Wealthy Affiliate will teach you how to build a long term business

My Suggested WordPress Plugin List

Update – 19th July, 2012.

This article is pretty dated now, so you may want to take a look at my most recent article on plugins:

Core plugins for any WordPress site.

Original article starts here:

I follow questions about WordPress on Twitter, and one of the questions that keeps coming up is for recommendations on what plugins to install.

I wrote a post here that explains why that’s quite a difficult question to give a useful answer to.  However, I’ve taken the plunge here and set out the plugins I install for new WordPress blogs that I put up.

They’re broken down by broad categories:  

SEO Related:

All-in-one-SEO pack.  This allows you to set key META tags for each of your posts and pages – extremely useful.  It also allows you to configure how WordPress displays your Post and Blog Titles and set overall META tags for your blog.

SEO Smart Links. This allows you to quickly and easily build the internal linking structure of your blog by identifying posts (and pages) to link together. You can set parameters like how many links you want per post and define specific keywords and posts you’d like the plugin to create links between.

Robots META. This allows you to easily manage robots indexing activities – for example preventing the robots from indexing your admin pages. It allows you to set indexing and no follow, or follow but no indexing on different types of page, giving you a more granular control over the behaviour of the search engine spiders.

Google XML Sitemaps. This will automatically build an XML sitemap of your blog and submit it to the major search engines. It will automatically update it and re-ping the search engines whenever you put up new posts.

Redirection. This will automatically apply a 301 re-direct to any post that has its url changed. You can also set up manual re-directs to posts where you know urls have changed. Particularly useful if you change your permalink structure.

Yet Another Related Posts Plugin. This will display a list of related posts after each article. You can define different weightings for the criteria it uses to identify posts that are related. Great for feeding both readers and the search engines with more juice!

Spam and Security:

Akismet. No link, as this comes as default with WordPress installations.  It’s been very effective for me at preventing spam.

Bad Behaviour. It works in conjunction with Akismet and does a great job, particularly against screen scraping and link spam.

WP-Security-Scan. This monitors your installation continuously for hacking attempts and blocks them. It also provides you with the facility to easily make changes to your blog configuration to improve overall protection.

Reader Stickiness and Community:

CommentLuv. This attempts to pull in a link from your last post and place it in comments you make on other blogs, providing a deep link back to your blog. If you’re a member, you’re provided with the opportunity to choose from a selection of posts – useful if you make more than one comment per post on a blog, or more than one comment on the same blog between writing new posts on your blog.

Recently Popular. Displays the most read posts over a time frame you define. Anywhere from a few hours to several months. Shows readers what’s hot on your blog at the moment.

Share This. Provides an easy way for readers to share your content with others by bookmarking it or posting it to a selection of bookmarking or social sites. The range of sites that are covered is impressive.

Subscribe to Comments. Enables people to receive email notifications whenever a new comment is added on a post they’ve already commented on. Brings readers back.

Thank Me Later. Automatically generates a thank you email to people who make comments on your articles. You can write the message that goes out and define how long after they comment that you want to email them. You can set parameters to prevent regular commenters receiving 2 or 3 emails a day. Automatically includes a link to their comment which encourages repeat visits.

Tweet This. Very similar to Share This, but allows people to Tweet your posts.

What Would Seth Godin Do. Allows you to place a message either at the top or bottom of your posts encouraging people to subscribe to your RSS feed. You can actually use it for any purpose at all and you can set it to display a different message to first time readers from what it does for returning readers.

Feedburner Feedsmith. (Because Feedburner is now owned by Google this link will take you to a Google help page – don’t be surprised, the link’s about a third of the way down).  Diverts all outgoing RSS feeds from your site through your Feedburner Feed.  This makes them more easily readable to a wider range of RSS readers and gives you detailed statistics on your subscribers.

Cforms11. Enables you to create any type of form you want on your blog. Contact forms, questionnaires, surveys – whatever you want. User friendly, quick to set up, but it definitely helps if you’re familiar with CSS.

