10 WordPress Plugins You Can’t Miss

The Best WordPress Plugins

When it comes to using WordPress, nothing beats plugins. They make our lives easier by doing the things we don’t want to. They add features that aren’t included in WordPress and overall make our blogs (and lives) better.

I decided it was time to share some of the best WordPress plugins I have been using here on Life of Justin. Some of you may already be using a lot of these but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to mention them.

So check them out and give them a try:

1. All In One SEO Pack

By far the most important plugin I have. It does everything you need for great on-page search engine optimization. Now only does it let you change your title tags, but it also lets you customize the keywords and description for each post and page you create. There are a bunch of plugins that do this, but I have never found one better than this one.

2. WordPress Related Posts

Trying to increase your pageviews and keep readers longer? This tool will make that happen. This very simple but effective plugin will list a few related posts at the bottom of your single post pages. It works by looking at the tags that you apply to each of your posts. You can see it in action at the bottom of this post. Very cool!

3. Subscribe To Comments

Another great tool for getting readers back to your blog is the subscribe to comments plugin. It places a small check box below your comment form and gives your readers the option to be notified of new comments. It works very well, especially when a post has a lot of comments and discussion going on.

4. Podcasting

The podcasting plugin is something I just started using a week ago. Now I am using it to run my podcast, Digital Nomad Radio. It adds a podcasting feature to WordPress that makes it really simple to upload MP3 files, create a podcast feed, and embed a player in any of your posts. It’s really simple!

5. Get Recent Comments

By default, WordPress has a built in widget that will display recent comments in your sidebar. I used that widget for almost a year before I decided to use this plugin. The reason I made the switch is because I wanted to be able to show part of the actual comment instead of the author name and post title. This plugin will create a link that points to the post and also display the first part of the comment right on the sidebar.

6. UBD Block Ad

After redesigning my blog, I wanted to go back to using 125 x 125 pixel ads because they are easier to sell. I ended up using this plugin because it works. It’s really easy to add different links and I like the built-in rotation feature. It automatically rotates the ads each time a page is loaded. It’s a great alternative to premium plugins that you have to purchase.

7. Theme Test Drive

If you do a lot of theme modifications, you really need this plugin. It lets you load a different theme that will only display to admins logged into your blog.  That way you can see what your blog will look like with a new theme without disturbing your readers. I just used this plugin here on Life of Justin when I did the redesign. It helps a lot!

8. Photo Dropper

Lets face it, buying stock photos is expensive. Especially for bloggers that are not making any income to justify the costs. That’s why this plugin is so useful. It automatically searches for Creative Commons licensed photos on Flickr. That means they are licensed for shared use on your blog. Better yet, the plugin automatically inserts the proper attribution links so you don’t have to.

9. Batch Categories

Somethings are just too much work. A good example is trying to add a bunch of posts to a category. You have to quick edit each post and click the category you want to add it to. Luckily, this plugin makes that a breeze. You can add a batch of posts to a certain category (and remove them) with a few clicks. It works really well and works the same way the normal category function does.

10. Advanced Excerpt

If you are using post excerpts somewhere in your theme, you should really check this theme out. It automatically creates post excerpts without stripping any of the tags. It even keeps the WordPress image captions from breaking. I used to create custom excerpts to keep the formatting but now I let this plugin do it for me. It saves me a little work every time I put up a new post.

Other Plugins

Does anyone else recommend some useful WordPress plugins? I’m always looking for some new ones to test so please leave a comment and let me (and my readers) know about them!

18 thoughts on “10 WordPress Plugins You Can’t Miss

  1. Erica

    I was just asking my twitter contact yesterday about their favorite plugins and how many plugins they’re using on their blog(s). Great timing! Thanks for this post. Batch categories sounds really good, I will check that out. So far subscribe to comments are my favorite.

  2. Dan Massicotte

    Anyone know of a twitter plugin (notify twitter of new posts) that actually works? I can’t seem to get it working with my theme. Is it possible that it doesn’t work with the theme I use?

    1. Justin Post author

      Hey Dan, I am using Twitter Tools on my blog (widget in sidebar) and it seems to work pretty well. It does have the ability to notify Twitter of new posts. Might want to check it out if you haven’t tried it yet.

      1. Dan Massicotte

        I’m thinking it’s a theme problem, since I’m using that too without any luck. It used to work with my previous theme, now that I think about it. I’ll have to go at it manually for now, since I’m seriously thinking of changing themes, since this one seems a bit confusing and out of wack. What do you think?

    1. Justin Post author

      Hey Jen, are you looking for a photo gallery style plugin? I’ve been using the Flickr Photo Album plugin for about a year now and love it. You can see more information on a post I wrote awhile back: Flickr Photo Album For WordPress

      If you are just looking for something to make it easier for people to zoom your pictures, you might want to check out something like Fancy Zoom.

      1. jen

        Hey Justin, I do have a Flickr plugin (which I haven’t started using properly yet) so I might look at that a bit closer (and also read your post on it!). I think ideally though I wanted something that wouldn’t send you away to a different website – so I might take a look at that FancyZoom plugin. Thanks for your help!!

  3. Bleuken

    From the time that I started blogging using WP, the plug-ins that I first activated as Askimet because I hate spams then the All-In-One SEO as you have mentioned. I think you should include from your list the Google Sitemap Generator which will really helps your blog to easily read by search engines.

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  5. Adam Pieniazek

    Hey Jen, I actually use the same plugin as Justin does here and it doesn’t send you away to flickr but actually pulls all your photos (or whichever you tell the plugin to pull) from flickr’s site and uploads them to your site. It’s a pretty good plugin and I haven’t had any issues with it yet.

    Bleuken, I use the sitemap plugin you mentioned, but apparently sitemaps just are not as important as they seem. Check out this post by Daniel from DailyBlogTips about why he does not use a sitemap (and his blog is immensely popular),


    I’ll likely continue to use sitemaps on my sites, though I’m not considering not using one on my next site and seeing how it affects traffic and google’s crawling.

    Great list Justin…found a few plugins here I never heard of that are wicked useful!

    1. Justin Post author

      Glad to see you found a few new ones. The theme test drive plugin is a huge help, especially if you work on a lot of blogs. It has made my life much easier : )

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  7. Roni

    Here’s another one you might want to check out – Kaltura’s new All-in-one Video plugin for WordPress.

    This is not just another video embed tool, bloggers can upload, import and edit videos in any blog post, and allow readers to post video comments and participate in collaborative videos. You can download it free from – http://corp.kaltura.com/download?m=wplaunch.

    You can see a sample of what it looks like on our corporate blog: http://www.kaltura.com/blog/ or read more at http://community.kaltura.org/viewforum.php?f=4

  8. Gabby

    The plug-ins that I first activated as Askimet because I hate spams then the All-In-One SEO as you have mentioned. I think you should include from your list the Google Sitemap Generator which will really helps your blog to easily read by search engines.

  9. Mark

    A cool plug-in that I have on my blog is called Riffy. What it dose it allows your visitors to add a audio, video or text comment to your posts and everywhere you allow comments. Many times people don’t leave video comments, I mostly get audio comments and text comments. But, I always enjoy hear/watching my audience real voice, instead of reading there comments. If you want it, it is free, just do a Google search for Riffy. It is an awesome comment plug-in.


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