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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 list! Once again you prove what a valuable resource you are to the blogging community.

  2. I’d like to recommend Login Lockdown. Very good tool for keeping your WordPress site as secure as possible

    Also, a great link about WordPress security can be found at http://www.noupe.com/how-tos/wordpress-security-tips-and-hacks.html .

  3. Akismet is very good at catching spam but I prefer wp-spam free which eliminated my need to use a captcha on blogs that have live commenting.

    I much prefer headspace 2 to AIOSP any day of the week when it comes to sheer performance. It takes more of learning curve than the all in one, but it is worth it in my opinion.

    Cforms I will agree is a fine plugin but have had really good luck over the last year with the “secure php contact form” from mike jolley over the last year It integrates easily into my page templates.

    I use WP Stats as well as google analytics, but found Woopra to be very useful in conjunction to those.

    Ajax edit comments and subscribe to comments are both great. I like using them in conjunction with wp comment remix. It provides me with the opportunity to interact with my readers better and for them to quote each other with comment linking.

    Like you said you are not up to needing related posts or pagenavi yet, but I have found that I really prefer pagebar 2 to pagenavi for most things. An great addition to related posts is Stumble! for WordPress. It works like stumbleupon for your blog. The other day I had someone stumble through my wife’s blog for the better part of 2 hours. While I personally rarely get more than 2 or 3 extra page views out of it, I expect that as I have more content over the years I will. i would love to see what sort of random posts I would find with it here on problogger.

    Other plugins I find extremely useful and you might as well are as follows.

    WP Relative Date. Being a twitter site for you having the post say posted 12 seconds ago 4 minutes or 3 hours might be useful.

    I am really fond of Tagaroo both for the semantic tag suggestions but I like the fact it feeds me relevant public flickr images I can use. It is less work for me and autolinks the image to the flickr page for just the sort of recognition those people deserve.

    Tagaroo doesn’t catch all the possible semantic tags, but I find by adding the Calais Archive tagger I can once a week tell it to search the archive and look for new tags. In conjunction with tagaroo and a theme that automatically turns my wp tags into searchable meta keywords I increased the search traffic significantly.

    Sphere related content plugin has brought my news blog quite a bit of traffic from major sites such as CNN and Time.

    Robot Meta is great since you just don’t want every page getting the same search treatment.

    In Series is really good for linking serial posts.

    Batch categories isn’t necessary for new blogs, but is invaluable for old ones, though it is best to use it with a redirection plugin

    My favorite of all plugins though is auto social which automatically puts my posts on del.icio.us

  4. I would second the Feedburner stats and YARPP recommendations in previous comments. And I’ll throw in another great plugin… Alex King’s Popularity Contest

    Popularity contest is a great way highlight what your readers think are the most popular posts. It’s fully customizable on what “popular” is.

  5. Its a great thing that we can know more and learn more about twitter and at the same time, knowing what type of WP plugin you would recommend for those just started to use wordpress to blog.

    David Cheong

  6. I posted my 12 Essential WordPress Plugins in October and its great to see that we crossed over on half of them.


    The irony is that the blog I posted my list on is actually on Blogger, worst mistake I ever made for that site, and will be moving it to WordPress come Xmas break.

    Looking forward to playing with ‘Simple Tags’ to see what it can do for me.

  7. I would also add to your list (and the other plugins mentioned already) the following:

    Comment Relish: Increases your readership and RSS subscription rate by simply sending a short ‘thank you’ relishing type message to users when they first comment on your weblog.

    Insights: Insights allows you to quickly access and insert information (links, images, videos, maps..) into your blog posts.

    Search Meter: Keeps track of what your visitors are searching for. After you have activated this plugin, you can check the Search Meter Statistics page to see what your visitors are searching for on your blog.

    The Geek Entrepreneur

  8. I’ve installed StatPress and the new Add to Any: Share/Save/Bookmark button. I went with YARPP instead of Related Posts and am very pleased with the increased control.

    Before I install a WP plugin, I check Lester Chan’s site – if he has developed a plugin to see if he’s written one with the functionalit I need. If so, I go with his version. They just work, period. He writes install and configure instructions in plain easily understood terms.

    Unfortunately for all WP users, Lester has had to put his plugin development on hold while school is in session, but I’m trying to entice him back to some weekend post-homework action with a few well-intended donations to offset school costs. http://lesterchan.net/

  9. I just started my blog last week but I have 10 plugins that I already use. Here they are (in alphabetic order):

    adsense deluxe, all in one seo pack, aizatto related posts, commentluv, feedburner plugin, google analytics for wordpress, google sitemap generator, sociable, wordpress automatic upgrade, recaptcha

    I hope that helps someone.