Search Unleashed. Replaces the standard WordPress Search function (which is abysmal) with something that’s much more powerful. Delivers focused and excellent search results.

Administration and Other Stuff:

WP-DBManager. A Database manager that enables you to easily back up, optimise, repair or restore your database.

WordPress.com Stats. A statistics package, which provides some useful views but is limited in many areas. It’s good for a quick analysis of your posts over the lifetime of your blog.

Google Analyticator. Adds the code for Google Analytics to your blog, providing a much more detailed analysis of visitors and traffic.

Those are the plugins I generally install on new WordPress blogs. Depending on the subject of your blog there may be others that you should be reviewing.

Remember that plugins add overhead to your site, which can make it slower to load. So you don’t want to add plugins that overlap and you don’t want plugins that are not providing you with a clear benefit.

So be sure to work out carefully what areas of your blog you want to strengthen and install only those plugins that will bring you a clear benefit.  Deactivate and remove anything you’re not using to reduce overhad as much as possible.

If you have other plugins you love let us know by leaving a comment!

Updated 6th April, 2009:

Since writing this article I’ve found and used some more plugins. I’ve reviewed them here.

Updated 7th May, 2009:

I’ve seen a lot of questions asking how to install plugins on WordPress blogs, so I wrote a set of step-by-step instructions on how to do so.  You can find them here.

Updated 8 July, 2009:

And yet more good plugins – find them here.

Wealthy Affiliate will teach you how to build a long term business

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Chris 2 March, 2009, 11:12 pm

    Martin,

    The “All in One SEO Pack” is definitely a must. The preloaded “Akismet” spam fighter is pretty good right?

    Chris Ott
    Referral Key
    Your Trusted http://www.referralkey.com/

    • WealthyDragon 3 March, 2009, 6:44 am

      Chris, hi,

      Yes – Akismet’s pretty effective,

      Cheers,

      Martin.

  • Michael Torbert 5 March, 2009, 7:00 am

    Glad to see two of my plugins made it in your list. I would definitely add WP Super Cache and Twitter Tools though.

    Michael Torbert´s last blog post..Twitter Updates for 2009-03-04

    • WealthyDragon 5 March, 2009, 7:13 am

      Michael, hi,

      Thanks – I’ll check those out..! I’m always keen to explore other plugins from authors I’m already using.

      Cheers,

      Martin.

  • Michael Torbert 5 March, 2009, 7:23 am

    Well those aren’t mine, WP Super Cache is from Donncha Caoimh and Twitter Tools is from Alex King. The other public and free plugins I currently have released are SMS Text Message at http://semperfiwebdesign.com/wordpress-plugins/sms-text-message/ and Free Kareem at http://semperfiwebdesign.com/wordpress-plugins/free-kareem/

    You have a great list though. A number of my favorites are up there.

    Michael Torbert´s last blog post..Twitter Updates for 2009-03-04

    • WealthyDragon 5 March, 2009, 8:12 am

      Oops..! I do use one from Alex King though. I believe Twitter Tools makes use of the Twitter API and since I also use TweetDeck I’ve tended to restrict using tools that make Twitter API calls so as not to exceed my hourly limit.

      I get my blog posts onto Twitter via TwitterFeed, which is RSS based.

      Cheers.

  • Liam 6 March, 2009, 4:08 pm

    Every time I try to activate the wp-dbmanager I get a fatal error??
    I am on wp2.5.1 and wanting to upgrade.

    • WealthyDragon 6 March, 2009, 8:13 pm

      Liam hi,

      Give me an email address and I’ll send you an ebook on upgrading Wordpress. There’s a section in there on backing up your database manually – it’s very straightforward.

      Once you’re on 2.7.1 you can deactivate and remove the WP-DBManager plugin and then re-download it and re-install it. Hopefully it will then be OK, but if not you’ll still have the process for backing up manually.

      Contact me through the Contact page and give me an email address to send the ebook to.

      Cheers,

      Martin.

  • Mimi 6 March, 2009, 11:51 pm

    Great list for plug-ins… very useful for people starting out and wanting to increase their traffic! I use many of these… but it is always good to get new suggestions.

