I’ve already written a post on 15 must-have plugins for a WordPress blogger, but this time I thought it would be fun to list every single plugin that I use and why. I guess this is my own way of saying, “Here are the plugins I use and why I use them.” Then it’s up to you to decide whether or not they’d be a good fit for you.
Advanced Custom Fields
This is what I use on my own blog instead of the Ultimate Book Blogger Plugin. It basically just allows me to easily create meta boxes on the post pages, then I use the values of those boxes in my code to format the HTML.
Anti-spam plugin… I’m pretty sure everyone has it. 😉
CommentLuv automatically displays a commenter’s most recent post. I love this feature because it’s a quick and easy way for me to check commenters’ most recent posts.
Comment Reply Notification
Whenever I reply to someone’s comment, this plugin sends an email notification to that person. This is a great way to keep the discussion going!
My own custom plugin! This is what I use for my email subscriptions. The plugin creates a subscription form, manages subscribers, sends out emails automatically after I publish a new post, and I can even create custom/manual email campaigns if I want.
This is a nifty plugin for tracking downloads. You can see how many times a file has been downloaded. That’s the main thing I use it for, but you can also organize your downloads with categories and tags. I like this nifty little dashboard widget graph:
This allows you to easily add the Google Analytics code to your site. But the main reason I use it is because it pulls some of the useful Google Analytics stats into your admin dashboard! I love that I can get a quick overview of my stats right inside WordPress.
Yes, my stats drop every single weekend.
This is one of those plugins that I contemplate deleting every single day. EVERY DAY!
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very good plugin. It allows you to easily add pull quotes into your posts. Check it out:
I think they look very nice (very graceful..) and they’re cool for skimmers. But I just don’t use it anymore.. I’m always stuck between whether I should use it again or just delete it.
I use this for creating all my forms. For the most part that’s just my contact me form, but I also use it when I do surveys and whatnot. Which leads me to…
Gravity Forms Survey Add-On
This is an add-on that incorporates some cool survey options/results into Gravity Forms.
Login lockdown locks people out of your blog for failed login attempts. I could actually probably remove this plugin since I already have two layers of security and no one gets past the first layer. Basically there’s a username and password people have to fill out BEFORE they get to my login page. Then if they get that right, the login page loads and then they have to put in the WP username and password. No one ever gets past the first layer, so Login Lockdown never even gets do do its stuff!
This allows me to easily purge my cache from inside WordPress. It also sets up an automatic purge whenever I publish/edit a post or when a new comment is made. Nifty for anyone using Nginx.
The Nose Graze plugin!!! Bahaha. This is just a plugin that holds all the custom functionality for my blog… like my review indexes, book info formatting, the “ask me a question” feature, and tons of other random stuff. I put it in a plugin so I can separate my design (theme) from my functionality (plugin).
PS Disable Auto Formatting
This disables all the auto formatting from WordPress.. like automatically turning new lines into new paragraphs. Bleh. I prefer to do that stuff on my own.
Revive Old Post
This plugin automatically sends out tweets about old posts. It’s a great way to drive traffic towards some of your older, hidden gems. 😉
Simple Feed Stats
Simple Feed Stats tracks all the hits that my RSS feed gets. This is a good way of determining how many people follow you via RSS. It doesn’t just track the number of people who’ve clicked “Subscribe” or whatever (which can be an inaccurate representation of how many people REALLY follow regularly via RSS). It actually counts the number of hits your feed gets every day. So it’s a pretty accurate number of how many people REALLY follow via RSS.
This is another one I keep thinking of deleting. It’s a nifty plugin, but I don’t really use it anymore. It allows you to associate images with taxonomy terms (like categories or tags, or in my case: authors). I use it for uploading an author image to my “Authors”. But the only time I show the author info is when I participate in a blog tour, which I almost never do anymore… So that’s why I’m thinking of removing it.
Twitter Facebook Social Share
Simple: this plugin adds social share buttons to your posts. I like this plugin because it’s super simple and unobtrusive.
WordPress Editorial Calendar
View your posts in calendar format. ‘Nuff said.
SEO by Yoast helps you analyse and improve your on-page and site-wide SEO. There are settings for removing duplicate content and performing other site-wide optimisations. There are also boxes for setting your SEO title and description. It’s a must-have for any WordPress installation!
Ajaxify Comments adds comments to your blog via ajax. That means when someone leaves a comment, they don’t have to wait for the page to reload after clicking “Submit”. Instead, it gets processed via ajax without reloading the page, then when it’s done, the comment appears instantly. It’s a nice way to speed things up and prevent an extra page reload.
This plugin brings lightbox functionality to your linked images. So when I have an image that links to a larger version of itself, lightbox just opens the larger image in a nice window inside the page. I think it’s nicer than just linking directly to the image.
I wrote a post all about WP-Optimize not long ago. It allows you to delete all your post revisions and optimize your database tables. It’s a great way to keep your site slim, clean, and speedy!
I use this plugin for my pagination. You can check it out on any of my archive pages (like the homepage). It’s a lot nicer looking (and easier to navigate) than the default Next/Previous links. Personally, I hate it when I’m on a site/blog and I can’t tell how many pages there are. I use it as a good indicator of how many posts are on the blog. I just like knowing that I guess.
I don’t use this plugin much anymore, but I have used it a few times. It’s the best plugin for creating and displaying a poll on your site. It’s simple and easy to use. And it works. That’s always a good thing. 😛
Maybe a bit unnecessary, but this plugin tracks how many page views a post gets. I say it’s “maybe unnecessary” because Google Analytics can do that too. But this is a bit easier and quicker to see. There’s a column for it right on the “All Posts” page.
WP Code Highlight
I adore this plugin! I use it whenever I post a coding tutorial. It neatly formats and highlights all the code snippets I add to my blog posts. But the thing I love most about it is that it’s still pretty plain and simple. There are a lot of fancy schmancy code highlighters out there, but I prefer the simpler options.