Five Super-Useful WordPress Plugins

by Ostatic Staff - Oct. 09, 2009

If you use WordPress then you know what a great blogging platform it is right out of the box. It does everything a blogger could want and more, but hundreds of industrious users have come up with plugins to make it even better. Here are just five of the over 6,800 different plugins the WordPress community has dreamed up. (Disclosure: Automattic, the parent company of WordPress, is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of this blog, Giga Omni Media. Om Malik, founder of Giga Omni Media, is also a venture partner at True.)

IntenseDebate - Add a ton of increased functionality to your comments with this handy plugin. Create an IntenseDebate account, install the plugin on your blog, then sync the two systems. You can moderate and reply to IntenseDebate comments right from the Admin panel, and make use of extra features like avatars, reputation points, and more. IntenseDebate also syncs all your trackback and pingback data for easy reference and linkjuice.

Thank You Counter Button - Here's a way for your readers to quickly and easily show their love for certain blog posts. This AJAX-based plugin keeps track of every time someone clicks the Thank You Counter button and stores the data in its own MWordPressySQL table. The total number of clicks is automatically refreshed on the page , but only one click per IP address can be recorded to cut down on shenanigans. Though the default text is "Thank You," it can easily be changed in the settings.

WP Quote Tweets - Using a simple shortcode, authors can quote tweets from Twitter directly into a WordPress page or post. You can create and save your own tweet templates, and preserve your cashed XML files by creating a writable folder.

Restrict Registration - This plugin lets you control who registers on your blog through the use of blacklists and whitelists. You get a choice of restriction methods, from literal and wildcard matching to regular expression matching. Its developer says, "This plugin was inspired by WP-Deadbolt, but has been completely rewritten and redesigned, and several new features have been added."

Email Capture - Give readers an easy way to subscribe to your newsletter or distribution list with this easy-to-use plugin. It uses WordPress' internal wp_mail function for sending mail, and exports collected data into CSV files for easy processing. Since it requires readers to double opt-in, you'll be in full compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act.