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…