10 WordPress Plugins That Every WordPress Blog Needs

I’ve never been a fan of plugins that do a job you could quite easily do yourself. For example, why use the All in One SEO Pack when you can have your own meta boxes (maybe not the best example…)? And why use a silly Analytics plugin when it’s perfectly easy to open up your footer and paste the code?! I must stop before I rant any more. However, recently I’ve been one over by some plugins that do a job you couldn’t easily do yourself and really add to the overall WordPress experience. In this post are 10 WordPress Plugins that every WordPress blog needs.

1. WordPress Database Backup

Perhaps the most important plugin you’ll ever come across, WordPress Database Backup offers you the invaluable opportunity to backup your database automatically and regularly – as the above pic shows, you can schedule backups to an email address of your choice – set it and forget it. Until you find you’ve lost your database, that is. At which point you should promptly find it.

2. Subscribe to Comments

Subscribe to Comments adds a little box to the end of your comments form giving users the option to be notified by email when more comments get added. It’s a simple but effective way to increase reader involvement and keep those readers coming back and back.

3. SEO Super Comments

SEO Super Comments, as the plugin’s page says:

Since now [I think it’s meant to say up to now] all comments normally drain page rank even when nofollowed (bad for your site) the whole idea of using them to generate links back to your site instead and get free indexable content along the way, looks just much more appealing.

Basically, it takes all the comments on your blog and makes a dynamically generated page for them, so that the contents of the comment get indexed by search engines and so create you get additional content. Pretty cool, no?

4. CommentLuv

The final comment plugin that every WordPress blog needs is CommentLuv. See that little bit at the bottom of the image above? That’s CommentLuv. The plugin’s page again:

Comments are a wonderful thing to receive on your blog, with CommentLuv for WordPress and WordPress MU you can give something back to your community straight away by including a titled link for their last blog post or tweet on the end of their comment.

Basically, it’s just a link back to the comment author’s latest post, and that’s pretty much it. Simple, but an effective way of giving your readers something in return for a comment.

5. Akismet

Akismet is the spam stopping plugin. It comes bundled with WordPress, but even so, many users don’t use it. Install it and forget it; Akismet is a brilliant spam-stopping plugin that is essential for any blog that doesn’t want to end up choked with spam.

6. WP Super Cache

Super Cache is a really brilliant plugin that generates static .html pages for WordPress, thus reducing the server load and making your pages load faster when you hit the frontpage of Delicious, Digg or the like.

The image above is a screen of Laughing Squid’s stats – over 200,000 hits in a single day, and the site stayed up, thanks to Super Cache.

7. Google XML Sitemaps

Google XML Sitemaps is a neat plugin that generates a Google, Ask, Yahoo and Bing compliant sitemap for your WordPress blog. Without a sitemap, a search engine doesn’t necessarily know that your content exists. With a sitemap, it, well, does. The plugin is really easy to use with a number of options that present you with a number of options. With the plugin installed, don’t forget to set up your sitemap with Google Webmaster Tools.

8. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin

Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (or YARRP for short) is a really brilliant plugin that generates related posts based on a number of  different factors (below).

From the plugin’s page:

An advanced and versatile algorithm: Using a customizable algorithm considering post titles, content, tags, and categories, YARPP calculates a “match score” for each pair of posts on your blog. You choose the threshold limit for relevance and you get more related posts if there are more related posts and less if there are less.

9. WP Security Scan

WP Security Scan is another great plugin. It ‘scans’ your WordPress install for potential vulnerabilities and fixes them/flags them up! Whilst it doesn’t cover all bases, not to any extent, it is worth having, just to check for those obvious vulnerabilities. Security Scan checks the following:

  • passwords
  • file permissions
  • database security
  • version hiding
  • WordPress admin protection/security

10. RSS Footer

RSS Footer is the final plugin that evey WordPress blog needs. At it’s most basic, it adds ‘Post from: [site name]’ to the bottom of your RSS feed, but if you’re clever, you’ve made yourself social media links to show to your most loyal readers: your RSS feed readers. Clever, eh? The plugin has an extensive options page that allows you

And finally

There we are. Ten WordPress plugins that every blog needs. Make sure you [s] to find out which WordPress plugins every blog doesn’t need!

20 Responses


  • Fine list, thanks.

    My favorite plugins:
    WordPress AntiVirus: http://wpantivirus.com
    WordPress Antispam: http://antispambee.com

  • Great list – I’ve used all of those except for SEO Super Comments – that sounds like an awesome way to use comments for SEO. Brilliant.

    We have just launched a new WordPress Backup plugin similar to WordPress Database Backup that backs up both your WP database and WP files (themes, plugins, everything) to Amazon S3 automatically.

  • Well, out of the ten you mentioned, I have 6 of them. I use WP-DBManager instead of WordPress Database Backup, which I think is more or less the same.

    There are 3 other plugins which I think would also help others out and they are:

    1. MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer
    2. No Self Pings
    3. SEO Friendly Images
    .-= George Serradinho´s last blog ..35 of the Most Popular WordPress Plugins =-.

    • Alex Denning says:

      Would have to say no to SEO Friendly Images – it’s just doing a job WordPress does perfectly well by itself.

  • Omar Tringali says:

    Thank you for the plu-ins, it’s a fabulous mix, see you, bye!!

  • Art Low says:

    I just start using ComLuv on one of mu other blogs… Quick question, are the links “no follow” or “do follow”… I know vai Matt Cutts that the “no follow” rule is not used via Google but I’ve noticed that some of my comments that use ComLov still don’t get indexed… What is your thought on this?
    .-= Art Low´s last blog ..Digesting Phenols =-.

  • I’m curious, the links that end up on the “new” Super Comment page. Are they dofollow?

  • John says:

    cannot agree more with Andy about SEO Super Comments. Another great plugin is MaxBlogPress Ping Optimizer mentioned by George.

  • Sara says:

    Can someone tell me how many plugins is just too many!? ….regarding slowing the site down rather than the reason you mentioned! Thanks!

    • Alex Denning says:

      There’s no set amount of plugins that’s “too many”. Some have more impact than others; YARPP, for example makes a huge number of database calls whereas something like Total Cache will do some good. Go through your plugins and see what you can do yourself. Those are the ones you should get rid of.

  • milcoins says:

    Thanks for the info, looks like I have to do some updating on my Word Press sites.

  • Carol says:

    Much thanks for yet another awesome article. I am always on the look-out for fantastic WordPress tips to suggest to my own readers. Thanks for taking the time to write this article. It’s exactly what I was looking for. Truly fantastic post.

  • Susan says:

    Great plugins, I use all of them. I would add All in One SEO to the list to.

  • Bill says:

    Thanks for the list, since I am relatively new to blogging I will follow your advice on these plugins. I’ve had a couple of sites that were shut down by HG because of using too much resources. Should have had the wp cache plugin. I am learning thanks to sites such as yours. Thanks again.