Premium WordPress Plugins of the Month: August 2016admin
Welcome to another edition of WPExplorer’s Premium Plugins of the Month series. August was a busy month for releases, with over 130 plugins hitting the CodeCanyon marketplace.
Don’t have time to browse that list to find the best? That’s what we’re here for! Every month, we bring you CodeCanyon’s best, saving you the time and effort.
Today’s list features five plugins for five completely different purposes, each costing no more than $30. Here we go then, in no particular order…
PixelThrone Extension for Visual Composer
Let’s kick things off with the PixelThrone Extension for Visual Composer, available for just $22. As with any Visual Composer extension, PixelThrone extends the core plugin’s functionality by introducing several new shortcodes – 15 have been added so far, to be exact. These shortcodes include icons, social sharing buttons, pricing tables, countdown timers, newsletter opt-ins, and contact forms.
These features are nothing new and hardly groundbreaking, right? However, the PixelThrone Extension does bring an innovative new feature to the table: blocks.
Blocks are essentially pre-made shortcode “blocks” that can be lifted and placed anywhere on your website. This is perfect for those who are time-short or lacking the design chops to build a gorgeous-looking website.
For example, one block has a headline, description, video, button, and background image. Rather than playing around with five shortcodes, you can simply place the block, then get to work customizing each element with your own content. And with over 50 blocks so far – built for a variety of purposes – you can build a website from the ground up with minimal fuss.
Still not convinced? PixelThrone also doubles up as a “Coming Soon” plugin, with 15 pre-configured templates for you to use.
Alter – White Label WordPress
If you’re a web developer, it’s your job to wow clients with the quality of your builds. Most developers focus exclusively on the front-end, though, completely neglecting the back-end. Is this an opportunity missed? I definitely think so.
Alter is a plugin that lets you white label the entire WordPress dashboard. By replacing the WordPress text and logos with your own, you reinforce your business’s branding every time your clients log in. And, by customizing the back-end, you can also streamline the default WordPress dashboard into something more “client-friendly“.
With Alter – available for just $22 – you can fully customize any part of the WordPress dashboard. There are two templates for you to use, default and flat, which you can re-style using your own logos, color scheme, and icons. You can also use the plugin to completely re-design the default WordPress login page.
Alter also lets you create a custom admin screen depending on a person’s user role. That means you can restrict access to areas of the dashboard that a user is unlikely to need – too many options is likely to confuse them, anyway.
We all want a flashy website with lots of cool and eye-catching design elements, right? Well, have you ever considered what your readers want? After all, if they’re visiting your website simply to read your content, won’t all those distracting design features be, well, distracting?
The Reader View plugin attempts to address this problem, letting visitors toggle between your normal website and a super-minimal “reader view” version of your site. Picture the WordPress distraction free writing mode – Reader View is that, but for your visitors.
Having clicked the reader view mode, which is available to visitors on desktops and mobile devices, your audience can customize their reading experience to their liking. For example, they can switch between a light and dark background, change the font size, and even change the font face.
Worried about all the advertising revenue you’ll be missing out on when visitors activate distraction free reading? You needn’t, as you can still configure the Reader View plugin to display adverts. And, with nothing else on the page to compete for a visitor’s attention, this could actually increase your ads’ visibility. Not bad for a plugin costing just $16, huh?
Reactive Pro Advanced WordPress Grids
If your website has a lot of content, it can be difficult for visitors to find what they are looking for. To assist visitors, why not place your content in grids?
Bloggers can display their blog post thumbnails in grids to help visitors navigate. eCommerce stores can use grids to show off their products, allowing visitors to peruse the entire range.
The newly released Reactive Pro plugin – available for $30 – is one of the best grid plugins available. Simply choose the post type you want to display in your grid (it supports all custom post types), then let Reactive Pro handle the rest. The grids can be fully customized with drag-and-drop, plus you can specify your preferred number of columns, up to a maximum of 12.
The plugin also comes with some pretty nifty filter functionality, which lets visitors narrow down their search. Visitors can jump to specific categories, or they can hone in using up to 15 different attributes. The plugin has been tested with over 5,000 grid items, so this filtering functionality will prove invaluable to larger websites.
Finally, Reactive Pro can also be synced with Google maps. This is ideal for estate agents, who can link properties to specific points on the map. Visitors can then narrow down their property search based on specific regions.
If your website grows big enough, perhaps you’ll eventually hire a full-time employee or two. When this happens, you’ll have plenty of additional tasks on your plate – namely, managing your employees to keep them happy.
If this describes your predicament, this plugin might be right up your street. WP HRM is a unique plugin that lets you handle your business’s human resources and payroll departments right from the WordPress dashboard.
The plugin is capable of handling an unlimited number of employees, which means it can scale along with your business. It can store all of an employee’s important information, too, like their contact number, bank details, and even birthdays.
You can also use WP HRM to track employee attendance, all from a stylish calendar overview. Employees can use this calendar to request vacation days, which are submitted directly to the site admin. Accepted vacations are then marked on the calendar, so that everyone is kept in the loop. Whenever a request is submitted, all relevant parties receive a notification within the WordPress dashboard, too, so there’s no need to dig through countless emails either.
Finally, WP HRM doubles up as a financial management plugin. It lets you record any income or expenses your business generates, which can be summarized as monthly/annual reports. This means you can easily keep track of your company’s financial position with just a quick glance. The plugin even handles payroll, generating customizable PDF salary slips, which it submits directly to the relevant employees.
With all the time and headaches that WP HRM can save you, the plugin is a steal at just $30 – check it out on CodeCanyon.
That’s your lot; five useful and versatile plugins that won’t break the bank – each costs $30 or less.
With hundreds of new plugins released each month, it would be impossible to cover each one. Feel free to use the comments section to share your favorite plugins released this month. And as always, we’ll be back next month with five more premium plugins!