Cool WordPress Widgets
The sidebar of your WordPress site is an important part of the design. If you’ve got a cool and professional looking sidebar it can add a lot of value to your site. In this post I’m going to share some cool WordPress widgets that I think you’ll like…
1 – Ad Codes Widget
This is probably one of the most useful widgets you can add to your site. Whether you’re looking to monetize your site with CPA or CPM ads from networks like Adsense or Adbrite etc, or use affiliate ads, this will let you put whatever size of advertisement you want right on your sidebar. It supports all types of ads from HTML and JS, to iFrame and PHP. There’s also multi-widget options and support for shuffle rotations, so you can have multiple ads and have them rotate to a different position on each page load.
Out of all the cool WordPress widgets I’ve tried, this is another one of my favourites. The Mini Mail Dash Widget lets you send and receive e-mail on the WordPress admin panel. One of its most useful features is that it can notify you by SMS when someone emails you, or when someone comments on a post. It supports POP3, IMAP, PHP, SMTP, and file attachments. Everything is configurable within the dashboard.
This is a plugin that allows your visitors to comment, login, or register using one of their existing social networking accounts, I’ve included it in this list because it gives you the option of displaying it as a widget as well. It supports 14 different types of accounts including Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, MSN, LinkedIn, and even PayPal! The purpose of this plugin is to encourage user engagement, which I think it does really well.
The recent posts widget that comes with WordPress offers no control over which posts are displayed, that’s where Special Recent Posts comes in! As well as being able to display thumbnails, you get control over which posts are actually displayed in the sidebar, and it has a huge selection of other options too. This is in my opinion the best free recent posts widget available for your WP site.
Just like the name suggests, this widget allows you to display testimonials on your sidebar. It is especially useful of you’re running an online store or selling any kind of product or service. Testimonials are in the HTML source which means it can be seen by the search engines. The testimony, author and source fields are all clickable and it has a very useful admin interface.
That’s it for now, I’ll most likely do a part 2 to this later. One thing I do want to mention before I finish up though, is that whenever you add a widget that isn’t already included with WP, it has to be added by installing a plugin which can actually cause your site to load more slowly. It doesn’t tend to be an issue but it might be something you want to keep an eye on. I use Pingdom Tools to monitor my site’s performance, you should check it out!