5 Free WordPress Plugins To Speed Up Your Design Workflow

Authored By: James LePage
Published On: August 27, 2020

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If you're a developer/designer building one of the 500+ WordPress websites launched daily, you're probably well versed with the CMS. It's an extremely powerful platform that allows you to easily build out websites for all use cases. With more than 54,000 free plugins and 4000 free themes, you have a robust collection of ways to extend the functionality of the platform. 

Today we're going to take a look at 5 free WordPress plugins that you can use to speed up your design workflow, creating better final products more efficiently. 

1. WP Jump Menu

WP Jump Menu allows you to create a backend dropdown menu, containing links to popular pages, posts, for other subpages. 

If you have a page that you consistently edit, you can display it in the dropdown using this plugin. Instead of having to navigate to “Pages” on the backend, searching for your specific page and clicking “edit”, you can simply toggle the dropdown menu and click directly into the page. 

A single click brings you to the backend entry, while shift clicking will load the frontend page (if applicable). If you find yourself constantly editing the same number of pages, using this plugin to create a simple backend shortcut could save you a lot of time. 

2. Advanced CSS Editor

Advanced CSS Editor lets you add custom CSS code for each major screen size (desktop, tablet, mobile, -- there’s also a global option).

This is a great way to make your website more responsive by applying specific CSS styling to individual devices. You can do this by adding media rules in your global CSS stylesheet, but this plugin removes the need to do so (and saves you a lot of typing). 

Instead of this, 

@media only screen and (max-width: 600px) { body { font-size: 1.2em; } }

You just need to select the screen size that you want your CSS code to apply to. No media queries required! 

3. Debug Bar

This plugin adds a top bar that displays your cache, query, and additional debugging information. It displays all the basic information that you'll need to identify any issues with your WordPress website and resolve them. 

You can also set it up to track and display PHP warnings/notices and mySQL queries. There are several additional plugins that you can use in tandem to extend the functionality of the debug bar and display additional information. 

Created by the same team behind the WordPress CMS, you know that this plugin is helpful and well designed. 

4. User Switching

If you're building a website that makes use of WordPress’ user roles and management capabilities, User Switching could be a great plugin to incorporate into your workflow. You can quickly jump between multiple user accounts by clicking on a link, eliminating the need to login and logout manually. 

Not only is this plugin quick and easy to integrate, it's secure and compatible with many major WordPress plugins like BuddyPress and WooCommerce. 

This could be especially helpful if you’re restricting content for specific user roles and want to see what it looks like to them on the front end. 

5. Adminimize

Adminimize Is a free plugin that allows you to manage and customize the WordPress Admin area. The main functionality that Adminimize brings to the table is the ability activate/deactivate every part of the admin menu.

This is helpful because you can hide aspects of the WordPress admin back-end depending on the user role. For example, you could choose to only display the posts page on the backend for an Author, while displaying “posts and pages” to an Editor. This reduces the risk of a user doing something they shouldn't and breaking the website -- saving you time in the long run. 

You can also customize the admin menus to match your workflow, leading to a more efficient and quicker creation process. 

By incorporating some of these plugins into your WordPress design/development workflow, you should be able to spend more of your time actually focused on the creative aspect of web design. Better yet, all of these are freely available from the WordPress plugin repository and can be installed into your installation in one click. 

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Alex K P
2 months ago

thank you so much for sharing this article. this is very helpful.

Bookmarked.

James LePage is the founder of Isotropic Design, a digital agency that builds WordPress websites. I read, write and design constantly!

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