There’s a Plugin for that….

Plugins are powerful

Plugins are code packages that extend WordPress to do almost anything you would wish to do.Plugins are code packages that extend WordPress to do almost anything you would wish to do.

Plugins either enhance features that were already available or add new features to your site.

There are more than twenty-thousand plugins in the WordPress plugin directory!

So no matter what you’re trying to do, likely there’s a plugin for that!

Some of our fave WP plugins

Here’s the list of some of our favourite plugins, plugins that we use today during our Toronto WordPress Workshops.  This is an ever-changing list!

To see our latest faves browse plugins in the WordPress by going to Plugins -> Add New -> and select Favorites. You can enter our WordPress.org username learnwpca and click get favorites.

In addition to the added functionality that these plugins bring, we use them to illustrate different concepts about plugins.

Introducing plugins – Search | Install | Activate

SeedProd Coming Soon: This plugin will put up a splash page to let visitors know your site is under maintenance or being developed. Logged in administrators get full access to the front-end and the WordPress dashboard.

With this plugin, we teach students how to install and activate WordPress Plugins from the dashboard.

Plugins that need to be registered

Akismet: comes bundled with the WordPress core installation files. Akismet was created by the creators of WordPress to fight comment spam. You must register at the Akismet website and choose a specific plan to get access to an API key that will activate the plugin.

Other plugins may require a license key or an email address verification

Plugins that use a shortcode

Simple Sitemap – HTML sitemap to display content as a list of posts and pages.

Install and activate the plugin then create a new page called Sitemap. Grab the shortcode from the plugin settings page and paste it into the page. Voila! You have a sitemap that automatically updates as you publish pages and posts.

Plugins that can be highly customized

Formidable Forms for WordPress. Creates customizable contact forms.

We use the shortcode to embed the contact form on our contact page and then adjust settings to style and customize the form.

Plugins that add additional widgets

Social Media Widget –  is a simple sidebar widget that allows users to input their social media website profile URLs and other subscription options to show an icon on the sidebar to that social media site and more that open up in a separate browser window.
Black Studio TinyMCE Widget – adds the WordPress Visual Editor to a widget area. Now you can upload images directly to widgets and easily add text and formatting without having to switch to the text editor.

Plugins for image management

Auto Post Thumbnails – Automatically generate the Featured Image Thumbnail from the first image in post if the featured image has not been set manually.
jQuery Colorbox – A Colorbox/Lightbox plugin for WordPress.

Plugins for search engine optimization

WordPress SEO By Yoast – Write better content and have a fully optimized WordPress site using the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast.

With so many plugins available and new ones coming down the pipe regularly this list will change. But for now these are the plugins we’re using. We would love to hear about your favourite WordPress plugins.  Checkout our blog category WordPress Plugins for more posts.

3 thoughts on “There’s a Plugin for that….


  1. Hi Ruth, I very much enjoyed taking the WordPress workshop, and thanks again for offering such informative sessions. I was wondering, re: PlugIns, what two here on this specific post page are. Can you tell me what the one is that shows the recent Facebook posts & icons of people who have “liked” your page. And, what is the plugin on the left at the top, that shows how many time the post has been shared with various social media sites?

    Thanks again, David


      1. Just an update… we are no longer using either of these plugins on this site.

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