Top Twenty Essential WordPress Plugins

h1 October 22nd, 2008

I was looking for an essential wordpress plugins list and found that there are many such lists. Rather than relying on one list I decided to create a composite list of my own.

Why would I want to do this? I have recently started to actively administer four WordPress Blogs, three public and one private. The three public Blogs are:

Some time ago I saw a list of essential WordPress plugins, so I thought I should find it again. As I found, there are many such lists. From these lists I’ve created a Top Twenty List of Essential WordPress Plugins.

The ten lists I consulted from my google search were compiled by:

  1. Design Meme
  2. David Dairey
  3. Mindful Geek
  4. Michael Gray
  5. Jiannis Sotiropoulos
  6. Donna Fontenot
  7. Quick Online Tips
  8. Ben Yoskovitz
  9. Adam Hirsch
  10. Tech Roam

I also consulted Lists of Essential WordPress Plug-ins. Some of these lists showed up on google (listed above). The other lists were compiled by:

I’ve written a paper detailing how I ordered the plugins. The results, the top twenty essential WordPress plugins are listed below.

I put this list together to see what is realy essential in terms of plugins. The advice I’ve read is don’t go overboard with plugins. So my advice is don’t load all of these.

I’ve also added advice on increasing the memory limit available to WordPress after the tables below.

The top twenty plugins appeared in from 3 to 12 lists (out of 18). Where several appeared in the same number of lists I compared the place they occured in the individual lists to obtain an overall position.

count rank plugin
12 1 Google (XML) Sitemaps
10 2 Akismet – stop comment spam
8 3 Subscribe to comments
8 4 Adsense-Deluxe – add google ads to posts
8 5 FeedBurner FeedSmith – ease integraition with feedburner
6 6 WP-Cache 2.0
6 7 WordPress Database Backup – automate db backups
6 8 WP-ContactForm – way to contact without emailing
6 9 Sociable – list most social bookmarking sites
4 10 Related Posts
3 11 Wordpress-reports – agregate admin stats
3 12 Optimal Title – reorder as: Subject – Blog name
3 13 Simple Tags – Technorati Tags
3 14 WP-Cron – scheduled tasks
3 15 Get Recent Comments
3 16 flickrRSS for WordPress
3 17 MyAvatars
3 18 SEO Title Tag – less power than HeadSpace
3 19 wp-notable – add social bookmarking icons
3 20 WordPress Mobile Edition – small version for mobile users

As well as the Top Twenty Essential WordPress Plugins, here are the runners up, the next twenty essential WordPress Plugins. These plugins occured in two lists each.

count rank plugin
2 21 All in one SEO Pack
2 22= Gravatar
2 22= aLinks – auto link keywords
2 24= wp-super cache
2 24= Ultimate Tag Warrior – aids with Technorati tags
2 26 Simple Tags – manage & suggestions
2 27 Similar posts
2 28 Trackback Validator – prevent trackback spam
2 29 Static Front Page – use wp for conventional website
2 30 Popularity Contest – which posts are most popular?
2 31 Subscribe me – add variety of “subcribe me” via …
2 32 PodPress – add podcasts (mp3s)
2 33 Search Meter – what people are searching for on site
2 34 Feed Footer – add ads, © or custom messages
2 35 Sitemap Generator – HTML sitemap
2 36 Head META Description
2 37 WP-No Ping Wait – speeds posting
2 38 Enforce www. Preference – 301 redirects for index.php & force www. or not www.
2 39 Sidebar Widgets – arrange sidebar by drag-and-drop
2 40 Related Entries

As well as plugins, Market Federation suggests:

Plugins can take a lot of resources, especially memory and many bloggers complain about their memory limit and wordpress cache system failing. Most shared hosting providers will limit the memory usage to 8Mb but you can alter this with a little trick. Login to your FTP account and find .htaccess file in your public_html directory. If you can’t find it then you will have to create it otherwise edit it and add the following line

php_value memory_limit 12M

This increases your memory limit to 12Mb which is more than enough for wordpress.

An alternative to using the .htaccess file would be to add the following to the wp-config.php file. However I’m lead to believe that this will only work if your hosting provider is not using PHP in safe_mode, and you would need to ensure that this is retained on any WordPress upgrade.

ini_set("memory_limit","12M");

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