WordPress is a great system for hosting a blogging site or even a regular web site that you want to make configurable and feature rich. WordPress’ strengths lie in its ease of use and it’s extensive range of plugins that allow almost any task to be achieved with ease. However there are a lot of plugins available and so finding what you want and need can be difficult. Some plug-ins are essential to help protect your web site from hackers and scripted hacking attacks. Hopefully this short list of some of the best and most essential plugins will help:
Backup – BackWPup & Dropbox
Anyone that has ever had their website hacked their hard disk fail will know the value of backups. Taking a nightly backup of your website can save you a lot of time and effort should anything happen to your live website. Backing up to Dropbox ensure that not only are your backups easily accessible via the cloud but will also be present on any computers that are linked to your Dropbox account, making access to the backups web you need them quick and easy. Dropbox offers 2GB storage for FREE!
The plugin BackWPup allow you to set automatic backups to run at a set time. You can select which parts of your website to backup and which to leave alone. You also get to choose how many historic backups to leave on your Dropbox account – BackWPup takes care of the cleanup of old backups.
BackWPup also works with SugarSync and FTP servers. Though does not currently support Box.net. Dropbox is however my recommended storage as it allows larger files to be backed up than the free SugarSync account and is easier than backing up to FTP.
Secure WordPress – Website Defender
Website security monitoring service WebsiteDefender.com provides a WordPress plugin that can be linked to their monitoring service and will alert you when changes occur as well as identify security issues that you should fix to close off any holes that leave your site vulnerable to hackers.
The plugin is useful on its own but really comes into its own when used with the WebsiteDefender monitoring service – which currently offers free single site accounts.
Dashboard Cleanup – Dashboard Commander
This useful Dashboard Commander plugin lets you clear some of the boxes and panels that appear on the WordPress Dashboard. Thereby making the admin site look less cluttered.
No Comments – Disable Comments
Disable Comments plugin does exactly what it’s name suggests. It quickly and easily removes the comments functionality from your WordPress powered site. Useful for sites where WordPress is being used more as a CMS than as a blog.
The Jetpack plugin provided by the WordPress team allows those with self hosted WordPress sites to link to WordPress.com and use features such as stats and proof reading of posts that are normally only available to WordPress.com users.