Arvixe – These guys have been wonderful. I have had great service and almost no outages. They have been quick to answer any questions I have had. Setup was much easier than I thought it was going to be. Recommended.
zeeNoble I had a pretty good idea what I wanted in a theme. I wanted Category pages with thumbnails and post excerpts, a good readable font, and a place for a custom header image. After a long and exhaustive search, I found zeeNoble. It passed my initial criteria with the excellent way it handled my featured images and category pages. I really liked the layout and font. It had one of the best logo/header image displays. My only issue is that I haven’t been able to get my image centered, but I think I can fix that.
Akismet:protects the blog from comment and trackback spam
Async Social Sharing –This adds the buttons for sharing my posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.
Blogger Importer – I started my blog on blogger, and this plugin helped me move my posts over to my self-hosted site.
Countdown Widget – I use this widget to make countdown timers for when various projects are due. I’m not currently using it on the site.
Currently Reading Book – This is the plugin that shows the book I’m currently reading in the sidebar.
Google Analytics for WordPress – This ties the site into Google Analytics and lets me know who my visitors are, what pages are getting traffic, and how people are finding me.
Livefyre Realtime Comments – My friend and fellow blogger, Patrick, put me onto Livefyre. It’s a fantastic comment system and allows commenters to sign in with their Facebook, Twitter, or Google plus account. It helps foster communities which is one of my goals for my blog.
My Book Table – This lets me sell books through my site. It links to the Amazon page. I don’t have enough traffic for the version that supports affliate links, so I don’t get any direct money
nrelate Most Popular – At the end of my posts, you’ll see a list of Most Viewed posts. nrelate is the plugin that creates that list for me.
P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) – This lets me see which plugins are slowing down my site. You can create a profile of your WordPress site’s plugins’ performance by measuring their impact on my site’s load time.
Tweet Old Post – This i s one of the best pluggins I’ve added recently. It helps keep my old posts alive by tweeting about them and driving more traffic to them from Twitter. You can set time and number of tweets to post. People are on Twitter at different times of the day and this lets me keep content infront of them.
What Would Seth Godin Do– I love this little plugin. It is just so neat what it does. The first time you come to the blog, you’ll see a message that says “Welcome! You may want to check out my Welcome page and subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!” After the 6th visit to the blog, the message changes to Welcome back! Thanks for making my blog part of your day!
WordPress Backup to Dropbox – This is my backup solution. It back ups my filtes, media and database to my Dropbox account automagically.
WordPress Editorial Calendar – Another great suggestion from Patrick, this plugin allows me to schedule my posts. When I schedule a post in the Calendar, it actually creates the draft in WordPress. When I move it around on the calendar, it changes the date in WordPress. It’s a great tool to help me plan the blog, and I don’t know how I worked without one.
WordPress SEO –This plugin analyzes my pages and helps me improve their SEO. It is teaching me a great deal about SEO and hopefully improving the chances the people looking for me will find me.
WPtouch – This plugin creates the mobile version of my site. It doesn’t use many resources, and is fairly easy to use.
Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net