Best of: WordPress Plugins

[Last Updated: September 26, 2007]

In my recent switch to WordPress, the first thing I did was go out hunting for all the plugins that I have seen on several of my favorite blogs. One of the first things I noticed was there isn’t a consistent spot to locate them. You can either see a list of every WordPress plugin known to exist, or a bunch of random Top 10 lists from around the Internet. This made it extremely frustrating when trying to weed out the best plugins for my blog.

Now that I feel at home using WordPress, I’ve decided to use this post to list all of the best and most useful WordPress plugins, broken down into categories, and include a brief description of each.

- Admin Tools -

  • Update Manager – Checks for updated versions of all of your plugins.
  • WordPress Instant Upgrade – Allows you to upgrade to the latest version of WordPress with the click of a button.
  • WP Super Cache – Creates a cache of your posts, helping your blog to survive large bursts of traffic.
  • WP-Contact Form – Helps you avoid E-mail spam by having users fill out a contact form to E-mail you. Also includes additional features including a challenge question and formatting to make it fit your webpage. [Read More]
  • WP-Database Backup – Backs up your blog (includes automatic backup features).
  • WP-PHPMyAdmin – Gives you access to PHPMyAdmin from your WordPress Admin console.
  • WP-Tiger-Admin-Panel – Adds a clean and simple layout to your Dashboard, making it easy to navigate.
  • WYSIWYG Plugin – Creates an advanced version of your Write/Edit post screen.

- Advertisements/Make Money Online -

  • Adsense-Deluxe – Helps integrate Google Adsense advertisements into your website (including into individual posts). Also supports Yahoo Publisher Network (YPN).
  • Author Adsense – Allows blog authors to enter their Google Adsense Publisher I.D. and have ads displayed on their own posts generating revenue. Admin can set the ratio of author’s ads to administrator ads.
  • Bankroll – Allows advertisers to buy advertising directly from you, bypassing services that take a cut of your profits.
  • Buy Me a Beer – Displays a beer or coffee icon and provides a link to your Paypal account for readers to buy you a beverage of your choice. [Read More]
  • eMiniMall – Integrates Chitika’s eMiniMalls into your WordPress blog.
  • Got Banners – Randomizes the display order of your website’s banners. Ideal for rotating 125 x 125 banners, as well as randomly displaying affiliate links. [Read More]
  • Kontera -Makes it easy to integrate Kontera’s in-line advertising into your WordPress blog.
  • Paypal Donate – Allows you to add a Paypal Donate button to your website.
  • Shylock AdSense – Allows you to place Google AdSense advertisements into your posts. Also allows you to not display them until a set amount of time has passed (getting them off your front pages so it doesn’t effect your regular readers). [Read More]
  • Text Link Ads Widget – Sign up at website then download the WordPress plugin. This guide helps you add Text Link Ads to your blog’s sidebar after you’ve downloaded the widget.

- Archiving -

  • Clean Archives – Cleans up your archives and allows you to place them on a separate page if desired.
  • One Year Ago – Shows previous posts from that day of the year in the history of your website.

- Comments/Trackbacks -

  • Brian’s Latest Comments – Shows the latest comments on your website.
  • Brian’s Threaded Comments – Allows you to reply to specific comments, then places that comment directly below the original comment.
  • Comment Live Preview – Shows a preview of the comment as it is typed.
  • Comment Timeout – Removes comments after a certain amount of time.
  • Edit Comments – Allows commenter to edit their comment for a set amount of time after this post. [Read More]
  • Gravatar – The official Gravatar plugin by Tom Werner, the creator of Gravatars. It allows users to see their Globally Recognized Avatar next to their comments on your website. [Read More]
  • Link Love – Turns off the nofollow after your users 10 comments to reward them for comments on your site. You can change the number of minimum comments.
  • Math Comment Spam Protection – Adds a math equation to your comments field to help combat spam.
  • MyAvatars- Displays commentator’s MyBlogLog avatar next to their comment. Also supports Gravatar. [Read More]
  • Rate Comments – Allows users to rate each post’s comments.
  • Show Top Commentators – Encourages commenting by displaying the top commentators on your site for a set interval of time. [Read More]
  • Subscribe to Comments – Adds a box commenter’s can click to be notified via E-mail of follow up comments. [Read More]
  • Trackbackers – Encourages people to link to you by displaying the top blogs that have sent trackbacks over a set interval of time [Read More]

