Wordpress is fantastic, albeit naked on it’s own – here are 5 plugins to lift your install to the next level
There are a number of WordPress plugins you can install, here I’m just going to walk through some plugins I’ve found recently that really help you take your wordpress to the next level – helping churches get more from their blog.
When it comes to communications, you really can’t look past MailChimp – they even have a page dedicated to helping churches leverage MailChimp for communications (read Mailchimp for churches here). Mailchimp have a bunch of plugins but the one I think that YOU really should install is Analytics360.
This plugin links Google Analytics and MailChimp (although you can use it without MailChimp) and pulls this data to your dashboard giving you a great overview of your site and newsletter analytics.
Highly recommended mailchimp plugins:
- ListSubscribe – build your subscriber list
- Mail Archives – pull your newsletter archives
WordPress does a good job handling content and it’s getting better, however when it comes to handling galleries, Lightview Plus is the best plugin for media. The plugin does what most “lightbox” type plugins do, that is give you a lovely light box modal popup for images. Where Lightview Plus shines is the way it supports media types., and galleries. It’s my favourite media plugin.
WP Greet Box
One of the best ways to engage with your users is to meet them, greet them just as you would if they walked in the door of your church. WP Greet Box allows you to customise a message to your visitors depending on where they’ve come from.
Customise a message for Facebook fans, Twitter followers or people from any one of over a dozen other sites. You can extend this plugin and use it for all sorts of things.
WPTouch iPhone Theme
Okay it’s not really a theme like the WordPress themes from our friends at WooThemes, it is however a plugin that is primarily a theme. One quick install and you can have an iPhone (Android, Blackberry etc) ready website and you really SHOULD install this!
I recommend EVERY BLOG have this plugin installed as more and more people link from Twitter or Facebook on their mobiles – so meet them where they are. WPTouch iPhone Theme is free, as I’m writing this I’ve just found out they have a “pro” version too – you can learn more about WPTouch Pro here (I’ll see if I can buy a copy and review it soon)
WP Maintenance Mode
WP Maintenance Mode is now one of the first plugins I install now – it’s so much stronger than the default Maintenance Mode and gives you much more control. It comes with a selection of themes for your site, I personally love the clean elegant “Only Typo” version. With quick customisation of the message, the ability to add you Analytics code – this is a must install plugin.
I’m sure there are other gems out there – what are some of your favourites?