The best part about having a WordPress blog is having access to some of the top plugins found on any platform. The only problem is that because there are thousands of plugins to choose from, it’s hard to find the best ones. Well, now your search is over, here are 26 of the best plugins that WordPress has to offer – and I use them all on my blog!
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin – One of the best ways to let visitors find content that is relevant to what they are looking for is to offer them some related posts. YARRP is very customizable, and you can make related posts as accurate or inaccurate as you desire.
WP Super Cache – If you are hosting your blog on a shared server (which you most likely are), if you write a post that brings in a rush of visitors it is likely that your server will not be able to accommodate all the requests and will likely go keel over and die. Well, not with this plugin. It serves static HTML files on pages with high volumes of traffic rather than processing PHP with every request.
WP-SpamFree – An extremely powerful anti-spam plugin that virtually eliminates comment spam. It also has a handy contact form too!
WordPress Popular Posts – Retrieves the most active entries of your blog and displays them with your own formatting. Popular posts are usually one of the most clicked on items by new visitors.
WordPress Mobile Edition – A lot of people have smart phones now. So you might as well make your blog more accessible for people on the go. This plugins does just that.
WordPress Database Backup – Unless you want to find all of your hard work gone one day, you might want to install this baby. You can schedule regular backups of all your stuff and have it emailed to you.
WordPress.com Stats – Google Analytics is great, but sometimes you need something a little bit more simple. WordPress Stats lets you see see a condensed version of all the visitors to your site on your dashboard.
What Would Seth Godin Do – Let new visitors know they are welcome, and let loyal visitors know that you still love them. This plugin sets a cookie and let’s you give varying messages to new and returning visitors. You can see a demo of this at the top of this post.
Viper’s Video Quicktags – Easily display embedded video from all of the major video sites. You can also adjust how the video player looks on your blog.
Simple Tags – Simple Tags helps you to find the appropriate tags for your post. You can get suggestions from Yahoo and other tag generators, or use your own.
Referrer Detector – This plugin detects where your visitors are coming from and gives them a message accordingly. If you are visiting this page from a major social bookmarking site, there is likely a demo of this plugin at the bottom of this post.
Ozh’ Better Feed – Customize your RSS feed any way you want. This is one of the coolest RSS plugins out there. If you want to make your subscribers feel special with content that only they have access to, this is the plugin you need.
No Self Pings – Stop pingbacking yourself in you comments when you are trying to bring people to other great links on your site. This plugin is a must if you won’t want to look self-centered.
Nofollow Blogroll SEO – Save your SEO. This plugin tags all of your blogroll with the “nofollow” tag. That way you can give your friends link love without sacrificing your pagerank.
MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer – Keeps you from looking like a ping spammer every time you update a post. Ping optimizer only pings the addresses in your ping list when you first publish your post or if you manually make Ping Optimizer do it.
Google Analytics for WordPress – Let’s you track everything on your site using Google Analytics. Very good if you really want to see what users are doing on your site.
Get Recent Comments – Just as the name says… this post gets recent comments. You can display recent comments in your sidebar too, which let’s your visitors get some face time and link love.
FeedBurner FeedSmith – This is a popular one. Basically it lets you redirect your RSS feed to Feedburner so you can track your subscribers better.
Enforce www. Preference – Keep your site from confusing Google. This one redirects users to either www.yourdomain.com or yourdomain.com. This prevents Google from penalizing your site for creating duplicate content. (A big thank you to Nathan Snell for this one.)
DISQUS Comment System – I’ve tried IntenseDebate and I hate the default wordpress commenting system, so I went with Disqus. The cool thing about it is that Facebook and Twitter users can use their respective accounts to login. Also, mobile users can do the same. It’s been great so far. One thing to note is that it breaks XHTML validation. So if you are sad about invalid XHTML, sorry.
Comment Redirect – Redirect first-time comments to a page of your choice. Great for if you want new visitors to see certain material.
Broken Link Checker – Checks your posts for broken links and missing images and notifies you on the dashboard if any are found.
All in One SEO Pack – Hands down the best SEO plugin there is. It gets better with every update and is pretty much usable upon installation.
Akismet – Pretty much everyone knows this plugin. It’s a great spam filter. Use this with the aforementioned WP-Spam Free and you will have pretty close to 99.99% effective spam protection.
Add to Any: Share/Bookmark/Email Button – The best looking and most comprehensive social bookmarking plugin. The only problem with it is its incessant self promotion. Other than that, it’s great.
Hopefully this list helped out! If there are any other plugins that I should have mentioned – or that I absolutely must use – please let me know in the comments!