Analytics For WordPress- Many advanced themes now come with analytics built in to the theme options, but many others do not. If you aren’t using Analytics in your blog (if you’re still trying to use Jetpack to track your traffic) you are missing out on a lot of useful data. This is the best plugin. Add the tracking code and you’re good to go!
Broken Link Checker- Websites expire, content moves. This is a vital plugin for keeping your site functional. If you have a lot of posts, like I do, you’ll need Broken Link Checker to find broken links so that you can repair them. You can even set it to send you an email notification when you find a broken link.
Disqus Comments System- WordPress is known for having a lot of SPAM problems in its comment systems. Disqus, a third party application, replaces WordPress comments with its own system that tracks comments across blogs and allows users to log in with their social media profiles. People are more likely to comment when they can just use their Facebook to log in.
Maintenance Mode- If you’re like me, you like to play with your blog and you don’t want people seeing the mess while you work out the kinks. This plugin allows you to put the blog into Maintenance Mode, displaying a standard message to users not logged in as admin, so you can tinker without the whole world seeing your progress/mess.
Pinterest “Pin It” Button- Pinterest only blew up a few months ago, and tech guys are NOT the primary audience. It’s not built in to a lot of social plugins because of these reasons. However, readers (especially female readers) love it, and you should be utilizing it in any way that you can. Use this plugin to add a “Pin It” button to your posts.
Plus One Button- Google Plus is also fairly new. Some people will tell you that it is dying, but I’ll tell you this: Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton still use it. It must be worth something. Even if you think that Google Plus is a hassle, you NEED this button. Why? Google’s mystery search algorithm considers Plus Ones on Google Plus. Increase your rank with this button. You don’t even need to be on the network to benefit.
Print Friendly and PDF- This plugin adds a button to your blog that readers can click to view a print-friendly version of your blog or download a PDF of the post. Note: The PDF conversion page does have some Google ads on it so that the developer can get paid. If you don’t mind some harmless ads, this is really nice for your readers. If you plan to blog a book, it may be vital.
Quick Cache- WordPress blogs with lots of data can get bogged down. Speed is key for any site that wants to convert sales. Quick Cache caches your files so that every page load doesn’t have to start from scratch. This will speed up your site considerably.
Related Posts Thumbnails-
Trap Keep readers on your blog longer by giving them pretty images and related headlines to click on.
What Would Seth Godin Do?- Seth Godin is a genius and this plugin was inspired by him. He said, years ago, that developers should be utilizing cookies to differentiate between new and repeat readers. This plugin allows you to display a message for first time (or fifth time) viewers that will not display for regular readers. Use it to welcome new visitors and ask them to subscribe to your RSS feed or newsletter!
WP Touch- We live in the age of the smartphone. If your site is a disaster on an smartphone, you’re missing an audience. You wouldn’t believe how many people don’t have a computer, but have an iPhone. And– writers– you can put the Kindle Application on that smartphone! WP Touch is free and makes a mobile friendly version of your page so that you don’t have to fret over how your site looks to those smartphone users.