Updated for 2015
WordPress plugins are tools which offer additional functions and features to those available from the core WordPress platform. They enable users to tailor their site to their specific needs. At the time of writing there were almost thirty thousand of the things available at the Official WordPress Plugins Repository and a Google Search for “best WordPress Plugins” will lead to hundreds of articles discussing them. Here are some of my personal favourites.
- Akismet – This plugin comes pre-installed on many WordPress installations. It checks any comments made on your blog against an extensive database and identifies any that look like spam. It takes a bit of work to set up but will save you many hours work in the long run.
- Contact Form 7 – Runs the contact form linked from the menu bar above.
- Comment Images – Allows readers of this blog to upload images with any comments they make.
- Google Analytics – links @StirPR with the Google Analytics service
- Official StatCounter Plugin – Works with the StatCounter service to enable me to track users of @StirPR.
- One Click Close Comments – Allows me to enable/disable comments on individual posts or pages.
- Social Media Feather – a simple way of setting up social media sharing and following buttons on your WordPress site.
- UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore – enables me to back up ‘’StirPR with a single click. Other back-up plugins are available. You should use one if you don’t want to lose all your hard work when you make a mistake.
When thinking about installing plugins you should look at the ratings given them by users of WordPress.org, some are badly written, buggy or make your site run slowly. Some of them don’t work well together or may not work with your specific WordPress theme. Add them one at a time. If you can’t get one to work then try and find another plugin that does a similar job, there are thousands of the things, many of them performing similar functions.