[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]
- Subscribe to Comments Stat Reporting – Gives you stats and reporting on who is subscribing to which posts, etc.
- 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 –
- Recommended Tags – Adds recommended tags to WordPress (requires WordPress 2.3 or above). [Read More]
- Simple Tagging – Adds tags to WordPress and includes recommended tags.
- Ultimate Tagging Warrior – Popular plugin to do a variety of different tagging styles. (Ultimate Tagging Warrior Guide)
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!
- Lorelle on How to Install, Configure, and Use WordPress Plugins
- Lorelle’s compilation of Best WordPress Plugin Reviews