Running your own WordPress website can be quite a hassle. WordPress is indeed the best blogging platform around with plenty of built-in functionality, but to add something extra, you’ll have to prepare yourself to put in a lot of legwork. Fortunately, there’s a huge community of open source contributors who are dedicated to bringing you new ways to simplify your WordPress troubles on a consistent basis.

Whether you’re more inclined to social blogging or you’re strictly in it for the profits of eCommerce, WordPress plugins provide you with everything you need to optimize your experience. But even though there are now nearly 30,000 different plugin options to choose from, there still are some rare gems that are very useful yet remain fairly unknown.

So today, we’re going to uncover some of these plugins and check out their features. Who knows, maybe they can completely change your WordPress experience.

Explanatory Dictionary

Explanatory Dictionary

This WordPress plugin lets you develop pages with concise content for the well-informed, while attaching explanatory notes to keywords or phrases for those who need a bit more information to fully understand. Readers can simply glide the pointer over highlighted portions, and let confusion dissipate.

Comment Redirect

Comment Redirect

A blog’s main objective is to keep visitors engaged. This plugin lets you encourage commenter interaction in a more creative way than you might be used to. It redirects commenters who have submitted their first comment to whatever landing page you choose. This allows you to give your visitors some follow-up questions, offers or calls to action. You can also ask for subscriptions, present a survey, request social shares/Likes/retweets, among many other options.

Q3W2 Fixed Widget

Q3W2 Fixed Widget

This is one of those solutions that’s so simple, you’ll wonder why nobody thought of it sooner. And now that it’s available, you’ll just have to wonder even more why it’s not that well-known. Q3W2 Fixed Widget is a WordPress plugin that lets you fix the position of your widgets on your site. So, if you scroll up, down, or side-to-side, your widget will always be visible and easily accessible. You can also choose to fix multiple widgets into your sidebars.

Magic Action Box

Magic Action Box

The Magic Action Box is another great eCommerce offering that lets you create an attention-grabbing customer magnet in the form of a boxed-in headline and offering. You can use this plugin to create professional opt-in forms, feature boxes, call-to-action, or whatever occasion calls for. The boxes are highly customizable, with multiple preset designs available. You can also opt to create your own.

WPFront

WPFront

This highly customizable notification bar pops up after a predetermined number of seconds in order to advertise a specific promotion, news item, etc. It will come in handy if you wish to inform your visitors of the latest developments in your business or personal life. WPFront allows you to create a message and has an optional button that can redirect your visitors to a different page.

Ad Codes Widget

Ad Codes Widget

With Ad Codes Widget, adding ads to your WordPress site couldn’t be easier. It has a simple drag-and-drop system to place banner ads of your choice into your sidebar. What’s more, you can paste PHP, JavaScript, HTML, and iFrames into this widget with ease. It’s quick, easy, and capitalistically inclined.

YOURLS

YOURLS

YOURLS is a must-have plugin once your website is up and running. It provides a service that’s comparable to Bitly. Inspired by the various character limitations attached to websites like Twitter, this plugin allows you to customize a shortened URL that otherwise wouldn’t actually offer any additional information about the page being linked to. By using YOURLS, your links will have access to both identity and economy. For WordPress eCommerce websites, packaging your site link in a smaller, more recognizable format can be an advantage.

ShareYourCart

ShareYourCart

ShareYourCart is an amazing plugin that automatically discounts products on your eCommerce website whenever customers share their purchases on a social media site. This, in turn, will encourage your customers to purchase your products and help spread your brand with social shares. It’s a great marketing tactic.

Plugins Garbage Collector

Plugins Garbage Collector

If you want to boost the speed of your WordPress site, then this plugin is for you. The Plugins Garbage Collector can rev up your page load RPMs by cleaning up the mess left in your database by old plugins that you’re no longer using. It has a clean and easy-to-use interface that color-codes the vital processes from the trash. So if you want your website to run at optimum power, installing this plugin is a no-brainer.

Mingle

Mingle

Are you a Facebook addict? You should definitely check out Mingle. It’s new and, though not fully tested, preliminary assessments are promising. In a nutshell, this plugin converts your WordPress page into a standalone social media outlet. It offers options for a personal profile, posting, and comments; friending/friend activity elements, custom avatar uploads, user tagging, and private messaging, among many other features. It’s a plugin that combines business and social opportunities on the same convenient platform.

About the author

Carmel is a web developer and designer who also works part-time as a freelance writer. Despite her busy schedule, she makes it a point to share her knowledge about web design and development through her articles on blogs.

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