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Top Ten WordPress Plugins

WordPress PluginsWordPress is a pretty amazing content management system.  What makes it even more powerful are the hundreds of plugins you can install into your WordPress site.  The only drawback I have encountered while searching plugins is compatibility issues.  It is sometimes difficult to find plugins matching your version of WordPress; and even if you find plugins specifically made for your version, there is nothing guaranteeing they will play nice together.
 
 
 

So, after much trial and error, I have compiled a “top ten” list of what I consider to be the most effective plugins used on my website.  I am using WordPress version 3.2.1  These plugins all work nicely together and have made my website much more complete.

If you are installing WordPress for the first time.  I strongly urge you to take a look through the list and consider installing all ten of these plugins on your site.
 
 

  1. SEO Ultimate
  2. SEOThis all-in-one SEO plugin gives you control over title tags, noindex, meta tags, slugs, canonical, autolinks, 404 errors, rich snippets, and more.
     
     

  3. Custom Contact Forms
  4. Contact FormGuaranteed to be the most customizable and intuitive contact form plugin for WordPress.
     
     

  5. Google XML Sitemaps
  6. Google XML SitemapsThis plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines to better index your blog.
     
     

  7. Login with Ajax
  8. WordPress Ajax LoginAdd smooth ajax login and registration effects to your blog and choose where users get redirected upon login/logout. Supports SSL, MU, and BuddyPress.
     
     

  9. Page Links To
  10. WordPress Page Links ToLets you make a WordPress page (or other content type) link to an external URL of your choosing, instead of its WordPress URL.
     
     

  11. Pro Player
  12. WordPress Pro PlayerDisplay videos from various online sources (YouTube, Vimeo, Veoh, etc) in one single player, 27 different skins, playlist system, rating system, etc.
     
     

  13. Thoughtful Comments
  14. Thoughtful CommentsThoughtful Comments adds advanced front end comment moderation and cool thread and user banning mechanisms to your WordPress blog.
     
     

  15. Traffic Counter Widget
  16. WordPress Traffic Counter WidgetTCW lets your users know how much traffic you have on your blog. It counts pages visited, hits and unique IPs on your blog and shows it in a widget.
     
     

  17. Visitor Maps and Who’s Online
  18. WordPress Visitor Maps and Who's OnlineDisplays Visitor Maps with location pins, city, and country. Includes a Who’s Online Sidebar. Has an admin dashboard to view visitor details.
     
     

  19. WP Photo Album Plus
  20. WP Photo Album PlusThis plugin is designed to easily manage and display your photo albums and slideshows in either a single or a network WordPress site.

 
 
I hope you find these plugins as useful as I have. I think these should be standard in a fresh WordPress installation. Some of the factors I considered when using different plugins were:
 

  1. Could they be customized to keep the site looking consistent.
  2. Did they play nicely with the other plugins installed on the site.
  3. Were the options easily manageable without having to be an experienced coder.
  4. Were they able to address all the various needs I had as a user.

 
 
In regards to the plugins I have listed here, the answer is YES!
 
 
One thing I’ve learned with installing WordPress plugins is that you must be careful about what you are downloading, installing, and activating on your site and server. Unfortunately, some of the plugins can be extremely questionable. The last thing you want to happen is getting the “White Screen of Death”. The above plugins have been very stable on my site and I am pleased with the performance of each one of them.
 
 
Thanks for reading. And please leave a reply letting me know what you think.

4 comments

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  3. Patty F

    Thanks so much for the great tutorials! I’m new to WordPress, and am anxious to get my WordPress website going, but it is a huge learning curve! I’m a visual learner, so these were very helpful.

    Regarding this page (Top 10 Plugins), your #1 link is not working. WordPress can’t find that plugin.
    #6 Pro Player – link points to SEO. When I searched for “Pro Player” in Plugins, none by that name shows up.

    Thanks again for all the great info!

    1. Josh Lobe

      Hi Patty,

      Thank you for pointing out those issues. They have been fixed. And thank you for the kind words. If you ever get stuck along the way, feel free to use my contact form and I’ll do what I can to help.

      Best!

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