For the past few years, it seems as though at least a couple of times a month I’ll come across new “Top x WordPress Plugins” posts, where one user takes the time to enumerate a few of their most-loved blogs.
What's the one non-spam-related WP plugin that you could not live without?
— Rick Beckman (@Secularick) December 9, 2008
But who cares what they think, right? I wanted to know what you thought, so I turned to the hive mind which is Twitter (Hey, follow me!), and asked what you considered the most indispensable WordPress plugins. I threw in the criterion that the plugin be not spam-related — yes, I know you love Akismet; I do too! — and this is what you said.
@KingdomGeek Probably WPhone Admin Plugin: http://wphoneplugin.org/
— girliegeek (@girliegeek) December 9, 2008
@girliegeek (Twitter) was the first to reply, recommending the WPhone plugin. I don’t administer my blog on the go via a mobile device, so I can’t attest to how this plugin works, but the theory seems sound enough: provide a stripped-down, mobile-friendly version of the admin panel for users of mobile devices. If you don’t have an iPhone (and are unable to use the WordPress app for it) but are still interested in administering your blog on the go, give WPhone a look.
@MillerMosaicLLC (Twitter) sent in the second recommendation, All in One SEO Pack (the tweet no longer seems to be available). This is another plugin I’ve never used, though I understand it is the only plugin you would ever need to optimize your WordPress blog for search engines, as it allows you comprehensive control over titles, descriptions, and more.
@KingdomGeek WordPress Automatic Upgrade although I think it will be redundant in wp2.7 maybe then open_hook ;)
— gibbomeister (@gibbomeister) December 9, 2008
@gibbomeister followed with the WordPress Automatic Upgrade plugin, which I have used and can definitely recommend. This plugin makes upgrading your WordPress blogs incredibly easy, though it will no longer be necessary on WordPress 2.7 (or newer)-powered sites, as built-in upgrading is now a core feature. Honorable mention: OpenHook.
@KingdomGeek Non-spam related WP Plugin must have? WP-DB Manager :) Emails a backup of my database to me on a reg basis.
— Lisa Boyd (@lisaboyd) December 9, 2008
@lisaboyd (Twitter) shared a plugin I honestly keep forgetting about: WP-DBManager. This plugin, in addition to making database backups a cinch, also allows you to execute queries against your database directly from your WordPress administration panel. This is especially useful if you do not have access to phpMyAdmin or a shell database manager.
@KingdomGeek My fave plugin = Subscribe to Comments. FeedSmith is good, too, but you can do what it does in your htaccess file if desired.
— Bruce Keener (@keener) December 9, 2008
@keener (Twitter) was the next to reply, and his recommendation was for the only plugin cool enough to have compatibility built directly into the world’s most fantabulous WordPress theme. What plugin could be so ineffably awesome? Subscribe to Comments! Why should your users have to mess with subscribing to comment feeds to get notice of replies? And why should you have to use a third-party comment management system to provide conversation tracking features to your users? Simply install Subscribe to Comments, and your users will be able to subscribe to a post’s comments with a single click. This is a very useful plugin, especially if community involvement is important to you and your site. Honorable mention: FeedSmith.
@oktoberfive (account seems to no longer be active) followed with a recommendation for the site-speeder-upper plugin, WP Super Cache. Going a step beyond simply caching code, this plugin creates static HTML files which it serves as appropriate, which results in a huge savings in time and server usage. This plugin touts itself as being able to make your site “Digg-proof,” and it may very well do just that — I don’t know, I’ve never had something receive more than a handful of Diggs, I’m sure. If you run a high-traffic site or simply want to squeeze every ounce of speed out of your server, give WP Super Cache a whirl and see what it does for you. Honorable mention: Scissors.
@KingdomGeek Sub to comments is easily the best plugin, then Google XML sitemaps. The rest I could live without (and code myself) if needed.
— Kristen Symonds (@kristarella) December 10, 2008
@kristarella (Twitter) seconded the recommendation for Subscribe to Comments, but she also mentioned another gem, the Google XML Sitemaps generator plugin. This plugin simplifies the task of making Google (and now other major search engines as well) aware of your content by creating a pure sitemap of your site’s content, including categories, archives, and so on. This plugin is indispensable if you’re wanting even more control over how search engines interact with your site. @mikenichols0 (Twitter) seconded the Google XML Sitemaps plugin recommendation.
@KingdomGeek Hard to choose, but my site depends heavily on search traffic, so I'll have to say Google XML Sitemaps is the one.
— Mike Nichols (@mikenichols0) December 10, 2008
And there you have it: my top plugin plus seven of your favorite, most indispensable plugins — two of which so amazing that they were recommended by different people — as well as a couple of honorable mentions for your consideration.
Do you consider another plugin to be something you can’t blog without? Feel free to share it below in the comments below. It is always exciting to hear about plugins that may not have registered on my radar yet.