I love WordPress for much the same reason that I love Firefox (and almost the same reason that I love the iPhone – except that it’s not Open Source). Plugins. Plugins make the world go around. There are 8070 WordPress Plugins in existence today. That’s a lot. They do a lot of stuff.
I’ve found ten that I will install on any blog or website I build using WordPress – and I’m planning to use WordPress for any blog or website I build ever. A few of them do almost exactly the same thing. But I keep them installed as a permanent testing phase for cool things I can use elsewhere.
These aren’t in order of usefulness or importance. They’re all good. I’ve left off all the popular ones that everybody should install straight off the bat (the Akismet spam filter, WP-Super Cache, and anything SEO related (I use this one)). These are the fun ones that make your life easier and your blog better.
- Post Highlights – The little box on the right of my homepage with nice pictures and a link to an old post is produced using this plugin, there are a couple of options that do the same thing – but this one didn’t clash with a couple of my other plugins. So I installed it.
- Sexy Bookmarks – The little icons at the bottom of each post which let you share my work with the world via a bunch of popular bookmark services come courtesy of this baby. They look nice. I like them. I’d like more people to press them.
- Shashin – I installed this last weekend. It’s a great Picasa to WordPress plugin. It’s really easy to use.
- Insights – this bad boy lets you search old blog posts with ease while you’re creating a new post. It means if I want to link to something I’ve written a long time ago I don’t have to search through the archives using the site search feature and then copy the link… it also lets you search other blogs, for videos, for images (from Flickr), for News, Wikipedia articles and books…
- IntenseDebate – I know some people hate my comment platform. But it’s the way of the future – and you can just deal with it or get on board. IntenseDebate lets you link your comments to your Facebook Profile, Twitter Account, IntenseDebate Account, or just your website. It lets people rate your comments. It has its own plugins. And it lets you embed YouTube videos into your comments. I like it.
- Sliding Panel – has anybody ever hit the little thing that says “open” in the black menu bar at the top of the page? No? Oh well, if you had you would have found a really cool jquery powered sliding panel. It looks nice opening and shutting. I could just sit there and do it all day.
- Twitter Tools – When I decided to re-enter the world of Twitter I did it using this plugin that has so many features that I’m unlikely to use. But its core functionality is also really useful. Especially if you’re like me – and want the benefit of posting your content onto Twitter without the hassle of actually visiting the site.
- Wibiya Plugin – You can never have too many options to let people share or search your content can you? Wibiya is the little bar that sits on the bottom of the page. I’ve had it installed for ages. I’m not sure that anybody actually uses it. But if you bothered you’d be surprised at how handy it is.
- Post Star Ratings – This puts the stars at the bottom of the posts so that you can tell me if you like, or don’t like, what I’ve written without having to navigate the commenting system. It’s similar to I Like This except that giving a post one star is a way to voice your displeasure.
- What would Seth Godin Do – I like the idea of converting people who land on a post via Google into people who subscribe to everything I have to say. So I installed this plugin that welcomes first time visitors with a nice little message and an invitation to subscribe.
Do you use WordPress already? Have you got any favourites that aren’t on the list?