Essential WordPress plugins

A basic WordPress install offers one of the most fantastic blogging experiences available, but with a selective eye for the right plugins, it can easily turn into a really flexible and solid content management solution for an entire website.

With over 20,000 plugins available, ranging from useful visitor statistics to somewhat less useful Airplane quotes, it is not always immediately obvious which plugins are truly beneficial for your business. Read more here.

I usually don’t like these kind of X best, Y most important or Z essential articles but I opened by accident and was happy to see that for once I do agree with most of the suggestions there. Here a few exceptions:

  • WordPress Database Backup: If you’re serious about your site, you should perform a regular ftp backup or your WordPress directory and of a dump of your mysql database. So I don’t find such plugins useful at all.
  • Jetpack: I generally do not like plugins doing it all. I think it’s mostly a collections of plugins which are not really integrated and for many parts of it, you have better alternatives. The only reason I installed it was that I wanted to access the stats from my iPhone. Turns out google analytics gives anyway all I need and Jetpack someone made my site very slow and the benefit I got through it just didn’t justify spending time searching for the root cause of the problem.
  • Digg Digg: It used to be one of my favorite social plugins for WordPress. But when it was not displayed at all for the second time after an update I just deactivated it and looked for an alternative. That’s a pity because from a configurability point of view this plugin was indeed great ! But since I’ve also always seen that it made my site slower (I turned a blind eye on it as long as the functionality and configurability provided were both great), when it stopped working properly there was really no reason to try and stick to it.

Otherwise I also happily use the following plugins:

  • WordPress SEO
  • Yet Another Related Post Plugin
  • Akismet
  • Contact Form 7
  • W3 Total Cache

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