WP plugins v1

WordPress in itself is a decent system but it can be made into a rock solid blogging beast. Adding plugins can make WordPress into the Swiss Army Knife of blogging: just pull out whatever functionality you need for your specific blog!

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Many people have asked me for my list of top WordPress plugins. Of course I’ve written quite a few WordPress plugins myself, but I’d thought I’d share with you what I think are the best WordPress plugins out there.

  1. FeedBurner FeedSmith
    I use and love FeedBurner, even though it goes awry every once in a while, and the best way of using it is with FeedSmith, which I’ve been using since before it was “acquired” by FeedBurner. Just install, enter your FeedBurner ID and activate. That’s it, you’re done.
  2. HeadSpace2
    Anyone who has been following me for a while knows I’m a huge fan of John Godley’s plugins especially HeadSpace2 and Redirection. HeadSpace2 takes care of all my meta tags and inserts my Mint code. If you don’t need fancy things you can use it for Google Analytics and other trackers too!
  3. Lighter Menus
    The WP 2.5 and 2.6 backend is a bit “heavy”, lighter menus turns the menu into a drop down and saves a LOT of space in the top part of the interface. Check out how cool my admin looks now (click for larger image):


  4. pageMash
    My site uses a lot of pages, and sometimes you want to move around some pages. The default WordPress way of doing that is hard (you have to give each page a menu order by hand) but pageMash is excellent for that, with a nice Ajaxy interface in which you can just drag and drop pages. Have a look (click for larger image):


  5. Redirection
    WordPress doesn’t do any 301 redirections by itself when you, for instance, change the slug of a page (the part of the URL that identifies the post). Redirection does do that for you though. You can also add your own redirects in the very user friendly admin panel, that’s why it takes care of all my redirections, and does so wonderfully.
  6. Search Excerpt
    WordPress Search by default sucks. Fixing it takes a bit of work, but the heavy lifting is done by this plugin. If you want to know what I’ve done with this blogs search pages, read my post on improving the WordPress search function. The results are very cool, as you can see in this search, for instance.
  7. WordPress Automatic Upgrade
    WordPress upgrades quite often. Which is both a good thing, and a pain in the backside because of all the work involved. This plugin takes care of that, and even though I’ve heard of people having problems with this one, for me, it has always worked amazingly well. I’ve used it to upgrade all of my WordPress blogs and sites to the latest version for at least 6 months now.
  8. WP-DBManager
    Not only is this plugin perfect for doing automated backups, it can also do things like database optimization and the admin pages for it allow you to do the occasional query from within WordPress!
  9. WP Security Scan
    Even when you update to the latest version all the time, there’s still this slight chance of you getting hacked. WP Security Scan helps you minimize this chance by pointing you right at all the vulnerabilities in your blog.
  10. WP Super Cache
    I can’t imagine running this site without caching, although I have it turned of 98% of the time, I do turn it on whenever I’m about to hit Digg / Reddit / StumbleUpon, and it has saved my “life” a couple of times. WordPress has a tendency of becoming slower when you make your themes more complex, and when you add a lot of plugins. This plugin allows me to still have both and keep my readers happy.
  11. MobilePress
    While the majority of your site’s visitors will be using a normal web browser, you do want to make mobile users as happy as possible too. This plugin helps you do that, by serving up a cool interface for iPhone and iPod Touch users and other mobile phone users, that looks approximately like this:


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