10 common WordPress plugins for starters

These are 10 free, popular WordPress plugins that I've found useful for most WordPress sites.

I presented this list at the Kalamazoo/West Michigan WordPress Users Group on Dec 9, 2010. Please add your feedback and favorite WordPress plugins in the comments!


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FD Feedburner Plugin

  • redirects the main feed and optionally the comments feed to Feedburner
  • tip: append category/tag URL, or don’t redirect category/tag feeds

Google Custom Search Plugin

  • replaces the default search engine with Google Custom Search
  • create CSE through Google, copy and paste code into plugin configuration
  • inserts Google AdWords if your site is for-profit

Google XML Sitemaps or Google XML Sitemaps with Multisite support

  • generates an XML sitemap to help search engines index site
  • notifies all major search engines every time you create a post


  • allows users to share through email and 50+ social networks
  • you customize which networks users can share to
  • you can track analytics


  • back ups WordPress database locally or to email
  • on-demand or scheduled
  • backs up core tables and optional tables
  • database can be saved to to server, download locally, or emailed

WordPress Backup

  • schedule hourly, daily, weekly backups
  • backs up the uploads directory, current theme directory, and plugins directory to zip files
  • zip files can be downloaded locally or emailed

WP Super Cache

  • generates static HTML files, serves those instead of processing PHP
  • saves bandwidth and loads pages faster
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