One of the wonderful things about WordPress is its flexibility. There is a huge following, and a large group supporting the development of functionality and usability.
Here is a quick list of the 10 plugins I have found to be effective on almost every instance of WordPress I have worked with:
- Akismet – Comment spam is a pain, and it isn’t going away anytime soon. Akismet comes default with WP, is pretty accurate and is as simple to use. You do have to download an WordPress API Key to use it. Takes 2 minutes, and it’s free. Akismet was created by Automattic.
- Contact Coldform – There are great amount of contact form plugins for WordPress. I have tried many of them through out the years. The easiest one to get styled and up on a WordPress site has to be Contact ColdForm. Contact Coldform is a remixed plug-n-play contact form for WordPress 2+. By Perishable. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.
- Google XML Sitemap – Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about pages on their sites that are available for crawling. In its simplest form, a Sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL (when it was last updated, how often it usually changes, and how important it is, relative to other URLs in the site) so that search engines can more intelligently crawl the site. This is a great way to help build traffic for your site
- NoFollow Links – Ouch…stop the bleeding! This is a plugin designed to allow you to append nofollow to the rel attribute of selected links in your blogroll. It does not conflict with the link relationships (XFN) specified when you edit a link. It will just be appended to the end of the rel attribute when it’s displayed.
- Search Everything – This search plugin comes in handy when you are you using WordPress post_query and templates. I wanted to exclude specific things from search and this does the trick in minutes. Search Everything adds search functionality without modifying template pages: Activate, Configure and Search. Options Include: search pages, excerpts, attachments, drafts, comments, tags and custom fields (metadata). Also offers the ability to exclude specific pages and posts. Does not search password-protected content..
- Sociable – Social media isn’t popular right? Right. This is another area that has a long list of options. In my opinion the easiest plugin to add social bookmarking capability to your WordPress driven website is Social. Sociable is a plugin which adds social media buttons to your posts, and does so easily, and beautifully. I was created and maintained by Peter Harkins and is now being taken care of by Joost de Valk over at Yoast.
- Subscribe to Comments – Ever posted a comment on a blog and wished you had a way to be notified of any further comments? Subscribe to Comments is a plugin that allows commenters on your blog to check a box before commenting and get e-mail notification of further comments. It is one of the most popular WordPress plugins out there for the simple reason that it helps foster a community around your blog by encouraging commenters to come back and stay engaged in the dialog. Subscribe to Comments was created by Mark Jaquith, one of the lead WordPress developers.
- WP-PageNavi – If you want to get nice and simple pagination going on your site, similar to the bottom of blog here at Armeda, this is the plugin for you. It replaces the WordPress next|back links on your blog. PageNavi was created and is maintained by Lester ‘GaMerZ’ Chan.
- WordPress Super Cache – Ever dream of making the front page of Digg with one of your killer posts? Don’t let that happen without this plugin, you may be down a while. WP Super Cache is a static caching plugin for WordPress. It generates html files that are served directly by Apache without processing comparatively heavy PHP scripts. By using this plugin you will speed up your WordPress blog significantly.
- Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) – Why not make things easier for your readers and subscribers by giving them related content from your posts and RSS feeds. 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.
Armeda currently uses all of these plugins and appreciates all the hard work the developers put in to provide WordPess users with options.
There are clearly options out there and this list displays some simple, customizable solutions for you and your blog.
Have a favorite plugin you can’t live without? I would love to hear about it.