This is a short list of some basic WordPress plug-ins that are usually useful for just about any website.
- Akismet. Used by millions, Akismet is quite possibly the best way in the world to protect your blog from comment and trackback spam.
- Contact Form 7. This contact form plug-in is helpful when you want more advanced forms beyond what’s already included in WordPress.
- Google XML Sitemaps. This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com to better index your blog.
- JetPack. This is like a suite of plug-ins from WordPress. At present there are 33 features included that are similar to their WordPress.com equivalents. The Related Posts feature can show links to similar stories on your site. Infinite Scroll lets users keep scrolling down rather than selecting next page (for search results and news). Publicize let’s you announce new posts on numerous social networks. Carousel and Tiled Galleries enhances the display of photo galleries. Subscriptions lets people signup for your site posts. Extra Sidebar Widgets allows you to include additional smart widgets that interact with other services. Any of the features can be turned on or off.
- Login LockDown. Login LockDown records the IP address and timestamp of every failed login attempt. If more than a certain number of attempts are detected within a short period of time from the same IP range, then the login function is disabled for all requests from that range. This helps to prevent brute force password discovery.
- Official StatCounter Plugin. Used with the StatCounter website analytics service. There are free and paid service levels. Although Google Analytics also provides some free stats for your site, StatCounter has a nice user interface that might help you greater understand your site traffic.
- Sucuri Security. This is a website security and anti-malware plugin from Sucuri.net.
- WP Super Cache. This plugin generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After a html file is generated your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts. This makes your site run faster.