21 Wicked WordPress Plugins

The last time I wrote about WordPress plugins I wrote a post called: 10 of the most popular plugins for WordPress for the Swedish uptime blog pingdom.

Since then I’ve been keeping my ears open for the best wordpress plugins around and the list below is what I came up with.

Make sure to let me know what your favorite plug-ins are in the comments below!

1. WPtouch iPhone Theme

All Time Downloads: 1,054,757

WPtouch makes your WordPress Blog awesome on the iPhone.

This plugin takes less than a minute to install.

Even if you don’t have an iPhone I highly recommend you install this plugin.

2. Thank Me Later

All Time Downloads: 19,368

This plugin was not developed by Drake, but it does send an email to every new commenter on your blog.

I just installed this plugin so drop a comment if you want to see it in action ;)

3. WP-PageNavi

All Time Downloads: 1,006,160

This plugin adds a navigation system to your blog (ie. [1] [2] [3]…[17],) rather than simple “Older posts” and “Newer posts” links.

This plugin makes alot of sense to install once your content starts to build up.

4.  SEO Ultimate

All Time Downloads: 78,026

Every blog needs an SEO plugin.  Probably the most popular SEO plugin is All in One SEO pack, which has millions of downloads, and is worth checking out.

For my blog I wanted more flexibility when rewriting my titles and SEO ultimate is perfect for just that.

5. W3 Total Cache

All Time Downloads: 115,574

W3 Total Cache claims to be the fastest and most complete WordPress performance optimization plugin in the world.

6. CommentLuv

All Time Downloads: 222,259

CommentLuv is my favorite way to encourage blog commenting.

With this pluigin installed commenters will see a commentLuv button and if they leave a message a link will be dropped linking to their last blog post.

I personally comment more often on blogs when I see they have CommentLuv installed.

7. YouTube with style

All Time Downloads: 12,054

The youtube with style plugin allows WordPress users to easily embed a youtube video with a stylish player, instead of the standard boring embed.

With this plugin you can add a widget to your sidebar with videos from your youtube account, and use a lightbox to display them.

YouTube With Style

8. SexyBookmarks

All Time Downloads: 434,904

At the bottom of this post you will see the SexyBookmarks plugin in action.

This plugin is a very stylish tool for getting your readers to actually submit your articles to numerous social bookmarking sites.


Plugin Tip: Sexy Bookmarks releases a new update almost every week.  Don’t waste your time constantly updating this plugin because the updates are usually minor (they do it so that they can get their download count up) and updating causes you to waste your time re-selecting the social networks you want to display.

9. CformsII

All Time Downloads: Unknown

To use this custom forms plugin you will need some coding skills, but if you have them you can wind up with some wicked results.

10. Contact form 7

All Time Downloads: 2,389,781

Contact Form 7 can manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and so on.  I use Contact Form 7 for the contact form on this blog.  It was very easy to install and configure.

11. WordPress Related Posts

All Time Downloads: 254,022

This plugin allows you to display a specific amount of related posts, and to exclude categories if you so choose.

I have not installed this plugin, but with 254,022 installs I’m going to assume it works well.

12. Apture

All Time Downloads: 32,553

Apture works amazingly well on rww, the site where I first saw it in action.  Unfortunately when I installed Apture on this blog it did not work the same; it was very laggy, so I removed it.

Apture auto searches any words that you highlight on a page.

Despite it’s failure for me, I still think Apture is a wicked plugin, with alot of promise.

I am not surprised that Rww decided to call Apture one of the top 10 semantic products of 2009

I’ll probably try installing Apture again in the future, hopefully with better luck.

13. Better Tag Cloud

All Time Downloads: 59,112

This plugin creates more options for tag cloud widgets.

This means that you can easily customize things like custom font sizes, colors, HTML markup and ordering.

14. Permalinks Moved Permanently

All Time Downloads: 33,821

If you just migrated your WordPress blog from one permalink structure to another, and you don’t want to lose traffic that accesses your blog through the old permalinks, this is for you.

15. WP to Top

All Time Downloads: 7,166

This plugin will add a “Back to top” link automatically to your blog.

WP to Top features a smooth scrolling effect and customizable options.

16. Digg Digg

All Time Downloads: 114,946

Digg Digg is an awesome plugin that I first noticed on the popular blog Mashable.

Digg Digg is installed on this blog and is responsible for the hovering sharing icons to the left.

The ajax scrolling feature of digg digg is really awesome, and allows custom sharing buttons to follow with a visitor as they scroll down a page.

