Every time I build a WordPress site, there are plugins I install before I do anything else. This list isn’t about flashy do-dads or enhanced features. It’s about setting a good foundation for the future stability of the site.
Tracking site performance is important and Google Analytics is probably the best tool available. Getting a snapshot of recent traffic, search terms and referrers, in the WordPress dashboard, is even better!
Uploading images for your Web site can fill your server quickly if the images aren’t optimized for online use. Cameras and even phones can now take super HD pics, but that’s way overkill for the Web. Using a service from Yahoo!, this plugin reduces the file size of uploaded files by as much as 70%.
Ever click on an image and the large version is 10X the size of your monitor? Your diigital camera can take pics that are poster sized, but for the Web this is too big. This plugin will automatically resize images to fit the typical monitor as you upload them. You pick the maximum width and height, this thing does the rest.
It’s said over and over that your site needs a sitemap. If there aren’t a terrible number of pages, a human readable map may not be necessary, but for search engines its crucial. This plugin updates a computer readable sitemap every time you update the site and tells the search engines you did it. No waiting!
WordPress is the most popular CMS system in use today and there are many exploits written specifically to hack it. This plugin monitors your theme files for changes and warns you by email of what could possibly be malicious baddies attacking your site.