WordPress Essential Plugins & Widgets – Spice Up Blogging Experience

by on November 13th, 2007

All plugins which I am mentioning here are Compatible up to WordPress 2.3 or higher. Add functionality, boost and energy to your blog. I am using many of these and I recommend these to you also. Read the instructions always, before you upload plugins to your blog plugins directory. Some are easy to install like just plug and play; just upload, activate and ready to use. Some of these require putting some code along with regular activation of plugin. That code addition will be in your current template for blog which you are using. e.g. If you upload and activate advanced page navigation plugin it will not show up untill you put some code also in your blog’s current template pages. Just read instructions along with plugin and you will go through. Its easy. One more thing. Some plugins are available in form of files (php e.g. php files in zip archives) and some are inshape of folder (containing php files). Now in instructions, you can see that in plugin directory, will it be uploaded as a folder or you have to copy the files from that folder and put it in the plugin directory. I mean instructions are important with any plugin.

Why am I suggesting so much to read instructions? Because you can get maximum features sometimes, only by reading and following instructions. When I tried different plugins, many of these were not working. I was wondering that what’s wrong. Then I realized that just uploading plugins in specific plugin directory and activation is not enough sometimes. There is code implementation involves in some cases. Also whenever you activate a plugin, it might offer some customizations which can be accessed from options of admin panel of blog.

Why am I suggesting these plugins to you? O! dear, many reasons. I use these and I love these how they enhance my blog look and functionality. I am suggesting some very famous and easy to use yet powerful plugins to you. Have fun!!!

Configurable Tag Cloud (CTC)

(Upload & Activate)
WordPress has default tag cloud plugin too. For customizable tag cloud, there is a solution as CTC. A tag cloud widget for WordPress to allow the changing of style options from the Widgets control panel.

CTC Display

Download

Other Tag Cloud Plugins and Widgets by WordPress are:

Sensitive TagCloud
Flash Tag Cloud
New Tag Cloud
Tag Cloud Widget for UTW
Simple Tagging Widget

Ajax Post Save

(Upload & Activate)
Highly Recommended.
Allows you to save any WordPress post/page without needing to reload the page – with use of Ajax. Sometimes you put much effort in writing and editing a post but when you publish it, you find that internet connection is off and all your effort was useless and you have lost just edited post.
Either better use firefox for that which keeps cache of a page or use Ajax Post Save plugin.
Better click Save through ajax and let not loose your post. It also saves time which is wasted in page reloading. As I post, I observe it takes time for page to reload and Rich Text Editor to appear. Ajax Post Save is useful for that.
It adds a new button Save Through Ajax in Writing Section of WordPress.
Download

Ajax Comment preview

(Upload & Activate)
User can write comment and befor posting can preview it. Users will not be able to edit comment after posting so better give them a chance to preview first.
Download

All In One SEO Pack

(Upload & Activate)
Highly Recommended.
Out-of-the-box SEO for your WordPress blog. WordPress Blog Software donot need any SEO because of its builtin SEO support and Ping (Letting other servers, social bookmarking services and websites know about every new post) capabilities but still If you want your own meta tags and discription about some specific post then use it. In writing section it adds a module to write your own meta. 
Download

Audio Player

(Upload & Activate)
Lets you insert audio mp3 files into your posts. Comes with it’s own flash music player. Handy if you are a music lover. You can insert path of any online audio file which will play right in your blog post or you can upload audio file in your blog audio directory which comes when you activate this plugin and give its path. Highly configurable single track mp3 player. For details to use it follow Auther’s Page.

I have put yodeler singing track for example here.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download Plugin

Bookmarker

(Upload & Activate)
Posts the permalink to several social bookmarks services with title and description, categories as tags and excerpt as extended description. Bookmarker asks ID and Password of del.icio.us and simpy in admin and saves for you to post at these services  automatically.
Bookmarker posts bookmarks to your social bookmarks services accounts automatically when you publish entries in WordPress. It is very convenient and efficient to promote your posts all over the web this way in addition to pinging blog repositories.

Download

Also consider obsocialbookmarker and ob-textonly-social-bookmarker.
Another powerful bookmarker which I recommend is Social Bookmarks 4.0 which includes 50 Social Bookmarks Services. Great Plugin, Fully Customizable.
Social Bookmarks 4.0 Highly Recommended.

bookmarks

Famous Social Bookmarking Services

del.icio.us, simpy, reddit, slashdot it, digg, facebook, technorati, google, windows live, tailrank, bloglines, furl, netscape, yahoo, blinklist, feed me links, co.mments, bookmark.it, ask, diggita, mister wong, backflip, spurl, netvouz, diigo, dropjack, segnalo, stumbleupon, newsvine, wink, linkagogo, rawsugar, fark, squidoo

Easy Gravatars

(Upload & Activate)
Add Gravatars to your comments, without requiring any modifications to your theme files. Just activate, and youre done!
Gravatars are Globally Recognized Avatars. Its your online global unique identity by your logo. Upload your glabally recognized avatar.

Download wp_gravatar.zip and upload after extracting it into your blog plugins directory and activate it.

