I’m sure you have seen lots of articles named something like Top 10 Killer WordPress plugins, 50 Best plugins for WordPress, or The coolest list of 25 plugins for WordPress etc. So, I thought may be I will come up with my own list of must-have WP plugins that I have tried here on TechChunks. Of course the selection is subjective and there are other plugins out there, which provide the same or similar features, but the ones below are proven and work together with several different installations I set up. Best part is — even on heavily customized WordPress installations with lots of self-written PHP code the plugins listed could be used without problems.
There’s no doubt that WordPress rocks as a blogging and content-management system. Once installed, you can do amazing things with it right out of the virtual box. In this post, I’m going to share with you the most essential plugins for your WordPress blog — 20 Must Have Killer Plugins for WordPress. I will explain why I find these plugins extremely useful as well as speak about some widgets that are worth using. These excellent WordPress plugins are intended to reduce and simplify tasks associated with blogging so that you can spend more time creating content, and less time with site administration.
For months, I’ve been able to bookmark hundreds of plugins, and now I’ve done all the work for you by sorting the best plugins you only need to truly leverage WordPress! In no particular order, here they are!
1. Akismet: Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not and lets you review the spam it catches under your blog’s “Comments” admin screen. This plug in can also check the trackbacks for spam. It’s no wonder why it’s already present in the default WordPress installation!
2. All in One SEO Pack: Optimizes your WordPress blog for Search Engines (Search Engine Optimization). As the name suggests, All in One SEO pack provides an array of easy to understand options and helps your blog become SEO optimized. This is an absolute must have when it comes to SEO plugins. With over 2 million downloads and growing, I think it needs no more proof that it really works.
3. Google XML Sitemaps: This plugin will create a Google sitemaps compliant XML-Sitemap of your WordPress blog. It supports all of the WordPress generated pages as well as custom ones. Every time you edit or create a post, your sitemap is updated and all major search engines that support the sitemap protocol, like ASK.com, Google, MSN Search and YAHOO, are notified about the update.
4. ShareThis: The ShareThis WordPress plugin provides a quick, simple to use, and unobtrusive way for users to add your post to many social bookmarking sites, or to send your post link via email, AIM, Facebook, MySpace and more.
5. StatPress Reloaded: This plugin (previously known as StatPress) shows you real time statistics about your blog. It collects information about visitors, spiders, search keywords, feeds, browsers, OS etc.
6. WP-DB-Backup: WP-DB-Backup allows you to easily backup your core WordPress database tables. You may also backup other tables in the same database. It also allows you to optimize database, repair database, restore database, delete backup database , drop/empty tables and run selected queries.
7. LinkWithin: Unlike similar plugins that display a list of related posts, LinkWithin doesn’t just display a list of headlines underneath each post, but also a thumbnail with a picture from each post, which makes it far more attractive than most of its competitors. The plugin looks at tags, but it also analyzes other factors like relevancy, popularity, and recency. In testing LinkWithin on our own WordPress blog, the suggested posts were always spot-on, but obviously, your mileage may vary.
8. WP-Polls: 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. It now supports multiple selections of answers.
9. WordPress Thread Comment: This Plugin is an enhancement for WordPress’s comment function. It enables users to reply on a exist comment, and the discussion will be displayed threaded or nested.
10. cformsII – contact form: cforms is a highly customizable, flexible and powerful form builder plugin, covering a variety of use cases and features from attachments to multi-form management, you can even have multiple forms on the same page!
11. WP Hyper Cache: WP Hyper Cache is specifically written for people who have their blogs on low resources hosting provider (cpu and mysql). This caching plugin can dramatically speed up your WordPress blog by generating static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After a html file is generated your web server will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more resource-hungry WordPress PHP scripts.
12. CommentLuv: Comments are a way of your readers showing love for you and your blog. CommentLuv helps you to return some love by including a titled link to your commentator’s last blog post or tweet at the end of their comment. This plugint crawls your commentator’s site/blog , gets the latest URL (up to 10 latest URLs if the commentator is a registered CommentLuv user) and parses it as HTML beneath the commentator’s name when they click submit. No wonder why this plugin has been found to increase comments and the community spirit for the thousands of blogs that have installed it.
13. WP-Optimize: WP-Optimize is a wordpress 2.7++ database cleanup and optimization tool. It doesn’t require PhpMyAdmin to optimize your database tables. It allows you to remove post revisions, comments in the spam queue and un-approved comments within few clicks.
14. WP FollowMe: WP FollowMe is a WordPress plugin that allows you to add a twitter “Follow me” badge on your WordPress blog.
15. WP Greet Box: This plugin lets you show a different greeting message to your new visitors depending on their referrer url. For example, when a Digg user clicks through from Digg, they will see a message reminding them to Digg your post if they like it. The plug-in also includes out of the box support for getting messages from users coming from Reddit, SU, Facebook, Google , Mixx, etc. You can also easily add your own custom greeting for people coming from any site you choose. Best of all, this plugin is compatible with WPMU and various WordPress cache plugins (so you do not have to sacrifice speed).
16. Popularity Contest: Shows your readers your most popular posts based on views, comments, pingbacks, among other criteria. You can also change the weight of each criteria to determine the most popular post.
17. WP Since Last Visit: Indicates with a small “New” picture beside your post to users who have not yet seen your post from their last visit. Also works with comments.
18. Maintenance Mode: Adds a splash page to your blog that lets visitors know your blog is down for maintenance. Logged in administrators get full access to the blog including the front-end.
19. Advertising Manager: This plugin will manage and rotate your Google Adsense and other ads on your WordPress blog. It automatically recognizes many ad networks including Google Adsense, AdBrite, Adify, AdGridWork, Adpinion, Adroll, Chitika, Commission Junction, CrispAds, OpenX, ShoppingAds, Yahoo!PN, and WidgetBucks. Unsupported ad networks can be used as well.
20. Viper’s Video Quicktags: Tired of copying and pasting the embed HTML from sites like YouTube? Then this plugin is for you.
How many of these pugins are you using already? Would you want to add one to this list? Feel free to share your thoughts.