Plugins are a way of extending the functionality of a WordPress-based website. You start with a basic template, and build it using plugins that provide information or services for your readers.
These are the plugins I think no website should be without!
- Google Analytics for WordPress. This plugin allows you to set up a stats-monitoring interface using Google’s powerful Analytics tool (you will need a gmail address to an Analytics account).
- WP Spam Free. An extremely powerful anti-spam plugin that virtually eliminates comment spam.
- WordPress SEO by Yoast. Awesome plugin that gives you the power to pump up your website’s SEO and boost your search engine rankings. Includes automatic sitemap generator.
- Contact form. A simple but effective plugin that allows visitors to fill out a contact form, which is then emailed to you.
- PageMash. Ordering of pages can be a finnicky business without this plugin, which allows you to drag and drop instead of assigning individual numeric orders to page.
These are plugins that are not essential to the general running of your website, but will optimise the performance of your website in some way. This is just a small sample of the thousands of plugins that are out there. I will be expanding this list as I go along, but if your website requires a specific kind of functionality, I can usually find a plugin to match it!
- Adsense Manager. Control and arrange your AdSense & Referral blocks on your website. Place google ads on your sidebar/s, inside posts, and configure your own colour scheme.
- Gravity Forms. This plugin allows for much more flexibility than the basic contact form. Create individual forms for specific purposes, such as competition entry forms, contact forms for specific recipients, and so on.
- Subscribe to comments. Allows readers to receive notifications of new comments
- Feedburner Feedsmith. feeds and redirects them to your FeedBurner feed so you can track every possible subscriber.
- Events Calendar. A simple but effective Calendar plugin for WordPress that allows you to manage your events and appointments and display them to the world on your website.
SOCIAL NETWORKING / BOOKMARKING
- TweetMeme. The TweetMeme retweet button easily allows your blog to be retweeted. The button also provides a current count of how many times your story has been retweeted throughout twitter. (details)
- Share and Follow. This plugin gives links to the most prominent Social Networking sites for sharing and following, presented in many different formats (widgets/shortcode/template tag/auto added).
- WP-forecast. A customisable weather forecast plugin showing weather-data from accuweather.com. Display current conditions and forecast conditions on your sidebar (supports multiple location forecasts).
- Related Posts. This handy customisable plugin allows you to display a list of related entries for posts on your website, resulting in deeper navigation and more time spent on your website.
- Add to Any. Helps readers share, save, and bookmark your posts and pages using any service, such as Delicious, Digg, Facebook, MySpace, and all the rest.
- User Access Manager. With this plugin you can manage the access to your posts, pages and files. This plugin is useful if you need a member area or a private section in your website or you want visitors to be able to read/write articles.
- GTranslate. This module uses Google Translate automatic translation service to translate your web page with Google power. With 58 available languages your site will be available to more than 98% of internet users.
- Flickr Widget. If you have a Flickr account, you can display your latest photos on your sidebar.
- NextGEN Gallery. A very customisable and flexible photo gallery that allows you to upload images, create galleries and albums and much more. Includes a slideshow option.