Plugins that run my site

I recently came across a blog meme that was going around where WordPress bloggers were tagging each other and were asked to list their top three most underrated plugins.

Unfortunately, no one tagged me.

Nevertheless, I probably couldn’t give a decent answer to the question. However, I felt that I should write a post acknowledging some of the plugins used on this site.

Well, here’s a list of the plugins I use to keep running. Yes, it’s a small list. The last three are plugins that I’ve written.


I believe their tagline should be: “Spam-blocking so good it could’ve only been created by a god.”

I hear a lot of talk about all these other cool, hip spam blockers, but I’ve never had a problem with Akismet since day one. I’m sure most WordPress bloggers have this one turned on.

Clean Archives

I’m actually using a hacked up version of the old plugin from when Shawn Grimes originally created it. I use it to serve up my archives.

The newer versions of the plugin are a little too fancy for my tastes. I usually like to keep things simple. The plugin is still very good though.


I honestly don’t know where I’d be without this useful plugin. It gives you the ability to post PHP code in all sorts of places on your blog. I’ve been using it for a couple of years now.

I only need it for a couple of pages, but it’s really handy when I need to quickly post PHP in WordPress — something I wish was part of the core anyway.

WordPress Download Monitor

If you’ve ever wondered how I serve my theme and plugin downloads, then this is how.

It makes nice URLs, such as, so I don’t have to worry with messing up an overly-complicated URL. Plus, stat-tracking is built in. Stats

This one is a fairly new addition. It keeps track of my blog’s stats, but I honestly don’t use it much. I’ve been using Google Analytics for too long. Plus, it adds extra load time to my WordPress dashboard.

It does seem like a good plugin to have, and I’d recommend trying it out if you want your blog stats built into your dashboard.

Cleaner Gallery

This has been one of my favorite plugins that I’ve developed. I’m really picky when it comes to having valid XHTML, but I also wanted to use the new WordPress gallery feature for 2.5. So, I originally created it to use on my own site.

Of course, the added Lightbox support was just a little something extra.

Get the image plugin

After working with magazine themes for a while, I decided to make the image-adding process a little easier. Take a look at any of my archive-type pages or the excerpts on my front page. You’ll see this in action.

Basically, I use it to add thumbnails to spruce up the site a bit.

List SubPages With Descriptions

I created this plugin over a year ago to list subpages to certain parts of the site. It does exactly what the title suggests: list subpages of a page with descriptions of each. I think the plugin is in serious need of an update though.

I’m using a hacked-up version of it on my Writing page. My subpage descriptions were lost when my site went down a few months ago.

That's the package

While none of these plugins are underrated, they are beneficial to my site. I don’t use too many because I enjoy building whatever code I need right into my theme.

I do enjoy playing around with a lot of different plugins though and add support for them in my themes if they seem to compliment the overall package.

If I had to choose my top plugins, without a doubt, they’d be Akisment and Exec-PHP.

What plugins do you use on your site? Which ones could you not live without?