WordPress 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.
- SEO Ultimate
- Custom Contact Forms
- Google XML Sitemaps
- Login with Ajax
- Page Links To
- Pro Player
- Thoughtful Comments
- Traffic Counter Widget
- Visitor Maps and Who’s Online
- WP Photo Album Plus
This all-in-one SEO plugin gives you control over title tags, noindex, meta tags, slugs, canonical, autolinks, 404 errors, rich snippets, and more.
Guaranteed to be the most customizable and intuitive contact form plugin for WordPress.
This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines to better index your blog.
Add smooth ajax login and registration effects to your blog and choose where users get redirected upon login/logout. Supports SSL, MU, and BuddyPress.
Lets you make a WordPress page (or other content type) link to an external URL of your choosing, instead of its WordPress URL.
Display videos from various online sources (YouTube, Vimeo, Veoh, etc) in one single player, 27 different skins, playlist system, rating system, etc.
Thoughtful Comments adds advanced front end comment moderation and cool thread and user banning mechanisms to your WordPress blog.
TCW 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.
Displays Visitor Maps with location pins, city, and country. Includes a Who’s Online Sidebar. Has an admin dashboard to view visitor details.
This 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:
- Could they be customized to keep the site looking consistent.
- Did they play nicely with the other plugins installed on the site.
- Were the options easily manageable without having to be an experienced coder.
- 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.