Here are my Top 10 WordPress plugins if I were to start a new WordPress blog (and I do often) here are the plugins I would immediately upload and activate before all else. And by the way I would use godaddy and take advantage of one of the many deals found in this list before I purchased.
Search Engines & Optimization
Your site needs to be listed in search engines and optimized to be found.
- 1. Google XML Sitemaps : A sitemap will be generated for you and will work with Google, Google is the largest of all the search engines so you need to be indexed properly before you can be found.
- 2. All in One SEO Pack : Once your pages are indexed in Google, and other search engines, you need to be sure to have Title, Description, and Keywords for your site. Just as important is the ability to easily change the Title, Description, and Keywords for every post you make as the topic and discussion is different it is best to have the Title, Description and Keywords match the content. This plugin provides all that and more as you can modify the above when you post or write a page.
Make sure your visitors continue to receive your stories after they visited your site and hopefully return.
- 3. Add to Any Subscribe Button : Make it simple for visitors to easily add your feed to their favorite reader and receive your posts, hopefully returning as well.
Visitor Acquisition – Virally
Once you have visitors, the best reference is a friend so have your visitors tell others through services such as Digg and other social bookmarking/sharing services. You cannot beat referrals, they are strong and free.
- 4. diggZ-Et : Adds a Digg button to every post, a simple click and submit from a visitor and you are referenced in Digg, finding a new audience and traffic.
- 5. Add to Any : Share/Save/Bookmark Button or Sociable : As there are many different sharing and social bookmarking services, you want to easily be able to offer the visitors preferred provider, such as Reddit Del.icio.us and others, with a click of a button. These two, pick your preference, provide them all.
Comment spam is no fun when you get 100 a day, bots typically spam your site by leaving comments and it is best to block them or make them more easily identifiable then to allow them all and clean it up yourself.
- 6. Akismet : An excellent tool for blocking and highlighting spam comments for you.
- 7. reCAPTCHA : Stop bots from leaving comments by providing a confirmation code that can only be read by human eyes, I am sure you have see the word on a background which is difficult but possible to decifer.
Statistics help you to determine the traffic from your site, where they come from and where they go.
- 8.Google Analytics for WordPress : Google Analytics is a free, and very impressive, statistics package. Easily add the tracking code to your pages with this plugin and track your progress.
Here are some plugins to make the administration of your blog easier.
- 9. WordPress Automatic Upgrade : Every now and then you need to upgrade WordPress to the latest version, with this plugin you can do so by clicking to upgrade and it is taken care of for you, even backing up your site before the upgrade.
- 10. WP Super Cache : Just in case you site becomes popular, or even on the more reasonably priced web hosting plans they may turn off your site if too much traffic comes and your site is putting too much of a load on the web server, with this plugin a static page is rendered and served up thereby saving server load.
These are incredibly easy to install, just download from the link above, unzip, upload to your /wp-content/plugins directory the entire plugin folder and activate from your plugin menu option within the WordPress admin.
Hope these help, and let me know if you have others you would prefer in your top 10.