One of the best things about WordPress is the ability to extend its functionality by adding plugins.
The idea of this post is to provide a point of reference, a list, of some of the greats – selecting some plugins from this list should help you find that elusive, desirable plugin that you’ve been looking for. But there’s more, I would very much like you to comment on this list with your own suggestions, and we can go beyond the 19 plugins listed below.
All in One SEO Pack – I like to mix and match my SEO plugins, and I have written a list of SEO plugins I like before, however, if you would like one plugin to do all the work for you, give this one a try. I found this an interesting plugin, and it does work out of the box, but don’t let it be the only SEO plugin you ever use.
Google Sitemap – This plugin will generate a sitemap, which is read by the search engines, it is compatible with ASK.com, Google, MSN Search and YAHOO – which are also notified when you publish a new post.
Add This– Add this is nothing too exciting, it’s in the simplicity of the plugin I find greatness, placing the ‘Add This’ Social Bookmarking Widget on your site or blog, allows any visitor to easily bookmark it. One-click lists all the popular social networking sites which you can use to bookmark. It’s probably not the best bookmarking solution, but it is the easiest to use.
Akismet– I don’t think this anti-spam solution needs any introduction, but ill give it one, Akismet comes with WordPress, and in my opinion is the spiders’ web for catching unwanted flies, or as the folks over at Automattic say “Kismet (Akismet for short) is a collaborative effort to make comment and trackback spam a non-issue and restore innocence to blogging, so you never have to worry about spam again.”
Feedburner Feedsmith– Feedburner is a nice indication of who is reading your blog, well, who is subscribed to your feed to be exact – we have to assume some people still navigate the web also. “Feedburner Feedsmith is a plugin that uses Google Feedburner site to monitor your feed traffic by detecting all the ways to access your original WordPress feeds and redirects them to your FeedBurner feed so you can track subscribers.”
Flickr Photo Album – Your Flickr photos on your site! Although WordPress now has a pretty good gallery/media management tool, the Flickr Photo Album can pull in your Flickr hosted photos so you can display them on your website. You can insert your images into posts or create a gallery of photos also.
Subscribe to Comments– There is talk in the WordPress community of this plugin being integrated into WordPress itself. Subscribe to comments is a plugin that allows commenter’s on your blog to check a box before commenting and get an e-mail notification of further comments. The beauty of this is to create a continuing relationship with readers who can return to the post with additional comments, keeping the conversation flowing.
Twitter Tools– Alex King does some pretty cool plugins, and Twitter Tools is no exception, with this tool you can post your tweets on your blog and pass your blog posts to Twitter. It also has a written screen for creating new tweets. One drawback is if you edit an old post for whatever reason, it does post that as an update on Twitter – which you may not want. It still is very good integration between twitter your blog.
WordPress Database Backup – I wrote about backing up before, this is a must-have really, WP-DB-Backup allows you easily to backup your core WordPress database tables. You may also backup other tables in the same database.
What Would Seth Godin Do– A message to new visitors, this plugin can be used to remind new visitors to subscribe to your feed. The default message, which can be changed says, “If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!” After 5 visits the message disappears. You can customize this message, its lifespan, and its location.
WordPress.com Sats– This places your blog traffics stats on your WP Dashboard, it includes a graph and the stats most bloggers need, although it does require you to log in to view the stats, as it’s hosted on wordpress.com. “Automattic created its own stats system, to focus on just the most popular metrics a blogger wants to track and provide them in a clear and concise interface. “
SEO Title Tags– I previously developed a website that got an incredible amount of traffic (by my standards at least), what surprised me was one of the most important things search engines looked at was the title of your post. “Title tags should incorporate synonyms and alternate phrases to capture additional search visibility. Now, thankfully, there is a solution”.
WP Super Cache – This one is clever, and something I decided not to use until I realized that one of my blogs really needed it. “This plugin generates static HTML files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After an HTML file is generated your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts”. At the end of the day, all this seems to mean is it takes the pressure off WordPress and speeds uploading if you have a good view of visitors or many SQL queries running.
cformsII – contact form – Placing your e-mail address on your site ( I have done this – tut – tut) can result in a sizable about of spam, placing a contact form on your site can alleviate this problem and also make your site more user-friendly and professional looking. cformsII manages this task for you, it comes with many options which can be a bit confusing, so I would say to take a look at the documentation before playing too much with it.
WordPress Automatic upgrade – There is much hype around this, and it does sound like a great plugin, so I have included it in my list, however, I have not tried this plugin, and to be honest I am not going to, I am cautious about this and am going to wait for a WordPress version ( if that happens).
Similar Posts – No doubt you will have seen related posts on blog entries you have read, well here is a plugin that does just that, Similar Posts displays a list of posts that are similar or related to the current posts.
WP-Polls – Its time to take a Poll, if you don’t want to use one of the third-party hosted polls that are out there, WP-Polls should be what you need “WP-Polls is extremely customizable via templates and CSS styles and there are tons of options for you to choose to ensure that WP-Polls runs the way you wanted.”
WPtouch iPhone Theme – This one is coming soon to johnmryan.com – It does what you would expect it to “WPtouch formats your WordPress blog with an iPhone application-style theme, complete with ajax loading articles and effects. The theme only shows when viewed from an iPhone or iPod touch.”
WP Security Scan– Scans your WordPress installation for security vulnerabilities and suggests corrective actions. I tried this, not bad, what I did was turn it on, did a scan, and turned it off. As always be cautious when it comes to security.