I recently saw that WordPress launched a new plugins directory [via]. Plugins are an enjoyable way to spend too much time tweaking your blog, but previously they were rather scattered and many outdated. Having sifted through the directory a bit, here are my top 5 (different from those mentioned before):

  • wp-cache - Caches pages from your blog, which greatly improves performance especially when on a not-so-fast shared host somewhere. And it does the right thing when you edit a post.
  • Kill Preivew 2 - Removes the preview on the posts page and replaces it with a link to preview in a new window. I never used the inline preview at the bottom of the page, and this plugin speeds up the time to refresh the page after a save. Simple and helpful.
  • WP-Amazon - Handy way to search and insert links from Amazon, including an Amazon Associates account if you use one. Helps to ensure the URL is right, albeit a longer form than if done by hand.
  • 404 Notifier - Creates an RSS feed or emails you about 404s from your site. You have a friendly 404 page, right? Here are some tips for good ones, if not. I like to see what URLs aren't being found, and this helped find a few. Then you can redirect to the real page using mod_rewrite, if you are brave, or cook something else up.
  • WP OpenID Registration - Let's your readers register to leave a comment using OpenID. OpenID is gaining traction among early adopters, and who doesn't want to be one of those folks? They have new Macs and witty t-shirts!
  • Google Custom Search Engine - A bonus 6th link! While not a plugin, Google offers the ability to create your own customized search engine for your site. Easy to restrict the searching to just your site, offer possible refinements, and optionally include AdSense ads. While the results won't be realtime, Google usually does a better job than most sites own search engine (I'm looking at you, Pitchfork). </ul>