Top and Best WordPress Plugins You MUST See!

Of late, I have come across many posts and articles mentioning the top 10 WordPress plugins and I don’t want to be left behind. This post will show you some of the best and top WordPress plugins that will enhance the functionality of your WordPress blog.

Core Functionality WordPress Plugins

[Akismet] – It checks your comments against the Akismet web serivce to see if they look like spam or not. You need a WordPress.com API key [Free] to use this service. You can review the spam it catches under “Manage” and it automatically deletes old spam after 15 days. This is a MUST to have plugin and without which you will have a tough time fighting with spam comments on your blog. It is bundled along with your WordPress installation files, so all you need to do is get your API key and activate it.

[Spam Karma 2 (SK2)] – Another great plugin for fighting spam in your blogs. Read the FAQs about this plugin.

[WordPress Database Backup]On-demand backup of your WordPress database. This plugin is bundled along with WordPress core installation files. Enable it and take regular backups. You never know when things could go wrong. Taking a backup ensures that you have all the content in your hand for easy recovery. This plugin can lets you download the backup, email it or store in a folder on the server itself. A must to have this plugin activated in your WordPress and more important is that you take backup of your WP database regularly.

[WP-Cache] – This is a very efficient and fast caching system plugin for WordPress. It’s a must to have plugin in these days when you never know when someone will digg you and your site might unexpectedly go down. Caching help your blog to a great extent by saving a static copy of your content and serve your visitors without a need to query the database to fetch the pages.

[Admin Drop Down Menu] – For people with lot of things installed in their WordPress, this plugin will be a time saver. When installed, you don’t need to click on top menu items in Admin menu, just hover your mouse and it will display the sub menu items just beneath that. This demo page is best to explain how it works.

Manage Advertising on Your Blogs

[Adsense-Deluxe]This plugin places Google AdSense ads in your WordPress Posts. The best part about this plugin is that it lets you create AdSense blocks with AdSense code in it. You are not limited to use it just to display AdSense, instead also put HTML, Javascript code of your newsletter subscription form or something else and it will work. At the end of this post, you will see a link to subscribe to our updates and feeds by email. That’s a simple trick with this plugin. Another great feature of this plugin is its ability to enable AdSense units selectively on only front page, single posts and globally enable and disable AdSense. To change AdSense unit code everywhere all you have to do is change the code in the Admin area and it changes it on all pages in one go. That’s a plus for people who frequently experiment with their AdSense units to achieve better performance.

[WP-Ads] – This is another top plugin that will let you create zones and place various ad units in those zones. You can place more than one ad unit in a zone and WP-Ads plugin will rotate it for you. The plugins page in admin section also shows the number of times the ad units were served. Creating and managing your ad inventory is very easy with this plugin.

[WP e-Commerce Lite] – If you are in need of a shopping cart for your blogs, this is the one. The WP e-Commerce shopping cart plugin for WordPress is an elegant fully featured shopping cart application suitable for selling your product and services online.

External Services Related Plugins

[flickrRSS]This plugin allows you to display Flickr photos on your site. The plugin supports user, public and group photo streams. It’s easy to setup and configure via an options panel. It also has image cache support too.

Feed Management

[Feedburner Feed Replacement]Forwards all feed traffic to Feedburner while letting through some important User-Agents.

Forms in WordPress

[PXS Mail Form] – A great form for using in WordPress. It has a CC Sender option, validates email address, send email to multiple recipients and it will even create a drop-down menu if required to allow the user to select a recipient.

Podcasting in WordPress

[PodPress] – With this plugin, you can see how Podcast will look like on iTunes, Podcast Download stats, Support for Premium Content, Audio Comments and many more features. Visit their page for more information.

[PhoneBlogz] – PhoneBlogz allows you to blog to your WordPress by phone and they also support direct posting and remote polling. More information on their website.

Reports for WordPress

[Analytics and Feedburner Reports] – Anyone with an account with either Google Analytics or Feedburner would love to have this plugin. It displays statistics about your site in a very simple to understand graphics. It also the ability to automatically installed Google Analytics tracking code in your WordPress for you.

Search Engine Optimization [SEO] and Traffic Related

[Add Meta Tags] - A great plugin that adds the post’s categories and excerpt to the “keywords” and the “description” XHTML meta tags respectively, while viewing single posts. It also adds the blog’s description and categories to the “description” and the “keywords” meta tags respectively on the home page. A must for your SEO related activities. However, not every search engine relies on META tags anymore, but this greatly helps in improving your Search Engine visibility in many ways.

