After upgrading to the latest WordPress (v3.0.4), I also decided to have a look at the various plugins I am running. As part of that I stumbled across Ultimate Collection of WordPress plugins which are very interesting. If you run WordPress (and if you don’t, why not :)), I would highly recommend to check them out. I already was running some of these and not heard of others which are great.

Here are some of my favourite ones (in no particular order) and those with keen eyes would notice a few of these already.

  •  AddToAny: Share/Bookmark/Email Button - Help people share, bookmark, and email your posts & pages using any service, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Buzz, Digg, etc.
  • Akismet - this is for comment spam control and is used by millions! Excellent!
  • WP FollowMe - allows you to add a twitter Follow me badge on your wordpress blog.
  • Google Analyticator - name says it all I think.
  • Google XML Sitemaps - same as above.
  • Lightbox 2 - Used to overlay images on the current page.
  • My Page Order - allows you to set the order of pages through a drag and drop interface.
  • Really Simple CAPTCHA - CAPTCHA module intended to be called from other plugins; really works too!
  • Search Everything - Adds search functionality and includes search highlight, search pages, excerpts, attachments, drafts, comments, tags and custom fields (metadata). It can also exclude specific pages and posts. It does not search password-protected content.
  • Shockingly Big IE6 Warning - doesn’t the name say it all?
  • Simple Tags - Excellent plugins, to manage your tags. Includes, suggested Tags, Mass edit tags, Autocompletion, Tag Cloud Widgets, Related Posts, Related Tags, etc
  • StatPress Reloaded - real time stats for the blog
  • SyntaxHighlighter Evolved - code to your site without having to modify the code at all; you cannot use the Visual editor with this.
  • TinyMCE Advanced - Enables advanced features and plugins for the visual editor
  • Twitter for Wordpress - displays your last few tweets
  • WP-Cumulus - Flash based Tag Cloud for WordPress
  • WP-DBManager - Excellent plugin, that manages your Wordpress including optimize database, repair database, backup database, restore database, etc. I use to exclusively for the automatic scheduling of backing up and optimizing of the database.
  • WP-SmugMug - I use SmugMug for my photos online ; this plugin integrates the SmugMug galleries into the blog.

I would highly recommend the above and suggest you play with them. 

These plugins I have only recently installed and they seem interesting, but I have not used them enough to have the confidence to highly recommend them - yet.

  • Wordpress Backup (by BTE) - Backup the upload directory (images), current theme directory, and plugins directory to a zip file. I have only recently installed this plugin, and not used it enough to say how useful it is at this point.
  • Automatic WordPress Backup - Automatically upload backups of important parts of your blog to Amazon S3. I am a huge S3 fan, and this seems very promising. Hopefully I can come back in a few days and weeks and blog about it.

Finally, when using plugins I would recommend the following:

  • Search and install from these via the “Plugins” menu which you see when log into your WordPress dashboard. Don’t download the code manually and then try and upload it to your site. That is a more painful process.
  • Try and have a test blog running - seperately from your main blog where you can test different permutations and configurations. In case something goes wrong, you won’t have your main blog go down. Of course needless to say, you should keep both your test and main blog on the same version.
  • It is not a good idea to install all of the plugin’s all at the same time as you never never which plugin can cause conflict with another . Well, you can install all the plugins at the same time, just activate them one at a time and test that your blog is still running as expected after you have activated each plugin.
  • Before you upgrade the version of WordPress - irrespective of how big or small the upgrade is always backup your database and files first. This would allow you to revert back to a “clean slate” in case something goes wrong.