12 Must Have WordPress Plug-ins

I’ve been using WordPress for about 2 years now and have learned quite a bit about how everything works and is put together on this platform. Therefore, I thought it might be beneficial to you if I was to share some of my experiences and tools that I use on WordPress.

The reason for this? Well, it’s simple. I want you to use WordPress to build your blog over any other platform because it freakin rocks. It’s simple to use and works terrific. I know you may be scared because there’s all the buttons and it could be a new thing to you. We all know that if something is different, we’re scared to do it because it’s different. I’d like to give you a smooth transition and help get you started on the right track.

My buddy Cory Shanes even wrote up a blog post that explains 10 Reasons why you should swich to WordPress.org and if you are hesitant about using WordPress, go read that right now.

Time for the real fun to begin. I’m going to share with you my favorite WordPress plug-ins and give you a brief description of what it does and why I like it. These plug-ins have helped me in some way or another so I would like them to help you to.

1) All in One SEO Pack

Out-of-the-box SEO for your WordPress blog. This basically handles all of your SEO for you. If you don’t want to take the time to learn all the in and outs of SEO (which change almost daily), then install this plug-in on your blog and have it done for you.

2) Contact Form 7

Just another contact form plugin. Simple but flexible. The reason I like this is because it allows for you to put a cool little contact me form on your blog without having to know any serious coding. This is a good thing for you if you aren’t too tech-savvy 😉

3) Digg Digg

All-in-One social vote buttons – Digg, Reddit, dDone, Yahoo Buzz, TweetMeme(twitter), fbshare(facebook), Polladium, StumbleUpon, Delicious, Sphinn, Post comments, Google Buzz, Designbump, Designfloat and Thewebblend. Do you see the cool little Tweet this, Digg this and StumbleUpon buttons at the top of the posts I write? Those are all done through Digg Digg 🙂

4) Disqus Comment System

The Disqus comment system basically replaces WordPress’ normal commenting system and makes it look a lot better. In my opinion it adds a level of professionalism and just flat out looks cool. Get this on your blog asap!

5) Google Friend Connect Integration

You know that Google is trying to take over the world, so why not implement their Friend Connect onto your blog? There’s even the option to send out a newsletter from within GFC.

6) MaxBlogPress Favicon

The Favicon plug-in turns that little icon thats on the tab you have open and puts a picture to it. Use this to further brand yourself by adding your picture or business logo to your favicon.

7) Photo Dropper

This tool is great. I love using pictures in my posts and it allows me to use flikr images without breaking any copyright codes and stuff like that. You want to be safe with using images on your blog and my buddy Brendan Wenzel wrote an excellent post about this at Bloggers Need to Stop Stealing and Start Asking

OLA! see how it gives the photographer credit. Pretty cool, huh?
Creative Commons License photo credit: tinyspark_boom

8) Pretty Link

Pretty link turns all those nasty long url’s into something short and visually appealing to your reader. It takes something like http://site.com/blahblahblah02391121342232and turns it into something shorter, such as http://site.com/blah (Those aren’t actual links so don’t try to click them 😉 )

9) SexyBookmarks

A little in your face with the name, but that’s what it’s supposed to be! It stands out and gets people to share your content. You’ll notice at the bottom of this post there’s a bunch of icons for all of your favorite social networks. SexyBookmarks shows these so that people can share your content anywhere that they want to.

10) Ultimate Google Analytics

Enables Google Analytics on your blog. It has options to also track external links, mailto links and links to downloads on your own site. This is a great tool to use if you are tracking things on your blog, which you should be.

11) WordPress-Facebook-Like

Facebook Like’s Impact on SEO read that article and then add this to your blog. Getting people to “Like” your posts will end up helping it’s SEO over time so it’s recommended that you start paying attention to this 😉

12) WP Greet Box

I literally just came across this tool about 2 weeks ago thanks to Ori Bengal and am so glad I came across it. It has a customized greeting for people who come to your blog. For example, when someone clicks on this article through a posting on Twitter, it customizes the article to say something along the lines of “Thanks for coming from Twitter”. You can change this and even post something like “You’re a Blue Bird.”

There’s actual 15 WordPress plug-ins that you should be using. I just needed to keep some a secret 😉

If you’d like to have access to the other 3 and get a FREE Self-Branded WordPress blog as my gift to you, then click the banner below:

I’d love to hear any other plug-ins that you are using that could benefit my readers here. Leave them in the comments below and I MIGHT create another post on other “Should-have” wordpress plug-ins. Only if they’re good though 😉

Chris Hughes

Chris loves learning, going on adventures, surfing and having fun. Chris on Google+

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wchingya - July 15, 2010 Reply

First visit here, Chris and thank you for sharing the 12 plugins us WP users can't miss. Personally I would definitely add 'Akismet' to the list as I'm using a normal WP commenting form on my blog, it'll be impossible to deal with spam comments without it. By using Disqus are you experiencing any spams or it's less of a problem for third party commenting system?

Social/Blogging Tracker

Chris Hughes - July 16, 2010 Reply

@wchingya thank you for stopping buy! Akismet is definitely a great plugin for everyone using the WP commenting. I have it installed, but I honestly do not know whether it matters with the Disqus system… I do not get many spam comments, thankfully. I remember getting them prior to switching to Disqus and have had this happen on other blogs I've managed. I've just switched entirely to Disqus now though.

if anyone knows anything further on akismet, please feel free to shed some light 🙂

Yorinda - July 26, 2010 Reply

Hi Chris,

thanks for sharing your plugin lists. There are a few I haven't checked out yet.
The Greet box sounds interesting. It's not an annoying popup. I personally don't like those.

Much appreciated!


BradleyWill - October 19, 2010 Reply

well done!

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