After your new WordPress site installed and your theme activated, you’ll want to immediately add these essential plugins to help protect your site from hackers and make it easy for your readers to share your posts and pages with their friends.
Login LockDown – Adds an extra level of security to your WordPress login by restricting the rate at which failed logins can be re-attempted. In other words, it keeps hackers from running automated programs that try hundreds of login combinations at a time.
WP-DBManager – A database manager that allows you to easily backup the contents of your WordPress site onto your computer. It also has several security features that can be enabled to keep hackers from accessing your database.
G.A.S.P. – (Growmap Anti-Spam Plugin) Spam filter for comments. Although Akismet, listed below, is auto-installed with WordPress, it doesn’t do as good a job of filtering the spam comments on your blog post while letting the good ones through as G.A.S.P. In other words, if filters out the bad pretty well, but too often flags good ones as bad too, forcing you to sort through your comments list too much. If you do install G.A.S.P., be sure to deactivate and delete Akismet first.
Akismet – Spam filter for comments. To fully activate this plugin, you’ll need to get a key code that’s uniquely created for you. Simply click the API key http://akismet.com/get/ link listed in the text description of the plugin. If you’re running a business, select the sign up option with monthly fee that best describes you. If it’s a hobby site, scroll to the bottom of the page to get a free key. Copy your key code. Return to the plugin page and click the Activate link in the Akismet listing. Input your code and you’re ready to go.
Google Analyticator – tracks hits and referrers to your site. There are several plugins for metrics, including several for adding Google Analytics. The reason I prefer this particular plugin is that it automatically adds the code to your site for you. And, you can display a module of your stat synopsis right in your Dashboard page, allowing you to see what’s happening with your site hits over the last 30 days at a glance every time you log in. You will need a Google account to use Google Analytics, and you’ll want to read through the brief directions on settings for this plugin to get the most out of it.
Fast Secure Contact Form – provides four customizable contact forms with just one plugin. All forms have CAPTCHA, which helps foil bots, or automated spammers. Adding the form to a page is a breeze too. After you customize the form, you just copy one little bitty line called shortcode into the page content text editor, using the HTML view mode. That’s it. When you view the page on the site, you’ll see the whole form. You can also add content above and below the shortcode to further customize the page.
AddToAny: Share/Bookmark/Email Button – allows you to automatically include a share button at the end of every post and page on your site. Readers can then easily share your info with their friends on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and more.
Microkid’s Related Posts – allows you to choose related posts and pages to list at the bottom of each post. One of the reasons that I like this plugin above others that are similar is that it allows you to hand-pick the related posts you want to draw attention to for your readers. And, the service is reciprocal meaning that a related link to the post you are creating will be added to the posts you pick in the list. In other words, it adds reciprocal links to both posts. You can even select posts you have set for future publication.
There are thousands of useful plugins available for WordPress. Leave a comment and let me know what plugins you find useful or make your tasks easier.