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10 WordPress Plugins for New Blogs

Posted By Darren Rowse 6th of November 2008 Blogging Tools and Services 0 Comments

Over the weekend I set up and launched my new Twitter Tips Blog – TwiTip.

Since announcing the launch of TwiTip here on ProBlogger I’ve been asked quite a few times about what WordPress plugins I’ve installed to enhance and add features to the blog.

I still need to add a few more but so far I’ve added the following 10 WordPress plugins:

  1. Akismet – a great comment spam plugin. Interestingly I had comment spam on TwiTip that Akismet filtered within minutes of launching the blog on Twitter.
  2. All in One SEO Pack – a plugin that helps to optimize a blog for search engines. It gives easy ways to set up title tags, descriptions, keywords (both for home pages but also on individual posts) and a variety of other settings that have an impact upon SEO.
  3. cforms – a powerful contact form plugin. It’s a lot more complex than other comment form plugins out there but has a lot more features (some that I’m yet to fully test).
  4. Google XML Sitemaps – a plugin to help Google and other search engines to find every page and post on your blog – good for getting a new blog indexed quickly.
  5. Simple Tags – extends the built in tags features on WordPress.
  6. Subscribe To Comments – a WordPress plugin that allows those leaving comments to check a box and be notified when other people leave a comment on that thread.
  7. Tweet This – ads an invitation for readers to Tweet a link to the post they are reading. While I wouldn’t put this on every blog – it seemed a no brainer on a blog about Twitter.
  8. WordPress.com Stats – I’m using Google Analytics as my main metrics tool for TwiTip but it doesn’t update in real time so this plugin helps to get a quick update of what’s happening on the blog at any given point in time.
  9. WP-Polls – an AJAX polling plugin with some nice features. I’ve previously used the Democracy Plugin but this one seems to be working really nicely so far.
  10. WP Ajax Edit Comments – this plugin allows those leaving comments to edit their comments for a short period of time after they leave a comment.

These are just the first 10 that I’ve already installed (listed in alphabetical order and not in order of importance). There are more to come. For example I’ll install Related Posts (pointless at this point as there are only 5 posts on the blog), WP-Navi (again, no point to install it yet as I don’t have enough posts to need a navigation tool) and WP Super Cache (I’m not doing enough traffic to really need it yet).

They are the 10 WordPress Plugins I’ve installed on TwiTip. If you were starting a new WordPress blog today – which plugins would you be installing?

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Great plugins. I actually use Defensio spam blocker. That’s work great for me.

  2. I also use cforms. But for live stats I use Woopra. I never thought about using sitemaps for a blog.

    I am looking forward to following you as you build and grow TwiTip. I just started a blog of my own, so it will be very helpful.

  3. I’m a big fan of the “What Would Seth Godin Do?” plugin..


    It lets you very very easily add a box aboveyour posts suggesting tha your readers subscribe. It uses cookies so it will only show the first 3 times your site is visited (unless you clear your cookies).

    It increased my subscriber count almost immediately.

  4. PlatinumSEO is another nice alternative to AllinOneSEO. Another important plugin I must add – The Google analytics…

  5. Thanks for the list. I’ll check them out.

    What about Gravatars? Any thoughts on using them?

    I see that Problogger doesn’t use them. Why?

  6. This is a very solid backbone of WordPress plugins to start with. They are all definitely must-haves.

    Surprisingly I’ve never heard of the Simple Tags plugin.

    Just goes to show that there are so many options for WordPress, it’s hard to keep up-to-date on them all.

  7. doh! it’s #3… /facepalm.

    … what about Auto-Upgrade?


  8. Great list. There was a similar analysis posted earlier in the year on Carbon Grafitti.


    Nice bit of analysis.

  9. Hi,

    The plugin that allows reader to twitt your post I found it to be cool. I think that it caught my attention because I knew about the others.

    Thank you

  10. Just what I was looking for! :)

  11. Let’s say I’d add… FeedBurner FeedSmith, RSS Footer, WordPress Mobile Edition… What do you think?

  12. Great post. Have you considered any of the ‘for fee’ plugins? There are quite a few out there that are worth looking at when it comes to monetizing a blog.


  13. All of the above are great, I also include Comment Threads, WP Google Analytics, No Revisions (for the upgrade past 2.6) and RSS Footer for customizing my blog’s footer :-)

  14. As I’ve just start blogging that’s a pretty useful list! I already have a few of them, but cforms and the AJAX comments plugin look as if they’re worth a look.

    I’m using Thesis for my theme, which claims not to need any additional SEO plugins. Any thoughts on that?

  15. Very informative post sir, I will use all of these plugins into my blog

  16. great article darren .well done.

  17. Thanks for share this plug in info.very useful to me.

  18. I ever hear about comment luv plugin. What for is it?

  19. Not only one plug in you mention in your article but 10 plug in.Good job.

  20. Great list Darren! I have considerably more than that installed, but I see some on this list that I think I may be looking at trying out. The SEO pack is one I will definitely try out, even though I get a decent percentage of traffic from the search engines.

  21. Great list! The only ones i’d add to it would be Feedburner Feedsmith, Sociable to add social bookmarking links, and smart youtube to make posting youtube videos very easy.

  22. Darren – I’m happy to see that I’m not a complete idiot! I used several of the plugins on your list, along with some of Joost’s stuff and, of course, Subscribe Remind by Trevor Fitzgerald. I know that in my case, subscribing to the comments is the only way I can remember where I commented, in order to respond to follow-ups.

