“Knowledge is a man’s best friend”. A proper and thorough know how of the exact intricacies involved while using a CMS in the development process is of utmost importance. The result that crops up is a great end product which is not only creative, but also visually appealing. Working with WordPress ensures that you will encounter the same features on a repeated basis, either within the same project or in subsequent projects. Thus, a clear understanding makes life unambiguous.
Use of plug-ins in the appropriate manner and in the correct form always helps cast a better impression. Plug-ins not only help complete the job faster, but also produce the effect in an organized fashion. Though you might know the basics of developing some functionalities right from scratch, yet you should make the inclusion of plug-ins in your project for better feasibility. Even the end users are benefited when a developer incorporates such plug-ins as managing the website becomes easier from the user point of view.
Listed below are ten such plug-ins that make life easier, faster and user-friendly for a developer while developing websites using WordPress as the CMS.
Responsive design has revolutionized the development process and as a result the trend to catch on are the navigation menus that basically collapse into select menus when it comes to mobile devices. Though it is sometimes ideal for creating a custom navigation design for the mobile devices, it is not practical always. The main reason being, the demand for every website is different, even though they are being created in WordPress. Changes galore can adorn the project like, changes in the content or the theme’s owner can go for a better user-experience interface.
This plug-in fits the bill perfectly and provides solution for the ever-changing content issues and also the necessity of the responsive design being compatible with it. Basic method of functioning: automatic creation of a select menu from within any WordPress 3 menu. This automatic switch to a select menu works wonders when it is for mobile devices, thereby allowing the selection of a menu item to make use of the device’s default selection tool.
This plug-in generally caters to those set of developers who are bloggers or share their code on their blog and less for those who only work with clients. The main functionality of this plug-in is to preserve the code on display for a WordPress post without extra effort.
As a developer you don’t need to lay stress about the presence of “coder’s quotes” turning into curly quotes, the opening and closing tags or even the whitespace and other differences. There are many other code display plug-ins available in the market that require special classes to create clean displays. This one doesn’t, it only requires you to define the tags that the plug-in should use to preserve the codes within and that’s it.
This plug-in makes content management all the more easy and manageable. An easily accessible admin area facilitates it and helps create new shortcodes as the client’s themes need customization, thereby making it all the more easy for the clients to manage the content. The shortcode manager gives you access to create and customize the various popular codes for shortcodes that include fancy headings, tabs, buttons, accordions, etc.
The plug-in helps turn a regular WordPress theme into a premium one, thereby providing a better user-experience for the consumer.
Custom post type plug-ins and taxonomies are of great help when you look for a more extensive development of the WordPress themes. The all-inclusive dashboard helps create a user-interface for creating custom post types, taxonomies and all the settings and sub-menus. You will only require certain permissions to create an easy Portfolio post type or a News post type with a custom taxonomy for grouping them.
The best feature incorporated in this plug-in is that you can set up the post types and taxonomies with a graphical interface and even keep the settings under cover for the WordPress install that the client will use. After this you can generate the code using this plug-in and place it in the “functions.php” file.
Even this plug-in lets a developer create custom fields that can be used within the posts of any type, much quicker and easily and even with a user-interface. There are innumerable field options and types that help create and then set-up custom fields for the posts and then in the themes to display the custom field values.
Transferring a WordPress site to a new server is quite a hassle and requires a great ordeal of tussle. The WordPress exporter is void of everything and according to a developer the next step involves export of the database and then re-importing it to the new environment. This entire process is quite lengthy and quite cumbersome.
All this can be easily done with the help of this plug-in and that too automatically, not only from a developer’s point of view, but also from a client’s point of view, as it means less downtime. It also ensures that there is less time for error while transferring.
There have been constant changes in WordPress and adhering to all the changes and keeping a track about them is quite tough. The plug-in is of great help when you plan to upload a theme onto the WordPress theme directory or even sell a premium theme on most of the popular theme marketplaces.
This theme checker follows the guidelines and standards set in the latest Theme Review and the plug-in is always kept up-to date.
8. Debug Bar
While creating a theme, getting hold of and debugging the errors is a real pain in the neck. Presence of a preset development framework does not exactly bring in great news either. This plug-in comes to your rescue and allows you to witness the queries, the current cache and other information. By turning on the WP_DEBUG, you can also debug the PHP errors present.
This plug-in is for the regular WordPress developers who have one install of WordPress and are able to preview several themes for the potential buyers. You can explore your themes live without having to activate the theme on the backend of your website. Several settings for customizing the user theme browsing experience is also present that includes viewing/designing options and also navigation options.
10. Simply Exclude
This plug-in caters to both the developers and the users and allows them to smoothly exclude either individual posts or all posts, pages, custom post types, etc. from any of the major WordPress actions. This plug-in functions with is_front(), is archive(), is search() and is feed().
There are innumerable variations and opportunities. There is even scope to ascertain more control over the inclusion of content.
The above-mentioned tools help you as a developer to play around and innovate with WordPress. The development process takes time though, but these plug-ins help resolve the entire issues easily and help provide better quality.
Author Bio: This post is contributed by Pratik Ghela. He is working as a CTO at PSD To Manythings, a leading service provider for PSD To WordPress, and other CMS Implementation services. His commitment to deliver high quality code in a timely manner has helped PSD To Manythings gain immense goodwill in the outsourcing market.