The purpose of this research assignment was to become familiar with available WordPress plugins and choose three based from the research to utilize and incorporate into this website.
Ninja Forms: Ninja Forms is a plugin available to create contact/submission forms for your website. This is beneficial for a portfolio site where a call-to-action may be to have an interested client have a way to easily contact the owner of the site. One pro of this plugin is that it has no limit on how many forms can be created for one site. This is a nice feature if the focused site requires different kinds of action-required fields. Reviews from verified downloaders have stated that it’s very easy to use. Reviews commonly compliment the customer service responses and regular updates, giving the plugin a 4.5 Star average from 733 ratings. The only downfall of the plugin, that may or may not be personal preference, is that the personalization may not be very versatile. (WP 4.4 or Higher)
Gallery by Huge-IT: This is a free portfolio plugin that allows for clean documentation of portfolio work. It allows for multiple kinds of image downloads, allowing the user to upload bulk images with just one click. The portfolio/gallery page provides 7 different view options to choose from. Personalize with specific sizes and the ability to add content descriptions. A huge positive feature of this plugin is that it is responsive to displays. The Pro version of this plugin does allow for more customization options. This plugin is highly rated, standing with a 4.5 Star average from 284 raters. (WP 3.5 or Higher)
WP-Smush Image Optimization: The purpose of WP-Smush Image Optimization is exactly how it sounds: Image Optimization. With this plugin, users have the ability to reduce image sizes without destroying quality. The free version of this plugin provides the basics: image optimization, imaging resizing, and uploading of up to 50 images at a time. The Pro version of this plugin allows for faster compression of larger files. This plugin has good reviews, bringing its 2,145 person review average to 5 Stars! The plugin is updated often and has many reviews complimenting the customer support. (WP 3.0.1 or Higher)