Every site is different: some need event calendars, advanced image management, or flexible forms formatting. But some functionality is useful for just about every site. Here are basic plug-ins I use for many of the WordPress sites I develop:
- Akismet: Does a great job of blocking comment and track-back spam.
- All in One SEO Pack: Makes it easy to include SEO-friendly features in each post.
- Tiny MCE Advanced: Provides editing flexibility with drag-and-drop icons. Also, stops removing <p> and <br> tags, and shows them in the html editor. (It’s sometimes buggy, though.)
- Maintenance Mode: Adds a splash page to your blog that lets visitors know your blog is down for maintenance. Logged in administrators get full access to the blog including the front end.
- WP Google Analytics: Lets you use Google Analytics to track your WordPress site statistics.
- Jetpack: Adds easy stats, Gravatar, social media sharing, tweet widget, media embedding, more.