While I don’t necessarily agree with the author of this list, I do find the choices interesting.
Via SitePoint When building a WordPress site, your main objective is to use as few plugins as possible. However, not everyone who uses WordPress is a PHP maven. Fortunately, these must have WordPress plugins won’t bog down your site. Some of them will…
1. Akismet charges for their services if you are commercial. Plus, you need to have a WordPress.com account. I like to use free WP plugins for basic housekeeping. Check out “Spam Destroyer”. Very effective. Recently, I also checked the “Stop Spammers Registration Plugin”, which seems like a great idea for membership sites.
2. If you have a decent theme, free or premium, it will handle most of the ‘basic’ SEO functions for you. The problem with SEO plugins in general is the overhead involved. During a recent speed test, I discovered the SEO plugin I was using was accounting for as much as 40% of the page load time. So, I quit using it and let the theme do its job. There is no ‘magic’ in SEO plugins, so quit expecting it. Need a sitemap? There’s several good ones in the repository (I happen to like “XML Sitemap & Google News feeds” from http://status301.net).
3, 4, 5, and 6 I have no issue with.
7. I have a huge issue with W3 Total Cache. I have tried to use it several times, even paying for a “guide” to its use, and every single time it slowed down my site! Every. Single. Time. Apparently – I guess – the plugin generally does not work well in shared hosting environments. The only caching plugin I found that really helps is “DB Cache Reloaded Fix”. It works by caching queries, which I think it the biggest problem with most shared hosting environments.
8, 9. Considering how ‘visual’ the net had become recently, shrinking thumbnails makes sense. Good choice by the author. Contact Form 7 is probably the best I’ve used, and I’ve tried out many.
10. I haven’t use this, but I think it’s a great idea.