Top 10 Must Have WordPress Plugins

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10 Essential Plugins For Your WordPress Blog

wordpress logoWith over 10 THOUSAND plugins available for download in the plugin repository, it can be difficult to know where to begin!

There is actually more than 10 here but some go together and a few alternatives are all about personal preference and you can pick the one you prefer!

Tutorials for most of these are coming soon, however I’m linking them to the WP repository link in the meantime! (All but Keywordluv however are available in your Dashboard’s plugin search.)

1. Growmap Anti-Spambot Plugin – or –  Akismet – or – Defensio Anti-Spam – or- TrueType Anti-Spam

Akismet is the de facto standard in spam prevention. It’s easy to set up, included with WordPress by default and is all that’s needed for many blogs.

However, recently problems have arisen with Akismet’s algorithm and sometimes comments simply vanish. The bigger problem though for making this list is that Akismet keys are no longer free for business use. $60/yr is too steep for most micro-businesses to afford right out of the gate. I’ve found Defensio and TrueType to be two viable, reliable alternatives that currently remain free.

Be sure to keep an eye on the spam box though, with all of these solutions, because like all spam prevention solutions, these occasionally mark a good post as spam.

Learn more about Setting up G.A.S.P.
Learn more about Setting up Akismet
Learn more about Setting up Defensio Anti-Spam
Learn more about Setting up TypePad Anti-Spam

2. Platinum SEO – or – All in One SEO + Robots Meta

Unless you’re on a theme that has your advanced SEO elements built-in, like Thesis and Headway and some others, you must get the basic SEO tools from a plugin. My personal preference is Platinum SEO which includes all sorts of stuff, but many still swear by the AIO SEO plus the Robots Meta combination. There are some additional plugins that can work with either of these but this is the foundation.

Learn more about setting up Platinum SEO {coming soon}
Learn more about setting up AIO SEO {coming soon}
Learn more about setting up Robots Meta {coming soon}

3. Contact Form 7 ( & Really Simple Captcha)

You gotta have a contact form and Contact Form 7, with its optional captcha plugin, is one of the most solid, stable dependable solutions. The only solid alternative to it that I’d recommend is “Fast and Secure Contact Form” but most still recommend Contact Form 7. Some like that as an alternative because its easier to get the captcha set up.

Learn more about setting up Contact Form 7 {coming soon}
Learn more about setting up Fast and Secure Contact Form {coming soon}

4. W3 Total Cache – or – WP Super Cache

Caching is a way of speeding up your website for your visitors (which helps with SEO too). This type of plugin can be a headache, but you gotta have one. I prefer the W3 Total Cache for a number of reasons but many still prefer the WP Super Cache. I found WP Super Cache a lot harder to set up correctly and removing it was a royal pain in the ass! (Most people never get WP Super Cache correctly set up!)

If you had previously looked at W3 Total Cache and returned to WP Super Cache you may want to have another look, its grown up rapidly!

Learn more about setting up W3 Total Cache {Tutorial by my friend Michael}
Learn more about setting up WP Super Cache {coming soon}

5. WP-DB Backup & WordPress Backup by BTE

Backup plugins – gotta love em! Yes you need both as one backs up your database and the other gets your most critical contents.

Neither are quite as effective as a full CPanel backup, but they’re semi-automated and can save your tail when you forgot to go take a CPanel backup this month!

Learn more about backing up your site correctly with these WordPress Backup by BTW & WP-DB Backup.

6. Subscribe to Comments

There are a number of plugins we can use to increase reader engagement, however Subscribe to Comments (which does exactly what it says) is a great way to keep your readers coming back to your blog to follow-up on further comments to a post they enjoyed.

I also additionally enjoy Comment Reply Notification, but don’t install it without reading about the legal implications first please.

Learn more about setting up Subscribe To Comments {coming soon}
Learn more about setting up Comment Reply Notification.

7. Google XML Sitemap

You must have a sitemap to get good results with the search engines. The process used to be all complicated and involve uploading files and all sorts of nonsense. Now this plugin makes it super simple to generate a sitemap for your site. (Don’t worry about the google name, the sitemap works for all search engines just fine.)

Learn more about setting up Google XML Sitemap {coming soon}

8. All In One Webmaster

google analytics logoThis plugin allows you to easily integrate Google, Bing, Alexa, Blog Catalog, Yahoo’s Webmaster and Analytics code. Single click sitemap submission to Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask. Incredibly handy plugin with little blue info links that take you to the sites you need to go to register and get the codes.

Replaces a whole bunch of plugins and adding code to your theme and manually uploading files and lots of other headache!

Learn more about Setting up All In One Webmaster.

9. Digg Digg

The web has gone social media wild and keeping track of 400 social media share button plugins is a bit like insanity!

Fortunately Digg Digg integrates twelve or more social media share buttons in a single plugin and makes keeping them from floating obnoxiously into other layout elements a breeze. This allows you to uninstall “Tweetmeme” and “Simple Facebook Share” which are built-in, without losing your counts. It even includes a FB like button!

