Nov
13
2010

Essential WordPress plugins

Written by Dave Nicholls. Tags: , ,

One of the best things about WordPress is the vast number of plugins available to add functionality to your site.

The free and open nature of WordPress makes it very easy for a developer to create a plugin and share it with the community.

In fact, it’s very easy to end up with 10, 20 or even more plugins in your WordPress site which make it dance, sing and make tea. Just do a search to see what we mean. However, this can lead to problems:

  • What happens in a few months when WordPress is updated? Maybe one plugin stops working. Oh, the developer hasn’t updated the plugin, but that’s OK, we didn’t really need that one. We’ll just quickly remove that element from the design, how hard can it be?
  • Ah, but now that one doesn’t work and we really like the way it makes the Facebook icon float over the content in a slightly annoying way. Well, the WordPress update notes don’t mention any really serious security issues….
  • The really cool plugin that automatically spams Twitter posts unique and interesting tweets needs updating. Done. Oh, now the Facebook plugin has stopped working… some kind of conflict with the Twitter one?
  • The developer of the Facebook plugin has updated it, yay! Unfortunately it only works with the latest version of WordPress and the other plugins have stopped working.

You get the idea. Plugins are a really easy way to add functionality, but they can lead to lots of maintenance headaches down line.

It may be better to stick to  a few essential plugins and add the fancy stuff in the theme design.

Some plugins which we think are essential are:

  1. All in One SEO Pack helps you to optimise your content for search engines without being too technical.
  2. Akismet protects your website from comment and trackback spam
  3. Jetpack Provides a number of features available to WordPress.com users for self hosted WordPress installs.
  4. Gravity Forms. Every website needs a form and Gravity Forms is a very easy to use plugin for creating and managing forms.
  5. Better WP Security adds extra layers of security to the basic WordPress install.

 

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