My favorite WordPress Plugins

It took me a while to build a complete WordPress blog with all the things I needed, from modifying the default Twenty Eleven theme to broadcasting my posts directly on Twitter.

WordPress has a nice selection of plugins and given the fact I spent a few days evaluating all the possibilities, I decided to share my own setup to speed up the process in case you are willing to build a WordPress powered blog.

The plugins:

  • Akismet. This plugin checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not and lets you review the spam it catches under your blog’s “Comments” admin screen.
  • All in one Favicon. The following plugin adds a Favicon to your site and the WordPress admin pages. It currently supports all three Favicon types (ico,png,gif).
  • Digg Digg. This plugin adds a floating bar with several share buttons directly on your posts. Readers will be able to share to Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Stumbleupon with just one click. A must have.
  • Flexi Pages Widget is a highly configurable WordPress sidebar widget to list pages and sub-pages. Also, if you are using a Child theme and your Home-link doesn’t appear in your Pages navigation menu without either modifying the functions.php or adding the page manually through the Pages menu, this plugin will do the work for you. You are one click away from fixing many pages-related problems.
  • Google Analyticator, it adds the necessary JavaScript code to enable Google Analytics. Includes widgets for Analytics data display.
  • Google Authenticator will add a two-step-authentication for your blog. This will require you to own an Android or an iPhone though. After verifying your phone with the plugin your login prompt will have one more field called “Google Authenticator Code”, accessing your blog won’t be possible without the code generated by the authenticator every 30 seconds.
  • Google XML Sitemaps will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines to better index your blog.
  • WordPress Backup to Dropbox. Your hosting doesn’t provide you with a backup solution or it provides it with an excessive cost? Don’t worry, this plugin will keep your valuable WordPress website, its media and database backed up to Dropbox. You can select how often the backup should run, you can exclude huge files from being backed up, everything with one single and easy interface.
  • Social broadcasts posts to Twitter and/or Facebook, pull in reactions from each (replies, retweets, comments, “likes”) as comments. Social will aggregate the various mentions, retweets, @replies, comments and responses and republish them as WordPress comments.
  • SEO Ultimate is a powerful all-in-one SEO plugin, available free for WordPress bloggers. You can take control of your on-page SEO with user-friendly settings and tools for optimizing your titles, meta data, robots tags, canonicalization, autolinks, post slugs, and much more.
  • Jetpack adds many features that were available to users but they weren’t present on self-hosted WordPress installs. Jetpack is a plugin that connects to and enables awesome features. I simply love the combo of Jetpack and the Follow button based on it. Readers will be able to subscribe to your blog and receive mail notifications whenever a new article will be published. Another handy feature is the optimization that Jetpack provides for Mobile phones. Just enable this feature on the admin menu and browsing your blog through a Mobile device will be a pleasant experience.
  • Revision Control will give the user more control over the Revision functionality. The plugin allows the user to set a site-global setting (Settings -> Revisions) for pages/posts to enable/disable/limit the number of revisions which are saved for the page/post.
  • Speedy Page Redirection adds a meta box to your page and post screens, you can then enter a new destination URL to which the page will be redirected.
  • Twenty Eleven Theme Extensions is an easy-to-use plugin designed for use with the latest default WordPress theme, Twenty Eleven. It adds a set of customizable features for the theme, designed to add more flexibility to the theme’s design without having to modify the template files.

And a few modifications I made on my Child theme for the Twenty Eleven theme to suit my needs:

Remove the navigation buttons on the header. On the Child theme’s style.css:

Remove the gray line on the top of the header’s banner. On the Child theme’s style.css:

….and a little tip about WordPress itself: have you ever wondered how you could install/update/remove a WordPress theme or plugin without FTP access? Here’s how!

On the config.php file:

If you know any other handy WordPress Tip or Plugin, please share!

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