12 Must Have Plug-ins for WordPress

wordpresslogoI’m a big fan of WordPress for all my current website needs. With free blogging software making it easier and easier for creatives to build a website that is easy to update from anywhere, there are a few plug-ins I’ve been using that make posting articles much easier and enjoyable for me and readers of the sites.

Take the jump for my list of 12 Must Have Plug-ins for WordPres that you can use right now.

12 Must Have Plug-ins for WordPress

  1. Akismet – It’s already built into WordPress, so why not get your WordPress.com API Key and activate it? Akismet keeps unwanted SPAM out of your comments section making managing your comments a breeze. To date, Akismet has protected all of my sites from over 100,000 SPAM comments.
  2. PodPress – If you are a podcaster who wants to embed your podcast into your website, PodPress is the answer. It will create your RSS feed for iTunes, Podcast Alley, and other popular feeds, includes a stats package (which I’m having a few problems with at the moment), supports pay only content, and a cool little player.
  3. Sticky – If there is an important post that needs to remain at the top of your page, then Sticky is the plug-in to get. It would be nice if Sticky included a feature to keep the post at the top of the page until a certain date or time, but for free, I can’t complain.
  4. WP-Polls – Someone asked what poll software I use for the sites, and WP-Polls is it. WP-Polls is customizable via templates and CSS styles and there are many options to make the poll look exactly like you want it to. TIP: When you first look at WP-Polls it looks like you can’t use images, but if you place the IMG code in the Poll Answers it will work. I know that takes a bit of work, but it works wonders.
  5. WP-Table – I hate hate hate creating tables. If you aren’t using a WYSIWYG application, you have to code tables by hand – that is unless you are using WP-Table. This plug-in allows you to import CSV files to generate tables that resize gracefully or you can define cell width. You can also customize the look of your table with your WordPress CSS Style. The feature that I love the most about WP-Tables is once you publish the table, readers can sort the table by clicking on the top cell of each row. I’ve used this for Major Spoilers when I publish the Top 300 Comics of the Month. Readers can sort the information by publisher, cost, or units sold.
  6. Adsense – If you need to embed Google Adsense into your page, this plug-in makes it easy to add the code to any article.
  7. Add-Sig – Not all blogs are single user sites. Coolness Roundup, Major Spoilers, and others are collaborative websites. While some stories can get away with just the author tag, certain features or reviews will benefit from having an author bio at the end of the article. Simply add the Signature code at the end of the article, and whatever text you have in your About the User page will show up. Again, you can get images to embed as well if you tweak it. The only thing I haven’t been able to get to work is paragraph breaks.
  8. Cloud Tag – Upgrade to the latest release of WordPress and Cloud Generation is one of the new features. If you don’t want to upgrade, then check out Ultimate Tag Warrior by Christine Davis.
  9. ImageManager – If there is one thing that is really lacking with WordPress is the ability to post many images without constantly clicking on the Insert/Edit Image icon. ImageManger is a much nicer image posting plug-in, and with a bit of tweaking (i.e. hacking the plug-in) you can get the image manager to stay open as you add hundreds of photos to a single post.
  10. Viper’s Video Quick Tags – Allows you to easily embed all sorts of media files into your website.
  11. OpenAds – Beyond Adsense, if you are serious about placing advertising on your website, OpenAds is the software to get. Managing hundreds of campaigns and placing ads exactly where you want them on your site is a snap with OpenAds. Best of all this is a free application that takes just a few minutes to set up, and a few more minutes embedding the code into your main pages.
  12. Stats Package – Okay, so I don’t have a single plug-in for this last section. There are hundreds of stats applications out there that work well. Currently, I’m using stats from GoDaddy, SiteMeter, WordPress.com Stats, and Google Analytics.
Written by Stephen Schleicher - Stephen Schleicher is one of those guys that has always loved comics but never got into them until really late in life - like high school in the 80s. He just missed the Crisis on Infinite Earths, but has been around for every major crossover since. Stephen knows his way around video and film production having been a director, producer, editor, and motion graphics artist for projects ranging from small promotional pieces for Wachovia all the way up to regional videos for the Division of Emergency Management. As a prolific writer, Stephen began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen also freelances for the Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog. When not writing, Stephen shares his knowledge as a tenured faculty member at Fort Hays State University. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. Favorite Writers: Mark Waid, Geoff Johns, Paul Dini, Adam Beechen, Bill Willingham, Matthew Sturges Favorite Artists: Dan Jurgens, Alex Ross, Adam Hughes, Freddie Williams III

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