One of the things that separate WordPress from all other blogging platforms out there is the fact that it is open source, and the benefits that go along with being open source. Another great reason which made me fall madly in love with WordPress is the thousands of plugins available. If you aren’t very good at coding, or good with PHP in particular since WordPress is coded in PHP, then the WordPress community has come to the rescue with WordPress plugins, which will allow just about anyone to easily add additional functionality to their blog.
It doesn’t matter what you want to accomplish on your blog, there is probably a WordPress plugin that will allow you to do it. With the free WordPress plugins that various authors code and contribute from around the globe, WordPress has gained a lot of flexibility, causing it to be the most attractive to potential bloggers. Right from free plugins, there are millions of premium/paid plugins available at very cheap prices for you to accomplish what you want. In this post, I’ll try to list as many free and premium plugins as possible which will make your life simpler and you can focus on your blogging.
Premium WordPress Plugins
- Advertising -
- uBillboard – Premium Slider – uBillboard is a premium quality jQuery-based slider with a nicely polished WordPress admin. It has got 18 transition effects and a random effect. The Transition effects are based on scaling, square and column animation, fading, etc. The admin interface is great looking and easy to use. Even per-slide options like showing time, description layout, transition effect and many other settings can be changed. Moreover it supports HTML markup in descriptions.
- OIO Publisher – OIO Publisher is a complete ad manager that enables you to maximize your revenue, save time, and keep you in complete control of your ad space. It removes all hassle for bloggers who manage advertising. Automates banners, text links, paid reviews, keep 100% of your revenue. You can also run 3rd party ad networks alongside your own ads.
- Affiliates -
- WordPress Affiliate Platform Plugin – Allows you to manage your affiliate links from within your WordPress dashboard. Also allows you to mask links and a number of other features. Real time reporting. All data (clicks, sales, commissions) are tracked, computed and displayed real-time with no delay.
- WP Ninja Affiliate – Similar to WP Affiliate Pro plugin, but provides some additional features including multiple keywords and caching. This plugin also enables you to cloak your links which makes this plugin a must buy.
- Maintenance -
- Backup Buddy – This is an all-in-one solution for backups, restoration, and migration. Comes in very handy while changing hosting servers as well as during wordpress crashes. The single backup file created by the plugin can be used with the importer script to quickly and easily restore your site on the same server or even migrate to a new host with different settings. With BackupBuddy you can schedule backups and have them sent off-site to Amazon S3, Rackspace Cloud, an FTP/FTPS account, or to your email.
- Gravity Forms – Over 100,000 WordPress Sites Are Already Using Gravity Forms and all those 100,000 buyers cannot be wrong. With Gravity Forms you can build complex, powerful contact forms in just minutes. It has got an excellent and easy to use visual form editor with multi-page form support.
- SEO -
- Scribe SEO – Incredible full featured WordPress plugin which analyzes your posts and offers tips for improving your on-page search engine optimization (seo).
- SEO Pressor – SEOPressor is like an SEO expert standing beside you, intelligently optimize your website to rank high on search engines and automatically attract free organic traffic automatically.
- Video -
- My Video Poster – It is a premium plugin that automatically publishes any videos you uploaded to YouTube on your WordPress website/blog.
- Websites -
- WP Review Engine – WP Review Engine is a theme and plugin combination allowing you to create a fully featured website which makes it easy to create a review about products, including thumbnail images, and link out the products. It is and ideal plugin for affiliate marketers who want to quickly setup a wordpress blog and start promoting products by reviewing them.
- WP Review Site – Another plugin similar to WP Review Engine. With WP Review Site, simply activate the theme and plugin to create a full-featured review website. Without plugins like WP Review Site, creating review sites was never so easy.
Free WordPress Plugins
- Admin Tools -
- GoCodes – This plugin easily helps you create redirects from your WordPress Dashboard that point anywhere. Great for hiding affiliate links and can be an easy alternative for the WordPress Ninja Affiliate plugin with the difference that you won’t get as many features as the Ninja Affiliate plugin.
- Google XML Sitemaps – This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your blog. The plugin supports all kinds of WordPress generated pages as well as custom URLs. Additionally it notifies all major search engines every time you create a post about the new content.
- WP Greet Box – This is a very useful plugin to greet your valuable visitors with a custom message based on the source from where he/she arrived to your blog. It identifies where traffic is being referred from and displays the appropriate welcome message to them, encouraging to subscribe to your feed, Digg or Stumble your posts, etc.
- MobilePress – The plugin allows WordPress theme developers to create custom mobile themes for MobilePress enabled blogs. Theme designers can create specific iPhone themes or generic mobile themes for other mobile devices.
- MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer – Whenever a blog pings, many background processes happen which get your blog quickly indexed by search engines as well as bringing traffic from many other sources. MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer plugin” corrects WordPress’s pinging system and prevents your blog getting banned by the Pinging services.
- WP-o-Matic – Though I personally do not support and encourage autoblogs, but still this plugin is for autobloggers and is a very good free alternative to the premium and most effective plugin called WP Robot. It makes autoblogging a snap by automatically creating posts from the RSS/Atom feeds you choose, which are organized into campaigns.
- WP-DBManager – This plugin gives you full control over your WordPress database backups. Allows you to optimize database, repair database, backup database, restore database, delete backup database, drop/empty tables and run selected queries. Supports automatic scheduling of backing up, optimizing and repairing of database. This little gem is amazing for backing up your website. It actually has quite a few functions that it can perform but perhaps its most impressive feature is its ability to email the entire WordPress database to me every day.
- W3 Total Cache – This WordPress plugin is great for two reasons. First, it makes your pages load way faster. Second, since it stores static versions of your site, it requires much less CPU processing than using WordPress all by itself.
