After I recently set up a blog for a friend, I thought I’d post a list of plugins I use on the various WordPress instances I run for various people and myself.
- Simple Custom CSS. Allows you to add custom CSS to your blog without having to modify theme files. This makes it easy to update themes in the future without breaking your customizations.
- Include plus Shortcodes Everywhere. This allows you to create a Text Widget that displays a static page from your blog using a tag like
- Category Order. Allows you to reorder the list of categories in the sidebar.
- KB Easy PicasaWeb. Converts Picasa links into embedded photo galleries.
- WP Events Calendar. Gives you a simple calendar widget into which you can manually enter events.
- Jetpack. Enables some useful features like infinite scrolling, custom CSS, sharing links, and mobile theme.
- Akismet. A must-have spam filter if you allow comments on your blog.
- Contact Form 7 plus Really Simple CAPTCHA. Highly flexible contact form including CAPTCHAs.
- WP Permalauts. A must-have if you blog in a language that has accented letters or umlauts. It converts those letters to the non-accented ones in permalinks.
- WP Hide Post. Lets you selectively hide posts from categories, front page, etc. while they remain accessible through other ways and direct links.
- BackWPup. Does full backups of your WordPress data and database to a tarball on the server or your Dropbox. Can run on a schedule to automate the backups.
A theme that I quite like is Sunspot. You can display the featured image, title and lead text of two posts next to each other and customize how many posts you want per page in total. It also has enough space for widgets in its sidebars and is responsive. The downloadable version does not currently do infinite scrolling, but I believe hosted WordPress.com has such a version.