Learn more about setting up Digg Digg {coming soon}

10. CommentLuv + KeywordLuv + DoFollow + Top Commentator Widget

Okay, so it’s not one plugin its four… at least until CommentLuv Gold gets here…

However, this is my “Dream Team” stack and is one of the combinations that has been absolutely vital in my blogs growth! Once CommentLuv Gold gets here, I will very likely upgrade to that and replace this foursome (but they will remain essential as stacked like this they are free).

It’s sometimes hard to understand the truely vital role these plugins play, but each of them allows us to “give back” to our commenters in different ways. Also this stack gets more powerful working together, as each one makes the other better.

One you start picking up traction you’ll definitely want to pick up some additional spam protection and for me that comes in the flavor of Si Captcha (used with one of the other options above).

Learn more about Setting Up CommentLuv, Troubleshooting CommentLuv, and Learn Why CommentLuv Is One Of My Ninja Traffic Secrets
Learn more about KeywordLuv
Learn more about DoFollow {coming soon}
Learn more about Top Commentator Widget {coming soon}

There you have it folks!

My Top 10, Cant-Live-Without-Them, WordPress Plugins!

Like em? Love em? Please be sure to test out that Digg Digg plugin and share and save the post to all of the hottest sites!

Agree? Disagree? Think I forgot to include on? Leave me your comments below and tell me what plugins YOU think should make the top 10 list!


PS: Want to learn more about WordPress & Social Media? Ready to learn how to put it all together to make it work for your business? Be sure to check our my Profit Being You, wordpress & Social Media class! Whether you’re just getting started or an up and coming social media rockstar, you’re going to love it!

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  1. says

    Hi Kim,
    Finding the right combination of plugins is exhausting. Thanks for doing most of the leg work. The one that got me is #6 Subscribe to Comments – I thought that came as a default with WordPress!! Well at least it should don’t you think?

    I installed a different SEO plugin it’s called SEO Ultimate and so far so good. I found the “Code Inserter Module” really helpful with submitting my blog to Google and Bing webmasters and Yahoo! Site Explorer. The All in one plugin would not work for some reason, perhaps my theme is the culprit.

    One thing I was surprised to learn is that KeywordLuv wasn’t in the WordPress directory. Do you have any inside scoop on that?

    • says

      Oh I totally agree with you that Subscribe To Comments should be part of the core. However, I would have said the same thing about Enable Threaded Comments, which was added to the core fairly recently. They’re very protective of avoiding bloat in the core but I do think that one is essential for anyone using it as a blog rather than a CMS. You probably recognize half those pluggins from my comluv entry!

      So you tried the All in One Webmaster and… they would not verify? Tell me a little more about what happened there please? Thats exactly the kind of bugs I want to see and would love to have a look at if your willing some time. Which theme are you running?

      Yeah, if you cant get AIO Webmaster running you would certainly want the code inserter if you werent running a theme like thesis that has a text box to put all that stuff in.

      There are hundreds or hundreds of thousands (hard to say) plugins that are not in the wordpress repository. It takes a lot of work to get them in there, and then they have to babysit them. The guy who wrote keywordluv doesnt even USE the plugin any more. If it ever breaks I’m sure someone in the community will hijack it, patch it, and put it in the directory. However, until then there is no need. Several of my favorite plugins such as Homepage Excerpt and LinkedWithin, as well as premium plugins are not in the directory. Its just the way it goes. You cant really fault them for not doing additional work.

      Thanks for stopping in girlfriend!

      • says

        Kim, after I pasted the authentication code for Google Webmaster tools into All in one and I hit save the code would simply disappear. Of course I thought I was doing it wrong, so I did it over, and over, and over…what a waste of time. When I used Code Inserter Module on SEO Ultimate it worked like a charm, the very first time. No problems with Bing or Yahoo! Site Explorer either. Even though I wasted all that time, for me the lesson is, maybe I shouldn’t get too comfortable with the free theme I’m using. Way too many people use the plugin without a problem so I think the problem is theme related. Thanks!

        • says

          That’s really odd, LOL! Leave it to you to get a fancy bug Ms. Ileane! I’m an odd duck because wierd bugs give me a giggle. Something to chase down and poke with a stick! LOL

  2. says

    This is a very useful list, and I am looking forward for your post on the Platinum SEO plugin.Is it better than the AIO SEO plugin? And if I knew about the AIO Webmaster plugin before, things would have been a lot easier.

    • says

      I personally believe its better than AIO (and it can use your existing AIO data to keep moving forward without losing anything, using their “Migrate from AIO feature”). Its got a bunch of things built in, including the Robots Meta plugin which AIO badly needs if you’re not on Thesis, Essentially Platinum took the AIO code (which it can do) and added a bunch of stuff. You can find out more about Platinum here from the creator: Hopefully I will get some of these tutorials done soon!

