2015 Newly Released WordPress Plugins You Need to Know About

WordPress continues its rapid growth and market enlargement. One of the main reasons is the huge number of developers, designers and marketing specialists fully devoted to the community. As a result a big number of new plugins and themes are released every year.

More than 40.000 plugins with over 1 billion total downloads are listed in wordpress.org directory. One theory that goes around is that old popular plugins with years of development are a better choice for efficiently built websites or blogs. Obviously such plugins are the best in their categories in terms of design, functionality and provided support by the development team.

On the other hand a number of new plugins are released on a monthly basis, which are also great and offer really useful features. The problem is, newly released plugins usually lack reviews and ratings and it becomes difficult for people to choose the one that will be the right fit for their website. If the thought of searching new 2015 plugins through the entire WordPress directory gives you a headache, don’t worry!

Below are 12 new plugins released in 2015, which offer a sea of features and functions that you may be interested in. Give them a try and don’t forget to comment and share your experience with me and other readers as well.

1. LearnPress – WordPress Learning Management System

LearnPress

“LearnPress” is a Learning Management System(LMS) designed for WordPress. You can create, organize and sell different courses online with this plugin. You can either use Woocommerce as a shopping cart, or just activate built in integrations of PayPal and Stripe payment gateways. Each course can include curriculums, quizzes and lessons which are represented in well known WP backend interface. Another nice thing about this plugin is the increasing number of available add-ons(11) and integrations with “bbPress” and “BuddyPress”. The functionality of the plugin can be extended with this features: Prerequisites Courses before taking a course, Export & Import courses, Wishlist, Co-instructors, making courses collections, or even add more question types. The plugin is enriched with the visually nice presented documentation and introductory video. Authors also developed a premium theme to work with this plugin. This is a really great plugin which gives huge opportunities for the rapidly growing market of online courses.

2. Event Calendar WD – WordPress Calendar Plugin

Event Calendar WD

This event calendar plugin has been released in the middle of 2015 and gained a bunch of positive reviews and feedbacks. The first thing associated with this plugin is its responsiveness. It looks great on desktops as well as on mobile devices. The plugin has FREE and PRO versions. FREE version includes a default flat design with responsive layout and many options for customization. You can organize events in 4 nice looking views: month, week, list and day. PRO version offers 5 more beautiful customizable themes, recurring events functionality, support for add-ons and more. I really like “Posterboard” and “Map Views” which look very stylish and modern. This plugin has 9 add-ons including – “Frontend Event Management”, “Upcoming Events”, “Filter”, “Facebook Integration”, “gCal Integration”, “iCal Integration”, “Countdown” and etc. “Event Calendar WD” is well documented with step by step user guide and a video tutorial. Developer claims to release ticket management system as an add-on in near future. There are a lot of alternatives for this plugin, but in my opinion this one stands out for its great design and customizability.

3. Give – WordPress Donation Plugin

Give

The “Give” was designed as a niche plugin for collecting donations. Obviously you can use popular solutions like WooCommerce and “Gravity Form” for collecting donations, but it does make sense to try this professional solution as it is free, very user friendly and no need to spend hours to set it up. You can expand the functionality of the plugin with numerous add-ons available for reasonable prices, including integration with well known services like “Mailchimp” and “Zapier”. It is very easy to define the goals per donation form. You can accept single, custom, as well as multi-level donations. Plugin also supports functionality for sending customizable emails to contributors. Different payment gateways are available including “PayPal Pro”, “Stripe”, “Authorize.Net”, “PayMil”l and “WePay”. Another advantage is the robust reporting features with nice visualizations. If you want a professionally developed donation plugin for your WordPress website then this plugin is what you are looking for.

4. Portfolio – WordPress Portfolio/Grid Plugin

Portfolio

There are a lot of portfolio plugins and themes in the market. This brand new “Portfolio” plugin is distinguished in a smart way. You can present portfolio projects, as well as clients and team members in 5 different views : Masonry, Puzzle, Gallery, Our clients, Our team. If you go premium you can find 2 more layout styles, 5 popup viewer styles, social sharing integration, design customization options, custom CSS&JS, over 100 predefined animations and hover effects. The PRO version has a category filtration feature, which enables you to assign categories to each of your portfolio item. What sets this plugin apart from others is that it provides full screen project viewers with the detailed information about the portfolio project.This plugin has way more great features and they’re all totally customizable and easy to use.

5. Under construction WP – Under Construction Page and Maintenance Mode plugin

Under construction WP

This is a new and highly useful plugin for those who are still working on their websites. You can create coming soon pages in just a couple of minutes. The demo version shows visitors the coming soon page and works with most WordPress themes. Its looks great on any device and is totally customizable.You can easily add custom CSS and HTML. There are far more features in the PRO version. It enables you to add full screen images, slideshows and videos to your coming soon page. Give it a unique style by using Google and Typekit fonts. The PRO version also comes with social sharing buttons, Gravity forms, Google analytics support, email storing in the WordPress database, shortcode support, custom footer branding, multisite support and many more features. You can also select animations and different effects to make your coming soon page more attractive.