    Thanks Martin!

    Mimi´s last blog post..Do you wear your winter sandals?

    • WealthyDragon 7 March, 2009, 10:57 am

      Thanks Mimi,

      Glad you found them useful!

      Cheers,

      Martin.

  • Belajar Seo 20 March, 2009, 7:00 pm

    very useful plugin list, but in my opinion “seo platnum” is more better than “all in one seo pack”…just sharing.nice post.

    • WealthyDragon 20 March, 2009, 8:55 pm

      Thanks for the heads up on SEO Platinum – I wasn’t aware of that one and I’ll check it out.

      Cheers,

      Martin.

  • Michael Torbert 20 March, 2009, 8:58 pm

    Platinum is just All in One SEO’s code ripped from 9 months ago with a few “features” added in that either don’t work or are already included in the core of WordPress. It has none of the additional features and bugfixes of All in One SEO from the past 9 months.

    • WealthyDragon 20 March, 2009, 9:10 pm

      Thanks Michael – you just saved me some work 🙂

      Cheers,

      Martin.

  • Luke Parmeter 24 March, 2009, 10:40 am

    Great post!

    Luke Parmeter´s last blog post..LPmotocross-16.jpg

    • WealthyDragon 24 March, 2009, 12:34 pm

      Thanks Luke – glad it was helpful,

      Cheers,

      Martin.

  • Mike 30 March, 2009, 6:07 am

    I noticed that when someone arrives on your site via Google, it appears to deliver a small bit of customized content. Is that a Wordpress plugin, Thesis option, or something else?

    Thanks,
    Mike

    • WealthyDragon 30 March, 2009, 7:04 am

      Mike, hi,

      You’ve got me stumped..! 🙂

      What piece of content did you mean?

      Cheers,

      Martin.

  • Mike 30 March, 2009, 9:54 am

    In the source code, it’s a div marked “incoming”

    Text looks like:

    Google Search Results

    You arrived here after searching for the following phrases:

    wealthydragoncom
    wordpress
    plugin
    Click a phrase to jump to the first occurrence, or return to the search results.

    Mike´s last blog post..The Joy and Pain of a First Half-marathon

    • WealthyDragon 30 March, 2009, 11:49 am

      Ahhh,

      That’s from Google Custom Search. You can install it as a plugin or just install the code and create a search results page manually.

      Unfortunately it did not work well for me – in fact it was worse than the standard WordPress search functionality – so I disabled it and used Search Unleashed instead.

      Cheers,

      Martin.

  • Mike 31 March, 2009, 12:08 am

    Here’s something else I just found:

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-greet-box/

    Mike´s last blog post..Crush the Websites That Are Stealing Your Content

    • WealthyDragon 31 March, 2009, 8:17 am

      Mike, hi,

      Yes – I’d seen that one before. Trouble is, I’m getting too may plugins on here already and it’s beginning to impact performance, so I’m being more picky about which ones I install.

      Thanks for the heads up, though!

      Cheers,

      Martin.

  • Harsh Agrawal 9 April, 2009, 8:35 pm

    I think Akismet handle most of spam issue…

    Harsh Agrawal´s last blog post..Gmail labs new feature : Senders time zone

    • WealthyDragon 9 April, 2009, 8:50 pm

      Akismet is good, but I’ve found the combination with Bad Behaviour is even better.

      Cheers,

      Martin.

  • ChaCha Fance 23 July, 2009, 1:19 am

    Great list! Starting a new blog so I’m trying to get plugin suggestions and this has really helped.
    .-= ChaCha Fance´s last blog ..BuyDig.com – The Internet’s Digital Superstore =-.

    • WealthyDragon 23 July, 2009, 8:13 am

      Glad it was helpful 🙂

      Cheers,

      Martin

  • Eric Buckley 7 September, 2009, 11:19 am

    Hi Martin,

    I have a couple more that I use for the mobile blog visitor. These get used quite frequently as well.

