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I’m Jacob Cass, the founder of JUST™ Creative. I’m a multi-disciplinary graphic designer, working with clients all around the world. My specialty is logo & brand identity design. JUST™ Get in touch.

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WordPress Plugins You Must Have

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Must Have WordPress Plugins

Below I have composed a list of the 20 must have wordpress plugins I am currently using with my WordPress self hosted blog.

Update: I have a new updated list of 29 must have wordpress plugins.

I have thoroughly researched blogging (and wordpress plugins) for the past 2 weeks, about 3 hours per day and have fiddled around with many, many plug ins and I have finally chosen these 21 great plugins to keep, which will aid in making my blog more search engine friendly, efficient and user friendly.

I hope that you find this information useful as I sure wish there was a full list like this when I starting up my blog. The list is in alphabetical order with links to the plug in page.

Any other comments or suggestions of great wordpress plugins would be appreciated.

The 21 Must have plug-ins

This plugin allows you to add MyBlogLog.com or Gravatar.com or Avatars.pl avatars to WordPress comments. By b4it.

Why? This is very useful for adding personalisation and a human feel to your comments.

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

Why? This is a must have for search engine optimisation, no questions asked.

This shows an overview of the recently active articles and the last people to comment on them. Original idea and code fixes contributed by Michael Heilemann.

Why? This is a must have for user interaction and gives readers more reason to comment on your blog.

Checks your posts for broken links and missing images and notifies you on the dashboard if any are found. By Janis Elsts.

Why? Why would you want broken links in your website? You need this to check your website with ease.

  • FeedBurner FeedSmith

Originally authored by Steve Smith, this plug-in detects all ways to access your original WordPress feeds and redirects them to your FeedBurner feed so you can track every possible subscriber. By FeedBurner.

Why? This easily tracks your readers in a simple and easy way, so you can track your readers more carefully.

Add Gravatars to your WordPress theme in a way that customizes easily and degrades nicely. By Austin Matzko.

Why? An alternative to 4Avatars. This is very useful or adding personalisation and a human feel to your blog.

This plugin will generate a sitemaps.org compatible sitemap of your WordPress blog which is supported by Ask.com, Google, MSN Search and YAHOO.

Why? So your website is easier to crawl and to become more Search Engine Friendly.

Adds a sidebar widget that shows the most popular posts. Requires the Sidebar Widgets plugin from Automattic and the Popularity Contest plugin by Alex King. By Thomas Watson Steen.

Why? So your users can find your most popular articles in a breeze.

Adds MyBlogLog widget to your blog. A community post. By MyBlogLog Team.

Why? So you can see what readers are looking at your blog and so you can interact with them easier.

A NextGENeration Photo gallery for the WEB2.0(beta). By NextGEN DEV-Team.

Why? Add galleries and photos to your blog with ease, easy resizing, thumbnails, galleries and more!

Remove the nofollow tag from your blogs comments with a lot of options customizable, per user type removal, per comments count removal etc: By Michele Marcucci.

Why? So your readers can benefit from commenting and reading your blog.

This will enable ranking of your posts by popularity; using the behaviour of your visitors to determine each posts popularity. You set a value (or use the default value) for every post view, comment, etc. and the popularity of your posts is calculated based on those values. By Alex King.

Why? So your users can find your most popular articles in a breeze. Readers will stay for longer.

Keeps track of what your visitors are searching for. By Bennett McElwee.

Why? So you know what your readers are looking for.

This powerful yet easy-to-install contact form features exceptional accessibility and usability while still providing extensive anti-spam and anti-exploit security features. A marriage of communication and peace-of-mind. By Mike Cherim and Mike Jolley.

Why? Self explanitory – security.

Simple Tags Extended Tagging for WordPress 2.3. Auto completion, Suggested Tags, Tag Cloud Widgets, Related Posts, Mass edit tags ! By Amaury BALMER.

Why? Have a better internal linking system inside your blog and your readers can find related articles easier.

Allows readers to receive notifications of new comments that are posted to an entry. Based on version 1 from Scriptygoddess By Mark Jaquith.

