When building a WordPress based CMS site for myself or someone else there are certain plugins that I install by default to make the blog software function as a full featured website. This list changes very little, but of course depends on the function of the site. If the site is a blog, then more plugins are added than if it is going to be a static or company site.
Here is my standard list:
All-in-one SEO Pack: If you want folks to easily find your site on Google and other search engines, then you need this plugin. This allows you to setup custom titles, descriptions, keywords and more to make your blog SEO (search engine) friendly.
Contact Form 7: Making it easy for readers and potential business contacts to reach you is a must. A simple form is the best bet. Contact Form 7 simple to insert into a page and sends you an email when someone fills out the form.
CommentLuv: Being nice to your readers is a good thing. CommentLuv puts a link to your commenter’s latest post when they leave a comment on your blog which is great for cross promotion and will encourage readers to post more.
Disqus Comment System: This is one that I just started using in the past couple of weeks. It a web wide commenting system that tracks the comments that you leave across multiple blogs. It allows allows you to log in and comment using either your existing Disqus ID, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID, or more. Or of course you can just comment by filling in your name and email.
Do Follow: Do Follow turns off the nasty No Follow link blocker that WordPress includes. You need this to make CommentLuv and other linking to outside work.
FD Feedburner: If you use Feedburner (and you should) you should install this so that you do not have to go through the trouble of manually changing your feeds to the complicated Feedburner standard. This plugin automatically reroutes your current feed to Feedburner.
LinkWithin: This is a great plugin to keep your older posts from going unnoticed. LinkWithin automatically puts other posts that the reader might be interested in at the bottom of each post which encourages readers to click on them.
TweetMeme: This displays a retweet button on each post and makes it easy for your readers to share a post by you.
Twitter Tools: Recent Enhancements to Twitter tools make it the best WordPress twitter tool out there in my opinion. You can now specify a hashtag, selectively turn each post off and on or even exclude a whole category from posting to Twitter.
WP-SpamFree: I think this speaks for itself. Spam is bad, um k?
WPTouch iPhone Theme: Making your blog mobile is friendly for readers. Despite the name this plugin makes the site friendly for more than just iPhone users.
New plugins are constantly released, old ones updated, and some become obselete, so always keep an eye out for new things. And as I stated before, depending on the function of the site, I will install other plugins to get the job done.
What are you favorite plugins?