    I need to look into a supplemental stat package, as I had no idea how many people disable javascript, until this week.

  23. Glad to see I already use about half of these on my new blog. The only one I’m missing that I want is the Subscribe to Comments plug-in. I’ll be installing that one shortly.

    It’s amazing all the little tweaks that are necessary to keep your blog competitive.

  24. Some plugins I would suggest:

    1. What Would Seth Godin Do – To have a message on top of your blog for all new visitors to welcome them and get them to subscribe.
    2. WordPress Automatic Upgrade – To automatically upgrade WordPress.
    3. Broken Link Checker – To check for broken internal/external links.
    4. MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer – To optimize the ping functionality.
    5. Comments Redirect – To redirect the commenter’s to a thanks you and please subscribe page.
    6. WordPress Thread Comment – To improve the interactivity as users can comment on each other’s comments.


  25. I would also suggest the “add this” or “share this” plugins for social media sites like Digg or StumbleUpon.

    And since I installed the “lighter menus” plugin life is so much easier on the admin side!

    And the WP automatic upgrade is a must as well! Saves lots of time and it’s super fast.

  26. Instead of the Related Posts plugin, use YARPP ( http://mitcho.com/code/yarpp/ ). It’s much better!

  27. Great article. I am pleased to have most of the top ones but of the few I haven’t I especially like “WP Ajax Edit Comments”. The number of times I post a comment only to notice a mistake afterwards is unreal :-)

  28. I really like the Popularity Contest by http://alexking.org/projects/wordpress though I wish it had the ability for me to overwrite what posts I personally want to show up.

  29. Thanks for the list Darren. When I start my WordPress blog I’ll be sure to check each one of these out.

  30. Yeah I use Google for my analytics, but I have noticed that it doesn’t seem to update in real time, which kind of bothered me a little. So I still use Google, but I installed WordPress stats again. I also suggest that you add the plugin “wassup” Its really great.

    But all the plugins that you listed are all the ones I use too. hehe. They are totally 100% Awesome plugins!

  31. Good list! ‘m also using some of the listed ones already. You must also check out the cool archives page powered by Snazzy Archives. Also, I use Disqus commenting system, pretty cool, I should say!!

  32. Great list! I would also add that Zemanta is a wonderful tool I like to use, as well as Share This and Sociable for helping people use social media. All in One SEO is a great tool. I use Akismet and I also use BadBehavior as a backup. For comments, I like the much recommended Disqus. Thank you!

  33. Great list of plugins. I am using just about all those and they have helped my blog along the way. I would also suggest using a plugin such as the I Love Social Bookmarking to help make it easy for others to share your posts.

  34. I seem to recall Thesis-specific comments relating to SEO plugins and that you need to be really careful as to what they do in regards to Thesis. I’m in a rush so just did a quick Google and on the Thesis site itself it says you don’t need the SEO plugins – though perhaps they are wrong :)


  35. Interesting. I run Thesis myself and am fairly SEO-savvy, and I’m pretty happy with it. Just wondering if there’s anything I’m missing…

  36. Darren –

    thats wild. these are the same ones i install when creating a new blog.

    great post!

  37. Thanks for the info. I’m thinking of starting a new blog myself so these plugins will definitely come in handy.

  38. Just an FYI. Google Analytics defaults to not showing the current day (it waits till there are complete stats for the day). If you change your date range in the upper right hand corner, and see your stats for that day. It appears to change every few minutes (when you refresh).

    Great list. Thanks!

  39. Thanks for this useful post. Do you know of a good plug-in to list the most read posts on the homepage?

  40. Nice list of very essential plugins for any WP installation.

    Some interlinking plugin could also be added to link posts to each other.

  41. Thanks for the list of plugins. I had most of the plugin installed. But the comment related plugins are new to me.

  42. That seems like a strong list of plugins. Good luck with the new blog, Darren.

  43. These are all your basic plugins that you need to start out with. Without them it will even take longer to create a successful blog. These will make you more productive and have a better chance to bring visitors to your web site. I think that everyone definitely needs the late those blog post so that other bloggers know where to find these 10 simple WordPress plugins.

  44. Great Post

    I would also recommend:

    FeedBurner – RSS
    Share This – Social Networking

    They make it very easy to get your RSS and DIgg / Stumble Upon going on your blog.


  45. These are all great plugins for beginners. Highly recommended for anyone starting a blog.

  46. I’ve been using the What Would Seth Godin Do? Plugin with pretty decent success. It lets you very easily write a short description that gets put at the top of you post when a new visitor arrives.

    You can customize the message including HTML and also say how many times you want the message to appear for a new visitor.

    I haven’t been using it long enough to know if it is improving my return visitors or subscriber stats, but it is interesting.


  47. I would add the following:

    Email responder if you like to communicate with your readers via the comments.

    Comment luv to encourage comments by showing other blogger’s last blog post

    WP Slimstat- ex which I like so much better than google and any other stat counter out there. I actually use both ex-slimstats so I can see what posts people are reading and my host’s stats which is probably the most reliable. You may have to make some fixes to ex-slimstats if the author did not update it yet. He talks about them in the comments.

    Don’t forget to add an editing plug-in as well so your commenters can edit their work if they want to change something. (WP ajax edit comments.)

  48. I’d add wp-db-backup and tiny MCE editor

  49. When starting a new blog, the first plug-in I install is Spam Karma 2 or SK2. I think it’s a lot better than the Akismet plug-in most people use for spam.

    You can find this plug-in at http://unknowngenius.com/blog/wordpress/spam-karma/

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