Since digg digg makes sharing buttons more visible, they increase the likelihood that visitors will share your content.

17. Dofollow

All Time Downloads: 48,379

This plugin also help you to encourage the commenting in your blog by removing the nofollow attribute from your wordpress blog, and rewarding the commenter with a dofollow link.

With this plugin installed commenters will gain Pagerank for their blog every time they comment.

18. Google XML Sitemaps

All Time Downloads: 4,336,184

This massively important and popular plugin will generate a special XML sitemap for your blog.

An XML sitemap helps search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your web pages.

19. GoCodes

All Time Downloads: 30,709

This plugin is very useful for bloggers who promote affiliate products on their blog.

It works by hiding any URL and converting that URL into your blog URL and when some user click on that URL It redirects the user to your affiliate link.

20. WP125

All Time Downloads: 107,710

For those bloggers who want to monetize their blog through advertising units this plugin can be very useful.

WP125 supports One or two column ad display, and support through template tags to implement your own unconventional design.

Show as many ads as you want, and in either manual or random order

Keep track of how many times an ad is clicked

21. Google Analyticator

All Time Downloads: 1,007,686

Google Analyticator adds the necessary JavaScript code to enable Google Analytics logging on any WordPress blog.

My favorite feature of Google Analyticator is that it installs a dashboard widget, that allows me to view a graph with my site stats every time I login to my blog.


What WordPress plugins are essential to you?  Let me know what your favorite wordpress plugins are in the comments below!

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38 Responses to 21 Wicked WordPress Plugins

  1. Jimb August 27, 2010 at 10:40 pm #

    …and PopupDomination!

  2. Anonymous August 27, 2010 at 10:54 pm #

    Great List! Think I just installed 5 or 6 new plugins! Have you noticed an issue with Google Analyticator not showing stats? Mine put the code but no stats.

  3. Garin Kilpatrick August 28, 2010 at 4:46 am #

    Great, glad you found some plugins you like!

    Google Analyticator has always worked flawlessly for me.

  4. Anonymous August 28, 2010 at 12:10 pm #

    Great list of resources, Garin. I’m a fan of the Disqus Comments system as well. (Couldn’t help but notice you had it on your site)

  5. Garin Kilpatrick August 28, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

    Thanks Tim. I like disqus alot (use it on all my blogs). FB/ Twitter/Yahoo/OpenID login, plus sharing features, make it hard to beat.

  6. Richard November 2, 2010 at 11:50 pm #

    I’m using Disqus as well on my wordpress and I just want to say a million thanks for sharing this plug-ins. I got a lot of new stuff from your site and it’s worth it.

  7. Schon November 3, 2010 at 9:00 am #

    I totally agree with you. I noticed that there a lot of people using Disqus, its all because they have other social networks connected. By the way I need help in Google analyticator its not working for me as well.

  8. David A November 11, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    I like the plugin “Printfriendly”. Really innovative page print plug in!

  9. Adwel Lo November 20, 2010 at 8:48 pm #

    pretty link I could not live without! http://nicheaffiliatecash.com/plp

  10. Adam February 8, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    Thank you so much for this list Garin.
    I’m putting together my site now and am using your list as a starting point.

  11. Garin Kilpatrick February 8, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

    Awesome Adam, I’m glad you like the list!

    All the best,


  12. Keri February 12, 2011 at 8:14 pm #

    Hey this list is really helpful… I see three here I’m going to add to my blog, thanks Garin.

  13. Paytonms May 11, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    This is interesting information share over here. its provide better guideline regarding to wordpress plugins. really these all are very impressive and beneficial.

    directory submission

  14. Alainjb July 10, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

    Thanks Garin great plugins!

  15. seo india September 21, 2011 at 2:41 am #

    This list is very valuable, personally I have little time to test all the plugins so it’s always good to review what is recommended.

  16. Henrique Carvalho October 16, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    Thanks for sharing. Loved the Permalinks Moved Permanentely tip.

  17. Garin Kilpatrick October 16, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

    Glad you liked the post, I have used the Permalinks Moved Permanently plugin and it works great; saved me from losing out on a ton of traffic!

  18. Henrique Carvalho October 16, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

    Hey Garin!

    I’ve tried it on my blog and worked fine with the URL.

    But, and it’s a big “but”, I’ve lost all my social media shares (tweets, likes and +1s).

    Any ideia how to change permalinks without losing social media?

