It is therefore not surprising that WordPress continues to be used with great pleasure. Starting a WordPress blog is easy. Successfully managing a blog or online magazine and building an audience, on the other hand, takes a little more work. Fortunately, there are plenty of great WordPress plugins out there that can make your blogger's life easier. The free plugins listed below are all available through the official WordPress plugin repository.

PublishPress

PublishPress is ideal for WordPress websites that publish high quality content. Because with it you can work together much more effectively. This makes PublishPress a great solution for any website with multiple users. PublishPress is widely used by businesses and nonprofits, universities and schools, as well as magazines, newspapers and blogs.

PressForward

PressForward is a free plugin that offers an editorial workflow for aggregating and maintaining content in the WordPress dashboard. It is intended for bloggers and newsrooms who want to collect, discuss, and share content from a variety of sources on the open web.

Business website

WordPress has outgrown blogging as its sole purpose over the past decade. Today the open source system can be used for small company websites through to enterprise projects. A flexible CMS can be set up from blog software with just a few clicks of the mouse. This has been especially true since the introduction of the brand new block editor in WordPress 5.0. Solid user guidance through the website is essential for an optimal conversion rate.

Ninja Forms

Ninja Forms is a powerful tool for creating forms with WordPress. You can do this in a matter of minutes with a simple and powerful drag & drop form builder. Even inexperienced users can quickly and easily create complex forms without any code.

Long forms can intimidate users, so Ninja Forms offers to split forms into smaller chunks and load them one after the other as a multi-part form. The conditional logic makes it possible to show users only those fields that they actually need, to send e-mails or to take actions only under certain conditions.

Groundhogg

Groundhogg combines the basics of your operational CRM with a simple yet very versatile funnel builder. This allows you to use benchmarks and actions in any combination to create the perfect customer experience that takes you from status A to status B.

E-commerce

Choosing the right ecommerce system is important for any business as the look and feel of an ecommerce platform has a direct impact on the company's growth rate. With the large selection of plugins, the choice is not always easy, as not every plugin has all the functions a company needs. Some WordPress plugins have the necessary functions for selling digital goods such as music or e-books. Others are useful for managing shipping and inventory. However, some plugins also offer both functional properties.

WooCommerce

With WooCommerce, both physical and digital goods can be sold in all shapes and colors, in different variants, configurations and even instant downloads for buyers as well as affiliate products from other online marketplaces.

With premium extensions it is possible to offer bookings, memberships and recurring subscriptions. UPLOAD magazine, for example, relies on this. Alternatively, it is possible to sell material goods through monthly subscriptions, or to offer members a discount on digital downloads.

In combination with WooCommerce German Market or WooCommerce Germanized, it can also be used in a legally secure manner in German-speaking countries.

Also read: "WooCommerce presented: Implementing online shops with WordPress"

Easy digital downloads

Whether it's software, documents, photos, e-books, songs, graphics, or any other type of media file, Easy Digital Downloads offers a complete system for selling digital products with ease.

Classified ads

Nowadays, creating a website that showcases and details classified ads is a breeze. All you have to do is own a WordPress website, choose a specific design, and then install a suitable plugin to manage the features you want.

Advanced Ads - Ad Manager with AdSense Integration

Advanced Ads is a plugin for managing and integrating ads without limits. This plugin enables the simple integration of different display types. Be it Amazon, eBay or affiliate networks to Google Adsense and graphic banners: A variety of advertising spaces can be used. Even the marketing of ad spaces on your own website is possible with the Selling Ads add-on.

WPAdverts

WPAdverts is a plugin that allows you to create modern classifieds pages in minutes. The plugin works with most WordPress themes.

property

A big problem in the real estate industry is that brokers lose visibility in the countless real estate portals. In addition, the optimal presentation is particularly important here. Having your own WordPress website gives you complete control over the design and functionality. The corresponding plugins for real estate also help to increase sales, as they also offer listing templates in addition to the option to present photos. However, most of the plugins in the WordPress plugin directory are only suitable to a limited extent for the German-speaking market. The plugins presented below come from German software developers.

immonex OpenImmo2WP

For an appealing and up-to-date real estate portal, it is necessary to be able to manage the exposés without great effort. The maintenance of the data takes place at immonex OpenImmo2WP in the usual broker software and can be automatically fed into the website through the open OpenImmo XML format.

WP-ImmoMakler

WP-ImmoMakler works in a similar way to the OpenImmo2WP plug-in, but it was designed for the special legal requirements in German-speaking countries from the start.

Donations and crowdfunding

Many non-profit organizations rely on donations. But individual projects or people can also start donation campaigns. In addition to popular platforms for crowdfunding, there is also the possibility of collecting donations via your own website.

Give

It has probably never been easier to collect donations online on your own website. The developers of Give WP have placed great emphasis on making the creation of donation forms and payment processing as simple as possible.

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WordPress can do even more

In addition, WordPress can also be used to implement projects that in the end no longer show that a content management system is involved. Thanks to the REST API, WordPress can be used, for example, as a so-called headless CMS for progressive web apps. You can also implement multilingual websites via multisite installation in combination with the MultilingualPress plugin.

In this respect, this post shows only the tip of the iceberg of all possibilities that can be implemented with WordPress. With plugins such as Advanced Custom Fields, Pods, or Toolset, non-developers can also create custom content areas, for example. So-called pagebuilder plugins such as BeaverBuilder, Divi or Elementor help to create modern website layouts even without design knowledge. However, the use of such page builders should be treated with caution, as a decision to do so is linked to use, as they are not compatible with each other. Read the article by Peter Müller: "WordPress Pagebuilder: Professional and flexible layouts in no time at all"

Since the release of WordPress 5.0 with the innovative block editor, some users can also do without the use of external page builders. The expandability of the block editor will lead to a paradigm shift in the WordPress ecosystem in the coming years. Find out more about the interesting "Project Gutenberg" in Annette Schwindt's article in this issue.


This article belongs to: UPLOAD Magazin 66

With WordPress you can do a lot more than some might believe - even without any plugins or programming knowledge. With the right extensions, however, things can get really colorful. We'll show you everything that can be implemented with WordPress. We also go into the "Project Gutenberg", whose brand-new block editor caused some heated discussions among users. Bonus article aside from the main focus: influencer relations in the B2B area explained using a practical example.

Birgit has been active in the German-speaking and global WordPress community since 2012. She was a frequent guest or speaker at WordCamps in Europe and the USA. She is currently working as a freelance writer, publisher and digital artist. When she is not writing, doing creative work or teaching, she spends her time with her 5 children, with her first grandchild or enjoying a good cup of coffee on the terrace. Sometimes you can just enjoy the sun in a convertible.

Tags UPLOAD Magazin 66, WordPress