My 16 Best WordPress Plugins

Since writing My Top 10 Best WordPress Plugins back in October, I have added quite a few more. So much so that I have received requests to make a new post showing all the Plugins I am currently running on the blog. With that in my mind, I present to you my 16 best WordPress Plugins.

Akismet Comment Spam Killer

This Plugin comes preinstalled with WordPress and should always be on. I get over 500 comment spams per day on this blog, and without Akismet, I would go crazy! To turn on Akismet, go into the Plugins section of your WordPress control panel and activate it. The software does require an API key however. You can get a free key by signing up for a WordPress account.

Subscribe to Comments 2.0

Subscribe to Comments 2.0, adds a “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail” check box below the submit comment button so users can keep track of the comments. When a new comment is made to the post, an email is sent to the subscriber notifying them. This is a much better system than subscribing to the individual comment RSS. Download this Plugin here. To get more details about the Plugin, go here.

Show Top Commentators

Ever since installing this Plugin, comments have really increased on the blog. Show Top Commentators encourages feedback and discussion by rewarding readers for making a comment. The top commentators are displayed on the right sidebar (under Categories) along with the number of comments made and a link back to their site/blog. Unlike links in the comments, the links on the Top Commentators are full links without a nofollow tag, so it really encourage people with blogs to comment. More information about this Plugin is available here.

Brian’s Threaded Comments

Brain’s Threaded Comments add a “Reply to this comment” link to every blog comments. When you click the reply link, your comment is placed direct under the comment you replied to. This is great if a reader asks a question. Instead of scrolling down the blog post to see if anyone answered, he can do so by looking at his own comment. Read more about the Plugin here.

Sidebar Widget

The Sidebar Widget is one of the most useful Plugins made for WordPress. The Widget allows you to customize the look of your sidebar without having to edit any PHP files – you just drag and drop items you want included in the sidebar and the Widget does the rest. Your WordPress theme must be Widget ready in order to use this Plugin.

Executable PHP widget

This Plugin allows you to run PHP codes inside the Sidebar Widget. I had to install this Plugin because the Feature Sites for Text Link Ads (aff) and the Top Commentators requires a PHP call and by itself, the Sidebar Widget doesn’t execute PHP codes. Grab the Plugin here.

Recent Comments

This Plugin comes with WordPress and retrieves a list of the most recent comments. You can see it in action on the right menu. Like the Related Posts Plugin, Recent Comments can help increase blog page views.

Related Posts

This Plugin, available from Mr. Wasabi, will find other blog posts that are related to the current post. This is a good way to generate extra page views and keep readers on your blog. The Plugin allows you to set how many related posts to display and gives you options for displaying them. There are also options to exclude excerpt and password protected pages. You can see the Plugin in action at the bottom of this post.

Digg This

I don’t use this Plugin any more since I’ve been banned from Digg. Digg This is a Plugin that detects incoming links from and automatically display a link back to the Digg post, for people to Digg your story. When a Digg is first recognized, an email lets you know that someone has Dugg your story. There are many options to choose from in order to display the Digg link. The most popular is the Digg button that displays the number of Diggs a story received. Get the Digg This Plugin here.


This Plugin allows you to execute PHP codes inside a blog post. I was using it to show the Digg This button inside the top of my post instead of at the bottom. The advantage of using this Plugin was I could choose which posts to display the Digg button. Since I’ve been banned from Digg, I don’t use it anymore but it comes in handy when I have to run some PHP commands in a post. Get the Plugin here.

AdSense Deluxe

This is the Plugin that serves all my Google ads. The cool thing about AdSense Deluxe is it keeps track on the number of Google ads displayed and limits that number to three (the maximum number of ads Google allows on a page). That is why you see a 300×250 box ad in a blog post but that ad may disappears when the post is viewed from the front page.

Additionally, the AdSense Deluxe Plugin can be used to serve YPN or any other ads as well. I am using the Plugin to serve the 468 banner ad for BuzzBum and New To Tech. This is a must-have Plugin. Get it here.

Feedburner Feed Replacement

The easiest way to install FeedBurner on a WordPress blog is to use the FeedBurner Plugin. This Plugin direct 100% of your feed traffic through FeedBurner, ensuring accurate readership stats. The cool thing about this Plugin is that it automatically converts any existing subscribers from the old feed to the FeedBurner one.

