Since I have recently launched my website, I have had the joy of looking through countless plugins for WordPress and making the decisions on what to add, and what not to. This was quite the task and took quite a bit of time and effort to go through searching for what I wanted, so I figured why not spread the love to you all and save you a bit of the trouble?

While I use many plugins on my site, I wanted to highlight my favorites that I have uncovered during my 2013 website release! Feel free to let me know if you think one of these should be added or replaced on this list.

Akismet


This is one that I think most people blogging already know about, but any new comer to WordPress might be a little curious as to what this actually is? In short, it is a life saver as it will source out and remove all of those nasty spam comments you get on your blog. I had originally had this disabled for some time and decided to let WordPress handle the spam for me, and while they did a pretty good job at it, there was still a lot getting through. Do yourself a favor if you are a new blogger and go activate this plugin and get it setup for your site. It only takes a few minutes and you will love the results!

Contact Form 7


Contact Form 7 is a great plugin to use if you have a lot of forms you have to deal with, or even if you only have a single form on your site. Either way, this plugin will do the job for you. It is super friendly and easy to get going with it in just a few clicks. Create as many forms as you would like, style them, save them, tweak them, you name it, this plugin does it all!

Crayon Syntax Highlighter


So if you have been following my blog (like you should be), then you will notice all the syntax I have so proudly displayed through my posts. Well, I get all of that sexy style from this great little plugin! This is one of my favorite plugins because of the flexibility that it offers to the end user. If you have a need to post syntax on your blog, then give this a try!

Facebook


The Facebook plugin for WordPress is one that I have a love & hate relationship with. First off, it is packed full of features for Facebook integration with WordPress. The downside to this is that with so many features, it is easy to get lost in it. Facebook has a page dedicated on its developer site, and if you have ever dealt with any Facebook integration, get ready to dump some hours in to this one. The plus side though, is once you get it all set up it works like a champ!

Google XML Sitemaps


The Google XML Sitemaps plugin is a very easy plugin to get going, and if you don’t have this by now then definitely make this on your to-do list and get it installed on your site like…yesterday.

Revision Control


Have you ever seen that long scrolling list of revisions on your content in WordPress? Well, this plugin can be configured to limit the amount of revisions your blog will retain. If you make a lot of revisions, or if your posting process comes in phases of updates, you should definitely give this one a look!

Subscribe2


Subscribe 2 has came a long way from when I first seen this a couple of years ago on a different site I was building for a client. Wow, is all I can say. This plugin is now packed full of all kinds of little goodies! Some of the highlights it offers is allowing people to subscribe to your blog, create a mailing list, and contact your followers.

Widget Logic


Have you ever wanted to put a widget on one page, but not the other? Or limit the widget to only display on a single page? This plugin will do just that with relative ease. Just a couple easy lines of syntax to use and presto! You can control what widgets are displayed on what pages.

WordPress Download Monitor


This plugin should be at the top of the list, but since I went in alphabetical order…So if you have content that your site visitors can download I would give this some serious consideration for the tool to help you get it all setup. It will track the amount of downloads, setup the downloads, categorize, etc. It has just about everything you need to, well, monitor your downloads.

WordPress SEO By Yoast


Again, this is one of those plugins you should already have by now. If you want to be present on the web, it takes more than just creating a webpage. Yes! I am talking about SEO folks! Yoast has figured all that out in this powerful plugin for your blog. Just a word of caution though, once you enable this go ahead and prepare for the time warp as you will spend some time with all of its great features.

WordPress DB Manager


The WordPress DB Manager plugin is a great tool that will allow some easy access to manage your WordPress database. One of the best features this plugin has is a utility that will backup and email your database to you whenever you want. For instance, I have mine set to email me every evening.

WordPress to Twitter


This plugin is great for Twitter integration with WordPress. Simple in concept, and does exactly what you want it to do. Post something on your blog, send out a tweet. While it is simple enough, it gives you enough options to tweak the settings and customize how your tweets will get displayed.

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