Plugins to Power Your WordPress Blog
An excellent plugin architecture and template system, backed by an Open Source platform makes WordPress as the most popular blogging platform. The popularity of WordPress is indicated by the fact that over three hundred of the top ten thousand sites use WordPress today. Currently, it is used by over 202 million websites around the world.
In WordPress adage, if there is an idea, there is a WordPress plugin. WordPress is acclaimed for its remarkable flexibility to accommodate plugins for any kind of use imaginable. For people who are not accustomed to coding or not familiar with PHP, the WordPress community has come to their succor by developing free plugins which are easy to download and install. These plugins not only improve the functionality of the blog, but also lend a unique personality to the blog.
WordPress has mesmerizing array of templates and plugins to create a website just about anything on the web. With WordPress developers’ hoarding the community with thousands of plugins to suit any function, there are plethora of options available. However, we have compiled a list of must have plugins for your WordPress website.
WP-o-Matic – This plugin makes autoblogging an easy affair by generating content from the RSS or the Atom feeds on a blog. It allows you to sort these feeds into campaigns for organizational comfort. Image caching, hotlinking bypassing, relinking specific key words and rewriting posts are some of the most impressive features that this plugin boasts of.
Capability Manager – As an admin of a blog, it is mandatory to give some specific rights to the users. Editors of the blog need editing rights, similarly, writers need rights to make new posts etc. Word Press doesn’t have the option to assign rights according to the membership of the user. The Capability Manager is a WP plugin that helps you fulfill this need and allows the admin to assign these rights in an efficient manner.
WPtouch iPhone Theme – The WPtouch iPhone Theme is used to transform the WP blog and display it with all the features on iPhone, iPod touch, Android, Opera Mini, Palm Pre and BlackBerry Storm devices. The users have to option to switch between the WP Touch view and the regular view.
Community Links Feed – The Community Links Feed is a free Word Press plugin that allows the blog users to submit their favorite links to your blog. The submitted links then appear on the dashboard where the admin can reject them or approve them. Once the links are approved by the admin, they appear in the sidebar. It’s a great plugin to enhance the visual appeal of the side links and can be customized.
Contact Form 7 – The Contact Form 7 is another contact form plugin for Word Press. It is a really flexible plugin and can be used to manage multiple forms and it offers features like spam filter, CAPTCHA and AJAX powered submitting. It is a free plugin and can be downloaded from the Word Press’s plugin directory.
Dagon Design Sitemap Generator – This is a free sitemap generator plugin for Word Press based blog sites. The sitemap generated by this plugin is highly customizable. It supports multilevel categories and pages, plus permalink support. The admin can select the specific order to display the items and can also choose the way one wants to display the items.
TinyMCE Advanced – The TinyMCE Advanced plugin makes the visual editor of the WordPress even more advanced by blessing it with many features. The visual editor supports making and editing tables, in line CSS styles, gives more options in link and image inserting, supports DIV based XHTML tags etc. This gives more power to the admin and the writers for editing the content in a better manner.
WP-PageNavi – The WP-PageNavi adds an advanced page navigation to your site. The WP-PageNavi adds a navigation like – Pages (17):  2 3 4 » … Last »
WP Super Cache – As the popularity of a blog grows, so does the traffic. If one does not have a dedicated server, then the blog will witness congestion over a period of time. This is very common if the blog is featured on popular social networking sites. This plugin generates a static html file instead of processing the heavier PHP files. As an overwhelming majority of visitors are just browsers who do not leave any user details, the static html file prevents the blog from getting bogged down due to too much traffic.
WordPress Backup – It is a plugin that cares of all the backup woes. It backs up images, themes and plugins to a zip file which is sent optionally to the mail. A similar plugin known as WP-DB Manager also works in tandem with the WordPress Backup and backs up database.
No Self Ping – While many people find it convenient that WordPress provides the feature of intra blog pinging as it connects related posts, others find it cluttering their blog. This plugin disables intra blog pinging.
MobilePress – With the entire world being fit on the smart phones nowadays, it’s no wonder that WordPress has also gone on mobile. This plugin will allow WordPress blogs to be displayed on mobile handsets. By integrating this plugin with Aduity.com this allows the blog to avail the advantages of mobile advertising.
InSeries – This plugin enables users to link related posts in a series for easy access to the other posts. It is also helpful in case a single post is divided into several parts, then cross referencing is easily done using this plugin.
