My Top 10 Best WordPress Plugins

I get many people emailing me about all the various plugins I run on my blog. The emails come so often that I have decided to compile a list of the 10 WordPress plugins I am running. I also provide links to where you can download the plugins. Enjoy!

Sidebar Widget

The Sidebar Widget is one of the most useful plugins made for WordPress. The Widget allows you to customize the look of your sidebar without having to edit the PHP files. With Sidebar Widget, you just drag and drop items you want included in the sidebar and the Widget does the rest. The only downside is the Sidebar Widget only works with Widget compliable WordPress templates. If the template you are using is not Widget friendly, you cannot use it.

AdSense Deluxe

The AdSense-Deluxe WordPress Plugin allows you to add Google AdSense or Yahoo Publisher Network (YPN) ads to your WordPress posts. The plugin is extremely easy to install and use. Just download, unzip and upload to your plugins folder. The plugin will place an AdsenseDeluxe screen to your WordPress options panel. From there you can create multiple AdSense ad units and decide what parts of the site should have or not have ads, and what ad size to run. You can even add it within your WordPress templates. An AdSense SandBox preview tool is also included.

The cool thing about AdSense Deluxe is it keeps tracks of the number of Google ads displayed and limits that number to three (the maximum number of ads Google allows on a page). That is why you may see a 300×250 box ad in a blog post but that ad disappears when the post is viewed from the front page.

Digg This

Digg This is a plugin that detects incoming links from and automatically display a link back to the Digg post, for people to Digg your story. When a Digg is first recognized, an email lets you know that someone has Dugg your story. The detection of the Digg comes from the referring Digg URL. In case there are more than one Digg posts to your page, only the first one is considered.

There are many options to choose from in order to display the Digg link. The most popular is the Digg button that displays the number of Diggs a story received. You can see this Plugin in action at this post. Alternatively, you can Digg this story and see the button show up here. 🙂

The Plugin is very easy to install and use – just upload the file to your Plugins folder and activate it in your WordPress Plugins control panel. Then add < ?php digg_this_button(); ?> to the part of the blog template where you want the button to appear.

Feedburner Feed Replacement

I recently updated my blog RSS feed to FeedBurner because it gives a ton of information about my RSS subscribers. Not only can FeedBurner tell you how many people read your feeds, but it also tell you what RSS readers they use, what posts they read, where they come from, etc.

The easiest way to install FeedBurner on a WordPress blog is to use the FeedBurner Plugin. This Plugin direct 100% of your feed traffic through FeedBurner, ensuring accurate readership stats. To install, all you need to do is upload the file to your Plugins folder, then activate it in your WordPress control panel. Then just enter the FeedBurner URL for your RSS feed and you are all set. The cool thing about this Plugin is that it automatically converts any existing subscribers from the old feed to the FeedBurner one.

Related Posts

This Plugin, available from Mr. Wasabi, will find other blog posts that are related to the current post. This is a good way to generate extra page views and keep readers on your blog. The Plugin allows you to set how many related posts to display and gives you options for displaying them. There are also options to exclude excerpt and password protected pages. The performance of the Related Post Plugin is pretty good. For example, in my Dinner At Tropika post, it found these related posts:

• Dinner With The Parents
• $20 To Stamp Your Papers
• Dinner With Mom & Dad
• The Observatory Had No View
• Dinner With VIA & S3

Recent Comments

This plugin comes with WordPress and retrieves a list of the most recent comments. You can see it in action on the right menu. Like the Related Posts plugin, Recent Comments can help increase blog page views. It also encourages people to comment more, which is always a nice thing.

Optimal Title

Optimal Title mirrors the function of wp_title() exactly, but moves the position of the separator to after the title rather than before. This allows you to have your blog name tacked on to the end of the page title instead of having it appear first. In other words, instead of John Chow dot Com >> The Title Of The Blog Post, it will show The Title Of The Blog Post < < John Chow dot Com.

Why would you want to do this? Because having your page information appear before your blog name in the title provides more meaningful search engine results. It is very helpful when the title of your page is very long since most search engine place a limit on the number of charters to display. Having the title go first allows the search engine user to get a better idea on what the page is about. I modified the codes so that the home page displays both my name and the blog description. Before it just displayed my name.

Google Sitemap Generator

This plugin generates a Google Sitemaps compliant sitemap for your WordPress blog. A sitemap helps Google to index all the pages on your blog. Whenever you update, or add new content to your blog, the plugin will generate a new sitemap for Google to use. In addition to saving you time, this plugin will help get your site indexed by Google much faster.

Akismet Comment Spam Killer

This Plugin comes preinstalled with WordPress and I highly recommend it. When a new comment, trackback, or pingback comes to your blog, it is submitted to the Akismet web service that runs hundreds of tests on the comment and returns a thumbs up or thumbs down. There is no blacklist because part of the idea of Akismet is that you are always protected up-to-the-second from the latest dirty tricks of spammers.

To turn on Akismet just go into the Plugins section of your WordPress control panel and activate it. The software does require an API key however. You can get a free key by signing up for a WordPress account.

WordPress Database Backup

This plugin comes installed with WordPress and provides an easy way to backup your WordPress database. You may download the backup file, or have it emailed to the address of your choice. I know how bad I am about keeping my stuff backed up so plugins like these are a Godsend. The plugin is very easy to use – just activate and then select “Backup” under “Manage” in your WordPress control panel.