14 Recommended WordPress Plugins

wordpress-pluginsIt’s a gorgeous morning in London and while I’m sat here with the birds tweeting in the back ground researching a few more wordpress plugins for my blog, I thought I’d share some of the one’s that I currently have active.

Why 14 I hear you ask, well out of the many WP plugins that I use I would highly recommend the following 14.

I’ve listed the plugins in alphabetical order with the description that comes with them, my reason for choosing them and a link to the plugin page. For some of the plugins that I use, I specifically looked for ones with shortcode that could be manually placed into the code / post or page – not just widgets in the sidebar.

For this reason, I find them a lot easier to work with and more suited to the way I have my site set up.

1. Akismet

Used by millions, Akismet is quite possibly the best way in the world to protect your blog from comment and track-back spam. It keeps your site protected from spam even while you sleep.

To stop spam comments.

2. All in one Favicon

All in one Favicon management. Easily add a Favicon to your site and the WordPress admin pages. Complete with upload functionality. Supports all three Favicon types (ico,png,gif)

Add a cool image in the address bar.

3. All in One SEO Pack

Out-of-the-box SEO for your WordPress blog.

Helps spread the word and drive SEO (noticed a high increase in traffic since using it)

4. Booking Calendar

Online reservation and availability checking service for your site.

Used on my apartment page to take online bookings and display availability.

5. Facebook Likes You!

Facebook Likes You! is simple plugin which makes it easy to add Facebook Like button and widgetable Like box. It’s fully configurable, so you can decide where to append the button.

Very simple and easy to use. Shortcode and php enabled. Then use the margin and height options to re-position.

6. Google Calendar Events

Parses Google Calendar feeds and displays the events as a calendar grid or list on a page, post or widget.

Used on the about me page to display my coaching whereabouts / dates / times / locations etc. Easily customized via the styles.css file.

7. Google XML Sitemaps

This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com to better index your blog.

Does what it says on the tin.

8. No Self Pings

Keeps WordPress from sending pings to your own site.

I was getting a lot of pingbacks from my own tweets etc, this stops them.

9. PollDaddy Polls

Create and manage PollDaddy polls and ratings in WordPress

I’ve used it a couple of time – useful if I need to create a poll or survey on a post and record the results.

10. Portfolio Slideshow

A shortcode that inserts a clean and simple jQuery + cycle powered slideshow of all image attachments on a post or page. Use shortcode to activate.

A great plugin that I’ve used on all my snowboarding tips to display goofy (right footed) and regular (left footed) pictures of me demonstration tricks. After a little editing and shuffling around with the code it now produces a nice effect. Clicking on the picture simply switches between two pictures. Shortcode enables it to only produce this effect on pages / post that the shortcode is entered into.

11. Recent Posts Embed

Embed a list of recent posts in a page or a post with option to include/exclude specific categories.

Used on my tips and tricks page to highlight the most recent additions to this section of the site.

12. WordPress Importer

Import posts, pages, comments, custom fields, categories, and tags from a WordPress export file.

A useful tool when I transferred all my posts from my old site (at the time there were only 40 or so but worked, importing everything all ok).

13. WordPress Popular Posts

Showcases your most popular posts to your visitors on your blog’s sidebar. Use WordPress Popular Posts as a widget or place it anywhere on your theme using shortcode.

A nice way for me to display the top 3 most popular posts on my site – easily customized and shortcode enabled. Added option to include/exclude specific categories or pages.

14. WP Tweet Button

The WordPress implementation of the official Twitter Tweet Button.

Recently added and after a bit of experimentation it works very well. Also shortcode or via php.

Always check the developers website for help forums etc, but in the rare case you don’t find what you are looking for then feel free to ask me here and I’ll try and help out, whether is be shortcode or teething problems customizing the plugins.

Click here for a previous post that lists more about the design and code building to my website.