13 Essential WordPress Plug-ins for Every WordPress Installation

Posted by on Dec 16, 2010

Wordpress plugins I’m just now jumping on the WordPress bandwagon and am starting to convert many of my sites to WordPress.  Now that I’ve decided to use this platform, I needed to determine which plug-ins were most essential to my site’s success. If you don’t carefully select your plug-ins, you can accidentally subject your site to some virus or malware and have to spend many, many hours troubleshooting the problem.

Over the last several years, a multitude of plug-ins have been developed, which adds extra flexibility to tweak the capabilities of your WordPress blog. Because there are thousands of plug-ins out there, it’s difficult for newbies to figure out which ones are essential.

These 13 WordPress plug-ins seem to come the most highly recommended:

1.  Akismet:  Helps you deal with comment and trackback spam.  One of my sites was inundated with these fake messages until I installed the Askimet plug-in. Akismet checks comments and trackbacks against the Akismet Web service to see if they look like spam. If they appear to be bogus, they’re automatically moved to your WordPress installation’s spam folder and you don’t have to see them at all.

2.  All in One SEO Pack:  Lets you get your blogsite SEO-ready. You can give your page an SEO-friendly title (which shows up at the top of a Web browser), homepage description (which appears beneath your URL when people search for it via Google or other engine), and keywords related to your topic.

3.  Broken Link Checker: Goes through all of your blog’s comments to determine if you have any broken links. You don’t have to return to edit each individual post to remove or edit the broken link, as this plug-in permits you to take action right from its report.

4.  Disqus Comment System:  Replaces your WordPress comment system with your comments hosted and powered by Disqus.  I like the fact that Disqus makes commenting easier and more interactive because it connects web sites and commenters across communities.

5.  Ultimate Google Analytics:  Adds JavaScript to each page (without making any changes to your template) so that you can use your Google Analytics account to track outbound links, downloads from your own site, and more without requiring you to install the code manually.

6.  Google XML Sitemaps:  Generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your blog. A sitemap makes it much easier for the crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently. And, it notifies all major search engines every time you create a post about the new content.

7.  ShareThis:  Enables sharing across social networks and email.  This plug-in makes it simple to share a post by clicking the “ShareThis” icon.

8.  WP-DB-Backup:  Backs up all of your files to either your server, desktop, or inbox once you select the frequency (hourly, twice daily, once daily, or weekly). The speed with which your file is restored depends on the amount of content that’s been backed up.

9.  WP-Sticky:  Enables you to make a blog post “sticky,” or featured as the top post in your blog.

10.  SEO Friendly Images:  Lets you give your uploaded images the proper ALT and TITLE attributes to help with your SEO efforts. This feature provides an image description to search engines and helps create a match when someone makes a search query.

11.  SEO Smart Links:  Lets you automatically link keywords and phrases in your posts and comments with corresponding posts, pages, categories and tags already on your site. After installation, simply enter the keywords you use the most often and the links or associated articles with which you want to associate to them.

12.  WP Super Cache:  Makes your pages load way very quickly.  Second, since it stores static versions of your site, it requires much less CPU processing than using WordPress all by itself.

13.  WordPress Related Posts:  Helps you recommend related posts on the same or similar topic to your readers.

Take Action Challenge

All of these plug-ins are available for download from the WordPress Plug-in Directory.  If you’re getting started on converting to WordPress, add these plug-ins to your site.  Your blogsite will thank you!


Want to Use This Article in Your Ezine or Blog?

Introvert Marketing Coach Donna Gunter helps professional service businesses stop the client chase and create online businesses that drive clients to them. Want to learn specific Internet marketing strategies that get results for introverts? Discover how to increase your online visibility in this free ecourse, Introvert Marketing Toolkit: 9 Strategies to Make a BOLD Impression Online, at ==> http://www.IntrovertMarketingToolkit.com


FB Comments


  • http://theinternetwizardsblog.com Bonnie Boots

    All these plugins are useful, but Broken Link Checker is a real resource hog. It’s best to leave it installed but deactivated, then activate once a week or once a month when you do link maintenance.

  • http://blog.sunburstsoftwaresolutions.com Nancy Smyth

    I love Word Press and the plug-ins you’ve mentioned are awesome, I use many of them on my own blog.

  • http://how-to-paint-on-silk.com/how-to-paint-on-silk-mastermind-course.html HowtoPaintOnSilk

    Hi Donna, great list of plugins!
    I’m ver pleased to say we’re on the same wavelength – I use all of these plugins :-)
    Thanks SOOO much for your helpful, timely tips this year, best wishes to you and Eric for a fabulous Yuletide and may the New Year be filled with love, adventure and much success!
    Teena Hughes

  • http://www.cherylcope.com/blog Cheryl Cope

    Thanks for the list Donna. I had most of them but there’s a couple I will look into.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/dlgunter Donna Gunter

    Hey Teena–
    Hope your holiday “down under” is wonderful as well, and not overwhelmingly warm!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/dlgunter Donna Gunter

    Hey Bonnie–
    Thanks for the heads up about Broken Link Checker. I wasn’t aware of it being a resource hog, so I’ll watch out for that.

  • http://www.clientshark.com ClientShark.com

    Great list of useful wordpress plugins. Google XML sitemaps is definitely one that bloggers tend to forget (and it’s so important).
    Some of my favorites that are not on your list:
    1. Duplicate Posts – This plugin is great if you want to duplicate a specific post that has some special formatting, tags or content that you tend to duplicate on a regular basis.
    2. Add post footer – this plugin is great if you want to automatically add a specific footer to the end of each post.
    3. Pages link to – This plugin allows you to link a specific URL to a page you’ve created in wordpress. For example, if you had a forum located at http://www.mysite.com/forum, you could add a wordpress page called “forum” and point it to your newly created forum. It will then be displayed on your menu bars.
    Hope others will find this useful.
    Donna, thanks again for all the great content.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/dlgunter Donna Gunter

    Hi Phil–
    Thanks for the recos of the other plugins you use. I’ll check them out!

Wordpress SEO Plugin by SEOPressor
Read previous post:

I’ve been seei...