Chitika WordPress plugin – This plugin offers an extra-ordinary amount of flexibility for a blogger to place his ads as in terms of advertisement size, background color, channel, display position and link and text color. They can also be run along with Google Adsense on the same page.
TweetMeme Retweet Button – The TweetMeme Retweet Button is used to retweet the blog pages and posts to the twitter community. It is a popular plugin and is being used by more than 1,000,000 websites around the globe. The plugin has the ability to live counts the number of tweets from twitter, control the length of the tweets and had hashtag support.
Max Banner Ads – This plugin allows for rotating the ads within a blog post on a single location. It has been seen that this increases traffic to a blog. It is helpful for people who have little knowledge of coding and allows one to control the ads from the WordPress dashboard.
Newsletter – The Newsletter plugin for Word Press makes it easy for managing a newsletter subscription list. The user can subscribe to the newsletter in single or double option. The double option requires the user to confirm the subscription by clicking an activation link that he receives in his email. The message of the newsletter can be created by the composer or it can also be auto created with the content of the blog. The subject and the body of the newsletter can be customized with the subscriber’s name.
Author Exposed – Author Exposed is a plugin which shows visitors all the details about the author. It is a really useful for multi-author blogs. On clicking the link provided, there is a pop up displaying the author’s info and the gravatar pic.
Subscribe to Comments – This is a remarkable plugin that features a complete subscription manager that allows commentators the myriad choices of subscribing e-mail notifications of further entries, or unsubscribing to a particular post, block all the notifications or even have a separate e-mail address for notifications.
Thank Me Later – Thank Me Later is a unique plugin that sends a ‘thank you’ email to those users who posted a comment on a post of your blog. This reminds them of your blog and increases the chances of getting returning visitors. The email messages are highly customizable as you can make multiple messages, send the email after a defined time, make messages people friendly.
Show Top Commentators – This plugin connects the most frequent readers of a blog and enables greater discussion among the readers by having the top commentators’ names published along with a link to their websites if desired and the number of comments they have made on the blog.
Keyword Luv – This plugin enables an extra field to be displayed next to the comment on a blog such that readers do not enter their websites in the name field for SEO purposes.
CubePoints – This plugin helps encourage readership and increases traffic to the blog by having a point system for the number of comments posted by readers. Based on these points the readers may be given incentives such as purchasing items or upgrades.
CommentLuv – While majority of comments are just a showcase for the display of their own personal links, some comments are genuine and deserve a back link, for the betterment of the readers who can be directed to related posts. This plugin gives these readers a little extra by extracting content from their recent blog post through their RSS feeds and displaying it below their comment.
Download Manager – The WordPress Download Manager is a quirky plugin that allows for downloading any free link on a WordPress site in a wide range of extension formats. It also manages the statistics, facilitates multiple downloads and create download categories.
Feed Subscriber Stats – This plugin displays the number of subscribers to the blog.
Feed Footer – This snazzy plugin allows for adding footer under each blog post in WordPress. It can serve a number of purposes such as displaying all copyright notices in the footer, showing and rotating ads in the footer to make money from advertising or spice up the footer by displaying banners and images.
RSS Footer – This plugin adds an extra default line to the content of the feed allowing for backlinking to the blog with the name of the blog anchor texted.
RS Discuss – If it is found necessary to integrate a forum with the existing forum, instead of going for conventional approaches such as PhPbb or Vbulletin, one can use this remarkable plugin to create a bulletin board forum for the blog. It also features multiple language support and regular forum features such as setting up of administrators and moderators.
Related Posts – This plugin enables the displaying of a fixed number of related posts based on the keywords in the URL of the post.
Related Posts by Category – This plugin displays similar posts within any blog on the basis of the category assigned to each post, instead of title of the post or weight of the content. As the posts in a particular category tend to have similar posts, the plugin is a really helpful tool for categorizing or browsing through all posts of a desired type.
My Category Order – The My Category Order WP plugin allows the admin to select the order in which he want the categories to appear in the sidebar. The plugin is really easy to install and has a drop and drag interface for making changes in the order.
My Page Order – The My Page Order WP plugin is same as the My Category order plugin. The only difference between the two is that the My Page Order plugin is used to select an order to display the pages unlike the My Category Order that is used to select the order of the categories.
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) – This advanced plugin uses a customizable algorithm which enables the plugin to pull data from posts title, content, tags and categories and then computes a match score for different pairs of posts on the blog. It has lots of other attractive features in it such as the templating system which gives one exclusive control over the looks of the blog, or the improved caching system or the displaying of related posts in the RSS feeds or Atom feeds.
