Post by: Beautifully Invisible
One of the best things about WordPress is that it is fully customizable… and you don't have to be a programming whiz to do it.
That is where plugins come in. There are plugins for just about everything…
You know those “there is an app for that” iPhone commercials? Well, think of plugins as apps. You don't want to overload your database with them (because they can slow your load time dramatically), but there are definitely some worth looking into.
I currently have 36 active plugins on my blog. Not too many, but more than a few for sure.
These are 10 that I can't live without:
1. Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin (GASP)/Akismet: OK, technically this is two plugins but they work hand-in-hand. Most bloggers install Akismet to help handle spam comments but, as we all know, it doesn't catch everything. GASP adds a simple checkbox to your comment form that prevents most spam. The best part? There is no need to use a difficult-to-read CAPTCHA if you have GASP!
2. Broke Link Checker: The last thing you want is for your readers to click on a link that is broken. This plugin monitors the links on your blog for any problems and reports them to you.
3. WP-DBManager: Backup, backup, backup! I use this plugin mainly to backup my database. There are other plugins out there that will do the same, but WP-DBManager does the job well and emails me my database daily in the form of a zip file.
4. Google XML Sitemaps: This plugin creates a special XML map of your site that allows search engines to index it faster and more efficiently. This means that your blog makes it way to search results sooner. As an added bonus, it also updates all of the major search engines every time you create a new post.
5. WPTouch: Many people read blogs from mobile devices like the iPhone, iPod touch, Android, Palm Pre, Samsung touch and BlackBerry Storm/Torch. Like it or not, the theme of your blog isn't always compatible with those devices. WPTouch optimizes your blog for mobile devices.
6. Instapress: A few months ago there was a post on IFB explaining Why Fashion Bloggers Should Love Instagram. This plugin takes that a step further by giving fashion bloggers a way to display all those gorgeous photos as a widget in their sidebar.
7. nrelate Related Content: This is the king of all related post plugins. For a long time I had LinkWithin installed on my blog but noticed that the displayed posts were not really related. I tried a few other plugins with the same result. This one is different – it does what it claims to do, and it does it well.
8. TwitterLink Comments: I use the native commenting system in WordPress and although I love it as is, this plugin makes it almost perfect. It adds a twitter field to your comment form. A commenter only needs to enter their information once – it will be stored and displayed each time they comment on your blog.
9. ReplyMe: This plugin will automatically email a blog reader when someone responds to their original comment. They are emailed their original comment, and the reply, along with a link back so they can continue the conversation if they wish. I prefer this over the “Thank You for your comment” plugins.
10. Commentluv: This plugin allows you to show your readers some love by also linking to their most recent post when they comment. It's an easy and effective way to build community and discover new posts. (Note: commentluv is not compatible with the Disqus commenting system)
And there you have it: 10 WordPress Plugins everyone should consider.
I'd love to hear some feedback from you. Do you use any of these plugins, or do you have other favorites you'd like to share?