WordPress Plugins I Like

PluginsI use a premium (i.e. paid) theme for my self-hosted WordPress sites, called Thesis, which I adore. Thesis has many features already included that often people need to use plugins to accomplish. I appreciate having the flexibility and ease of use that Thesis offers!! In fact I love it so much, if a client wants me to build their site, I insist they purchase Thesis first.

There are a few plugins that I do add to most of my WordPress sites, including this one, and I thought I would list them here in case you’d like to check them out. Do you have a favorite plugin I might need? Leave its name in the comments and tell us why!

To add any of these simply go to your Plugins tab on the left, then Add New, and type its name in the blank to search. Click Install, enter your web host information, and when it is done installing, click Activate plugin. You might need to click another link to adjust the settings, sometimes found in the active plugins list but often the plugin name will appear as an option along the left side of your dashboard in either Appearance or Settings, depending on the plugin.

Note: Plugins can only be used on self-hosted WordPress.org sites! Ignore this if you only have a free WordPress.com site. 🙂 You can read more about how plugins work in the WordPress Codex. Be sure to read the instructions (and reviews) of each plugin. Some of them are not compatible with certain versions of WordPress, or themes. These are the ones that work for me! I have a few others that are inactive but if I start using them and like them I will let you know!


Akismet

Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not. You can review the spam it catches under “Comments.” This one comes pre-installed but many people don’t activate. You need a WordPress.com API Key. Any wordpress.com account will do, or just open one, whether you plan to use it or not, to get the Key.

Google XML Sitemaps

This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com to better index your blog. I also print it out for my own reference, as a list of pages/subpages/categories I have.

SexyBookmarks

SexyBookmarks adds a (X)HTML compliant list of social bookmarking icons to each of your posts. See then in action at the bottom of this post. You can configure which sites you want as options and if you want the text included etc.

Thesis OpenHook

This plugin allows you to insert arbitrary content into the many hooks that the Thesis Theme Framework provides. Never again edit a file! Based on K2 Hook Up and GPLed. Most excellent plugin if you are using Thesis. Simplifies everything!

TinyMCE Advanced

Enables advanced features and plugins in TinyMCE, the visual editor in WordPress. Add buttons for tables, font families/styles, anchors, etc.

Twitterlink Comments

Plugin to show a link to follow the comment author on twitter if they have entered in their username at least once in the comment form

Twitter Tools

A complete integration between your WordPress blog and Twitter. Bring your tweets into your blog and pass your blog posts to Twitter. Show your tweets in your sidebar, and post tweets from your WordPress admin. Creates a digest of my own tweets and turns it into a blog post once a week.

Twitter Tools – Bit.ly URLs

Use Bit.ly for URL shortening with Twitter Tools. This plugin relies on Twitter Tools, configure it on the Twitter Tools settings page. Allows posts that are tweeted to use Bit.ly which tracks the number of clicks.

Visitor Contact

Embed Visitor Contact on your blog. This is the floating tab/button on the left of my site. Handy and cute, though it doesn’t work for everyone so I still have a traditional Contact tab in my navigation.

WP-DBManager

Manages your WordPress database. Allows you to optimize database, repair database, backup database, restore database, delete backup database , drop/empty tables and run selected queries. Supports automatic scheduling of backing up and optimizing of database.

WP Email Capture

Captures email addresses for insertion into software such as Aweber or Mailchimp. I use this for my newsletter sign-ups. I’ve set it up so the 2nd opt-in email gives subscribers a link to download a file.

Do you use any others successfully? Please share! 🙂

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Karen
    Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
    March 8, 2010, 7:03 am

    Adding a few more I’ve since loved:

    Scribe – This is a paid plugin that works well with Thesis and Headway themes. Incredible! http://www.scribeseo.com

    Yoast Breadcrumbs – Lists previous post title and next post title at the end of a post.

    Wordpress Thread Comment – Allows commenters to click Reply so their reply comment goes right with the person they are replying to, vs. inline with the rest of the comments.

    I’ll add more as I find/use/recommend. How about you?

    Reply
  • Dawn Camp April 26, 2010, 9:19 pm

    I just added the Wordpress Thread Comment plugin to my Thesis theme, but I’m having trouble getting it to work.

    Reply
  • Karen
    Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
    April 26, 2010, 11:34 pm

    Hi Dawn – Like what? Maybe you can contact the plugin people. If I recall I simply activated it (did you do that – on the Plugins page) and it went! You can click on the WP Thread Comment link on the lower left of the admin area, see the settings, but I have not had to adjust anything there. Let me know if you can be more specific or if you try any of that!

    Reply
  • Heather
    Follow me on Twitter: heatheramyprice
    July 20, 2010, 7:16 pm

    I think it was you who posted info on how to make a post sticky on wordpress (keep one blog post at the top of the page at all times)— searching your blog and not finding it…. thought it might be a plugin so I’m looking here. hmm. help please? thanks!

    Reply
  • Haroun Kola
    Follow me on Twitter: HarounKola
    September 1, 2010, 3:03 am

    Thanks for this great list. I’m also using thesis, and one plugin I can’t go without is the Thesis OpenHook.

    I found some other awesome plugins reading this post though 🙂

    Reply
    • Karen
      Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
      September 1, 2010, 6:10 am

      I LOVE THESIS!! I am getting to where I will only work on sites that use it. And OpenHook is a life saver!

      Reply
  • Monica
    Follow me on Twitter: coolpurse
    December 31, 2011, 1:57 am

    Hi, Karen! I purchased your special offer via the Mind Aware teleseminar and recall you mentioning a calendar plugin that allows visitors to schedule appointments (book parties) directly through your blog. I don’t believe it was Schedulicity, but I can’t remember what it was and I’ve spent hours going back and listening to all the mp3s and video links trying to find it. What was it? Thanks!

    Reply
  • Karen
    Follow me on Twitter: mybizpresence
    December 31, 2011, 9:16 am

    Hi Monica! If it wasn’t Schedulicity it might have been Genbook!

    Reply
  • Monica
    Follow me on Twitter: coolpurse
    December 31, 2011, 5:05 pm

    Yes! That was it, thanks =)

    Reply
  • Nick Otero February 21, 2012, 3:15 am

    A big thank you for your blog.Really looking forward to read more. Really Cool.

    Reply

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Karen Clark

Karen Clark, Social Media and Direct Sales Speaker.When she was an active direct sales leader, Karen Clark walked the walk as she sold, booked, and supported a team offline, while expanding her reach and service online. Now working with direct selling companies and their field representatives as a speaker and social media corporate consultant, Karen uses her nearly 20 years' online marketing and direct selling expertise to teach audiences exactly where, when, and how to establish an ethical and effective online presence with social media, while remaining true to their principles and personal direct sales business. Read more

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