Top 10 Underrated WordPress Plugins

By Daniel Scocco - 2 minute read

There are several lists of “Top 10” WordPress plugins around the Internet. Most of them, however, refer to the best or most popular plugins. Guess what, I’ve had enough of Akismet, Adsense Deluxe, Related Entries and company!

Jokes apart, those plugins are certainly awesome, but there are many others out there that can be life savers, and people often neglect them. Below you will the Top 10 Underrated WordPress plugins; if you think there is a plugin missing on the list just post a comment.

1. Custom Querry String

WordPress is a very flexible platform, but regulating the number of posts that are supposed to be displayed on the different pages is quite difficult. Most of the times you will want to display a limited number of posts on the Homepage while displaying a larger list for the categories, archives or search results pages, and this is not possible through the control panel. The solution for this problem is the Custom Querry String plugin, which allows you to configure this number individually for each page type.

2. Head Meta Description

While the Meta Keywords Tag is no longer used by most search engines, the Meta Description Tag still has some influence. Having the same Description Tag on all your pages, however, might be inneficient and send part of your website to the supplemental hell. This plugin is extremely easy to install and it will create a dynamic Meta Description Tag for every page on your blog, based on post excerpts or on the first words of the page.

3. Clean Archives

Most blogs have a “Monthly Archives” section on their sidebar, displaying a huge list of months and wasting some precious space. A more efficient structure for your archives would be a single page where all the posts are displayed, month by month. That is exactly what this plugin will do (you can see an example here). Notice that you might need the plugin below to install this one successfully.

4. Exec-PHP

Many plugins or WordPress features require that you run some PHP code. When you need to use those features or plugins inside static pages or posts, however, WordPress will not recognize the code. The solution for this problem is the Exec-PHP plugin. Once installed the plugin will enable PHP code on virtually all the pages of your blog. There are similar plugins available, but this one is the most reliable.

5. Enforce www. Preference

If your site can be accessed through http://www.domain.com and http://domain.com you might have some problems over the long run. Most search engines treat those addresses as two different domains, spliting your backlink count. In order to solve this issue you need to setup a 301 Permanent Redirect. The are several ways to setup this redirect, but if you are not familiar with PHP or if your host is not Linux based (for the .htaccess file) this plugin represents the simplest one. You just need to activate it and all the visitors and search bots will get redirected to the address that is specified on the WordPress control panel.

6. Chunk URLs

Ever experienced someone posting a huge URL on your comment section? Those long strings are not only ugly, but they might also break the design of your website on certain browsers. This plugin will trunk those long URLs into smaller ones, and you can even specify the amount of characters that the output should contain.

7. Sig2feed

Sploggers are feed stealers are spreading out like fire. The first measure to protect your content is to add a copyright notice to your feed, possibly with a link pointing to your site. Sig2feed is a very light plugin that will do just that.

8. FeedSmith

This plugin used to be called Feedburner Feed Replacement. It was so popular and efficient that Feedburner itself decided to buy it from the developer. Basically it will forward all the requests for your WordPress feed to Feedburner. It is very useful if you started using Feedburner after having some subscribers, or if you want to make sure that your feed statistics are completely accurate.

9. Jerome’s Keywords

This plugin is very similar to the Ultimate Tag Warrior, but it is much more user friendly. Once the plugin is installed you will be able to tag individual posts and to create an internal tag system and tag clouds. Secondly you can also use it to generate a dynamic Meta Keywords Tag.

10. WP-Cache

WP-Cache is a very robust plugin that will increase the responsiveness of your website and reduce the server load. It is also very useful to handle sudden burts in traffic coming from social bookmarking sites. The plugin basically creates static versions of your pages and serves them without querrying the MySQL database.

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181 Responses to “Top 10 Underrated WordPress Plugins”

  • saver

    I am huge fan of Clean Archives and recommend it to all. Reading your post about Chunk URL I think it is definitely worth something to try. I can see how it could really save me sometime. The site is not maintained but the files are still downloadable, YEA!!!

  • Mukundan Srinivasan

    Informative list. Great roundup of powerful plugins. I didn’t know about heta-meta plugin and exec php before. Thanks for sharing.

