Updated September 13, 2010Doc Sheldon
WordPress™ is becoming more and more popular every day, not only as a blogging platform, but also as a CMS for standard site builds. Personally, I LOVE it! In customizing your site, you’re going to use a number of plug-ins and widgets, so I thought I’d offer my suggestions.
Here are 11 WordPress™ plug-ins that I highly recommend, most of which are beneficial for either application.
Why 11? Because I had a client show up, before I could find #12!
- Akismet – This plug-in will keep most of the comment spam out of your hair. WELL worth having! I rate this a 4.9/5.0.
- All in One SEO Pack – A very popular SEO Pack for WP sites. Very configurable, and easy to use. I rate this a 4.5/5.0.
- CommentLuv – A great plug-in for your readers/commenters. Share the Luv. I rate this a 4.5/5.0.
- Display Widgets – Particularly nice for CMS applications, this plug-in allows you to determine which page you want each widget to display on. I rate this a 4.5/5.0.
- FadeOut-Thumbshots – Mouseover a link, and get a thumbnail view of the target. I rate this a 4.2/5.0.
- NoFollow Free – Over-rides the default no-follow on WordPress. Can be configured with great flexibility. I rate this a 4.8/5.0.
- Wibiya Toolbar – This toolbar floats at the bottom of the screen, offering a wealth of information and tools to your users, for either blogs or conventional web-sites. I rate this a 4.9/5.0. This is a KILLER item! It’s a narrow bar across the bottom of your page, that offers reasonably good translations to a dozen different languages, a pop-up of recent posts on the page, a selection of photos for sharing, a Tweet button, with an indicator of how many tweets the page has received, a FB Like button, how many visitors are on the page, plus a pop-up map for their country locations, RSS subscription, Share, Twitter pop-up, and a mini-chat window. Check it out below.
- WP-Stats-Dashboard – Displays your site’s stats graph, and social metrics, on your dashboard. I rate this a 4.5/5.0.
- WP Widget Cache – Speed up your site and reduce sql queries by caching your blog widgets. I rate this a 4.0/5.0. (or)
- W3 Total Cache – A KILLER cache program to speed up your entire site and reduce bandwidth dramatically. I rate this a 4.8/5.0.
- Google XML Sitemaps – automatic XML sitemap generator updates and pings search engines every time you add new information to your pages. I rate this a 4.7/5.0.
Note: When I installed the NoFollow Free plug-in, I found that my comment links were still nofollow. When I de-activated Disqus, NoFollow Free worked perfectly. Apparently, there’s some sort of conflict there, which can undoubtedly be worked out. I simply left Disqus deactivated, until I can figure out a work-around.
Some of these plug-ins, I didn’t rate very highly, simply because you can accomplish the same thing without the plug-in, if you want to muck about in the code. Everyone isn’t comfortable doing that, though, so I went ahead and listed them, as very good plug-ins for those that aren’t so inclined.