My Top 5 WordPress Plugins

The thing that really makes a CMS in this modern day is the plugins & add-ons available to enhance and customise it to your own specific needs. Here are my current top 5 add-ons for WordPress.

  1. Akismet

    Within a week of making a blog available to the Internet I started getting spam comments! This plugin (which as far as I know comes with WordPress as standard now?) helps fight back against spam! It’s a must have for any WordPress bloggers. If you intend to open comments up without moderation this plugin will do you a big favor. FYI, you’ll need a WordPress.com API key to use it.

  2. FeedBurner FeedSmith

    I love FeedBurner. FeedBurner FeedSmith is the plugin that Google actually recommend to use FeedBurner with WordPress and with good reason. Activate it, enter your FeedBurner feed URLs in to the configuration page and your done. No changes to your WordPress theme needed, it redirects your ‘old’ feed URL to the FeedBurner URL so you can even use this to implement FeedBurner feeds on an already established blog. Magic!

  3. Configurable Tag Cloud

    So tagging is the next big thing on the Internet. Everyone is doing it and if your using WordPress I bet you are too! I was quite disappointed with the stock tag cloud widget for WordPress. I was hoping I would atleast be able to configure ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ colour for it, but I found all I could change was the title… bummer. So straight away I hit the WordPress plugins library and found Configurable Tag Cloud (CTC) straight away. It gave me exactly what I wanted straight away, colours! You can also set the maximum number of tags to display, smallest & largest font size, whether to display categories in the cloud, whether to display the post count next to tags… enough? In my opinion this is another must have considering the complete lack of configurability provided for the stock widget.

  4. Sociable

    This little gem allows you to put those little 16×16 icons at the bottom of your wordpress posts to allow users to share & bookmark your posts at their favorite social bookmarking websites. There are 99 different social bookmark sites you can choose from and you can also fine tune where they appear including in your RSS feeds! It’s pretty much ‘plug & play’ in the sense you can install it and use it with minimal configuration. Alternatively, you can also get your hands dirty and customise it with replacement icons and your own CSS.

  5. Google XML Sitemaps

    Some of you may dispute the importance of an XML sitemap, some of you may swear by them for SEO. This plugin will generate one for your wordpress blog every time you make a new post. If it’s that easy you might as well have one right? It’s highly customisable and even has options to notify major search engines everytime the sitemap (and ofcourse your blog) is updated.

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