31 WordPress Plugins To Enhance Your Blog and Life

by Andrew · 49 comments

31 Wordpress Plugins

It’s 2009. Every business needs a corporate blog to accompany their corporate website, and every individual needs a personal blog to share their thoughts – or portfolio – with the world.

My advice? Go with WordPress. Then leverage a database of 4,500+ third-party plugins to make it the most robust, cost-effective, Web 2.0 Content Management System you can get.

A few quick notes:

  • Backup your database before installing any plugins.
  • Not many people know that plugins give developers access to your site’s backend: only install plugins from trusted developers. I’ve used all of the plugins below without any problems, but install at your own risk.
  • Here are some additional WordPress security tips.

First Things First

1. OneClick Plugin Updater - This plugin makes it a cinch to install any plugin or theme either from a URL or a file on your hard drive, so install this first.

2. WP-DB Manager – All-around lifesaver. This is by far the most important plugin on this list. This is the only one that’s going to save your butt if you ever manage to corrupt, damage, or destroy your site’s database. DB Manager let’s you schedule automatic backups of your database, and you can also optimize, repair, or restore your database and run queries. Mine is configured to email me a compressed backup of my database every 4 hours (note: create an additional admin email address for those backups, even when compressed each email can be several MBs in size.)

3. WP Security Scan – There are plenty of ways for hackers to gain access to your blog, so do everything you can to prevent it.

Social Media

4. ShareThis – Allows visitors to email your post or bookmark it on any of 39 social bookmarking sites.

5. Digg Digg – Integrates Digg, Reddit, DZone and Yahoo Buzz buttons.

6. Sociable – Add links from 99 different social networking sites

7. TweetThis – Add a “Tweet this” link to every post and page

SEO

8. Platinum SEO Pack – Optimize your site for search engines. Platinum SEO lets you generate META tags automatically, avoid duplicate content, change permalinks on the fly, and add index, noindex, follow, nofollow, etc tags to your posts. Yes, it’s better than the All-in-One SEO Plugin (more features, compatible with more plugins, and better-supported.)

9. Google XML Sitemaps - Automatically upload sitemaps to Google. If you want to be sure search engine robots can find and index every page on your site, you can either manually upload an XML sitemap to Google’s Webmaster Tools every time you publish new content OR install this plugin. Your call.

10. SEO Title Tag – Optimize title tags for SEO. This compliments the Platinum SEO plugin by giving you additional control over title tags.

11. SEO Friendly Images - Makes images SEO friendly (omg, rly?) This plugin automatically updates all images with ALT and TITLE attributes, which will enable search engines to “see” your images and will help keep your posts xHTML-valid.

Blog Admin

12. Theme Test Drive - Test out a new theme while your visitors see your old/current theme.

13. Maintenance Mode - Adds a splash page to your blog that lets visitors know your site is down for maintenance.

14. My Category Order - Control the category order in your navigation bar. By default, WordPress lists all categories and pages alphabetically, which makes about as much sense as listing your categories via the Dewey Decimal System. Not sure why this functionality isn’t yet native to WordPress, but My Category Order does the trick just fine.

15. My Page Order - Control the page order in your navigation bar. Same idea as My Category Order, but for pages.

Anti-stupidity Plugins

16. Are you Sure? – Prevents accidental publishing of posts. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve accidentally clicked “Publish” and published a post that was only half-finished. This plugin provides stupidity-proofing of your blog by showing a pop-up confirmation box. Whew. That was close.

Make-Your-Life-Easier Plugins

17. Video Embedder – Embed xHTML-valid video code. This plugin is fantastic. Let’s say I wanted to embed a YouTube video in this post. I could either copy and past a paragraph of xHTML invalid code, or with this plugin all I have to do is enter the source in [brackets] + the video ID and presto, a clean embedded video.

18. No Self Ping - Before installing this plugin, every time I would publish a post that contained internal links to other posts on my site, those posts would receive pingbacks in the comments section. Pingbacks and Trackbacks are great for notifying other sites that you link to them and vice versa, but I don’t want my posts cluttered with pingbacks from my own posts. Problem solved with No Self Ping.

19. FD Feedburner Plugin – Redirects your sites main feed to your Feedburner account.

Make-Your-Visitors-Happy Plugins

20. Redirection – Manage 301 redirects and keep track of 404 errors. There’s nothing more annoying than finding yourself on a 404 page after trying to access a URL that once existed but has since been removed. If you plan to change the directory of your wordpress site or migrate pages to/from another site, then this will route your visitors to the right pages. Redirection also tracks the # of hits, pretty spiffy.

