Dougal Campbell's geek ramblings

WordPress, web development, and world domination.

My Favorite WordPress Plugins

One of the coolest things about WordPress is the powerful Plugin API which allows us to create add-ons which can radically extend the basic functions of our sites. Most plugins can be used simply by dropping them into your plugins folder and activating them. I don’t use a ton of plugins compared to some people — I can be a bit picky about what I add. And I’m not going to list every plugin that I’ve got active here, but I thought I’d point out a few of my favorites:

There are a lot of people who swear by Bad Behavior or Spam Karma 2. But I’ve found that Akismet by itself does the job for me, when it comes to taking care of comment spam.
Sidebar Widgets
With the Sidebar Widgets Plugin and a widget compatible theme, you no longer have to edit your theme’s sidebar.php file every time you want to add something new. You can rearrange the order of your sidebar’s sections just by dragging and dropping the widgets in the admin configurator.
Search Everything
The basic search in WordPress only searches the content of your posts. It doesn’t search pages or comments. But with this plugin, you can search on all of those things, plus on any post metadata (custom fields) that you have set.
I mentioned this recently in another post (Follow you, follow me). Strips out the nofollow attribute for links in approved comments after a configurable amount of time has passed.
Share This
Alex King’s social bookmark plugin. There are two features that I particularly like about this one: the dynamic expansion/collapsing, and the ability to email the link. It’s like two plugins in one!
WP-Cache 2
An excellent defense against traffic spikes. If you ever get hit with a large volume of traffic, this plugin is going to save your hash.
OpenID Registration
With OpenID, you can consolidate all of the common information that you normally have to re-type every time you register at a new web service. This plugin allows your commenters (or user registrations) to use their OpenID for identification.

Again, that’s not every plugin I’m using. I didn’t list individual sidebar widgets like the ones for or Flickr, for example. And I didn’t highlight any of the plugins I’ve written myself. And I’m sure I’ll be adding other plugins into the mix as time goes by. But these are the main ones that I wanted to highlight that I’m using right now.

How about you — what are your favorite plugins, and why?

About Dougal Campbell

Dougal is a web developer, and a "Developer Emeritus" for the WordPress platform. When he's not coding PHP, Perl, CSS, JavaScript, or whatnot, he spends time with his wife, three children, a dog, and a cat in their Atlanta area home.
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