WordPress has a lot of plugins developed by many people. A headache after you install your own WordPress blog that “What is the necessary and useful WordPress plugins need to install after I got a WordPress blog?”
Let’s take a look at the 20 most commonly used plugins on WordPress blogs across the web, including those that offer more features, to those that simply reduce the simple tasks of running a blog.
If you are new to WordPress, this basic list (which is technically not limited to plugins alone) should help get you started on the right foot. Whether you are running a basic brochure site, or a full featured blog, you should be sure your WordPress site includes these essentials.
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. It works well since I’ve installed it.
Automatically optimizes your WordPress blog for Search Engines (Search Engine Optimization). The author releases two version of All in One SEO Pack: Free and Pro. I used the Free version then I got the good price for plugin value.
03. WordPress.com Stats
WordPress.com Stats is a traffic statistics plugin that shows only the most popular metrics a blogger wants to track – such as page views, referrers, top posts & pages, search engine terms, and clicks – and provides them in a clear and concise interface.
There are hundreds of plugins and services which can offer statistics about your visitors. However I found that even though something like Google Analytics provides an incredible depth of information, it can be overwhelming and doesn’t really highlight what’s most interesting to me as a writer. That’s why Automattic created its own stats system, to focus on just the most popular metrics a blogger wants to track and provide them in a clear and concise interface.
Installing this stats plugin is much like installing Akismet, all you need is to put in your API Key and the rest is automatic.
This plugin can show the most popular articles in your sidebar, using data collected by WordPress.com Stats plugin.
WordPress.com Popular Posts lists the most popular posts on a wordpress powered weblog. This list can be used in the sidebar to show an indication of which are the most visited pages.
05. Contact Form 7
Contact Form 7 can manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and so on.
If you value simplicity and flexibility, Contact Form 7 is a great choice. It allows you to flexibly design the form and mail. You can manage multiple contact forms as well.
06. NextGEN Gallery
NextGEN Gallery is a full integrated Image Gallery plugin for WordPress with a side-show option. Before I started writing the plugin I studied all the existing image and gallery plugins for WordPress. Some of them are really good and well designed, but the gap I filled was a simple administration system at the back-end which can also handle multiple galleries.
07. WP Super Cache
This plugin generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After a html file is generated your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.
The static html files will be served to the majority of your users, but because a user’s details are displayed in the comment form after they leave a comment those requests are handled by the legacy caching engine. Static files are served to:
- Users who are not logged in.
- Users who have not left a comment on your blog.
- Or users who have not viewed a password protected post.
99% of your visitors will be served static html files. Those users who don’t see the static files will still benefit because they will see regular WP-Cache cached files and your server won’t be as busy as before. This plugin will help your server cope with a front page appearance on Digg.com or other social networking site.
This module uses Google Translate automatic translation service to translate your web page with Google power. With 58 available languages your site will be available to more than 98% of internet users.
- Hides “Suggest better translation” pop-up
- Hides Google top frame after translation
- Mouse over effect
- Flags joined in one file to load faster
- Option to open translated page in new window
- Option to translate the page on fly
- Available styles Dropdown/Flags/flags with dropdown
- Valid XHTML
Adds a more advanced paging navigation to your WordPress site. If you don’t want to display a certain part of the navigation, like the “previous page” link, you can simply go to the Page Navigation Text section, on the settings page, and clear that field.
Google Analytics for WordPress is the most complete Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. Of course, you could just copy the tracking code into your theme and be done with it, but then you’d miss a lot of features that this plugin has to offer you. All the extra data this plugin can add to your tracking is what makes Google Analytics for WordPress into the most powerful tracking tool you’ve ever seen.
Track your WordPress site easily and with lots of metadata: views per author & category, automatic tracking of outbound clicks and page views.
Though the name may be a little “edgy” for some, SexyBookmarks has proven time and time again to be an extremely useful and successful tool in getting your readers to actually send your articles to many social bookmarking sites.
Our sole aim was to stray away from the “in the box” thinking behind most social bookmarking plugins, and add a little flair that would entice your readers, rather than deterring them with microscopic icons that get lost in pages heavy laden with content.
The Exec-PHP plugin executes PHP code in posts, pages and text widgets. Some of the plugins evaluated the code after WordPress applied some filters like texture. So it also textured the PHP code and the plugins had to undo the texture just for the code part. For more complex code this can not be done correctly because of ambiguity and often led into parsing errors even if the code was syntactically correct.
