A few days ago, Mark asked to hear about your “top 5 plugins that you WordPress geniuses use in every one of your WordPress installs.” With almost fifty responses, it’s great to see that so many people consider the same or similar plugins as their top five. Without further delay, here are the top ten of your top five plugins.
- Akismet: This plugin should be the front line of your blog’s anti-spam defenses. According to its directory listing, it’s been downloaded individually over 4,060,000 times, but it’s also bundled with WordPress. Just to give you an idea, the current version of WordPress has been downloaded over 15,800,000 times. Considering those numbers, it’s no wonder that this is the most popular WordPress plugin and the top of almost every commentator’s top five list. [directory listing]
- Google XML Sitemaps: This plugin was the first XML sitemap generator for WordPress. Though the concept of a dynamically generated XML sitemap took a while to catch on, the popularly of this plugin should be a clear sign of the protocol’s success. [directory listing]
- All In One SEO: As its name proclaims, this plugin takes almost everything you’d need for search engine optimization and wraps it into a nice package. If you’re concerned about SEO, this is as close to set-it-and-forget-it as these SEO plugins come. [directory listing]
- WP Super Cache: This plugin reduces server load and improves load time by serving html copies of every page without the need to run PHP or access the database. It’s the oldest surviving cache plugin for WordPress. By that I mean that it’s been around since 2007 and it’s still under active development. [directory listing]
- WP-DBManager: This all-in-one plugin allows you to backup, optimize, and repair your database, empty/drop tables, and run SQL queries. Perhaps one of the most interesting bits of trivia on this plugin is that it hasn’t been updated since June of 2009, it still works perfectly, and there’s no other plugin like it. [directory listing]
- Google Analytics for WordPress: This is so much more than your typical “enter your Analytics code here” plugin. It includes the ability to track outbound and download links, ignore visitors with specified user levels, track meta data via custom variables, and much more. [directory listing]
- Contact Form 7: This is one of the first WordPress contact form plugins, it allows you to manage multiple fully customizable contact forms with spam protection, and it continues to be updated at a very steady rate. [directory listing]
- W3 Total Cache: This is one of the newest caching plugins. Thanks to its promises of an easy setup and compatibility with most hosting environments, its user base is growing rapidly. [directory listing]
- Subscribe2: This is the oldest email subscription plugin for WordPress. The plugin was first released in 2005, and although it may have changed hands a few times, it’s still under active development. [directory listing]
- WordPress.com Stats: This is the official plugin for the one and only hosted stats solution from Automattic. The adoption rate has been a bit slower than expected due to some interface and usability problems, but with a new user interface on the horizon, things are bound to improve. [directory listing]
I’m sure that most of you weren’t surprised by your top ten, but I bet that some of you were, and at least a few of you discovered a great plugin that you may be installing today. If you find yourself relying regularly on a free plugin, find the developer’s donation page and at least buy them a drink.
I’ll have to join with the popular vote here and say that Akismet is definitely my favorite plugin. You have no idea how much of a comment spam nightmare this blog would be without Akismet.
What’s your favorite plugin, and why can’t your blog live without it?