(Sung to the tune of ‘Favorite Things’ from The Sound of Music….) Ok, so it really isn’t a song, but when I named this blog post, that just popped into my head. smiley-sm

pluginBut seriously, folks, as someone who works on WordPress sites almost constantly, 24/7, I get asked ALOT…what are your favorite WordPress plugins? Or what plugins do you consider Must-Haves for WordPress?  And, to be honest, there are quite a few…so I will start with some of my favorites today and finish the list another day. (NOTE: If you don’t know what WordPress or plugins are, this probably isn’t the right place for you…but that’s OK keep reading if you want to learn.)

So, in no particular order, here are a few of my faves:

TC Comment Out – Basically, this plugin allows you to use a short code [comment] to remove words from pages without deleting them. You can do this manually IF you know HTML code…but why learn when there is a quick plugin that does it for you?  I like this because people are constantly saying ‘remove this text’ and 2 days later want to add it back in… with the shortcode, you can simply add the [comment] around the text you want to hide, and then [/comment] when you want to end the hiding. It is super easy and lots of fun, too!

Exclude Pages – This plugin puts a check box on your page, in edit mode, to automatically allow you to exclude new pages from being added to your navigation bar IF your theme is setup to automatically add new pages as you create them. I love the simplicity of this plugin BUT it is not needed on ALL themes and it doesn’t work on ALL themes.  It is really a nice feature to have if you need it.

Lightbox 2 – For a cool overlay effect for images, give Lightbox 2 a try. It is great for samples of your work, like graphics you have created, or logos, or any series of items you wish to share with your visitors. In simple terms, it takes a bunch of images, grays out and puts your page in the background, and allows a visitor to run a slideshow (with backward and forward arrows) through a bunch of images. It works well with most themes, I have found.

Backup Buddy by iThemes – NOT Free but SO worth it for a secure, reliable backup of your files and databases. It is also SUPER easy to migrate or move a site from one URL to another using BackupBuddy. The new versions walk you through the setup and within 15 minutes you can have a daily and weekly full backup of your entire site – even stored off site in case your host goes away or something major happens to your site. Well worth the money in my opinion.

WP Captcha Free – This plugin allows you to block spam comments without a captcha box – those things are so annoying, right? This one really works for my site and I have been using it since WordPress 3 versions.  It really seems to do the trick with most themes.

That’s it for today…but I promise to post again soon. I think I will tackle some of my favorite SEO plugins on the next round.

’til then….keep on techin’!