Must-Have Plugins for WordPress Developers

Adnan Raja
by (131 posts) under WordPress

WordPress is by far the most popular content management system worldwide. Let’s take a look at some of the most important plugins for developers.

  • Popularity of WordPress
  • Most Important Developer Plugins
  • One-Click WP Hosting

The growth of WordPress since its inception is mind-boggling, with a skyrocketing rise that rivaled the upward trajectory of Google or Apple or Facebook at their tipping points. WordPress is everywhere in part because there are so many useful plugins to easily expand functionality. However, the search for plugins can be a bit daunting and disorganized since there are tens of thousands of them – 42,945 official ones in the WP catalog at press time.

Let’s review the CMS’s incredible prevalence as well as the plugins that are the most helpful for developers.

Popularity of WordPress

Currently, WordPress is the CMS used by nearly 3 in 5 websites (59.2%), according to W3Techs. That proportion of the CMS market accounts for more than a quarter of all websites (25.9) around the world. A few of the largest sites that use it are Time, eBay, Best Buy, and Ford. The misconception that WordPress is just a cute tool for startups can be discarded when we see its adoption by multinational enterprises.

“[M]edia companies, web developers, and brands must surely consider WordPress as one of the best options for building a scalable and secure platform for their online presence,” notes WordCandy founder Tom Ewer.

Most Important Developer Plugins

The plugins available with WordPress really have extensive capabilities. For example, WooCommerce can give you access to a complete online store platform. However, there are also many plugins that are more specifically geared toward developers. Here are some of the most useful ones.

  1. Debug Bar

This plugin gives you an additional menu called simply “Debug” in your admin bar. When you enter the menu, you will see data such as cache and memory usage that’s helpful when you need to debug. This menu also displays PHP notices that are accessed by enabling WP_DEBUG (the PHP constant to trigger debug mode throughout WordPress).

  1. Log Deprecated Notices

Certain aspects of the WordPress code are deprecated, so you don’t want to use them. This plugin identifies deprecated elements of a plugin or theme. It also suggests other options.

  1. Monster Widget

This plugin is for anyone who is developing themes, explains Thoriq Firdaus of Hongkiat. “It contains all the 13 WordPress Core widgets – such as Text Widget, Category Widget, and Tag Cloud – in a single widget,” he says. “It’s convenient, saves a lot of time and ensures that they are presented nicely in the theme.”

  1. Regenerate Thumbnails

If you are often resizing your thumbnails of images, this plugin can make that process easier. You can regenerate the images at whatever dimensions you choose with one click. The only downside is that the processing can take a little while, based on how many images you have – and that’s particularly the case if the site is currently online.

  1. RTL Tester

Here’s something you might not think about often, but many WordPress users read languages (such as Arabic) in the opposite direction as English. You want to test your plugin with this tool to make sure everything is legible and accessible right-to-left (RTL). A button appears in the admin bar that allows you to switch between the two orientations.

  1. Simply Show IDs

On the tables within WordPress (where you see columns for Categories, Tags, etc.), this plugin will give you the entry ID. “This way you can easily grab the ID for each entry including Posts, Pages, Categories, Media, Links, and Tags,” Firdaus comments.

  1. Theme Check

This plugin is extraordinarily helpful for anyone who is creating themes. It takes your theme and makes sure it meets WP best practices. Plus, it looks for necessary aspects including author details, licenses, and the screenshot.

  1. User Switching

Do you have multiple usernames and not want to have to keep reentering passwords? This plugin allows you to do just that by creating the menu “Switch off” in your admin bar.

  1. WordPress Reset

It’s sometimes helpful to turn back time. With this plugin, you can clear out all of the content and any modifications you’ve made so that the database is in its original state. Note, though, that uploaded files will remain.

  1. Beta Tester

This plugin allows you to switch over to the upcoming, soon-to-be-released versions (Beta, Release Candidate, Nightly) of WordPress so you know everything will still function correctly.

  1. Query Monitor

This tool lets you gain access to query data, along with other information such as redirects and HTTP requests, directly through the admin bar. It has some elements that are typically not found in debuggers.

  1. WordPress Style Guide

Finally, WordPress Style Guide “provides references for developing WordPress Admin UI,” says Firdaus. “It includes references for jQuery UI Components, Forms, Helper Classes, and Dashicons, which is the new icon set used in MP6.”

One-Click WP Hosting

Developers don’t just need plugins but  lightning-fast cloud server hosting to power them and the rest of their WP environments. With Atlantic.Net’s WordPress Cloud Hosting, you only pay for what you use, and billing is in arrears on a per-second basis.

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