Yesterday, I showcased a ton of your posts about your favorite WordPress Plugins, the ones you feel you can’t live without on your WordPress blogs.
Scanning through all those favorite WordPress Plugins lists, I found that a lot of you chose the same top favorite WordPress Plugins.
The top plugins listed most frequently by you, the WordPress fans, are:
- Akismet: Akismet, the comment spam fighter, has held the top position as a favorite WordPress Plugin practically since it’s release, surpassing other great comment spam fighting Plugins. If you want to win the battle against comment spam, then Akismet is your first line of defense. As of WordPress 2x, Akismet comes installed but not activated by default.
- WASABI Related Posts: Without a doubt, next in line as most popular is W.A.S.A.B.I.’s Related Posts WordPress Plugin. It’s simple to use and incredibly valuable as it offers your readers a list of related post on your blog, increasing navigation, increasing exposure of past posts, and giving the reader more options. Note: This Plugin is no longer supported by the author. If you would like to continue its support, contact the author.
- WordPress Database Backup: For some recent versions of WordPress, the WordPress Database Backup has been included. There has been a few security issues, but so far, it looks like inclusion in the WordPress core will not continue. Ilfilosofo has taken over support for the WordPress Database Backup, so you can find the latest version there. For those silly enough to not upgrade, this remains a valuable WordPress Plugin to include for backing up and protecting your precious blog data.
- Ultimate Tag Warrior WordPress Plugin: In 2005, tags were the hottest thing on the web. Christine Davis’ Ultimate Tag Warrior WordPress Plugin (UTW) gave the user powerful options for including and showcasing tags on WordPress blogs. You can include tags at the bottom of posts or within the post meta data section, on the sidebar, footer, or anywhere you want. You can even create tag clouds or tag heat maps. Many commented that they would like to see a powerful tagging feature like UTW included in the core of WordPress. And all agree that they “can’t tag without it”.
- Popularity Contest: The Popularity Content WordPress Plugin by Alex King is a great way to showcase your most popular posts. It uses page views, comments, and trackbacks, etc. to determine how popular one post is over another. It is simple to use and yet customizable. This is another great feature for highlighting more of your blog’s content and increasing navigation.
- WP-Cache: If you run a blog with a lot of traffic, posts, images, ads, and other bandwidth and database busters, WP-Cache works by caching WordPress pages and storing them in a static file for future requests instead of hitting the database to rebuild the page every time. This reduces loading and response times greatly. Many who’ve been hit by Slashdot, Digg, and other popularity social network services rely upon WP-Cache to help them handle the extreme load on their site. Many wish WP-Cache was included in the WordPress core, even though WordPress developers have worked hard to reduce response times. It’s still a favorite with heavy duty bloggers.
- Gravatars: Gravatars (Globally Recognized Avatars) are the pictures and icons seen next to comments on forums and blogs. This Plugin showcases the gravatars in your blog comments template. People just love these thumbnail pictures, connecting an image with a name and comment.
- Google Sitemap Generators: Google Sitemaps are XML files stored in the root of your blog’s directory and provide updated instructions to search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and MSN, to crawl your blog faster and easier. The most popular WordPress Plugin for creating Google Sitemaps continues to be Arne Brachnold’s Google Sitemaps Generator with Dagon Design’s Sitemap Generator Plugin for WordPress coming in a close second. Since sitemap technology seems to be “necessary” in today’s SEO world, many have commented that they think sitemap generation should go into the core programming of WordPress, just like pings.
- PodPress WordPress Plugin: A favorite WordPress Plugin for podcasters is PodPress. People love the ease of use, adding podcasts directly from the Write Post panel.
- Ryan Duff’s Contact Form WordPress Plugin: Ryan Duff’s Contact Form continues to be one of the most popular WordPress Plugins mentioned. Many say they can’t live without it, though Contact Form ][ by Chip.Cuccio.US is rising in popularity.
- Adhesive WordPress Plugin: Owen Winkler’s Adhesive WordPress Plugin is another one many believe should be in WordPress. The Plugin’s task is to allow you to set one or more posts to “stick” to the top of your front page of posts. Adhesive, also known as “sticky”, allows you to keep an announcement or a particularly important post at the top of your blog posts until you are ready to release it back into the chronological order.
- Subscribe to Comments: While feeds are slowly being embraced by web users, email continues to be the core method of communication, even for monitoring blogs. Subscribe to Comments WordPress Plugin adds a checkbox to your comments form which allows visitors to get onto an email list for notification of new comments on that post. On a personal note, do not have the checkbox enabled by default. Make it a conscious choice. Put it in a place where the commenter will see it before they click the submit button. Next to the email address in the comment form is best.
- Bad Behavior: Bad Behavior is the WordPress Plugin that “gives the finger to comment spam”, stopping comment spam before it hits your comments or comment spam catcher. It works very well with Spam Karma 2 and Akismet, and continues to be very popular in the war against blog comment spam.
- Spam Karma 2: Spam Karma continues to be a gem in the war against blog comment spam. It works very well with both Akismet and Bad Behavior, adding another level of protection against comment spam on your WordPress blogs.
- Global Translator WordPress Plugin by Nothing2Hide: The Global Translator WordPress Plugin by Nothing2Hide adds a row of international flags to your WordPress blog which, when clicked, translate the page you are reading into the language matching the flag. It doesn’t matter if the blog is in English, or French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, or Arabic. It will translate between the different languages with the click of a flag. It’s easy to install and doesn’t require CURL, which other translation Plugins and add-ons do. You can place the translation flag bar anywhere in your WordPress Theme to help users read your blog in other languages. Many say they’d love to see this feature added to WordPress.com blogs to support the international community there, opening up all the blogs in different languages.
- Customizable Post Listings WordPress Plugin: Considered by many to be the “kitchen sink” of WordPress Plugins, Customizable Post Listings by Scott Reilly remains at the top of favorite WordPress Plugins. It acts as a navigational aid to your blog, allowing you to generate lists of posts such as Recent Posts, Recently Commented Posts, Recently Modified Posts, Random Posts, and so much more. Many would love to see this turned into a customizable WordPress Widget to add these easily to a blog’s sidebar.
- Customizable Comment Listings WordPress Plugin: Considered by many as a companion to Reilly’s Customizable Post Listings, Customizable Comment Listings allows lists displaying Recent Comments, Pingbacks, Trackbacks, and other comment-related lists on your blog. This is another frequently mentioned as a candidate for WordPress Widgets.
There were a ton of runners up on the list of people’s most favorite WordPress Plugin, but these were consistently mentioned across the board.
I don’t know how popular, much loved, or highly recommended a WordPress Plugin has to be before it is selected for inclusion in the WordPress core programming. Many take it for granted that any Plugin they can’t live without should be included. However, it takes a lot of work to maintain a successful WordPress Plugin, and adding that to the WordPress core adds the Plugin author and the maintenance of the Plugin to the workload. So it must be pretty big “no one can live without this” in order to make the cut.
Do you agree with this list? Do you have a WordPress Plugin that you feel absolutely and totally must be on everyone’s favorite WordPress Plugin list?
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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network