  3. says

    Hey Kimberly

    Fantastic list!

    I have had trouble with Super Cache so I will try the W3 Total Cache.

    I am very interested in the “All in One Webmaster”, looks like a good one.

    Thanks for the recommendations

    • says

      If you would for some odd reason have any issues with W3 Total Cache, give me a shout and I’d love to have a look and see what’s going on. I don’t think you’ll have any issues though, the layout is really straight forward.


      PS: If you’re thinking about it for a membership site, I know there is an entry on the BBPress board that it works with that as long as you disable the two javascript cache entries.

  4. says

    I use every plugin that you named. Except for the group in #10 – I only use Commentluv. I’m sure that many of them were based on your recommendation!

  5. says

    Hi Kim,
    Awesome list. Well I am gonna proceed with your advice. I mean am gonna try Platinum SEO. I also haven’t tried All in One Webmaster. Will have to try that too.


  6. Emil Uzelac says

    Nice list, I would also include WassUp as well, Real time statistics for WordPress. (

    PS Platinum SEO Pack is just a “copy” of All in One SEO and after the plugin is installed it adds links to theme footer area, I don’t really like that. Michael Torbert All in One SEO is an original and it works with WP 3.0, Platinum SEO isn’t!


    • says

      So your only fault for it really is that it adds a footer link?

      It’s GPL, strip the footerlink out and rerelease it, or better yet edit the code and make the footer link optional and re-release it.

      Even with the footer its got quite an additional list of features that AIO doesnt have. Sure its core is a knock-off, as is 75% of things in the GPL world. That’s how things get better. Under the hood its essentially an upgraded AIO. You may be right though that it might be nice to get someone that codes well, as I don’t, to make the footer link optional.

      Regarding works on 3.0, I’ve seen as more issues on 3.0 with AIO than I have with Platinum. According to the repository AIO is considered insufficient data (due to a large number of reports of “broken”) and Platinum is considered working. That’s backwards for your argument I’m afraid.

      An argument against it would have been better placed if you’d mentioned that at least when it was first release he failed to credit Yoast with the integrated robots meta code which did not make Yoast at all happy. I honestly dont know if that issue was ever resolved or not. Even with the failure to cite source, I still used it because it saved me one additional plugin to manage.

      The plugin is stable, agile (at least as much as anything based on AIO which does not cleanly uninstall itself can be), feature-rich, and performs well for me.

      I hope he continues to add features and would love to see several of the seo tools by Vladimir Prelovac be replaceable by this plugin as well.

      Thanks for the link to WassUp. I’ve been meaning to spend some time looking at that plugin but have been procrastinating after having met several stats plugins (namely StatPress) that I find create huge unwieldy databases. Far better for most people to avoid most of those plugins except for short term testing, and rely on Analytics and one or both of their Cpanel stats tools generally speaking. However, WassUp does have some neat features and I look forward to looking into it. Have you done a post on it?


      • Emil Uzelac says

        Hi Kim,

        Yes, you can see the post here from 2009. I am using WassUp since they released their first version and I am very happy with real-time stats in addition to Google Analytics.

        I never had any issues with All in One SEO; it’s always up to date and works just fine. OPR is also on Version 3.0.1 and it’s all good what I really like.

        Not just the footer link, the plugin is little messy, maybe from his modifications or something else not sure. Tried it once and worked on several sites who had Platinum SEO and there was always something wrong with it.

        Every month I release about 3-4 custom-made WordPress theme and they’re all using All in One SEO. Latest design was for just in case that you would like to see some of my work.


          • Emil Uzelac says

            Sure thing:

            Check this to link to Platinum SEO and spread the word.If you do not want to donate, atleast link to home.Linking would not hurt your site in any way.Think twice before you decide not to link

            This wasn’t there before, now they made it optional. When I did try the plugin the backlink wasn’t an option, there was a automated link insert into


    • says

      Hi Emil,
      I have been getting different opinions about All in one and the platinum SEO. Curiosity, that’s what tempting me to try Platinum. And, our dear Kim believe Platinum SEO is better ;) . That’s another reason.

  7. says

    I am always interested in what you recommend.Before I add the W3Cache, is it just download and you are done or is there some things you have to do once you download it?If it is tricky I will wait until you have a tutorial on it.
    Thanks for the tips.

  8. Jaden Daniels says

    Hey Kim,
    I just read through this blog. It is very informative. I want to thank you for posting especially about the contact form. I have been looking for the right one to use. Just the other day, I was trying to set up a contact me page. After searching for a while I decided to step back from the computer, and go back at a later time.
    Now, I don’t have to go through the stress, you did that for me.

  9. says

    Kim great info here there are some pluging that I am not using that I will have to check out. I don’t know how you have the time to figure all these out, do you ever sleep! LOL Lucky for all of us you do what you do and share it!

    You are my Blog Yoda and I am ever so grateful!

    Will let you know how the new plug ins go!

