Recommended Wordpress Themes and Plugins

Recommended Wordpress Themes

If you are looking for great Wordpress themes for your website or blog, start here. The following list is broken down by the type of website or blog you are trying to create. If you have any questions at all, you may ask them here.

Recommended Real Estate Theme

  • StudioPress AgentPress: There truly is not a better theme for real estate agents and brokers than this one. Pro: you won't need additional plugins to support listings or property search; it's built right in. Con: you will need to watch the tutorial and really understand how to set it up properly. But it is worth it and very inexpensive.

Recommended Photography Theme

  • StudioPress Landscape: Just click the link to take a look at this beautifully constructed theme. Huge bonus: highly and easily configurable CSS. I was really impressed with this theme and I purchased it for use on a non-photography website, actually. It's just so versatile.

General Themes for Multiple Purposes

  • Elegant Themes: For $19 per year, you get access to all of the amazing, beautiful themes put out by Elegant Themes. Have a look. It's worth it - professionally designed themes that are not widely used, so your blog will stand out.
  • Up Themes: Similar to Elegant Themes, these are well designed, very professional Wordpress themes. Up Themes offers a free theme called Gallery which just absolutely rocks, and is another I would recommend for photography.

Best All Around

  • Thesis Framework: Thesis is a Wordpress theme "framework." It is a tabula rasa - a completely clean slate from which you can build incredibly amazing looking themes. I have used it in a couple of my client's blogs to give them the design they were looking for. You can use it to build beautiful static Wordpress sites (built on pages) or great looking blogs.
  • WooThemes: I wouldn't be doing my own site justice if I did not list WooThemes here. I have been using WooThemes for a few years, and I really like the Canvas theme, which is what I use on my blog.

Recommended Wordpress Plugins

This list is taken from my website I'll update it as the list grows or shrinks. If you have suggestions, please don't hesitate to add them in the comments.

Anti-Spam

  • Akismet Anti-Spam: Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not. You need a WordPress.com API key to use it. You can review the spam it catches under "Comments."
  • Simple Trackback Validation: Eliminates spam trackbacks by (1) checking if the IP address of the trackback sender is equal to the IP address of the webserver the trackback URL is referring to and (2) by retrieving the web page located at the URL used in the trackback and checking if the page contains a link to your blog.

Blog Promotion/Social Media/Commenting

  • IntenseDebate: A new favorite of mine. Works flawlessly on Wordpress blogs, and allows commenters to use their Wordpress.com, IntenseDebate or OpenID account. Can be installed on either Wordpress or Blogger blogs (and possibly others; just go check).
  • DISQUS: Best for BRAND NEW Wordpress or Blogger blogs. If you have an existing blog, it doesn't always import all of your past comments, which is a big pain in the rear. I will update this page when that bug is fixed but it'll stay here until then because it's an important note.
  • SexyBookmarks: SexyBookmarks adds a (X)HTML compliant list of social bookmarking icons to each of your posts.
  • CommentLuv: Plugin to show a link to the last post from the commenters blog by parsing the feed at their given URL when they leave a comment. Rewards your readers and encourage more comments.
  • Post Signature: Appends the author's display name to posts and/or pages. Useful for multi-author blogs that are crossposted elsewhere, such as LiveJournal or Facebook.
  • Simple Feed Copyright: Adds a simple copyright notice at end of full text articles in your feed.
  • Subscribe To Comments: Allows readers to receive notifications of new comments that are posted to an entry.
  • TweetMeme Retweet Button: Adds a button which easily lets you retweet your blog posts.
  • What Would Seth Godin Do: Displays a custom welcome message to new visitors and another to return visitors.
  • WPing.FM: Updates Ping.FM when you create, edit, or update a blog post. Based upon the Microblog Updater and inspired by PingPress.fm.

Sitemap and Ping List

  • Ultimate Plugins Smart Update Pinger: Replaces the built-in ping/notify functionality. Pings only when publishing new or future posts, not when editing. The new post's url is pinged, not the main url. Also includes reverse order logfile.

Performance, Backup and Analytics

  • WP Super Cache: Very fast caching plugin for WordPress.
  • WordPress Database Backup: On-demand backup of your WordPress database.
  • WordPress.com Stats: Tracks views, post/page views, referrers, and clicks. Requires a WordPress.com API key.

Forms

  • WP-ContactForm: WP Contact Form is a drop in form for users to contact you. It can be implemented on a page or a post.

SEO

  • Meta SEO Pack: Fine tune your WordPress blog for SEO: title rewriting, meta descriptions, tags, robots, canonical links and more. Out-of-the-box settings are a good starting point for blogs.

Affiliate Tools

  • ILWP Simple Link Cloaker: Maintains a list of 'cloaked' URLs for redirection to outside URLs

Writing and Publishing Posts

  • RB Internal Links: Link to other blog posts and pages without specifying the full URL. Uses a UI to ease finding the post or page you want to link to.
  • wp-copyrighted-post: Adds copyright notice in the end of each post of your blog. 
  • Yet Another Related Posts Plugin: Returns a list of related entries based on a unique algorithm for display on your blog and RSS feeds. A templating feature allows customization of the display.

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5 comments

bizchickblogs profile image

bizchickblogs 6 years ago from Tucson Author

Thanks, Gracie Sophia!


Mitchell Allen 6 years ago

Thanks for these useful suggestions, Tia. I use a couple of the plugins. My theme is ancient; however, I have customized it so much that I shudder at the thought of switching themes. Plus, I can quickly replicate that same look and feel to many of my sites.

Cheers,

Mitch


bizchickblogs profile image

bizchickblogs 6 years ago from Tucson Author

Hey Mitch,

Your comment reminds me that I need to update this hub badly! It gets a fair amount of traffic so I definitely need to do that. I have to add Thesis and also add/switch out some of those plugins. Thanks for the comment and for the reminder!


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Ruben 5 years ago

Hi,

Great article!!! :)

But I think the following plugin can be listed here as well: http://rubensargsyan.com/wordpress-plugin-useful-b... because it helps to manage the banners over the WordPress blog and it is very easy to use.

Thank you.

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