Improve Your Website in 2018 with These Top WordPress Plugins

Share this article

Plug ins

This article was created in partnership with BAWMedia. Thank you for supporting the partners who make SitePoint possible.

It can be a little embarrassing when you can’t meet a client’s website requirements. It can be even worse if you can’t meet requirements at all.

Perhaps the problem was an inability to build a table given a large amount of complex data. Or, you’ve been unable to tie a website into social media networks in a manageable way. Maybe, you’ve had to deal with grid system constraints that made it difficult to create the right layout on a page.

Take a look at this selection of WordPress plugins. They address some of the problems that web designers often face. These plugins can even serve to make good sites even better.

Dive right in and see if there’s a plugin or two that can make your work a little easier.

1. wpDataTables


With the wpDataTables plugin you’ll find it much easier to complete your chart and table-building tasks. You’ll save countless hours and avoid bouts of pure frustration by not having to take on what can be an extremely difficult task; creating a chart or table from large amounts of complex data, ensuring the results are correct and readable, the chart or table is responsive, and the finished product is editable, even after the website is published.

wpDataTables does all of that for you, and often in minutes if not seconds. The results are not only flawless, but data rows, columns, and cells, or lines in a chart can be highlighted or color coded.

It’s worth mentioning that all of this can be accomplished without the need of a single line of code. It’s also worth mentioning that this plugin is so easy to use, so powerful, and so popular that web designers have left other platforms behind and signed up for WordPress just to be able to use wpDataTables.

2. LayerSlider


LayerSlider is not your typical WordPress slider plugin. You’ll be able to create a wide variety of uniquely designed sliders for many different uses, but there’s more to this plugin than that.

LayerSlider is a premium multi-purpose animation platform from which you can create image galleries, landing pages, slideshows, pop ups, and even a complete website.

An ever-growing selection of professionally-crafted slider templates is one of the most popular and useful LayerSlider features. These templates cover most themes and niches and provide an excellent starting point for most web design projects. There are also several simpler templates to help beginners get their projects off to a great start.

Other notable features include versatile layout options and a drag and drop visual editor that makes coding unnecessary. LayerSlider is responsive, so anything you build will adapt to any screen size.

3. NextGEN Gallery & NextGEN Pro

NextGEN Gallery
NextGen Gallery is a free open-source WordPress plugin that is the most powerful software solution of its type. It has been looked upon as an industry standard for more than a decade, and it can currently boast of 1.3 million active users and over 20 million downloads.

NextGEN Gallery is free. Although it is intended for experienced designers and newbies alike, the latter especially like it as it offers an easy way to create small to mid-size galleries.

NextGen Gallery’s companion, NextGEN Pro, features a much more varied and extensive gallery and eCommerce extensions.

NextGEN’s front-end features include slideshow and thumbnail gallery styles, album styles, and a host of design styles. The back-end features include the gallery management system, a data import and upload capability, image grouping and thumbnail editing.

4. Blog2Social


Blog2Social’s media post automation feature is a genuine time saver when you need to customize, manage, and post social media information to a network of social media sites. With Blog2Social, you can easily vary the format, content, and images of individual posts within the network to give every post a personal touch.

The Social Media Calendar allows you to schedule, color code, and track posts, and use drag and drop to rearrange a schedule – another extremely popular and useful feature.

5. REXPANSIVE – Page Builder for WordPress

REXPANSIVE Page Builder for WordPress

The Rexpansive Builder offers a simple, time-saving way to create layouts without any need for coding. It is not just another page-building plugin however. Rexpansive’s method of automatically expanding content is unique and is what sets this plugin apart. To alter the size of an image or a block of content, designers typically specify the desired dimensions first, and then fit the content to those dimensions. With Rexpansive, you automatically resize by zooming in or out until you achieve the desired result.

6. CSS Hero

CSS Hero

You can customize the appearance of a WordPress site in one of two ways, the difficult way, or the easy way. Assuming your vote is for the latter, the CSS Hero plugin is more than up to the task. Its WYSIWYG interface and CSS Editing Tool enable you to perform non-destructive tweaking of a page’s CSS. It also allows you to see the result in real time as the page will appear on mobile devices.

7. Helpie Knowledge Base Wiki

Helpie Knowledge Base Wiki

Helpie Knowledge Base is a WordPress plugin that can be used for several purposes. With Helpie, you can create a Wiki website for your team, a private knowledge source for your clients, or a repository of documents and products and services information for website users.

You can define knowledge base user roles and it can be password protected.

8. Heroic Knowledge Base

Heroic Knowledge Base

Heroic Knowledge Base provides some additional features you could find useful. Once a knowledge base is established, you can apply this plugin’s feedback analytics processes. They enable you to determine the extent to which the knowledge base is proving to be beneficial to its users and pinpoint content that needs improvement.

You can order knowledge base content however you want to, as well as make selected files downloadable to the users.

9. Final Tiles Gallery

Final Tiles Gallery

The Final Tiles Gallery plugin is designed to get you out of a rut; a rut in which every gallery you create exhibits a certain sameness to every other gallery. This can happen when galleries are constrained to use images having the same size and aspect ratio.

With Final Tiles Gallery at your fingertips, you can create a gallery featuring a mixture of image sizes and aspect ratios – a sure way to create unique and engaging layouts.

10. Essential Grid WordPress Plugin

Essential Grid

The Essential Grid WordPress plugin is another useful tool to have when you want to avoid sameness in the layouts you create. This, the #1 WordPress grid-building software solution, makes it possible for you to display content in a custom grid system of your own choosing.

The Essential Grid plugin is a great tool to have for creating image galleries and portfolios, WooCommerce shop layouts, blogs, and social media formats.


Imagine what you would be able to do if you owned all 10 of these plugins!

We suggest taking what may be a more realistic approach. Select only the one or two that address a specific need, and your clients and the end users are bound to be impressed.

You will as well.

SitePoint SponsorsSitePoint Sponsors
View Author
Share this article
Read Next
Get the freshest news and resources for developers, designers and digital creators in your inbox each week
Loading form