imgwordpressWordPress is by far one of the most popular CMS and blogging tools available today.

On almost a weekly basis, I’m asked to either modify, create, or convert a site into a WordPress blog.

As part of this process, I have a set of “standard” plugins I use that – in my opinion – should be a standard set of tools for any wordpress blog.

Akisment – Akismet comes standard with the default WordPress package. It’s one of the easiest ways to reduce comment spam on a site… but many times one that is neglected.

All-in-One SEO Pack– When it comes to Search Engine Optimization, WordPress does pretty darn good right out of the box.  However, there’s still some additional tweaks that can be done to make it golden.  The All-in-One SEO pack gives you the additional option to help you blog get higher ranking on search engines.

Contact Form 7 – For non-techies, contact forms can be a very difficult thing to create and manage.  Contact Form 7 allows you to add a form to ANY page or post in your blog.

Evermore – Evermore solves a simple, but very crucial part of Search Engine Optimization: Duplicate Content.  For those of you that aren’t familiar with what Duplicate content is, it’s when two articles on the same site (or multiple sites) have the same content.  This decreases it’s value to search engines and can push the content down in the search results page.
What Evermore does, is prevent a post on your homepage from displaying the full content of an article, thus eliminating the duplicate content penalty.

Note: WordPress does provide this service by only showing an Excerpt of the article. However, Evermore provides you with more control over how much content is on the homepage.

Feedburner Feedsmith– Feedburner is a very popular Google application that allows you to track and analyze your feed subscribers.  You can view the amount of subscribers, the amount of clicks, and even the way they access your feed.

(Note: In order to download the Feedsmith plugin, you need to be signed up and logged in to Feedburner.)

Google Analytics for WordPressGoogle Analytics is very simple to install on a WordPress blog… simply copy and paste the code into the footer, then upload. Quick, clean, painless.  However, by installing the Google Analytics for WordPress plugin, it automatically allows you to do so much more.  Things like tracking outgoing links, or internal links.  The ability to keep your Google Code even  after changing themes and so forth.

Google XML Sitemaps– Google XML sitemaps is a great little tool for automatically creating, updating, and submitting a Google compatible XML sitemap.  The beauty of this plugin, is you don’t even realize it’s working.  Just simply create a new page, and it updates the XML sitemap on the back-end.

reCaptcha– Recaptcha is a very “Novel” way of blocking spam. reCaptcha is a “Captcha” or “Completely Automated Program to Tell Computers and Humans Apart”.  It’s that little quiz that shows up on a lot of sites below signup forms, contact forms, or comments. (Note: You must sign up for the service to get the plugin… the service is Free).

Where reCaptcha is so unique is they are using it to translate books into digital format.  So, in addition to getting a service for your readers, you’re also doing a service for the greater good.

Revision Control– One of the newer features as of WordPress 2.7 is a revision history for posts and stories.  This is a great tool and provides you with a way to roll back your content to a previous version.  The only problem… every time you hit save, it saves a version.  Pretty soon, you’ve got dozens of revisions and a lot of excess database used up. 

Revision Control let’s you limit the amount shown to a number you wish. (I have mine set to only keep 5 of the newest revisions)

WordPress Automatic Upgrade– WordPress is trying to build in an Automatic Upgrade feature with the latest versions of WordPress…. the only problem: It doesn’t work.  At least, not yet.

So, I’m still providing one of my good ole standbys here… Automatic Upgrade.  It lets you upgrade your installation within minutes.

So, There you have it… my first top 10 list of this site. 
But, that’s enough from me… What about you?  What are your top plugins?