    “Dream, Believe, Become…”

  10. says

    All In One Webmaster might not be a good idea. I had a client who had been hacked and files inserted into their All In One that produced a virus on their own server. A couple weeks later I heard from several others the same story.

    • says

      I’m placing a guess then that that is why the plugin was patched yesterday.

      I’ve heard lots of plugins with weak spots, unfortunately too common.

      What more do you know on this? Was a full report submitted to the developer? Whats the code conditions look like? Exec 64 injection or something else entirely? Did you do a code walk through and have a look at whats going on?

      Its interesting because I’ve got this plugin on a lot of personal, client and friends sites and haven’t heard boo on this issue. Hmmm. Thanks for the headsup. Will look into it.

  11. says

    Nice list Kim, I actually use most of these on my personal blog. I don’t blog there often anymore but they are all still active. Some of the ones I use are named different but I’m sure they all do the same job!

  12. says

    What a great round-up. I use almost all plugin you referred above. Hope you will add tutorial about cache plugins soon.
    Btw, why do you cross out Akismet?

  13. says

    Hey Kim,

    I want to say a big thank you. This was a great list of wordpress plugins. W3 Total Cache was my favorite, I saw instant speed enhancement right after I installed it, without any changes. Thank you for this great post and I will be sure to ReTweet this one :)


  14. John Rollow says

    Thank you for this excellent information. I’m very new to WordPress and all its optimizations and this is mind expanding.

    One plugin I’ve had recommended is “SEO Smart Links.” Does it have value in increasing internal links? or . . . ?

    I’m also curious about Harsh Agrawal’s suggestion for “wp” for optimizing images — does it really make much of a difference for just an occasional image in a blog post?

    • says

      Hey John apologies for my slow reply! I’ve been away from my blog a lot the last month!

      Harsh’s recommendation for Wp SmushIt which is now part of the YSlow recommendations by yahoo is generally valid. However its going to most impact those that tend to upload big images and then drag their dimensions smaller. I tend to upload smaller images so the gains were negligible for me. Also that plugin ended up corrupting a bunch of my images and we never did sort out why. Generally it does very well for people, but I sure wouldn’t use it before I backed up all my wp-contents folder!

      SEO Smart Links is a very good plugin for assisting with internal linking. I highly recommend it. Of course, it requires that you take the time to add your new posts (with their keywords) to it, so they can link throughout your site, but at least it keeps up with adding those links to all the old posts. Great plugin as are most of them by Vladmir.

      Thanks John!

  15. says

    You should try BackWPup. It allows you to set up multiple jobs to back up WP automatically however you. You can even set up a job to automatically optimize your database whenever you want. Good stuff!

  16. says

    Thanks so much Kim for your downright and authentic mentoring. Its been just a day since I emailed you and I have gotten so much value. Do keep up this unparalled contribution to the business world.

    • says

      Hey Enomfon, its been a pleasure to connect with you! I hope I was able to answer your questions on Facebook about WordPress well enough since I haven’t seen a reply back from you on them. Glad to hear your enjoying my blog! If you need anything just give me a shout! If you like what I’m doing here you might consider subscribing to keep up with all the news!
      Have a beautiful day!

    • says

      Reply back with your link and I’ll toss it up there until I get my own together (which wont be long but you’re welcome to the link love in the meantime).

      You should get a commentluv account set up so your getting a second backlink from all these generous comments you’re leaving me!

        • says

          You may have heard I have no love lost for disqus ;)

          However, that doesnt stop you from getting a (free) account, so that the plugins on blogs like mine recognizes you and gives you the backlink. It just means that I wont get the backlink should I suffer through your disqus LOL!

          The account, once you set it all up, will grab your latest feed and display your last 10 most recent posts and you can chose which one to leave, with your comment (which is nice because you can pick something semi-relevant most of the time).

          PS I’ll get that link added momentarily!

  17. says

    Whenever going through the referred list of plugins I’m immediately tempted to install all of the plugins on list and after I finish installing them feel again I won’t instal any more – no more now because I’ve read it and know more plugins slower your blog. But what to do, essentials are essentials. I must install All in one webmaster, other’s i’ve already. Thanks for the great list and useful intro.

    • says

      I totally know the feeling and I suffer from being a plugin addict at times because there is so many awesome plugins. Thats why a “short list” like this is important … to focus on the real important ones and save the “fun” ones for personal preference. AIO and the Robots Meta plugin (which Yoast wrote to go with it and is including in platinum seo) are a great little combo and yeah definitely essential.

      I’m going to do a later post on either Top 25 or Top 50 plugins and THAT is going to be one of those “please don’t install everything” lists! LOL Because, as you mentioned, they do slow down loadtimes (although on the contrary w3 total cache really helps my load times).
      Thakns Suresh!

