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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. 1-AIOSEO
    3-Google XML Sitemaps
    4-Category Order (drop and drag category navigation)
    5-Easy Contact

    I second the request for a top-ten list!

  2. My favorites are:


  3. Hi Everyone,

    The Must Haves All in One SEO and WPTouch Iphone Theme

    Because I love to tweak navigation:
    Category Order and Page Links To

    Then my favorite of all: Simple Tags – it makes mass tag management fast!

    Enjoy, Sue

  4. 1. WP Super Cache
    2. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin
    3. Align RSS Images

  5. I like and use many but ones I couldn’t do without would probably be:

    Genki Youtube Comments
    Old Post Promoter (by BTE)
    Related Websites (by BTE)

  6. Intense Debate
    TweetMeme Retweet Button
    Official StatCounter Plugin
    Google Integration Toolkit

  7. Hey all, I just made my first blog and I have a couple questions regarding plugins that I am hoping can be answered here.

    How do I get a Google XML sitemap?

    And, what is sociable?

    I would appreciate any info.


  8. Akismet
    All in One SEO Pack
    Related Posts
    WP Contact Form III

  9. Darren,

    All In One SEO
    Google XML Site Map
    WordPress Backup
    FD Feedburner
    W3 Total Cache


  10. My List of WordPress Plugins


    I am not sure why but the comment prior to this did not come up rightly and if it I could not see and so if it is double comment my apology.

  11. I’m a very big fan of the simple, everyday plugins, especially that use other brands’ applications, but are then incorporated into wordpress. I was a blogger man, but not for the past two months, since I signed on with wordpress and got hosting through bluehost.

  12. I am a huge fan of Daniel Tan’s SEOpressor as it’s an awesome monitoring tool to make sure you’re doing all the necessary on-page SEO elements for your post.

  13. 1.askimet
    4.social for wp 3.1
    5.SEO pack for 3.1

  14. Hi Darren,

    My top 5 free WP plugins are:

    1. Sexy bookmarks
    2. Thesis open hooks
    3. FBlikebutton
    4.Ultimate google analytics
    5. Wp touch for iPhone

  15. Hi Darren,

    Here are my top five:

    1. Thesis OpenHook
    2. Akismet
    3. Google XML sitemap generator
    4. WP-DBManager
    5. WP-Security-Scan



  16. Well for me I wanted akismet, but it asked for an API key which I have no idea where to find it or what it is. But I will look into it a.s.a.p. My other plug-in are feed-burner-feed smith, google site map generator, 1 click re-tweet, like, etc. and easy verification. Well the re-tweet part doesn’t work cause I accidentially hit deny. I took it out and put it back in, but still won’t work, but the face book part does.


  17. i love Automated Keywords Generator

    because it is my own handmade plugin :-)

  18. My list includes:

    – All in One SEO
    – Pretty Links
    – Fast Contact Form
    – Yet Another Related Post

  19. This is a great list. Thanks for this post, I have been needing this and have some homework to do.
    My favorites are
    Askimet, it has caught every one of my spam comments.
    Broken link checker, I was thrilled to find this.
    WPtouch iPhone theme
    Comment reply notification

    A tutorial on how to optimize the All in one SEO plug in would be very helpful for me.

  20. Akismet
    I can blogging without any plugin, exept Akismet.

  21. wp total cache
    smart archives reloaded
    tabber widget
    exploit scanner
    wp firewall

  22. I run an blog, with hundreds of free events in my area, each one a wp post, so some of these may be more niche-specific, but some are ones I’ll never have another blog without.

    All in One SEO
    Duplicate Post -great for posting events that are in the same venue or part of the same series, but only some event details are different)
    Event Calendar-The main events plugin I use. Comes with nifty calendar and list widgets.
    Broken Link Checker- I have over 900 links and growing (each event listing links to the organization’s websites), and I can see and fix broken ones easily.

  23. Wow, everyone’s listing some boring ones!! I always like finding the really interesting, fun ones my blog may not necessarily “need” but make me happy anyway :)

    Tweet-stimonials (which is exactly what it sounds like): http://www.tweetstimonials.com/

    I also couldn’t live without my Aweber plugin: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/aweber-wordpress-plugin/

    Broken Link Checker is pretty sweet too: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/broken-link-checker/

    Then obviously I’m a bit fan of all the social media plugins like Topsy Retweet and the Facebook “Like” button. All helpful in spreading the word!

