With over 20,000 WordPress plugins available on WordPress.org — and who knows how many there are available scattered throughout the Internet — how do you decide which ones deserve your attention? One thing I look at is the ratings and people have given it. I also pay attention to the reputation of the developer. If it’s a premium (paid) plugin, I also look at the guarantee to see if I can get a refund if it doesn’t measure up to its description
13 of my favorite WordPress plugins
All of my sites have either WordPress SEO by Yoast or All in One SEO. The former plugin works great on its own, providing page analysis with the Flesch Reading Ease score and keyword density, There are also advanced settings for the robots.txt file, your sitemap and 301 redirects. Additionally, there is a place to indicate a different description for Facebook and Google+ other than the meta description. On the sites where I use All in One SEO, I also use a premium plugin, PushButton SEO. There’s a “lite” version, if you’d like to try it out.
After SEO WordPress plugins, editor plugins are my next favorite. Since I have been a web developer for more than 15 years, I’m used to complicated interfaces. (Not that designing web pages requires more than a text editor. It’s just a lot easier.) I like the ability to tweak pages and use all the word processor features I’m used to having. For those reasons alone, I must have either TinyMCE Advanced or Ultimate TinyMCE WordPress plugins. [NOTE: Ultimate TinyMCE no longer works with the latest version of WordPress. Use WP Edit instead.] I also like to use Black Studio TinyMCE Widget so that I have the full editing screen on text widgets.
My favorite social media-related plugins are Subscription Options, Shareaholic, Pinterest “Pin It” Button and until recently TweetMeme Retweet (no longer being developed – replaced with standard Twitter button).
I also must have a caching WordPress plugin (W3 Total Cache [preferred] or WP SuperCache) and WP DBManager to keep my database clean, optimized and regularly backed up and emailed to me.
I’ve tried quite a few different plugins to assist with advertising placement and management. My current favorite is AdRotate which I prefer over Max Banner Ad Pro (a premium WordPress plugin). Besides the option to place in posts and pages, you can also place in widgets and templates quite easily with AdRotate. You also can track expiration dates, ad groups for cycling through a set of ads and ad blocks for displaying a set of ads together. I’m looking forward to seeing how Thesis 2.0 will allow me to control ad placement with this plugin even easier.
What are your favorite WordPress plugins? Let me know below.