If you’ve ever worked with wordpress, you know there’s a whole world of plugins within the platform. There are tons of plugins available to help customize your blog or site with but there are some that as a developer, can level up your build.
Here are some of the ones I love to use:
Advanced Custom Fields
I felt like I’ve been doing everything wrong before I learned about Advanced Custom Fields. ACF, makes it so that you can customize the admin side of your WordPress install. When create a new post in wordpress, you start with a completely blank slate. With ACF, you can create designated areas that you can call up in your PHP. In the end, this helps minimize errors for the author during their drafting phase.
From the ACF website:
Add fields on demand Our field builder allows you to quickly and easily add fields to WP edit screens with only the click of a few buttons! Add them anywhere! Fields can be added all over WP including posts, users, taxonomy terms, media, comments and even custom options pages! Show them everywhere! Load and display your custom field values in any theme template file with our hassle free developer friendly functions!
Custom Post Type UI
Since WordPress 3.0, it’s possible to create your own custom post type and one plugin I like to use to make that easier is the Custom Post Type UI. It provides an easy to use interface for registering and managing custom post types and taxonomies for your website.
Further customization can be done with Custom Post Types. I’ve seen CPT being used in clever ways, from social media links to a list of portfolio items, CPT provides a really easy way to keep your repeated elements organized on the admin side. CPT works kind of like WordPress’ Reusable blocks whereas instead of creating everything in your site as a regular post, you can now designate areas where you can create more specific types – because not everything is a post and so those types won’t get lost in the mix. After creating new post types, you can then call them up using built-in WordPress hooks.
Check out the official documentation.
Contact Form 7
This plugin takes the pain of creating a form away. You can now create and save a form within your WordPress install to reuse anywhere you want via use of shortcodes.
Contact Form 7 (don’t ask me what happened to the first 6) simplifies form creation by use of tags to create form elements like text fields, text areas, submit buttons, labels by surrounding those tags with square brackets! And it even has a preview pane for the response email that the user will get when they hit submit. This plugin takes the guess work as well as the headache out of creating email forms including the back end code to make it all work.
As a developer, you have decided to move your site to WordPress because you know you can make development easier and updates even quicker for yourself. Plugins fill the bill in terms of ease of use and reliability and that is the entire point of the platform. If you haven’t tried these plugins yet, you have no reason to wait.