If you write your blog on the WordPress platform, then you might want to enhance your site with some additional features. There are many plugins available for WordPress but sometimes it’s hard to find the best plugins for your needs.
Below, you’ll find the list of plugins that I prefer to use when blogging on WordPress:
- AddThis Social Bookmarking Widget : I use the AddThis button to let people bookmark my posts very easily on various social networks. You see the AddThis button at the bottom of all my posts…
- AdSense Manager : an easy to use system to put ads on your site or right in the middle of a post.
- Akismet  comes with the standard distribution of WordPress. You need to activate it using an Akismet key which you can get on WordPress.com. This plugin will reduce the number of comment spams on your blog.
- Dagon Design Sitemap Generator  creates a user readable site map of your blog. This allows for easier navigation when somebody is lost on your site. You can also include it on your error page and let people navigate to the right destination from there.
- Google Analyticator  adds the Google Analytics code to all your pages. You can also choose if you’d like to track your own visits (admin visits) or not.
- Google XML Sitemaps  publishes an XML sitemap  on your server which is used by Google’s web crawlers to know how you’d like to have your site indexed. The name is a bit misleading as it also enables better crawling for Yahoo and Ask.com. This really helps to get your site indexed.
- http:BL WordPress Plugin : the http:BL is one of my favorite spam-stopping services on the web. It’s run by Project Honeypot. Thousands of sites work together to identify e-mail harvesters, comment spammers and other malicious users. They are all put into the http:BL (http Blacklist) and using this plugin you can secure your blog from being swamped by comment spams.
- Search Pages  enhances the search functionality of WordPress and includes your static pages into the search results as well. This is very useful if you publish company information or static content on your blog instead of just using normal WordPress posts.
- Search Permalink  is a quick hack to modify your search forms for more readable URL’s
- SiteInfo  puts a siteinfo.xml file on your server. This is used by many toolbars to find additional information about your site or to add a unified navigation system for your site. Siteinfo is often used by the Alexa Toolbar. I consider it a useful addition to any WordPress blog or site.
- WordPress Reports  lets you pull reports from Google Analytics right into your admin area. You don’t have to login into Google Analytics to get a quick overview on your statistics .
- WP-Ban  allows you to ban users from your blog based on their referer, their IP address or host names. I haven’t used the banning features yet, but it’s installed on my blogs so I can quickly deny access should there ever be an attack on one of my blogs.
- WP-Contactform  adds a quick contact  form to your blog. So far I haven’t found a contact form which does everything I want but at least this plugin provides some basic functionality, although it misses some important anti-spam features…
- WP-DBManager  manages your WordPress database. Use this plugin to optimize or backup your database. It can also run on autopilot, creating backups on a regular basis. Very useful if you should ever experience some database problems.
- WP-Email  puts a little icon or text link on your posts to let your visitors send your posts to their friends. Useful from a user perspective and also gives the admin some statistics.
- WP-PageNavi  adds a more advanced paging navigation to your blog. This can sometimes be useful when you’d like to differentiate yourself from other blogs.
- WP-Postviews  tracks how often a post/page has been viewed. I’m not using this as yet but will soon…
- WP-Print  creates a print version of your blog — very useful if you’re using lots of color in your design on would like to get a clean view for printing.
- WP-ServerInfo  is only useful for webmasters who’d like to know the configuration of PHP & MySQL. Sometimes this is useful for troubleshooting problems.
- WP-Stats  gives the admin a quick overview how many posts there are, how many authors, how many comments etc. It also shows you statistics from WP-Email, WP-Postviews and WP-Useronline.
- WP-Useronline  displays the number of visitors currently on your blog, tells you the last page they visited and if they are a real human or a bot.
All these plugins make navigation and management of a blog much easier. When you’re starting your own blog, make sure to check out these excellent tools. If you know any other plugins which are useful, please let me know through the comments below.