      • says

        Lol, I’ll again install at least a handful ones if you go on listing 25 or 50 plugins. My list has not grown upto 50 yet. I’m afraid if it will remain my blog or a big storehouse of plugins ;-)

  18. says

    If i may add, cbnet ping optimizer is also useful to avoid self pinging by default on wordpress.

    Also Google sitemap xml generator is quite useful.

    Thanks for the list!

    • says

      Hey Kimi! Thanks for stopping in and commenting! Google sitemap xml is actually already up there on my list only wrote as “Google XML sitemap” hehe! We definitely agree!

      I also agree about ping optimizer, although I’m a diehard fan of maxblogpress so I use the original non cracked version. Unfortunately a list of 10 is incredibly tight to fit everything on – and not everyone has the bad habit I do of doing a lot of updates to a post AFTER publishing it (which makes ping optimizer very important) so it will return on one of my bigger lists yet to come.

      Thanks sweetie!

      • says

        Oh i missed it :(

        I should learn to read the whole post and then comment.

        Never used maxblogpress ping optimizer Kimberly, fill find more infos about it, i guess it is a premium plugin.


        • says

          MaxBlogPress makes a bunch of free and premium plugins. CBNet has “cracked” their free ones to remove the mandatory (free) registration (which also happens to be a newsletter optin). The resaon they do the forced registration is that even their free plugins carry an affiliate link – so if the person later buys from them – the person that recommended the free plugin gets paid a little affiliate money. They’re a great company to work with and I’ve helped them in beta testing stuff too. Because I’m an avid affiliate its in my best interest to share my coded links rather than let cbnet strip those off. MBP has a BUNCH of really nice plugins many of them free.

          Thanks for stopping back in!

  19. says

    Thanks for the great list with plugins, i have some favourites to, like the all known “All IN SEO “and also the easy privacy policy and also SEO friendly images (got some excellent results with it)and last but not least pretty links (great for cloacking) affiliate links…

  20. says

    I’m relieved to see that I’ve learned from you enough that I have all of these plugins! You are a great teacher! Thank you for providing all of the education for me to make it happen!

  21. says

    Hi Kim,

    I cam over from your Twitter DM to vote, comment and give you a five star rating which is well deserved. Thanks for all the great info as I am the process of tweaking a few WordPress Blogs. This will help tremendously.


    • says

      Hey Ivan! Yeah that plugin is an absolute gem. It makes the speed at which I can get sites up (particularly those that don’t have the header script fields built into their own functions) so much faster! It does have some “weight” to it, so once a site is up and moving up the traffic ladder and site speed and optimization become a big deal, then its time to move those scripts to their proper location, although with a good theme thats not really a huge deal I still havent found even Thesis SEO header fields to be half as easy to use. AIO Webmaster even has the links to each of the sites, right at your fingertips. Thanks for the comment, really apprecaite it!

  22. says

    You are the best. So many wonderful suggestions. Problem I have is that I am swamped with so much to do – reading, writing articles and blog posts, seeing clients. Don’t know when I’ll have time to explore these plugins. I look forward to your future posts when you explain each plugin in more detail.


  23. says

    Excellent Post Kim,

    I have had Comment Luv for a while, but was excited to learn about Keyword Luv. I also changed my blog to a dofollow. I originally thought that Comment Luv would make that unnecessary because the nofollow link would be the commenter’s name (usually) and just to their root domain while the Comment Luv would point to another page for deep linking. I just found out that after about a month or so, the nofollow attribute is added to even Comment Luv comments. The Dofollow plugin you recommended will definitely solve this.

    Thanks for the great info!

  24. Sean G says

    Kim – I just de-activated Akismet and actiaved Defension Anti-Spam plugin, as you mentioned, but now I am getting TONS of emails with spammy stuff for people trying to post stuff to my blogs.

    In the past, when I had just Akismet, I would not get these emails. It would not email the comments it thought was “spam”. They would be waiting for me to approve in the Dashboard.

    Is there way to stop this?
    Please help!

    • says

      Hey Sean, wow that sounds like a headache! I don’t recall having that issue for the couple months I ran it. Currently I’m ONLY using G.A.S.P. which is the “verify your a human” checkbox you see. Not very many spambots are able to get around it so I only a little fraudulent activity. I left Defensio because of issues they have with my use of the Keywordluv plugin and not understanding what I’m doing with it and why. In the future I may need something stronger than G.A.S.P, but for now its doing a great job and does not have the (broken) fail-rate that either of the two captcha plugins I used had. I would suggest dropping Defensio a tweet @defensio and see if maybe there’s a setting that has gotten overlooked. They were helpful last time I contacted them.