  19. Garin Kilpatrick October 16, 2011 at 6:24 pm #

    Ah, that’s frustrating, unfortunately this is a trade-off you’ll have to make if you want to use the plugin.  If you’re switching from date style links 2011/10/16/your-link to permalinks without dates this will give your content more life in the long run and in my opinion it is worth the trade off because if you don’t switch over then once we hit 2012 all of your 2011 content will seem dated.

  20. Henrique Carvalho October 16, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    Thanks for the reply Garin, I really appreciate it!

    Yeah, I’m thinking about the trade-off.

    Your point makes a lot of sense but it’s hard to lose (overnight) all the beautiful tweets, likes and +1s.

    They are a good social proof for my readers that the content is worth reading.

  21. Garin Kilpatrick October 16, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    I totally understand where you are coming from, I did not want to lose proof of those shares either when I installed the plugin, but if your content is good enough to be shared in the first place I’m sure people will share it again.

    It was painful for me when I first made the switch especially since some of my posts had several hundred shares, but before too long I had as more shares than I had before and my content did not seem dated so in the end I was glad I made the change.

  22. Henrique Carvalho October 17, 2011 at 6:28 am #

    Thank You (again) Garin!

  23. URLS1 January 5, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

    url1mrflakierec Love This Site Great Post Nice Layout And Great Choices For Plugins Great Work Mate Thanks For The Top Post

  24. thelondoneer March 20, 2012 at 10:04 am #

    I actually use most of the plugins that you list here, although I favour NRelate plugins for ‘related’ and ‘popular’ posts, basically because they’re so visually appealing – that’s important when your site tends to have lots of images as mine does 

  25. Garin March 20, 2012 at 10:29 am #

     @thelondoneer I just checked out the NRelate related content plugin and I am seriously impressed.  Thanks for the tip! http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/nrelate-related-content

  26. Garin March 20, 2012 at 10:29 am #

     @thelondoneer I just checked out the NRelate related content plugin and I am seriously impressed.  Thanks for the tip! http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/nrelate-related-content

  27. Robcairns June 4, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    Great post. As a WordPress developer I can not disagree with this list. I have used. I love Livefyre as a comment system as well as backupbuddy which is well worth the cost. It is the best backup plugin on the market.

  28. michaeljae June 25, 2012 at 10:22 am #

    I’ve been wanting to change a domain name on one of my blogs and have held off doing it because of this very issue. I was wondering does it make sense to anyone here to leave all the old pages on the old domain via htaccess rewrite (and so keeping the old social proof), and then let all the new content be published on the new domain? Seems tempting but a bad idea to split the site into two domains.
    Any other creative outside of the box solutions to this problems?

  29. Garin June 25, 2012 at 11:34 am #

     @michaeljae My recommendation is to change the name and go with the strongest possible brand since this will help you the most in the long run. Unfortunately this means losing the social proof from the old site, however if the new brand is stronger it will gain more social proof than the initial site in time.

  30. michaeljae June 25, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

    Thanks Garin for your reply (especially consdering this post is on the old side. I’m still trying to decide what’s best, but I will strongly consider your feedback. It would be great to just switch the domain and be done with it, but it’s a hard choice to make when you’ve worked hard to develop what you have. @Garin

  31. ChrisThePhotog June 26, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

    Great list Garin, thanks. But, would you be able to expand on some of these (or do so on future lists) as far has a bit more detail on why each plug-in is useful, i.e. I don’t really get #17, I know comments are good but don’t know the mechanics of do/don’t follow and what those terms really mean.

  32. th73 July 6, 2012 at 9:43 am #

    Testing thank me later….

  33. RaiderTrader August 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

    Garin…you certainly do a huge amount of research. You are the man!

  34. RaiderTrader August 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

    Gari…you are the man!

  35. Mick_Gavin March 26, 2013 at 7:21 am #

    Thanks. Just in the process of setting up  Wordpress site so this is very timely

  36. John Crooks March 23, 2016 at 8:22 am #

    Some great plugins there and some that I’m not familiar with too.
    I would recommend using the default comment system along with Commentluv if your blog is new and your readership low. You can always switch later but this will help build some regular traffic quite quickly. It might also result in a little extra spam but it’s a small price to pay compared to the benefits.

  37. upsmasher October 7, 2016 at 7:21 am #

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  38. Tim Brown August 26, 2017 at 2:56 am #

    No#4-SEO Ultimate is really amazing for bloggers! I am going to share this article on my twitter to see my friends. I hope these will helpful for them too.

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