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Free WordPress Plugins – What are Your Favourites?

Posted By Darren Rowse 26th of August 2010 Reader Questions 0 Comments

It has been a while since we had a survey on the topic of WordPress plugins so today I’d like to kick one off. What are your favourite FREE WordPress Plugins?

Try to keep it to your top 5 so that things don’t get out of hand – but please share which free WordPress plugins are most useful to you in comments below.

If you have some premium/paid ones that you want to suggest – please hold off on sharing those as I’ll run a post later in the week asking for your feedback on those.

So – what are you favourite free WordPress Plugins – and Why? Over to you!

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. Ok gang I now need help — tried adding Ozh admin dropdown, but had not yet upgraded to WP 3.0. Now I can’t get to my dashboard at all, just FATAL ERROR.

  2. Hey Darren,

    Nice list. Everything I would list is already on this comment section, but while we’re on the subject. Has anyone had problems having too many plugins?

    I recently had my web host complain about the amount I was using, claiming a couple were “CPU hogs.”

    Anyone know which ones are the culprits?

  3. Free plugins:

    1 – Broken Link Checker
    2 – Duplicate Post
    3 – What Would Seth Godin Do
    4 – WP – SpamFree
    5 – WP Smush.it
    6 – WP Super Cache
    7 -WP- Table Reloaded – LOVE IT!
    8 – Yost Breadcrumbs

    These are either time savers, speed my blog loading time, or help with SEO.

    I have paid for 2 and they have also been worth the investment too. I pulled my page rank up from a 1 to a 4 using them. :)

  4. Thanks for this post. I added a couple plugins because of the recommendations here.

  5. @Daisy You might need your host to do a backup of your site. I will say though, I ‘ve learned that I should do my own backups occasionally as there are times when my host’s files are corrupted.

  6. Wow, thanks for this…it’s been a great read and discovery tool.

    1. Advertising Manager – Places ads effortlessly – perfect for sites with multi-authors. (http://code.openx.org/projects/show/advertising-manager)
    2. LinkWithin – Shows previous posts suggested for readers. (http://www.linkwithin.com/learn)
    3. SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam – Off with their heads ;) (http://www.642weather.com/weather/scripts-wordpress-captcha.php)
    4. TubePress – Easy, peasy…just add a shortcode. (http://tubepress.org/)
    5. WP Ceanup – No broom and dustpan required…just click a button. My kinda housekeeping ;) (http://www.jortk.nl/wp-cleanup-optimize-and-cleanup-your-wordpress-database/)

  7. Hi Darren!
    My favourites are:
    1. All in One SEO Pack.
    2. CommentLuv – show a link to the last post from the commenters blog by parsing the feed at their given URL when they leave a comment.
    3. Custom Query String – Change the number of posts displayed when viewing different archive pages.
    4. WordPress.com Popular Posts – to hhow the most popular posts.
    5. WP-Archives – Display simple archives with year/month list.
    6. WP-ContactForm – drop in simple form for users to contact me.
    7. Akismet – to see if comments look like spam or not.
    8. WordPress Related Posts – to generate cool related posts.

  8. Nice plugins i really like!

  9. My Two favorite wordpress plugins are:

    Akismet, in order to keep my wordpress blog free from spam.

    Disqus, in order to let people comment and keep the spam away.

  10. I like

    All In One SEO
    Google XML Site Map

    Didn’t know there was an aweber plugin. I will probably install that and WPtouch iPhone Theme and WP Email Capture.


  11. Here are my must-have WordPress free plugins:

    1. Akismet – Saves you a lot of spam comment moderating burden

    2. Broken link checker – Again saves you from SEO damage of broken links.

    3. SEO Smart Links: Allows you to specify keywords and automatically links your chosen url to them. I use this for internal linking as well as affiliate links. Huge Huge timesaver.

    4. WP-DBManager: Scheduled backup of your database and even mails you the zipped form. Life saver plugin.

    5. Maxblogpress unblockable popup: Increases your email subscription rate manifold.

  12. 1.WP-reCAPTCHA
    2.Google XML Sitemaps
    3.FD Feedburner Plugin
    5.WordPress Related Posts
    7.SEO SearchTerms Tagging 2
    8.Social Media Widget
    9.Digg Digg

  13. From my 8 “must-have plugins” I narrowed it down to these 4, which I would recommend for any, and every, WordPress blog:

    1. W3 Total Cache – hands down, and without a question, the number one caching plugin for WP, making blog A LOT faster. (WP Super Cache only sees the rear lights of this one)

    2. Google XML Sitemaps – the most simple “SEO” one can do in a blog is to create an XML sitemap that will help search engines index the site (and not just Google, despite the name), and this plugin makes it super easy.