  25. says

    Hi Kimberly. Thank you for this great list of plugins. I recently deactivated all of my plugins because my blog page just looked crazy, still not acting right. Not sure that I properly set up W3 Total Cache. I love comment luv but will not add keyword luv.
    With regards to the sitemap plugin…once activated do you then need to go into the settings and change anything? I think that’s where I sometimes get lost. I also just noticed that my feed isn’t picking up and I think it’s because I have the feedburner plugin…argh


  26. says

    Do any of you know a good plugin for adsense? Read on warriorforum that “all in one adsense” takes a procentage of the pageviews, even if 0 is filled in:(

  27. says

    An honorable mention, especially for businesses that maintain an ever-growing social networking page like Facebook would have to be the Social Slider. While our business website also doubles as a blog for my observations and pseudo-newsletter, a large number of our regular users would rather follow us on Facebook. So with the Social Slider, it becomes very easy to find and add us to a friends list. We average around 4-5 friend requests per day and that number has been growing hyperbolically especially since I added the Social Slider. The good thing about linking the website to Facebook is that the staff can keep an eye on the Facebook account and respond to questions without having to worry about learning how to administer a blog, especially if I change something and forget to tell anyone.

    • says

      Hey Pam, you’ll notice the end of that url says “wp-db-backup” and that is the same as one of the two plugins recommended above although I linked to its listing in the WordPress repository which is where it comes from if you do Plugins -> Add New -> Search rather than downloading it and using Upload. You’re halfway there! You need the other plugin because without it you will not have your plugins, current theme or uploads (your blog posts pictures) backed up, all three of which you would need in an emergency.

      WordPress Backup by BTE will prompt you about an htaccess file, theres another post here on my blog that I haven’t linked into here yet about how to do that although its not required to make the plugin work it does help with security.

  28. Scott Pollov says

    Kim. I am launching a new word press website, and had been looking for a comprehensive list of plug-in’s for the site. Your site is packed full of awesome information for a new and growing website. Thanks! Scott Pollov

  29. says

    Great tips Kim! I use about half of the plugins you mentioned, but I haven’t even heard of the others. I’m glad i found your site and excited to get your newsletter.

    In Good Health,

    Dr. Weeks

  30. says

    That’s definitely a great and complete list of useful plug-ins. Although I use the All-in-one-seo plugin for most of my sites as well as a handful of others, I don’t particularly find these plugins being anywhere near as important for google results placement than good old-fashioned content (300-500 word articles). The search engines these days are so awesome they eat up content as if it were their last meal.

    So, for me, plugins can give you that little extra edge but nothing is better than consistent content with good and well-placed keywords.

  31. says

    Hi Kim,

    I just love lists like this. I’m familiar with /use all on your list but one. I have not yet checked out All in One Webmaster but it sounds very handy and I might just have to have it. Thanks for sharing your list. ~ Linnea

  32. says

    I have most of the plugins here except the one for cache. I’m scared to install it, because like you pointed out, it could be very hard to set up. I might take a look again and see if I can finally muster the courage to deal with it. Thanks again for all the valuable and helpful information you post, Kim.

    Cherrie Bautista

  33. Dr. Adam Sheck says

    Thanks for a great list, I appreciate it. I’ve already got 8 out of the 10, so I guess I’m doing pretty well. Though thanks for the heads up on Askimet. I’ve had it for two years, didn’t know that they are changing their fee structure, good to have a backup plan. SPAM definitely needs to be filtered out.
    Thanks again,

  34. says

    Kim, time for an update to this article. Have you found any new plug-ins? Pat & Lorna suggested BookMark Me. I downloaded it, but can’t see the “Spread the Word” message that is supposed to appear.

    • says

      Shari, I politely must disagree.

      While I’ve found plenty of fun plugins – being the plugin addict that I am, they do not displace this foundation list. This is not a list of the newest bells and whistles but instead is a list of foundation plugins that provide a stronger framework for the blog. There are TONS of bells and whistles plugins available but few of them essential.

      In the case of Bookmark Me, a check of its details (which you might want to get in the habit of checking before installing least you break your blog) at the WordPress repository indicate that that plugin is only compatible up to version 2.7.1 and has not been updated in nearly two years. Thats a very very high risk plugin to be running both from incompatibility issues as well as from vulnerability to hack/code-injection/exploit due to lack of security updates.

    • says

      Shari, whoops sorry for the confusion. Was simply disagreeing that the article needs an update. (I do have a couple posts running around here though that ARE in need of an update, so thanks for the reminder!)

  35. Bingo Promotion says

    I love google xml plugin myself. Seem to get a lot more pages indexed using it. Doesn’t to help with bing though. Other plugins I like are mingle forum and I use contactbuddy over contact form 7 though it does have more options.

  36. says


    I am thrilled that you are joining the TSA leadership team. People like me, non-nerd, non-technical, can really benefit from your help. I know a lot more than most therapists and friends of mine, but when I attempt to implement some of these plugins, I run into problems that I don’t understand.

    Congratulations! And I really look forward to listening to your words of web wisdom.


  37. says

    Hi Kimberley, this post is like an oasis in the desert for dusty, brow-beaten w-p travellers!!
    Answers so many of my ‘how do people do that’ questions, all in one go!
    Am only just gettting to grips with the power of plugins, so invaluable info, cheers :)

  38. says

    Thanks Kimberly, this is a great list of plugins. Most I am using and some I will certainly be looking into for my blog. I enjoy your insight and review of each plugin.

