Top X Plugins for WordPress

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I use wordpress for my blog (obviously as you’re reading this 🙂 ); I also use it as an excellent CMS (Content Management System) for my hosted websites (and even to manage my webdesign business, yes thats right, WordPress can help you manage a business! Its almost infinitely flexible).

A web content management (WCM) system is a CMS designed to simplify the publication of web content to web sites and mobile devices—in particular, allowing content creators to submit content without requiring technical knowledge of HTML or the uploading of files.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_management_system

Why do I use it for hosted websites? Well, I used to and still do have a custom written (by me) website editing system (a CMS) however keeping up with options, features, multi user access and such is time consuming. Especially when you consider there is a lot of software out there that is free (if you have a place to host it already) and that provides excellent scalability, constant upgrades, widgets and new features all the time.

There are many out there that are large, very flexible, ready for ANY situation. Example, Joomla

Joomla is a free and open source content management system (CMS) for publishing content on the World Wide Web and intranets. It comprises a model–view–controller (MVC) Web application framework that can also be used independently.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joomla

Some CMS’s include:

  • Drupal
  • Mamba
  • Pixie
  • XOOPS
  • and the list goes on

WordPress offers a very light installation (low resources), is super easy to configure and mod, thousands of plugins available that add just about any kind of functionality you can think of to your website, and so far as I’ve seen, the most simple intuitive interface for end users for content creation and publishing.

I’ve been working with WordPress for years now and I’ve come across lots of good plugins and bad ones. Now, you may have different favourites but here are the ones that I tend to use with every WP site I publish (and the blogs I manage include Corporate, eCommerce, Standard business and personal ones).

In no particular order, my favs are:

  • Contact Form 7 – This provides auto form templating for comments and communication back from your website
  • iFrame Widget – When there are no other plugins, you can put a whole website if you want right inside your blog with iframes. Very handy in a pinch!
  • WordPress Database Backup – on top of your hosts backup procedures – which you shouldn’t always trust – is this backup program which will backup to your hosts server or email you an SQL dump file of your database, daily, weekly, monthly etc. Invaluable for that EXTRA assurance that you’ll be able to restore your site should anything go wrong
  • MapPress Easy Google Maps – An easy way to get google maps into your blog posts or on your website when using WP as a website backend.
  • nStatistics – a great little ‘in WordPress’ statistics database showing hits, unique visitors etc. Simple, it just works, no external hosts or websites needed to track stuff
  • SI Captcha – Great captcha plugin for all your commenting security needs. It just works!
  • FT FacePress II – facebook link posting tool to get your blogs seen by people – who ISN’T on facebook now right? So what a better forum to get your blog out there!
  • Twitter Tools – to get your twitter account updated with every post
  • WordPress Mobile Pack – a quick little plugin to get your blog up and running quickly on mobile devices. Simple layout, just works
  • WordPress 3 Invoice – allows setting up companies and generating invoices for them and stores all previously made ones. Nice and simple layout, and you save them to PDF for delivery

Now there are SO many more I haven’t even discovered for sure, for now, these are my ‘go to’ plugins. I’ll have more favs as they are created or as I discover them too. Do you have a favourite?

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