    MobilePress – turns your WordPress blog into a mobile friendly blog when viewed on a cell phone. MobilePress also allows you to create custom mobile themes for different handheld devices and mobile browsers such as the iPhone, Opera Mini and Windows Mobile.

    WPTouch iPhone Theme – A plugin which formats your site with a mobile theme for the Apple iPhone / iPod touch, Google Android and other touch-based smartphones.

    I am running both together, but MobilePress is really all you need to meet the needs of the majority of mobile visitors.
    .-= Eric Buckley´s last blog ..5 Online Wordpress Theme Generators =-.

    • WealthyDragon 7 September, 2009, 4:33 pm

      Thanks Dude,

      Someone else also mentioned I should be installing a mobile plugin – I do need to get around to it!

      I’ll go and check out MobilePress,

      Thanks for the reminder 🙂

      Cheers,

      Martin.

  • Freelance Web Designer 25 October, 2009, 11:34 pm

    Great list. I also use most of them in my projects
    .-= Freelance Web Designer´s last blog ..Free Wordpress Template: Hijau Pupus Theme =-.

  • CorrieHowe 8 November, 2009, 11:41 am

    Do you use ALL these plugins?
    .-= CorrieHowe´s last blog ..100th Post Celebration =-.

    • Martin 8 November, 2009, 12:16 pm

      Not now.

      A while ago I was a plugin freak, but the more plugins you have the more opportunities there are for things to go wrong.

      Some plugins also slow down your site load times. This particularly happens when they have to access another site for information to do whatever they do. If the other site is down or slow that affects your site and you have no control over it.

      Sometimes authors stop updating plugins. In this case if the plugin doesn’t keep pace with WordPress releases it can cause problems after WordPress upgrades.

      So for a while now I’ve been removing plugins wherever I can. One of the reasons I like Thesis so much is because it enables you to remove SEO plugins.

      However, I have at some point used all the plugins that I’ve referred to on this article, and the other plugin articles on this site, and they all did/do a good job and don’t/didn’t cause me any problems.

      Cheers,

      Martin.

  • Michael Worthington 23 November, 2009, 7:10 pm

    Hey Martin,

    I found you through a search on Warrior forum while looking for the essential Wordpress plugins.

    This is an awesome blog for the Wordpress newbie!

    I’m trying my best to become proficient at blogging and Wordpress in particular, and I’ll be visiting here on a regular basis.

    Thanks a ton for taking the time to put this info together!

    All the best,

    Michael
    .-= Michael Worthington´s last blog ..Society says “Don’t take the law into your own hands!” =-.

    • Martin 24 November, 2009, 7:18 am

      Michael, hi,

      Thanks for those kind words, and I’m delighted you found some useful information here!

      I enjoy pulling the articles on here together because, a lot of the time, it expands my own knowledge. And that, in turn, benefits my other activities.

      So you’re very welcome 🙂

      Cheers,

      Martin.

  • Kevin McKillop 20 December, 2009, 2:41 pm

    Another plugin I would recommend for the stickiness factor similar to CommentLuv is Keyword Luv. Handy utility that allows users to link to their site, and they provide the anchor text as part of their username. A little different from CommentLuv which links to posts pulling the anchor text from the title.
    .-= Kevin McKillop´s last blog ..Do You Need An Internet Marketing Coaching Forum =-.

    • Martin 21 December, 2009, 6:57 am

      Hi Kevin,

      Thanks for that – and yes, I’ve heard a lot of good things about KeyWordLuv, although I’ve not used it.

      Cheers,

      Martin.

  • CW @ Home made energy 22 February, 2010, 6:38 am

    I noticed you mentioned a plugin called “Redirection” used for 301 re-directs, wish I had known about that one last week, would have saved me lots of wasted time.
    .-= CW @ Home made energy´s last blog ..PV Solar – Homeowner Analysis (6) =-.

    • Martin 22 February, 2010, 6:47 am

      Yes – Redirection is a good one and it gives you a lot of data about the 404 errors on your site.

      Martin.