My WordPress Plugins

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve seen a lot more people making the switch to WordPress.  Why not?  The system is utterly configurable, with a plugin (or 5) for virtually every need.  The problem is that not all plugins are of the same caliber.  In fact, some are downright site killers.  Since I’ve had a close look at a lot of them, I thought you all might benefit from a look at the plugins that I use on my personal blog.

  • Akismet – this one comes standard with WordPress and it’s a decent anti-spam program.  Although this morning for the first time in recent memory 8 spam comments found their way through…
  • All In One SEO Pack – I’ve done a bunch of rewrites on this package for other sites, but the out of the box SEO functionality is great.  Take the time to configure it.  Perhaps this plugin is worth a post of it’s very own at a later date.
  • Feedburner Feedsmith – this reroutes my RSS through Feedburner so I can get some meaningful stats on the black hole that is RSS usage.  I love metrics…
  • FlickRSS – I’m using this to pull in photos from my Flickr account.  I’m not a huge fan of this…
  • Google XML Sitemaps – a great plugin for SEO – BUT you have to limit it to 5000 posts if you have a large volume in your system. I have seen this plugin bring two sites to their knees.  Limiting to 5000 fixed that issue for both.
  • MobilePress – I just installed this, because my new wider format wasn’t mobile compatible.  Hence, I can’t render a true opinion here. (Note: after this post, I found this plugin was rendering the mobile version to everyone, and I turned it off.  I am fairly certain it is a wrong setting, but I can’t recommend the plugin until I see it work properly)
  • ShareThis – a great plugin to add links to the social networking sites.
  • Simple Recent Comments – There should be a simple hook to grab recent comments in WordPress, but there isn’t.  This adds one.
  • Subscribe2 – This allows you to have users sign up for email digests.  I’ve been using it for 4 months and I’m the only person signed up.
  • Twitter Tools – A plugin that will post all your blog entries to Twitter and all your Tweets to the blog.  I only use it to post my most recent tweets to the sidebar.  If you were to actually use it, you’d look like a Twitiot…
  • Vipers Video Quick Tags – a great video plugin.
  • WordPress Automatic Upgrade – the need for this goes away in the next release so don’t even bother.
  • WP Super Cache – this program utterly rules – it creates a cache that cuts down on bandwidth usage and makes your server much better able to handle high loads.  I will probably have some stats to share on this one in a week or so as I am testing it on a site at work.

Absolutely avoid plugins such as:

  • Anything offering “live” statistics or user tracking –  These plugins will create ginormous tables as they track every single hit to your site.  They also add a hit to your database which negates the benefit of having caching.
  • Anything that offers “easy database access” – It may be possible to hack your admin console, don’t use a plugin that would allow anyone to run queries from your console.
  • Anything that hasn’t been updated in over a year – that would mean that it wasn’t vetted for the watershed WordPress 2.5 release.  I guess it’d be okay if the plugin was very simple…

3 Replies to “My WordPress Plugins”

  1. Hi Mark – Thanks so much for the link. I really appreciate it. I use the same plugins that you do except for MobilePress, Subscribe2, Vipers and Twitter Tools. I do need to look into a mobile solution – I know I’ve had a least one visitor from an iPhone. I used to use Twitter Tools to display my last tweet and feed my posts into Twitter. The feed part just suddenly stopped working so I now use an API solution for the Tweets that I read about on Yoast.

    Is the Top Commenters plugin that I use one that creates the huge tables? I don’t think I have others that would be a big problem. Well, actually, I am keeping a wary eye on Related Posts. I don’t any of the database admin type of plugins or one’s that haven’t been updated.

  2. Great review. I find I use pretty much the same stuff you do. I do have a couple more such as:

    SimplePie: WP’s RSS handling is great, but it is limited. SimplePie alows you to do all sorts of crazy stuff with RSS. That was what was behind Lenovo’s “Voices” and handles some stuf on lenovosocial.com. If you ever need to use it for anything ping me, I’ve got good at it 😉

    DaikosYouTube: embedded player, playlists, searchs by tags or authors… good for sidebars or custom homepages, not so good at integrating with posts.

    Flickr Photo Album: allows much deeper blog-flickr integration than anything else out there.

  3. Hi again!

    I appreciate this list. I’m a big fan of WP and the various plugins out there. There are a few here I will certainly have to try specifically the feedburner ones. RSS is one thing I have not tackled on my blogs yet.

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