Plugins, modules, and extensions are the real attractions that all content management systems (CMS) are famous for. Apart from the thousands of free plugins that WordPress provides, the WordPress community also offers a plethora of both free and premium widgets (a block, usually placed in the sidebar, that displays some data or provides functionality in the front end). Here today we have compiled a list of the best WordPress widgets ever that provide some really cool features:
1. WP MashSocial Widget
WP MashSocial Widget allows you to display social media profiles on a sidebar widget similar to what Mashable.com used to show before it got revamped this year. The plugin has 20 configurable settings for the widget that allows total control over the look and behavior of the widget.
WP MashSocial widget is free and currently supports social networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google Plus. We are also using this widget on Chillopedia and you can view its live example in our sidebar.
2. iMapper – Word Press Image Mapper / Pinner
iMapper is a powerful premium widget that lets you pin stuff on an image of your choice. The widget offers numerous pins of its own, along with the ability to attach multiple customized pins on a single image. Its intuitive and easy-to-use interface makes it much more comfortable to work with even for newbies.
iMapper widget is a pure gem for e-commerce sites as it allows them to provide more info about the products in a very user-friendly way.
3. Widgets on Pages
Widgets on Pages is a free WordPress plugin that allows you to display widgets on specific pages of your website. This is especially useful for displaying widgets like ‘About us’, ‘Popular Posts’, and links to other sections of a blog on a page (inside the content area).
4. UberGrid – Responsive Grid Builder
UberGrid is a responsive grid that is used to present anything that can be presented with cells including portfolios, pictures, blog posts, etc. This premium widget has a default style (that gives the default width to the target page) for newbies but also offers full customization of the styling and appearance of the grid.
A really cool bonus feature of UberGrid is its responsive lightbox for images, Google Maps, YouTube, and Vimeo videos.
5. Testimonial Rotator
Testimonial Rotator creates a testimonial custom post type in the WordPress admin area that allows users to add testimonials. These testimonials are then automatically rotated in the widget that can be embedded anywhere in your theme’s widget areas.
6. UberMenu – WordPress Mega Menu Plugin
UberMenu is a premium WordPress plugin that offers responsive, modern, and highly customizable Menus. It is really powerful, simple to customize, and has super light CSS and HTML.
We at Chillopedia are also using UberMenu along with its premium extensions that further extend its functionalities. The plugin supports mobile phones and tablets as well and has a wide range of built-in features (even without its premium extensions).
7. Hide My WP
More often than not, publishers need to hide the fact that their site is powered by WordPress, either because of avoiding security threats or simply because they don’t want to disclose the type of platform their website is using.
Hide My WP is a premium widget that not only hides the fact that a site is powered by WordPress but also gives cool customized URLs and permalinks for admin areas.
8. Tabbed Login Widget
Tabbed Login Widget provides the necessary functionality to publishers so that they can allow users to log in from the sidebar of a WordPress site.
Tabbed Login Widget allows users to log in from any page of the blog and upon logging in, it redirects them to the page they logged in from instead of the main page of the blog.
9. WordPress Live Chat Plugin For Sales and Support
WordPress Live Chat Plugin for Sales and Support is a premium plugin that displays a chat widget in the front end. Apart from the basic chat functionality, the plugin offers a number of other cool features such as chat logs, contact forms, notification emails, etc.
WordPress Live Chat Plugin for Sales and Support is open source with fully customizable skins and even allows users to create their own operators.
10. WordPress Social Stream
WordPress Social Stream plugin allows you to create a single feed widget for displaying all of your social network streams in one place in the form of either a rotating feed list or jQuery-powered ‘Social Network Wall’.
WordPress Social Stream is really helpful in increasing user engagement on your blog and making your blog stand out of the crowd. Currently, the widget supports 15 popular social networks including LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and Facebook, along with dozens of feed customization options.
11. Smooth Slider
Smooth Slider is a free slider widget that allows users to create dynamic slideshows for featured posts, images, and custom post types. It comes with six different built-in slider effects and is easy to customize.
Admins can preview the Smooth Slider slideshows and control slide settings from the admin panel easily.
