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19 of the best WordPress Plugins to use with your Multisite Network (or What Plugins I’m Using)

I’ve been running WordPress as a multisite network and I often get asked about what are the best plugins for WordPress. Everyone has their opinion. I’ve listed the plugins which are network activated and grouped them in some meaningful manner for web marketers and development people.

WordPress is one of the worlds’ most popular website and blogging tools and it’s latest version makes it easier to manage the look of your website.

Branded Content Promotion & Content Management WordPress Plugins

  1. Custom Post Widget – Custom Post Widget shows the content of a custom post of the type ‘content_block’ in a widget.
  2. Network Shared Media – Network Shared Media plugin adds a new tab to the “Add Media” window, allowing you to access media in other sites.
  3. SyntaxHighlighter Evolved – SyntaxHighlighter Evolved easily posts syntax-highlighted code to your site without having to modify the code at all.
  4. upPrev – When scrolling post down upPrev will display a flyout box with a link to the previous post from the same category.
  5. WCS QR Code Generator – WCS QR Code Generator is a QR Code (Quick Response) generator for mobile tagging. It allows you to create one of the ever-popular QR Codes anywhere on a page/post or in a text widget.
  6. WordPress MU Sitewide Tags Pages – WordPress MU Sitewide Tags Pages Creates a blog where all the most recent posts on a WordPress network may be found.

Visitor Comments Management WordPress Plugins

  1. Akismet – Akismet is quite possibly the best way in the world to protect your blog from comment and trackback spam.
  2. Social – Social Share newly published posts and pull in discussions using integrations with Twitter and Facebook. Allows visitors to comment with Facebook or Twitter accounts.
  3. Thank Me Later – Thank Me Later will automatically send a ‘thank you’ e-mail to those who comment on your blog. This plugin engages the visitor by reminding them to check back for responses or new blog posts. The plugin is highly configurable with multiple messages, variable delay and restrictions.

Web Analytics & Tracking WordPress Plugins

  1. Shortlinks – Use shortlinks instead of the shortlink WP generates. Works with Pro too, so you can immediately use the right URL.
  2. Google Analytics for WordPress – Google Analytics for WordPress plugin makes it simple to add Google Analytics to your WordPress blog, adding lots of features, eg. custom variables and automatic clickout and download tracking.
  3. WordPress Popular Posts – WordPress Popular Posts showcases your most popular posts to your visitors on your blog’s sidebar

Integrated Digital Marketing WordPress Plugins

  1. Mailchimp – The MailChimp plugin allows you to quickly and easily add a signup form for your MailChimp list.
  2. Gravity Forms – Gravity Forms easily creates web forms and manage form entries within the WordPress admin.

SEO WordPress Plugins

  1. SEO Friendly Images – SEO Friendly Images automatically adds alt and title attributes to all your images. Improves traffic from search results.
  2. WordPress SEO – WordPress SEO is the first true all-in-one SEO solution for WordPress, including on-page content analysis, XML sitemaps and much more.

Technical & Website Performance Improvement WordPress Plugins

  1. Use Google Libraries – Use Google Libraries allows your site to use common javascript libraries from Google’s AJAX Libraries CDN, rather than from WordPress’s own copies.
  2. DBC Backup – DBC Backup 2 is a simple way to schedule daily database backups using the wp-cron batch jobs.
  3. W3 Total Cache – W3 Total Cache dramatically improves the speed and user experience of your site. Add browser, page, object and database caching as well as minify and content delivery network (CDN) to WordPress.

So .. I’ve now listed a few of my favourite WordPress plugins … what plugins do you use?

Interesting Stats – Which WordPress Plugin Developers Do I Favour?

Yoast – 3

Mailchimp & Crowd Favourite – 2

Prelovac – 1 (but I’m also using ManageWP so is that 2?)

Viperbond – 1

Donncha O Caoimh – 1 (though I recommend WP Supercache if you’re starting out with WP)

By Damien – 1

Isotope – WordPress plugin (just add your .js files)

Isotope allows you to do some amazing animation with and responsive layout for content on your website. I’ve been playing around with Isotope for a few months now and created a WordPress plugin to help make it easier to get started with Isotope.

UPDATED 25 Sep 2012. Here is a link to Download the plugin.

Once installed, the plugin adds the right code to call the Isotope javascript file and a custom stylesheet. But because Isotope has a commercial licence (and I’m not a great WordPress developer) you need to go buy a licence and move the .js into place.

What does this Isotope WordPress Plugin Do?

  • Activate safely the javascript for Isotope
  • Provide a number of shortcodes to make it easy to add Isotope stunning visual effects anywhere

3 Steps to get Isotope working with your blog

  1. Install my Isotope plugin file and uncompress
  2. Create a Page
  3. Add the shortcode [ dbc_isotope ]


How to load JavaScript like a WordPress Master


WordPress: 9 Plugins for any new install

WordPress is one of the World’s most used web and blog tools – it has 1000’s of plugins that add functionality to your website. Here then is a short list of essential WordPress Plugins from to get you started. The list covers SEO, Spam, Analytics and helps you get started with Google SERP.


