Our pick of the top fifteen WordPress Plugins that we use on a daily basis within our WordPress self-hosted sites. You may want to check compatibility with you self-hosted WordPress blog so that you will not receive any conflicts.
Hopefully this is of use to our readers. If you enjoyed our list please comment below, we would appreciate it. Thanks! And happy blogging!
1. This plugin generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After an html file is generated your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.
2. Optimizes your WordPress blog for Search Engines (Search Engine Optimization)
3. cforms is a feature rich plugin for WordPress, offering convenient deployment of multiple Ajax driven contact forms throughout your blog or even on the same page.
4. This plugin will create a Google sitemaps compliant XML-Sitemap of your WordPress blog. It supports all of the WordPress generated pages as well as custom ones. Everytime you edit or create a post, your sitemap is updated and all major search engines that support the sitemap protocol, like ASK.com, Google, MSN Search and YAHOO, are notified about the update.
5. Wp-GreetBox. This plugin lets you show a different greeting message to your new visitors depending on their referrer url. For example, when a Digg user clicks through from Digg, they will see a message reminding them to digg your post if they like it. Another example, when a visitor clicks through from Twitter, they will see a message suggesting them to twit the post and follow you on Twitter. You can also set a default greeting message for new visitors (not matching any referrer URLs) suggesting them to subscribe to your RSS feed. Having these targeted suggestions will help your blog increase exposure, loyal readership, and reader interaction. Best of all, this plugin is compatible with WPMU and various WordPress cache plugins (so you do not have to sacrifice speed).
6. Smilies Themer allows you to use smilies (emoticons) themes (or packs) to replace the wordpress default ones.
7. WP-SpamFree. An extremely powerful WordPress anti-spam plugin that eliminates blog comment spam, including trackback and pingback spam. Finally, you can enjoy a spam-free WordPress blog! Includes spam-free contact form feature as well.
A Powerful Weapon Against Comment Spam
Comment spam has been a huge problem for bloggers since the inception of blogs, and it just doesn’t seem to go away. The worst kind, and most prolific, is automated spam that comes from bots. Well, finally there is an anti-spam plugin for WordPress that provides an effective solution, without CAPTCHA’s, challenge questions, or other inconvenience to site visitors. WP-SpamFree eliminates automated blog comment spam from bots, including trackback and pingback spam.
• Now with Enhanced Comment Blacklist option! Instead of just sending comments to moderation as with WordPress’s default Comment Blacklist functionality, with this turned on, anything that matchs a string in the blacklist will be completely blocked. Also adds a link in the comment notification emails that will let you blacklist a commenter’s IP with one click.
• See what’s been blocked! Version 2.0 adds “Blocked Comment Logging Mode”, a temporary diagnostic mode that logs blocked comments and contact form submissions for 3 days, then turns off automatically. If you want to see what’s been blocked, or verify that everything is working, turn this on and see what WP-SpamFree is protecting your blog from.
• Added option for smaller graphic counters to display spam stats, in addition to the existing normal-sized ones.
• Added Widget for displaying spam counter. Shows small counter #1. Now you can show stats without knowing any code.
• Virtually eliminates automated comment spam from bots. It works like a firewall to ensure that your commenters are in fact, human.
• A counter on your dashboard to keep track of all the spam it’s blocking. The numbers will show how effective this plugin is.
• No CAPTCHA’s, challenge questions or other inconvenience to site visitors – it works silently in the background.
• Includes drop-in spam-free contact form. Easy to use – no configuration necessary.
• No false positives, which leads to fewer frustrated readers, and less work for you.
• You won’t have to waste valuable time sifting through a spam queue anymore, because there won’t be much there, if anything.
• Powerful trackback and pingback spam protection.
• Easy to install – truly plug and play. Just upload and activate. (Installation Status on the plugin admin page to let you know if plugin is installed correctly.)
• The beauty of this plugin is the methods of blocking spam. It takes a different approach than most and stops spam at the door.
• The code has an extremely low bandwidth overhead and won’t slow down your blog (very light database access), unlike some other anti-spam plugins.
• Completely compatible with all cache plugins, including WP Cache and WP Super Cache. Not all anti-spam plugins can say that.
• Display your blocked spam stats on your blog.
• Helps keep your database slimmer and more efficient.
• Works in WordPress MU as well.
8. Sociable. This plugin automatically add links on your posts to popular social bookmarking sites. It is an enhanced version of Peter Harkins Sociable plugin. Aside from small changes to the code I added many new bookmarking services.