    3. WP-DBManager – *automatically* optimize and BACKUP the WordPress database, making sure the blog runs smoothly and you won’t lose you precious work in case something bad happens

    4. WP Smush.it – *automatically* optimize (or “smush”) all images uploaded to the media library, making the images smaller (and thus load faster) without affecting the image quality.

  14. 1. all in one seo
    2. cookies for comments
    3. google xml sitemaps
    4. WP Super Cache
    5. WPtouch iPhone Theme

  15. Some free worpress plugins are harmful for us and it is detect malware virus into the blog. I am running a wordpress website and it was my previous experience.

    Once a time when i was upload a free plugin in my website and after two day’s my website has been malware affected.

  16. 1. all in One in SEO
    2. Google Analytics for WordPress
    3. Post video players slideshow and photo galleries
    4. Twitter Tools
    5. Social Media Widget

  17. CommentLuv
    Bunny’s Print CSS
    Smart Archives
    Who Sees Ads


  18. my fav are – Akismet, Contact Form 7, Google XML Sitemaps and All in one seo

  19. WP-Print, so readers can print a post in a printer-friendly format, complete with proper attribution/source information. Not quite so easy to install as “click here,” but worth the effort.

    WP-PageNavi, so I can install page navigation buttons above or below each post.

    WPtouch iPhone Theme, so it converts my site into an iPhone (and other smartphone)-friendly format that doesn’t gobble up data transfer allowances.

    WP-Table Reloaded, so I can create a table. It’s not quite everything I’d like it to be, but it sure beats nothing!

    Ozh’ Admin Drop Down Menu, so that my Dashboard is so much tighter and cleaner, with the menu options all along the top instead of down the side. Gives me ‘way more real estate to work with!

    Contact Form 7, so that I don’t have to invite email spam via my site.

    Akismet, to catch potential spam-posts.

    Looking forward to reviewing everyone else’s favourites, too! Always looking for great ideas. (Hopefully folks share why they like the plugins they list, too?)


  20. My favorites are Comment Luv, Askimet, Social Media Widget, and TweetMeme.

  21. 1. Askimet
    2. All in One SEO
    3. Broken Link Checker
    4. Socialize
    5. Page Points to

  22. My top 5:

    Askimet – SPAM is the drudge of the universe and this helps make it manageable.

    All in One Seo Pack – Great for SEO

    WordPress Database Backup – Makes automating a daily backup to your email a breeze. Make sure to do it having a current backup or potentially regret it later!

    Social Links – Nice convenient way to encourage sharing with social networking sites.

    Secure WordPress – Every little bit of security helps especially when it is as convenient as this plugin.

  23. Amazing list. It seems the question was to list all the wordpress plugins because there are over 185 Different ones. I was hoping for a top ten or even a top 20.

    I started putting these in an excel chart and just adding one by one to the same ones when more than one person liked the same one.

    I started to install some of them and ran into a problem of running out of memory and couldn’t get back into my blog.

    So I had to trouble shoot to at least get it going again.

    Luckily I have bluehost and they have a terrific live chat and intelligent people NOT working off a script http://www.artisticgeek.com/blue.html

    Akismet was the top with 35 people using it although one person said they use wp catcha free and never had to use akismet

    All in One Seo with 26
    Google xml site map 25

    YARPP Yet Another Related Post 14
    Comment Luv 13
    Contact Form 11
    Sexy bookmarks 11
    WP Super Cache 10

    There were others that had more than one but the vast majority left were all single Top Best


  24. Here’s mine, wait, before that. I posted in my blog the plugins I personally use for SEO purpose.

    But here is my favorite..

    >Platinum SEO pack
    >broken link checker
    >yet another related post

    Can you suggest anything for my blog improvement. I am really a newbie in this.,., Thanks ..

  25. 2 THUMBS UP FOR:

    -“BuddyPress’”-BuddyPress will let users register on your site and start creating profiles, posting messages, making connections, creating and interacting in groups and much more.
    -“WP Super Cache”-This plugin generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After a html file is generated your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.
    -“Wickett Twitter Widget”-Download Display tweets from a Twitter account in the sidebar of your blog. As seen on WordPress.com.
    -“Get Recent Comments”-It Download Display the most recent comments or trackbacks with your own formatting in the sidebar.
    -“Related Ways to Take Action”- makes it super easy to connect readers to ways to take action based on the content of your posts.

