WordPress is a great platform, but it comes a little naked out of the box. Luckily for us, it has a nice plugin system.

Here is a list of WordPress plugins that I consider essential for a WordPress blog:

Spam protection

  1. Bad Behavior, by Michael Hampton, will greatly reduce spam and block most spam bots before they can pollute your blog.
  2. Gab Captcha 2 by ourselves, or Akismet by Automattic, will protect your comment form efficiently.

Security

  1. Limit Login Attempts, by Johan Eenfeldt, greatly decrease the risk of bruteforce attack of your login form. It will report repeated failed attempts to log in to your blog, and ban the related IP address.
  2. IP Filter, by ourselves, will let you block or grant access to a list of IP addresses.
  3. Custom Registration Link, by ourselves, will stop most automatic registrations to your blog.
  4. SABRE by Didier Lorphelin will help you to reduce automated registrations using a set of captchas and Turing tests.

Convenience

  1. After The Deadline by Automattic will help you to spot spelling errors, but not only: grammar errors, complicated sentences, passive sentences… A great plugin to improve your style.
  2. Comment Move by Nathan Rijksen. Ever found a comment posted at the wrong page or post? Let’s move it using this nice and simple plugin.
  3. PHP Code Widget by Otto let you add a widget that can execute PHP code. The possibilities are endless… As always with PHP code, use with caution.
  4. Widget Logic by Alan Trewartha is an indispensable plugin if you need to display certain widgets when certain conditions are met (eg: for logged in users, on certain pages…)
  5. Vertical Admin Bar, by ourselves, will display the WordPress toolbar (alias the admin bar) vertically. It’s mostly about cosmetics and convenient for wide screens owners.

Developers

  1. Log Deprecated Notices by Andrew Nacin will let you find where those deprecated notices come from. Should be in the plugin list of any WordPress plugin developer.
  2. RTL Tester, by Yoav Farhi and Automattic, will let you test your themes and plugins as they appear on Right-to-Left WordPress installations. If you care about localization, you should use this plugin.
  3. WP-Syntax by Steven A. Zahm or SyntaxHighlighter Evolved by Viper007Bond are essential plugins if you need to insert code snippets in your pages and posts.
  4. TinyMCE Preformatted by Takayuki Miyauchi let you add preformatted text in a convenient manner in the Visual tab of the post editor.
  5. TinyMCE Valid Elements by David Engfer. Ever got mad because WorPress stripped your custom HTML code after switching from the HTML tab to the Visual tab of the editor? This plugin let you manage which elements and attributes are valid in the Visual editor. Particularly useful with WP-Syntax.

Blog statistics

  1. Our plugin Counterize should satisfy your attempts.
  2. Use WordPress.com Stats by Automattic otherwise.

If you think that a plugin should be present here, let me know in the comments, and explain why! This is an evolving list :)