Why? So readers can received updates of a particular post without having to come back and check all the time.

Adds a sidebar widget to show the top commentators in your WP site. Adapted from Show Top Commentators plugin. By Lorna Timbah.

Why? This makes readers want to comment more on your blog as they get rewarded for it by being on your blog.

Ultimate Tag Warrior is a tagging plugin, thats heavy on tag visualisation. By Christine Davis.

Why? Same as simple tags, so you have a better internal linking system inside your blog and your readers can find related articles easier. It has some other nifty features as well.

Tracks views, post/page views, referrers, and clicks. Requires a WordPress.com API key. By Andy Skelton.

Why? So you have an idea of who, what, when, where, how, why and pretty much everything else you want to know about your visitors and site.

On-demand backup of your WordPress database. By Austin Matzko.

Why? Just incase your computer or the server blows up.

  • wp-cache

Very fast cache module. Its composed of several modules, this plugin can configure and manage the whole system. Once enabled, go to Options and select WP-Cache. By Ricardo Galli Granada.

Why? Have a faster blog.

  • Comment Relish

This plug in sends an email to people who comment on your blog for the first time.

Why? This is very useful in making sure they subscribe your blog and extends a warm welcome to your website.

Any more that I have missed? What do you think of my wordpress plug-ins?


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28 JUST™ Creative Comments

  • Riply Reply

    Ahoyz,

    Welcome to the world of blogging mate!

    It’s good to see another Graphics Developer/Designer/Forger hitting the world of blogging! You’re in for a ride! It’s addictive (though from your 3 hours a day search for plugins, i think you’ve realised that haha)

    If you like, to get some traffic your way, i’ll pop a link on my site bud?

    What kinda design are you into?

  • Jacob Cass Reply

    Hi Ripley,

    Thanks and congrats on being the first commenter :)

    What do you mean forger hitting the world of blogging? You mean how everyone just copies everyone else’s stuff and posts a link to their page?

    I wouldn’t deny a link but I haven’t really got a link thing going on my site, I’m keeping it free of ads and links until I get some good readers happening then I might think about adding some links so yeah.

    So how did you come accross this site? I have only just posted my first article today!

    I’m into all graphic design but I particularly like web design, logo design and print design (like posters, etc).

    I had a look at your ranting blog. I like the apple theme, I came across that when I was searching for my theme.

    Anyway later.

  • Riply Reply

    Ahoyz man,

    Sorry dude, if you must know, the reason I didn’t reply was I was “shitting my pants” for the better part of yesterday, so I was offline ;)

    What I meant was congrats on starting a blog, there was no referance to stealing/random links to other articles!

    By a link, i meant i’d put a link to your blog in my links section (blog roll in Word Press) if you’re keen? I used to run a lot of advertising on my personal blog, and you know what, it brought in almost no $, even though i was getting 100+ uniques a day, so i took it all off and now riply.co.za looks smart adn ad-free!

    I know you had only posted your 1st artical, that’s exactly how i found you.. i saw it posted on erm, where was it now? It was on of those blogging communities that you’re joined up with in the “newest blogs” sections. And seeing that Design catches my eye, i thought i’d pop in and drop u a line.

    The Apple Theme is a new addition, you missed my old design by a week. I like it because it’s clean and neat. I’m going to completely redesign it though, when I have a spare second or 10.

    What is it that you ‘do’ to pay the bills mate?

    It’s funny you mentioned that, i have had my blog running for ten months of so.. and in the beginning, there were almost no hits and ye, it was depressing. In about month 6, i started to post ‘current’ news and more ‘topical’ blogs.. it traffic spiked.
    I do however, appreciate your vision and i’m in the process of reverting back to my ‘live journal’ style blog at riply.co.za

  • Jacob Cass Reply

    Ripley:

    I would probably leave my link off your blog as you do have occasional explicit posts and I don’t really want to be associated with that but no hard feelings.

    What I do to pay the bills? I have an ebay store selling clothes and I do graphic & web design. Working from home is grand.