- Advertising -
- Max Banner Ads – Plugin that lets you control your advertising from the WordPress dashboard. Also allows you to rotate multiple advertisements in a single spot.
- Authors -
- User Access Manager – With the “User Access Manager”-plugin you can manage the access to your posts, pages and files. You only create a user group, put registered users to this and set up the rights for this group. From now on the post/page is only accessible and writable for the specified group. This plugin is useful if you need a member area or a private section at your blog or you want that other people can write at your blog but not everywhere.
- User Role Editor – User Role Editor WordPress plugin makes the role capabilities changing easy. You can change any standard WordPress user role (except administrator).
- Capability Manager – The Capability Manager plugin provides a simple way to manage role capabilities. Using it, you will be able to change the capabilities of any role, add new roles, copy existing roles into new ones, and add new capabilities to existing roles.
- Comments -
- CommentLuv – This plugin will visit the site of the comment author while they type their comment and retrieve a selection of their last blog posts, tweets or digg submissions which they can choose to include at the bottom of their comment when they click submit. It has been found to increase comments and the community spirit for the thousands of blogs that have installed it. With a simple install you will immediately start to find new and interesting blog posts, tweets and diggs from your own blog and community.
- Top Commentators Widget – Allows you to display your top commentators automatically in a place of your choosing. Great for encouraging comments.
- Subscribe to Comments – Allows readers to receive e-mail notifications when a follow up comment is left.
- Subscribe To Comments Reloaded – Subscribe to Comments Reloaded is a robust plugin that enables commenters to sign up for e-mail notification of subsequent entries. The plugin includes a full-featured subscription manager that your commenters can use to unsubscribe to certain posts or suspend all notifications.
- Downloads -
- Download Manager – This plugin allows you to manage your downloads from the WordPress dashboard.
- Feeds -
- Yet Another Related Posts Plugin – Display a list of related entries on your site and feeds based on a unique algorithm. Display related posts in your RSS and Atom feeds with custom display options.
- Forums -
- Mingle Forum – Mingle Forum allows you to easily and quickly put a Forum on your WordPress site/blog. It has been modified to be lightweight, solid, secure, quick to setup, easy to use, and best of all it now integrates seamlessly with or without the Mingle social networking plugin.
- WP Forum Server – A complete forum system for your wordpress blog. The forum is a plugin, so no additional work is needed to integrate it into your site.
- Maintenance -
- ServerBuddy – ServerBuddy tests server configuration to look for problems with hosting configuration and determine compatibility with various WordPress themes and plugins. Additionally it provides easy to understand explanations of various server settings and generates reports and samples of what to ask your hosting provider if a problem is found with any server configuration that needs fixed. ServerBuddy is designed to be extremely powerful but still provide information in an easy to understand way for even a novice.
- Maintenance Mode – Adds a splash page to your blog that lets visitors know your blog is down for maintenance. Logged in administrators gets full access to the blog including the front-end. Visitors will see a message like “Maintenance Mode – SITE is currently undergoing scheduled maintenance. Please try back in 60 minutes. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
- Miscellaneous -
- Instant Weekly Roundup – Instant Weekly Roundup is a free WordPress Plugin which will help you create the weekly or monthly or any span roundups of your blog posts in a few mouse clicks and within some seconds. It would help you to write, order, design and post such kind of roundup post in no time; it is simple and most easy.
- WP-eCommerce – Plugin that allows you to create an online shop on your WordPress blog.
- Contact Commenters – Improves your interaction levels with commenters and hence increases your readership by contacting selected set of commenters via email from the ‘manage’ page. This plugin does not send around auto responders and it consumes server resources only at the time of sending mails! Moreover, no WordPress tables are affected nor is any new table added (which also means that no history is maintained regarding the mails sent).
- Related Posts -
- Similar Posts – Similar Posts displays a list of posts that are similar or related to the current posts. The list can be customized in many ways. Similarity is judged according to a post’s title, content, and tags and you can adjust the balance of factors to fit your own blog.
- Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) – Currently the ultimate/best related posts plugin available for WordPress users. Includes related posts for your feed as well!
- SEO –
- All-in-One SEO Pack – The Ultimate SEO WordPress plugin. Allows you to set your homepage meta information and automatically generate custom meta information for your individual posts.
- WordPress SEO – WordPress SEO is the most complete WordPress SEO plugin that exists today for WordPress.org users. It incorporates everything from a snippet preview that helps you optimize your page titles, meta descriptions and keywords to XML sitemaps, and loads of optimization options in between.
NOTE: This plugin is still in beta. While you can download it, there are absolutely no guarantees and you should back up before you use it.
- Redirection – Redirection is a WordPress plugin to manage 301 redirections and keep track of 404 errors without requiring knowledge of Apache .htaccess files.
- Tags -
- Better Tags Manager – Allows you to better manage your tags, as well as convert your categories to tags.
- Simple Tags – Add some tools for taxonomies : Terms suggestion, Mass Edit Terms, Auto link Terms, Ajax Auto completion, Click Terms, Auto terms, advanced term management.
- Video -
- All-in-One Video Pack – All-in-One Video Pack includes every functionality you might need for video and rich-media, including the ability to upload/ record/import videos directly to your post, edit and remix content with an online video editor, enable video responses, manage and track your video content, create playlists, etc.
There is also another great list of plugins for use in the year 2011 at SiteSketch101. You must check out the post by Nicholas.
I will keep this post updated as and when I come across some top wordpress plugins. In the meantime, all my readers are welcome to suggest other plugins which they feel are very useful and helpful to the community.