I think I speak for all of us when I say that digital creatives like to work with the finest tools and resources available to us. However, it’s only natural that our lists of favorites should mutate as new trends and better solutions emerge. A series of products and services that were really killing it last year, simply don’t make the grade in the autumn of 2014.
So, what are the plugins that you turn to most often nowadays, to build websites? In this article, you will find a selection of over a dozen premium solutions that I believe rock the industry right now.
It is common knowledge that websites using slideshows, image galleries, or content sliders, hold a certain appeal with the audience. I am aware that the ways of integrating this type of elements in your website are manifold, yet my vote goes to the best there is: the premium solution named LayerSlider. It helps create slides that are responsive across most devices, and SEO-ready. Plus, the plugin is engineered to tackle multiple website creation platforms.
Users begin by choosing a skin. Overall, LayerSlider is available in 13 skins that set the stage for your creative endeavors. Furthermore, you are greeted by a drag-and-drop builder, which has timeline view and lets you preview everything you do in real time. Your options include choosing from 200 preset slide transitions with 2D and 3D effect, and working with a transition builder to devise custom animations. In terms of content,you are free to add HTML, text, Google Fonts, videos, and images.
My second favorite premium solution concerns e-commerce websites based on the popular software PrestaShop. PrestaNitro is a great back-end module, which even has an Envato award to show off for that. You will find that it supports multiple languages, not to mention multiple purposes.
You can use PrestaNitro in order to work straight from front office when setting up products for your online shop. In other words, you get to see the results of every template modification, and manage catalogs much easier. Basically, you have a clear path to inserting fields like name, reference, short and long description, stock, and price.
How do you usually go about creating megamenus for your PrestaShop websites? You need an advanced solution for that purpose. My recommendation is Madhai, a module based on Bootstrap, just like the default PrestaShop theme. Why would you go for it? For aesthetic reasons, to begin with. ‘Madhai’ means ‘beautiful’ and its designs stand by that denomination. What is more, this plugin is calibrated for swipe on touch-screens, and completely responsive to popular browsers and common devices.
Here, you can expect to find plenty of customization options, a 12-columns grid, as well as 50 animation effects to choose from for your drop down. Finally, Madhai is coupled with fast and helpful customer support.
In the instance where you’re creating websites on a platform like Joomla, you could make do with a plugin for shortcodes. I would recommend a premium solution such as Shortcode Ultimate Plugin. There are 60 essential shortcodes on the table, and you can use its intuitive drag-and-drop interface in order to create any number of varieties. You get to preview your work in real time, and are able to choose between working on front office, or not.
If your website tells a good story, then the public will rush in to see what it’s all about. One of the best and most visual ways to grip your audience is by setting up an image collage. For WordPress, CollageMaker does the trick. Use it with confidence to integrate tiled, tiled mosaic, or randomly-styled collages, display them in a sidebar, and even allow visitors the interactive function of moving them around. Images open in a lightbox, and You can insert a custom URL link on each of them.
Any web designer and web developer can testify to the importance of knowing your website users. Collecting data is all the more crucial in the case of Magento stores, since in e-commerce it’s easier to sell products that people actually need. Thus, you should consider the customer account area or checkout registration as opportune venues to ask pertinent questions. Feel free to use this extension, and create as many customer attributes as you please.
WordPress projects can always use some shortcodes, especially if they entail the forging of blogs or virtual stores. Why not have a go with Lizatom Shortcodes Plugin, and see what you think? I believe its colossal selection of shortcodes is worthy of attention. No less than 5000 shortcodes are ready to respond to your every request. You get CSS3 buttons, tooltips, info boxes, and pricing tables, and can easily add a 3D shadow effect to your images, add pricing tables, reveal text in accordion style, not to mention customize order lists.
One of the essential characteristics of a great website is high-level user experience. Enhancing the way people interact on your website is a sure ticket to boost user experience on the whole. Therefore, it makes sense to turn to a premium plugin like UserPro, an excellent profile management tool. With it, you get loads of display options to set up site member directories. Besides, you can use it to create registration forms, assign them various roles, and let users reach social networks fast.
The only reason why social sharing and following are so important to your website, is that they have the power to increase incoming traffic. So, you stand much to gain by enlisting the help of a premium plugin for social sharing. Monarch allows you to choose from 40 networks, style up buttons for some of the most popular ones, and show them on your web page in 8 different locations. Apart from that, Monarch also monitors user engagement in time.
MailChimp is such a wonderful tool for e-mail marketing, don’t you agree? If you hold this statement to be true, then good MailChimp WordPress integration is desirable. Chimpy can really help you with that. You can use this premium plugin to create registration forms, display them in engaging pop-ups, show comment forms, and synchronize all users across WordPress. Lastly, you can also try the effective marketing stunt that only makes certain website content available to confirmed members.
Nothing comes close to visual elements when you want website visitors to pay heed to its content. The importance of that appeal is even greater for web stores, so you have to find a proper way to display product images. If you were to map out each product image with informative pins, then this would serve to keep potential clients on the same page while getting to know their product. iMapper can help you customize a pin styles, or you can choose preset designs, and place the pins anywhere on your image.
Want a straightforward yet proficient tool to help you sell woocommerce subscriptions through your website? Say no more. I can vouch for a premium plugin that helps you ace that area. Subscriptio is a fine tool for dealing with every single detail that concerns your subscriptions, and it’s complete with hooks and filters for professionals. Among other things, you can use Subscriptio to establish the length of suspension periods for subscribers, and often they get to receive reminders.
The layout of your website content weighs tons when visitors are trying to decide whether it’s worth their time or not. On average, it takes a few seconds to come to a conclusion in that sense. Content timelines turn that decision into an easy one to make, and a possitive one at that. Care to transfigure your website’s user experience? Use the Content Timeline plugin and its 11 customization options. Display any amount of groups and numbers in chronological (or otherwise) points that show text to the left and to the right.
How well do you usually handle time pressure? Web developers and web designers are no strangers to it, as every project has to be completed before a certain deadline. You know what really cuts corners? Code-exempting solutions. For example, you can opt for a special WordPress plugin that allows you to work in front office, and so finish projects faster. You need not worry, as FrontEnd Page Builder offers sophisticated features,and comes with first-class support.
You might also want to accelerate the marketing force of your websites. If they happen to be based on Joomla, use this clever plugin to display a pop-up for your readers just as they show signs of heading towards the exit. The pop-up is certainly bound to get their attention.
I am going to end my list of competent premium plugins with a responsive plugin for WordPress themes. Check out this premium solution for Awesome Support. A Responsive Ticket System is just what your website needs to keep clients happy, and make sure they are spreading news of your professional services.
– – –
This concludes my compilation of astute plugins. Although this has been a subjective account through and through, I believe that each and every solution presented here follows the current industry standards to the letter. As such, these premium plugins are bound to satisfy the demands of any web developer or web designer. I hope you enjoyed my article, and found helpful information in it. If you have anything to say, then please leave a comment.