    You can see them all in action here: http://marianlibrarian.com

  24. Linkwithin… it sends many many visitors back into my blog, in the past folks might have read one or two pages but now they stay for an average four if not five pages.

    comment luv… draws folk to my blog whenever I comment – often leading to huge leaps in traffic. And it returns the favor for folk that comment on my blog – love it!

    Otherwise I love wordpress stats and checking my dashboard and “spy” to quickly see where visitors are coming from.

  25. Darren,

    my favorites include:

    All in One SEO
    Yet Another Related Post
    All in One SEO Pack
    Google XML Site Map


  26. W3 Total Cache is without doubt my fave plugin by a country mile.

    When you combine it with the incredibly easy installation guide by @zemalf – available at http://bit.ly/99qIAG – you realise just how slick WordPress can run when you have the right settings enabled and all your CSS and JavaScript compressed.

    Don’t forget it’s especially important your site runs fast these days because speed is a factor when determining your page ranking by Google.

    So go get it!

  27. All in One SEO Pack and WP Super Cache are two of the most useful plugins for me, one click SEO, what more can you ask for?

  28. Hi Darren,

    I just started my blog and as I read all these suggestions I start to hyperventilate.

    How can anyone possibly know which ones to use, what is enough, what too much?

    *starting to blow into a bag* Thanks.

  29. I really enjoy Smart YouTube
    Simple to use, really effectiuve and the ability to start and stop YouTube at specific point of your choosing
    Like the compliance with iPhone, RSS embed and sidebar widget…makes it really easy to add my YouTube video links


  30. I use & like…

    Platinum SEO
    Link Within (not only for WordPress, though I use the plugin version)
    Theme Preview

    I wanted to use Sexy Bookmarks, but it doesn’t seem to work in my theme ;(

  31. My Fav:

    Statpress – Best Web Stats
    Comment Reply – send notification if comment get replied.
    Shadowbox,- great effects to images
    Ad Button- 125*125 ad manger best.
    Akismet – no explanation needed.

    Some of my fav seo plugins:


  32. @Michelle – I used to use YARRP and didn’t get many clicks, LinkWithin there are heaps. But I have a picture heavy blog, so the thumbnails fit in.

    Most of the others I love have been mentioned, but I can’t plug Insights enough. Its a searchbox that sits below your post as you are writing, you can use it to search your blog, wikipedia, flickr or google then link straight into your post. It means I can instantly link back to previous posts that are relevant and use all that content in my archives, find pictures or link to wiki for a quick explanation. It has cut down my writing time so much.

  33. My Top Free WP Plugins are:

    1. All-in-One SEO
    2. Akismet
    3. Google XML Site Map
    4. Broken Link Checker
    5. Site Stat
    6. Dagon Sitemap for Archive

  34. I work with wordpress a lot and the five plugins I wouldn’t be without include –

    Wordpress Database Backup
    Contact Form 7/Really Simple Captcha
    Wordpress Related Posts
    All-In-One SEO

    Some great ones have already been listed above (as well as some I have never heard of an will now go and look into!).

  35. Hey Darren,

    Julie mentioned my favourite one already – Pretty Link. It’s really good for tracking and shortening links in a way that makes them look like part of your blog, rather than using bit.ly or other link shorteners. They’re good, but they just don’t look as clean as the pretty links.

    My other favourite (even more practical) plugin is the simple-but-effective ‘Exclude Pages from Navigation’. This is great for creating pages that you link to through the footer, or even creating secret pages that you only send to your subscribers.


  36. Only 5… That is a problem because there are so many useful free plugins out there.

    I guess my top 5 will be:
    WP Greet Box
    Comment Luv
    SEO Smart Links
    WordPress Popular Posts

    And many many more…

  37. YARPP – I wouldn’t even dream of not having YARPP on all of my blogs.

    CommentLuv – Play it forward – I’m all about that.

    WPtouch iPhone Theme – Ingenious and, these days, incredibly important.

    Google XML Site Map – One of the most necessary plugins around.

