The ultimate swiss-army knife of caching, from the basic page caching (keeping a static copy of the page), to CSS/JS/HTML minification (making your files smaller), as well as handling uploads to a Content Delivery Network.
Though not really a plugin, this is a free service that works fantastically with WordPress to reduce the amount of spam requests for your page and cache certain resources in local CDNs around the world. Results in significant speed increases. Well worth it but requires you to adjust the name servers for your domain so can be a little tricky to set up.
Optimizes the database by running the optimize SQL command, removing post revisions, spam and unapproved comments. It’s essential if you don’t manually manage your database or run your own optimization scripts. Also includes functionality to rename users, useful for changing the default admin user.
From the WebSite Defender guys, this gives you a thorough security check and make a number of small adjustments to harden your Wp install, such as hiding the version number. Also available as an online service. Download | Plugin Site
Monitor your site 404 errors and create simple 301 redirects easy to keep the Google link juice flowing and your readers free from 404 pages. Find what’s 404ing, redirect it, easy.
Dealing with broken links can be pain if you’re waiting for readers to report them – get ahead of the game with this plugin and automatically check all the sites you’ve linked to before they become a problem.
Another extensive feature set – this one has a 404 error tracker and well as link cloaking for your affiliate links, as well as the standard features. Each module can be disabled as required, so scales with your needs. Quite heavy when fully enabled though.
Makes your permalinks shorter by removing unnecessary common words such as a/the/or, resulting in shorter URLs and a better rank. This functionality is built into SEO Ultimate but not WordPress SEO, so get an SEO plugin first then see if you need this one too.
A full replacement comment system for WordPress offering a range of login options, share buttons, and serious spam protection. Syncs with your WordPress database to ensure you don’t lose any should you decide it’s not for you. Restricts your ability to add other commenting functionality and plugins though, beyond what Disqus provides.
Automatically inserts a link to the commenter’s latest blog post when they enter a comment (if they provide a website address of course). Superb way to encourage more comments, though also liable to encourage worthless comments posted just for the link.
Creates a persistent slide-on sidebar widget you can fill with links to all your social profiles. Essential if you have a lot of accounts, but for one or two, just paste them onto a regular text sidebar widget.
A revolutionary real-time commenting system with added social login features, CommentLuv-like links to users latest blog posts, user profiles that encourage interaction and more. Definately worth considering to replace your standard WordPress comments!
Odd name for a plugin, but it creates a “welcome box” for new users visiting the site. Disappears by default after the 5th visit. Use the box to encourage signup with the newsletter, or RSS feed, or just a personal greeting.
Creates a greet box at the start or end of posts, which you can customize specific messages for different traffic sources – so if they came from Google, get them to subscribe; or if they came from Digg then show a Digg button. etc.
An incredibly rich ratings plugin, perhaps overwhelming for most users but well worth the time investment to learn it. A full templating system and a variety of rating types make this the ultimate rating system around.
Essential for anyone using affiliate marketing or conversion pages, this plugin performs link cloaking and A/B testing for various conversion page designs. Also includes a viral makreting (sharebar type) module. Full stats and dashboard, various plans available from $9/month.
An enhanced version of the built-in WYSIWYG editor that gives you a customizable array of extra features, such as being able to add HTML tables. Essential if you use the standard editor but find it a little frustrating.
Essential for anyone who blogs about code, programming or web development – this plugin gives you an attractive and functional highlighted code block with optional line numbers. You might preferGoogle Syntax Highlighter though, so check that out too – both are good.
Allows you create additional user levels, as well as crucially blocking actual post content from being viewed by users not of a certain level – so you can set up a premium area of your site for paying users and require membership. I don’t recommend this tactic, but this plugin will handle it all for you smoothly.
The basic package is completely free with additional upgrades for a premium. The most popular WordPress free e-commerce around, there’s a vast list of showcase sites. A good selection of free features, SEO-friendly, highly customisable and works well with other plugins; but perhaps aimed more to web developers who don’t mind editing templates and writing CSS – there are slicker options out there.
Works great out of the box with the default WP theme, and a very slick style. Built-in payment processors, inventory management and full stats dashboard make this a very attractive and FREE e-commerce solution to rival the best.
$55 for a basic license, plus upgrade costs for payments modules and other plugin functionality; but with rock solid support and a much cleaner backend interface than the free solutions. If you’re serious about eCommerce on WordPress, it should be a negligible expense for the peace of mind and support offered with a premium plugin.
The built-in gallery and photo management in WordPress isn’t ideal – this plugin creates a whole new gallery section to manage your photos, disassociating them from posts. You can then embed albums or galleries in posts or collect all your images on a single page. An extensive plugin in and of itself, you can also download plugins for NextGen Gallery to extend functionality further.
Smush.it is an image optimizer service from Yahoo that can reduce the size of your images by around 10-40% without any loss in quality, and with this plugin your images will automatically be run through the service (they’re still hosted on your server though). There’s also a bulk option to do all your previously uploaded images too. If your site is image heavy, this is absolute must and pretty amazing stuff really.(Note: it doesn’t work on images over 1mb). Download | Smush.it Standalone Site