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If you’re not sure what Plugins are, well put simply in a WordPress context they are wizzy little programs which you install to make your blog, bigger, better and more beautiful.

If you’re using you don’t get plugins, but, since the basics are all there, that’s generally fine for a user who just wants a simple site that they can update regularly themselves. You can of course get upgrades which allow you to fiddle with the CMS, integrate video and other things but there are costs associated.

My favourite Plugins

  • All in One SEO Pack – An out-of-the-box SEO for your WordPress blog.
  • Contact Form ][ – A drop-in form that allows site visitors to contact you. It can be implemented easily (via QuickTags) within any post or page.
  • Google Analytics for WordPress – This plugin makes it simple to add Google Analytics with extra search engines and automatic clickout and download tracking to your WordPress blog.
  • Google XML Sitemaps – This plugin will generate a compatible sitemap of your WordPress blog which is supported by, Google, MSN Search and YAHOO.
  • iWPhone – A plugin and theme for WordPress that automatically reformats your blog’s content for optimized viewing on Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch.
  • SEO Friendly Images – Automatically adds alt and title attributes to all your images, improves traffic from search results and makes them W3C/xHTML valid as well.
  • Shutter Reloaded – Darkens the current page and displays an image on top like Lightbox, Thickbox, etc. This script is a lot smaller and faster.
  • Twitter Tools – A complete integration between your WordPress blog and Twitter. Bring your tweets into your blog and pass your blog posts to Twitter.
  • WP-Imagefit – A plugin that extends jQuery to proportionally resize images posts to fit the width of the containin column.
  • FeedBurner FeedSmith – This plugin detects all ways to access your original WordPress feeds and redirects them to your FeedBurner feed, so you can track every possible subscriber.

Other recommended Plugins

  • Breadcrumb – Breadcrumb navigation for WordPress. Simply use <?php breadcrumb(); ?> within your template to display the breadcrumb anywhere on your site. (I don’t currently use it as my site isn’t really deep enough).
  • All in One Adsense and YPN – Inserts Adsense or YPN code in to your blog posts. Ad position can be random or pre-defined. To configure this plugin go to “Settings->Adsense” menu. (I don’t want to use as I’m not a fan of ads.)
  • Social Dropdown – Displays social bookmarks in a dropdown to reduce clutter. (I have my social drop down in the footer rather than on the blog itself, but I might change that soon :-))

I’d love to know which other plugins you use, please comment below.

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