Whenever you will contribute in any community, forum or blog supporting gravatars, your avatar will show up there. Gravatars are associated with your email address.

Gravatar plugin in action
Download Plugin

Google Sitemaps

(Upload & Activate)
Highly Recommended.
This generator will create a Google compliant sitemap of your WordPress blog. Controlled from admin. On request builds xml sitemap and places it in your blog directory and then pings to google about it.

Download

Highlight Author Comment

(Upload & Activate)
Automatically applies a distinctive style to comments by the post’s author.

Download

Most Commented

(Upload & Activate)
Retrieves a list of the posts with the most comments.

Download

Random Posts Widgets

(Upload & Activate)
Highly Recommended.
Display Random Posts Widget. Based on Random categories with random posts by Mike Stickel.

Download

Share This

(Upload & Activate)
Highly Recommended.
Another bookmarker. If you are not using any other bookmarker, use atleast this which adds a green button at the end of every post so people can click on it, choose service and bookmark your post. Let your visitors share a post/page with others. ShareThis plugin allows users to add your post to many social bookmarking sites. Supports e-mail and posting to social bookmarking sites.

Download

Tiny Emotions

(Upload & Activate)
Add smilies and other emotions in the TinyMCE Rich Visual Editor.

Download

Tiny Style

(Upload & Activate)
Add HTML style controls in the TinyMCE Rich Visual Editor.

Download

Tiny XHTML

(Upload & Activate)
Add extra XHTML controls and event handler controls in the TinyMCE Rich Visual Editor.

Download

WordPress.com Stats

(Upload & Activate – Use API key)
Tracks views, post/page views, referrers, and clicks in regular way and also in graphical view without load on your server. Requires a WordPress.com API key.
You will need another regular wordpress blog with free WordPress Account for API key to activate this feature.

Download

WP-Pagenavi

(Upload, Activate & put code in pages)
Highly Recommended.
Adds a more advanced paging navigation to your WordPress blog. Leave next and back buttons and add an advanced navigation to your blog. What if visitor wants to know that how many pages are ahead in any category or under any tag. By next and back buttons it remains out of sight but with WP-Pagenavi you can add more usibility to you blog.

I recommend that in your template pages where there is next and back navigation code, leave that as is and also add this navigation code under that code.
Display
Page 1 of 19 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 »Last »

Download

WP-Polls and Widget

(Upload & Activate)
Poll Widget adds a Poll Widget to display single or multiple polls from WP-Polls Plugin. You will need to activate WP-Polls first.
WP-Polls adds an AJAX poll system to your WordPress blog. You can easily include a poll into your WordPress’s blog post/page. WP-Polls is extremely customizable via templates and css styles and there are tons of options for you to choose to ensure that WP-Polls runs the way you wanted. It now supports multiple selection of answers.

Download

WP-UserOnline and Widget

(Upload & Activate)
WP-UserOnline enable you to display how many users are online on your WordPress blog with detailed statistics of where they are and who there are(Members/Guests/Search Bots).
WP-UserOnline Widget adds a UserOnline Widget to display users online from WP-UserOnline Plugin. You need to activate WP-UserOnline first.
Let you know that how popular is your blog and how much hits at the time it is recieving.

Screenshot

Download

WP 2.3 Related Posts

(Upload, Activate & put code in pages)
Highly Recommended.
Generate a related posts list via tags of WorPdress.
At every page (I recommend at bottom) display related posts to tags. More usability for your visitor as he have also choice to read content related to what he has just been reading. Let WordPress know similar posts via tags and bring these for reader when available more to read. You can specify how may posts will be shown in the list.

Download

WP 2.3 Statistics

(Upload & Activate)
Add the statistics into your blog, such as total posts, pages, tags.

Display

posts:145
category:64
tag:74
links:26
comments:13

Download

Subscribe2 Plugin

Highly Recommended.
Got a great blog? Time to make some noise. Yeah! This plugin lets your users subscribe or unsubscribe. They subscribe and they are done. You activate plugin, and you are also done. Let the rest of noisy work be done by your blog.
Serious, its this much simple! Mail your users whenever you post automatically or mail them weekly digest e-mail.
Whatever and whenever… You decide.

Website
Download

WordPress All Plugins Directory

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/

As soon as I see any other cool plugin, and find useful, I will update this post. I have told you mine, you tell me now your plugin list.

Things have changed a lot because WordPress has evolved a lot. Now you do not need to download and upload plugins. You can search plugins from blog admin and download and install these in an automatic fashion. Please read current posts related to plugins help and recommendations.
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4 Reviews

  1. Nice List of to do’s. Many thanks.

  2. Dharmang says:

    Thanks for sharing other useful plugins are for favicon and photo galleria for nice ajax based photo gallery.

  3. Hiroshi says:

    You are welcome. I am very much enthusiastic about plugins. I will keep posting new. There are a lot available. But you know problem with the versions. Some are old and some donot work. I will write about plugins which actually work and enhance website.

  4. David Airey says:

    Thanks for sharing, Javed. I’m going to try out a couple of these.

    Thanks also for your recent comment on my blog. Much appreciated.

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