This is my Must Have WordPress Plugins that every blogger should have installed on their site. This is in continuance with my prior WordPress articles:
The idea is you can use these articles for reference for any current or future WordPress projects you plan on creating.
15 Must Have WordPress Plugins for the New Blogger
Askismet - This one is a no brainer. Want to keep your spam down? Then you need to get this plugin. Well.. you need to activate this plugin and apply for an API key! This is the default spam defender installed with your WordPress site. And it works great at keeping your SPAM down.
Better WordPress Minify – This goes along with another plugin down the list. But this will allow your site to run leaner and meaner by compressing your *.css and *.js files. Just go with me on this one. If there is less stuff that needs to be pulled down to a readers browser the better.
CommentLuv Premium – One of the best investments I’ve made to my blog has been this plugin. If you are serious about running a blog – you need to get this plugin. Although there is a free one? It is highly limited in its functionality vs. Premium.
The whole idea behind it is to not only let someone comment on your site. But to provide for them to link back to their blog. And back linking is important. When you click on the link you will be using my personal referral link. Don’t be alarmed though. If you decide to purchase the Premium version? I get a small commission from the sale.
Contact Form 7 – Ok, there is debate online on what Plugin to get for creating Forms for your blog. I chose this one as it was easy to use and it was free. A lot of bloggers will say to get Gravity Forms. And if I had some extra dough lying around I would probably get it too!
Sharebar – This is a nifty social share bar that you can add to your site. You can place social buttons either at the top or bottom of your post – or run the “floating” social bar on the right or left of your site. (Although – left is a good idea!)
Make it so people have to see the bar – but keep it out of the way of your content!
For an alternate options is Digg Digg. But as I was testing it today? It worked for like 45 seconds then for some reason it went *poof* never to return to my pages. So I deleted it and re-installed Sharebar.
Do Follow – Make your site friendly to those who link in your comments are linked back to their site. It give’s them the “juice” they need and they will most likely reciprocate it!
Google XML Sitemap for Images – This is one of those other plugins needed due to the issue with another one that has a slight bug. This is a workaround for it. But at least it’s small. and it creates a sitemap for your images to along with your sitemap.xml that you should already have (you do don’t you?!?)
LinkWithin - I like this one as its small, light, and does what I want it to do. Scroll down to the bottom of this article (before the comments – not all the way down silly!) You will see what this one does. Its the cheap and easy way of getting around coding it in the hard way.
Online Backup for WordPress – Ok, this is one of those debatable plugins. I happen to use it as I run it, then have a COMPLETE backup of my ENTIRE site – not just the database and WordPress files.
What isn’t debatable is the 100% need to backup your website. In this day of hackers, malicious script kiddies, or that one guy you really pissed off because of the article you wrote – you should always have a backup.
But – I don’t use it’s online backup services. I download it then manually upload it back to my box.net account. I suggest doing some research from around the web and find the one that works fro you!
Twitter Widget Pro – Although I read conflicting information if your posting relevant tweets about your site – why not share them online? I have from both camps: ”Don’t put this on your site – why? Do you want them to click off of it?” to: “You must work with your Social Media groups in order to promote your website.”?? So this is debatable on whether you want to have you Tweets displayed on your site. If you do.. this is the plugin to run for it.
My thoughts – if you think it adds value to your website post your Twitter Feed. If it is always going to be just you goofing off tweeting while drunk? Probably not so great an idea. Its up to you!
WP3 Total Cache – This Plugin helps you speed up your site. How? Um.. it speeds it up alot? Seriously though. The initial setup can seem daunting – afterwards you don’t have to do anything to it and you reap the benefits of having a lightning quick web site.
WordPress Popular Posts – This is the plugin I use to display the posts in the sidebar. You will need to tweak it a bit to get it to work and look right. But afterwards it is definitely worth it.
WordPress SEO – This is probably one of the most important plugin to have for your site. This allows you to optimize your site for search engines like no other plugin. Along with the basic SEO functionality it has a tab that analyzes your post before you publish it to show you how it ranks and allows you to make changes before you hit that Publish button.
WP-Optimize – This little plugin will perform simple cleanup functions for your MySQL database to keep it down to fighting weight.
WPtouch – You need to cater to mobile devices. And although you might have the snazziest looking site on the internet it doesn’t mean it will work well with smart phones. This is where this plugin comes in. It will turn your site into a mobile app that looks and feels like an Apple application. Although I’m not personally fond of Apple products – the interface is slick and it works. And best of all.. its free!
Whew! That was quite a list. These are not ALL of the plugins I use; just the essentials to make it lean and mean. If you notice a few of these were for optimizing the speed of your site – which is vitally important! Read Kissmetric’s blog on Speed Is a Killer article to understand why.
Did I miss one? Add it to the Comments below to share other plugins you consider essential!