New Free WordPress Plugins January Week 1 2019

This is a new series I have decided to launch to help new plugins and developers get more attention. I know what it’s like to be the little guy, and I want to give my support to them as well. If you are a developer and you want to send me your latest plugin feel free to contact me. It’s a difficult task going through the repository to find the latest and greatest plugins, so I’m hopeful the community will share with me their greatest unnoticed finds.

About Testing

Each plugin was installed and uninstalled on a development server I run using the OceanWP Theme. In my research, OceanWP is the most used WordPress / WooCommerce Theme in the WordPress Theme Repository at over
200,000 Active Installations. I used this theme not because it’s one of my favorites ( which it is ), but because it is widely used and if everything works for me more than likely it would work for others.

Table of Contents

WP Performance

I came across a lot of duds in my search of this weeks releases, and let me just say… This is not one of them. WP Performance was a mind blowing plugin that I found. It’s performance ( pun intended ) was exceptional! From my PageSpeed Insights test it went from a score of 6 to a score of 70! This is over a 1000% increase in page speed from one plugin. Along with such a performance boost, was it’s vast amount of settings. This is amazing for a free plugin. Special shout-out to Ante Laca for such a job well done!

WP Performance Screenshots

WP Performance Speed Test Results
WP Performance Settings
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Scheduled Post Planner

Another great find to help those who plan out their blog posts is the Scheduled Post Planner. Anytime you create a new post, at a glance on the bottom right you can see your scheduled posts that are queued up to go out. This should help prevent any overlap with posts that are going out. My only suggestion ( Matthew if you a reading this ) is to make show Scheduled Posts on the Dashboard of the Admin Panel.

Scheduled Post Planner Screenshot

WP Timeliner

WP Timeliner is great to show off your business status. Share how you came into the light on an easy to use plugin. When I first installed this, I was thinking “I wish it had custom icons”, which come to find out, it does! You can even add buttons to take the viewer to maybe a dedicated blog post about your achievements. You can also have multiple time lines on different pages using blocks. My only issue in my testing, was the OceanWP theme seemed to overwrite some text sizes. I fixed that pretty quickly with some added code, but from my experience with the plugin, it was easily customized.

p.wpt-meta {
    font-size: 22px!important;
}
WP Timeliner Screenshots

Delivery Area with Google Maps

This next free WordPress Plugin is a must have for delivery services. Delivery Area with Google Maps allows you to easily display where you deliver or service to. There are two downsides I found with this plugin

  • Requires Google Maps API which costs money
  • Requires Delivery Area with Google Maps Pro ( $16 ) to block non deliverable / serviceable areas

Yes I know this is a free plugin post, but technically it is free, and one of the only free ones that I found that had the feature set the developer listed. Any others I found were paid plugins such as WooCommerce Delivery Area Pro and had no trial that you could use. It also appeared that most of these plugins were not in active development, as WooCommerce Delivery Area Pro was last updated in August of 2018.

Delivery Area with Google Maps Screenshots

Honorable Mentions

These are plugins I thought would have been great… had they worked. These are plugins I plan on keeping an eye on and will update as the developers work to improve them across all themes.

Awesome Wp Team Member

The idea was great behind this, the design looked good, and implementation was easy, but I disliked the team members profile image was distorted. Upon digging to see if there were other available alternatives I found Team Members, which is further developed than Awesome Wp Team Member. However I can see as the plugin grows Team Members could have some competition. I also would like to note that Team Members does have a pro version for $19, I believe if Awesome Wp Team Member were to implement some of those features and bring others to the table in his or her own premium version, they could gain more installs and begin to generate revenue. This would allow those needing certain features out of the box to choose between the two.

Team Members Pro Features

  • New picture on hover
  • Member height equalizing
  • Full-width pictures
  • Additional info. box
  • Picture filters
  • Per-member color
  • Two more social links for each member.

WooCommerce Coupon URL

I was actually really excited for this plugin, but upon installation and creation of a coupon, the url parameter did not work. I decided to give this plugin a follow as many of these types of plugins are not free, and this is really helpful for marketing and affiliation purposes.

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