21. WP Super Cache - Decreases page load time. Super Cache captures every page on your blog in a form that is quickly served up to new visitors, helping to decrease page load time and stabilize your site for a flood of traffic (e.g. your post makes it to the front page of Digg and you receive more visitors in 3 hours than you have all month)

Anti-SPAM

22. Akismet – I believe this now comes pre-installed with any new download/upgrade of WordPress, but this is the original anti-comment-spam plugin

23. reCAPTCHA – I hate captchas, and I hate making my readers use them, but I hate SPAM even more. reCAPTCHA is the best captcha plugin I’ve found.

24. WP-Ban – Ban certain IPs from leaving comments. Despite having Akismet AND reCAPTCHA installed, I still get comment SPAM from human beings that actually take the time to enter the captcha, often from the same IP addresses. Not anymore… WP-Ban lets you blacklist certain IPs (or a range of IPs, or host names, or referrers, or user agents) and prevents them from leaving comments, and then tells you how many attempts it has blocked. Frickin sweet.

25. WP-SpamFree – I just downloaded this a couple of days ago, but have already noticed a decrease in comment spam.

Miscellaneous

26. WP GreetBox – Adds a custom greeting to your new visitors depending on their referral URL

27. WP-Print - Adds printer-friendly functionality to your posts

28. YARPP - Lists posts and or pages related to the current entry

29. ShortURL – Same ideas the URL shortening tools used for Twitter, except it retains your URL (e.g. www.thedailyanchor.com/u/1) This plugin is great in theory, but I have yet to get this plugin to work properly

30. Search Meter – Records what people search for via your site’s search box and if they found what they were looking for (shows searches, search results, and unsuccessful searches with no results)

31. WP-Polls – Create super customizable polls

Now it’s your turn. I’m still looking for a mobile browser plugin, any thoughts? What other plugins would you recommend?

Image credit: Command-Tab

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Online slots bonus April 28, 2012 at 6:32 am

The whole article is great! Will recommend to all buddies of mine to come across it now.

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Prem Pandit August 3, 2011 at 8:20 am

can you tell me any plugins for enhancing bullet and points in wordpress?

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Olubunmi February 1, 2011 at 2:05 pm

I really like this list. I am going to try some of them right now. I am very new into the Cyber (managing your own page world) and even newer to Wordpress. I will definitely bookmark this site as well. Thank you so much for the list.

<< off to better my site now.

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Andrew November 2, 2010 at 8:23 am

My favorite plugin is stealth post as it allows you to post offtopic posts on your blog

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Nimit kashyap January 25, 2010 at 12:23 pm

very good collection, i am using some of them already and will try other soon. i am bookmarking this post for future reference.

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George Serradinho December 7, 2009 at 4:14 am

Some nice plugins you listed, will surely make time to go and view some of them. One
Never knows when you might need it.

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Make Cash Online November 3, 2009 at 5:49 am

I agree about one-click plugin updater. That is the first and only plugin I copy using the filemanager and then straightaway login to my blog to install the other plugins/themes

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TonyArts September 21, 2009 at 1:39 am

Hey,

I love the the spam filter I keep getting loads of it!!!!

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Paul Albaugh September 13, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Very impressive collection. Thanks, very helpful.

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James August 20, 2009 at 10:37 pm

You mentioned that you really like the idea of Short URL, have you tried using Pretty Links? There is a free version that shortens URL’s and there is also a paid version that offers more extensibility. It would be a great addition to your list.

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Can Elmas June 30, 2009 at 2:15 pm

That’s a great collection, will use most of them…

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Bill June 29, 2009 at 10:39 am

Instead of using ShortURL I use PrettyLink. It’s an awesome plugin that works like a champ, and it’s FREE! http://blairwilliams.com/pretty-link/

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Faisal Iqbal June 29, 2009 at 5:03 am

Awesome Stuff!

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Chandan June 15, 2009 at 11:08 pm

Wow, great man.. I found it so helpful. Thanks.

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Travel Affiliate June 7, 2009 at 1:06 pm

Thanks for this. Used the maintenance mode as I was migrating a site from blogger to WP

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design nh May 28, 2009 at 7:50 pm

Socialable is an excellent choice. Video embedder is very helpful also. Thanks for the great article.