Optimal Title

Optimal Title mirrors the function of wp_title() exactly, but moves the position of the separator to after the title rather than before. This allows you to have your blog name tacked on to the end of the page title instead of having it appear first. In other words, instead of John Chow dot Com >> The Title Of The Blog Post, it will show The Title Of The Blog Post < < John Chow dot Com. Doing the title this way should improve search engine rankings. Google Sitemap Generator

The easiest way to generate a Google Sitemap for WordPress is with this Plugin. Whenever you update, or add new content to your blog, the Plugin will generate a new sitemap for Google to use. In addition to saving you time, the Plugin will help get your blog indexed by Google much faster.

WordPress Database Backup

This Plugin comes installed with WordPress and provides an easy way to backup your WordPress database. You may download the backup file, or have it emailed to the address of your choice. The Plugin is very easy to use – just activate and then select “Backup” under “Manage” in your WordPress control panel. For security reasons, you should turn off the Plugin after you backed up your database.

Text Link Ads v2

This is the Plugin that serves the TLA ads you see under Featured Sites. To get this Plugin, you need to sign up and be approved as a Text Link Ads publisher. Once approved, the Plugin will serve all the text ads and make you money. This is by far my favorite WordPress Plugin! 😀

86 thoughts on “My 16 Best WordPress Plugins”

  1. Stephen says:

    Don’t you use SPAM KARMA2?

    1. John Chow says:

      I used to, not anymore.

  2. Leftblank says:

    That’s a pretty nice (and long) list John, I’ll surely take a look at it later to see what I’ll use and what not, especially that spam filter seems more than useful to me 😉

  3. Nate W. says:

    Excellent post, John! Thanks for the heads up!

  4. Hawaii SEO says:

    Great List! I’ve bookmarked it and I’m sure I’ll be linking to it next time I post about WordPress.

  5. Qwerty_ says:

    John you might want to update Mr.Wasbi’s recent comments plugin since that address no longer goes there but I found the plugin at this new location

    Awesome list by the way.

    1. just testing the threaded comments.

  6. uncle sha says:

    in fact i’ve all the same plugins as you

    you might want to try these also

    Share This “” (social bookmark)

    watermark your images “”

    WP-PostRatings “” (rate your articles)

    Javascript Pull-Quotes “” (makes the article with nice looking quotes)

    Peter’s Date Countdown “” (got any events to countdown?)

    1. John Chow says:

      Thanks! I will check them out. I don’t want to go crazy with too many plugins because they could affect server performance, esp the badly coded ones.

  7. Scott Howard says:

    cool, I definately want to try out the Top Commentators plug-in

  8. Aris says:

    Does the “Related Posts” come with the animation shown in your post, John? 🙂

    Great posting!

    1. Nik Agarwal says:

      I think the animation that you see in “related posts” is separate. I have that plugin running as well and it did not come with any animated icon/file. I added a dancing penguin in mine. It really does lighten the mood if you ask me 🙂

    2. John Chow says:

      No, you will need to find your own bananas, or you can take mine. 🙂

      1. Alex Becker says:

        Bananas where are the bananas? I see no bananas.

        1. John Chow says:

          The dancing bananas are next to the related posts.

  9. matt says:

    I enjoyed your first list, as I did this one as well. It seems like I go through a lot of changes with my plugin lineup, but always keep at least 5 of them the same. Thanks for the list – it gives us all a bit to think about when doing the plugin change.

  10. Nik Agarwal says:

    Awesome list John. I’ve always wondered what plugins you were using. Thankfully, I have most of them running on my blog as well, except for a few which I will install very soon.

  11. Ryan says:

    That’s a pretty cool drag and drop sidebar plugin. Haven’t seen that before.

    I’ve also had good success with Akismet, Related Posts, and AdSense Deluxe plugins (actually most of the ones you’ve got up there).

  12. marlon says:

    Great post John thanks.

  13. Raghu says:

    John – Thats a good collection. Am waiting to start using these plugins !

  14. John, good collection of plugins. Thanks for the post!

    I see you were down again overnight, you should consider a cluster solution instead of the 2 server solution you are using. If you want more tech info on this, let me know.