Supported Bookmarking Services
Now 133 social bookmarking services are included! Supported services are:
Alltagz, Ask, BarraPunto, blinkbits, BlinkList, Bloglines, blogmarks, BlogMemes, BlogMemes Cn, BlogMemes Fr, BlogMemes Jp, BlogMemes Sp, Blogosphere News, Blogsvine, blogtercimlap, Book.mark.hu, Bumpzee, co.mments, Colivia, connotea, De.lirio.us, del.icio.us, Design Float, Digg, DotNetKicks, DZone, eKudos, email, Facebook, Fark, Faves, feedmelinks, Fleck, Folkd, Furl, Gamebuzz, Global Grind, Google Bookmarks, Gwar, Haohao, HealthRanker, Hemidemi, Hype, IndiaGram, IndianPad, Infopirat, Internetmedia, kick.ie, Kirtsy, Klickts, Laaik.it, Leonaut, Lieblnk, LinkaGoGo, Linkarchiv, Linkarena, LinkedIn, Linkter, Live-MSN, Lufee, Ma.gnolia, Maodi, Meneame, MisterWong, Mixx, muti, MyShare, Myspace, MyTagz, N4G, Netscape, Netselector, Netvouz, newskick, Newsrider, Newstube, NewsVine, NuJIJ, OKnotizie, Oneview, PlugIM, Pownce, ppnow, Print, Propeller, Ratimarks, Readster, Rec6, Reddit, Rojo, SalesMarks, Scoopeo, scuttle, seekXL, Segnalo, SEOigg, Shadows, Simpy, Slashdot, Smarking, Social-Bookmarking.dk, Socialdust, Socializer, Socialogs, SphereIt, Sphinn, Spurl, Squidoo, StumbleUpon, Taggly, TailRank, Tausendreporter, Technorati, ThisNext, TwitThis, Upnews, VoteForIt, Webbrille, Weblinkr, Webnews, Webride, Wikio, Wikio DE, Wikio ES, Wikio FR, Wikio IT, Wikio UK, Wists, Wykop, Xerpi, Yahoo Buzz, YahooMyWeb, YiGG.
9. No Follow Tags. No Follow Tags In Posts searches for links to large websites that use the ‘nofollow’ tags for external links, and puts the same tag on your links to those sites.
10. Video Player. The function of this plugin is to easily create a simple popup window. The reason it was spawned was to be used with the XSPF Music Player plugin to create a popup music player for band/musician web sites but you can use it however you like!
Version 2 now has an option for toggling scrollbars and has a widget for easily adding a link to the popup in your sidebar. Roll it!
11. WP-Polls. WP-Polls is extremely customizable via templates and css styles and there are tons of options for you to choose to ensure that WP-Polls runs the way you wanted. It now supports multiple selection of answers.
13. Maintenance Mode. Adds a splash page to your blog that lets visitors know your blog is down for maintenance. Logged in administrators get full access to the blog including the front-end.
Visitors will see a message like “Maintenance Mode – SITE is currently undergoing scheduled maintenance. Please try back in 60 minutes. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
14. Redirects the main feed and optionally the comments feed to Feedburner.com. It does this seamlessly without the need to modify templates, setup new hidden feeds, modify .htaccess files, or asking users to migrate to a new feed. All existing feeds simply become Feedburner feeds seamlessly and transparently for all users. Just tell the plugin what your Feedburner feed URL is and you’re done.
15. WordPress Automatic Upgrade allows a user to automatically upgrade the wordpress installation to the latest one provided by wordpress.org using the 5 steps provided in the wordpress upgrade instructions.
WordPress automatic upgrade upgrades your wordpress installation by doing the following steps.
• Backs up the files and makes available a link to download it.
• Backs up the database and makes available a link to download it.
• Downloads the latest files from http://wordpress.org/latest.zip and unzips it.
• Puts the site in maintenance mode.
• De-activates all active plugins and remembers it.
• Upgrades wordpress files.
• Gives you a link that will open in a new window to upgrade installation.
• Re-activates the plugins.
The plugin can also can be run in an automated mode where in you do not have to click on any links to go to the next step.
Well, that is our list of the top 15 WordPress plugins that will surely make your life a little easier and take your blog to new heights. Some of these plugins may require that you have a little bit of technical knowledge but for the most – they are pretty much packaged to get you going immediately.
Again, happy bloggin’!