WordPress is a great content management system with various great wordpress plugins developed by private programmers which add great functionality to the system. However, it is advisable to only use the most essential wordpress plugins on your site as the downside is that too many plugins can slow down the loading time of your website/blog. This necessitates identifying the most essential wordpress plugins so that only these are installed on your wordpress blog.
Essential WordPress Plugins
This is the great spam filter plugin which identifies likely spam comments, compares them with the information on its data base and classifies them into “pending” and “spam”. The webmaster now has the option of checking the spam comments and trashing those he considers truly spam and approving those he considers were erroneously classified as spam.
* SI Captcha Anti-Spam This plugin specifies certain letters and or numbers that the site visitor is asked to insert in a space/box with a view to filtering out spam bots. It works wonderfully well in combination with Akismet.
* FD Feedburner Plugin This plugin redirects all feeds to the feedburner feed. Of course you first have to “burn” your feed with feedburner. You can read up on the many advantages of redirecting your feed to feedburner and also of “burning” your feed with feedburner.
* WP-Table Reloaded This is a great plugin i use for data analysis and presentation. You can view it in use on my blog where i have used it in a post to present the two tables featuring the Top Article Directories
* All In One SEO This plugin is a top plugin for SEO. It enables the webmaster to optimize on-page for the search engines by prominently specifying his keyword rich title, post description as well as tags. It also captures these same features for the entire site/blog.
* Cbnet Ping Optimizer This plugin ensures your blog posts are only pinged to the various pinging services e.g pingomatic when a new post is published and not each time an update to the post is carried out. This protects you from being banned by these services as it often happens due to excessive and uneccesary pinging.
* Comment Luv This plugin allows a display of your last blog post title on sites(that are also using this plugin) that you visit and leave a comment. This gives another backlink to your website and can be a source of traffic from such sites to yours.
* Keyword Luv This plugin enables you to have your keyword featured in the name field for blog comments while at the same time satisfying webmasters by simultaneously inserting your name. It takes this format “Your Name @Your Keyword”. This is a plus for your search engine optimization efforts as you have your keyword anchor text pointing back to your website. This plugin requires a dofollow plugin to be effective.
* Category SEO Meta Tags This plugin adds ability to add meta tags for category pages. It is specially designed to work with All In One SEO plugin.
* Do Follow This plugin removes the evil nofollow attribute that WordPress adds by default in comments, thereby allowing search engines to follow the site links in comments to its defined destination and thus pass on SEO benefits to your blog commenters. Naturally, this boosts traffic.
* Exit Rescue This allows the creation of a very simple and easy exit popup on your blogs and web sites, which can then be used for list building etc.
* Google XML Sitemaps This plugin generates a special XML sitemap which helps search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com to better index your blog.
* Quick Adsense Quick Adsense offers a quicker & flexible way to insert Google Adsense or any Ads code into a blog post.
* SEO Search Terms Tagging 2 This plugin helps to strengthen your On Page SEO by adding new internal linking to your blog post using the most popular keywords used by search engine visitors to find your blog post from a search engine ( incoming search terms ).
* Ultimate Google Analytics This plugin enables Google analytics on your blog such that you do not have to manually insert the generated code into your site’s html. This is automatically done for you by this plugin which ensures full integration between your blog and google analytics.
* What Would Seth Godin Do This plugin displays a custom welcome message to new visitors to your site/blog and another to return visitors. It also encourages them to subscribe to your RSS feed.
* Simple Tags This suggests tags for your blog posts as you type your intended tag, based on previous tags you have used for previous blog posts. You are thus able to easily adopt any relevant one of these tags for your current posts. It works similarly to Google Instant.
* SEO Tag Cloud Widget The SEO Tag Cloud Widget displays the tag cloud in a SEO-friendly way, using a search engine optimized html markup.
* OnlyWire for WordPress The FREE version of this plugin enables you to easily post to about 35 social bookmarking sites with one button. You are allowed to make a maximum of about 300 submissions in all to these social bookmarking sites on a monthly basis, using the FREE version.
* SEO Smart links SEO Smart Links provides automatic SEO benefits for your site by the ability to insert keywords on each blog post linking as anchor text to your specified blog post. Anytime these keywords are subsequently used in any blog post, it will link to your specified blog post.
* Thank Me Later Allows you to automatically send a ‘thank you’ e-mail to those who comment on your blog. This plugin message is customizable and can engage your site visitors by reminding them to check back for responses or new blog posts. The plugin is highly configurable with multiple messages, variable delay and restrictions.
My only concern with this plugin is whether it cannot be categorized as spamming your visitors as i do not think there is an explicit authority given, to communicate with them. I do not think that visiting your site, making comments on your blog and leaving their e-mails constitutes such authority.
* Subscribe To Comments
Allows readers to opt to receive notifications of new comments that are posted to an entry. This acts as a reminder of their earlier comment and keeps them abreast of further discussions on that blog post. It is a good way to engage your visitors and retain their presence on your website.
* FollowMe WP FollowMe is a wordpress plugin that allows you to add a twitter Follow me badge on your wordpress blog. It is customizable such that you can insert any of different badges included or even import new badge of your choice.
* Digg This O’ Mine Places a “Digg This” button at the end of your posts, pages, or anywhere of your choice.
* Simple Facebook Share Button Similarly to the above, this plugin allows you to place a facebook share button on each blog post.
* TweetMeme Retweet Button Adds a button to each blog post which easily lets your visitors retweet your blog posts.
The above are the most essential wordpress plugins i will recommend you use on your blog.