    Also, it looks like your text link ads are not working quite right. I see 16 ads listed – the last 6 are repeats of the first 6. Maybe it’s the text link ad that have a problem or maybe it’s your blog?


    1. John Chow says:

      Might have been your ISP or Internet connection. My logs shows the server was never down. However, I am looking for a mirror and cluster solution with multiple ISPs.

  15. Raghu says:

    John – Looks like you have signed up a few more advertisers on your Text Link Ads network – contribution into this month’s revenue from TLA is on the increase !

    1. isnt that what top posts is for?

      1. Raghu says:

        Nick – Don’t get your note ?

        1. he has a top posts section on the top, above the header, i thought that was where he filled most of the important resources and what not. If not maybe he can make a section in the top posts specifically for “resources”

  16. Raghu says:

    You have quite a few resources that you post once in a while – But many times its tough to wade through the postings to get to them though

    How about a resources tab right on the top ?

  17. Have you just changed your header image in the last 40 seconds since I last refreshed, or have I gone mad?

    If so, nice! 😀

    David Wilkinson

  18. preesh bro, im gonna have to try some of those, mainly the widget thing

  19. Ryan says:

    A few more plugins I find useful:

    Search Pages – Makes it so that pages and posts are searched using the search box.

    Tiger Style Administration – A much nicer admin interface to WordPress.

  20. Ryan says:

    No idea if Akismet just ate my comment, but here’s the same post without the links:

    A few more plugins I find useful:

    Search Pages – Makes it so that pages and posts are searched using the search box.

    Tiger Style Administration – A much nicer admin interface to WordPress.

  21. Martin says:

    How did you get the Show Top Commentators working? I cannot get it working with the Sidebar Widget at all. I have worked on it for about 3 hours.

    Any help?

  22. Martin says:

    Awesome, i figured it out. I needed the executable PHP widget. Thanks John, you keep making my site better and better.

    1. John Chow says:

      This is a good reason why you should read the entire post. 🙂 You would have saved yourself three hours. He he he.

  23. I use every single one of those except TLA ads (yet). I am still waiting for them to approve me. Anyways thanks for letting everyone know about these great plugins, every one is useful.


  24. Kiltak says:

    Where’s WP Cache 2.0? 🙂

  25. Awesome….
    I still suck at actually loading plugins to WORK on my blog, but this is a good list.

    I am using my personal site as a guinea pig for now and this info is great!!!

    Does any one know if it is possible to have your Link list on a different page with WordPress???

    I really don’t want to get rid of my links… I read em most days and we all visit each other….

  26. Alex Becker says:

    Hey John I really enjoyed reading this post. Some of these plugins I really enjoy. Especially the Top Commentators one. Unfortunately I use Blogger and I have found no such thing for it. Although I am trying to find something alike. If you know of anything I would greatly appreciate the heads up.

    1. Raghu says:

      I also use blogger and have not found anything similar to Top Commentators 🙁 Might move to WordPress !

      1. Alex Becker says:

        Yea I would move but I would have to start all over and thats a pain.

  27. Paul says:

    This is making me want to convert to WordPress. I’m still using Blogger, and the new version is completely useless for customization.

    BTW nice new set of cars.

    1. John Chow says:

      Why are you still on Blogger? Get out while you can!! 🙂

  28. Alex Becker says:

    I just noticed the bananas. Those are awesome.

    1. John Chow says:

      They are awesome but can you watch them all day?

      1. Alex Becker says:

        Haha I could if I didn’t have so much stuff to do. Hey John when are you gonna set up the favorite icon. It’s really hard to find your blog in my sea of bookmarks.

  29. awild says:

    I implemented many of the first 10, and added a few of the new 6. Thanks for the good plug ins!

  30. Mark Johnson says:

    Nice list!

    For me, I might add four more:

    1) No ping wait

    This plugin speeds up post pinging by moving generic pings to execute-pings.php. If you add extra ping services to WordPress (like I have on my blog), it might slow down wordpress tremendously. This plugin allow helps prevent that by setting a timeout limit, so that it’ll bypass a ping service if they don’t respond within a particular time limit rather than wait for it. More explanation and plugin download from The Foo Logs.

