This is a companion to an article I wrote last week, Online Business Software I Can’t Live Without.
Plugins extend the functionality of WordPress, which is designed to be lean and flexible. Plugins offer features that make it possible for you to customize your website.
There are more than 28,000 WordPress plugins, and most of them are free. Don’t install all of them! I’ve been told that using too many plugins can slow your site, so use only the ones that are necessary.
To find plugins, check out the official WordPress.org repository.
My Plugin “Keepers”
Since launching this site in 2010, I’ve tried many plugins, but these are the 12 I’ve kept.
Anti-Spam. No spam in comments, without using Captcha. Hurray! I don’t know how Anti-Spam works, but it does.
Cron-View. This plugin once rescued my site. Cron-View adds a page in the admin area where you can see all the queued cron events (recurring functions on your site), when they are due, which schedule they are on (or if they are one off) and which hook they will call.
Drop Caps. A simple plugin for setting up drop-caps in your posts.
Exploit Scanner. Searches the files and database of your website for signs of suspicious activity. It will not stop someone from hacking into your site, but it may help you find any uploaded or compromised files left by the hacker.
Google XML Sitemaps. Generates a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Ask.com to better index your blog.
Image Widget. I love this plugin! Image Widget makes it easy to include images in your widgets.
Polldaddy. This is my latest plugin. Polldaddy allows you to create and manage polls and ratings from within your WordPress dashboard.
Post Teaser. Generates a preview or “teaser” of a post for the main, archive and category pages, with a link underneath to go to the full post page. (This plugin hasn’t been updated in more than 2 years.)
Subscribe to Comments. Subscribe to Comments enables commenters to sign up for e-mail notification of subsequent entries. The plugin includes a subscription manager that your commenters can use to unsubscribe to certain posts, block all notifications, or even change their notification e-mail address.
What Would Seth Godin Do? New visitors to your website see a small box above each post containing the words “If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!” After five visits the message disappears. You can customize this message, its lifespan, and its location.
WP Super Cache. The technical explanation: WP Super Cache is a static caching plugin for WordPress; it generates html files that are served directly by Apache without processing comparatively heavy PHP scripts. Translation: it makes my website faster.
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin. I’ve been pleased by the “related posts” that this plugin generates.
What About You?
Are there plugins that you can’t live without? Please share in the comments below.