5 WordPress Plugins I Can’t Live Without

I was looking at how many plugins I have installed here at WFHT and, for no apparent reason, started wondering what I would keep if I was told that I could only ever have 5 WordPress plugins. Makes me shudder just thinking about it – but I think I can come up with a list of my five fave plugins. Here goes…

1. Facebook Social Plugins – I only recently installed this one after seeing a retweet from Rand Fishkin. This handy little plugin makes it very easy to add a Facebook like button to all of your WordPress posts. You need an application ID, but the plugin points you right at the page where you can set up the application and I had it all done and running within 3 or 4 minutes.

2. StatPress Reloaded – I like to know how many visits I’m getting and what they are looking at… without digging around in Google Analytics. StatPress is great for getting just the basic information such as how many unique visitors came through each day/month and what pages they viewed. It does quite a bit more than that, but those are the areas that I tend to look at most often.

3. SexyBookmarks – You see that block of bookmarking links at the bottom of this post? That’s sexybookmarks! Very easy to configure and it supports many more bookmarking services than the ones you see below. It’s one of those cool plugins that you install, configure and then never have to touch again because it just… works.

4. Google XML Sitemaps – This one automatically generates an XML sitemap that all of the major search engines can read. An XML sitemap just makes it easier for the search engines to find all of the posts and pages on your blog. It is very configurable, allowing you to exclude specific categories or posts and you can even include pages on your site that aren’t directly linked to your blog.

5. What Would Seth Godin Do? – This is just a really cool plugin for encouraging people to do stuff such as subscribing to your RSS feed. It allows you to configure a brief message that is displayed to all new visitors to your blog. You configure how many times they will see the message (i.e. like for their first 5 visits to your blog) and then there’s a second message that you can display to return visitors after they have seen the first message however many times you set it to be displayed. The message can be displayed anywhere you want, such as before the post, after the post, on posts and pages or you can use a tag to display it in specific places.

So there’s my top five list. I have a bunch of other plugins that I use on my blogs but those ones are the plugins that I think are most valuable to me.

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