We have built a ton of WordPress sites. Seriously, hundreds. Maybe thousands. Over time, we have developed a short list of go-to plugins. No matter what kind of WordPress site we’re making (a blog, a community, etc.) we start by downloading the latest version of these plugins. In our humble opinion, their features should be built into the WordPress Core.
Here is our list of must-have WordPress plugins:
- Alex King’s 404 Notifier. Ever wonder how many visitors are lost to a 404 page? Let’s face it, your site URL’s change from time to time, and people incorrectly link to you. Have the chance to fix that by being notified when a 404 error is received.
- Fix Database Plugin. Database errors happen, and they slow down your website’s load time. This plugin identifies errors and attempts to fix them.
- Auto-Hyperlink URLs. This can be a real time saver. This plugin automatically generates hyperlinks of the URL’s you place in posts.
- Google (XML) Sitemaps. What good is your exceptionally informative blog if nobody finds it? Step one to SEO is making sure the search engines are indexing your content regularly. Just make sure your robots.txt file is updated accordingly, this plugin does not address this.
- Sexy Bookmarks. This is the same plugin we use below our posts. (And they happen to be using the same theme as us). Super easy to setup with a handy AJAX settings page.
- Advanced Exerpt. This is the simplest way to modify what the “get_the_excerpt” template tag generates. You can change word count and even what html tags are dropped from the excerpt.
- Contact Form 7. The most versatile and easy to setup contact form plugin. It’s a little tricky to figure out the first few times, but once that time has passed, it is super easy to use.
- Akismet. Comes pre-installed in WordPress – but you have to set it up before it works. Saves loads of time by auto-identifying SPAM comments.
- Twitter Tools. The easiest (and most comprehensive) way to integrate your Twitter account and your WordPress blog.
- Wibiya. Read this post about why we love the Wibiya plugin/toolbar.