6. Better Google Analytics – Track virtually everything

Better Google Analytics

“Better Google Analytics” plugin enables you to track everything going on your website with minimum efforts. Manage your Google Analytics account within your WordPress admin area and you’re good to go. It uses all the latest features of Google Analytics enabling you to monitor and make improvements on the particular aspects of your website. It’s super easy to set up and offers a mountain of features. The basic features of the plugin include: link attribution, user registration, YouTube video engagement, file downloads, page scroll percent, external link clicks, etc. Its dimension tracking features are: tags, categories, user, author, publication year, user role. It also enables you to track social button engagement in Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Linkedin and Pinterest. “Better Google Analytics” plugin can provide site-wide or a particular page statistics. Its advanced features enable you to: adjust location of Google Analytics code, adjust Analytics sample rates, track Google Analytics Campaign by anchor or parameters, insert your own custom Google Analytics JavaScript, view Analytics reports and suppress Google Analytics tracking by user role.You’d have to go PRO if you are looking for more functions. With the PRO version you can use additional ad networks for tracking ad clicks and keep the track of server-side users. Additionally you have more heat map metrics and charting dimensions, more options for site monitoring and faster Google Analytics API calls. Priority support is yet another advantage of the PRO version.

7. Dropbox Backup & Restore – Supports WordPress Backup and Restore

Dropbox Backup & Restore

It’s a rather new plugin but the number of its installs is rapidly growing. “Dropbox Backup & Restore” plugin enables you to backup, restore, clone,duplicate or upload your website’s files and database to Dropbox. You can create full backup of your files and store it on the local storage of your website or fully backup the web page at the local storage and upload it to Dropbox. The same with restoration. You can fully restore your files from the local backup at your web hosting or restore from Dropbox backup. Restore and backup your WooCommerce shop database with its products. Additionally you can use your own app key and app secret and get a notification when logging on screen or file. The number of the local and Dropbox backups and restoring is unlimited.

8. AccessPress Social Share – Social Sharing buttons for your website.

AccessPress Social Share

“AccessPress Social Share” plugin allows you to share your website URLs in major social media profiles by using the latest APIs on your website and also shows the share counts. It will take you only a few minutes to share your content in Facebook, Twitter, Google + ,Pinterest LinkedIn and Digg and significantly extend the audience of your posts. In the FREE version you can manually choose the social media networks where you want your posts to be shared and select one of the 5 pre available themes. You can also set the order of the selected social media and display your social shares anywhere you want by using shortcodes. It’s super easy to use and compatible on mobile devices. Premium version gives you more options for themes (10) and social media (14) to select from. It has an image pin option for Pinterest, popup sharing and is compatible with WooCommerce and Buddypress. Twenty share counts themes are available.

9. Yoast Comment Hack – Make your WordPress site’s comments management easier

Yoast Comment Hack

Never before comments management was as easier and handy as with “Yoast Comment Hack”. It is a great plugin offering a bunch of features to manage the comments your visitors leave on your website.This plugin applies some simple hacks to your WordPress comments and makes them easier to handle. With “Yoast Comment Hack” plugin you can set a minimum length for comments, which will not allow shorter comments to be posted.The comment notification emails are cleaned up and there is a possibility to redirect first time commenters to the “thank you” page. WIth the admin comments link you can email individual commenters and there is a button in the WP toolbar for emailing all the people that have commented on a post.

10. Custom Login Page Styler – Make your login page stand out

Custom Login Page Styler

This is a really great plugin to style your website’s login page as you wish. It’s pretty simple to use, responsive and no coding skills or knowledge is required for its customization. The FREE version of the plugin has 24 great features at your disposal. You can change website logo and its title and redesign login screen with custom design elements. The Log In button’s style is also customizable. The premium version supports much more features which enhance the functionality and design of your login page.

11. Swifty Bar – Sticky bar at the bottom of your post

Swifty Bar

“Swifty Bar” plugin enables you to add sticky bar to your post which shows the category the post relates to, its title and author, the estimated time needed to read it, number of comments, next/previous posts and social media share buttons. It is super light and will not slow down your website processing. It provides better reader experience and will increase the number of your click throughs.

12. Simple WP Sitemap – Generates an xml and an html sitemap of your website

Simple WP Sitemap

The “Simple WP Sitemap” plugin generates mobile friendly sitemaps to your website. They are not real files that are kept in a folder or somewhere else, but get generated and updated automatically each time somebody visits them and are easily indexed. It’s simple, fast and easy to use as there is no need to create or delete files, they will be presented whenever needed to. You can also add HTML pages to your sitemaps that are not originally the part of your website and choose whether to include them in your sitemaps or not.

It’s a common truth that people are more likely to choose plugins for their websites that have been developed long time ago, have several updated versions and pages of reviews. While this may be true,this list suggests that there is a number of newly released plugins, that also offer great features and are definitely worth trying. My advice is not to look only for the plugin reviews and number of installs, but also to look at the features they offer.

If you know other newly released plugins that I missed out by chance, feel free to let me know by leaving a comment below.

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8 Comments

  1. Helpful plugins and always i have supper choose about wordpress. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Ahmed. Thank you for the comment. I’m glad the post was helpful.

  2. Hi Gayane,

    Nice roundup of WordPress plugins launched in 2015.

    I would like to add Edwiser Bridge wordpress.org/plugins/edwiser-bridge/ plugin which seamlessly integrates Moodle with WordPress.
    It helps in bringing Moodle courses to WordPress by the click of few buttons and lets users sell their Moodle course through WordPress.
    Edwiser Bridge has useful extensions like WooCommerce Integration, Single Sign On and Selective Synchronization which simplifies the selling process through WooCommerce.

    Have a look at it.

    • Hi Rajiv,
      Thank you for the plugin recommendation. Will surely check it out.

  3. Very good , more completed menu

    • Thank you for the comment. I’m glad you liked the article.

  4. Truely your article helps WordPress professionals and particulary saves lot of time searching the required right plugin. I fell this is a practically useful stuff for web developers.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Ravi

    • Hi Ravi,

      Thank you for the comment, I’m so glad you found it useful and appreciate the good feedback 🙂

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