Here at The 42nd Estate, we run our own network of wordpress blogs where we publish unique content. Through the course of operating this blog network we discovered there was a set of plugins that we always installed in each new wordpress blog. Without further ado, here are the nine essential wordpress plugins for your new blog:
WordPress Database Backup
You’ve setup your wordpress blog, published a few posts and maybe even got a few visitors and comments already. Everything looks great until suddenly your blog no longer shows up. Perhaps you installed a rogue plug-in, or fubared a critical setting in your database. Whatever the cause, with WordPress Database Backup you can schedule backups to occur on a regular basis ensuring you won’t have to start over from scratch. You can even instruct the plugin to send backups right to your e-mail.
If you publish a great post and it gets picked up by one of the big social networks WP-Super Cache will ensure your blog can handle the traffic and stay up and running. Not only will this plugin automatically cache your posts and pages, it also allows you to set certain posts as static html (very useful in case you’re getting a HUGE amount of traffic to a post).
Secure and Accessible PHP Contact Form
You’ll need a way for your readers to contact you via e-mail, but you don’t want to simply list your e-mail on your blog as spambots will find it and spam you mercilessly. The Secure and Accessible PHP Contact Form includes a bunch of style-sheets, spam protection and allows you to customize a drop-down menu letting your readers specify why they’re contacting you.
Google (XML) Sitemaps Generator
You’ll want to publish a sitemap for your blog to provide users and the Google bot an easy way to see and navigate your site structure. Google (XML) Sitemaps Generator not only creates your site-map, it also automatically sends it to Google, MSN, and ASK.com.
Akismet helps stop spam comment so well it’s included in all new wordpress installations by default. Sign up for an API key at wordpress.com, insert it in your settings, activate it and it’ll stop spam comments from showing up on your blog. Just make sure to check your spam comments every now and then for legitimate comments. Also make sure to clear out the spam queue as having a lot of spam comments can dramatically increase your database size.
All in One SEO Pack
It’s crucial to consider Search Engine Optimization from day one. Trust me, it’s much easier to get it right at the start than going back weeks or months later and tweaking everything. The All in One SEO Pack lets you set custom titles, descriptions and keywords for each post and the blog as a whole.
The argument over whether bloggers should show full posts or excerpts continues to rage on, with no clear winner on either side. With Homepage Excerpts you can have the best of both worlds. This great plugin allows you to show full content for some posts and excerpts for others. We prefer to set the latest post or two to show in full, while older posts only display excerpts.
So you’ve built up a nice archive of posts and are now linking back to your previous posts and important pages, but each time a trackback comment pops up in your posts. Annoying, eh? Well, the simple to install, set it and forget it No Self Pings plugin ensures you don’t send pings back to your own posts.
Subscribe To Comments
You’ve just begun blogging and already you’re getting comments. Great! Ensure commenters come back and respond to you and each other by allowing them to Subscribe To Comments easily and quickly. This plugin places a small checkbox below the comment field allowing each user to choose whether they’d like an e-mail if a new comment is written.
We hope you found our list of the nine most important plugins for new wordpress blogs useful. What plugins do you place on a fresh wordpress installation?