What WordPress Plugins Do You Use?

By Daniel Scocco

questions and answersThis post is part of the weekly Q&A section. Just use the contact form if you want to submit a question.

Rajasekharan asked:

What are those minimal set of WordPress plugins that you would recommend any blogger to use and which are those plugins that you actually use?

This is a question I get asked quite often, so lets take it out of the way.

First of all I don’t think there is a minimal set of WordPress plugins that I would recommend to bloggers. It depends on the blog in question, and on what features the blogger requires for it. A simple photo blogger could get away with 4 or 5 plugins, while someone building a more complex website could need 15 plugins to make it run smoothly.

Now let’s cover the plugins I am using on Daily Blog Tips (notice that this list might be different for my other blogs):

1. Akismet: Probably the first plugin I activate on any blog. It already comes with WordPress after all, and I found it to be the most reliable anti-spam plugin around.

2. All in On SEO Pack: I resisted using this plugin for a couple of years, but late in 2008 I was having a problem with duplicate meta description tags on my main content pages (homepage, page 2, 3 and so on), therefore I decided to give it a shot. I am very pleased with it, and definitely recommend to other bloggers.

3. Chunck URLs: Ever had someone leaving a comment with a really long URL that broke your site design? To prevent this problem you can use this plugin. It will break down long URLs automatically.

4. Custom Query String: This plugin is a life saver for me. It allows me to specify how many posts I want displayed on every page type of my blog. For example, it allows me to display 8 posts on the homepage, 15 posts per page on search results, and all the posts ever published on category pages.

5. SGR Clean Archives: Personally I think that all websites and blogs should have one page where all the articles and posts ever published would be available. That is what this plugin does, it creates an Archives page for you with all your posts. As the name says, the style of that page is pretty clean too.

6. Feedburner FeedSmith: I am not sure how necessary this plugin is if you point all your RSS feeds manually to the Feedburner one. I guess I use it just to be 100% that all the subscribers will be redirected to it.

7. Related Posts: This is an old “Related Posts” plugin, but it gets the job done. To be frank, lately I am finding that it lacks in some aspects, so when I get some free time I will make the switch to the Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.

8. Robots Meta: A cool plugin by friend Joost de Valk that allows you to add all the appropriate robots meta tags to your pages and feeds, disable unused archives and nofollow unnecessary links.

9. RSS Footer: This plugin allows you to add a text message or some links to your RSS footer. Additionally, it also comes with a feature to automatically add a link to the original post on the feed, which is particularly useful to combat content scrapers.

10. WP-ContactForm: A very old and rustic contact form plugin, but I love its simplicity. Somehow I also don’t get spam even without a CAPTCHA on that form, and I have been using it for years.

11. WP-SuperCache: The best cache plugin available. It has a lot of advanced features, and it gets the job done when you have sudden burst of traffic from social media.

12. GoCodes: Very light yet useful plugin. It lets you create redirects on the fly, which is useful if you want to link to affiliate programs and advertisers while keep the links pointing to your own blog. It also allows you to track the clicks on those links.

13. Subscribe to Comments: The classic plugin that allows commentators to subscribe to the comment section and receive new comments via email. Lately I also started questioning how many people actually use this feature, but for now I will leave it live on my blogs.

As you can see I just use the plugins that are essential to the running of my website. Sometimes I install new ones to test them out, but if they are not essential, I remove them right after.



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50 Responses to “What WordPress Plugins Do You Use?”

  • tech84

    I would not put up a blog without Akismet installed period.

  • Tony B aka Mission0ps

    Hi Daniel,
    Good list and an addition for today’s world is tweet old posts 🙂

    PS struggling with SGR clean archives at the moment … I just have a “clean and empty” page showing 🙁

  • george

    Hi daniel! great website and info!
    btw, i use platinum seo pack plugin. please check it out. fyi, i have use all in one seo pack for several years, thanks for all-in-one seo 🙂 but for additional reason i change to platinum seo. its rocks!

  • Munawar AM

    Hi Daniel,

    Thanks for email me about SGR Clean Archives.
    I have to learn more about this plugin before I use it.

    But how about this : SRG Clean Archives or SGR Clean Archives?
    Geekwithlaptop said : SRG Clean Archives

    Best Regards,
    Munawar AM

  • medyum

    Great Post! I use WP-Cache and It really improves the speed of the site – thanks for sharing Daniel!

    Medyum

  • Charlotte Web Design

    Thanks for this. Somehow sometimes I find it hard to understand robot tags cause somehow some are similar with each other. But thanks for this.

  • rudy

    I also did it like you, Akismet for the first time. Now i realized how useful it is 😀

  • SEO Genius

    I use All in one SEO, Similiar Post, Homepage excerpt, Google Analytics, Google Sitemaps and another which I seem to have forgotten

  • Jennifer

    Excellent list! I love the subscribe to comments option. First of all, you can always check/uncheck the box so you do not have to subscribe. Secondly, the user is allowed to unsubscribe at a later date when they no longer wish to follow.

    It’s a great opt-in feature reminding the user about your site, which can only help.

  • Monty – Sensonize.com

    Nice list of plugins, I think you should also use Top Commentators Widget 🙂

  • Laurence Flynn

    Simple but excellent post. All blogs should post what plugins they use. I never thought about using some of these but I definitely am going to try some like the Archive and Robots plugins. Thank you!

  • Rajasekharan

    One more aspect that I noticed:

    You have taken care to put noindex on datewise archives and categories but couldn’t do that on subpages of homepage! I could help you with just a php code to avoid the usage of Robots meta plugin and put noindex to subpages too. Similarly All in SEO is not perfect in all ways and you can bypass All in one SEO’s certain results with this code. Should I help you?

  • izumou

    Thanks for the articles,but I dont think Askimet works well agin,spammers have ther treicks of breaking it.

  • Hediye

    Good stuff, thank you!

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Rajasekharan,

    there is one thing that the SEO pack does not do, which is to exclude search results from indexation by search engines. At least I believe so. That is the main reason why I also use the Robots Meta.

  • Phunchu

    Just the time when i was looking for WordPress Plugins.. I have just used All in One SEO pack and I think it is high time i shud use other plugins. These seem pretty useful!!

  • Derrick Siu

    Hi Daniel,

    thanks for the list, been looking for a contact form but haven’t gotten round to it, but now I know 🙂

    by the way, i’m curious why you don’t have gravatars enabled on your site? do you feel they don’t add value to a site, or you just haven’t bothered yet?

    Cheers,

    Derrick
    One Month Blogging Newbie
    http://www.TheNetExperiment.com

  • Nick

    Wow, these are some wicked great plugins since I use most of them, I use too many plugins, But I can’t help me self! there so many useful plugins out there!

    Great post!

  • Goldie

    can anyone suggest a good plugin that will automatically insert a flickr image into a post?

    Thanks in advance

  • Rajasekharan

    Thanks Daniel for answering this query on plugins.

    You mightn’t have noticed the overlap of robots meta tag by All In One SEO and Robots Meta! Check the source code of your categories.

    Doing it purposefully to remind/stress the spiders about robots meta tag?

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