  10. Hi Darren,

    I use all of those plugins you’ve mentioned.
    When I start a new blog, as well as the one’s you’ve mentioned, I also add the following:

    – Autoclose – to close comments, trackbacks and pings after a certain time.
    – Different Posts Per Page – to give my readers some other posts they might like to read.
    – Feedburner Smith- goes without saying.
    – Maintenance Mode – displays a ‘come back later’ splash page for when you need to do some blog ‘renovating’!
    – Next Gen Gallery – The best gallery for photos and albums.
    – Admin Drop down menu – replaces the admin menu with a CSS dropdown menu bar. Better for navigation.
    – Lucia’s Link Love – Where a commenter has commented at least some number of times links are then made “dofollow”.
    – Ozh Who See’s Ads – Highly and easily configurable plugin for Adsense and affiliate ads. You create the ad then decide where they go, and who see’s them, with a simple syntax or php code for posts, pages or templates. (highly recommended, I love this one!)
    – Similar Posts – displays related posts
    – Simple Trackback Validation – Eliminates spam trackbacks.
    – Sociable – adds links to social book marking sites.
    – Tan Tan Noodles – a check to stop really obvious comment spam before it is processed!
    – Tiny MCE Advanced.
    – Viper’s video quicktags – to easily embed video’s from numerous sources.
    – Where did they go from here – See what posts readers also viewed.
    – WordPress Automatic Upgrade – Easiest way to upgrade to newer wordpress versions.
    – WordPress Data Base Backup.
    – WordPress Cache

    There are others that I add and have played with, but they are more for fun and not a ‘standard’ plugin like the above.

  11. I am already using these plugins, damn i am good :D

  12. +Akismet for spam control.
    +All In One SEO
    +Clean Archives Reloaded–this is a great tool for an archives page
    +jQueryLightbox–adds Lightbox feature to my photography page. Makes my photos look even better.
    +Lazyest Gallery–makes having a photography gallery easier
    +tags4pages–allows you to tag pages

    I use a couple of the others you mentioned and really like them. Also, with the latest build of WordPress (I’m using the new beta version) you don’t need the Automatic Upgrade plugin anymore. WP now has an auto upgrade included. And you can directly install plugins and themes through a new option, or download the old-fashion way.

  13. Comment Luv and Subscribe Remind

  14. Hey, I use almost all if those plugins you’ve mentioned.

    By the way, it is great that you started a new blog, I’m sure we’ll learn a lot from this launch.

    Thank you Darren.

  15. I use Akismet and it works really well, although ocassionaly it has caught a real comment that wasnt spam and I had to fish them out.

  16. WordPress Automatic Upgrade, In Series, and StatPress are three I would always install.

  17. I’ve heard and used most of the plug-ins you mention, except the Tweet This. Should probably give it a go and see whether my readers will use it

  18. This is a great list. Only have used the Askimet plug-in and it is a great tool. I believe this a great package of 10 to add to every blog setup I do. Thanks!

  19. Cool post, Darren, love your new Twitt blog too. Do they have Russian equivalent to this plugins?

  20. like number 4,9 and 10 WP plugin, if Darren dont post here then i think i will never know it ,thank Darren

  21. As a new blogger, this post will save me weeks of wasted time. Thanks.

  22. Thanks for the list. Here are a couple others I really like:

    Most Commented: may not be great for a new blog but I really like this one as a way to show that your blog is active and getting response.

    Threaded Comments: this one needs a bit of cleaning up – the automated emails have pretty bad grammar and can be modified and personalized.

    I’ll stay tune for more tips on the best plugins – thanks!

  23. Yeah Threaded comment is missing. :) Great Plugins. I am using almost all of them.

  24. Hi Darren,

    I use all of those plugins you’ve mentioned. However, I am having difficulties with ping.fm – No idea what I am doing wrong. Sometimes it works. How can I ensure it will work? thanks, Laura

  25. nice. just what Ive been look for.

  26. I have to add Yet Another Related Post Plugin from http://mitcho.com/code/yarpp/ , since installing this my page views have doubled and it has the added benefit of people clicking through to your site from their feed reader if there is an interesting related post.

  27. I actually prefer Yet Another Related Posts Plugin:
    http://mitcho.com/code/yarpp/ to Related Posts. Like Suz said very well lets include related posts in the feeds :)

  28. Thanks for this comprehensive list!

    I actually started using Twitback a while ago but recently heard about Tweeterfeed a couple of times and now I finally signed up because Twitback was not updating for me, on the last couple of blog posts.

  29. Thanks, really best plugins list.

    I use also WP-PostViews (Enables you to display how many times a post/page had been viewed)

  30. I turned Akismet off. Don’t need it.

    I discovered WP-SpamFree

    It’s just fantastic. Set and forget.