  26. Hi Darren, first time commenting here..

    This is my favorite:

    1. All in one SEO
    2. Commentluv
    3. TweetMeme
    4. SEO Smart Link

  27. I’d like to know how people feel about their WP hosting. I switched from MediaTemple because of their lack of security counter-measures because my site got hacked several times despite them going through a dog and pony show about changing passwords on SQL databases which created major disruptions (especially bad for my clients). I switched to FatCow which I like everything except for the speed of hosting/loading.

    Any chance on a list of recommended WP hosts?

  28. i’d also like to see a webhost roundup — i’ve been through two nightmarish experiences this year, and have had my fill!

  29. All in One SEO – I know this has been on a number of lists, but it is really powerful

    Next Gen Gallery – for image management

    Featured Content Gallery – This is awesome for video and photo blogs.

    WordPress Related posts. Great tool to get readers to view multiple posts on the same topic

    WordPress Stats

  30. I love NoSpamNX for spam.

    CommentLuv to reward my commenters and find great new posts.

    What Would Seth Godin Do, which lets you invite new or returning readers with a targeted customizable box inviting them to subscribe.

    Theme Test Drive, which lets an admin make changes to their site and preview it but no one else can see it.

    WPtouch-iPhone theme, for mobile apps.

  31. There’s loads of good free wordpress plugins! That’s the benefit of going with WordPress :-)

    My favourite are probably ones that just do their job.. nothing fancy :

    1) All In One SEO – It just makes things a lot easier and a lot more simple! I’ve tried another SEO plugin, I think it was headspace but it just seemed to complicated to me, the All in one does the trick just nicely!

    2) Google XML Sitemap – This plugin is great because it creates a sitemap instantly, and is very simple! :-)

  32. SexyBookmarks – no tweaking needed. It’s perfect. I value a lot my website design, and this plugin is just perfect.
    – Yet Another Related Posts Plugin – it has a genius algorithm implemented, for searching the best results for your related posts. To bad it is not stylish, I would of appreciated something with post thumbs that works.

  33. One of my favorites is flickrRSS. I made a post about it a couple of days ago:


  34. I love the xml site maps plugin that automatically pings Google and other major engines.

  35. There are so many, but I use these always:

    1) All in One SEO Pack
    2) Akismet
    3) WP Super Cache
    4) Google XML Sitemaps
    5) Google Analyticator
    6) Link Indication

  36. Okay! I use Platinum SEO – I USE to use (long ago) All in One SEO I think. What is so wonderful about All in One that makes it better than Platinum? I have to know! Should I switch?

  37. There’s so many wonderful plugins out there but the top 5 that stick out for me are –

    Subscribe To Comments – Couldn’t be without this, I almost always subsrive to comments if I comment on a blog post on another blog, i’m sure many others do the same.
    Google XML Sitemaps – Really good sitemap plugin, ensuring all your pages get crawled by search engines.
    SexyBookmarks – Extremely easy to configure and a vast array of bookmarking sites to choose from with seemless integration into your blog.
    WPtouch iPhone Theme – A must for mobile browsing.
    Stop IE6 – Help spread the word to rid the world of IE6!

  38. Great thread–motivated me to post for the first time.

    I use:

    Headway Themes to design websites for myself. Great support and easy to use after 5 websites.

    Simple Press for forums

    Tiny mce advanced: great for your postings b/c it gives you more tools to use than the standard wp setup.

    Microkids related post: accurate and easy.

    Akismet: you can’t live without this plugin

    http://sucuri.net: I use this because I thought my site was hacked and scared me to do something.

  39. If you are looking for something different check out the Odiogo plug-in. The link below is a post I wrote about it because I think its unique. Click the Odiogo button at the top of the post and listen to it instead of reading it.


    I’ve seen something else out there like this. Anyone know of any others?

  40. All in One SEO Pack
    WP Stat
    Google Analycator
    Google sitemap generator

    I think those plugins was made by someone brilliant!

  41. Akismet
    All In One SEO
    WP Touch
    Next Gen Gallery
    Sexy Bookmarks

  42. W3 Total Cache is great for letting your site respond when requested. I have tried other cache plug-ins and W3 is the best. You might need to tweak the settings for best results but it isn’t too difficult.

  43. a) Akismet
    b) All in One SEO
    c) Google XML Site Map
    d) Contact Form 7
    e) Disqus Comment System

  44. – Statpress
    – wp-robot (even if you don’t want to auto post content on the web it’s a great place to get ideas for blog posts)
    – privacy policy/contact page

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