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Dale Mugford April 17, 2009 at 5:50 am

Great list! Check out our WPtouch WordPress mobile plugin for iPhone, iPod touch, Android & Blackberry Storm touch devices.

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Bleau April 16, 2009 at 11:16 pm

Nice list of plugins. Knew a lot of them, but found a couple that will prove very usefull. Thanks a lot!

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Rob April 7, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Wow. Nice list. Certainly gave me some new ideas for themes and plub-ins that I was not aware of. That DB Backup manager seems like a must-have.

Thanks,

Rob

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Romel April 7, 2009 at 4:59 am

Last few days i was thinking of providing such useful post to my readers but now i think i will just refer this post :D
Nice post Dude……

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Lepitor April 7, 2009 at 12:50 am

I kinda miss a few plugins in the anti-spam section, but besides from that it’s a really great list!

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Lifecruiserl April 1, 2009 at 7:44 am

I’ve been using Bad Behavior together with Akismet for years now and I’m VERY pleased with it. I hardly get any spam any longer. No need of a captcha. I hate Captcha’s myself, I never can see what they says and I therefor put in the wrong characters all the time.

http://www.bad-behavior.ioerror.us/

(You can find it in WP’s download page too)

Info from the page above:

“Bad Behavior is designed to integrate into your PHP-based Web site, running as early as possible to throw out spam bots before they have the opportunity to vandalize your site with their junk, or even to scrape your pages for e-mail addresses and forms to fill out.

Not only does Bad Behavior block actual vandalism to your site, it also blocks many e-mail address harvesters, resulting in less e-mail spam, and many automated Web site cracking tools, helping to improve your Web site’s security.

Bad Behavior runs before your software on each request to your Web site, so if a spam bot does visit, it will receive nothing, and your software never runs. This reduces the amount of server CPU time, database activity and bandwidth spent on processing robots which are just harvesting your site and delivering junk.”

I also love that:

“On some high traffic sites, or those specifically targeted by spammers, the traffic from these spam attacks can be so excessive as to exceed your account’s bandwidth limits, or overload the server, and cause your account to be suspended. Bad Behavior helps to prevent both of these situations by blocking malicious activity as soon as possible (even if the attack is previously unknown!), before either bandwidth or CPU are expended on a request which will turn out to be bogus.”

And No, I’m not connected to the plugin owner in any way, I just happens to love the plugin and think it’s a pity that it’s not more wellknown and used :-)

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Wordpress hosting March 31, 2009 at 1:36 pm

Great List. Interesting to see you rate platinum SEO, I have just started using it as a comparison having previously used “Headspace 2″. Haven’t drawn any conclusions yet.

I always check my spammed comments (I use askimet) as a few real comments get caught there). Not keen on inflicting captcha on my users yet.

For the mobile site, I have used “MobilePress” on a news web site I set up and liked the results on iphone and PSP browsers.

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PR Mania March 29, 2009 at 8:45 pm

This post is one of the most helpful and the best posts we can get on the Net. It even makes me make my own worldpress blog. But you don’t mention about wordpress.org paid blog services. Is wordpress.org different from .com? Great post.

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Moneymaker March 28, 2009 at 3:07 am

Thank you for such a great list of plugins.
And yes it would be really great if WP actually had them built in. Now wouldn’t that be a timesaver !

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SadistiX March 27, 2009 at 7:40 am

Thanks for the awesome list! I’m using these plugins on my site!

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Alex March 27, 2009 at 2:06 am

I’m using one of Brian Gardners revolution themes and after a bit of modification I’ve been looking for some good reliable plugins. I’ve just installed reCaptcha and prior to that the oneclick plugin updater (which is a good timesaving plugin IMO – when I visit a plugin page now I right click on the download button, select properties, copy the url and then paste url into the plugin updater and voila…). tks for the info…

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Selinap March 26, 2009 at 11:29 pm

Why can’t the WordPress developer make these plugins built into WordPress itself. BTW, thanks for the long list of useful plugins.

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Boon March 26, 2009 at 9:31 am

Thanks for the list! As a new WordPress blogger, some of the plugins above has really helped me gain more control over my blog, especially the SPAM filtering ones.

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mech March 26, 2009 at 4:16 am

Woohoo thank for sharing with us so many nice wordpress plugin.

