WP Plugin Review: Testimonials and Making Photos Great Again

What makes a website pop? Well, that’s easy: photos! Of course, adding photos to every post can be quite a chore so here are a few plugins that can help you.

Another thing that will make your site pop, especially if you use it to attract clients, are testimonials. Don’t forget to add one and read on for a bonus tip about testimonials below.

testimonials plugin

Advanced Testimonials

Every good site needs testimonials. After all, who else will brag about your work but yourself? Kidding aside, I find that most clients and buyers just want the assurance that someone else bought from you and liked your work, so even a simple testimonial will work.

To make that job easier, you can use this plugin and have all your testimonials in one place. Creating a testimonial is just like making a post, with the feature image becoming the testimonial giver’s head shot and the body as the feedback. Don’t forget to add the name and designation, very important!

When displaying the testimonials, all you need is to add a shortcode in whatever content you want it to show up in. The slider will appear and you can also customize the columns, styles and filtering of which elements you want to see.

Overall, I think it’s a simple solution for adding and recycling testimonials in a variety of your site’s pages. One tip: also add testimonials to your checkout and thank you pages. I’ve discovered this really improves conversion rates and trust in your site.

unique uploaded media names

Unique Uploaded Media Name

One issue I’ve always encountered in multi-author WordPress blogs is everyone uploading different images with the same name. It even happens when I’m just updating an image, like for example when cropping it to focus on a key part of the image. What the site does is it still shows the previous image even if you’ve deleted and replaced the old one, which can be a minor annoyance (or even a major hassle if you need to redo a lot of the links).

For one of my sites, I had to code up a solution for this but luckily, regular WordPress owners can just install the plugin up top.

It works in the background and appends a unique string to each media upload. This takes care of all the duplicate image names and works even when adding the same exact image. If you’ve ever had multiple authors quarrel over image names and overwriting other people’s photos, this should put a stop to that quick.

wordpress plugin to embed facebook photos

HMAK Facebook Photos

I’ve talked about importing social content in a previous post and how it can really make your content updating work easier. Here’s another plugin along the same lines. And while what it does is very simple, you’ll need some elbow grease to set it up.

Thankfully, the plugin author added a few guides inside the plugin itself. Setting up a Facebook app is required for these types of plugins, so make sure you follow how to get one. And yes, you might need to set up a Facebook page if you don’t have one yet.

Once you’ve added the app secret and ID,  all you need to do is click on the FB Photos button in the content formatting menu then insert your photo or album ID. Don’t worry, the author also added a guide to help you get that ID number.

The photos will automatically show up in your post and it’s also auto-updated whenever you add new pictures, in the case of albums.

This plugin is actually an ingenious solution to another issue many small sites have: disk space. If you have tons of photos but not much storage space with your host, you can just throw all those images on Facebook and embed it into your site, complete with captions.

wp plugin show featured image


Another simple problem solved, this time making it easy to check what featured image was used by each post. To be honest, I’m confused why this isn’t built into WordPress yet since posts definitely need a featured image to attract readers on social media.

You usually want to check whether you’ve used a given image for a post already so this is an easy way to do that. But the better use case is actually easily identifying which posts don’t have Featured Images. I’m pretty sure that a few of us have forgotten to add a feature image for our newest article, only to realize it once we’ve shared the post on Facebook or Twitter.

Simple and fast solution to a problem we never thought we had.


WP Plugin Review: Import Social to WP, Fix Image Cropping, and More

I’m starting a new series here where I review some of the newest plugins I’ve found in the WordPress directory. Now while these plugins are quite new and might break, I did test them so they should work fine with your site.

Some add really cool features to your site while others fix long time annoyances. Check them out below!

WP Plugin Review: Social Importer

WP Social Importer

I have to be honest, this plugin is great! You can update your blog by just posting on your Facebook Page, Instagram account or Twitter feed. This plugin grabs everything else you need including the picture, link and content.

Or if you still want to keep blogging, you can use your Facebook posts as extra content for it, for example when you’re posting on the go.

All you’ll need is to create a Facebook app. Don’t worry if that sounds too technical for you, the plugin will point you to an easy-to-follow tutorial. I’ve tried it myself and it works quite smoothly after you’ve set it up, letting you choose which posts to import and how to import them (you can save them as drafts first).

Take a look at it if you post often on social media or just want an easier way to update your blog.

disable WordPress registration page

Disable Registration Page

Here’s a simple solution to an age-old headache in WordPress. If your site has been around for any amount of time, you’ll have your fair share of spam registrations.

Why bots keep on registering accounts with dummy emails but not confirming them is beyond me. What I do know is that these spam users make it harder for me to look up true users in my site, and they also clog up my database with useless metadata.

One solution is to just turn off regular registration via the Settings page but this often turns off the ability to register even for legitimate users. This plugin, on the other hand, only disables the built-in registration page of WordPress. You can continue to happily use any other registration method like other plugins or even creating accounts on your own, if you’re just a small site.

If you’re concerned about hackers getting into your site through dummy accounts, just use this simple plugin. All you need to do is to install it and you can go about your other business without worries.

crop thumbnail with SmartCrop plugin


One of the annoyances when uploading images to posts is how WordPress always creates funny thumbnails because it merely relies on centering the image and cropping that to get your thumbnail image. Of course, we’ve long adjusted to this little quirk of WordPress but I think it’s high time we’ve found a solution to this.

Thankfully, popular WordPress dev Viper007Bond, maker of the Regenerate Thumbnails plugin, created an automatic solution for us. Just upload your images as usual and when you need the thumbnail, you’ll get one that’s centered on the most interesting part of the image, whether it’s off the side or not.

It’s a great addition to archive pages which use thumbnails when listing posts, making them a bit more interesting. I haven’t tested it with Woocommerce shops but I think this would be an excellent addition to those types of ecommerce sites as well.

Tilt Photo Hover Effect

So how this works is you get a button on your Edit Post screen and you can insert a photo while adding a few visual effects to it. While I would have preferred a more visual settings screen, it does the work of adding crazy hover effects to your included photos. I guess it uses CSS3 transformations and animations to achieve the effects?

But it is a really eye-catching way to make your photos interactive, letting visitors change the angle of the photo when hovering over it. It might be something to grab the attention of your visitors though honestly, I’m still trying to figure out how I could use this. It’s a cool effect, nonetheless.

By the way, if you have a plugin that you think would help other WordPress users and it’s in the public WordPress directory, let me know! I’m always looking for new plugins to try out and share.

PS: Did you know that the plugin cards above were automatically generated by WordPress? All I did was paste the link and you get a nice way to display your plugins. Neat, right?