If only I could just… well you can with WordPress thanks to the huge number of plugins available. But if you are new to WordPress, how do you know what is possible, and how do you find great plugins. Well here is my list of five really very useful plugins. All WordPress themes available from my Theme Loom support widgets, so together with these plugins you can make your site show anything anywhere!
Query Posts Plugin
With this plugin you can put anything that lurks inside of your WordPress site in a widget without having to write a single line of code. It is basically a front end to the main query function used by developers to retrieve content. The widget has a (maybe a little frightening) options panel that allows you to retrieve exactly the content you want. You can list posts by category, tag, custom taxonomies, author, date, time, name, or anything you can imagine. You can choose to show the full content, excerpts, or even a simple list. You can order the posts in all sorts of ways. You can even show pages – all in your sidebar or any widget enabled part of your theme.
Widget Context Plugin
This little plugin adds some options to every widget installed on your system to control the showing or hiding of individual widgets. So you could show your facebook widget just on one single page, or hide it on certain categories of posts. All of this is possible with this plugin. Now all your sidebars don’t have to look the same for every post and page!
Contact Form 7
Everybody needs a contact form, so here is my favourite, Contact Form 7. Of course your form might not be just for contacting you; you can create forms that will get your visitors e-mailing you all sort of things. You can set up several forms to embed in different areas of your site.
The Series plugin makes use of recent changes to taxonomies in WordPress, adding a series taxonomy to your blog and giving a plugin, widgets and template tags to manage series of posts.
WordPress Stats Plugin
No point sharing your story with the world if you don’t get any feedback on what people read. The official WordPress stats plugin is an easy way to get a view of what people are reading on your blog. You need an account on WordPress.com to use it because you will need the API key from your account.
Of course there are hundreds of other plugins available from the official WordPress site.
Post image by A Hockley.