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10 of my favourite WordPress plugins

Posted 20th July 2010 by    email Email article     share Share article

In my last two blog posts I talked about how we are now running WordPress 3.0 and why we use WordPress to power this blog. In this blog post I thought I would continue the WordPress theme and list (in my humble option) 10 of my favourite WordPress plugins.

About WordPress plugins

WordPress is a very powerful tool on it’s own which can do many things but what makes WordPress such a great system is it’s ability to add plugins. WordPress plugins are simply applications that enhance WordPress’s capabilities. For instance, the small retweet, digg and Facebook share buttons at the top of this post are all plugins. Plugins can extend WordPress to do almost anything you can imagine. There are 1000’s of plugins each tailored to a specific need and function with each one extremely easy to install into your blog.

I generally update the plugins for this blog and add new ones as I see fit but I also run my own blog/website using WordPress, so it’s between these two sites I have come to the list below:

10 of my favourite WordPress plugins (in alphabetical order)

  1. Akismet
    Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not. This plugin is now bundled with WordPress (and for good reason) as without a spam blocker such as this your comment queue would be full in no time. Akismet is a vital WordPress plugin that works without you even knowing it.
  2. All in One SEO Pack
    This plugin automatically optimizes your WordPress blog for Search Engines (Search Engine Optimization or SEO for short). It can also let you single out individual pages for optimisation so that your posts and pages are indexed more efficiently. SEO is too important to be neglected and while WordPress is by default very SEO friendly there is still a lot you can do to improve it and that’s where this plugin comes into its own.
  3. Contact Form 7
    There are many contact form plugins out there but after trying a few of them I found this plugin to be very simple but very flexible to use.
  4. Google XML Sitemaps
    This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines to better index your blog. Once set up this plugin will allow Google to see how your site is structured, how importantly you rate individual pages and how often those pages are updated.
  5. Maintenance Mode
    This plugin adds a splash page to your blog that lets visitors know your blog is down for maintenance. Logged in administrators can still get full access to the blog including the front-end to continue to make changes etc.
  6. NextGEN Gallery
    NextGEN Gallery is a fully integrated image gallery plugin with a Flash slideshow option too. We don’t use it on this site but it’s a great tool if you want to make your blog look more like a website and set up a photo gallery.
  7. WordPress Database Backup
    Backing up your WordPress database is just as important as backing up your computer. You never know when something will happen to your database and that’s why this plugin was created. It allows for one-click backups via download, server directory or email.
  8. WordPress.com Stats
    You can have simple, concise stats with no additional load on your server by plugging into WordPress.com stat system and these stats can be viewed on your WordPress dashboard.
  9. WP-Polls
    Adds an AJAX poll system to your WordPress blog and you can easily include a poll into your WordPress’s blog post/page. WP-Polls is extremely customizable via templates and CSS styles and there are tons of options for you to choose to ensure that WP-Polls runs the way you wanted.
  10. WP Super Cache
    A very fast caching engine for WordPress that produces static html files. In short this plugin is an extremely efficient page caching system that will make your site much faster and more responsive.

As said, these are just some of my favourites but if you have any which you feel should be on this list please leave a comment and we’ll maybe try to add to this list!

And if you need online file storage or secure file uploading, why not try out our FREE TRIAL account, we even give you 500MB to get you started!

  • http://twitter.com/MatthewRuddycom Matthew Ruddy

    You forgot my plugin.. Soon to be featured all over WordPress's plugins page ;) (I wish..)

    http://su.pr/1UU4iD

    Just learning the ins and outs of PHP. ony a beginner at the moment.

    Hope everythings going good at media lightbox!

  • http://twitter.com/MatthewRuddycom Matthew Ruddy

    You forgot my plugin.. Soon to be featured all over WordPress's plugins page ;) (I wish..)

    http://su.pr/1UU4iD

    Just learning the ins and outs of PHP. ony a beginner at the moment.

    Hope everythings going good at media lightbox!

  • http://clearface.net clear face

    WordPress is not only great because it's easy to use and easy for people visiting your site(s) to navigate but apparently if you do on-page and off-page optimization well, your site can rank very well in the search engines.

    Supposedly Google and other search engines like the blog platform and give it blogs (especially WordPress blogs) a small boost in the rankings when compared to static websites—just a theory I've been reading in a lot of places lately.

    I can definitely attest to the All in One SEO pack and Google XML Sitemaps being good plugins.

  • http://www.medialightbox.com/blog/ Media Lightbox

    Hi Clear Face, thanks for your comment and it’s interesting to hear about the blog platform possibly getting a small boost in the rankings, I could well believe that. Thanks again and best wishes, Andrew

  • http://www.medialightbox.com/blog/ Media Lightbox

    Hi Matthew, thanks for your comment and who knows we’ll maybe see your plugin posted here one day! Best wishes, Andrew

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