34 Insanely Useful WordPress Plugins for Admins


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Yesterday Ben, from Binary Moon, released a new plugin that allows you to modify your WordPress login screen without worrying about it being being overwritten by future WordPress updates. This got me thinking about my very favorite adminstrative WordPress plugins that make my life easier when using WordPress. These are plugins I have used or want to use that focus on things like making the admin panel more friendly, that help organize and customize advertising, block spam, gather information, and more.

Choose a section:
Customizing Admin Features | Statistics | Advertising | Downloads | Spam | Forms

  1. Customizing Admin Features

    • WordPress login customized
    • Custom Login Page – Change the default WordPress login screen to a customized version. Great for client projects or multi-authored blogs.
    • WordPress Dashboard Editor – Change the default information on your WordPress dashboard screen. You can remove everything, add anything and then some – you will be able to completely customize the dashboard – even edit it based on user level.
    • Wp-SimpleCode – For those of us who use HTML markup code examples in our posts this plugin automatically “takes standard markup and processes it for use within code examples.” (In laymans terms it takes the HTML code you type in your post, and turns the code into the appropiate HTML entities so it will display in the browser instead of trying to execute).
    • WordPress Search and Replace – Allows you to search your posts and pages and replace information automatically. Careful though – once done it can’t be undone!

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  2. Statistics

    • Wordpress reports
    • WordPress Reports – I use this on almost every WordPress website I run. This is a statistics package that pulls in information from Google Analytics and Feedburner. Obviously this works off the API for both of the applications so you have to have accounts with both already. The plugin displays information in bar graph formats and gives you nifty stats on what content is gaining and losing popularity. (Note: Unfortunately on July 18th Google ended support for it’s old stats interface, so wait for an update for this plugin as the author is editing it to work with the new Google interface.)
    • Popularity Contest Plugin – “Popularity Contest keeps a count of your post, category and archive views, comments, trackbacks, etc. and uses them to determine which of your posts are most popular. There are numerical values assigned to each type of view and feedback; these are used to create a ‘popularity score’ for each post.” Also if you utilize widgets, check out this one by JAW that allows you to display a list of your most popular entries using Popularity Contest’s stats.
    • Most Popular Categories By Posts – Allows you to display the most popular categories based on the number of posts in each category by a certain date range you define.
    • Naatan.com – Offers a few useful stat plugins such as Useronline and MyStats, but my favorite is Page Activity which “Shows detailed information in your admin section about active users on your site and what they are currently doing. Features information such as referer, user agent, ip, browsing history.”
    • Word Count – For those who are sticklers for knowing how many words they used in articles, or who need to keep track in a multi-author situations.
    • Useless Stats – Displays a summary of “useless” statistics on your dashboard like average number of posts per week/year, average number of comments, age of blog, etc.
    • Daily Top 10 Posts – gives you daily statistics on how many views your posts are getting each day.

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  3. Advertising

    • Text Link Ads
    • Text Link Ads – Allows you to easily download a WP plugin to integrate TLA with your site.
    • Adsense Earnings – Allows you to display your earnings (and adjust date ranges) with adsense right in your WP administration panel. Also allows you to display your earnings on your blog, but I’m not quite sure why you would want to do that, and if it’s even permissible by Google…
    • Adsense Deluxe – “AdSense-Deluxe is a WordPress plugin offering advanced options for managing the automatic insertion of Google AdSense or Yahoo Publisher Network (YPN) ads to your WordPress posts.”
    • CG-InBetween – Allows you to display ads in between posts as you determine. You can also display other types of information such as a PHP code, images, HTML, etc.
    • Feed Footer – Let’s you add advertisments to the footer of your RSS feed posts (can actually be any information you choose).
    • Amazon Context Link Ads – Allows you to easily add in your Amazon Context Links affiliate code.
    • TicTap Contextual Ads – Also works with Amazon Context Links, but allows you to add the code to each post. You can decide to use a default setting or utilize WordPress’ custom fields to add in unique keywords for each post, or if you are running a multi-authored blog, the affliates ID.

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    • Wordpress download monitor
    • Download Counter – Very simple plugin that counts the number of times a file has been downloaded. You provide it with the URL to your file, and it will generate a new URL for you to track downloads.
    • WordPress Download Monitor – Offers additional features compared to the former plugin with the ability to change download stat numbers, reupload files, ability to display popular, recent and random downloads in your theme.