    Glad that I found you through Twitter and Facebook as I really do enjoy all the information you share. And I will be sharing with my tribe as well!

  39. John says

    Great list here Kim. I completely agree with the Akismet plugin being removed from the list. Not only do you have to pay for it, it has also become unreliable (I have been banned from my own blog before – and why? Because I’m very active in the blogoshere?!) I have been using the Growmap plugin on a few blogs and it works MUCH better in my opinion.

  40. Alamin says

    Thanks kim nice post. I have two question to you. I use genesis work. So should i install all in one seo plugin? And which plugin you use to highlight your i mean admin comment?

  41. says

    Very nice list, I didn’t know about the KeywordLuv plugin and I can see how useful it can be for serious commentators.

    You think you have something to say, you open up a blog, start writing articles, and then all of a sudden realize the work has just begun!

    And I am not even at a stage where I can start thinking about the all mighty newsletter because I simply don’t think I have enough information to put in there!

  42. says

    Searching for the correct WordPress plugin is very time consuming. Just recently have been searching for an alternative for Akisment. Being a member of TSAmastery was introduced to your blog and found the alternative. Just another example of being a member of a group like TSAmastery.


    Perry A Davis Jr
    Music City USA

  43. says

    Hi Kimberly,
    Love reading your blog! There’s always something to learn from you – thank you! I have some of these plugins – not al of them. I am still, so much, on a learning curve! Little by little a learn more and some times I just don’t know what to ask. I have learned that the wordpress theme you have won’t always have the same pluggins available.

  44. says

    Hi Kim, PLEEEAASSE can you do us a blog post that explains WHAT to do with All in one Webmaster & Google XML site map. I have them both uploaded but have zero idea of what to do with them now I have them!!! What is the difference between the two, don’t they both index my site??
    Uploaded them both agea ago at your recommendation but still clueless about how to reap the benefit :)
    thanks so much :)

    • says

      Hey Many I’ll try to remember to get a video created. Creating one for AIO Webmaster is hard as that’s a long setup and requires me to use another site. I can’t demo it here. The two plugins do not share a function. Google XML sitemap helps google get your newest posts into google search results as fast as possible. AIO Webmaster helps get you “verified” with sites like google analytics, google webtools, yahoo site explorer and more which you need to have set up as well and which benefit you in different ways.

  45. says

    Hi Kim,

    Great post. I have all of the plugins your mentioned except All in One Webmaster. You can bet I’ll get that one right away! I’m just concerned with page load speeds, which I just wrote about on my blog today. Note my blog post title below (ha ha).

    I didn’t know Akismet was having problems, good to know. I’ll watch for that. I agree that $60 per year is too much. After all, for a long time, we all thought it was free! Hard to adjust now, after the fact. I have growmap on my other blogs and it works quite well. Great suggestion.

  46. says

    Hey Kim,

    I have been thinking about adding the “top commentators” plugin to my blog and seeing how you hold it in such high regard I will make sure to do that tonight.

    My “Digg Digg” plugin hasn’t been working properly since I last updated it I believe, do you know if others are having issues with the Digg plugin as well?

    Thanks for sharing your list Kim.


  47. says

    As you know I’m a firm believer of everything you’ve written about this post, and I proudly support [DoFollow, CommentLuv KeywordLuv movement, with a little ‘more than my Luving thrown in for good measure.

  48. says

    That’s a great list. I’m surprised that WordPress SEO by Yoast didn’t make it onto your list though. That is the first one I install after Akismet.

    • says

      Gav, That list is a bit old and at the time it was wrote the WP SEO by Yoast was not at the point of stability and featureset it is today. You can bet when I revamp this post that it will be on the list of core SEO plugin options for sure. It’s a great plugin for those that do not have a theme with those features built in! Thanks for the reminder!

  49. says

    Whew! I recognized a few of these, anyway — all is not lost :)

    I’ve been pretty careful with plugins so far. It took me so long to even be able to install them, and don’t need any more problems than what I have already had. So I’m reluctant to play with them.

    I looked for the Subscribe to Comments and saw a couple of them — one by camu, one by Mark Jaquith. Both of these look good. What’s your criteria for choosing one plug-in over another?

    • says

      There is “Subscribe to Comments” by Jaquith (who is a WP core developer) that even though it appears out of date is still very stable and loved. There is also “Subscribe to Comments Reloaded” (I’m forgetting the author) that works well and has a few more features. Either of those is fine. Those are the only 2 of the many available I’d mess with and either is fine. The Reloaded lets someone subscribe to the comment thread without commenting which a few readers like.

  50. says

    Hey Kim,
    It seems as if the Google XML Sitemap is not compatible with the newest version of WordPress from what I understand. Am I right about that because I can’t get it to update ever since I downloaded the newest version of WordPress. If this is true, what would be a good plugin to use in it’s place.

