Must Have WordPress Plugins
Here is the set of WordPress plugins recommended by the Power Blog Service.
It is broken down into two lists; the plugins we expect to use on every site and the ones we would recommend on a needs must basis.
This post covers only the first group; tomorrow’s post will cover the optional set of recommended WordPress plugins.
Akismet Spam Filtering
Matt Mullenweg’s solution for filtering of comments to remove spam. Without this plugin, commenting on WordPress would be untenable. For example, on this blog over 99% of attempted comments are spam and akismet makes sure I never have to deal with them.
Andy Skelton’s solution for collecting statistics on the numbers of visitors to your site. Like Akismet above this plugin is a necessity for the practical use of WordPress.
This plugin by Dion Hulse ensures you don’t clog up your database with too many versions of your posts and pages. It automatically does housekeeping on the numbers of revisions to keep. I typically set it up with the default of two revisions.
WordPress Database Backup
This plugin by Austin Matzko allows you create a schedule for backing up your WordPress database and emailing it to you. Your database contains your blog articles, comments and most of the configuration. We recommend schedule either a daily or twice daily backup depending on the frequency of updates and popularity of your blog. Please note that you should also ensure that a number of other files on your site in addition to the database are also backup up, such as any theme customizations, images in your uploads directory, the wp-config.php file, robots.txt and any .htaccess files.
Google XML Sitemaps
This plugin by Arne Brachhold allows you to create and rebuild automatically the sitemap.xml which Google uses to index your site. This helps Google find all the pages on your blog. Your can also add any non blog pages to the sitemap too.
This plugin originally by Steve Smith but now owned by Feedburner/Google allows you to track subscriptions to the RSS feed of your blog
This plugin by Joost de Valk makes it easy for visitors to add links to your posts on their favorite social networking sites
Contact Form 7
An easily configurable plugin to create a secure contact form. Takayuki Miyoshi’s solution supports many languages and uses a simple markup language. It also requires a separate plugin Really Simple CAPTCHA if you want to block the bad robots!
What Would Seth Godin Do
A plugin by Richard K Miller which adds a customized message to encourage regular visitors to sign up to your RSS feed. [By the way, Seth Godin is an author, entrepreneur and agent of change though I don’t know if Seth Godin would actually do this; after he uses typepad and not wordpress and he no longer accepts comments on his blog.]
A plugin by Andy Bailey that encourages comments on your blog by automatically embedding a link from the commentors RSS feed at the end of their comment. Go on try it now. You’ll love to comment with CommentLuv.