  • Hitesh

    the plugin is very nice, but i think there’s a problem with the “likebox” widget. If i click any link in the box it opens me it in the box itself…instead the target MUST be a new window or page…the problem doesn’t seem to be present if i click, for example, on images…

  • ipage reviews

    stunning list. they are not killer, but ‘assassin’ plugins.
    just great compilation tho, thumbs up!

  • Altis Lo (Beaulife)

    These are gems in the deep sea… Thanks for your recommendations!

    [Delighting Lifestyle] Best Buy And Idea | Blog And Store.
    Follow me on Twitter.

  • taschengeldtabelle

    Great plugins…all of these plugins seem to work great but i think “Head Meta Description”-olugin is not necessary if you already use “AllinOne-Seo”-plugin. But nice list anyway…

  • SVT

    Very nice list. Seen some of these before, but certainly not all! 😀

  • get freaky

    I agree. Those plugins are really great. In fact right now i m about to create my own little plugin. It will be for text submissions and so on. But speaking about the other plugins: Some Seo Plugins are really amazing and most of them work great. I really got less to do since i use some plugins.

  • yonja

    i’m only using Exec-PHP and WP-Cache, the other plugins i don’t know yet. hmm..i would prefer to use Clean Archives. thaks

  • sohbet

    I would love to use your recommended plugins but I would guess including SEO plugins would be great as well.;p

  • yonja

    I am using 4 of those. I haven’t heard of the sig2feed plugin. That sounds excellent. I’ve had several posts ripped off before, it’s always a bummer.

  • sohbet

    Great post. Thanks for the tips. Now I just have to find time to implement!

  • chat

    Very nice article! Thanks for this!..

  • sohbet

    Thanks for the theme. I will just still have to get a different header image.

  • Csaba

    There are tons of cool plugins. It simply impossible to select the best from them.

  • Daily Good Tips

    Hmm..very difficult to be master in wordpress, I don’t have enough knowledge in PHP

  • MathieuB

    Sig2feed is no longer available for download, what a bummer. Daniel, do you know of any mirror or could you put it up for download?

  • lesen texte

    Thank you for the great tips…
    i agree that some are underrated but im not a friend of the Head Meta one…..the others seem to work perfect.

  • blue-ray

    I dont really agree in every point. I dont think that some of these plugins are underrated cause of my personal experience with some of these plugins. Lots of plugins look great at the first view but if you examine them you will find lots of ..lets say “seo-silly” mistakes if you know what i mean.

    Just be careful while choosing such plugins 🙂

  • nRnF

    Nice List !
    I have found another great plugin:
    “TargetDomain Analyzer” which is quite a compleete domain analisis tool like domaintools.com for your wordpress blog. Shows WHOIS, SE popularity and much more … (There is also a Joomla version available).
    See: http://resource.targetdomain.com/index.php?option=com_remository&Itemid=86&func=fileinfo&id=8

  • Dendi

    i’m only using Exec-PHP and WP-Cache, the other plugins i don’t know yet. hmm..i would prefer to use Clean Archives. thaks

  • Roni

    Here’s another one you might want to check out – Kaltura’s new All-in-one Video plugin for WordPress.

    This is not just another video embed tool, bloggers can upload, import and edit videos in any blog post, and allow readers to post video comments and participate in collaborative videos. You can download it free from – http://corp.kaltura.com/download?m=wplaunch.

    You can see a sample of what it looks like on our corporate blog: http://www.kaltura.com/blog/ or read more at http://community.kaltura.org/viewforum.php?f=4

  • film indir

    I would love to use your recommended plugins but I would guess including SEO plugins would be great as well.;p

  • Hikari

    tnx for the tips, these plugins are nice

  • diabetes man

    Wp very great tools….and really support seo, thanks for the posting

  • kmjamal

    Good Plugins here i like some of them there are many such top 10 plugins offered by different people i see.

  • Bang Kritikus

    How about blogspot ?

  • HollywoodDream

    Sig2feed is pretty cool and simple. Excellent list.

  • Berrie Pelser

    Very nice list, Thx! 🙂

  • Berrie Pelser

    Nice list, Thx! 🙂

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