With the site redesign I figure it’s a good time to run through the WordPress plugins that I use. I try to keep the number of plugins to a minimum, looking for simplicity. With my interim design attempt I was up to 27 plugins (up from 15), which is one of the things I didn’t like. Even though I’ve added some new plugins, I also eliminated some so I’m still at 15 plugins after the site redesign.
For compatibility information – I’m using WordPress 3.2 and running the the Catalyst Theme.
Tried and True
These a plugins I’ve been using for a log time and they’ve served me well.
Akismet – an anti-spam plugin that shipped with WordPress (at least it did when I started). I haven’t had a need to switch.
Contextual Related Posts – This displays the related articles at the bottom of my posts. I’ve looked at other but this seems to give me the best results.
Fast Secure Contact Form – The provides the contact form on my About page. The plugin is actively updated and has features well beyond my needs for a simple contact form.
FeedBurner Feedsmith – I’ve used Feedburner since before it was acquired by Google. This plugin redirects the site feeds to Feedburner without having to do any coding.
Google XML Sitemaps – A plugin that automatically creates and updates site map files whenever a WordPress post or page is updated. This is one of my “must have” plugins, so much so that I’ve donated to the author to keep things going.
Hyper Cache – A caching plugin that’s server me well over time. I switched to it when a previous plugin had compatibility problems long ago.
No Self Pings – I do a lot of linking within my site and this plugin stops generating trackbacks that link within the site. Prior to this plugin I used to go in and delete them manually.
Ozh’ Who Sees Ads – This plugin allows hiding certain elements (usually ads) to regular visitors. A regular visitor can be defined within the plugin.
Redirection – I started using this plugin long ago when I did a major site redesign. In addition to being able to manually set up redirects this plugin will monitor posts & pages for URL changes and automatically add redirects to handle any URL changes.
New Kids on the Block
These plugins are recent additions to my website.
Google Analyticator – I use this plugin to add the code but not track my own visits. The plugin also adds a Google Analytics widget with the last 30 days of stats into the admin panel.
Mint – I used Mint Analytics long ago and decided to give it a try again. Mainly because it puts the site stats on my server under my control. This plugin adds the code to my website. I modified the plugin to ignore my own visits since it doesn’t do that out of the box. Ultimately I’ll look at including this code directly since the plugin doesn’t do anything beyond adding the line of code needed but it was quicker to go the plugin route.
Official StatCounter Plugin – Another analytics service I’m trying out is StatCounter and this plugin adds their code to my site. It can also be set to ignore my own visits. The plugin also integrates the StatCounter website into the WordPress admin panel.
Recently Popular and WordPress Popular Posts both keep track of which posts get viewed the most over time. Since both require collecting stats over time I’ll run them in parallel for awhile and will eventually pick one.
WPtouch Pro – This is a paid plugin that provides the mobile version of my website.
Ready When Needed
These two plugins aren’t needed all the time so stay deactivated until needed.
Regenerate Thumbnails - A huge time saver during the redesign, Allowed me to re-size all the thumbnails in about 10 minutes.
Simple “Coming soon” And “Under construction” – A plugin that allows logged on users through but shows a Coming Soon or Maintenance page to all others. Useful when doing maintenance or firs building the site.
Any plugins you’d recommend in place of these, or in addition to them?