- Images -

  • Batch Image Uploader – Allows you to upload multiple images at once.
  • ImageManager – Popular Photo and Image Editor plugin. Allows you to upload and edit (crop, rotate, scale, flip, and create thumbnails).
  • PhotoPress – Adds a pop-up uploader to your Write Post page of your Dashboard.

- Miscellaneous -

  • Skype Online Status – Shows your Skype Online Status.
  • WP-Polls – Allows you to easily add a Poll to your website.
  • WP-UserOnline – Shows your online status (supports Skype, Yahoo! Instant Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, Jabber, etc.)

- Post Meta Data -

  • Post Updated – Automatically updates to show the last time the post was updated.
  • Relative Date – Shows the amount of time that has lapsed since the post was made.

- Related Posts -

  • Add Related Posts to Your Feed – Adds Related Posts to your feed (requires Ultimate Tag Warrior or Related Posts plugin). [Read More]
  • In Series – Allows you to link posts together into a series of posts. [Read More]
  • Landing Sites – Sniffs out incoming referrals. When a referral comes from a major search engine, it displays related posts.
  • Related Posts – Shows designated number of related entries below your post.

- SEO -

  • All-in-One SEO Pack – This plugin combines everything you could need for optimizing your site for search engines. You are able to set your homepage Title, Tags, and Description information. Then you can set it up to do the same for your individual pages, as well as add the first 160 words of your post to your individual pages description. [Read More]
  • Dagon Sitemap Generator – Allows you to create a reader-friendly Sitemap for your website.
  • Gamer’s Pack – Makes your website viewable on the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, and Sony PSP gaming systems.
  • Google Sitemaps – Generates an XML-Sitemap file of your website that Google, Yahoo!, and MSN use.
  • Homepage Excerpts – Allows you to display only excerpts of your posts on all pages other than your homepage to improve navigation and optimize your pages for search engine optimization. Fully customizable to work how you want.
  • KB Robots.txt – Helps you create a Robots.txt file for your website. (Not recommended for blogs on subdirectories)
  • Permalink Redirect – Does a permanent 301 redirect, as well as add the trailing “/” to your posts, and redirects your Feedburner feed.

- Social Bookmarking -

  • Share This – Adds a single Share This link. When clicked, it allows the user to easily bookmark the post on several social bookmarking services. You can also e-mail the post within this plugin.
  • WP-Notable – Adds social bookmarking icons below each of your posts.
  • WP-Sociable – Adds social bookmarking icons below each of your posts.

- Spam -

  • Akismet – Comes default with current WordPress installations. Will catch most all spam before it hits your website.
  • Bad Behavior – Prevents known spam bots from accessing your website. ***Works with Akismet***
  • Spam Karma 2 – Sends all comments through various filters before they appear on your blog. This is a popular plugin for people that aren’t getting good enough results with Akismet. [Read More]

- Statistics/Metrics/Feeds -

  • Feed Footer – Allows you to rotate up to 10 different footers at the bottom of your feed. [Read More]
  • Feedburner Standard Stats – Installs the Feed Flare script on your WordPress blog (which is required for their stat tracking service). [Read More]
  • FeedSmith – Forwards all WordPress feed entry clicks to your Feedburner feed.
  • FireStats – Popular server-side blog metrics that tracks your visitors. Also includes ability to display country/operating system/web browser, as well as number of visits to each post.
  • Popularity Contest – Calculates the most popular posts on your website using values you provide for page views, comments, trackbacks, etc. [Read More]
  • Text Link Ads – Adds Text Link Ads to your Feed.
  • Ultimate Google Analytics – Allows you to add Google Analytics to your blog without dealing with the source code. Great to use if you switch themes a lot (to ensure you are always tracking stats).