13. WP Greet Box
This plugin lets you show a different greeting message to your new visitors depending on their referred 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. Another example, when a visitor clicks through from Twitter, they will see a message suggesting them to twit the post and follow you on Twitter. You can also set a default greeting message for new visitors (not matching any referer URLs) suggesting them to subscribe to your RSS feed. Having these targeted suggestions will help your blog increase exposure, loyal readership, and reader interaction. Best of all, this plugin is compatible with WPMU and various WordPress cache plugins (so you do not have to sacrifice speed).
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) gives you a list of posts and/or pages related to the current entry, introducing the reader to other relevant content on your site. An advanced and versatile algorithm that is using a customizable algorithm considering post titles, content, tags, and categories, YARPP calculates a “match score” for each pair of posts on your blog. You choose the threshold limit for relevance and you get more related posts if there are more
related posts and less if there are less.
This plugin will generate a special XML site map which will help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your blog. With such a sitemap, it’s easier for the crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently. The plugin supports all kinds of WordPress generated pages as well as custom URLs. Additionally it notifies all major search engines every time you create a post about the new content.
The PollDaddy Polls and Ratings plugin allows you to create and manage polls and ratings from within your WordPress dashboard. You can create polls, choose from 20 different styles for your polls, and view all results for your polls as they come in. All PollDaddy polls are fully customizable, you can set a close date for your poll, create multiple choice polls, choose whether to display the results or keep them private. You can also create your own custom style for your poll. You can even embed the polls you create on other websites. You can collect unlimited votes and create unlimited polls. The new ratings menu allows you to embed ratings into your posts, pages or comments. The rating editor allows you to fully customize you rating. You can also avail of the ‘Top Rated’ widget that will allow you to place the widget in your sidebar. This widget will show you the top rated posts, pages and comments today, this week and this month.
17. Easy AdSense
Easy AdSense provides a very easy way to generate revenue from your blog using Google AdSense. With its full set of features, Easy AdSense is perhaps the first plugin to give you a complete solution for everything AdSense-related.
Once installed, the plugin will begin parsing your posts, bookmarks (AKA blogroll) and other content and looking for links. Depending on the size of your site this can take from a few minutes up to an hour or more. When parsing is complete, the plugin will start checking each link to see if it works. Again, how long this takes depends on how big your site is and how many links there are.
The WordPress Mobile Pack is a complete toolkit to help mobilize your WordPress site. It has a mobile switcher, themes, widgets, and mobile admin panel.
It includes a mobile switcher to select themes based on the type of user that is visiting the site, a selection of mobile themes, extra widgets, device adaptation and a mobile administration panel to allow users to edit the site or write new posts when out and about.
podPress adds a lot of features designed to make WordPress the ideal platform for hosting a podcast.
- Full featured and automatic feed generation (RSS2, iTunes and ATOM and XSPF playlist)
- Podcast Download stats, with graphs.
- Makes adding a Podcast to a Post very simple
- View MP3 files ID3 tags when your Posting
- Control over where the player will display within your post and what it will look like.
- Support for various formats, including Video Podcasting
- Supports unlimited number of media files.
- Automatic Media player for MP3, RM, OGG, OGV, MP4, MOV, QT, FLV, ASF, WMV, AVI, and more, with inline and Popup Window support.
- Preview image for videos
- Support for separate Category podcasts
- Support for Premium Content (Pay Only)
This is a plugin I found that does one thing, and does it well, it runs backups. You can very easily setup BackWPup to back up your all your WordPress files and database to a file on your server.
Besides database, BackWPup can also back up your WordPress installation files and optimize your database tables. The database backup will be saved in your blog server, and you can also download it manually or send it to your mail box automatically.
What’s On Your Must Have List?
There are, of course, too many plugins to list here, so in this article we’re just going to point out the essentials… what I consider to be the bare minimum “can’t live without” list of plugins that should be installed with just about any new WordPress installation. This is obviously just the beginning, as these are only a fraction of the seemingly limitless list of things you can do to customize and enhance your WordPress driven your new website.
Now, have you use some of this plugins? or do you know another who is better that one from the list. Any other you think should be on the list. I would like to hear from you, about your experiences in your comments below.