12. Booking System PRO
Feel a need to have a proper log for booking and reservations on a WordPress site? If yes then this is just the right plugin for you. The plugin adds an extensive booking system that lets users create bookings and reservations on a WordPress blog quite intuitively.
Booking System PRO is responsive, can handle multiple sites and users, and comes with an integrated PayPal payment system.
13. Tabs Widget For WordPress
Tabs Widget for WordPress is a premium widget that creates a tabbed panel on your blog that shows all the different content types on the blog varying from popular posts to the latest tweets.
The tabs provided by Tabs Widget for WordPress can rotate upon being clicked by the user which saves a lot of space in the sidebar.
14. Justified Image Grid – Premium WordPress Gallery
Do you want your images to display on your blog in a more professional way? The Justified Image Grid plugin displays all the images in a very fancy magazine-style widget. When an image in the widget gets clicked, it opens up in a fancy lightbox that has many other gimmicks.
Justified Image Grid is fully customizable with over 200+ variations and is fully compatible with images from Instagram, Flickr, Facebook, and many more.
15. Category Posts Widget
This widget does one thing and does it perfectly. The Category Posts Widget shows the most recent posts from a single category that the user selects.
Category Posts Widget allows multiple widgets and also allows users to set some basic configuration options like limit count for max number of posts to show etc.
16. Testimonials Widget
Testimonials Widget plugin installs a widget that lets users showcase random quotes, reviews, portfolios, or selected content with text and images on their blogs.
It is free and supports videos, multiple widgets, and shortcodes also.
17. LivIcons for WordPress – Animated Vector Icons
LivIcons for WordPress integrates easily with any WordPress site and provides a thorough admin settings page to allow users to configure the overall options of the plugin.
18. Fancy Text Widget
Just like the name suggests, Fancy Text Widget allows bloggers to choose from a variety of fonts, colors, backgrounds, and styles to create customized text blocks. Some users even create attractive web banners with this widget.
Fancy Text Widget is a premium widget and provides a wide range of icons, tapes, and pins, apart from its other paid extensions.
19. Popular Bar Post Widget
The Popular Bar Post Widget is a beautiful premium widget that allows users to display the popular posts of a blog in the sidebar. The widget offers either to show popular posts w.r.t number of comments or w.r.t number of comments.
We at Chillopedia are also using Popular Bar Post Widget as it is super light, very easy to modify (through changing its actual code), and consistently shows a very high CTR.
20. Sidebar Manager Light
Sidebar Manager Light plugin allows webmasters to replace their existing sidebars on specific pages to display customized sidebars.
Sidebar Manager Light is free and boasts several powerful features such as the creation of an unlimited number of customized sidebars and restricting sidebars to appear for specific user roles.
21. Royal Slider
Royal Slider is an influential image gallery and content slider. The slider template is both responsive and highly customizable. It is extremely powerful and user-friendly.
Royal Slider also supports videos, lazy loading, SEO features, customized skins, and templates.
22. Interactive World Maps
Interactive World Maps is a free plugin that provides an HTML-powered interactive world map widget with clickable regions that show more information upon user interaction.
Interactive World Maps also features pop-up windows on mouse-over, customized links, and mobile support.
23. PayPal Donations
Paypal Donations is a free and powerful plugin that quickly integrates a Paypal donation sidebar widget in a WordPress blog. It also supports shortcodes which makes theme integration easier.
Paypal Donations plugin works out of the box and provides a detailed admin menu in the back end for the configuration of the overall settings of the plugin.
24. Emma Boxes – Multipurpose Boxes
Although the Emma Boxes plugin was first exclusively developed for showing woocommerce content, it is now being used for a range of purposes.
Emma Boxes enables users to display the content of their own choice in custom-designed pages or layouts with ease. All the layouts that a user generates are responsive and attractive.
25. Xhanch My Twitter
Xhanch My Twitter allows users to include a Twitter widget in their sites that can show tweets, replies, retweets, and much more from one or more Twitter accounts.
Xhanch My Twitter is absolutely free and is one of the best Twitter plugins for WordPress that completely integrates Twitter with a WordPress blog.
Which of the above-mentioned WordPress widgets do you find the most useful? Share with us your thoughts in the comments section below!
Title Image Courtesy: Flickr/cogdog