My Favourite Plugins (That Don’t Break My Blog)

I’ve been on WordPress for over a year now and have tried out my share of plugins. Some have been great, but too resource intensive while others broke my blog! I’ve compiled a list of the plugins I’m using now and seem to be working out okay for my site! I know many people have switched from Blogger to WordPress over the last few weeks, so I hope this list will give you an idea of what plugins work well for me!

Add New Default Avatar: Uses my Simply Stacie button as the default avatar when people leave comments.

Advertisement Management: This one puts my Google AdSense ads in my posts.

Akismet:  Spam blocker

Comment Luv: Shows my commenters last post when they leave a comment on my blog. It lets your readers promote their sites and encourages comments on your site.

Contact Form 7: I use this for my Contact Form on my Contact page.

Genesis Simple Hooks: I use this plugin to ad my advertising below my header and in my footer. It goes with the Studiopress themes.

Genesis Support for Greg’s Threaded Comment Numbering:  This plugin allows me to use my other plugin to get the numbered comments.

Google Analytics for WordPress: I track my traffic and stats with Google Analytics.

Greg’s Threaded Comment Numbering: A plugin for numbering your comments!

LinkWithin: According to my tech support, this plugin is less resource intensive and is much better for me to use over the YARPP (Yet Another Related Post Plugin). It shows similar posts at the end of my posts to increase your pageviews and keep your readers engaged.

LinkWorth: I monetize my site with LinkWorth and this plugin is a MUST! Those LinkMuras are so confusing and I would never be able to do them without this plugin.

Official StatCounter Plugin: Another way to track your stats and traffic.

ReplyMe: I love this one! It sends an email when someone replies to a comment to its author. It’s great for keeping the conversation going.

Share and Follow: This plugin was also recommended to me by my technical support. It adds the tweet button and like button to your posts and includes other ways of sharing at the bottom of the posts (ie. Stumble Upon, Digg, etc).

W3 Total Cache: This plugin improves your speed and does a bunch of other technical stuff that I don’t really understand. It was recommended to me by my hosting company.

WP- DBManager: Manages and optimizes your database and also does back ups. My technical support installed this one for me so I don’t really know much about it! Reduces the size of your image files and improves performance. Images take up lots of space.

Do you use any of these plugins? If so, what is your experience? Do you have any plugin recommendations for me?

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  1. says

    Hi Stacie,

    I just switched to a genesis child theme and downloaded ReplyMe but I’m not sure whether its working. Are there any steps I need to do to set it up?

    Thanks for the rest for the list too! I’ll be working my way through it

  2. says

    Nice list. I haven’t tried Comment Luv yet, and hope to add it soon. One tip about WP-DBManager – it does a lot of nice things, but not automattically. It’s as easy as clicking a few links. Be sure to backup your database at least once a month. I use Backup Buddy, which is a premium plugin, because it backs up everything, including the database, plugins, and theme.

    • says

      Good to know! I have a service that does all the technical stuff with my site and they do the backups for me. I’m a bit clueless when it gets too technical!

  3. says

    Stacie, This was a super useful post! May I do a post and link to it? I think a lot of people will be interested in what you use for plug-ins! I may try a few of them myself! (although, you have recommended a lot of them to me through time!) STACIE IS THE BEST!

    The Chief Blonde!

  4. says

    Thanks Stacie! I am not so good at the computer so this was extremely helpful!! I just added several of these to my blog! So easy!

  5. says

    I have been on Blogger for almost eighteen months and just opened my first WP blog today. I have to learn and play withit before I show it to the world! Thanks for sharing what worls for you.

  6. says

    I love Askismet for Spam, helped a ton. And I love your comment luv feature… You’re one of VERY few blogs that I know someone has responded to me! I leave lotsa comments out there in this big ol’ wide web, but never go back to check to see if someone else commented back. I love that I get those emails from your site, and I’m excited to add that plug-in to my own :)

    Quick question, if any of you know the answer…. Sometimes I get a message that WordPress has a new update. I click the link to do it, it updates in about 10 seconds, and I get back to work. But I now have a note that my THEME needs to upgrade to the newer version. I’m nervous that doing so might change my settings or sidebars, so I haven’t done it. Is it as simple as the regular WP update, or not??

    If anyone can give me some advice on that I would LOVE you forever!! I’ve looked around online and can’t find an answer…. So I hoped that some of you using it longer than me might know :) Thank you!!

    • says

      Meagan, if your theme developer has a forum or blog, that would be the best place to ask questions, if you haven’t already. Themes and plugins are regularly updated to keep pace with ever-changing security issues and to remain compatible with WordPress updates (one was released today.)

      You are right to be concerned with the update breaking your site. That’s specifically why I use Backup Buddy because it backs up everything, plugins, sidebar content, theme, and of course, the database. Other back up plugins only store the database, which contains all of your page/post content.

      I always do some sort of backup before I upgrade anything. That will be especially important when WordPress 3.2 comes out at the end of June because it is a significant upgrade.

      • says

        Thanks a ton for the info about the big upgrade coming, definitely something I’m glad to know! The developer has a forum, and usually answers all questions with, “Upgrade to newest version”, lol. Not exactly full of info.

        Maybe I’ll just try adding the backup buddy, and then go for it with the upgrade… I’m so NOT a tech person, and have only been blogging for about 3 months now, and am still learning as I go. I know I can’t wait forever to upgrade the theme, because eventually something is going to not work right!

        Thanks a ton for the tips :)

  7. says

    Some day I might have some suggestions…as it is now, I’m taking baby steps. But thanks for this list…it sure will be helpful!!!

    I think I’m going to use Smush and ReplyMe.

  8. says

    Oh thanks for this! Going to go get ReplyMe plugin.
    I’ve also been using Akismet and love it. But I can’t believe how many spam comments I get! I am averaging about 600 a month and my blog does not have too much traffic or anything. Crazy! Hate it when good comments get into the spam too… One downside to WP.

  9. says

    Great! Love getting to know wordpress plugins, but am kind of leery about trying them. The thought of crashing my blog is terrible! I bookmarked this post! Thanks so much!

  10. says

    Thanks so much for the info, I’ve managed to download one but Abby’s being a stinker today so I have to download them during her “being good” times :).

  11. says

    Great info! I am always on the look out for better plugins. At one point I had a plugin that was stopping my email subscriber from getting emailed. Was a serious headache!
    Love this post!! :)


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