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Top 10 Premium WordPress Plugins for 2012

By Elijah-Blue Vieau

Let’s face it—WordPress rocks. From its humble beginnings as b2/cafelog to the CMS powerhouse it is known as today, WordPress has proven to be the choice of champions among designers, developers and pro bloggers alike. But what is it that truly makes WordPress stand apart from contending CMSs such as Drupal or Joomla?

It’s all about plugins.

The WordPress community is heavily driven by ambitious plugin developers who work day and night to extend its out-of-the-box functionality and provide users with robust features and advanced functionality. In fact, there are so many plugins available for the WordPress platform that whenever a client asks if a certain task can be performed, the answer is usually, “Yes, there’s a plugin for that.”

In the time-honored tradition of ‘top 10’ articles and ‘best of’ blog posts, I thought it would be appropriate to showcase some of the best premium (paid) WordPress plugins for 2012. Hopefully, you’ll be able to take away a few gems that will increase your site value and increase the value of WordPress related services you offer your clients—without breaking the bank!

Gravity Forms


Personally, my business wouldn’t be what it is today without Gravity Forms. From roofing companies to home theater specialists, Gravity Forms is by far the most valuable feature I offer my local business/website clients. Not only is it dreadfully easy to build web forms, and place them anywhere imaginable, Gravity Forms also acts as a CRM of sorts, organizing form entries into a list—giving administrators the ability to edit and add notes to individual submissions as well as a boat load of free add-ons, available for paid users. Pricing starts at $39 for a single site license and $199 for a developer’s license.

SEOPressor


For those of you who are in the business of SEO and name WordPress as your CMS weapon of choice, SEOPressor takes free plugins like All in One SEO Pack to the next level. Developed by Daniel Tan, SEOPressor acts as an onboard internet marketing expert, analyzing your content and providing you with a checklist of on-page items to help you rank better in search engine results. Once installed, the plugin analyzes your heading tags (h1, h2, h3), keyword density, placement, images, and links—providing you with tips and scores to improve your ranking position. Pricing starts at $47 for a single site license, and $97 for a multisite license.

White Label Branding


If you’re a designer or developer who builds WordPress-powered websites for your clients, then this plugin will ensure your installations look professional and completely customized. White Label Branding for WordPress gives you total control over the look and feel of your website’s backend—from placing your client’s logo on the sign-in screen to controlling the wp-admin color scheme, user roles, and capabilities. Though this plugin is more of an aesthetic solution, it’s definitely one that will separate you from your competitors. Pricing starts at $25 for a regular license, and $125 for an extended license.

Visual Composer


There are plenty of people, like myself, who are comfortable with basic HTML, design and image editing, but would rather focus on the business and marketing side of things. Visual Composer for WordPress transforms your standard WordPress installation into a robust drag-and-drop visual editor, allowing you to create complex page layouts with tabs, columns, sliders, galleries, social plugins, call to action boxes, and more—all with a few clicks of the mouse. Sure, you can fork out $100–$300 for similar themes like PageLines or Headway, but for a fraction of the cost ($25 for a regular license) Visual Composer is a no-brainer.

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