These are the plugins I add to every WordPress site I build for clients – current as of February 2011. Things change and this list evolves on a fairly regular basis as old plugins lose support and new ones come on the scene.

  • Akismet – To help reduce spam comments. Since this is now a paid plugin, I’ve started trying other free plugins, right now the one of choice is Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin. Growmap adds a checkbox to the comment form to confirm whether the commenter is human. Seems to work well in conjunction with Bad Behavior (see below).
  • All In One SEO PackI’m a longtime user of this plugin; I recently tried another that’s getting good feedback but it slowed my admin site to a standstill. Adds a meta title and description box to every post and page and has other fine tuning for search engine optimization.
  • Antivirus – Projects your blog against spam injections and viruses. Manage under the Settings menu in the admin sidebar and tick the checkbox for ‘Enable the daily antivirus scan.’
  • Bad Behavior – This plugin blocks spambots before content is served by looking at the delivery method and software being used by the commenter. It also connects to Project Honey Pot, a distributed system for catching spammers and spambots that works by embedding software in your website that collects info about IP addresses used for harvesting email for spam. Should be used with a traditional comment spam catcher.
  • Better Delete Revision + Revision ControlDelete old revisions to clean up your site. Use Revision Control to limit the number of post and page revisions that will be saved.
  • Broken Link Checker – It will let you update or delete broken links from a single admin page.
  • Google Analyticator – adds the site owner’s Analytics tracking code to each page and post.
  • Google XML Sitemaps – Creates an .xml sitemap and notifies Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com when content is updated.
  • Login Lockdown – Limits the number of failed logins within a certain time period and records the IP address and timestamp of each failed login.
  • Secure WordPressRemoves common security holes at login, in theme files and in the admin area for non-admins.
  • TinyMCE AdvancedAdds more icons to the post/page visual editor box, including tables. Makes it a lot easier for the client to use if they don’t know HTML.
  • Widget Logicallows the use of conditional tags for widgets to control where they appear.
  • W3 Total Cache – Speeds up a site with browser, page, object, database caching and minify features.
  • WP-DBManager – This plugin helps you optimize and repair your database. Depending on the server settings you may be able to do backups and restores as well (sometimes backup doesn’t work correctly on some hosts). You can schedule optimization and backups to run automatically.
  • WPsyslog – For tracking all site activity and system events.
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Akismet – To help reduce spam comments. Since this is now a paid plugin, I’ve started trying other free plugins, right now it’s Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin. Growmap adds a checkbox to the comment form to confirm whether the commenter is human. Seems to work well in conjunction with Bad Behavior.

All In One SEO Pack – I’m a longtime user of this plugin. Adds a meta title and description box to every post and page and has other fine tuning for search engine optimization.

Antivirus – Projects your blog against spam injections and viruses. Manage under the Settings menu in the admin sidebar and tick the checkbox for ‘Enable the daily antivirus scan.’

Bad Behavior – This plugin blocks spambots before content is served by looking at the delivery method and software being used by the commenter. It also connects to Project Honey Pot, a distributed system for catching spammers and spambots that works by embedding software in your website that collects info about IP addresses used for harvesting email for spam. Should be used with a traditional comment spam catcher.

Better Delete Revision + Revision Control – Delete old revisions to clean up your site. Use Revision Control to limit the number of post and page revisions that will be saved.

Broken Link Checker – It will let you update or delete broken links from a single admin page.

Google Analyticator – adds the site owner’s Analytics tracking code to each page and post.

Login Lockdown – Limits the number of failed logins within a certain time period and records the IP address and timestamp of each failed login.

Secure WordPress – Removes common security holes at login, in theme files and in the admin area for non-admins.

XML Sitemap Generator – Creates an .xml sitemap and notifies Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com when content is updated.

Widget Logic – allows the use of conditional tags for widgets to control where they appear.

W3 Total Cache – Speeds up a site with browser, page, object, database caching and minify.

WP-DBManager – This plugin helps you optimize and repair your database. Depending on the server settings you may be able to do backups and restores as well. You can schedule optimization and backups to run automatically.

WPsyslog – For tracking all site activity and system events.

I’ll create a little post about the interesting and useful WP plugins I run across in the course of web development. A few I’ve found this week:

  • Page Links To – This allows you to make the title of a page be a link to another location on your site or to an exterior URL. Very handy.
  • Page Lists Plus – I picked up this plugin in order to have a different page name from the page title (in my case I wanted my static home page to have a certain title, but still wanted it listed as ‘Home’ in the menu). Looks like it will also add span tags inside anchors – I wonder if that can be used for Sliding Doors-style menus?
  • Widget Logic – Plugin that allows you to specify the pages where you want a widget to appear.