    Why Do Work Adsense – I’ve seen obvious results and have nothing but great things to say about it. If it were a human, I’d take it out for coffee and chocolate.

  38. My favorite FREE WP plugins are:

    What Would Seth Godin Do – custom new visitor greeting
    Sexy Bookmarks – swanky social sharing
    WP Super Cache – speeds up my site
    NoSpamNX – beats the hell out of Akismet

    I’m off to check out some of the plugins mentioned here…


  39. WP Stats.com

  40. Gotta haves are Google XML Sitemap generator, WP Database Backup and Login Lockdown.

    I love Yet Another Related Posts Plugin. After installing it a couple years ago, visitors are going deep into my old content

  41. I don’t know if this is a coincidence or not, but I just tried to installed WP Backup and now I cannot get on to my site. It will not load at all.

  42. Akismet
    Twitter Tools

    Enjoy reading others favorites and will try some new ones for my blog.


  43. WOW is right…there are so many great ones it is hard to pinpoint but it’s great to see these listed and why. Great post!
    My favorite is the WP Quotes. Because I love quotes. But i use a lot of the ones listed above also!
    thanks again!
    Great idea!

  44. 2 most recent favs are (1) no-nofollow and (2) comment luv!

  45. So many,
    1. Sexy Bookmarks
    2. Pretty Link
    3. Ultimate Follow Me
    4. Dynamic Content Gallery
    5. Platinum SEO Pack
    Lots of plugins i haven’t heard of listed in the comments. More to checkout now! :-)

  46. Akismet
    Tubepress (makes a gallery of youtube videos on any topic)
    cbnet Ping Optimizer
    sexy bookmarks

  47. hard to limit it to five! these are my must-haves:

    widgets reloaded
    smart youtube
    widget logic
    ozh drop-down admin menu

    (i won’t mention akismet or supercache as i believe those are so taken for granted that they feel like part of the wordpress infrastructure!)

  48. I like a lot of the plug-ins mentioned previously, so I will add the ones that I haven’t seen yet that I find to be quite helpful to me as a travel blogger:

    1) Excerpt Editor – Allows you to tease your reader about an article without revealing it all and as a result, helps to keep the homepage clean and uncluttered.

    2) Stray Random Quotes – I’m a philosophical kind of girl, so I enjoy sharing lovely travel related words of wisdom.

    3) WP-Ban – After experiencing a rather nasty spam attack, I found this gem that allowed me to ban entire countries, domains and/or IP addresses…..Woo Ha Ha Ha HAAAA!!!

    4) Post Views Summary – A dashboard plug-in that shows the most and least visited posts and pages. It’s always nice to know what keeps your readers coming back for more or what they just simply hate.

    5) WordPress Related Posts – I really like the concept of Link Within, the plug in that adds graphic functionality to your related posts. However, when trying to use it, my related posts always showed up as a text link instead of a picture with text. My emails to the author went unanswered, so I was thrilled to find this plug in that fixed whatever was wrong with Link Within.

    6) About Me 3000 – I think it’s nice to put a face to one’s blog because readers want to know that there is a real person behind those articles….and a little bio of the blogger wouldn’t hurt either. Sure, most folks have an “about” page, but it’s nice to not have to sift through the pages, when there’s a plug-in that quickly identifies you.

    7) Broken Link Checker – Nothing is more embarrassing or unprofessional as broken links. It can happen to the best of us, but make sure you’re on top of things by installing this plug-in.

    8) IImage Panorama – Ok, I haven’t used this yet because I’ve only recently found it…but I love the idea of creating 360 degree panoramic photographs of places I’ve traveled. This would be an excellent feature for any travel or photography blog.

  49. Thanks Darren for having this post and the WP bloggers who have contributed here. Simple, yet very helpful!

    Someone mentioned ReplyMe above which sounds very useful.

    I am seconding another comment that Pretty Links has been my new favourite. It just makes things look better.

    (There’s nothing worse than an unpretty Britty…)

  50. Thanks to Darren and everyone who commented, I can’t wait to check out some of the cool plug-ins you listed.

    I didn’t see mention of Latest Posts by Category which I’ve set up to list some Best of MyBlog posts, not reader favorites but what I think are the best. Some bloggers do the same thing manually, coding the links, but the plug-in makes it so easy to change my Best Of list from time to time.

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