My Default Plugin List

Theme switching with WordPress can be fun! Finding the right layout and features for your site, tweaking it just so until everything is **exactly** how you want it. From the ‘I should have known better’ files, here are a few things to remember to do when changing themes. has run a custom theme for as long as I can remember. Custom themes mean that I never forgot to add the code for Google Analytics or Feedburner (for the RSS feed) auto-detect urls. After switching to an ‘off the shelf’ theme like I did over the weekend, those 2 bits fell through the cracks. Don’t let this happen to you!

You can add plugins for both of these if they are services that you use and should be added to the list of default plugins that you **always** install when setting up a new WordPress site. Setting up your quiver will save you from forgetting in the future.

For almost every site, I always install and configure the following plugins.

  • Akismet. Nobody likes spam
  • Jetpack. Requires a account (free). Tons of great features.
  • All in one SEO Pack. You can install your SEO plugin of choice, this one is mine
  • Contact Form 7. Jetpack includes a contact form too, I just like this one.
  • Markdown. This is the plugin I’ve used for a while, I’m sure there are others. You can find more information about Markdown here.
  • WP Slimbox2. My new favorite image lightbox of choice.
  • Google Analytics. Newly added to help keep google analytics running and collecting data.
  • Primary Feedburner. Newly added for the time being. I’m planning on moving away from Feedburner on all sites starting in 2013 due to Google’s lack of support.

I have a few others that I like to keep around too, depending on traffic of the site and other requirements that my clients have. WP Super Cache is on that list, a Contact Form 7 database that captures form fill-outs, and nRelate to keep that all important bounce rate as low as possible (soon to be implemented here).

As mentioned previously, new theme is already developed and running. I’m working on making that more generic and it will become the new framework that I use for new themes going forward.

By Don

Lead bottle washer at, host at and tech guru for the MotoringFile family of sites.


  1. I ditched Feedburner for “pure” Google Analytics when we stood up and haven’t bothered to look back… Honestly we haven’t missed it all, between what Google now provides through WordPress it gives us all the data we want for now. Granted our traffic numbers are pretty light, but still I can’t see any need to consider Feedburner – even if it was still supported…

  2. My biggest concern with Feedburner is Google’s lack of support. Not really a problem for the sites with words, but for the show, it’s going to be a little trickier. I hate to use a plugin to build an RSS feed for iTunes, but it’s looking like that will be what I have to do.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.