My Top 10 Best WordPress Plugins

If you’re a Blogspot blogger and you think you can just skip a post about favorite WordPress plugins, you’re wrong.

  1. You should never skip my posts.
  2. You might consider switching to WP someday and this list will sure come in handy.
  3. Plugins can affect the functionality my blog and ultimately all of you.
  4. I posted about the pros and cons of WordPress vs. Blogger awhile ago and a post about plugins will help you to see what I was talking about when I said WordPress offers more functionality.

This post was inspired by the Facebook Comments plugin that I added last night. I don’t know if I like it, so please tell me if you think it’s a keeper or just plain obnoxious.

1. Facebook Comments For WordPress:  This plugin allows readers the option of leaving comments the usual way OR with your Facebook login information. This means if you’re logged into Facebook when you read my blog you can leave a comment from your Facebook profile. There’s a check box that will post your comment on my blog AND on your Facebook page, but you can simply un-check it if you’d rather not share what you wrote with your friends and family. :) The idea is that the number of comments might increase when people don’t have to go through the whole name/URL/email login thing. And let’s be honest, it’s obviously another way to promote my site by adding a link to me on your Facebook page when you comment. So thanks for that.

fas

2.  Broken Link Checker: We like to link to favorite sites and blogs. It’s a great way to spread the love in blogland. However, over time many of those links become invalid. Those blogs are no longer available, sites have changed or shut down, readers mistakenly type in incorrect URLS when leaving comments, etc. Broken link are bad for your site as far as ranking and relevancy is concerned. Broken Link Checker searches your site and updates you every time a broken link is found. When I first installed it I had nearly 1000 broken links. After fixing/deleting all of them my Alexa ranking improved by thousands.

fd

3.  Thumbnail For Excerpts: Displays a picture with excerpts of your previous posts. Duh. I like this because sometimes I think a picture can draw in a reader just as much as the title and leading paragraph.

thumbnail

4.  LinkWithin: Adds a random row of posts from your archives that readers might enjoy. I like this because it’s deep linking into your blog which is good, it creates more page views, and it gets older posts a little bit of attention.

linkwithin

5.  WordPress Thread Comment: I blogged about this plugin before, but it’s still a favorite. It allows you to thread a comment on the post and emails your response at the same time. I like this because it means I know people are getting feedback without having to re-check the comments again and again, and if it’s answering a question asked more than once it helps for me to post that in the comments as opposed to simply repeating myself over and over in emails. :)

6.  WP-Ban: I haven’t had to use it yet, but it allows you to ban users from your blog…something I aspire to get annoyed enough to do someday.

7.  Datefeeder Random Ads V2: Allows you to place your ads on an automatic rotation. I like this because it keeps the page from looking stagnant and gives businesses equal face time.

8.  WP Touch IPhone Theme: Makes reading your blog a heavenly treat when viewed by iPhone, iPod touch, Android, Opera Mini, Palm Pre and BlackBerry Storm mobile users. Transforms your site into an easy to read, condensed version of itself.

9.  Shockingly Simple Favicon: Ever wonder how people personalize their URLs with their own little icons? It’s super easy to do with this plugin. I simply uploaded my poodle photo to Photobucket, changed the size to a 16×16, and inserted the “direct link” into the Favicon URL. This plugin makes me particularly happy.

favicon

10.  Plugins Add New SubPanel: Finally, this plugin may be the most important plugin of all…to me…because it makes installing and finding plugins extremely easy. All I have to do is type in a word like “spellchecker” in its search engine and it will provide a list of spell check plugins for me to investigate and download with just a click of the button. When I moved to WordPress is was already in my dashboard, but I learned that not all WP users have it, and really you all should.

Do you have a plugin you love that I didn’t mention? Do share!

Comments

  1. says

    I liked the sound of LinkWithin so I installed it and all it did was add links to my three most recent posts to every single post I’ve ever published – they are all the same!! Now I know I can be single-minded but not that much ;)

    • says

      Weird…my problem is that it sometimes link to post at my blogspot location, but I haven’t experienced what you’re talking about. I think they have a decent support team over there and can probably fix your problem.

  2. Scary Mommy says

    Oh, my gosh—- the Tumbnail one? I’ve been looking for something to do that. Thank you!!!!!! Awesome plugins, all of them.

  3. says

    lol – I think it might take several hours to crawl my blog but if it’s anything like Technorati I’ll still be waiting 2 years later haha! Thanks for these – I think that might be the last one I install before my site collapses under the weight of the widgets – they are shiny and they distract me…

  4. says

    You are such a great teacher. LOVE this post. I know have to go install all, er most of the ones you suggested because I am a good student and I always do what the teacher says.

  5. says

    Thank you SO much! I just downloaded the “link within” plug in. I have seen that on several pages and never knew how to get it for myself. I really appreciate your help!

  6. says

    Hmmmm So I can see the use of the facebook comment plug-in and why one would use it. However here is what I don’t like. When I finished reading your post the facebook comment box was right there at the bottom of the post and before all the comments. So 95% of all people would think that is where you write your comment and that’s it. Me I scrolled past the comments to find the regular commenting field. That is my beef with it.