- Tags -

Which plugins do you rely on the most? Is there a plugin you couldn’t live without, but don’t see it on this list? Drop me a comment below with the plugin link and I’ll get it added to the list!

Additional reading:

  • http://ryanslife.net Ryan

    Wow, what a great list Kyle. I’ve heard of and use most of them, but there are a few I’ve never heard of. I’m going to be trying them out soon, so I appreciate it.

  • http://www.kylescove.com Kyle Eslick

    No problem Ryan! I know I would have loved to have a list similar to this available when I made the switch to WordPress, so hopefully others will find this useful (including those who have used WordPress for awhile!).

  • http://www.bloog.com Matt Kelly

    I been a WordPress guy forever, since 1.2. It’s a great system and now it’s more like a CMS system. I use it on all my website and would never use anything eles.

    Thanks for the plugins list!

  • http://www.kylescove.com Kyle Eslick

    Matt – I couldn’t agree more! I was always jealous of WordPress users and all their neat plugins. Now, thanks to Jason, I get to use them for my site!

  • http://www.purplewren.com Sandra Renshaw

    Hi Kyle,

    Congratulations on the baby. Time got away from me. Guess it’s been a while since we talked.

    Your site is looking great! Nice list – I’ll have to check it out soon. I want to set up a site in WordPress. Seems like you’re really liking it!

    Love the archive slider. Do you have instructions on that?

    Sandy

  • http://www.kylescove.com Kyle Eslick

    Sandra,

    Yes, I do really enjoy WordPress. The archive slider is actual a feature of the various K2 WordPress themes.

  • http://lorelle.wordpress.com/ Lorelle

    Thanks for the link and the great list of Plugins you recommend so well to others. A minor correction though. It’s “Best WordPress Plugins” not Best WordPress Posts. ;-) Or more correctly, “Best WordPress Plugin Reviews” or something like that.

  • http://www.kylescove.com Kyle Eslick

    Lorelle,

    Thanks for the correction. I have updated to reflect as you requested! :)

  • Freesitebuilder

    Aaghh … I’d almost beaten my Firefox plugin addiction, when I developed WordPress plugin addiction. :)

    I can’t use Akismet (my free host doesn’t allow those emails) so I’ve installed Comment Timeout, closes comments after a certain amount of time.

    I use the Dagon Sitemap Generator http://www.dagondesign.com/articles/sitemap-generator-plugin-for-wordpress/

    And MyAvatars which is like Gravater but for MyBlogLog avatars. http://www.napolux.com/projects/myavatars/

  • http://www.kylescove.com Kyle Eslick

    Freesitebuilder – Thanks for the contributions! I have updated them to the list!

    I actually use MyAvatars here, but I’ve been unsuccessful in getting it set up on this theme. It is a great plugin though, and needs to be added to this list.

  • Freesitebuilder

    That’s odd – it works on my theme for everyone but me!

  • buzz

    Now this is a really helpful article. Two thumbs up! Btw, which plugin do you use for the top posts listed in your blog? And to get that top monthly commentators thing working?

  • buzz

    oh, and one more thing. Would you mind telling the plugin you use for related entries too?

  • http://www.kylescove.com Kyle Eslick

    Buzz,

    Thanks for the comments! I use Popularity Contest, which does ALL the work, so you truly have your most popular posts at the top. You select the value of page views, comments, pingbacks and trackbacks, then it calculates everything and adjusts them accordingly. No manual work once the plugin is up and running correctly.

    As for Related Posts, I use the plugin called “Related Posts” above. I use “In Series” to track posts in an existing series. It also does all the work, you just manually tell it which posts to add to which series (in this case, this post fell into my Best of series).

    Hope they work well for you!

  • buzz

    Oh, cool. Thanks for the quick reply. ;) I’m off to work on my blog now. heh.

  • http://www.kylescove.com Kyle Eslick

    No problem Buzz! :)

  • http://styletips101.com Aniela

    This is a great list. I was using many of those plugins, but I also discovered some great new ones :)

  • http://www.kylescove.com Kyle Eslick

    Aniela,

    Glad you found the list useful! Thats what its here for. If you find any useful WordPress plugins that should be on this list, please let me know.

