Top 10 WordPress Plugins

Not available in stores...the WordPress Plugin Bar <tm>
Not available in stores...the WordPress Plugin Bar

It’s Web Design Wednesdays, and this week I’m going to focus on WordPress.

I’ve been using WordPress for a few months now, and I’ve pretty much settled on a few plugins that I love and which will be on my “default install” for any other sites I make.  There are a couple of plugins on this list that I’m not currently using, but I have them earmarked for other sites.

There are two specific examples; I’m not posting comics here, so there’s not much sense for the ComicPress plugin.  I’m not selling stuff, so there’s not much sense in having the WP eCommerce plugin installed, but they’re both really cool plugins that I’ve played with.

Askimet – Spam service, so far I’ve gone from several dozen spam a day to 0. That’s a pretty big improvement.  This is a default plugin, but I can’t believe how many people don’t use it.
All in One SEO Pack – Radical Hive is already the #1 result when you enter Brian Garside on Google, and was just a few days after I added this pack.  This also allows me to target specific posts and pages to keywords.
Democracy – Easy to use polls.  Also has an easy to use Widget which you can place in your sidebar
flickrRSS – Photos from my Flickr account right to my sidebar
Google XML Sitemaps – This adds a accessible XML sitemap to your site which makes Google trawling that much better.
Twitter for WordPress – Another sidebar plugin, shows the most recent 5 posts from my Twitter account.
WordPress Automatic Upgrade – I never have to open my FTP program to get the most recent WordPress, and that is the biggest barrier to entry to getting this done.
WordPress Database Backup – Again, no need to open anything other than my dashboard to back up my site.  Good stuff.
WP Google Analytics – A really simple way of getting your Analytics account into WordPress, also allows for customization such as not counting Admin visitors as visitors (meaning that I don’t get counted when I visit my own site).
WP e-Commerce – It’s a decent little shopping package, makes a Word Press blog into something that you can sell stuff on.

Honourable Mention:
The ComicPress theme / plugin – I’ll be using this when I eventually relaunch Chronicology as a web comic.  Some day, really.  Honestly even.
WP Super Cache – A really easy way of speeding your website up.  Turns database delivered files into flat files and improves performance greatly.

4 thoughts on “Top 10 WordPress Plugins”

  1. Hey Brian,

    Nice list! I agree with most of these picks, with the only exceptions being flickrRSS and WP e-Commerce, which I have never used. I’d also move SuperCache into the main list from the Honourable Mentions… it’s a must have!

    I’d add to the list:

    PHP Code Widget ( which allows you to add your own PHP code to a sidebar widget. Useful for simple code (like ) or even much more complex stuff.

    Share This ( which adds the familiar social bookmarking links

    Dashbar ( which adds a menubar to your public site if you are logged in. Gives quick access to write/edit a post or get to your dashboard. (site is in french… use google to translate)

    Just my thoughts!


  2. Great list! I put off using Akismet for a long time because it requires an API key. Then after getting hundreds of spam comments in a day I decided to take 5 minutes and sign up for an API key. I haven’t had any spam hit my inbox since.

    I would also add commendluv and subscribe to comments to the list. Great plug-ins for your users.

  3. Yep, great list.

    Getting the API key to use Askimet is really easy, just go to and register (it’s free!)

    I’ll add a couple more to the list…

    Social Bookmarking Reloaded

    Adds social bookmarking icons to your posts so users can submit you to Digg,, Stumbleupon etc. (and you can choose which ones to enable!)

    WP Contact Form

    As the name suggests, this lets you put a contact form, protected by an anti-spam question, to any of your posts or pages.


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