Efficiency = ratio of useful work to energy expended. In other words, being productive is the state of doing better work in lesser time, with even lesser input on your part. Long story short, as a WordPress developer, I need tools that will physically make otherwise tedious WordPress tasks easier to accomplish.
In this post, I have listed 7 of the lesser known but brilliant (and mostly free) tools that will lessen your burden and improve your efficiency (and therefore productivity!) while trying to accomplish some significant tasks on WordPress.
There are no frills and whistles. Install the plugin, get your Google UA (Universal Analytics) tracking ID, insert it in plugin configuration screen, and let this sweet little thing do the rest.
It’s a reliable plugin.
Markdown QuickTags is perfect for publishers who write well in English, but often stumble their way through HTML tags that are necessary for good writing on the web.
Simply put, the plugin will replace your WordPress TinyMCE’s HTML editor with Markdown (a specific language developed by Gruber and Schwartz that lets you write in plain text and converts it automatically into HTML). Some of Markdown syntax (available here) has already been adopted, but for the rest, this plugin’s set of formatting buttons will ease your way.
If you’re publishing a lot of posts centered on web development and code (with a lot of snippets in it), SyntaxHighlighter Evolved will help make your code snippets readable.
The plugin basically lets you post highlighted syntax as part of your post content on WordPress without letting the HTML tags get messed up upon publication (which happens more often than you’d believe, trust me).
Note: Make sure to read the “Notes about Implementation” section on plugin description page.
For front end developers, or site admins who are proficient in CSS, this plugin will give a lot of room to stretch legs in easily.
With Scripts n Styles installed, you can add custom CSS code snippets and scripts to any specific selection of posts and pages. You can apply those same changes globally without touching style.css in your installation directory. And you are free to choose where in the page template you want to insert your CSS in.
For immediate, on the spot CSS edits and previews, this plugin is great.
TablePress by TobiasPg can easily become a premium plugin and people would continue using it even at the cost of a fortune. It’s that good.
It’s also quite simple: You get a nice, easy to use spreadsheet-style interface to put your data (in rows and columns) and the plugin arranges it into beautiful, elegant, and responsive tables that you can put in your posts, pages, and even widgets using a shortcode.
The plugin supports every data type and mathematical formulas, and the published table can be sorted and comes loading pagination, filters, and more at the front end for your visitors. You can import/export data from Excel, CSV, HTML, JSON files as well.
Tell me you won’t pay a premium for it.
Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s the second GA related plugin. I am yet to find a better analytics and tracking service than Google Analytics.
Google Analytics Dashboard for WP, quite frankly, brings all that fantastical data collection power and stats straight to your WordPress dashboard. This saves you the time and hassle of going back and forth between the Analytics dashboard and your WP Admin.
The plugin, as an added bonus, also simplifies the page reports and allows you to segment your collected data further based on each post/ page, just like WordPress users always wanted.
Every WordPress user (and their fairy godmother) knows about Akismet. It’s a staple, for cripes’ sake.
This free and powerful beast in the form of antispam plugin is shipped with every WordPress install. I included this particular one in the list of productivity tools because of its smart algorithm, that mimics your own comment moderation behavior to sort spam from genuine comments and automates the entire thing: thus saving you a whole load of time.
Not all of these plugins are strictly ‘obscure’, but I needed to get this off my chest: Productivity on WordPress isn’t a personal motivation crap. You can twiddle the settings of your SEO plugin all you want, but only long term input and consistently posting quality posts will take you to the top of SERP rankings. And since no plugin can automate that job yet, the very idea that SEO plugins enhance ‘productivity’ is laughable.
Go ahead. Tell me I’m wrong.
Author Bio: Lucy Barret is the author here. She is an experienced web developer and a passionate blogger. She is an HTML to WordPress conversion expert at HireWPGeeks Ltd and handles all major projects along with her team of developers.