WordPress provides a great tool to build and run your own website - it has 1000’s of plugins that add functionality to your website. Here then is a short list of essential plugins to get you started.

Akismet

Akismet is included in every installation of WordPress and so it make it one of the most popular plugins. There are better spam protectors, this doesn’t stop spam comments. You need a wordpress.com user name so that the plugin can sync over the internet.

This is 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-Spam Free

WP-Spam Free features in the WordPress Plugins directory under popular downloads. It catches the Spam that Akismet doesn’t. Reason enough

WP Super Cache

WP Super Cache isn’t something you really need - its valuable for websites that get good volumes of traffic and if you’re wanting to 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

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is an art, which makes this plugin 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

WordPress.com Stats

WordPress’ own stats engine is good. You can see what’s going on throughout the day unlike having to wait til the next day when using Google Analytics. Just like Akismet, you’ll need your wordpress.com username and API Key.

XML-Sitemap Generator

Another popular plugin for your SEO tookit. This 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 usability than anything else. This makes your website optimised for mobile in a flash.