My Essential WordPress Plugins

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Someone asked me a few days ago what the best plugins for WordPress are. That’s not a question I can answer definitively; however, I can answer the question about what plugins I prefer and use every day. Here’s a list of the plugins I use.

Akismet This is a must-have plugin for spam protection. Written by the Automattic team (the same people responsible for WordPress), it helps prevent you from ever having to deal with spam comments.

All in One SEO Pack This powerful plugin rewrites various aspects of your site to be more SEO-friendly (like the title bar). It also lets you add meta information for search engines. This one is updated frequently so you may run into update fatigue, but I personally think this is also an important plugin.

Exclude Pages If you want to exclude certain pages from your navigation, this plugin lets you do that with a simple checkbox. Why this isn’t part of the WordPress core I don’t know; but this plugin will remove pages (and their children) from the nav menu, making it easy to create linked pages that aren’t part of the navigation.

Organize Series For the creation of a series, you need this plugin. This plugin automatically links all posts in a series together, and creates a widget you can use to show the series on your theme. This is a must-have for anyone who writes multiple-part blog entries.

Sociable One of the best ways to spread something around is to let people who like it talk about it. Sociable is a great widget for this. It shows up at the bottom of each entry, and you can customize what’s available by default for your users to use. This is a must-have for sharing your content.

Add Post Footer If you’ve ever had your content stolen in its entirety, you’ll want this plugin. This plugin allows you to add a footer to each and every entry, which can be invaluable for showing those thieves what-for. The interface is lacking, but the functionality is there, so give it a shot.

Subscribe To Comments For discussions this is an incredibly important plugin. When people write comments they can click a checkbox to be notified of updates to that set of comments. This facilitates discussion, and is a plugin that is quite heavily used on my blog.

Syntax Highlighter Plus Many of the code samples I use would be impossible without this versatile plugin. This is perhaps the best plugin I’ve ever found. It allows you to write in tons of languages, and give syntax-highlighted examples of all of them. Definitely recommended for technical bloggers.

WP Twitip ID I like to know when my commenters are on Twitter, so that I can follow and interact with them. This plugin allows people to leave their Twitter ID as a part of their comment. This takes some formatting on your part in the comments, but overall I think this is a great plugin to facilitate and improve the discussion.

Yet Another Related Posts Plugin This plugin creates the “related posts” information at the bottom of each post. Not a must-have, but a fun and useful tool. It allows you to show readers what they might also be interested in. You can tune the logic to make the results more relevant, and the plugin does a great job without this of determining related posts on its own.

That’s my list of plugins that I use. Tell me in the comments what your favorite WordPress plugins are.

Brandon Savage is the author of Mastering Object Oriented PHP and Practical Design Patterns in PHP

Posted on 8/21/2009 at 1:00 am
Categories: Friday Inspirations

Ernie Smith (@shortformblog) wrote at 8/21/2009 9:19 am:

Thoughts from another WP user:

Anything comment related: Just get Disqus. It does pretty much everything you need (including tweets) and it’s cleaner and less confusing than the mess of brambles that is the WordPress comment system.

The More Fields plugin is killer. I use it on my site and it allows me to do some pretty complex stuff with my site’s design. I would not be able to make my site work without it.

And I’m a big fan of both Apture itself and the plugin that makes it a cinch to add Apture to your site. It’s incredibly useful.

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