Everybody involved in online business, development, design and SEO knows that WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms. This CMS is very light weight, very SE friendly and there are tons of plug-ins that can customize the look for your business or personal needs. Most people are writing about the top plugins, I will make this selection a bit different, that's why I call it my top WordPress plugins. I also want to mention that it is a good idea to limit number of plugins used, because adding too many plugins will make WordPress heavy and increase loading time, also using too many is hiding a risk for security issues.
So the one that I recommend are mature and trusted.
- Platinum SEO - very simple "out-of-the-box" extension, that is taking care for titles, meta data, canonical URLs. It is similar to All In One SEO, but I think it offers more options.
- Google XML Sitemaps - the name doesn't lie, it generated XML sitemaps for Google, Yahoo and Bing, quite like because generation is automatic and if you have a big blog, you can gzip your sitemap.
- Socialable - one of the oldest and most stable extension that offering sharing options for the most popular social networks and social bookmarking websites. Icons appear below the article, it is very light and simple.
- Gravity Forms - custom form creation, one of the best, does not require any programming skills.
- Simple Tags - quite useful for tagging using few different API platforms, generally I prefer Yahoo as it suggest keyword phrases. Can be excellent combination with WP Related Posts and SEO Smart Links for cross linking between relevant tags between posts.
- Akismet - everybody knows what this is about - SPAM protection, however be careful and always check your SPAM folder, Akismet very often put good comments there. Require API key, there is a free API key option for personal use.
- AdSense Optimizer - my favorite AdSense plugin, easy customization - require publisher ID, even channel Ad number is optional. AdSense optimizers can highly customize your ad placement, color schemes and also can be used as widget on some of the sidebars.
- MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer - WordPress platform send pings everytime you click update button, depends on the number of posts you do per day this can be dangerous and look like SPAM to search engines. MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer can help you to fix this problem.
- FeedBurner FeedSmith - automatically redirect your XML feed to your Feedburner feed, very useful, as feedburner feed can "have legs" and can be syndicated very easy.
- Some more - This are plugins that I also recommend as option, but can't say that appear in my top - TweetMeme - easy way for retweet, FacebooLike Box - display your Facebook fanpage on your blog, W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache, I can't really recommend any of this currently as both have number of problems and issues.
Share your experience and tell me what do you think about my list. Do I miss some really important WordPress plugin?
Of course there are many variation and very similar plugins, as well it depends much on the project which extra plugins will be installed, however in 2011, those were the mandatory plug-ins that I have installed on all blogs that I have developed.
Interested to learn more about other popular WordPress plugins? Why not check our WordPress plugin reviews section?