Wordpress is one of the most popular blog hosting content management system. Despite its feature packed options, every Wordpress powered blog needs an array of plugins to include additional features and functionality. Here is a collection of most essential plugins that makes blog management easy and creates pleasant browsing experience for the visitors.
1. Akismet: Undoubtedly the most essential plugin for any Wordpress install. Akismet is the best anti-spam plugin used by millions of bloggers across the globe. Akismet gives protection both from comment spam and trackback spam.
After activating this plugin, you simply have to provide Wordpress.com API key to kick start it. You can optionally choose to automatically discard spam on posts more than 1 month old.
2. WP Super Cache: A must for every professional blog. This plugin caches frequently accessed pages and eliminates repeated access of database. This significantly speeds up the response giving smooth browsing experience for the visitors. If your blog receives big spikes of traffic, this plugin can help your blog cope with the load of heavy traffic very easily.
3. Google XML Sitemaps: Very useful plugin from SEO perspective. This excellent plugin creates Google sitemaps compliant XML-Sitemap that helps in proper indexing of your blog. Just install and forget it. Whenever you will create/edit/modify any blog post, this plugin will automatically update the sitemap.
4. Google Analytics for WordPress: Undoubtedly the best tracking plugin. One click install and simple configuration. This plugin helps you track the following:
1. Outbound links
2. Adsense clicks
3. Image search queries
5. Feedburner FeedSmith: If you are using Feedburner to promote your blog feed, make sure you have this plugin. It redirects all your feed subscribers to a single Feedburner feed and keeps track of all of them.
6. All in One SEO Pack: The name says it all. This plugin takes care of on-page search engine optimization functions with ease. It automatically generates optimized title and meta tags for every new post. After configuring, this plugin also prevents creation of duplicate content.
7. WordPress.com Stats: Like Akismet, this plugin also requires Wordrpess.com API key for its functioning. Although much of your traffic analysis needs are fulfilled by Google Analytics, still this plugin installation is highly recommended as it gives detailed statistics about your traffic right in your Wordpress dashboard.
8. Exec-PHP: Very handy plugin that lets you execute arbitrary piece of PHP code in your posts, pages or sidebar text widgets. A must-have plugin for coding ninjas who extensively customize their default theme.
9. Contact Form 7: An excellent contact form manager plugin supporting Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering, multi-language support and much more.
10. WP Ajax Edit Comments: Another must-have plugin facilitating editing and moderating at a click of a button. Once configured, visitors can edit their own comments for a pre-defined time interval. Administrator can modify, delete and moderate the comments directly from the post page.
11. Sociable: One of my favorite and highly recommended. Sociable easily integrates social bookmarking buttons on your post pages at specified location with ease. It supports up to 99 various social bookmarking services. You can also embed these bookmarking links in your feed as well.
12. Subscribe to Comments: Sometimes readers want to take part in ongoing debate in the form of comments on selective posts. This handy plugin provides a comment subscription to the commentators to get alerts for every subsequent comment posted. At any time readers can unsubscribe
13. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin: A highly customizable plugin to display related entries beneath your posts or in feeds. This improvised plugin uses MySQL advanced search queries to correctly match the related entries displaying the highly relevant posts. Use you can display posts on the basis of tags or categories.
14. WP-DB-Backup: A must-have plugin for every Wordpress install. This simple yet powerful plugin backs up your blog's core database. You can optionally backup additional tables in the same database.
15. WP-Syntax: An ideal plugin for those bloggers who frequently use sample-programming codes in their tutorial/how-to posts. This excellent plugin provides syntax highlighting for several popular languages to give a clean and neat look to the embedded code for better readability and understanding.
16. AdSense Manager: A robust and highly customizable plugin ideal for serving different kind of ads from major PPC advertising networks. Configuration is very simple with custom placement widgets that automatically generate code for ad impressions at targeted places on the post.
17. Login LockDown: If you want to add an extra layer of security for your Wordpress install, then this plugin is a perfect addition in your arsenal. It logs IP and timestamp of every unsuccessful login attempt and optionally disable login page for some period (configured during installation).
18. RSS Footer: This plugin has dual use. It not only allows you to append arbitrary test/HTML at the end of feed but also lets you automatically embed permalink to original post with title as the anchor text. An excellent plugin to curb scrapping of your blog feed.
19. WP-Polls: Looking to host polls on your blog? Here comes WP-Polls to your rescue giving you highly customizable poll plugin. Latest version supports multiple answer options and custom CSS styles support.
20. pageMash: Ultimate static page management plugin. This plugin makes arranging order of static pages a cakewalk. Simply use the ajax powered drag-n-drop interface to shift page positions in a hierarchy. This plugin also lets you hide selective pages with a click of a button.
Image Credits: chrismeller