Arment Dietrich

10 Must Have WordPress Plugins (part 1 of 2)

By: Arment Dietrich | April 19, 2010 | 

Wordpress Plug-ins

Guest blogged by Nick Harrison

Below are 10 must have WordPress plugins for your blog. There are so many others that I am turning this into a two part series, but I want your ideas, too. So review the list below and then let me know which plugins you think should make the second part!

Akismet This baby is such a life and headache saver. Bots are rampant and this little baby stops most spam comments before they ever make it to the site. A must have install.

Subscribe2 This is such a cool plugin. Most people use Feedburner, however I use this on a few of the sites I have created and this plug-in rocks. It works like Feedburner in regards to you being able to have people subscribe to your blog. This is the cool part though. You can actually create custom HTML emails or use templates for your blog that will automatically send the following day you have a new post to your subscribers. You can also send an HTML newsletter or email to all your subscribers as well. Constant Contact + Feedburner = Super Cool!

WP-PageNavi This plugin lets you customize your page nav links. In English? Okay fine. Instead of just having “older entries” and “new entries” you can stylize your pages with actual page numbers etc.

NextGEN Gallery If you are going to be displaying images on your blog and several in a post, there isn’t a plugin that compares. You can display several images as thumbnails and can even view them in a lightbox so that your viewers can see a larger image while on the same page and toggle between all of the images.

WP Super Cache If you haven’t heard of this sucker, let me show you to the promised land!  Do you think the file size of your template is all of WordPress? Not even close. WordPress is filled with PHP functions that go on for miles. What this plugin does is act like a super caching system (hence the name) that once a page is loaded for the first time, it will actually create an HTML file of that page. What this means is that viewers can bypass all of the WordPress diesel fuel and be morphed to its location.

WP-Cumulus This is a very aesthetically cool plugin. It can take your tags and categories and create a Flash tag cloud that you can rotate and move with your mouse. Little tricky to get it just right, but worth the patience.

All in One SEO Pack This is incredibly important. Every blog should have an SEO plugin. This one happens to be the one I use most. It will allow you to create META tags, as well as not allow any duplicate content to be searched (big in SEO land).

WordPress Related Posts This is a neat little tool that will keep people searching through your site by letting them see related articles. Very helpful with the “fight against high bounce rates.”

WPtouch iPhone Theme This puppy automatically creates an iPhone site for your existing blog. The mobile web browsing community has been growing like crazy, yet all websites and blogs are conformed to laptops and desktops. At times I will create an iPhone theme from scratch, but in most cases this works just fine.

TweetMemeThis is a must have. This plugin is not only a must have, but more of a how on earth could you not have this? In the near future, if you don’t have social media activity on your posts, good luck getting any kind of SEO or blog traffic

  • Gini Dietrich

    I add Sexy Bookmarks, which is the plugin you see above the comments, at the end of the post. I love this because it allows me to post to LinkedIn groups in one fail swoop. No more copying and pasting to my 75,000 zillion groups!!

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  • Thanks for the reqs Nick, and Gini too for mentioning Sexy Bookmarks. I always wondered what that plugin was, and now I have to add it to mine!

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  • Nice list, Nick. Maybe these are coming in Part 2, but I would add to the list:

    Maintenance Mode: Build or work on your site without others being able to see it unless they are logged in.

    Exclude Pages: Create pages without including them in the site’s main menu

    Featured Content Gallery: Complicated but cool. See for an example.

  • Awesome post and very helpful. I’m using feedburner on my sales site and I use subscribe2 on our internal company blog to subscribe franchisees (we use a blog and yammer to drive internal communications). Feedburner seems much more robust.
    All-in-one SEO is essential – I can’t see how you would harness the power of Google without it. Chris Brogan likes the thesis theme which has its own SEO plugin but I still prefer allinone.

    How about stats?

  • I also like WP Spam Free, and if you don’t use Gini’s Sexy Bookmarks, then I’d suggest Add to Any. If you’re like me and comment on lots of other blogs, I also use BackType Connect and My Comments Elsewhere. FWIW.

  • Gini Dietrich

    I also just learned about Twitter tools that allows you to link directly to your URL shortener account. I LOVE IT!

  • Love this Nick–you guys are reading our minds on posts. Adding functionality to our blogs(s) is a struggle with so much out there, it sometimes seems like a full time job just to work on the blog format, much less content.

    What about a plugin for photo management–we spend a ton of time importing and moving around images? It really seems mysterious at times.

  • I’d also like to suggest Sharecount for Facebook, which on the blog looks like TweetMeme – showing how many people have shared your story on Facebook, and also gives them a one-click way to SHARE the post on Facebook!

    Personally I also love Forgot The Category plugin. Cuz you know, I forget the category sometimes. Doesn’t let you click Publish without clicking a category.

  • Great list! Thanks, I recently started my blog and have been looking for the list of recommended plugins.

  • Nice list, very helpful. I’m immediately going to install the SEO and Related Post plugins. Thank you.

  • jessywat

    Thanks for the details that you have provided about the plugins. Got some useful information and it was great of you for providing such useful info.