Akismet is included in every installation of WordPress, so that makes it one of the alltime popular plugins. There aren’t better spam protectors and no one solution will stop spam comments. You now need a and also login to the Akismet Website to get your API Key..

What makes it great? Akismet shares info on known spammers, etc to save you alot of time and effort. It also has a pretty graphs page to remind you that it’s working.

WP Super Cache

WP Super Cache isn’t something you need if you’re getting started but it’s valuable for anyone serious about improving their SEO and Pagerank …  go tweak your settings and speed things up.

Search Meter

Are you inquisitive about what people are searching for on your site? Then this is the plugin. It keeps logs of the top searched for content and no content found search results.

All-in-one SEO Pack

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is an art, which makes All-in-one SEO Pack an artists dream. Install the plugin and let it run. If you know what you’re doing then you’ll have lots of fun tweaking the settings.

For basic SEO, beginners should focus on your title and the short description as this is what shows up in search engine results page (SERP).

Analytics360 from Mailchimp

Mailchimp and Analytics360 adds armour to your integrated marketing and CRM toolkit. Easily track blog posts, email bursts and watch your stats. Stats

WordPress’ own stats engine is good. You can see what’s going on throughout the day. It’s now been integrated in WordPress Jetpack plugin pack.

Google XML Sitemap Generator

Another popular plugin for your SEO tookit. The Google XML Sitemap Generator plugin will generate a new sitemap every time you add a new page or post. Very helpful for keeping those search engine spiders happy.

WPtouch iPhone

A final plugin that’s more focused on Mobile Internet & usability than anything else. WPtouch makes your website optimised for mobile in a flash.

Best WordPress plugins for social media marketing

WordPress plugins  there are millions(?) to choose from and they are so easy to install. I tend to be cutting edge and change my plugins often, but here are some of the best plugins to improve WordPress for social media and digital marketing.

The point here is that writing original content can be easy – but your great works need to be found. Online or Digital Marketing is not just for selling a product or a brand – its about selling you. So maybe take a look at your own marketing needs and then see if these plugins help.

Popularity Contest

by Alex King & Crowd Favorite

Do you envy those posts from Mashable that are called ’35 favourite resources you might have missed’ or ‘200+ popular posts on …’ — well greed is good and using the popularity plugin you can recreate these posts yourself.

If only I could figure out how to get WordPress to write these automatically for me each month. Then I’d be out of a job!

Mailchimp Widget

Widgets by Mailchimp
I use Mailchimp … I like Mailchimp – its free, which makes it easier to sell to clients and means I can play around with Newsletters, autoresponders and more. This Mailchimp Widget makes its easy to add a sign-up form in any sidebar

Campaign Monitor

Widgets by Woothemes

If you prefer Woothemes or Campaign Monitor — then this has got to be the right choice. Newer WordPress themes by Woothemes now come with a number of free widgets for Campaign Monitor. Nice!


by Automattic

It’s still the best ‘free’ protection you’ll ever need to wear online. It won’t stop comment spam, but it does help make it easier to just click and get rid of spam. It’s already installed and working hard for you, I hope?


by Richard K Miller

What Would Seth Godin Do? I don’t know — I haven’t finished reading Lynchpin and that has nothing to do with this plugin. The idea here is any new or returning visitor is presented with a text message or call to action at the top or bottom of your posts and pages. The brilliant part is that it is for new or returning visitors – while its just as easy to find a plugin that looks lovely and tells the ‘reader’ (you) where you came from (google, digg, etc) the origin of search is not so important here.

Out of the box, this plugin welcomes visitors suggesting they might like to subscribe to your RSS feed. For existing visitors it suggests your feed by email.

Twitter Tools

by Alex King & Crowd Favorite

Nasty Nasty Twitter and its OAuth. Horrible things that Twitter has made — Earlier this year Twitter made it impossible for the average Joe Blogger to get a good post automatically tweeted. But at least if you can figure out how to sign up for your own Twitter App and get your own OAuth keys, then 99% of the hard work is done. Twitter Tools also supports url shortener and #hashtags.

CleanAdmin just the best WordPress plugin by a mile

CleanAdmin delivers a much need style change to your WordPress admin section. WordPress is (just about) the world’s favourite blog and web publishing platform, yet changes to the overall design and usability have been ignored in favour of delivering new tools and functions for bloggers and blog readers.

Freshen your WordPress look n feel with just one plugin

Enter CleanAdmin the plugin to clean up the backend of WordPress. Ironically, this plugin is just like changing a theme. There are css style changes which

  • Change the base font to San Serif giving WordPress a fresh web 2.0 look
  • Add drop shadows to the borders around the floating menus
  • Change the expand/collapse arrows to black making them more visible
  • Change the icons in the visual toolbar

These changes may not really customise WordPress admin areas but I hope theme developers sub-licence CleanAdmin and include this plugin in their theme packages (hint hint Woothemes), that way more people can enjoy CleanAdmin.