One of the plus points of WordPress is the plugins feature which saves a lot of our time as we don’t have to play with the codes. But with so many plugins on offer, a newcomer to the WordPress platform (which included me) will keep scratching his head in order to choose which ones to use.
So here, I have made a list of the most essential plugins that a new WordPress blog must have. The list is from my experience as well as from the suggestions that i have got from the blogging world. The plugins are from all the categories to as to cover all the aspects of the blog.
Security (2) :
This is the most important part as WordPress blogs can be easy target for hackers. Further, there’s every chance that a new WordPress user may mess up the coding and other things while trying to change anything.
- Logic Lockdown– This plugin monitors unsuccessful login attempts and after a defined number of unsuccessful attempts, login function of wordpress is disabled, thus securing from brute force login attempt.
- WordPress Database Backup– This plugin creates backups of your core WordPress tables as well as other tables of your choice in the same database. This can reduce the risk of losing all data because of accidents which may happen due to lack of experience in handling WP.
Spam (1) :
- Akismet– Without this plugin, you will have a very very very tough time in handling spam. Need I say any more? O yes, I need to. Akismet comes pre-installed with WordPress, but you need the API key to activate it. You can get the API key by creating an account at wordpress[dot]com. Then after login, go to Profile -> Personal Settings. There you will find the API key.
SEO (2) :
The SEO of the blog needs to be looked after right from the beginning. It will be a mistake to keep the SEO thing for later (but do not go crazy about SEO even before writing a single post isn’t a good thing either…SEO is just a part of a good blog).
- All in One SEO Pack– Provides out-of-the-box-seo for a new blog. It optimizes titles, generates meta tags, canonical urls etc. This plugin is a must have. Search for “all in one seo pack” under Add New plugins from your WP Dashboard.
- Google XML Sitemaps– This will create a XML-based sitemap of the blog. Sitemaps make it easy for the search engines to know all the links of your blog and crawl them properly.
Sharing and Bookmarks (2) :
Make your blog social with the following plugins.
- Tweetmeme Retweet Button– This places a small button in each and every post which helps the reader to share that post on twitter.
- SexyBookmarks– This adds social bookmarking icons on each and every post, helping the reader to share the post and the social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon, Digg etc.
Commenting (1) :
- CommentLuv– Encourage your commenters by giving them some link love. This plugin shows a link to the last post from the commenters blog.
Feeds (2) :
- Feedburner Email Widget– This plugin provides a widget with an email subscription box so that the reader can subscribe to the updates via email. Search for “Feedburner email Widget” under Add New plugins from the dashboard.
- FD Feedburner Plugin– This redirects the WordPress feeds and optionally the comments feed to the Feedburner feed, thus helping in keeping track of all the subscribers.
Some Extras (3) :
Okay, that’s my list of the 10 essential plugins for a new blog. Here are 3 extra plugins which are not “must haves” but will add some extra features to your blog.
- Easy Icon– This plugin uploads an image as your blog’s icon to be shown on the browser tab (favicon).
- cforms – This plugin creates a contact form.
- cbnet ping optimizer– This one helps to ping smartly only when a post is actually posted, and not every time the post is edited as it is done by default.
For my experienced readers : What plugins do you suggest to be added to this list?
Reader Suggested (2) :
- Subscribe To Comments– Udegbunam Chukwudi of Make Money Online suggested a nice plugin to subscribe in readers to the comments made on the posts. Do a search “Subscribe To Comments” from the WordPress dashboard.
- Digg Digg– A better alternative to Tweetmeme Retweet Plugin, it supports other social networks like StumbleUpon, Digg, facebook, Twitter etc. Suggested by Nabeel Ahmed ofMushive.