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  5. Spam

    • No More Spam!
    • Akismet – is preinstalled with WordPress and great at what it does. Akismet Spam Count Display allows you to brag on your site how many spams you have blocked via Akismet.
    • Anti Email Spam – As simple as it sounds. Any time a email address appears in your posts or pages, this plugin modifies it using javascript to hide the emails from spammers and harvesters!
    • Bad Behavior – “Bad Behavior complements other link spam solutions by acting as a gatekeeper, preventing spammers from ever delivering their junk, and in many cases, from ever reading your site in the first place.” Bad Behavior Stats will display the stats on your site for additional bragging like with Akismet
    • Spam Karma – Another spam blocking/detecting plugin.
    • Do You Pass Math? – A simple addition to your comments section that provides the commenter with a simple math equation to solve to prove that they are indeed human. Or at least math savvy.
    • Simple Trackback Validation – As simple as it sounds. A plugin that analyzes trackbacks to make sure they are not spam.

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  6. Forms

    • ccforms II
    • Ajax Contact – A very light weight, simple plugin that offers a quick, simple, functional contact form powered by ajax.
    • intouch – Another contact form – not one of my favorites, but is functional and works well for many users.
    • cforms II – One of my very favorite form plugins. Allows for multiple form instances, copying of forms, any type of form field, SMTP, CSS customization and SO much more.
    • Enhanced WordPress Contact Form – I haven’t yet used this plugin, but I like some of the stats it offers by giving you the referring page, or search query that lead the person to your contact form.
    • Secure and Accessible PHP Contact Form – Another favorite! A secure, accessible and valid form that allows many customization and several prepackaged themes. Also allows you to edit the CSS in the WordPress backend.

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If you found this useful, you may also like to check out my Thirteen Completely Underrated WordPress Plugins article.

Jump to Comments

26 Responses to 34 Insanely Useful WordPress Plugins for Admins

  1. Tim Nash says:

    Great post :)
    Though one tiny thing Google Analytics doesn’t have an API which is why the reports stopped working when the old system was stopped. Because all the information had moved the scraper would return non results.

  2. Lindsey says:

    Aaah, I see. Well, thankfully they are working again as it’s one of the plugins I use every single day.

  3. Jenny says:

    I love this post. I wanna check out all of these plugins. Thanks for listing them.

  4. cubus says:

    This is one of the first useful “must have” plugins list that – I think – is making sence :)

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Jonic says:

    Great post… Loads of plugins here I’d never heard of that will be really useful… I’m currently working on a WordPress MU powered social-networking site for a client, and I’m pretty sure I’ll end up using a couple of these plugins… Thanks for saving me a whole lot of searching time :)

    This one isn’t maybe ‘insanely’ useful, but it makes my day-to-day WordPress duties easier: Easy Admin Access

    Sorry for the plug, but it’s kind of relevant :)

    Thanks again!

  6. Jason says:

    Fantastic, thanks css girl

  7. Anirudh says:

    This is a very nice list. I recently wrote a plugin which comes with it’s own firefox extension. It allows you to install any theme or plugin right from your browser’s right click menu.

    You can see it at http://anirudhsanjeev.org/oneclick-plugin

  8. Weefz says:

    Brilliant post. Thank-you for this list. Picking the good plugins out of many similar ones is always a nightmare – you’ve saved me so much hassle.

  9. iCalvyn says:

    the modify of the login page is nice, give me a fresh look instead of the old look, bored with the blue login page

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  12. Martin says:

    great list you made here, thanks.

  13. Wow, what a great list. I use some of these now, but will try the others. I like the stats plugin, I hope that gets working soon.
    Thanks again, I also looked at your other post of the 13 underrated plugins and that was a good post to.

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  16. Faisi says:

    Nice posts..:)

    Can any one tell me the perfect plugin for wordpress gallery or portfolio, which can be installed in wordpress in a click..

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  18. Doug C. says:

    I just started my new design business site on WP using the Thesis theme. My favorite plugin so far is Contact Form 7. I searched high and low for a good contact form app and this one is it. You can see it in action on my Hire and Contact pages. So easy to customize my mom could do it.

  19. excellent roundup! Its always nice to see a great list of useful plugins! thanks

  20. Been looking for a quality custom admin plug-in, like the AJAX form one too. Thx for compiling. :D

  21. I think you could pick up that comment and use it as a blog post. What you wrote is great advice any way that you look at it.

  22. Web Design says:

    Now this, this is what I call useful. Thanks.

  23. Very nice write-up. I certainly love this website.

  24. I really like the All-In-One SEO plugin. It’s unreal! You can change multiple page meta tage, titles and descriptions in the dashboard. Very helpful!

    Great article!


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