Here are some of the most useful plugins for WordPress that will add functionality to your site in a variety of areas.
Askimet is a free plugin for personal use, designed to combat spam comments. Askimet will not only filter blog comment link spam, it also filters spam trackback pings.
Although originally developed as a stand alone plugin, Askimet has proved so successful at combating spam, it is now integrated by default in all WordPress installations, so there is no need to install the plugin.
To use Akismet with your wordpress blog, it is necessary to obtain a WordPress API Key, which is like your own WordPress password. You will need to create a wordpress.com account, then you will be able to find the API key on your profile. The API can be obtained by signing up at:
2. All in One SEO
Without using plugins to optimize your WordPress blog, it may need a little help to get the desired results you wish in the search engine results. The best plugin to help you with your search engine optimization, is undoubtedly the All in One SEO plugin.
The plugin provides what is missing in WordPress, including the description, keywords, the blog title and post titles.
When you have installed the plugin, visit you can change the default settings within your dashboard to suit your preferences.
3. Google XML Sitemaps
The Google XML Sitemap plugin will help the major search engines to index your blog. It also allows the search engines to see the structure of your blog.
The plugin will support all types of WordPress generated pages and also custom URLs. It will also notify the major search engines whenever you make a new post.
The XML sitemap was introduced in 2005 by Google, and the following year adopted by Yahoo, Bing, and Ask.com, but as Google was the first to use the XML sitemaps, hence the name of the plugin – Google XML Sitemap plugin. It’s important to have a sitemap if you want your blog to be completely scraped by Google.
Once you have installed the plugin, the sitemap creation process is just about self-explanatory. You only have to build the sitemap once. After that, it will be done automatically.
Sociable is a plugin which adds social media buttons to your posts, which easily allows visitors to add your post to their social bookmarking accounts.
Whether your visitors are on Twitter, Digg, Facebook or many other social network sites, (You can choose from around 99 different social bookmarking sites!) this plugin will allow your blog’s content to be effortlessly shared.
5. Digg This
“Digg This” is another very popular plugin, that you will have seen on numerous blogs. The plugin detects incoming links from Digg.com to your wordpress blog post, and automatically displays a link back to the digg post, for people to digg your post with one click, therefore adding to your votes.
The latest version of the plugin takes advantage of the new Digg integration tools, this plugin watches your WordPress posts and automatically adds the new “Digg Story Button” if and when your post is dugg. Simply activate the plugin and ad the code as instructed, if any post is ever dugg the button will appear on that post’s page automatically.
When a digg is first recognized. an email is sent to the blog’s admin, informing of the Digg.
6. Show Top Commentators
The Show Top Commentators plugin for WordPress encourages more comments and discussion from your readers, as their name (and a link to their website if provided) will be listed on your sidebar.
If your blog is in need of more comments, this plugin is an excellent way of enticing visitors to leave a comment and to return to your blog to leave more comments.
If you are focusing on improving your own search engine ranking with certain keywords, you can take advantage of this plugin when you see it placed on other blogs.Visit some of your favorite high ranking sites and work on getting on their top commentators lists. Enter the keyword you want to work rank for in the name field when writing your comments so that the keyword of your choice will show up in the sidebar.
7. Related Posts
The Related Posts plugin is a handy tool that displays a list of contextually related posts beneath the current post.
You have the option of choosing how many related posts you would like to display, and you can opt to exclude posts from certain categories as well as exclude pages.
8. Share This
This is another very popular widely used plugin. The Share This plugin allows your users to share your blog’s content via social bookmarking sites or to send it to a friend via email, Facebook, Twitter, AIM and more.
You will be able to see the plugin in action on many blogs that you visit.