    • says

      Kyle you can find the official page for Google XML Sitemap here: It is compatible up to 3.3 however it is incompatible with WP MU/MS (multisite) and they suggest test driving their beta. Is it possible you have multisite enabled (that would be unusual unless you have multiple blogs). Is the current version still generating a site map for you? Have you done a basic wordpress troubleshoot to see if another plugin is blocking its upgrade (assuming it’s not the current version and needs an update) Keep me posted on this.

      • says

        Hey Kim,
        No luck so far. I went through the process of changing my theme to 2010 and deactivating all of my plugins. For whatever reason I get a blank page when I try to access the Google XML sitemaps plugin.
        It all started when I noticed that my sitemap was not updating automatically, so I tried to do it manually and when I clicked the button it went to a blank page. I decided to delete the plugin and try to re add it… but now I can’t add it at all. As far as I can see I don’t have a sitemap on my website right now.
        Another note: When I deleted the plugin, it sent me to this same blank page so I don’t know if I completely deleted it. I’m not sure, but maybe this created a problem?
        Another problem occurred today when my images stopped showing up on my home page. These two issues have me stumped and I’m off to work now so I’ll have to try again later. Not sure where to go from here though. Any advice?
        Thanks again,

  51. says

    Good list. I love my WP blog, and have probably added Too many plugins, but there are a couple I really like:

    1) WP Touch Pro…. creates a mobile-friendly version of your site

    2) Tweet Old Post… you can set this to tweet out your old posts, as often as every hour, or as little as once a day…allows you to exclude specific categories so that you dont tweet out “Merry Christmas” in the middle of July

    3) WP Editorial Calendar…. creates a calendar-look of all your past and future posts.

  52. says

    Excellent list. Obviously with so many plugins available it would be difficult to put together a top 10 without getting arguments and suggestions from all and sundry. With regards spam comments I recently activated “antispam bee” and it is fantastic. Before installation one site was getting 150-300 spam a day now it gets zero.

  53. Dave Keys says

    I agree pretty much with everything except caching plugins. The delivery speed of your website to search engine spiders and new visitors still takes the “normal” amount of time. The “load speed score” is probably far less than 1% of total SEO score by a search engine unless your website takes forever to load.

  54. MaryJane says

    Thanks for this list. I use Yoast’s SEO plugin and i believe it is better than AIO by far. But i think i will have to install commentluv premium.

  55. says

    Hi Kim,
    Many thanks for sharing your recommendations for plugins. I have been using akismet and will start using growmap and see how I find it. All the best for 2012 and thanks for your tips in 2011. Take care Rosemary

  56. says

    You have some great plugins there, Kim!

    I’ve been using AIO SEO for several years, but thinking of ‘upgrading’ to Platinum. Do you know what might happen to my old pages if I change? Will they lose their SEO properties I had set up in AIO SEO?


  57. says

    Great list of plugins Kim, honestly I have almost all of them but after installing and deleting tens. This list would have been pretty useful then. Anyway, I’m using Livefyre for comments but agree that the CommentLuv stack is great. And I’m using Seo Ultimate for Seo. Given the quality of this article (and some others I’ve read) I’m not surprised seeing it has more than 120 comments. ;)

    Have a great weekend!

  58. says

    Great Plugin List
    Really useful for bloggers
    Thanks for sharing ;-)
    but i am looking for plugin in which user can upload image from wordpress website to facebook

  59. says

    Well I upgraded my blog– on my own!!.. now I will have to go back and see if the plugins that I am using are the ones you have recommended… You are amazing and keep me so updated and informed… way more than I can keep up with… but I am still working on it!! Thanks Kim!!

  60. says

    Nice plugin list, but I think WordPress SEO by Yoast or SEO Ultimate better than All in one SEO pack. Use Google XML Sitemap to create xml sitemap, it’s best.

  61. says

    I really like the plugin above
    Especially the plugin:All-In-One SEO Pack WordPress Plugins is a very powerful seo plugin supports
    Google XML Sitemaps will help google to index your website faster
    I like robots meta
    Thanks your post

  62. says

    This is a very useful list, and I am looking forward for your post on the Platinum SEO plugin.Is it better than the AIO SEO plugin? And if I knew about the AIO Webmaster plugin before, things would have been a lot easier.

    • says

      Platinum is a slightly more expanded version of AIO SEO. Both of which are considered outdated and really should be replaced with WordPress SEO by Yoast at this time. This is a much better plugin with less resource use issues. Many hosts now ban AIO/Platinum. Migrating over is a wise move.


  1. The Best Wordpress Plugins and How to Find / Install Widgets and Plugins to Your Blog » Aztec Internet Marketing --> says:

    […] For more information and a slightly different viewpoint, from an anti-technical jargon and experienced webmaster and blogger, Kimberly Castleberry, visit her Top 10 WordPress Plugins post at her blog. […]

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