One of the things I love about WordPress is the plugins. Here you can build on the base and with your templates really make your blog (or site) your own. Here are a set of some of my top 10 favourite plugins for WordPress.
1. WordPress Editorial Calendar
I first learnt about this plugin at Nuffnang Blogopolis from Nikki @ Styling You and have used it ever since. It is a great way to organise and plan the posts that you are going to do … however I have also found it useful is also for analysis of what you have done in the past. It is a great plugin and I wouldn’t be suprised that in the future that WordPress incorporate this great functionality into the core platform. A must for anyone wanting to post on a regular basis.
I am a fan of Disqus as my comment system. I know that there are a few others that do a similar function and people tend to fall into one of the camps. In the end it comes down to personal preference for some of the key features. My general recommendation is to NOT stick with the default commenting system and look at what is on offer that will best suit your needs. I personally like Disqus as I think it creates a community of commentors across mutiple blogs (not just your own). I also like the layout and the way it nests comments.
This plugin makes implement google analytics for your blog very very easy. No coding or looking at HTML. All you need to do is set-up the details on the Google Analytics site … get the account id and then put it in the setting section for Ultimate Google Analytics. This will put the required code on all of your pages so that you can track your stats. Too easy
4. Social Media Widget
This plugin makes it really easy to set-up all of the social media icons you could possibly want to share with your widgets (the things on the side columns). In addition to the long selection of default social media options you can also create your own. I found with a number of the others you would get 80% of the social media widgets you wanted but there would also be 1 or 2 missing. With this plugin you are guaranteed to be able to set them all up the way you want.
5. Duplicate Post
I have found that the Duplicate Post plugin to be useful when you are doing regular posts on a consistent theme and you want to always have a similar set of information on all of your posts. This could be a link (or badge) for a blog hop, post tags or categories … or really any other post unique settings that you would like to keep the same. I have found this has saved me alot of time for posts that I do for bloghops.
6. FeedBurner FeedSmith Extend
This is another plugin that I learnt about during Nuffnang Blogopolis. This plugin detects all ways to access your original WordPress feeds and redirects them to your FeedBurner feed. This is great to ensure that everyone that is getting your information through RSS gets it through Feedburner … ensuring that you provide a consistent experience and also get to capture that activity through your feedburner stats.
7. All in One SEO Pack
This is one of WordPress’ most downloaded plugins and once you have been working with it for a while it is no reason wondering why. It is a great plugin to get the most out of your SEO.
8. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin
One of the key mistakes that many blogs do in the early days is not provide links between their posts based on the content that has been read. I personally believe that it is very important to provide readers at the end of a post a journey that can continue through your blog to other related content. Otherwise if you do not you are creating a dead-end. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) for WordPress gives you a list of posts and/or pages related to the current entry, introducing the reader to other relevant content on your site.
YARPP has a number of great features but most importantly it uses a customizable algorithm whereby it considers post titles, content, tags, and categories, YARPP calculates a “match score” for each pair of posts on your blog. You choose the threshold limit for relevance and you get more related posts if there are more related posts and less if there are less.
9. WordPress MU Domain Mapping
This plugin is a must for all users of WordPress Multsites/Networks. This means that you can manage multiple blog sites (with unique URLs) under the one wordpress admin. I do not know if I would be able to do everything I do with wordpress without this key plugin.
10. Fluency Admin
This plugin does nothing for the front end … but it is a great lift to the personality of the backend. It is particularly useful if you want to rebrand the admin section and make it look a bit more professional. For me when I am creating a new WordPress site/multisite this is one of the first plugins I install.
What do you think? Do you love or hate any of the plugins I have listed? What would you add or remove from the top 10 list?Image: Blog With Authenticity Without Getting Fired by Search Engine People Blog, on Flickr Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)