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Andy Fore March 25, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Not really sure why Rick Beckman didn’t think that the reCAPTCHA plugin works, but contrary to his statement, I find that it blocks most of the spam, and what does actually get in gets caught with askimet.

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Wordpress Review Plugin March 25, 2009 at 9:47 am

That is really a brilliant list there, I am surprised that the WF review plugin did not make it up the list, with XML uploads you can create niche affilite sites within minutes.

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Sheamus March 25, 2009 at 9:15 am

An absolutely superb list of plugins! I use the majority of these already but there are a few I’ve never even heard of that seem absolutely essential. Great stuff – thanks. :)

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BeyondRandom March 25, 2009 at 4:49 am

I really like the Digg-Digg one and the Greetbox… thanks for sharing!

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Mike Mintz March 25, 2009 at 4:42 am

Just to be clear, the plug ins on this page are for wordpress.org or can I also use them via text widget on wordpress.com? For someone like me who is just starting his blog (click my URL to check it out), I am not sure that shelling out money for hosting is worth it at this time. Any suggestions on how to make free wordpress a robust experience too?

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Meredith March 24, 2009 at 10:40 pm

I especially like the redirection plugin. It will come in handy for affiliate links.

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Carrie March 24, 2009 at 7:08 pm

Thanks for this very long list of useful plugins..

keep it up

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Rick Beckman March 24, 2009 at 7:30 pm

Dump the CAPTCHA plugin (they don’t work anyway); Raven’s Antispam is 100% effective against automated spam, and does nothing to slow down nearly 99% of users. A tiny few will have to enter a simple string into a text box (if JavaScript is disabled), but that’s less intrusive than deciphering images or answering “are you human” questions or similar. :)

And no, I didn’t write that plugin, I just feel that it’s the most underrated antispam plugin for WordPress, which is ironic as it’s the only one that can claim 100% effectiveness against the spam bots. I’ve used it for years and am still waiting for it to fail on me.

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burnz March 24, 2009 at 7:23 pm

Thanks for the list. I am using some of the plugins from the list and its works great.. :)

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Dan March 24, 2009 at 4:00 pm

Don’t forget Pods.. One of the best wordpress plugins for CMS.

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Aaron March 24, 2009 at 3:41 pm

I’m usually underwhelmed by lists of “great” or “new” Wordpress plugins, but this list actually has some truly great resources, especially for small businesses.

Thank you very much for putting this list together.

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Jhelo Cruz March 24, 2009 at 3:39 pm

Thanks for sharing these cool, and very helpful Wordpress plugins. I have some of these installed on my blogs and I found out new plugins here which are very helpful.
I will start to download those now and see how it works well on my blogs.

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Graham Allen March 24, 2009 at 3:08 pm

Excellent list and I will definitely be checking out the ones I’m not already using. By the way, I am already using SEO Title Tags and Akismet, but there are a few on this list that I haven’t played with.

I also like AJAXed WordPress for cutting down on bandwidth and load times. It effectively makes Ajax calls for any internal link that you click on, instead of doing a full-page load for every page that you navigate to. Instead of FD Feedburner, I’m using Feedburner Feedsmith, which appears to have similar functionality.

I definitely want to give the all-in-one plugin installer a go, as well.

Thanks for the comprehensive list!!!

There are a few others, none of which I’m associated with, BTW. Just thought I’d spread a bit of my own experience here.

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Rémy Roy March 24, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Hey, you should consider yaCAPTCHA too for your anti-spam needs.

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Epic Fail March 24, 2009 at 2:39 pm

Wow, what a great list of plugins. I am going to install some of these now. Thanks!

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Richard Hay (aka Windows Observer) March 23, 2009 at 5:29 pm

I use the Wordpress Mobile Edition plug in from Alex King to make my blog compatible with mobile browsers – it is superb.

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Troy March 23, 2009 at 5:25 pm

I’m not sure if you check success/failure rates of your CAPTCHA attempts, but we consistently hear from our partners that 1 in 5 user attempts at reCAPTCHA fail. We’ve also heard one Web 2.0 site contact tell us confidentially that as a result, they expect to lose 1 in 12 potential new registrants because users too often fail or are frustrated by reCAPTCHA being on their site.

Please check out VidoopCAPTCHA and the VidoopCAPTCHA WordPress Plugin. We’re hearing it’s much more usable than anything else out there, it’s free, and we know it’s secure. We’d love to hear your opinion on it too.

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