WordPress is one of the most popular pieces of blogging software, and its definitely has a lot of functionality. Even if you don't know HTML or PHP, it isn't hard to learn the basics of WordPress. It took me about four hours to get my first WordPress blog set up, including finding plugins to implement additional features, searching for a theme I liked, creating various graphics in Photoshop, and modifying the theme/plugins to suit my needs. Since then, I've created several additional blogs/sites using WordPress. I've also come up with a standard list of widgets and plugins I install:
- Akismet – Default WordPress anti-spam plugin, which helps eliminate comment spam by checking to see if they match known spam patterns in a unified database.
- All-in-One SEO Pack – Great plugin for search engine optimization.
- Dean's Permalinks Migration – If you configure your WordPress blog using the default settings, your posts end up as yourblog.com/year/month/day/postname. After you realize you should have used yourblog.com/postname, or something similar, for your permalinks, this plugin will help you set things straight without losing your search engine ranking.
- Events Calendar – Allows additional calendar functionality which goes beyond the basic WordPress calendaring features. Although CompleteFusion doesn't currently utilize this plugin, I've used it on several other sites.
- Open Web Analytics – The Open Web Analytics framework provides statistics about traffic on your WordPress blog, including number of visits, traffic sources, etc.
- Most Popular Posts – Based on the statistics from the Open Web Analytics plugin, this plugin can display the most popular posts on your blog.
- WP Super Cache – Helps enable your blog to withstand heavy traffic by caching pages.
- YARQ (Yet Another Random Quote) – Randomly displays quotes you've added via the admin panel interface.