When it comes to WordPress, there are many things that separate it from the competition. My personal favorite, though, is the WordPress community, which has contributed all sorts of WordPress plugins to anyone using the WordPress software. These are available for free without any obligation.

Many plugins are situational, either for certain types of blogs, or for certain particular functions, and probably don’t have a place on every WordPress blog. There are a few, however, that every WordPress blog should be using in some form.

Here is my list of the top plugins all WordPress blogs should be using, in no particular order:

  • Related Posts – Arguably the most important plugin WordPress has to offer. This plugin shows a designated number of related entries below your post (or wherever you want to place it). This is ideal for anyone, but especially for those that get a lot of search engine traffic. It goes a long way to keep web surfers on your site.
  • Add Related Posts to Your Feed – Adds the above mentioned Related Posts to your feed (requires the Related Posts or Ultimate Tagging Warrior plugin(s) to be installed in order to work).
  • All-in-One SEO Pack – This is the ultimate SEO plugin for optimizing your blog for search engines. It automates the SEO process and gives you control over individual title, tags, and description information.
  • Permalink Redirect – This plugin does a permanent 301 redirect. This will ensure that search engines don’t penalize you for duplicate posts when they index your site (with and without the www, as well as posts that don’t include the trailing /). This plugin now also redirects your site’s default feed to your Feedburner feed and allows you to set up custom redirects.
  • WP-Contact Form – Many e-mail spammers search the web looking for e-mail addresses to use for spam purposes. Having your e-mail address available on somewhere on your website (including in the code somewhere) makes you vulnerable to these people. This plugin creates a contact form that people can use to contact you, so your e-mail address is not displayed. It also includes spam protection and some other optional features.
  • WP-DB Manager – This plugin gives you full control of your database, including how to back it up, restore it, and deleting tables when necessary. If this plugin proves to be to advanced, the alternative is WordPress Database Backup, which allows you to backup your database, but doesn’t make it easy to restore it if something comes up.
  • Google Sitemaps – Generates an XML-Sitemap file of your website that Google, Yahoo!, and MSN will use to index your blog. This ensures Google is aware of all of your new posts, as well as any updates you’ve made to posts that were previously indexed and need to be updated.
  • Akismet – This plugin comes by default with all current WordPress installations, but requires activation. You can obtain a free key to activate it. It will catch most spam and place it in a approval queue so you can view it before it is posted on to your website.
  • Bad Behavior – Prevents known spam bots from accessing your website and is compatible with Akismet (mentioned above).
  • Gamer’s Pack – As video game technology continues to increase, this plugin will be more and more important. This plugin that makes your website easily viewable on the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, and Sony PSP gaming systems. I’ve also found it helps people trying to view your website on a cellular phone.

So, there is my list. 10 plugins that I feel all WordPress users should use regardless of what type of blog they are running. I intentionally did not include any plugins that use comments, as many blogs do not accept comments, making these plugins not needed for them. My goal with this post was to cover only plugins that should be used regardless of the type of blog is being run.

Is there a plugin that you feel should have been included on this list? Let me know in the comments below!

Kyle Eslick is WordPress enthusiast who took his passion for WordPress to the next level in 2007 by launching WPHacks.com as a place to share hacks, tutorials, etc. Follow Kyle on Twitter @KyleEslick!

  1. B2 says:

    Nice list !
    For showing related posts, I use Simple Tags related posts function. Wich I think is more precise, because of using the tags system.

  2. Rob says:

    Hey, thanks a lot. I get lots of comment spam that gets past akismet. Hopefully this script detection will work.

    rob

  3. David Dunn says:

    Great list of plugins you have there, I’ve just installed three of these on my own blog so thanks!

  4. heru says:

    Many Thanks for the info, thats all what i need. I will try using Bad Behavior plugins.

  5. Omar Abid says:

    And for Adsense, how can i add it as you have done ??

  6. Linn says:

    this page and most popular plugins page actually made this site my favorite regarding my wordpress plugins.

    thanks once again for fantastic list. it makes me realise that i still need to install a few more to improve my blog.

    thanks for sharing

  7. It’s nice to see all the important plugins are listed at one place here. Usually I use 3 or 4 plugins for my wordpress blog. wp-spam free, google xml sitemap and wp breadcrumb. Why? because I dont want my wordpress are to heavy to load.

  8. A nice collection of plugins, have downloaded most of them (except videogaming, I don’t think I’ll need it now).

  9. Jim Spaulding says:

    Great List of plugins. It is very well thought out. You stayed true to the title. I’m going to install the 4 that I am missing from your list right now. Thank you!
    Sincerely,
    Jim Spaulding

    P.S. What caching/page load speed optimizing plugin(s) would you recommend for wp 2.7.1?

  10. Jaydon says:

    Really informative stuff, thanks.

  11. Matt says:

    Suddenly I feel un-savvy. Time to go install some plugins.
    But seriously, these plugins look/sound awesome. And most of them I’ve never heard of before.

  12. marius says:

    I think this one is must have for PRO webmasters, traffic exchange, so you can track all incoming and outgoing traffic and more

    http://www.wptoolz.com/wordpress/traffic-exchange-trade-plugin-texpro

  13. Viral says:

    hey the list you given .In that many links are not working.And thanks for other plugin list,Its really helpful

  14. Tivisiana says:

    Great list of plugins you have there, I’ve just installed three of these on my own blog so thanks!

  15. Aliza Shehpatii says:

    I m using almost all of these plugins, really helpful post for the newbies, keep writing such informative posts… love your blog…

    • twins2222 says:

      Kyle,

      Thank you for the list, I’ve downloaded them all and installed them with ease!

      Which plugins would you suggest we use when setting up our blogs based around adsense and alike PPC networks?

      Thank you in advance for your response!

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