I’ve set up a lot of new WordPress sites lately, and I’ve come up with my own homebrew installation package. All but one of these are admin tools; I don’t have a standard list of theme additions because every site is so different.
- Akismet is the only spam blocker I’ve ever needed with WordPress.
- (pre-2.7) Manageable is very new, but already indispensable. It adds inline editing to the post/page management screens — you double-click a row in the table, and you can edit just about everything but the content.
- Dashboard Widget Manager lets you turn off dashboard widgets you don’t want and add new ones. (Did you know the Dashboard is wigetized as of 2.5? There just isn’t a built-in manager for it
yetprior to 2.7.) There aren’t many dashboard-specific widgets available, unfortunately. I’ve learned how to write them, though!
- Database Backup because things will always go wrong.
- Search and Replace is very handy when you’re moving a blog from one domain to another. Since WordPress inserts full URLs when you upload media to a post, you end up with a lot of URLs to change.
- Ozh’s Admin Drop-Down Menus let you move around the admin screens SO much faster (prior to 2.7).
- My Page Order gives you a drag-and-drop interface for rearranging pages.
- No Self Pings prevents WP from pinging itself when you refer to one of your own posts.
- Clean Notifications sends out uncluttered, HTML-formatted notification emails for things like comment approvals and so forth. These message are much easier to scan than the default plain-text messages WP sends out.
- Subscribe to Comments because really, how often do you remember to check that thread you posted to last week?
- (pre-2.7)(Added later) Category Selector Back to the Sidebar fixes the most egregious usability problem introduced in the WP 2.5 interface, and puts the category checkboxes back above the fold.
- (Added later) Automatic Timezone lets you set your timezone according to the nearest large city (instead of the GMT offset) and automatically corrects for daylight savings time.
For clients’ sites that use a page as the home page (rather than blog posts), I throw in No Place Like Home. In fact, I wrote that for a client whose home page had to have the same name as another page on her site; we both kept forgetting which was which!
What else do you suggest?