One of the biggest reasons to use WordPress is flexibility – you can do just about anything with its themes, widgets and plug-ins. Here, we run down the top WordPress plug-ins:
Akismet comes pre-installed but you will have to register for a WordPress activation key. The main purpose of this plug-in is to filter out spam comments by filtering them against rules such as the poster's IP address. It is definitely a must-have because it will save you a lot of time later on filtering out spam.
All in One SEO Pack
This one does pretty much what it says. It makes all the main SEO changes you would want on a site such as:
- controlling meta keywords and description
- using no index on categories and archive
- fixing canonical urls
- rewriting the title tag format
Google XML Sitemaps
I don't know why WordPress hasn't built this one into the system yet but it is another must-have. It generates a search engine-readable sitemap of your entire site in both XML and GZip format.
Ultimate Google Analytics
Although it can be pretty easy to copy Google Analytics into the footer of a WordPress template, you will be missing out on all the extra features of this tool. These include more accurate stats by filtering out users logged in as an admin and automatic Google Analytics code upgrade.
WordPress Database Backup
Another simple but amazingly useful plug-in for WordPress, this one can set up scheduled backups and automatically email them to you. Even if you have confidence in your server and database, it's always good to have a backup.
Twitter for WordPress
There are a few good Twitter plug-ins for WordPress that offer similar features. The main reason to use one of them is the free back link to your site, which you can set up to post automatically whenever a new blog post is added. They also allow you to feed in tweets to share with your blog.