Your 5 Most Essential WordPress Plugins?

WordPress is an amazing blog platform! Hardly 9 months after I started using it, I must say that I am in love with it and even started exploring with its core codebase as well as experimenting with my own little plugins. The amount of extensibility built into this blogging platform – or Content Management System (CMS) – is just incredible.

essential wordpress pluginsThough I am using a number of plugins and keep on experimenting with more, I am not fully aware of all the newer plugins that are coming in. The aim of this little survey post is to ask you all WordPress lovers, which are your Top 5 WordPress Plugins that are most essential to and powering your blog as of today.

My Top 5 Essential Plugins

The following are what I consider as my Top 5 out of the 21 installed on this blog (listed in the order of priority).

#1 WordPress Database Backup Plugin: I am not sure how life will be without this plugin just in case of something really bad happens to my WordPress data. The very reason that it is a Database based CMS, made me install this plugin first before even rolling out the blog to public.

#2 Executable PHP widget: This plugin helps me to add PHP widget code to my WordPress blog with the same ease of adding a text widget. Many of my widgets are now hugely dependant on this little plugin.

#3 Akismet Spam Protection: I can’t imagine the scenario of retrieving 10 valuable comments out of the 50 or 60 spam comments received daily if this plugin was not there. Truly it saves your time and energy as a blogger and also saves you literally from nervous breakdowns :)

#4 Google XML Sitemaps: One the top three essentials are met, we need to think about publicizing the blog and the first plugin I would need is the Google XML Sitemaps Plugin. Compared to the other plugins, perhaps this one is a little bit difficult to set up for beginners but it’s worth that effort! Kudos to its developers! You guys made my blog content visible to the bots and hence to the humans as well!

#5 Feedburner FeedSmith: Steve Smith’s brain child is now with Google after the latter acquired FeedBurner. This plugin makes sure that all feed formats syndicated from your blog are redirected to ONE single feed access point. I did not understand the importance of this plugin initially and hence I still have six or seven RSS subscribers sitting on the default WordPress RSS 2.0 feed and not via FeedBurner.

Of course there are close contenders like All In One SEO Pack etc but they were not as important as the five explained above – at least for me!

Over to you…

Now let me ask you the following questions:

  • Which are your 5 most essential plugins (not nice to have ones)?
  • Did you have all of them when you rolled out your blog?
  • Which is the latest plugin that you have added to your WordPress blog? (Does not need to be the most essential but just to make our readers aware of what is cool and new!)

Happy Blogging!

Comments

  1. You forgot All in One SEO Pack……..

  2. @Samrat, you did not read carefully… I did mention it :) In fact, I had it in the fifth place, but then gave priority to FeedSmith…

  3. Ajith – I think I would have to agree with your list of top 5. If I had made the list I probably would have listed All in One Seo rather that Sitemaps but you’re right – Sitemaps is more valuable. The things you do with All in One Seo can easily be done manually.

    The last plugin I added was Robots Meta. The description of it says “This plugin allows you to add all the appropriate robots meta tags to your pages and feeds, disable unused archives and nofollow unnecessary links.”

    I installed it after a discussion with you about page rank and link love 😉 I am not using all of the features but it has cut down on the amount of work that I need to do.

  4. Chetan :

    All in one SEO pack is i think one of the most important plug-in for bloggers.

    Chetan’s last blog post… Got my Creative Commons stickers set

  5. The 5 mostly important plugins I use everyday are :
    Akismet
    All in one SEO Pack
    ZdMultilang (made by myself)
    ZdStatistics (made by myself)
    WP-PageNavi
    WP-Postratings

    Anthony’s last blog post… ZdMultilang version v1.2.0 is out

  6. @Ajith Prasad – I mean it has to be in the top of the list.. thats what I mean by it.. I would definitely give it a Rank #1…

    TechnoSamrat’s last blog post… Install a Fresh Copy of Ubuntu without Losing your Current Program Settings

  7. Lee :

    Some other good ones I use are –

    Permalink Redirect so that only the www. of my site gets indexed
    Popularity Contest
    Subscribe To Comments
    Dagon Design Sitemap Generator
    Brian’s Threaded Comments

    Lee’s last blog post… 5 Types Of Social Networking Scam – #5 Spam

  8. @Kim, thanks for letting us know about the Robots Meta plugin. I need to take a look at it. So far, I used to manually change the meta tags in the theme header. And I hope, the page rank woes will soon cease.

    @Chetan,Anthony,Samrat – All of you (even I was) have voted for All-In-One SEO plugin. Even I like it a lot but the idea was to talk about the most essential ones :) As Kim said, without this pluggin you can still survive peacefully. But I agree that it’s an exceptionally good plugin for your SEO needs

    @Anthony, thanks for letting us know about your own new plugins. I will certainly take a look at them.

    @Lee, I haven’t used Permalink Redirect yet… Will check it out. I used the other things you mentioned and still have a couple of them enabled. I stopped using Brian’s threaded comments due to some bugs and styling.

  9. I think commentators here are not aware of platinum seo plugin. It is much better than all in one seo… :)

    Pavan Kumar’s last blog post… Sunday Pastime #24: Musical Day with Toss The Feathers

  10. @Pavan, In fact, I read about the Platinum SEO plugin sometime ago but did not find a compelling reason to go for it. At the end, both plugins generate simiar meta information. The other things that it does such as robots follow, noindex, tags etc are already in place for me due to the changes done for my theme.

    Does it have any other feature than modifying the meta tags and title?

  11. I use all those plugins but I think the All in one SEO plugin would be one of my top 5 plugins.

  12. TheArdit :

    I use almost all of those plugins
    My top 5:
    1. Akismet
    2. All in one seo pack
    3. Comment luv
    4. WordPress Database Backup
    5 Feedsmith

  13. @Bruno, TheArdit, thanks for your views… All-In-One-SEO seems to be the common thing with everyone :)

    @TheArdit, not sure why CommentLuv has to be an essential plugin? Especially, with the latest version, I am finding it less useful…

  14. All in one SEO plugin is great value for any blog

  15. My fav is All in One SEO. WordPress Database Backup. Google Sitemap generator, Akismet, cforms

    Madhur Kapoor’s last blog post… GetDiz – Free Viewer for .Diz and .Nfo files

  16. @ZK, @Madhur, Cut n paste one of the answers above 😆 Why is everyone after All-In-One-SEO plugin?

    I think the contemporary blogging is all about SEO first…

  17. Chetan :

    Now you can add few more SECURITY related plug-ins that i posted today :) .
    They should come under Most Essential category :)

    Chetan’s last blog post… How to hide or protect folders in Ubuntu linux

  18. @Chetan, yep, I read your post… Nice security tips and I will surely check out those plugins.

    Security is indeed of prime importance to all of us :)

  19. Chetan :

    @Ajith Prasad
    Yep, security is one of the most important fact, atleast when you are famous amongst tech bloggers, tech bloggers know many aspects of hacking :)

    Chetan’s last blog post… Make your WordPress blog secure [Prevent hacking attacks]

  20. Jim :

    Hi Ajith,

    This post is very helpful for someone like me who is just starting with WordPress. You were right with the Google XML plugin. Its been the hardest for me to set up so far. :-)

    Thanks!

    Jim

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