My Top 20 WordPress Plugins

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What plugins do you use?

In this post I want to discuss WordPress plugins and narrow down which ones are essential and which of them are useful in other ways. As any self Hosted WordPress user will tell you, plugins are essential for many important parts of your blog from SEO to Statistics and a myriad of other uses. This list includes my top 20 plugins that i use regularly, at the time of writing this list I have 42 plugins and I dare say other WordPress users have a lot more; so I would love to hear about your plugins and how you rate this list.

So let’s kick off with what I use on my blog; I will start with the Essential plugins and list them in order of importance to me. Since this blog is in its infancy my recommendations may not suit everyone but I hope will help you decide which is more important to your particular blog. My goal is to stick with 20 Plugins that give me the best performance, tough job. Along the way i will toss out the dross and replace with them with the next best thing that comes along. Give me your suggestions, love to here from you.

1st All in one SEO I think most would agree without doubt the most important of all the plugins, once set up it is a powerful tool that sends your posts throughout the web. You can customise this plugin in various ways to fine tune your SEO campaign. (Update your keywords and phrases frequently and always check in with Google analytics to find out the latest trends)

2nd. Google XML Sitemaps — another essential element automatically generates your sitemap and notifies Google MSN and Set up just once and leave.

3rd. SEO Smart Links — Very useful plugin for linking your posts up throughout your blog by category or tags, great for SEO. Can be modified and tailored to suit your theme or subject. This also gives the reader more information on your blog without them having to go searching somewhere else.

4th. Psychic Search - Definitely useful for yourself and your visitor, this plugin gathers information on the top or most popular searches which are done on your blog and you have the choice to put these results in your sidebar for visibility. This is handy for gathering information which you can use to write more articles on or tighten up your SEO. *Requires Registration*

5th. W.P Thread Comment — Very useful for visitor interaction, simply put it lets commentators to your post speak to each other and reply specifically to any particular discussion.

6th. W.P Automatic Upgrade — Save yourself a lot of time and effort with this indispensable plugin, remember to always check in and upgrade all your plugins regularly. Very simple to use, it walks you through the whole upgrade process and backs up data.

7th. W.P Super Cache — A must for high traffic blogs (not quite there yet <;) and it keeps your blog running smoothly, check in to clear your cache every now and again depending on your traffic.

8th. W.P Stats — Must have an API Key to activate, great for snapshots and highlighting most read posts and pages visited on your blog.

9th. Subscribe to comments — Another great comments plugin that gives your visitor the ability to subscribe either by RSS or email and to be notified by email of follow up comments.

10. Commentluv - Parses the commentators last blog post, I think this is a must and would recommend this plugin to anybody who wants to grow their blog. Users are more likely to come back and comment more often.

11th. Akismet — Perhaps I should have put this plugin further up the list, never the less a very important spam management system. You can even call it Dusty Bin if you like <;

12th. BlogRush Click Maximizer — Increases your click through rate if you have a BlogRush widget on your blog, this might not be for everybody but is another source of traffic. (Early days for me) Needs to be Registered. ***RIP***

12. Max Banner Ads. Very handy plugin that places ads pretty much anywhere on your blog, I have decided to use it for the side bar widget. This is very handy if you have limited space, you can rotate 3 ads at a time which cuts down on ad blindness.

13th. DoFollow Give some link juice back to your visitors who leave comments, very simple to set up.

14. FeedBurner FeedSmith — Absolutly essential, I don’t think i need to explain much about this plugin, If your new to RSS Feeds then checkout There are far too many options to mention in this post; check out this previous article.

15. MBP Stripe Ad — You can see this plugin in action at Pure SEO. It has many options including an ad rotator with up to 10 ads at a time; you can also change the font couler or size to blend in with your WordPress theme. *Registration Required*

16th. Add to Any Subscribe Button — Lots of these available always handy and you never know somebody might actually use it (Hint_<;)

17th. Twit This adds a small twitter icon after each post, This social network micro platform is gaining huge popularity, so that’s why I have included it on my blog. ***Sticking with the Add to one for all button***

17. RSS FOOTER ,, You can place a custom message at the foot of your RSS feed, so it’s a good idea to give some thought as to which message you want to promote about your blog, perhaps a notice about your newsletter ect.

18th. Top Commentators Widget — Involving your visitors and encouraging them to post comments regularly to your articles gives them that stickiness, and hopefully brings them back to your blog more often. I am a great believer in connecting with likeminded people and like to reward input as much as I can.

19th. WWSGD (What would Seth Godin Do) Good for welcoming your visitors with your own custom message with a gentle reminder to subscribe to your RSS feed. Just started using this plugin, so I will see if I like it in the coming months, I suppose it comes down to personal preferences. **Replaced with Referrer Detector**

19. WP Super Edit is a WordPress plugin designed to give some control over the visual / wysiwyg editor and add some functionality without modifying the WordPress source code.

20th. Template WordPress Widget — This is just a shameless plug for a great affiliate program that I am part of at the moment, you can find out more on Template Buzz. This plugin can be set to show snapshots horizontally or vertically and with or without prices. ***no longer in use*** 01/12/08

20th.From Daily Blog Tips
Many bloggers and website owners like to greet visitors coming from specific websites with a tailored message. There are many plugins that will make this for you on WordPress, but a cool one that I came across recently is called Referrer Detector.

“I agree this is a niffty little plugin and i have started using it in place of (WSGS) Thanks for the Tip”

So that’s my top 20 WordPress Plugins; I dare say I have missed one or two so let me know which ones you would include. This list will undoubtedly change in the coming months as I streamline and configure my blog. Although this list is primarily for WordPress Plugins I also make use of other applications like Zementa and Kaalga which I am beginning to see more and more value from. Any application that helps you to be more productive is alright in my books. Here is another great list from Quick onine tips

One for another list; Need a Favicon for your blog? Click here to get your own identity.

Update 30/10/2008 : Amazon Rocks My Boat

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