I have been playing around with WordPress for the past 6 months now. WordPress is written in PHP and CSS, so it is very easy to modify if you are inclined to experiment editing the code. Since WordPress is open source, there is a huge developer base producing useful plugins which extend its capabilities significantly. Here is a list of the plugins I currently use including download links:
Angsuman’s Translator Plugin Pro – This is the plugin I wrote about yesterday – see “Blogging to a Global Audience.” This is an extremely easy-to-use tool to instantly increase your pages by a factor of thirteen, all SEO optimized, to make your blog accessible to a much wider audience. The translated pages can be bookmarked for future use.
Bookmark Me – This useful plugin allows you to display links below your articles to the most popular social bookmarking sites, such as Digg, Del.icio.us, Reddit, StumbleUpon etc. This plugin is a must for anyone who hopes to write good enough posts to be syndicated. Someone syndicated one of my articles to StumbleUpon the other day and I saw a 300% spike in traffic that day.
Brian’s Threaded Comments – This plugin is great because it allows you to structure your comments in a threaded format, which means a users can reply to a particular comment and it will be displayed beneath that comment, instead of at the bottom of the rest of the comments. Also allows user to “subscribe” via e-mail to comment updates. Last I checked, this plugin is NOT yet compatible with the latest version of WordPress, 2.1.
Digg This – Just incase you get Dugg, this plugin will display a “Digg This” icon with the number of votes it has received for that post. The “Digg This” icon will only show if a user is linked to your site directly from Digg. Well worth it.
Google Sitemap Generator – This generator will create a Google compliant sitemap of your WordPress blog. If you use Google Webmaster Tools and verify your site, this will speed up the process of Google indexing your site.
Feedburner Feed Replacement – This plugin will forwards all feed traffic to Feedburner while letting through some important User-Agents. No configuration necessary.
Optimal Title – In your page title, the name of your blog comes first and then the post title. This plugin will reverse that, so your pages will rank more accordingly to their keywords. Remember, according to the rules of SEO, it is always better to have your keywords in the beginning of the page title.
Recent Posts – this plugin will allow you to easily display a list of recent posts. This is useful because if anyone is linked to your site for a particular article, they will easily be able to see the most recent articles they might find useful or interesting.
WP-Contact Form – WP Contact Form is a drop in form for users to contact you. It will forward the message to an email address of your choice. It can be implemented on a page or a post.
The great thing about all of these plugins is that they are a snap to install and configure. Some require that you modify the template, but this is fairly easy to do, if you have a decent understanding of HTML.
I have several other plugins I am going to start implementing, but have not yet activated, such as “Show Top Commentators.” This plugin is useful because it display the top commentators on your sidebar, thereby encouraging readers to leave comments.