Limit Login Attempts – The Limit Login Attempts is an ideal plugin for increasing the security of your blog. Word Press allows unlimited attempts to login whereas the admin can set the number of login attempts and the plugin can even block the IP of the person who crosses the attempt limit. It is a really good plugin for increasing the security of the site against any brute-force attack.
All-in-One SEO Pack – This is one plugin that amazes every user by its free availability. This incredible plugin automatically generates meta-tags on each page containing a post, also allowing for the pre-establishment of meta tags or meta titles of one’s own choice. It is the best plugin available for optimizing one’s blog for search engines with a payable pro version available at $39 which is rumored to be the most downloaded WordPress plugin worldwide. It has simple features that enable newcomers on WordPress completely oblivious to the mechanisms of SEO to just plug and play.
Google XML Sitemaps – The Google XML Sitemaps creates a sitemap that helps the Search Engines to index maximum number of pages of your site. The Google XML Sitemaps is a free WP plugin and makes it easier for the crawlers to view the site’s complete structure and index it efficiently. It’s best feature is that it notifies the search engines whenever you create a new post.
SEO Slugs – The SEO Slugs is a free WP plugin. It is a very useful SEO plugin as it removes common words like ‘a’, ‘the’, ‘you’ etc. This helps to make the slugs more SEO friendly. It displays the slug before the content is published and the user can edit the slug if he wants to.
Permalink Redirect – This plugin generates a 301 redirect for avoiding the duplication of content in search engines. It also features a Feedburner redirect.
Akismet – Nothin on the virtual world is more annoying than Spam. It is the underbelly of the web. To combat this growing menace, this amazing plugin compares the content of comments on a post with an online server anonymously and verifies if it is spam. This free plugin has made trackback spam and commenting a non-issue.
Best Posts Summary – This is an extremely useful plugin that takes in to account the no of comments or visits to a post and generates a summary post consisting of the best posts over a particular period of time. It can also be customized to fix the number of posts to be summarized, the order of the posts and options to include the title and post content. This seemingly innocuous plugin performs a myriad number of functions such as keeping track of posts on a site which are updated very frequently, to deeplinking- a feature that enables hyperlinks to point to specific pages rather than the home page giving better rankings on search engines. This also helps in finding out which type of posts are favored by readers thus improving readership and it also cuts back on hours of mind numbing manual work.
White Label CMS – The White Label CMS is for those developers who want to make the WP CMS their own. The developer can customize the panels, elements and can put cutom logo to the header and footer of the CMS. This branding of the CMS saves time of the developer who would have to code a CMS from scratch.
WP-Compress-HTML – The WP-Compress-HTML plugins helps to cut down white space and compress the page. This saves your bandwidth and also ensures faster delivery of content.
SyntaxHighlighter Evolved – The SyntaxHighlighter Evolved plugin for Word Press allows the posting of syntax highlighted code without making manual changes or loosing actual formatting of the text.
Popularity Contest – This is a really useful plugin that allows for calculating the popularity of one post vis-à-vis another post on the basis of the number of comments each post generated. Any changes in the number of comments are also reflected in the popularity index of each post. This serves the purpose of gauging the interest level of the readers and helps in knowing what the readers prefer in a particular blog.
I-Max Width – Although blogging is all about playing with words, too much wordplay might tire readers just from monotony. To relieve readers browsing through a post, this cool plugin is a boon especially for design and photography blogs. It has the feature to automatically size the images to to fit into any content column thus eliminating hours of frustration.
WP-eCommerce – If a WordPress blog isn’t enough for one’s money making abilities then this plugin allows setting up an online store on the WordPress blog. It offers the feature of integrating with the WordPress updates so any new update on a product is immediately conveyed to the rest of the world.
WP-Email – The best method of promotion and advertising has always been word of mouth. This cool plugin enables people to recommend a good blog or post to their friends increasing the traffic to that blog.
ShareThis – This brilliant plugin brings us directly into today’s world of social networking. Its flash based compact interface allows one to control the number of social networking sites to include, looks, text and color theme of the plugin. It is the easiest way for a post to be submitted on sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Digg etc.
The development of plugins is a work in continuous progress as the WordPress community seeks to alleviate all the needs and functions of the bloggers using WordPress. With proper knowledge of the development of these remarkable plugins a WordPress experience can be made more holistic.