10 essential WordPress plugins

WordPress has developed into a full-fledged content management system -- and these plugins make it even better.

By , Computerworld |  On-demand Software, wordpress

WordPress has blossomed from its original role as a blogging platform into a full-featured content management system, able to host a variety of content types. If you want to serve audio and video podcasts, your best bet is the Blubrry PowerPress podcasting plugin.

Blubrry PowerPressClick to view larger image.

PowerPress' configuration features plenty of options, each clearly documented. You can create a single podcast for an entire site or on a per-category basis, allowing multiple podcasts per domain. PowerPress feeds are compatible with iTunes and can be submitted to Apple's podcast directory. And publishing an episode is as easy as adding a filename to the associated blog post -- if there is something wrong with your file, such as the sampling rate, PowerPress will tell you. The resulting podcast can be streamed (using one of several players, including HTML5), downloaded or embedded as the producer sees fit.

PowerPress is free; there is a premium service that adds a number of reporting features for $5/month or $50/year.

Best of all, PowerPress is developed by Blubrry, which offers free statistics about your media. Finally, you can know just how many listeners or viewers you have.

Gravity Forms

There are free WordPress add-ons -- such as Jetpack, which is also reviewed in this roundup -- that can help you create simple forms that feature text fields, checkboxes, radio buttons, etc. For a more powerful take on this functionality, try Gravity Forms, a commercial plugin.

Gravity FormsClick to view larger image.

Gravity Forms has all the basic form-building features and then some, including conditional fields, anti-spam CAPTCHAs and honeypots, and the ability to store data directly into WordPress's post database. With Gravity Forms, it's possible to create forms for event calendar submission, event registration or WordPress post entry -- the latter being especially useful if you're an editor who wants to protect your authors from the WordPress dashboard.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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