The 12 Plugins of Christmas

Plugins are a wonderful concept (especially when it comes to WordPress), no matter what software you are using (be it a blogging platform or a message board system) plugins easily help add great little tweaks to them to make them even better.

If you have been running blogs for a number of years then (hopefully) like me you will probably have collected a small group of your favourite plugins that you install first when you set up new blogs.

Below you will find 12 plugins that I always install first when starting a new blog – accompanied by a cheesy Christmas theme!

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

CommentLuv – The perfect way to reward your readers for commenting on your blog, this plugins shows a link under their comment to their latest blog post.

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Google Analyticator – This plugin allows Google Analytic to log your blog traffic without the need to edit your theme files. It will display stats on your admin panel (thus eliminating as many trips to the Google Analytic site) and it has some widgets to display your stats in your sidebar.

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

IntenseDebate – Many bloggers are becoming disillusioned with the spammy comments left on their blogs and are turning to plugins like IntenseDebate and Livefyre to help reduce this and to also i prove the community on their blogs. IntenseDebate is the one I always go with.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

New Adman – A plugin that allows you to insert ad code at the beginning, at the end and in the middle of posts without having to edit the theme files.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Contextual Related Posts – This plugin displays a number of related posts at the end of every post so your readers will hopefully stay on the blog for longer. You can either have just links, or you can have them laid out like I have on this blog. You can also display image thumbnails as well.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Fast Secure Contact Form – A contact form plugin that offers CAPTCHA and Aksimet protection to help stop spammers sending you floods of unwanted emails.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

OIOpublisher Ad Manager – This is a plugin that you have to pay for ($97) but it is well worth it and you can use it on as many blogs as you wish. It is an advertising system that makes selling ads on your site so easy, you just set up your ad zones and the plugin will do the rest of the work.

I didn’t pay for this, it was bought for me as a Christmas present, maybe you should think about this for your Christmas list?

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

GoCodes – If you publish affiliate links online then you will find this plugin very useful. It creates a short url for you which makes it easier to publish online and it stops people signing up for things and cutting your affiliate ID out of the url. πŸ™‚

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Tweet old post – Breath new life into your old posts by having this neat little plugin publish them on your Twitter account. You can easily set it to publish old posts as many times a day as you wish (I have it set at four a day with a couple of hours in between each post).

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Google XML Sitemaps – This plugin will produce a special XML sitemap that will enable search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing and to index your blog better and quicker.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Top Commentators Widget – A plugin that displays a list of your top commentators, this is a great way of saying β€˜thank you’ to your readers for commenting. It also gives your commentators an extra bit of exposure to their blog or web site.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

NoFollow Free – Increase your comments by turning your blog into a do-follow, that’s what this little plugin does. Install it and watch your comments increase by at least 50%.

* I’m sorry for the awful 12 days of the Christmas puns. πŸ™‚

Dean Saliba

Dean Saliba is a freelance writer, professional blogger, media enthusiast, dirty football player and huge professional wrestling fan who covers a wide range of subjects and niches including, making money online, traffic generating, pro wrestling, blog reviews, football, how-to guides, music, internet marketing and more.


  • What a cool countdown. Tenth day of Christmas is what I like most. The Google XML Sitemaps are really great to use.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it. That plugin has made being ranked in Google (and Bing, Yahoo & Ask) so much easier and quicker. πŸ™‚

      I’m not sure how often it should be used though, I rebuild it after every post.

  • Very unique way of writing a post. I actually sang this. Trying to rhyme the “five gold rings” to “Contextual Related Posts” LOL.

    Thanks for the plugin list. Never tried installing one as I do not have a self hosted WP site. This gives me a view of what a self hosted WP site would need to be get tasks easily done.

  • Wow Dean, love the integration of wordpress plugins & the 12 days of christmas.

    Nice list too, familiar with quite a few of them but new adman is something I haven’t seen before, it looks dang useful.

    Merry Christmas!

    • Thank you for the kind comments. πŸ™‚

      If New Adman doesn’t have enough flexibility for you then you might like Quick Adsense (you can use it for any ad network code, not just Adsense)

  • That was 12 great plugins for the first 12 days in December, but today is December 13 and only 11 days to Christmas Eve, what are the 11 new plugins before Christmas? Thanks and Merry Christmas from Lennart.

    • Thank you for the comment Lennart, and the nice compliment, but I fear that you have misunderstood something here. I picked 12 plugins, called the title “The 12 Plugins of Christmas”, and said “On the _____ day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…” before each plugin, because it is to coincide with the famous Christmas song The 12 Days Of Christmas. πŸ™‚

  • Great list Dean! I love Christmas time, and loved your plugins. Really enjoyed your writing Dean; I follow your every month blog reports and I have to say you worth a bravo. Keep up the good work.

  • 1. Google XML Sitemaps

    2. W3 Total Cache

    3. Growmap Anti-Spambot Plugin

    4. All In One SEO Pack

    5. WordPress Video Plugin

    6. Contact Form 7

    7. Facebook Members

    8. WP-DB Backup

    9. Ultimate Google Analytics

    10. All In One Webmaster

  • Great list, Dean. NoFollow Free and Top Commentators Widget are a must for any blogger site. Another one of my personal favorites, not necessarily from a blogging angle, but still hugely useful nonetheless, is the Google Dictionary plugin.


  • One of the best post related to Christmas ..well i have one thing to say that instead of working on these plugins on Christmas i would rather like to enjoy the cookies and cakes which my mom make every year for me πŸ™‚

  • Thanks for the information Dean. I now have an idea of which to place in my sites.

  • I love the google analytic plugin! google continues to offer top notch analytics software for freeee

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