In today’s post we’re going to cover my top 8 favorite WordPress plugins. While I don’t use all of these on this site, I DO use them on at least one of my sites or blogs and I have personal experience with each one.
Oh and before we get started, one more thing. I won’t be including many of what I consider to be the “essentials,” for WordPress, such as Askimet. Those should go without saying.
This is a nifty plugin which adds a block of content beneath each blog post. It’s incredibly simple and is edited by making changes to the bottom_of_every_post.txt file which loads in the editor from the plugins menu.
You can add custom HTML and create an opt-in box after each post, or you could display a banner ad. The possibilities are endless with this one. Want to see an example of the plugin in action? Check out this blog post from one of my other sites that uses this plugin by clicking here. See the nice box below the post?
This would be great for any blog in the IM niche, for obvious reasons. Great spot to place a call to action.
With the sheer number of different social media plugins out there, trying to find the best one is a pain in the ass. After installing and testing out what seemed like a trillion, I have settled on this one as my favorite because it’s simple and functional and it works well.
Personally, I like to add <center> tags around the HTML in the plugin settings so that the social icons appear centered on the bottom of each page I include them on. Not much to say here, but you can see an example of the plugin at work by scrolling to the bottom of this post or any other page or post on this site.
This is an especially handy plugin, and there don’t seem to be many viable alternatives with similar functionality. Want to backup all the content from your WordPress site or blog? Install the plugin and it will generate static HTML files for all of your posts and pages.
This was really great for the websites I was no longer working on and which only needed a single sales page as a placeholder. What I did was create the sales page using OptimizePress, then I ran this plugin and simply uploaded the HTML version of the sales page to the main directory for my old, inactive sites. I was then able to simply uninstall WordPress for the sites I was no longer maintaining.
Two thumbs up for this one.
This is a cool plugin which will scrape Amazon product reviews and display them on your site. This is a great tool for anyone who uses Amazon Associates and reviews products on their blog. In addition to having an Amazon Associates affiliate ID, you will also need to sign up for an Amazon Web Services account.
Once you have one, you will need to provide your Access Key ID and your Secret Key in order to setup this plugin.
Once you’ve added those details, you simply insert a shortcode wherever you want reviews for a product to appear.
This nifty plugin inserts a customized HTML block of content above specific blog posts. I used this on one of my other sites to include an Amazon widget featuring products related to one of my posts, and it looks very nice. Not much more to say here, but it’s cool in the same way that bottom of every post is, in my opinion.
While I did say I would stay away from essential plugins, I can’t help but include Contact Form 7 in this list. It’s tied for first place as my favorite WordPress plugin for creating contact forms, along with AJAX Contact. Both get my seal of approval for simplicity, flexibility and ease of use.
Last but not least, I had to include Google (XML) Sitemaps Generator plugin because it walks the fine line between awesome and essential. Obviously this is great for SEO and you absolutely must have a sitemap, which makes this addition pretty damn valuable.
Also, have to give props to WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast for making it easy to optimize your WordPress content as you create it.
So which WordPress plugins are your favorites? Which ones did I leave out which are must-haves? Share in the comments.