  31. Hello sir i have just started my wp blog. But i am unable to implement SITEMAP for my blog. My wp is 2.6 and when i try to build it manually it shows update ultimate tag generator. Wht should i do? No updates for that particular pluin.

  32. Shortstat is a good option if in depth stats from analytics are not required.

  33. sony:

    If you’re using the Google Sitemaps plugin, go to the settings page, click on the Google Sitemaps link you should be able to update it manually. If it’s still not working, it might be a server issue with your web host.

  34. @ Darren and Bill – check out the Platinum SEO Pack as an alternative for All-In-One. It does everything All-In-One does plus some, such as auto fills for your article’s keywords and description. Not always accurate, but a good back up.

    @ MaCo – CommentLuv is a plugin which will display your commentator’s last blog article below their comment (see my blog comment section as an example).

    @ Roy Scribner – try W3Counter for your blog stats. It even integrates the stats into your WordPress dashboard.

    @ Wayne John – Here’s an article I wrote, if Darren doesn’t mind the link, to 50+ WordPress Plugins & Hacks Candy Store. It’s a post I outlined you guessed it, 50+ WordPress plugins noting what each does and an * next to the ones I use.

    @ Daryl Pereira – Try the Popularity Contest Plugin. Just google it.

    @kaidez – Absolutely! Login Lockdown should be automatically included in WordPress. Everyone should get this plugin.

    @ Dimitri – Here’s one site that has translated some plugins. I bet if you email the site owner he could point you in the right direction.

    @ Ken – I’m always available for anyone who has WordPress questions. I’m here to help, no cost.

    @ sony – this plugin should do the trick.

  35. Great list! There are still a few that I have to check into here!

  36. I’d add –
    Amazon reloaded
    Related Posts YARPP
    Homepage Excerpts (depending on your theme)

    Great post – I’m a bit of a plugin tart and while I’ve heard of all the ones you mentioned there are some interesting ones mentioned in the comments!

  37. May be All In One SEO Pack is the most important of them because it lets you customize the Title, Description and Keywords of every single post…

  38. The All in One SEO Pack has made a difference in the amount of targeted traffic I receive. I’ve only known about it for about a month and a half! There is an upgrade since I started, but I haven’t been able to successfully download it yet.

    I have to look into the other ones!

  39. tweet this looks very cool.

  40. Useful indeed. Does anybody have an ide about the security of the AJAX ones?
    (just qurious, ususlly the bad hacks and exploits happen to any major CMS trough some plugin)

  41. I have been trying to install Akismet, but I cannot find the API Key. WordPress.com says it is on the “profile” page, but it is no where to be found.

    Is there someone else where I can look? I have WP installed on my own domain website. Does that make a difference?

    Thanks so much!

  42. great plugin, I just use 3 plugins

  43. Wow really interesting. A good start for new bloggers.

  44. @kathrin

    After you login, click on “My Account” at top left of page, then “edit profile.” Your API key will be listed as the first item in the section called “Your Profile and Personal Options” toward the top left.

    It’s in sort of small print, so look carefully.

  45. hi, Darren…

    Thanks for the tips..
    But would you like to show me the way to install Google XML Sitemap also shoutbox to my wordpress blog?

    I’ve tried to install the shoutbox one, but failed. I also have tried to post it via guest book tab, but failed too. It’s only a link to shoutmix.com

    And I can’t plugin tab on my wordpress blog, or it just for upgrading blogs?

    Please advise.
    Thank you

  46. Hi zura. Make sure you download the plugin files and upload them…instructions are at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/google-sitemap-generator/installation/.

    Where XML Sitemap is different from most WordPress plugins is that it requires you create two files: sitemap.xml and sitemap.xml.gz. You then have to change the modifications (that CHMOD thing in the Installation instructions). There are many free apps that you can use for this but a good FTP client link Interarchy or Filezilla should allow you to do this.

  47. Hi zura. I just checked your site and just noticed something and I apologize in advance for not doing that first…

    You’re running your site off of wordpress.com, which means that you’re VERY limited as to how much you can customize your blog. Someone out there please correct if I’m wrong, but I don’t think you’ll be able to install certain plugins.

  48. That’s a very solid list of plugins – it’s reassuring to see so much overlap with the ones I use!

    One thing I do differently is that instead of cforms, I use gbcf. It’s not only very powerful and configurable, but the quality of the code makes it very easy to work with.

  49. Automating backup of the DB is HUGE – http://lesterchan.net/portfolio/programming/php/

  50. Great list of plugins. However, some of them aren’t really necessary, such as Simple Tags.

    The most important one to have is All-in-one SEO.

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