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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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29 Great WordPress Plugins That I Personally Recommend

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One of the cool benefits of using WordPress as a CMS (Content Management System) is the ability to use plugins which allows you to add on extra features with just a few clicks.

I am going to showcase the particular WordPress plugins I use on this blog and the reasons for doing so.

Akismet

It is one of the best spam filters going around. Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not.

Why? To stop spam from reaching your blog comments.

All in One SEO Pack

Out-of-the-box Search Engine Optimisation for your WordPress blog.

Why? To get better search engine ranking results.

Better Comments Manager

Better Comments manager allows you to view your comments post wise, it also allows you to reply to your comments from within the admin panel without you having to visit the site to respond to comments.

Why? To save time when replying to blog comments.

cforms

cforms offers unparalleled flexibility in deploying contact forms across your blog. Features include: comprehensive SPAM protection, Ajax support, Backup & Restore, Multi-Recipients, Role Manager support, Database tracking and many more.

Why? To easily create forms on your website. You can see this page as an example.

Chunk Urls for WordPress

This plugin shorten urls in comments so that they won’t break your site.

Why? Some commentators leave a full web address in their comments, this plugin shortens it to a smaller and still clickable link.

Commentluv

A plugin to show a link to the last post from the commenters blog in their comment. It will parse a feed from most sites that have a feed location specified in its head html. I have currently disabled this plugin in the past week due to a small glitch it made on my website (it put >> at the header of my site) however it is a great plugin.

Why? To give your commentators some link love and to encourage commenting.

FeedBurner FeedSmith

This plugin detects all ways to access your original WordPress feeds and redirects them to your FeedBurner feed so you can track every possible subscriber.

Why? To accurately record how many subscribers you have on your blog.

Google Ajax Search

Adds a Google AJAX Search box on your site. Options include searching your site through Google Blog Search and/or straight up Google, a second search option is available that is perfect for flickr.

Why? For a more accurate search result. You can find an example of this at the top right of this blog.

Google XML Sitemaps

This plugin will generate a sitemaps.org compatible sitemap of your WordPress blog which is supported by Ask.com, Google, MSN Search and YAHOO and autmatically upload it to Googles servers for you.

Why? Get your pages searched my Google more often.

Homepage Excerpts

This plugin shows excerpts on the home page rather than full posts. You can customise how many you want to display as full posts.

Why? Useful to shorten page load times on the front page.

My FTP

A WordPress FTP like plugin that can be used to manage folders and files via the WordPress admin panel.

Why? To save launching FTP Clients or logging into your control panel to upload files. This is useful if you travel a lot such as myself and are always in your admin panel.

NextGEN Gallery

This is a great plugin that allows you to have a customisable photo gallery with cool effects.

Why? Check out my graphic design portfolio to see it in action.

NoFollow Free

Remove the nofollow tag from your blog’s comments with a lot of options. Supports multilingual and a Top Commenters sidebar Widget.

Why? To encourage more commentating and to let loyal commentators benefit from commentating on your blog. Read more about nofollow here.

Ozh’ Admin Drop Down Menu

Replaces admin menus with a CSS dropdown menu bar. Saves lots of clicks and page loads!

Why? Save heaps of time by shortening your page loads and clicks in your WordPress Admin. A must have.

Random Redirect

Allows you to create a link to your blog which will redirect someone to a random post on your blog in a StumbleUpon-like fashion. You can also specific in the URL random_post_type or random_cat_id.

Why? So people can browse your website in a random manner. Pretty useful for someone new to the website or those looking for something random. You can test it by clicking here.

Robots Meta

This plugin allows you to add all the appropriate robots meta tags to your pages and feeds, disable unused archives and nofollow unnecessary links. You can read about robot meta tags here.

Why? To disable posts or pages that you do not want appearing in Google Search results.

RSS Feed Signature

Add a customised signature or tag-line to your RSS feed(s).

Why? You could use this for any reason. Personally I use it for copyright, ebook advertising and related posts.

Simple Tags

Extended Tagging for your blog. It features Auto Completion, Suggested Tags, Tag Cloud Widgets, Related Posts, Mass edit tags and more.

Why? A very powerful tagging system. The related posts feature is what I find most useful.

Subscribe To Comments

Subscribe to Comments is a plugin that allows commentators on your blog to check a box before commenting and get e-mail notification of further comments.

Why? It is one of the most popular WordPress plugins out there for the simple reason that it helps foster a community around your blog by encouraging commenters to come back and stay engaged in the dialog.

SRG Clean Archives

This plugin is designed to display your archive listings in a clean, uniform, single-query fashion that’s Search Engine friendly on a dedicated page or in your sidebar.You can see it in action on my blog.

Why? Never have to worry about updating your archives.

Twitter Updater

Updates Twitter when you create a new blog or publish one.

Why? Saves me time as I do not have to Twitter about new blog posts, It does it for me. I also have my Twitter updates sent to my facebook account automatically so advertising is all automated. Very useful.

Ultimate Google Analytics

Enable Google Analytics on your blog. Has options to also track external links, mailto links and links to downloads on your own site.

Why? To track your website stats in Google Analytics.

WordPress Automatic Upgrade

WordPress Automatic Upgrade allows a user to automatically upgrade the WordPress installation to the latest one provided by WordPress.org using the 5 steps provided in the wordpress upgrade instructions. It also has a one click automatic function.

Why? Save a lot of time and effort by using the one click upgrade option.

WP-Cache

A very fast caching module that speeds up your site. It’s composed of several modules, this plugin can configure and manage the whole system. You can even tweak the plugin to make your site even faster. Another option is  SuperCache however I am yet to figure out what plugin is better?

Why? To make your site run faster and more responsive.

WP-Polls

Adds an AJAX poll system to your WordPress blog. You can easily include a poll into your WordPress’s blog post/page. WP-Polls is extremely customizable via templates and css and there are tons of options for you to choose to ensure that WP-Polls runs the way you wanted. It supports multiple selection of answers too.

Why? To easily host polls such as the Mac or PC one I held earlier.

WP-Print

Displays a printable version of your WordPress blog’s post/page.

Why? Let your readers easily print your articles without your sidebars or advertising.

WordPress Database Backup

Backup your data automatically everyday!

Why? You should always have a backup of your WordPress blog. This is a must.

WP Widget Cache

Cache the output of your blog widgets. It will significantly reduce the sql queries to your database and speed up your site. Quite a new plugin which works great.

Why? To make your site run faster and more responsive. Works in conjuction with WP-Cache and SuperCache.

If you are after some more great WordPress Plugins I would check out this powerful list of wordpress plugins and this must have wordpress plugins post.

What are some other plugins that you couldn’t live without? Are there any here that could be replaced with something better?


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