[Dagon Design Sitemap Generator]Generates a customizable sitemap containing all posts and pages. You will have to create a page by name ‘Sitemap’ and use this plugin to generate a sitemap with all posts and pages of your blog. This is a great plugin to show a sitemap on your blog that automatically gets updated every time you post a new article or create a page.

[Google Sitemaps]This generator will create a Google compliant sitemap of your WordPress blog. The sitemap is automatically updated with your blog entries and you can use the URL of sitemap [http://your-domain.com/sitemap.xml] to submit to search engines such as Google and Yahoo!. Not only Google, but Yahoo! and Microsoft will also use the same sitemap going forward. [Read the FAQs on http://www.sitemaps.org/]

[Ultimate Tag Warrior]It allows you to add tags either through the Write Post page in WordPress in a tag box, on posts using an AJAX box, and in posts using special syntax from external editors. [Note: Some blogs seemed to have performance issues with this plugin. Please observe for any such issues on your blog and act accordingly]

[Simple Tagging] – Those looking for an alternative to UTW plugin, look no further. Simple Tagging is another tagging plugin for WordPress that is much faster than other tagging plugins and very easy to use. It features auto suggestion of tags in Ajax style and can also import your existing WordPress categories as tags. I use this plugin for tagging the posts on this blog. You can see how it in Tags section at the start of this post entry or read my post on Simple Tagging for details.

Social Bookmarking

[Digg This Reloaded]Adds Digg story link/button to your posts as well as options to submit to other social bookmarking sites. This plugin has an integrated release with Share This plugin bundled with it. After a post is dugg, it show the number of diggs on your post just like it’s shown on digg website.

[Share This] – A great plugin with options of many bookmarking sites in it. And it can also email from within the plugin itself.

WordPress Posts Related

[Related Posts]Returns a list of the related entries based on active/passive keyword matches. At the end of this post, see the Related Posts section. That’s how it will show up on your site too! A great way to show more content to your visitors.

[Landing sites] – There is a problem with search results and that is when people search for content on Internet, they often land on pages from your blog looking for specific content which is readily not available on pages such as categories. This will drive them away and sometimes they may not even come back. To overcome this problem, help them by showing them related posts to their search on your blog? This plugin lets you do that, works with a long list of search engines! It’s NOT same as Related posts plugin, but works on similar concept by showing posts related to the search keywords used by a visitor. Test it out by search for “mod_rewrite example” and click on the link that points to this site. You will see this plugin’s implementation on the top of the page. Another advantage is that, by offering more number of relevant pages from your site to visitors, you increase the chances of retaining the visitor for longer duration on the site and it increases your page views.

[Recent Comments] – This plugin displays excerpts of the most recent comments and/or trackbacks that have been posted to the articles in your blog. A great way to show recent comments posted in your blog site in your sidebar.

[Subscribe To Comments] – This plugin allows your readers to receive notifications of new comments that are posted to an entry. It also lets them manage the subscription by themselves without your intervention. You can see it in action under the comments section below.

Please let us know the plugins that you are using on your site, why you use them and if you recommend them to others. We will be glad to add them to this list.

13 thoughts on “Top and Best WordPress Plugins You MUST See!

  1. Hi Jonathan,
    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your list of good plugins with us. We are looking at those and will add them to the list.
    Have a good one :)

  2. I agree with Mike. I find that Search Engine Marketing is fast becoming THE way to getting tons of traffic. I mean, think about it: Search Engine Marketing is free (if done right) and it can bring you litterly thousands upon thousands of free quality traffic every week. I’ve decided that the safest bet for me is to work hard and get a #1 spot on all major search engines for a certain keyword – and once that is done… I’ll be set as far as traffic goes. Any comments?

  3. @Search Engine Marketing – I concur your thoughts. Search Engine Marketing, when done right, has immense potential to attract lot of quality search engine traffic. One should, of course, follow the quality guidelines set by search engines and work in accordance towards building quality content to retain the top position. Some people work towards building keyword centric websites to gain major share of search engine traffic while others work towards building lot of quality content that automatically pull lot of traffic from search engines.

    Appreciate your comments. Thanks for stopping by…

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