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WordPress Plugins Recommendation List

I always wanted to write about WordPress plugins, it’s like Firefox: it works well out-of-box, but the goodies are all in the plugins (Firefox call them extensions). Some day in the future I’ll probably write about my 40 odd Firefox extensions, but today, let me talk about what plugins I have installed on my current blog. :)

Before I go on talking about the plugins, you should know that this by no means is a complete list of useful plugins even though I have tried much more than what is in the list.

Here it begins, the list is in alphabetic order.

AJAX Comments


This is probably one of the first plugins I looked for and installed. In my opinion everyone should install this, it creates a far more user-friendly user experience. In case you don’t know what AJAX is, it is basically a combination of existing technologies to create refresh-less web pages. You post your comment and get the feedback within the same page without having to reload it.

All in One SEO Pack


SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It is a commonly used technique to increase website rankings in search engines such as Google and Yahoo. I personally build all websites with SEO in mind. WordPress by default does not do enough SEO optimisations, by turning on fancy permalinks will improve it but still not enough. This plugin inserts keywords and other META tags in runtime, so the keywords are always related to the content of the current page.

cforms II


As the name suggests, cforms II is a form creation plugin. The purpose and only purpose of this plugin, is to create web forms. Navigate to the ‘About‘ section and you will see that my contact form is built by cforms II. :)

It is *very* simple to use. You build the form, and then simply insert the code (one line) wherever you want the form to be. The latest version is packaged with heaps of different styles, and if you are still not happy you may always make your own.

Chunk Urls for WordPress


Sometimes users will post some extremely long URLs in the comments. Well it isn’t their fault, a URL is one string, so it will take the entire horizontal space without word breaking. This plugin shortens extremely long URLs so they won’t break your page design. Very useful!

Defensio Anti-Spam


Defensio is an anti-spam tools similar to Akismet. Even though Akismet is bundled with WordPress, I find Defensio to be more effective in most circumstances.

Digg This


The digg buttons you see on the page are created by this plugin. Before settling down with this plugin, I have researched a lot and tried all of the available similar solutions. This is the only one that meets my requirement.

First of all, it has to produce valid HTML markups. I have tried a few plugins that feature-wise is perfect, but produce invalid HTML markups. :(

Also, the plugin needs to be ‘smart’. This is not a high profile website, so there is no reason to display digg buttons in every single post. Only the ones have been dugg need to be displayed (as you can see on this blog).

I should probably mention the ‘runner-up’: DiggClick. It works really well, everything is automatic and can be configured in the back-end (Digg This has to be configured manually by editing files). However, the version I have (1.3b) has a bug: it won’t correctly detect which posts have been dugg, so there is no way to display digg buttons on only the dugg ones. The author’s website is not accessible any more so I was enable to get hold of the latest version (1.7). What a shame.

FeedBurner FeedSmith

RSS feed plugin. Some people prefer to use the default RSS interfaces but I like FeedBurner. :)


Google Analyticator


If you use Google Analytics, then this is very handy tool for you. It automatically inserts the required JavaScript code to your templates, and there are some options you can configure too.

Google XML Sitemaps


The name says all. Having an up-to-date sitemap is good for SEO. :)

Simple Tags


Simple Tags is very simple to use, but not so simple in terms of features! Not only can you edit tags in the post interface (with features such as suggested tags), but it also provides a dedicated interface for mass edit! It is a great tool to create and manage your post tags! You know what, this is part of the SEO strategy too: cross referencing posts!



Finding a perfect social bookmarking plugin isn’t easy. I spent a few hours researching and trying different plugins just like I did with the digg button. Finally I nailed down to this one. Same reason to the digg button: I need it to produce valid HTML. Furthermore, the plugin has to be configurable, transparent (no middle-man services) and easy to use. As you can see on this blog, the generated icons are very clean, it won’t distract the readers too much (hopefully!).

SyntaxHighlighter Plus


Ah ha! This is the plugin I released two months ago, it was based on the already useful SyntaxHighlighter. For more information just check out the link. :) Since I am a developer, I frequently need to post code snippets, this plugin is a must for me.

By the way, I also did a lot of research before I went on working on this particular one. Other similar plugins just don’t seem to produce the same quality of code highlight and/or HTML markups. Stats


Tracks views, post/page views, referrers, and clicks. Requires a API key. It is very useful for quickly finding out your blog stats. For more thorough stats and reports, I recommend using Google Analytics.



Database backup and manipulation tool. It seems a little bit redundant if you have a powerful control panel such as cPanel (which has these features built in, and are more powerful). Nevertheless it is a very convenient tool. I often choose to optimise my database tables in WP-DBManager, just so that I don’t have to open another Firefox tab for PhpMyAdmin.

WP 2.3 Related Posts


This plugin creates related posts via tags. Another useful SEO tool. :)

WP Super Cache


In my opinion the best cache plugin for WordPress! It is especially useful for high profile websites. By turning the cache on, you will have a good chance surviving from a Digg Effect. ;)

Alright, so these are all the plugins I currently installed. Feel free to share your experience, or if you have other useful plugins you wanted to recommend, just drop a comment at anytime! :D

  • Digg
  • DZone
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Reddit
  • Slashdot
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Twitter

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Comments Section

2 Responses to “WordPress Plugins Recommendation List”

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  1. 1

    Those’re great tools, at my blog, I use All in One SEO Pack, FeedBurner FeedSmith, Google XML Sitemaps. That my favorites. Maybe I’ll evaluate “digg this”, but I use share this plugin.
    Thanks by the tips,

  2. 2

    To my mind WordPress t5ools are not so great. A qualified developer should provide fresh ideas and original solutions instead of using the existings ones.

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