Top 10 Underrated WordPress Plugins

by Daniel in 122 Comments — Updated Reading Time: 3 minutes

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There are several lists of “Top 10” WordPress plugins around the Internet. Most of them, however, refer to the best or most popular plugins. Guess what, I’ve had enough of Akismet, Adsense Deluxe, Related Entries and company!

Jokes apart, those plugins are certainly awesome, but there are many others out there that can be life savers, and people often neglect them. Below you will the Top 10 Underrated WordPress plugins; if you think there is a plugin missing on the list just post a comment.

1. Custom Querry String

WordPress is a very flexible platform, but regulating the number of posts that are supposed to be displayed on the different pages is quite difficult. Most of the times you will want to display a limited number of posts on the Homepage while displaying a larger list for the categories, archives or search results pages, and this is not possible through the control panel. The solution for this problem is the Custom Querry String plugin, which allows you to configure this number individually for each page type.

2. Head Meta Description

While the Meta Keywords Tag is no longer used by most search engines, the Meta Description Tag still has some influence. Having the same Description Tag on all your pages, however, might be inneficient and send part of your website to the supplemental hell. This plugin is extremely easy to install and it will create a dynamic Meta Description Tag for every page on your blog, based on post excerpts or on the first words of the page.

3. Clean Archives

Most blogs have a “Monthly Archives” section on their sidebar, displaying a huge list of months and wasting some precious space. A more efficient structure for your archives would be a single page where all the posts are displayed, month by month. That is exactly what this plugin will do (you can see an example here). Notice that you might need the plugin below to install this one successfully.

4. Exec-PHP

Many plugins or WordPress features require that you run some PHP code. When you need to use those features or plugins inside static pages or posts, however, WordPress will not recognize the code. The solution for this problem is the Exec-PHP plugin. Once installed the plugin will enable PHP code on virtually all the pages of your blog. There are similar plugins available, but this one is the most reliable.

5. Enforce www. Preference

If your site can be accessed through and you might have some problems over the long run. Most search engines treat those addresses as two different domains, spliting your backlink count. In order to solve this issue you need to setup a 301 Permanent Redirect. The are several ways to setup this redirect, but if you are not familiar with PHP or if your host is not Linux based (for the .htaccess file) this plugin represents the simplest one. You just need to activate it and all the visitors and search bots will get redirected to the address that is specified on the WordPress control panel.

6. Chunk URLs

Ever experienced someone posting a huge URL on your comment section? Those long strings are not only ugly, but they might also break the design of your website on certain browsers. This plugin will trunk those long URLs into smaller ones, and you can even specify the amount of characters that the output should contain.

7. Sig2feed

Sploggers are feed stealers are spreading out like fire. The first measure to protect your content is to add a copyright notice to your feed, possibly with a link pointing to your site. Sig2feed is a very light plugin that will do just that.

8. FeedSmith

This plugin used to be called Feedburner Feed Replacement. It was so popular and efficient that Feedburner itself decided to buy it from the developer. Basically it will forward all the requests for your WordPress feed to Feedburner. It is very useful if you started using Feedburner after having some subscribers, or if you want to make sure that your feed statistics are completely accurate.

9. Jerome’s Keywords

This plugin is very similar to the Ultimate Tag Warrior, but it is much more user friendly. Once the plugin is installed you will be able to tag individual posts and to create an internal tag system and tag clouds. Secondly you can also use it to generate a dynamic Meta Keywords Tag.

10. WP-Cache

WP-Cache is a very robust plugin that will increase the responsiveness of your website and reduce the server load. It is also very useful to handle sudden burts in traffic coming from social bookmarking sites. The plugin basically creates static versions of your pages and serves them without querrying the MySQL database.

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122 thoughts on “Top 10 Underrated WordPress Plugins”

  1. Thank you for the great tips…
    i agree that some are underrated but im not a friend of the Head Meta one…..the others seem to work perfect.

  2. I dont really agree in every point. I dont think that some of these plugins are underrated cause of my personal experience with some of these plugins. Lots of plugins look great at the first view but if you examine them you will find lots of ..lets say “seo-silly” mistakes if you know what i mean.

    Just be careful while choosing such plugins 🙂

  3. Nice List !
    I have found another great plugin:
    `TargetDomain Analyzer which is quite a compleete domain analisis tool like for your wordpress blog. Shows WHOIS, SE popularity and much more (There is also a Joomla version available).

  4. i’m only using Exec-PHP and WP-Cache, the other plugins i don’t know yet. hmm..i would prefer to use Clean Archives. thaks

  5. Here’s another one you might want to check out – Kaltura’s new All-in-one Video plugin for WordPress.

    This is not just another video embed tool, bloggers can upload, import and edit videos in any blog post, and allow readers to post video comments and participate in collaborative videos. You can download it free from –

    You can see a sample of what it looks like on our corporate blog: or read more at

  6. Thanks for the good article, I like that you give a short summary of each plugin. Makes it easier to decide into which one you should have a deeper look.

    Greetz Ben

  7. This is a great list and definitely helped to point me in the direction of some excellent plugins to install. I have already installed a couple and plan on blogging about them as well.

    I also have uploaded a modified version of the sig2feed taking the original authors suggestions in account, so the plugin allows you to add a permalink back to the original your post or even a link back to your blog. You can read more about it here

  8. You are right in saying those are underrated. I don’t even know some of them. I asked some blogging friends and most of them never heard about items 3 . 9.

  9. You’re quite right about the description tag having some influence over the Search Engines. This is one thing I kept forgetting about my site and when I finally employed it my pagerank increased dramatically. Now, finally, you can find my website amongst the top players in a search for a number of keywords. It really does play an important part . plus, it allows for a neat and great description when someone conducts a search.

  10. An interesting list …. I think I need to make a ‘trial’ blog to test out new plugins, etc. Not quite brave enough to try thinks on my main site.

  11. I installed Custom Querry String and followed your video blog about showing only post titles in archive search. Works great! Thanks for the great tip!

  12. thay don’t say much to me. They are underrathed yeah. But effective? don’t think so. there better versions for every plugin mentioned…

  13. I’m pretty sure the functionality provided by the “Enforce www. preference” plugin is now built in WordPress 2.3. It automatically redirects to the site you have configured in the control panel.

    As for “Head Meta Description”, there is another SEO plugin that does that and much more:

  14. I was just looking for sig2feed for such a long time and always used to wonder how to do it. Any idea of how do it in Blogger feed ?

  15. I have a pretty cool and very much underrated plugin: It allows you to post a fully customizable poll on your blog/forum for free. I’ll link it for you — SodaHead WordPress Plugin — Just thought this would be handy to you bloggers 🙂


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