Top 10 WordPress Plugins

1. Akismet by Automattic is probably the best WP plugin out there. Akismet is a comment and trackback spam filter for your WP powered blog. It is a true mathematical equation that your blogs page rank is exponentially proportional to the number of viagra and penis enlargement spam comments you will receive. Akismet blocks them all. One thing to note about Akismet is that it sometimes flags honest comments as spam, so make sure to manage Akismet spam frequently. To use Akismet you will need a free WordPress API key.

2. If you are using Google Analytics to track your blog’s performance I recommend the Google Analytics plugin by Boakes. It is simple to install and configure, just have your Google Analytics User Account handy.

3. If you are using Google Analytics you might also be using Google Sitemaps. Google Sitemaps helps Google crawl and index the new content available in your site. Yahoo and MSN also use Google Sitemaps. I have been using the Google Sitemap Generator plugin from Arne Brachhold.

4. Tags are sooo web 2.0, that is to say so last year. That said, I use SimpleTags by Broobles. I went through several tagging plugins until finally settling with SimpleTags.

5. Along the lines of web 2.0 WordPress plugins, I recommend Social Bookmarks by Apostolos Dountsis. Social Bookmarks adds a list of icon links at the end of each post to submit the post to your favorite social bookmarking sites such as Digg, Del.icio.us, Reddit, and others.

6. If you are a techie blogger and post a lot of code samples you should use SyntaxHighlighter by Erik Range. SyntaxHighlighter can high light the keywords in programming languages such as C++, C#, CSS, Java, JavaScript, PHP, Python, Ruby, SQL, VB, XML, and HTML. You can also easily customize other display options for this plugin.

7. If you are like me you are often counting your page views via Google Analytics. Ivan Djurdjevac has written a helpful little plugin called Count Posts that will display the hits per post or a list of the top post on you site. This plugin is a bit more difficult to setup because to display the hit counter you need to edit the theme you are using itself to add a bit of PHP code.

8. If you have a del.icio.us account you should install the Del.icio.us Cached++ WordPress plugin by João Craveiro. LIke Count Posts, you will need to edit your theme files to add a bit of snippet of PHP code. I placed the one liner in the sidebar.php of my current theme.

9. Another kick ass WordPress plugin is the Automattic Widget plugin. The Widget plugin is a mini WP framework which WordPress developers can develop sidebar WordPress components, or widgets. For example, the Del.icio.us Cached++ plugin could easily be re-written to be a WordPress widget. There are a ton of widgets already available.

10. The Exec-PHP WordPress plugin allows PHP code inside you posts. The PHP code is stored alongside you post content in the database and executed before rendered to HTML. This plugin is great because you can embedded custom PHP code in your post and have that managed by WordPress. All of the WordPress PHP functions are visible from Exec-PHP code. This plugin was written by Sören Weber.

There are a ton of other great WP plugins. The ones I have listed above are the ones I have found indispensable. Here is a quick list of runner up plugins that you might find it useful… For a popular WordPress blog you will need WP-Cache for faster loads. To display AdSense ads alongside your content you will need AdSense-Deluxe. I also recommend the Gravatars WP plugin.

What is your favorite WordPress plugin?

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