Eight Plugins every WordPress Website Should Have

I’m a big believer in using WordPress to manage your website, even (especially?) when it’s more than just a blog. Between the ease of content management, the huge selection of graphical themes you can use, and the powerful plugins that you can add, it allows you to quickly and easily build a professional website.

The plugins are especially important, as they allow you to expand the capabilities of your site beyond what comes with WordPress. I believe all WordPress-based websites should have the following plugins installed:

If you’re going to allow any sort of commenting on your site, such as for a blog within the website, this plugin is a must. It monitors the incoming spam to determine whether a comment is spam or not. Spam is moved to its own bucket which you can review at your leisure.

All in One SEO Pack
There are a number of SEO plugins for WordPress, and I go back and forth as to my favorite. Michael Torbert’s All in One SEO Pack is certainly one of the best, however.

Exclude Pages from Navigation
Each WordPress theme has a place where pages (as opposed to posts) are listed. You might want to not include a particular page in that list, however. This plugin adds a checkbox which allows you to do so.

Google Analyticator
No, Google Analytics doesn’t really give all the information you want, and who knows what Google is doing with all the proprietary data it gathers on your site, but the price is certainly right, and it’s a heck of a lot better than not having any analytics system. Google Analyticator allows you to easily manage the Google Analytics code on your site.

Google Sitemaps Generator
An XML Sitemap is a specially formatted list of all the pages on your site. It allows Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com to more easily index your website. This plugin automatically creates a sitemap of all the pages on your site.

In many ways even less powerful than Google Analytics, StatPress gives you insight into your visitors on a realtime basis.

WordPress Automatic Upgrade
This plugin makes upgrading to the latest version of WordPress much easier.

WordPress Database Backup
Almost as certain as death and taxes is the fact that hard drives crash. This plugin ensures that you have a backup of your entire WordPress system. When you do have a crash, this will make recovery much easier.

What are your favorite WordPress plugins?