I keep a folder on my computer with set of about 40 plugins… although a few of them are premium plugins and I only use them on specialty member sites. For the most part, the 30 plugins presented below will meet all your WordPress needs, they’re all free and in my opinion they’re the best in they’re category. Enjoy!
1. ©Feed – @Feed will include some footer text at the bottom of each item in your feed and it will also scan for content theft by using a digital fingerprint. This plugin has a few other features and it’s easily editable.
2. AddToAny: Share/Bookmark/Email Button – This plugin adds a share/save/email button at the bottom of all your posts and pages. You can set it up to ignore certain pages and there are many display options that you can customize… it’s very versatile and it works with over 100 services!
3. Akismet – Akismet is a brilliant service that does an amazing job at weaving out spam from your comments. It checks the IP and structure of the comment to decide weather or not it’s spam… it’s about 99% accurate.
4. All in one Favicon – Many WordPress themes don’t have favicon options so this tool comes in handy. It allows you to place favicons for your WordPress front-end and back-end.
5. All in One SEO Pack – This plugin isn’t perfect but in my opinion… it’s the best one out there. Many people argue as to which WordPress SEO plugin is the best but there’s no denying that this one is the easiest to use. I recommend it to newbies.
6. AntiVirus – AntiVirus will search for exploits and spam injections in your files. My sites have been hacked on numerous occasions and I’ve lost a lot of hard work and data. Having a secure and protected website is ESSENTIAL!
7. Bad Behavior – To be honest, I’m not sure how this plugin works but it stops spambots from using your site and it does a good job of it.
8. Broken Link Checker – As your website grows, the amount of links will ad up and over time some of them will no longer work. Link Checker will check your site for dead links so you can remove them or change them. Very handy.
9. Chitika | Premium – Chitika is an ad network that places ads discreetly within your content. If you plan on making money with your WordPress site… get this plugin as it allows you to easily add and modify your use of chitika within your site.
10. Contact Form 7 – This is a very simple, flexible and easy to use contact form that you can use for your website.
11. Google XML Sitemaps – This plugin generates an XML sitemap that can be used by Google and other search engines to better index your site.
12. Kontera ContentLink – Kontera is an ad network similar to Chitika. You should try both and see which one works better, I personally don’t have a preference.
13. Newsletter – Every site should have some form of method to collect emails, your subscribers are essentially leads that might want something later on so having a collection of them at your fingertips can come in handy. This plugin is relatively easy to use and good for smaller websites just starting out… you’ll want to upgrade to a paid service once you start getting traffic.
14. podPress – If you’re into podcasting, you’ll want this plugin. It allows you to easily manage, modify, upload and share your podcasts.
15. PollDaddy Polls – This plugin is a nifty tool for creating polls on your site. Polls can give you some good insight into what your audience is wanting so having this tool makes it easy.
16. Secure WordPress – This is another plugin to secure your WordPress from possible exploits and vulnerabilities. It’s better to be safe then sorry.
17. SEO Slugs – This plugin removes useless words like ‘a’, ‘the’, amd ‘in’ from post slugs. Search engines place very little value on those words so removing them will improve SEO.
18. SEO Smart Links – SEO Smart Links will interlink your posts to improve SEO by hyperlinking a keywords to the most relevant post or page.
19. Simple Archive Generator – I personally like having an archive page for my readers, this plugin allows you to do just that.
20. Subscribe Sidebar – I’ve only recently started using this plugin and I’m digging it a lot. It adds a list of subscribe links to your sidebar and it can be set up for many of your feeds, podcasts and more.
21. Theme Test Drive – I love this plugin, with Theme Test Drive you no longer need to worry about “under construction” notices because you can test your new themes and edits while not effecting the current one.
22. TinyMCE Advanced – This allows you to customize the visual editor in WordPress for your specific needs. It comes with a wide array of options.
23. Wickett Twitter Widget – A great widget for displaying a twitter feed in the sidebar.
24. WP-DBManager – THIS IS ESSENTIAL! I’ve once lost months of hardwork by not backing up my database… and believe me… it’s not a good feeling. This plugin can optimize, repair, restore, delete and back up your databases automatically.
25. WP125 – Great tool if you’re looking for those extra places to monetize your site. This plugin creates 125×125 ad spaces for your site and lets you mange them easily.
26. WP Google Analytics – This makes it easy for you to insert your Google Analytics tracking code and it give you some options in terms of what and what not to record.
27. WP Policies – Need a policy page? This plugin makes it easy for you.
28. WP e-Commerce – A great plugin if you’re selling products (digital or physical) and whats great about it is that there are a ton of additional plugins that can be used in conjunction with this one. If you do a search in the WordPress plun database for it… you’ll get a long list of extra’s.
29. WP Super Cache – One of the simplest, fastest and easiest to use caching plugins for WordPress. You’ll be Digg proof with this plugin.
30. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin – At the bottom of each post this plugin will add a list of other posts related to one the user is currently reading. It’s a great way to increase the users time on your site.