If you are searching for the best free plugins that can enrich the features and functionality of your WordPress blog, look no further. I have listed 25 free plugins that every WordPress blog should have.
Clicking on the links will take you to the download page for the featured plugin.
AddThis is a great way for your visitors to share content from your website. Before deciding to use AddThis, I tried other similar social bookmarking plugins like AddToAny and Sexy Bookmarking widget. AddtoAny is simple to install and use but has fewer options and features. Sexy Bookmarking Widget looks great but it takes away attention from other important parts of a post. Also, it offers fewer features than AddThis.
AddThis also has includes charts and graphs that can give you an idea how your posts are being shared by your readers.
It’s very hard to manage comment and trackback spam, which makes looking for a working anti-spam plugin a very important task. Akismet is simply the best anti-spam plugin out there. I tried a few other plugins but this one really does the job. Just sign up for the free Akismet API key, install the plugin and let it do the filtering for you.
One of the best Search Engine Optimization plugins for WordPress. It takes care of all the SEO work that your WordPress blog will need. It lets you focus on writing content instead of working on SEO.
This is slowly becoming a popular choice for website commenting system. Disqus gives visitors a variety of log in options like using Facebook and Twitter accounts, and also lets them monitor comments they posted in all blogs and websites running on Disqus. Disqus also has a built in spam filter feature which you can use on top of Aksimet.
This plugin is useful for creating a Contact page on your WordPress blog. It lets your visitors quickly send you email by using the form. Easy to set up, easy to use. It’s highly customizable, with multi-form feature and optional extra fields. It has an integrated CAPTCHA and Akismet support to stop spammers from sending you those pesky email messages.
The built-in Recent Comments plugin does not filter out trackbacks and pingbacks, and also includes your own comments. Get Recent Comments plugin gives you the options you need. It can display the most recent comments or trackbacks with your own formatting in the sidebar but it has an option to show only the comments of readers. You can set set the number of words to display per comment, and exclude your own comments or comments by blog authors.
This plugin makes it simple to add Google Analytics to your WordPress blog, adding lots of features like custom variables and automatic clickout and download tracking.
Sitemaps are essential to search engines. This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com to better index your blog. Another must if you want your posts to appear in search results.
If you want to make a weekly round-up for your posts, this plugin easily does the job for you. It gets all posts within a defined period and saves you time from otherwise setting up all the links if you did it manually.
A related posts plugin that uses thumbnails. A cool way to let your readers check out other posts in your website. You can also check out Yet Another Related Posts Plugin if thumbnails is not your thing.
Quick Adsense plugin lets you easily insert Google Adsense codes or any other ad codes into a blog post. Useful if you want to rotate your ads or try out different locations for your ads.
Making internal links on your blog can be time consuming. SEO Smart Links helps you automatically generate internal links. Just set custom keywords and assign links so the next time you want to make links to a post, the plugin automatically generates the link for you. That’s automatic SEO benefit for your site.
With this plugin, embedding YouTube videos is as easy as pasting the YouTube URL in the post. You can choose the default video size and quality. Also lets you customize the appearance of your YouTube videos.
A widget that let’s you display icon buttons to subscription services and social networking sites. Perfect if you want to give your readers an option to connect with you trough your social networking accounts or if you want them to subscribe to your RSS feeds. This plugin is a must if you want maximum exposure for your site.
If you’re using your WordPress theme’s built-in commenting system, this plugin gives your visitors the option to get updated if comments are added to a post they commented on. It’s a way to inform them that other readers have commented on the same post and they may want to make a reply to those comments.
Tweet Old Post is one of my favorite WordPress plugins. It automatically tweets links to your posts, making sure that your Twitter followers do not miss any of your posts. You can set the time interval for your tweets and you have the option to exclude posts or categories.
Wondering how you can get that Mashable-like flyout box at the bottom of a post? When scrolling post down upPrev will display a flyout box with a link to a post from the same category.
Displays Visitor Maps with location pins, city, and country. Includes a Who’s Online Sidebar to show how many users are online and a Who’s Online admin dashboard to view visitor details. The visitor details include the page visitor is on, his IP address, host lookup, online time, city, state, country, geolocation maps and more.
This plugin allows you to showcases your most popular posts on your sidebar. You can choose the time range and you have the option to show the number of views or comments. You may also show the posts’ thumbnails.
Clicking the “previous post” and “next post” buttons is a slow way to navigate blog posts. It also tends to be confusing to readers when they don’t know which page of posts they are in. WP-PageNavi is a simply a more advanced page navigation system for your WordPress blog as it lets your readers navigate your posts by page numbers.
With WP-Polls, you can easily add an poll system to your WordPress blog. WP-Polls is highly customizable. You can easily include a poll into your WordPress blog’s post or on your sidebar. It supports multiple selection of answers.
Ever wonder how your posts can include a “Show/Hide Press Release” button like the one you see in Engadget? WP-ShowHide allows you to embed content within your blog post and toggle the visibility of the cotent via a link. The content is hidden by default and user will have to click on the “Show Content” link to toggle it.
If your website takes long to render pages, you will need a caching plugin. It’s one way of optimizing your site so it load pages fast. WP Super Cache plugin will greatly improve your site’s speed simply by installing and enabling it.
WPTouch is a plugin that optimizes and formats your site for mobile devices like iPhone / iPod Touch, Google Android, Blackberry Storm and Torch, Palm Pre and other touch-based smartphones. This is a must if you want to make your site mobile friendly.
WordPress, by default does not allow you to change your admin name. If you want to make it difficult for others to break into your WordPress account, change that admin name. This plugin lets you do that.