Adding extra functionality to a WordPress website is as easy as installing a plugin. With literally thousands of plugins to choose from – both free and premium ones – I’m sure you already realize that there’s some seriously awesome WordPress functionality available.
Today I want to introduce you to ten WordPress functionalities you probably weren’t aware of – and the plugins that let you add these functions. Let’s get started, shall we?
As any freelancer will tell you: the best day of the month is payday. For most freelancers, though, that payment doesn’t hit your bank account automatically – you’ll need to invoice your client for it. And let’s face it: invoicing is a real nuisance.
If you hate invoicing, the Advanced Client Manager for WordPress plugin can make the process far more bearable. The plugin lets you create and send professional invoices right from your WordPress dashboard. Clients can pay using PayPal, and you can track any outstanding invoices from one convenient location.
Beyond invoicing, Advanced Client Manager is a great all-round project management plugin, and comes highly recommended.
2. Social Content Locker
Want more social shares for your content? The Social Locker for WordPress plugin could be just what you’re looking for.
Content lockers are nothing new; they require visitors to make small payments to unlock premium, protected content. With a social content locker, social shares are the currency — payment takes the form of a Tweet, +1, or Like.
If your content is good, most visitors will see this as a fair trade-off. It’s an innovative way to drive more social shares, plus it’s a relatively small price to pay for visitors. The plugin supports a variety of social locker stylings, complete with gorgeous animations.
3. Front-end Editing
The WordPress dashboard feels like a second home to me. After all, it’s where I write all of my content. Before publishing, though, I need to make sure everything is formatted correctly for the front-end of my site. This is easy enough, but requires constant trips between the back- and front-end via thePreview button.
If you’d prefer to write content on the live, front-end version of your website, check out the Live Composer Front-end WordPress Page Builder plugin — one of several front-end editors available on CodeCanyon.
4. WordPress Dashboard Theme
I, like many other WordPress users, spend hours each day in the WordPress dashboard – also referred to as the WordPress admin or WordPress backend. In version 3.8, the WordPress dashboard was given a significant facelift and looks all the better for it.
Even the dashboard’s improved aesthetics can get a little boring sometimes, though. If you want to give your dashboard a radical overhaul, you need theForest Revolution WordPress Admin Theme. It won’t impact the live version of your website, but it will make the dashboard prettier.
If you would you like to learn more about customising the WordPress backend, take a look at this post.
5. WordPress Preloader
We all know that website speed is fundamentally important – I’ve written about it here, already.
If you want to make a visitor’s (hopefully brief) wait more bearable, thePrettyLoader Flat Page Preloader for WordPress plugin could be just what you need.
PrettyLoader displays stunning, animated spinners while your website loads. In total there are 22 spinners to choose from and 5 stylish transition effects.
6. Price Estimator
For some products, pricing is super-straightforward – if you’re buying, say, a TV, you know exactly what you’re getting for the price. For web design projects, things are slightly more complicated: the final price tends to be based on a series of estimates.
Dealing with every prospective client yourself can be incredibly time-consuming. To weed out the time-wasters, use The WP Estimation & Payment Forms Builder plugin to provide ballpark estimates. That means you only spend time dealing with serious clients.
The estimator interface looks stunning and can be fully customized so it looks the part. It uses sophisticated conditional logic so you can accurately estimate the price of your client’s project, whatever its scope. You can even take down payments using PayPal.
7. Enhancing Credibility
Looking to turn your website into a client-generating machine? A great portfolio helps, but your service needs credibility, too. The awkwardly named Teams Logos Testimonials Locations for WordPress is a fantastic all-in-one plugin for this very purpose. The plugin lets you add client logo carousels, team profiles, and client testimonials to your website.
The plugin is dubbed “the most complete company showcase plugin on CodeCanyon” and it’s hard to disagree: it supports five templates, beautiful CSS3 transition animations, ten color schemes, image effects, and adds loads of cool credibility-enhancing functionality to your website.
8. Parallax Effects
In my opinion, there’s nothing more eye-catching than a well-executed parallax effect. Lots of WordPress users seem to agree, and parallax seems to be in vogue at the moment.
In the past, parallax functionality depended on your theme, but not anymore. You can now add visually stunning parallax effects on any page of your website – even within blog posts – thanks to The Parallaxer WP plugin.
9. Live Chat
As any business owner will tell you: customer service is fundamentally important. Unfortunately, it’s often overlooked, especially by online businesses.
Adding an online chat feature to your website is a great way to provide real-time customer service – you can achieve this using the WP Flat Visual Chat plugin.
The plugin lets you man your live chat platform from within the WordPress dashboard. Chat operators can see what page a visitor is looking at, and can even share specific website elements to aid them.
10. Hover Animations
Looking to make your website more interactive? Then check out the Hover Effects Pack WordPress plugin.
A functionality usually provided by a WordPress theme, this useful plugin lets you add one of ten eye-catching hover effects to your images. To provide additional information, you can also overlay text onto images, with ten different text animations to choose from.
With over 3,400 WordPress plugins available on CodeCanyon, I hold my hands up and accept that I’ve probably missed some awesome functionality from this list.
If you want to add to the discussion, share your favorite functionalities (and the plugins that support it) in the comments section below!