    2) Chunk Urls for WordPress

    This plugin shorten urls in comments so that they won’t break your site.

    3) Ultimate tag warrior

    One of the best tag plugins right now to optimize your posts. You might have it right now but didn’t mention it.

    4) Google Sitemap ultimate warrior plugin

    Since you already have the Google Sitemaps, use it with Ultimate tag warrior to further optimize your sitemaps to include your tags.

  31. Shocker says:

    Thanks for the list!

  32. Nomar says:

    thanks, now i know what to do tomorrow..

    off to sleep now..

  33. Marc says:

    Great post. I use a subset of these but may have to check out some of the others. The ones I do use include:

    Google Sitemap generator
    Wordpress Database Backup (though I don’t think I’ll keep using it)
    Text Link Ads (Not much love coming from them, but got a bite today)

    1. Marc says:

      Just had to test the threaded comments. It’s really nice. I don’t think I need it at the moment as I never get more than 5 or 6 comments to any one topic, but I’ll keep this one in my back pocket just in case.

  34. baron says:


    Looks like the Digg This plugin has a security hole that lets spammers fake Digg referrals and hijack Diggs on a blogger’s post. There’s an alternative with the security fix.

    1. Alex Becker says:

      I think John does not use that anymore. Since he is banned from digg.

      1. baron says:

        I know but he’s recommending it to others.

  35. Stew says:

    Another installment… excellent.. I downloaded almost all the plugins on the previous post

  36. Michael Kwan says:

    I love dancing bananas.

  37. derrich says:

    I use about 12 of these. I need to get on the ball and add a few of these others that look like they should help me stay organized. Although, I saw above how one of your plugins didn’t agree with WordPress 2.1. Oh well. Maybe soon. I kinda like that plugin.

  38. John, First, i want to say thank you for the site. Second, thank you for this post. Third, I would like to ask how you are able to get the numbers to show up beside archives as well as the number of posts per category? i have decided to try the widget sidbar maker and it has taken away my numbers.

    1. John Chow says:

      The Sidebar Widget has options to put those back. There is a checkbox that says “Show post counts”

      1. thank you very much john.

  39. Jonh Wendell says:

    Are you sure that ‘Recent Comments’ comes with wordpress? I did not found it in my box… I’m using 2.0.x series.

    Where is it?


  40. Wayne says:

    Thrilled to see my plugin on your best-of list (Adsense-Deluxe – Just a note that WordPress 2.1 has broken my work from previous versions with respect to making your Adsense ad code available in the post/page editor. But the plugin still functions otherwise. I was out researching how to fix the tinyMCE/wysiwyg stuff when I found this post.

    I’ll be posting an update very soon, in the meantime my apologies to all the Adsense-Deluxe Plugin users who have migrated to 2.1 (I’m still on 1.5 for most of my blogs, and only one of them is 2.0… sigh.)


  41. John A. says:

    Where is the link for the Optimal Title plug in? Thanks.

  42. Jason says:

    Great list! There are so many great plugins to make life easier that your list will likely grow to 20 by th end of the year. 🙂

  43. Dax Desai says:

    Are you using Brian’s Threaded comments still? I upgraded to WordPress 2.1 and now it appears to be disfunctional.

    Just curious if you were using it or if you switched to something else.

    I’m using the 1.5.9 version and I just realized threaded comments are not working as expected.

    Appreciate your feedback.

    1. John Chow says:

      Yes I am using Brian’s plugin. Version 1.5.9 as well. It works for me. What error are you getting?

      1. Dax Desai says:

        I don’t get any errors. It just doesn’t thread. This was a new install of WordPress 2.1 and I haven’t had any problems with anything else.

        Comments show up, but just not threaded.

  44. Matthew says:

    Definitely will check out a few of these plugins, thanks

  45. musicNmovies says:

    Aren’t you missing SPAM KARMA, its the best I thing after installing it, I haven’t looked anything in comments.

  46. Jim Rudnick says:

    I love this article…and as a prospective blogger I’d only ask…

    Could you please also do a review of the various blog software packages “out there” so as to help me make up my mind too?

    I just don’t know which one to pick!

    And I’d like a fully featured one that I can also make css changes to as well…



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