    In reply to the comment you left on my other post, graphic design is great to get into, but make sure you read up on it.

    All the best.

  • AzAkers Reply

    Wow, great list – thanks for sharing!

    I’m using many of these myself, and a few you have listed here really caught my eye – I’ll have to try them out as my blog starts to get rolling.

    Very helpful of you to list them – I added a list of plug-ins I use on my blog as well

  • Jacob Cass Reply

    No worries Azakers, i had a look at yours too :) I found other peoples lists quite handy when I first started out.

  • Justin Shattuck Reply

    And of course comment-relish :)

    Justin Shattuck’s last blog post..A Few Broken Elements

  • Jacob Cass Reply

    Justin, I have just added comment relish, with a good wrap up :) I am just about to configure mine as we speak.

  • Puneet Reply

    Thats very useful list.. i bookmarked this page for future reference.

    i have a prob if u can suggest something on it …

    my blog (url given) the main /blog is not cached in G … the inner pages are cached. any particular reason ? any guess or suggestion ?

    Puneet’s last blog post..Toyota Celica coming back in 2009

  • Jacob Cass Reply

    Hi Puneet,

    Glad you found it useful. You may also find my top 5 timesaving wordpress plugins useful. Link: http://justcreativedesign.com/2008/01/12/time-saving-wordpress-plugins/

    Sorry I really have no idea about the problem, have you tried the WordPress Support Forum?

    Jacob

  • Brian Yerkes Reply

    Hi Jacob

    After my first few weeks of playing with wordpress, I think I have decided on all the plugins I want right now. I wish I would have found this list when I started my search!

    I received an email from you after my first comment on your site , and thought that was a great idea. I hadn’t been able to find that plugin, but I see that it’s the last one on the list above! sweet!

    Cheers mate!

    Brian Yerkes’s last blog post..13 Signs Your Business is Failing

  • Jacob Cass Reply

    Yeah commment relish, its great! Glad you found the list useful. All the best blogging.

  • D.A.T. Reply

    great list! Thanks. I just found your blog and I must say you’ve mastered the art of great headlines. I really like the blog and I’ll be checking back often. Keep up the good work.

  • Thomas Wright Reply

    I know of a nice little plugin called SEO Friendly Images that automagically adds ‘title’ and ‘alt’ fields to images. Seeing as you post lots of (lovely) images it might be really useful for you.
    Tom

    Thomas Wrights last blog post..New site – tdwright.co.uk

  • Ryan Ray Reply

    I went and grabbed 5 of them atleast, I think I had the others in some manner! Great list

    Ryan Rays last blog post..Twitter Updates for 2008-06-15

  • ebay Reply

    Excellent article and excellent site!

  • Jordan Reply

    This list was great. I definitely made use of most of them you recommended. Thanks so much very helpful and great content.

  • Grunge Designer Reply

    Hey.. Lemme tell you something, your blog looks great and it has some really great content, including this.

    Subscribing to your RSS aswell ;)

    cheers

  • eldris Reply

    I just wanted to let you know, the link in your update to the newer list of 29 plugins is broken. I believe it should be http://justcreativedesign.com/2008/10/07/21-great-wordpress-plugins-that-i-personally-recommend/ ? That gets me to the article anyway :) Thanks for posting these lists, they’re very useful.

  • Jacob Cass Reply

    Thanks for that Eldris, fixed it up!

  • beef Reply

    I dont truly know what you talking about right here. This cant be the only way to think about this can it? It appears like you understand a lot, so why not explore it more? Make it more accessible to everyone else who might not agree with you? Youd get a lot more individuals behind this should you just stopped making common statements.

  • funwidmasti Reply

    Thanx for the list you have made..!!
    All the plugin should be used by every blogger..!!

  • Logo Reviews Reply

    Definitely, a good list. I use many of them and recommend it too, thanks.

  • Brandon Reply

    Here is an updated list of the Top 10 WordPress plugins: http://wordpressthemer.com/plugin-reviews/top-10-wordpress-plugins/

    Some are still in your list from four years ago!
    Cheers, and great blog!


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