I’ve tried hundreds of Wordpress plugins over the past few years. I learned of some of these plugins through searches because I was looking for some specific functionality, or because I saw something cool on a blog that I visited, or by reading lists just like this. So, here it is, the Wordpress Modder’s list of essential plugins for new blogs.
Please forgive me for adding this most basic plugin, but I’ve talked to many self-hosted WP users and was shocked to find out how many of them had not activated Akismet. If you’re not familiar, Akismet is the default plugin and bundled with every WP download. Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not. In order to use Akismet, you will need a Wordpress.com API key which you can find here.
All in One SEO Pack
Labeled as Out-of-the-box SEO for your Wordpress blog, this plugin really lives up to it’s name. Before I found this, I tried many other SEO related plugins, but using this will save you a lot of time because everything is all in one spot in your Admin area and at the bottom of your post creation pages. You can find this plugin by uberdose here.
By default, Wordpress adds the rel=”nofollow” attribute to comments on your blog. This was originally designed to reduce links leading to unscrupulous spammers. If you use an anti-spam plugin such as Akismet described above, there really isn’t a need to deny your commenter’s some link love. I’ve found a few different variations of this plugin, but the one I use is by Kimmo Suominen and can be found here.
If you’re going to have a blog, you need to track your visitors. In my opinion, there is no better way to do this than using Google Analytics. You will need two things, a Google account, and the Google Analytics plugin by Denis de Bernardy of Semiologic.