I’m pretty sure this is almost mandatory now if your a blogger. This is my must have wordpress plugins list that I currently use here at avgjoegeek.net. I have only listed the free plugins I use in this list as I know how it goes when your first starting out. I will be re-visiting this list and keeping it updated as I add/remove things that I no longer user instead of creating yet another list of plugins for the site. Make sure to leave a comment and let me know if you think there should be another plugin people should be using and I might just add it to the list!
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.
And even with all the insanity with the recent Penguin 2.0 rollout – I will still suggest using CommentLuv. I tried using DISQUS and even though I love all the features it has – it just wasn’t CommentLuv. With all of the features, additional tracking/settings I will keep on using it. And even though I will allow a link to be added to comments – they are NOT DoFollow. This is more to protect you rather than me though.
Read More: DISQUS Comment Review
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. The only issue is that it costs and this is free. Take a look at the article below on how you can change the forms up to make them look great with your own blog.
Read More: How to Add CSS Style Contact Form 7
If you want visitors to stick around your site you first need great content. But how do you get them to find it? Well by displaying related posts down on the bottom of your article of course! This is the best solution I’ve found for displaying related posts. It actually indexes your site and finds the best related topics below your post. Not only that it gives you different options to format the way it displays on your site. Unfortunately this might not work with your theme so you can try..
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.
This is the plugin I use to display the popular posts in the sidebar. I have it set to display the most popular posts people have visited for the past 30 days. Though you can change that setting to your liking You will need to tweak it a bit to get it to work and look right. But afterwards it is definitely worth it.
Note: This plugin is pretty intensive – so if you notice your site is noticeably bogged down after installing it? Then I suggest deactivating and removing it from your site.
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.
If you decide not to use Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin – that’s perfectly OK. You should still have a sitemap created and submitted to Google and Bing’s Webmaster Tools. This one creates a very quick and simple sitemap.xml and keeps it updated as you update your site with content.
I would highly suggest using WordPress SEO by Yoast though!
If you have your WordPress registration open for people. Odds are you have people from around the world trying to register to try and do nefarious things to your blog. This is where this plugin comes in. You can tweak your registration page in all sorts of ways. I have it setup to where you actually have to pay me $5.00 to register (lol) with PayPal. But you can set it up to use Captchas, force people to use additional fields, require email verification and a lot more!
Oh.. and all those people who were trying to register to do bad things? They are listed as “unverified” under users and you can easily and quickly delete them!
This little plugin will perform simple cleanup functions for your MySQL database to keep it down to fighting weight.
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.
Although I have yet to find the “perfect” social bar. I’ve tried 99% of them out there and this is the one I’m currently using. Some other great alternatives out there are Shareaholic, Digg Digg, Sharebar, and Flare. And although I really like a lot of them – I’ve had plugin conflict issues, theme integration problems, or they affected the load time of the site. So make sure you test before selecting the one you want to use for your own blog or website.
This is a great service that Yahoo provides to automatically optimize images. With the WordPress plugin you can run all of your images through the online service to make sure they are optimized (i.e. smaller in filesize). Why would you want to do this? Well to have your site load faster of course! That and you will be taking up less space on your webhost which is always appreciated as well!
It will happen eventually. Someone will try and hack your website. Help prevent that from happening by installing this plugin. With it you not only can monitor your traffic live. You can limit how people log in into your website, and if needed block their IP address.
Although this isn’t a WordPress plugin. Its a paid for service I use to backup my own site. And I couldn’t be happier to pay them the $5.00 a month to do it. You can read the review I did and why I use them below:
Read More: CodeGuard WordPress Backup Review
Did I miss one? Add it to the Comments below to share other plugins you consider essential!