  • http://www.humus101.com/EN hummus blog

    as said – great list !
    know most – but some I didn’t know about.

    p.s: check the stat plugin (the best “non anaylitics” statistics plugin I know about:
    http://firestats.cc/

  • GJ

    Amazing! You have got a great list of plugins. Thanks so much!

  • http://www.paranox.com/ SEO Pakistan

    Wow! what a great post, though i m a little late to read it. Nice work!

  • http://www.kylescove.com Kyle Eslick

    SEO Pakistan,

    Better late than never. Besides, this post is updated regularly as I run across new useful plugins, so check back regularly!

  • http://affiliatescamguide.com Matt Jones

    Great list! I’m going to get that Backup plugin running right away!

  • http://www.siteguide.us Vijay

    I use most of these plugins as well. But though all of them sound useful, I just hate cluttering up my plugins page.

  • http://www.kylescove.com Kyle Eslick

    Matt – The backup plugin is easy to use, making it one of my favorites!

    Vijay – I understand your hesitation in installing a lot of plugins. The clutter on the plugin page doesn’t bother me to much, but I always worry about incompatibility whenever I upgrade WordPress. I do keep my plugin page as tidy as possible, but I test a lot of plugins to review in my posts and sometimes don’t get around to uninstalling them for awhile.

  • http://www.netwriting.co.uk/ richard

    Great list, this is really one of the best on internet for wordpress plugins. Very useful

  • http://www.kylescove.com Kyle Eslick

    Richard – Thanks for taking the time to comment, it is appreciated!

    If you liked this post, you may enjoy some of my other “Best of” posts I’ve done over the past 6 months. They’ve all received pretty good reviews so hopefully you could find something useful there!

  • http://www.tingog.com Nick

    I’ve been trying to figure out how you implemented your social tagging images on the bottom of your posts.. I want to add Stumbleupon with Notable, as well as add words beside the images like you have on your posts..

    Hope you can help with this, as many bloggers want to implement a way to add social bookmark on their blogs as well as make it look nice too..

  • http://www.kylescove.com Kyle Eslick

    Nick – I tried the Notable and Sociable plugins, but was not pleased with the results. People didn’t seem to use them very often, and like you said, its beneficial to encourage people to Stumble your articles.

    I have had a lot more success since I switched to this format and only used the four I cared about. If people use Reddit and other services, they will be able to do it without me adding the link, so I just use the fifth above (I’ve thought about adding a fifth, but just four for now). Having a logo to identify with the brand and then the clickable link next to it seems to work well.

    As for your request, you’re not the first to request this. I will be doing a post explaining how to do this hopefully sometime in the next week, so subscribe to my feed or check back regularly!

  • http://www.siteguide.us Vijay

    This is quite a list.. I would recommend you adding the Share This plugin by alex king as well. It contains most of the social bookmarking sites in a single button.

  • http://www.shankrila.com K-IntheHouse

    Kyle.. just got around to reading this list! Excellent compilation.. my best post ever is a list of firefox extensions. Looks like everyone has a craving for big lists! :-)

  • http://www.kylescove.com Kyle Eslick

    Vijay – Good catch! I even used that plugin for a few months, but it looks like I forgot to add it. I will do that now.

    K – I do love big lists, although this list started small and has grown. I try to only use the best of the best plugins so the list isn’t to big and unreadable.

    Yeah, the Firefox extensions posts seem to be popular. My Firefox Extension list is my 2nd most popular post!

  • http://www.shankrila.com K-IntheHouse

    Oh.. I didn’t mean to imply that your list is too big. Having a criteria of letting only the best in, makes the list very useful!

    By the way, which plugin in this list helps with the 301 redirect problem? Or is it not on here..

  • kevstelo

    I think I’ve read something simillar a few days ago. I don’t remember where, might have been on digg.com or slashdot.

  • http://www.kylescove.com Kyle Eslick

    K – Its called permalink redirect and is located in the SEO section:

    Permalink Redirect – Does a permanent 301 redirect.