  7. says

    this is an awesome list and so many of these i haven’t heard of before! i bookmarked this page so i can come back to it, and i’m also going to stumble it. thanks, mama kat!

  8. says

    I enjoy being on WordPress because I don’t like to get “fancy” with my blog. I prefer for the words and pictures to do all my work for me (I’m lazy like that), but should be noted that I’m a wordpress.com user and most of the nice apps are only available for wordpress.org users. :(

  9. says

    I love this!!!!

    Is it difficult to switch over? I’m sure you’ve written about if. Can you point me in the right direction?

  10. says

    I just redid my blog yesterday, and I am having troubles with the thumbnails. I will love you forever if this plugin saves me!!!

    I might just love you forever anyway.

  11. says

    You basically just changed my life. I added at least half of these! I have been on WP for three years and still am not using my plug ins to the fullest!

  12. says

    Thank you so much for the simple favicon plug-in! That has been one of my biggest obsession & lust-after items. Btw, perhaps I have missed it in my excitement, I wanted to tweet this post but didn’t see an RT button?

  13. says

    Oh MK…thank you so much! I’m a newbie and I think all of these will be very helpful. I had planned on doing a little of bit of blog page sprucing up this weekend anyway – thanks for helping with my research! I heart you!

  14. says

    My favs that you haven’t mentioned- ReplyMe and Greg’s Threaded Comment Numbering (though you mentioned a similar one)

  15. says

    Thank you Katie,
    I will bookmark this page for future reference. For now, I am an avid member of the hand-holding WordPress dot com crowd. I love WordPress! I look forward to the day when I can have more plug-ins to use…
    Meanwhile, I survived my first workshop and prompts for my two blogs. Also, I finally completed the task of commenting on other writers posts. The workshop has been very helpful!
    Have a restful weekend.
    Best,
    Elizabeth

  16. says

    Fabulous! Thank you! I have tweeted your wonderful resource of information.

    Love the thumbnails for excerpts & the threaded comments – both just added. Cheers :)

  17. says

    Thanks for sharing this great list…
    I am just about to (if I ever find the time) update my blog theme and you’ve inspired me to go through and install a few new handy dandy plugins too

  18. says

    Thanks for sharing these! I hadn’t seen the Favicon plugin and was getting really annoyed with having to reset it every time I changed the theme.

    I just discovered the Twitter Tools plugin this morning and so far I love it. It can tweet your blog posts automatically (or you can turn it off) but I love that when it sends the tweet, the via line (on that little line below your tweet) says “via yourblog” so you have an automatic (and not obnoxious) link back to your blog on every single tweet.

  19. says

    Great Suggestions! I like the favicon one. I tried to do it without the plugin and couldn’t get it to work, but with the plug-in it was shockingly simple.

    • says

      :)

      The favicon was a personal favorite of mine too. I like anything with the words “shockingly simple” in the title.

      …Right up my alley.

  20. says

    I am going to install all the ones you’ve suggested that I don’t already have. You are like a WP yoda and I love you for that. Now my blog will look like yours: actually GOOD and professional.

  21. says

    Coupla things. Or perhaps a few. First, you are right. WP is WAY better. Now that I have supported your position I know you are feeling more confident as are most of your readers. Two, that broken link checker thingy is awesome! I never even thought about needing something like that! Third, are you sure you never used that ban plugin. Because I’m pretty sure…never mind, that’s another blog I stalk. Finally, I’m gonna need a little help with that email comment thingy. Apparently it’s like written partially in a character language I can’t read. And the English part is confusing too. You can send me detailed directions any time. How about now?!

  22. says

    I’m trying out the Broken Link Checker right now — seems to be working really well! Would never have thought to try a plugin like this if you hadn’t suggested it. Thanks!

  23. says

    This is interesting. I am thinking about moving to WP. I am really in the mood for blog makeover, and I love the clean simple look of a WP blog. I’m going to peek around at some of your other tips.

  24. says

    I use a lot of these but I didn’t know about the Broken Link Checker and I really like that one :)

    I have wordpress and there are a couple I also use that aren’t here but might be useful.

    The icopyright plug in adds article tools (print, email, post, and republish) and an interactive copyright notice to your site. I installed this after I found a site copying from my site and publishing it as their own. It Identifies websites that re-use your content without permission and requests takedown or converts them to customers. http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/copyright-licensing-tools/

    Sexy Bookmarks – the novel way to share, tweet, digg, etc. Beautiful icons that just give your blog a cleaner, snazzier feel. I love this, it looks so much better than the standard Facebook, Twitter I had before. If you want to see it in action, I have them at the end of my posts on my blog http://almostthere.biz

    If you want to install them you can go here http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/sexybookmarks/

  25. says

    Hi, I just found your site when I searched for WP Thread Comment. I noticed that you also use Thesis. Does this plug in still work for you with Thesis 1.8?

    It doesn’t work properly for me and I can’t have number on my comment when I use WP Thread Comment so right now I just use Thesis comment feature. But I would love to be able to do reply to comment and email the commenter at the same time. Any suggestion?

    Thanks!

  26. says

    Be very careful when setting up WP-Ban. You can very easily ban yourself. There are few “get around its’ if you do, but it’s a pain to be banned from your own website.

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