Plugins are the oil that smooth the running of the WordPress engine, adding useful, and sometimes essential, functionality to your site and its overall user experience.
Mashable’s list is an awesome collection of many of the best plugins out there, each one developed by a WordPress enthusiast. Just about all of them are offered for free.
I found a few that were new to me and which I’ll try out on my sandbox to see if they’d be useful on my main blog.
One I have added to this site straightaway is Lester Chan’s WP-PluginsUsed.
This plugin generates the content for a page which lists all the plugins you have installed and which are active and inactive. I find that very useful! You can see it here.
One other plugin I’ve installed – which I found not in Mashable’s list but via surfing (quaint word!) from a link in the Mashable list – is the Dagon Design Sitemap Generator.
This is something I’ve been looking for for a while: a simple sitemap that anyone can use to find any post or page on this site. Dagon’s looks simple but it’s very powerful with many ways to customize what’s in your sitemap and how it’s presented.
You can see the sitemap here (and there’s a link in the navigation bar at the top of each page).
One little problem with it, though – it currently says there is a total of 68 pages in the sitemap. But if you click on ‘next page,’ it just refreshes the page you’re on. Not sure if that’s a bug or, more likely, something I’ve not config’d properly. So I posted a comment on Dagon’s blog.
Hope to get it fixed as I like this plugin a lot.
It’s not exhaustive, though, so if you find a plugin you like and it’s not clear which version of WP supports it, and it’s not in the Codex list, just ask the plugin developer. Often, if you scan the comments in a post the developer’s written about his or her plugin, you’ll find someone has asked that question and the answer will be there.
Or install it and see what happens, which I usually do without any nasty consequences. Helps to have a sandbox :)
The WordPress community is really amazing with its generosity and drive to help everyone make more out of WordPress.