Image gallery: 10 essential WordPress plugins

WordPress has developed into a full-fledged content management system. We look at 10 essential plugins that make it even better.

Blubrry PowerPress

Blubrry PowerPress is a podcasting plugin that features plenty of options, each clearly documented. For example, you can create a single podcast for an entire site or on a per-category basis, allowing multiple podcasts per domain. 

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Gravity Forms

Gravity Forms has all the basic form-building features and then some, including conditional fields, anti-spam CAPTCHAs and honeypots, and the ability to store data directly into WordPress's post database.

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Designed to give self-hosted WordPress users those features otherwise exclusive to the hosting service, Jetpack currently offers 13 different tools, each of which can be enabled or disabled.

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JQuery Accordion Menu Widget

JQuery Accordion Menu Widget turns your menus into hierarchical, collapsible widgets; all you have go do is drag any page, post, category or custom link into your menu.

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The Redirection plugin can automatically monitor changing URLs and create a 301 redirect, which Web browsers and Google understand to mean the old content has a new home. 

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Revision Control

WordPress stores wiki-like revisions of your posts, tracking every edit and storing each version as a separate entry in the database. Revision Control helps control database bloat by allowing you to decide how revisions work on a per-post basis.

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Social Media Widget

Social Media Widget lets you add icons for a wide variety of social networking sites to your navbar. It directly supports about 50 services, including such sites as Facebook, Twitter, Etsy and Pandora; there's also support for up to six custom links.

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W3 Total Cache

WordPress dynamically generates the pages that users see by querying its MySQL database. W3 Total Cache takes the most common queries and stores them as static HTML files in order to improve a site's performance.

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WP-Table Reloaded

WP-Table Reloaded lets you upload your CSV, HTML or XML file, or use the WordPress dashboard to create an original table of values, names, dates or any other information. The table can then be embedded in any WordPress post or page using a simple shortcode, such as [table id=1].

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WPtouch creates a mobile-friendly version of your site. Specific content, menus and navigation can be enabled or disabled based on your site's specific needs. Inline documentation explains each setting, making it easy to streamline your site.

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