13 Free Plugins to Transform Your WordPress-Based Site

by Steven Snell

on March 17, 2010

in Resources

WordPress is a popular blogging engine and CMS in part because of the active community of users and the vast resources that are available. There are thousands of plugin developers that have worked to extend the possibilities of WordPress, and these plugins can provide plenty of opportunities for you to add new features and functionality to your site.

In this post we’ll look at 13 powerful plugins that allow you to take your WordPress-powered site well beyond just a blog. These plugins will help you to create e-commerce websites, mobile-friendly sites, forums, community-based sites, and more.

Webdesigner DepotThis post is supported by Webdesigner Depot, a popular web design blog covering tutorials, design trends, blogging and inspirational posts. You can visit WDD at webdesignerdepot.com and follow WDD on Twitter @designerdepot.

WordPress Plugins to Transform Your Site:

MobilePress
MobilePress is one of several free plugins that helps you to create a mobile-friendly website. With MobilePress you can create custom themes for different handheld devices. It also integrates with Aduity for serving ads on your mobile site.

MobilePress

WordPress Mobile Pack
WordPress Mobile Pack includes a standard mobile theme, a mobile switcher that automatically selects a version of your site (desktop or mobile) to be presented, a mobile admin panel, mobile analytics, and more.

WordPress Mobile Pack

Wapple Architect Mobile Plugin
The Wapple Architect Mobile Plugin will detect the device being used by your mobile visitors and tailors all aspects of the blog/site accordingly. You can use your existing theme without needing to use a separate, generic theme for mobile visitors.

Wapple Architect Mobile Plugin

WPtouch
WPtouch is a plugin and a mobile theme for your blog or website. Touch mobile device users will experience a faster-loading site that is modeled after Apple’s app store design specs.

WPtouch

Alkivia Open Community
If you’re looking to build a user community on a WordPress-based site, this plugin can do the job. Each user will get a profile page, which can be managed by the administrator. Users can upload images into a gallery, as well as other types of content.

Alkivia Open Community

WordPress Wiki
Instinct, the makers of WP e-Commerce, also offer the free WordPress Wiki plugin. With this plugin you can easily use WordPress to create a simple wiki.

WordPress Wiki

Members
Members is a free plugin from Justin Tadlock that focuses on user, role and content management. It improves upon the standard user role system of WordPress by allowing you fine-grain control over the users and who sees what content. You can edit roles, create new roles, set content permissions and more.

Members

TDO Mini Forms
TDO Mini Forms is a popular and powerful plugin that can allow users and visitors to submit posts. It is commonly used for user-submitted news sections. There are a lot of different features and options that make it possible to do a lot of different things with the plugin. This video shows just one example of what is possible with TDO Mini Forms – a wiki-like site that allows visitors to post and edit their own song lyrics.

TDO Mini Forms


WP e-Commerce
WP e-Commerce is a feature-rick plugin that will allow you to transform a WordPress website or blog into an e-Commerce site. It provides buyers with a one-page checkout and integrates with popular payment gateways. Premium upgrades are also available to extend the functionality.

WP e-Commerce

eShop
eShop is another popular, free plugin for building an e-Commerce site with WordPress. It includes a number of features including integration with popular payment gateways, sell downloadable or physical goods, email templates, out-of-stock messages, and more.

eShop

Simple:Press
Simple:Press is a free plugin to use WordPress for powering a forum. It includes many features like integration with WordPress’ users/logins, ability to create private forums, a private messaging system, a built-in search tool, and more.

Simple:Press

Business Directory
WordPress can also be used to create a directory site with the Business Directory plugin. The directory can be inserted into one of your WordPress pages and visitors can submit a form for inclusion in the directory. Submissions can be managed from the WP dashboard.

Business Directory

Calendar
Event calendars are a critical component for some types of websites (i.e. bands, sports teams, non-profit organizations). With the calendar plugin you can easily add a feature-rich calendar to a WordPress-based site.

Calendar

What Are Your Favorite Plugins?

Feel free to leave a comment mentioning the plugins that are most important for your sites or blogs.

This post is supported by Web Designer Depot

Webdesigner DepotWebdesigner Depot is one of the most popular web design blogs in the world. It covers tutorials, design trends, blogging as well as inspirational posts. It’s run by Walter Apai, a web designer from Vancouver, Canada. The blog is a great resource for both beginners and advanced designers looking to expand and improve their knowledge. The site is visited by Fortune 500 companies and is used as a reference by many design schools. Visited by almost 2 million readers per month, WDD is a prime resource for both graphic and web designers. Visit WDD at webdesignerdepot.com. Follow on Twitter: twitter.com/designerdepot. Subscribe to RSS feed: webdesignerdepot.com/rss.htm.

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About Steven Snell

Stephen Snell is the owner and editor of Vandelay Design. Connect with Stephen on google+