I have written about hundreds of WordPress plugins over the last few years, some good, some not so good. So I thought it would be interesting to post my top 10 WordPress plugins. This list does include the coolest plugins, the most advanced plugins or the most popular.
These plugins are simply what I have found to be the most useful. That is, whenever I develop a new WordPress powered site, these are the essential plugins I upload 99% of the time. Everyone uses WordPress for different things so your list may be very different. And in a years time, my own list may be different too.
So without further ado, here are the 10 WordPress Plugins which I have found to be the most useful over the last few years. Enjoy :)
The plugin simply redirects all of your feed urls (such as www.yoursite.com/feed/ and www.yoursite.com/wp-rss2.php) to Feedburner so that all your RSS subscribers are tracked. It’s a simple plugin but a vital one for all Feedburner users.
Download: Feeburner Feedsmith
2. Simple Link Cloaker
I have used a few link cloaking plugins over the last few years. The one I used the most was Cute Links, the premium plugin which came with Super Affiliate Blogger. Cute Links also tracks the number of click thrus but unfortunately, like many link cloakers, it clashes frequently with the WordPress post slug.
I eventually came across Simple Link Cloaker. It’s very basic compared to some other link cloaking scripts however it works perfectly and never clashes with the post slug.
Download: Simple Link Cloaker
3. RSS Footer
A simple plugin which lets you add content before or after posts in your RSS feed. Useful for putting copyright notices in your feeds and discouraging spam by adding linking text and images back to your site.
Download: RSS Footer
There are numerous sitemap plugins available which generate a sitemap for your site. In my opinion Arne Brachhold’s Google Sitemaps plugin is the best. It automatically generates a sitemap which is optimised for Google, Yahoo, Ask and Bing. It also notifies the major search engines whenever you update your site.
The site is not currently compatible with the new multisite feature of WordPress 3 however this may be addressed in the future.
Download: Google Sitemaps
Joost de Valk’s breadcrumb plugin is a simple plugin which adds a Search Engine friendly breadcrumb to the top of your page.
I haven’t added it to WP Mods as I think it’s more useful for WordPress sites with a lot of pages and subpages (WP Mods is predominantly posts). I use it all the time with content websites.
Download: Yoast Breadcrumbs
A fantastic security plugin which locks users out after that have entered the incorrect details a set number of times. The IP address of anyone who is locked out is tracked too.
Download: Login Lockdown
Everyone includes different social media buttons underneath their blog posts depending on their sites niche and their own preferred social media sites. Though Twitter is the one site which everyone tries to promote their site on. There are many good Twitter plugins which allow visitors to retweet your posts but Tweetmeme is by far and away the best.
There’s a reason why Akismet is included with every installation of WordPress – it works! Granted, it is not a complete anti-spam solution, but no such things exists.
I have used many spam prevention plugins over the last few years but the plugin which always remained installed was Akismet.
It may seem a bit of a cop out including the most downloaded WordPress plugin of all time in my list but it had to be included. Put it this way: Hello Dolly is also included with every WordPress release but I have still never installed it!
Adds a subscription box to the comment area to allow commenters to get email updates of posts they comment on. A feature which should be standard in WordPress in my opinion.
Download: Subscribe to Comments
Add a list of related articles to your pages according to category and tags. The list can easily be customised and it can be added to the bottom of RSS feeds at a click of a button too. A good way to keep members on your site longer.
Download: Yet Another Related Posts Plugin
I hope you have enjoyed my current top 10 WordPress Plugins. It was difficult to shorten the list down to 10 however I didn’t want to make this list too long.
One plugin which didn’t make the list is Theme Test Drive. It has been one of my favourite plugins over the last few years as it allows you to easily modify a theme live on your site without your readers seeing any changes. However it was effectively made redundant with the introduction of the preview function for themes last year.
Everyone uses different plugins on their WordPress powered sites. You may use some plugins specifically for a type of site you run such as a gallery plugin for a portfolio site or a spam plugin for your most popular site. However those of you who have started several WordPress powered websites will notice that you end up using the same plugins over and over and over.
I’d love to hear what your 10 most used plugins are; either by leaving a comment or writing a post on your own blog and posting a link to it here. Remember, the list should include the plugins you install the most rather than your favourite or most advanced plugin. :)