One of the things that makes WordPress so great is the fact that you can extend it, without touching the core, through the use of plugins. Here is the list of must-have plugins that I put on every blog I deploy, and why:
- All In One SEO Pack – allows you to set custom titles, and meta descriptions very easily.
- Sociable – adds social bookmarking icons to your posts.
- NextGEN Gallery – this is an amazing image plugin. Not only does it allow upload of zip archives to create galleries, but the templates to display galleries are easily customized.
- Viper’s Video Quicktags – for sites that require video embeds tags, I like this plugin the best. The shortcodes are simple to use and automate.
- Google XML Sitemaps Generator – XML sitemap and robots.txt generator. This is a definite must-have that should be installed before a site even goes live.
- Redirection Plugin – used for moving sites from one domain to another. Allows you to set up 301 redirects from your old posts to your new ones quite easily, which gets your new site indexed more quickly. Be warned that this plugin can cause interference with other plugins. If your site starts acting strangely, I recommend disabling the redirection plugin and adding static 301s to your .htaccess instead.
- Google Analytics – if you’re using Google Analytics, I like this plugin.
As a final note, this method for generating SEO friendly permalinks is good, and I’ve used it on several sites.