Top 10 WordPress Plugins You’ve Never Heard of – 2009 Edition

WordPress in itself is a decent system but it can be made into a rock solid blogging beast. Adding plugins can make WordPress into the Swiss Army Knife of blogging: just pull out whatever functionality you need for your specific blog!

Many people have asked me for my list of top WordPress plugins. Of course I’ve written quite a few myself, but I’d thought I’d share with you what I think are the best WordPress plugins out there.

We have a nice stockpile of lesser known plugins that we use on websites we build. I wanted to share that list with you in the hopes these plugins will help you as much as they have us!

All of the below plugins have been tested compatible up to WordPress 2.7.1

10. SEO Slugs – The SEO Slugs plugin removes common words like “the, a, in, to” etc from the post slugs (permalinks) when you create a post or page.  This helps search engine optimization by only using the keywords you care about in your URL.

9. Sidebar Login – Plugin allows the ability to easily add a sidebar login widget on your WordPress website.  Once logged in the plugin will display a “Welcome” screen with admin links and a Logout button.  Very nice touch on a user-focused site.

8. Top Level Categories – Plugin gives the ability to remove the category prefix in the URL to your category page. Instead of  it would use  Great for SEO and CMS like taxonomy by category.

7. Author Image – Allows your WordPress users to upload a custom avatar to use as their author image.  Image can easily be used inside your WordPress themes to display post authors image next to content they have created.

6. Featured Content Gallery – Creates an automated, customizable rotating image gallery anywhere on your WordPress powered website. Most famously used in the Revolution themes.  Flexible styling options let you set the size and color of the rotator.

5. WP Hide Dashboard – Hides the dashboard from users assigned to the Subscriber role on your WordPress powered site.   Only options available is to edit profile so users can still edit their details/information.

4. Exclude Pages – Plugin adds a checkbox “include this page in menus”, checked by default. If field is unchecked the page will be hidden from your navigation menus.

3. Duplicate Sidebar Widgets – WordPress by default only lets you use a widget in one location on one sidebar. This plugin allows you to duplicate sidebar widgets across multiple sidebars. This is handy if you want to use the same widgets on different sidebars within your site.

2. Search Regex – Adds a powerful set of search and replace functions to WordPress.  Easily find any value within your WordPress content and replace with a different value.  Great for website migrations from different platforms.  Also has the ability to use Regex patterns.

1. External Links – Forces all outbound links on your site to open in a new window. You can also add an external link icon and add rel=nofollow to all outbound links for SEO purposes.

Some of these plugins are more known than others, but they are all excellent plugins that make life easier on all of us! Enjoy!


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