My 5 Favourite WordPress Plugins

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WordPress has become a major player in the world of website content management. Used as the platform of choice by hundreds of thousands of websites, it really has improved the ease by which new webmasters and grizzled Internet veterans alike are now able to deploy their latest creations online.

I use it as the Content Management System of choice on most of my sites and blogs and one of it’s key features is the ability to extend the codebase beyond it’s original abilities. These changes are made through plugins, and there are a number of plugins that I tend to use on a regular basis on my WordPress sites. This is a list of my favourite WordPress plugins.

FormBuilder
One reason I like this one is that I built it. 😀 However it also solves the difficulty of putting contact forms onto your WordPress site. Instead of just posting a link to your email address (which  in case you didn’t know is really silly) you can use FormBuilder to quickly and easily create a contact form (or 101) for your blog. You can customize the fields on the form in a LOT of ways, and it comes pre-packaged with a great selection of options for building your forms.
On WordPress.org: http://wordpress.org/plugins/formbuilder/

AmazonFeed
Another one that I built to fill a need. You can see it in action on this site, at the bottom of the page. Simply give it a few keywords, or have it look at your tags, and it will automatically pull relevent Books and materials from Amazon using your associate code. That way, your WordPress blog can quickly start making you money in book referrals.
More about it here: http://www.warkensoft.com/php-downloads/amazonfeed-wordpress-plugin/
On WordPress.org: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/amazonfeed/

Jetpack
Released by Automattic, Jetpack adds a TON of great features to WordPress, including basic stats tracking and social media integration. It’s like a mini-collection of plugins that you can choose from, all bundled together in a single handy package.
http://wordpress.org/plugins/jetpack/

Akismet
Another great plugin from Automattic, Akismet does a terrific job of blocking comment spam and is actually included by default with the vanilla WordPress install. Comment spam is always a problem when you open your website up for visitors to leave comments on things, but Akismet does an excellent job of making it as painless as possible.
http://wordpress.org/plugins/akismet/

Google Analyticator
This is a plugin I have only begun to use recently, but has already proven to be a very valuable tool for tracking more advanced statistics through Google Analytics. I love having a basic stats overview on my dashboard with a quick link to more details in Analytics. It’s definitely worth using if you want more advanced stats tracking for your site.
http://wordpress.org/plugins/google-analyticator/

So, especially if you’re just starting out with a WordPress blog, give these plugins a try. They’ll all do their part to make your website a great place to visit and an easy tool to maintain. If you have some plugins that you really like, why not mention them and why you like to use them in the comments area below for others to try out.

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