In the past week, I’ve had a number of requests for a list of the WordPress plug-ins that I use. Instead of writing a few e-mails to cover all of this, I put together the following blog post. If you’re also looking for useful plug-in check out those in this list. If you have some that you want to share, please leave a comment below.
1. Database Backups
Let’s face it, as a Database Administrator I’ve said it many times, but backups are incredibly important. One of the first plug-ins that you are going to want for your blog will be WordPress Database Backup. To steal from my configuration, I send this to my Gmail account and delete each backup as I receive it. With Gmail’s retention policy, the backup will be in my trash for 30 days.
2. Comment Management
When WordPress is first installed, the comments system is a it too simplistic. That’s where IntenseDebate comes in. It provides an upgrade the to the comment system on your site and encourages conversation on your blog or website.
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
It helps if people can search for and find you blogs. The All in One SEO Pack provides that for you. With this plug-in you can start tagging posts with titles, descriptions, and keywords. Everything you need to start helping the internet find your blog.
4. Site Performance
Inevitably, as people start to hit your site, more and more pages will be served up. As that volume increases, you may begin to see performance issues as pages are re-rendered over and over again. To help with this problem and help your site run a bit smoother, try out WP Super Cache. From the day I started using it, there was a noticeable improvement in my own blog site.
5. Post Statistics
Pretty much everyone can agree that it’s good to know what posts are viewed by readers. It shouldn’t be a surprise that you can tie Google Analytics into your WordPress blog. The plug-in to check out is Google Analytics for WordPress.
6. Popular Posts
Want to let readers know what other readers are reading? Say that a few times fast. If you want to showcase these posts to readers, check out WordPress Popular Posts. This plug-in provides a few widgets that can be configured to display your most popular posts.
7. Share Posts With Social Media
When readers are reading your posts, they may want to share what you have posted with others. To be honest, you will want them to share your content. A good way to do this is through the ShareThis plug-in. The plug-in allows your content to be shared via Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed, and others.
8. Connect with Reader on Social Media
Blog posts aren’t the only ways in which your readers can connect with you. If you are on other sites, such as Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook, The Social Links gives an easy way to share your social network with your readers. Connecting to your readers beyond your posts provides an opportunity to start a conversation outside of the content of your blog and potentially build business connections and new friends.
9. Keeping Track of Downloads
If you spend time building content that can be downloaded, it’s good to know if it is being downloaded. The plug-in WordPress Download Monitor can help you manage downloads on your site, view and show hits, and output in posts. It provides all the tools needed to add downloads on the fly without a lot of hassle.
10. Posts Related to Posts
Once people are seeing your posts today, you may want them to see what you posted yesterday. The plug-in Yet Another Related Posts Plugin helps you make links between posts today and yesterday. By enabling this plug-in, your posts will include a few links back to the past to help readers dig deeper into your blog.
11. Adding Code to Posts
12. Sharing Events
If you are one of those that share what you know with user groups or conferences, you may want to let your readers know about these events. A great way to share this is through the plug-in Events Made Easy. The plug-in provides for events, locations with maps, registrations, links to external registrations, and recurring events.
13. Sharing Links to Your Blog
At times, you may want to share links to your blog. How do you know when people are actually using those links? A great plug-in for doing this is through the GoCodes plug-in. It allows you to create shortcut URLs to anywhere on the internet and track how many times the links have been selected.
14. Redirects From Your Blog
There are times you may want to redirect links from one place to another. Maybe you want to tie pages into the menu of your blog. Or maybe a redirect from your blog to your employers site with a few campaign codes included. The plug-in for this great functionality is Quick Page/Post Redirect.
15. Going Mobile
Add in all of these plug-ins and there might be quite a bit of content for the small size of a mobile device, such as your phone. If you want to trim things down a bit for the mobile user, then check out MobilePress. It works pretty well and hopefully my readers find it useful.
If you’re going through all of this, there’s a chance that you might be want to blog through an event or two. One easy way to do this is through the Live Blogging plug-in. The plug-in allows you to add notes to a live blog one entry at a time – adding to the blog and tweeting out each new statement.
17. And A Cool Toolbar
So the last thing that you may have noticed on this blog is the toolbar at the bottom of the blog. This plug-in is the Wibiya Toolbar. The toolbar allows a search of the posts on your blog, share your posts, tweeting your site, and a FaceBook like. All the things that a lovely blog would want.
That’s it. These are the plug-ins that I’ve been using and I think they treat me well. What are you using? Do you have better alternatives over the ones that I have listed?