I’m going to jump on Dustin and Greg’s meme today and reveal the inner workings of TFoREM. Like both of them, I’m a huge WordPress fan. I spend many hours trolling forums, looking for and installing new plugins. And, in the end, I think I may have them both beat. :)

But one thing I haven’t seen either of them mention yet however, is adding WordPress Widgets to their respective sites. Widgets make infinitely easier to add new functionality to your WP site. Through a slick ‘drag and drop’ interface you can activate and deactivate, configure and move new plugins around in your sidebar.

Widgets make it dead simple even for a WP novice to get into the plugin game. Most new WP themes come ‘Widget engabled’ these days, but it’s fairly easy even to retrofit your existing theme to accept them.

So, without futher ado, here’s my list of 30 Powerful WordPress Plugins:

Akismet: Akismet is absolutely essential for anyone running a WordPress blog. Stops Spam comments cold.

Brian’s Latest Comments: Outputs a weighted list of the most recent comments. You can see the results in my sidebar.

Crazy Egg: Automatically adds the Crazy Egg code to my template. Thanks to Sellsius for pointing this one out.

Executable PHP widget: Adds executable PHP widgets to your sidebar.

Feedburner Feed Replacement: Automatically forwards all feed requests to your Feedburner URL.

Google Analytics: Automatically adds Google analytics code to my template.

Google Sitemaps: Create’s a Google compliant sitemap of your WordPress blog.

Gravatar: Adds user images to comments, if they’ve signed up to for the service.

Head META Description: Adds blog tagline, mpost description and categories to META tags. May help with SEO. Can’t hurt.

intouch: Customizable contact form. I’ve pulled this down for now in favor of a simple ‘email me’ button.

Kramer: Automatically adds Technorati inbound links to a post as Pingbacks.

Linkblock widget: Displays each blogroll category as an individual widget. You can have up to 9 instances.

Permalink Redirect: This plugin ensures that pages and entries are always accessed via the permalink. Otherwise, a 301 redirect is issued.

Popularity Contest: Ranks post by popularity. Used to display Top 10 posts in my sidebar.

Related Posts: Returns a list of the related entries to each post. Great for SEO as it encourages deep-linking.

runPHP: Allows you to put PHP code into a post and have it eval()’d.

SEO Title Tag: Creates search engine optimized title tags.

Sidebar Widgets: Allows you to use Sidebar widgets. Amazingly easy to add new features to your site. Tons of widgets are available at widgets.wordpress.com.

Sideblog WordPress Plugin: Allows you to designate certain posts (through a category) as an aside. I use it to power my Quick Hits column.

Smart Update Pinger: Replaces the built-in ping/notify functionality of WordPress. Pings designated servers only when publishing new posts, not when editing.

SpotMilk: SpotMilk is an admin theme for WordPress 2.0 originally inspired by OS X – give WP’s admin interface the look it deserves!

Swicki widget: Adds a sidebar widget to display swickis. ‘Nuff said.

T ext Link Ads v2.0: Displays Text Link Ads in a widget.

The Feature: Adds the option to declare posts “featuresâ€? and a widget to display them in your template. I use this to power my Featured Posts in the sidebar.

Translate: Adds the ability to display languages into which you can translate your posts.

Ultimate Tag Warrior: Adds tags to each of your posts. Highly configurable display options.

Updated Today Banner: Displays a banner in the upper left corner of this site that says “updated today” if I’ve updated the site.

WordPress Database Backup: Backup of your WordPress database to save yourself some major headaches.

WordPress XML Export: Generates a WordPress XML export for import into other WordPress blogs. I used this to move my blog over from WordPress.com.

WP-Mint: Automatically includes the Mint code in my template. More on Mint here.

Looking for plugins? Try these resources:

WP Plugins: Plugin database. Allows User rankings of plugins.

WP-Plugins.net: Extensive database. AJAX dropdown searching.

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