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Essential WordPress Plugins

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Essential WordPress Plugins Top Plugins Every Blog Should Have

Why are the WordPress plugins listed here essential? Well although the standard install of WordPress is excellent when you want to push WordPress a little (or a lot) further, plugins become a necessity to extend its functionality. Especially if you are considering using WordPress for eCommerce.

The following list of plugins are my minimum recommendations which apply to every WordPress installation, you will also need to install any specialist plugins pertaining to your website needs. If you know of any better solutions, as always, let me know.

Essential Tip: Read the instructions…



AdRotator WordPress Plugin


Rotates your AdSense ads with other affiliate programs like Chitika Eminimalls wherever you want. Helps to reduce ad blindness and test different ad formats and affiliate programs.

Advertising Manager


This plugin will manage and rotate your Google AdSense and other ads on your WordPress blog. It automatically recognises many ad networks including Google AdSense, AdBrite, Adify, AdGridWork, Adpinion, Adroll, Chitika, CJ Affiliate, CrispAds, OpenX, ShoppingAds, Yahoo!PN, and WidgetBucks. Unsupported ad networks can be used as well.

Akismet – Stop Spam

Once your blog starts gaining visitors it’ll be hit by comment spam and Akismet is about the most effective plugin at catching these. This one comes bundled with WordPress and almost every WordPress blog has this installed. All you need, to get this working is an API key which you can get by signing up for a WordPress.com account.

All in One SEO Pack – Improve Your Ratings


Author: hallsofmontezuma. Optimizes your WordPress blog for Search Engines (Search Engine Optimization – SEO). The All-in-One SEO” plugin takes your blog to the next level of search engine power management. This plugin should be at the top of your list, a must have. All in One SEO allows you to add in your own meta description, title tags and keywords for individual blog posts and pages.

BB Press


This is a WordPress forum plugin from the creators of WordPress. Its free to download, and handles everything you need in a form.

Contact Form 7


Author: Takayuki Miyoshi. Contact Form 7 can manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple mark-up. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, simple but flexible CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and so on.

Deepest Sender

Deepest Sender is a blogging client that runs inside Firefox, SeaMonkey, and XULRunner. What does this mean? Well, it means that instead of having to go to the Update page on LiveJournal/wordpress/Blogger/whatever, or loading up a separate client program, all you have to do is hit Ctrl+, or click the button in your toolbar, and you can start posting.

Update: Sorry this link, https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1811, seems to have been deleted. You could try, http://deepestsender.mozdev.org/

Easy Verification


This plugin will allow you to easily verify your WordPress website with Google Webmaster Tools, Bing Webmaster Tools and Yahoo! SiteExplorer.

FeedBurner FeedSmith


Direct Zip File Download

You need some way to manage your feed, keep track & analyze your feed traffic and FeedBurner is just that. After you register with FeedBurner, download & install FeedBurner FeedSmith plugin to forward your local feeds to FeedBurner. This ensures better tracking of every subscriber.

Google Analyticator


Every WordPress blog needs some kind of statistics system to keep track of things and Google Analytics is an advanced stats system that can be a bit overwhelming to beginners. Nevertheless I think you must sign up for it right from the beginning and you can analyse your traffic more in depth later on after you get used to things. For Google analytics to work, you need to put in the tracking code into your WordPress template by editing it. But instead this plugin Google Analyticator can add the tracking code to your blog without having to edit the template.

Organize Series


The Organize Series WordPress Plugin helps with the organization and presentation of articles/posts you write as part of a series. It helps make it easier for readers of your blog to discover all the series you’ve written and also to easily find post that are part of the same series.
Organize Series actually adds a new taxonomy to the WordPress taxonomy structure so your blog would have “categories”, “tags”, and “series” as the taxonomy types.

postMash – Custom Post Order


Posts are usually listed in reverse chronological order as they are often used for posting regular time-orientated content. postMash lets you customise the order your posts are listed in using it’s simple Ajax drag-and-drop administrative interface. Plus it gives quick access to toggle posts between draft and published states. Particularly useful if you’re using WordPress as a CMS. It now no longer requires any modifications to your template code. If you disable postMash your post will go back to your usual ordering.

Pretty Link (Lite Version)


Shrink, track and share any URL on the Internet from your WordPress website. You can now shorten links using your own domain name (as opposed to using tinyurl.com, bit.ly, or any other link shrinking service)! In addition to creating clean links, Pretty Link tracks each hit on your URL and provides a full, detailed report of where the hit came from, the browser, os and host. Pretty Link is a killer plugin for people who want to clean up their affiliate links, track clicks from emails, their links on Twitter to come from their own domain, or generally increase the reach of their website by spreading these links on forums or comments on other blogs.



If your readers find your post valuable, they might want to send it to their friends or submit it to social media websites. ShareThis plugin for WordPress adds a button at the end of your posts to make it easier to do this.

Shortcode Exec PHP


Using this plugin you can execute arbitrary PHP code using shortcodes in your posts, pages, comments, widgets and RSS feeds, just like manually defined shortcodes. The shortcodes and associated PHP code are defined using the settings of this plugin. It is possible to parse and use shortcode parameters and to use shortcode content. Defined shortcodes can be deleted and disabled.

Simple Tags


Versions from WordPress 2.3 and on support native tagging but lack the administration to manage these tags in anyway. Now, there are many plugins for this purpose but Simple Tags is the best among these in terms of its features and simplicity. This plugin can do a lot more than just manage tags – it can tag pages and feeds, suggest tags based on the written content, add related posts, generate and display tag clouds and lots more.

note: Do this if using ‘all in one seo pack’ – go to ‘Options’ and under ‘Meta Keyword’ make sure the ‘Automatically include in header’ option is unchecked.

WP Super Cache – Don’t Overload Your Site


This plugin is responsible for saving lots of downtime and server crashes for blogs overloading with traffic.WP Super Cache plugin increases the page/post loading time and reduces the resource consumption on your server.

WordPress e-Commerce


This plugin makes WordPress into a really neat online store. Most online stores are bulky, expensive and complicated, not this one, it’s simple and free, just like WordPress.

WPtouch iPhone Theme


Unfortunately most sites don’t look that great on an iPhone but the WPTouch plugin (theme) makes your blog completely accessible and easy to read through the iPhone. If you’re interested in this part of the market this is definitely worth checking out.

wp Time Machine


Create archives of all your WordPress data & files and have them stored remotely. That’s right! Remote storage of…

  1. Your data (from your WordPress MySQL database)
  2. Your files (and Uploads) — everything in wp-content
  3. Your .htaccess file
  4. Instructions for a smooth recovery
  5. A shell script that can help automate recovery — though this is still a “work in progress”

You provide the remote account; this plugin provides a connection to the offsite facility you choose. Choose from…

  1. You can use Dropbox (if you don’t have a dropbox use this referral link): https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTE0ODYwNjc5
  2. Also, archives can be ‘sent’ to Amazon‘s AWS S3: http://aws.amazon.com/s3/
  3. And, FTP is now supported as well (just provide an offsite host, username & password, and optionally a remote directory on that host)



Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) Don’t let your old posts die and get lost for ever. Try adding YARPP to the bottom of your post and show a list of your older related posts as well. This brings new traffic and attnetion to your older posts.


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