  • http://www.shankrila.com K-IntheHouse

    Sorry Kyle.. I must have skimmed right past it!

  • KC

    Kyle, thanks for the very useful list! In checking out many for blogs I am setting up for multiple groups at a nonprofit, found that Skippy discontinued support for the WP-Database Backup plugin (and all other WP plugins also); that plugin support has been taken over by this URL:

  • http://www.kylescove.com Kyle Eslick

    KC – The URL wasn’t included in your comment for some reason. I’ll have to check Skippy’s site for more info.

    Thanks for the heads up!

  • http://www.seductiontuition.com/ Art of Seduction

    Awesome. I have bookmarked this page. I don’t have a blog at the moment, just a site I wrote using dreamweaver. After looking around, it seems like wordpress offers the best plugins. I am comtemplating on starting a blog for my site, but it seems wordpress is what I should be after.

  • http://www.kylescove.com Kyle Eslick

    I definitely recommend using WordPress if you’re going to blog. It does require your own hosting, etc., though. If you prefer free (with less flexibility), I recommend either Blogger or WordPress.com.

  • t

    nice list. what plugin do u use in the comment form where we have to enter a simple math function?

  • http://www.kylescove.com Kyle Eslick

    Hi T,

    It can be found in the comments section:

    Math Comment Spam Protection – Adds a math equation to your comments field to help combat spam.

  • http://www.noprimetime.com razvanr

    Hey,

    For all you guys out there supporting video content, you can now monetize it free with the NoPrimeTime wordpress plugin. You can also crosspromote your sites if you lack advertisers.

    The plugin can be found here: http://www.noprimetime.com/plugin.

  • Vic

    Thanks for such a great list of plugins, this list are so helpful for the new guy.

    Thanks

    Vic

  • http://www.kylescove.com Kyle Eslick

    Vic – No problem, glad you found it useful.

    Check back regularly, as this post is updated regularly with new plugins, better descriptions, etc.!

  • http://www.jenst.se Jens Törnell

    Hi!

    I just made an own plugin for mass changing the YouTube videos. Change options for colors, width, height, borders and it will change all posted videos at the same time. Easy to use!

    Download it, check out screenshots as well…
    WP-YouTube

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  • Jan Weingarten

    Fantastic list, Kyle, and really well organized. I’m just getting started with my blog, and this is extremely helpful. I’ve heard of most of these by now and am using several, but since your list seems to be the pick of the litter ;-), this is helping me narrow things down.

    Would you mind sharing which plugin you’re using to display social bookmarks? I’m using sociable right now, and the icons look a little dim to me. Are you using notable, or something else? Thanks!

    Jan

  • http://kylescove.com Kyle Eslick

    Jan – Thanks for the comment! I’m not actually using a plugin. It is hard coded by me :mrgreen:

    If you are interested in doing something similar and use WordPress, I recommend you check out this post I wrote explaining how I did it.

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  • Dylan

    Wow, this is an incredible list. Bookmarked! Two more plugins you need to add: WP-SpamFree and WordPress Automatic Upgrade (WPAU). Wp-SpamFree stops spambots from hammering your site and cuts them off at the source without stupid captchas. I used to have to waste time going through my Akismet queue for legit comments that got tagged as spam. No more – it saves me so much time and frustration – I keep Akismet because it handles trackback and pingback spam. WPAU makes upgrading your blog to the latest version of WordPress super easy.

  • http://samsara.ihostyou.com Samsara

    I’ve bookmarked this to SU. I love a compiled list of WP plugins. Considering I’ll be performing an upgrade soon I am sure I’ll be back here because not all plugins can upgrade.

  • http://www.blogaboutanimals.com Forest Parks

    Thanks for this, was browsing Google for plugins for a new site and actually ended up coming to someone already in my Google Reader! Well I guess I know why you are there!

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  • http://loymeetsworld.com loy

    I have my own list of plugins:

    The Best WordPress Plugins for Blogging Newbies

    Check it out!

  • http://ConscienciaPlanetaria.com Hikari

    Those are very nice plugins, tnx for the tips!