DagonDesign Plugins

Five Core Plugins every WordPress Needs

by Ed Gately on November 6, 2009 · 4 comments

in Good Plugins,Plugin Reviews,Wordpress General Tips

I’ve been running many blogs, I have even built many websites for customers using WordPress.  This includes using WordPress as a CMS, or as a blog system.  In every case there are a few core features that each site needs, and the plugins I keep going back to deliver these features just simply work.

Here’s my list:

1. Akismet

This one is a no brainer, it’s already included in every WordPress Installation and the plugin works very well.  Akismet has been key to blocking the spam on many sites I’ve had the pleasure of working on.  It’s easy to use.  All you need to do is activate it, and get a key by creating a WordPress.com account.

2. MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer

I don’t know if this plugin is necessarily the number 2 most important, but in the order that I get them installed this is number 2.  Pinging your blog posts is kind of an overused feature that isn’t entirely effective anymore.  But it’s still available and still can provide some benefits even if just a small amount of marketing.  The best part about this WordPress plugin is that it ensures that you don’t over ping from your blog on accident.  Any time you edit a post, or schedule a future publish date, your blog can be pinging the same posts over and over, or even pinging when the post hasn’t published yet.  This plugin makes sure that it doesn’t happen, even provides a nice log so you can see it’s effect.

3. Dagon Design Sitemap Generator

This is a WordPress Plugin that dynamically generates a visitor sitemap.  It’s lightweight, looks decent on a fresh install.  It’s easy to customize.  Has a lot of settings on the admin such as being able to set up the pagination which I think is important for the search engines.  This is not an XML Sitemap, this actually becomes a page on your site.  Visitors can use it to see all your pages, and the Search Engines will crawl it and find a link to every page.

4. Supr by StumbleUpon

I really like this plugin.  You can sign up for an account with su.pr add in your logins for Twitter and Facebook, then add the API keys into your WordPress Admin and every time you post it will automatically post the title and a shortened link to your Twitter account and Facebook account.  If you are just starting out in blogging it can be a great way to spread what you are doing amongst your friends to support you.  As a business it’s a great way to spread the word especially when starting out.  Also from their control panel they provide tracking for the clicks, which is very handy to monitor the effectiveness.

5. TweetMeme Retweet Button

Here’s a plugin that adds a nice little graphic on your posts.  It makes it easy for people to retweet your posts right after they visit your site to read it.  It also shows how many times it’s been retweeted.  It will always show 1 if you are using the Supr plugin because you tweeted it yourself, if you have a couple friends supporting you it’ll easily get tweeted a couple more times.  It’s important to market your site, and your own group of friends can be a great place to start.

5.1 All in One SEO Pack

A quick bonus recommendation.  Personally I prefer to use the Thesis Theme, which includes many SEO improvements already and this plugin isn’t necessary.  But if you don’t have the pleasure of using a theme with these features built in, then I would highly recommend this plugin.  It adds in canonical URL’s, allows you to set custom meta tags, custom page titles and the list goes on.  This is also very valuable for CMS type sites.

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About The Author: Hi, I'm Ed Gately and I write Wordpress Master to help bloggers get started in building a successful online blog using Wordpress. Prior to writing on this blog I spent over 16 years working in Corporate IT and have been spreading my wings on the web for 3 years. To learn more about this website and me visit About Wordpress Master.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Page.ly January 30, 2010 at 7:15 pm

Hi Jason,

Great list. We use most of these on page.ly. Another one of our favs is Viper’s video quicktags.

All the best,


Jason Diehl January 30, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Excellent. I’ve been looking for a good video plugin, I’ll have to checkout Viper’s. Thanks for the tip.


Kim May 18, 2011 at 12:49 pm

I need help…I have a wordpress site and I want to be able to have clients type in their name address phone etc (contact info…but I don’t now what widget or ??? I should get?

Is there a book I can buy to learn wordpress better or a person to pay to make my website function optimally?



Ram @ Skoda Yeti 2012 February 28, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Really Awesome I know about the 5 plugins but the ping optimizer is an awesome plugin.. thanks … looking forward with you for more killer stuff


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