19 Favorite WordPress Plugins
I am not a WordPress expert nor am I a marketing guru. I suppose I am a software developer and that skews what I look for in a plugin. I prefer several light-weight, well-focused, and well-written plugins over one massive transform-my-wordpress-and-suck-all-my-memory plugin. If you agree, this list may be for you. My criteria for a good plugin are simple.
- There is a need, and your plugin remedies the need
- The plugin does not attempt to do more than its intended purpose
- There interface is self-explanatory
- The use of resources in running the plugin is justifiable
- The plugin should provide a more positive experience for either my users or me (ideally both)
- Don’t add more plugins to the list than needed to get to a round number like 20, 25, 50, or 100.
Allow users more control of their comments by editting them after posting with an easy to navigate interface.
Allow commenters to display a link to their twitter site. Simple.
#17 CDN Tools
I only use this for google’s ajax system. If my blog got bigger, I would definitely consider subscribing to a cdn to speed up the user experience.
Sidebar widget to show details about the user currently logged in.
#15 Do Follow
Decrease the spam-bots. Simple.
#14 Sidebar Login
Hate the meta widget? I do. This does what it says.
Use this along with your favorite mobile theme to provide a better experience for your users on the move.
#12 FeedBurner FeedSmith
Get better statistics for your RSS feeds. If you’re using google analytics for your site, then you should be using FeedBurner for your feeds.
Who doesn’t have a social sharing plugin, right? Is this the absolute best one? I don’t know. What I like is that it is easy to configure and I can choose which social sharing buttons I would like to display. A good balance between simplicity and features.
The biggest compliment you can give to a plugin is that the functionality should just be incorporated into the base product itself. This plugin simply does what it says.
This plugin reconfigures the wp_mail() function so all mail from your blog can be sent by SMTP instead of using PHP’s mail() function. This makes Contact Form 7 and wordpress email work much better.
There are some CAPTCHA’s out there that really annoy me. I am a human. I promise. If someone writes a spam-bot that can interpret my comments CAPTCHA, I’ll think about changing it then, but kudos to them. Anyway this would be a great defalut CAPTCHA for WP. It’s used in two plugins in the list anyway (Contact Form 7 and Cbnet Really Simple CAPTCHA Comments).
#7 Cbnet Really Simple CAPTCHA Comments
This small, simple, plugin filled the balance between me wanted to not get comment-spammed and not wanting to force everyone to login to leave a comment.
The defacto contact form. It is simple and it works. (the ranking is purely coincidental)
Speed up WordPress through a series of caches. Someday I’ll maybe have enough traffic to see if this makes a difference.
Automatically post to twitter when you post to wordpress. Saves me an alt-tab and a few clicks each post.
Integration for advanced tracking in google … and man am I addicted to data and graphs.
#2 Add Post Footer
- Easily adds ad code (google adsense or other) to the bottom of your posts
- Option to include related posts
- Option to include footer on blogroll or single page only
Wow. Learn about all the things you never thought about when you wrote your awesome content and then fix them so more people get to see your post.
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My thanks go to Ladislav and Josh for the recent caffeination