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Q: Joe Chavez asked: “I was curious to know what other plugins or utilities do you use/recommend?”
A: There are literally thousands of plugins available to WordPress.org bloggers. I have personally tried out a hundred or so. At one time I was using nearly 30 but in the process discovered several issues that caused me to limit the number I use. Here’s some of the stuff that I have discovered usually the hard way:
a. Some plugins actually cause your blog to load more slowly.
At one time I had 3 or 4 that slowed down the load-in time considerably. You can test this by turning off all your plugins and adding them one by one and see if they make a difference in load time. You might be surprised. I once had a blogging friend who used 40 or so plugins and it was taking 20 seconds or more for his blog to load (not good).
b. Some plugins conflict with each other.
What this means is—if you are using one particular plugin another one may not work right. I have no idea why—it is just that way. Some of the websites will inform you of any conflicts but mostly it is trial and error.
c. Some plugins may not work properly with your particular WP theme.
I have run across this a couple of times particularly with older WP themes and newer plugins. One time after upgrading a plugin it would no longer work properly with the theme I was running at the time.
d. Some plugins have been used by hackers.
There have been several times in the last 4 years or so when hackers have actually used certain plugins to gain backdoor access to WP blogs. WP official sites will carry a warning when this happens along with a remedy and/or upgrade.
e. It is a good idea to upgrade your plugins to the newest version.
See #d above. Also, plugins eventually have to be upgraded to work with the latest WP versions.
Here’s a list of the plugins I currently use on this blog:
-Takes care of most of the spam—essential.
2. All in One SEO Pack
-Provides ability to imput SEO important info—definitely helps your Google rating.
3. Google XML Sitemaps
-Google likes it-nuff said!
4. Feedburner Feed Replacement
-Replaces blog feed with feedburner feed—helps increase subscribers.
5. WordPress Database Backup
-Set up automatic database backups
6. WP Super Cache
-Makes the load in faster and Digg proof!
7. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin
-Exposes your readers to past posts that may be related. It is worth it even though it slows the load a bit.
8. WP Easy Uploader
-Great for uploading both themes and plugins—2 clicks and it’s done!
-Makes it easy for your readers to Digg, Stumbleupon, or email to friends.
10. WordPress.com Stats
-It’s always nice to see some stats when you go to your dashboard—I have ‘Site Meter’ for a more detailed look.
The next three are great for making it easy to add pictures and media to your posts:
-Literally don’t know what I would do without Zemanta
-Pictures and media–added on after post is published.
-Great source for pictures
The Following I only turn on once a month to “repair” and “optimize” the database:
Final Note: —I continue to check out new plugins all of the time. I‘ve found that the best way to discover great plugins is to read posts like this where other bloggers review the ones that they’re currently using.