I believe that plugins are what make WordPress far superior to any other blogging platform.
Plugins can make our WordPress sites function in amazing ways! I have a list of about 15-20 plugins that I love & use when a client is looking for certain functionality. But I have a few that I believe should be a staple to any WordPress site. These 4 plugins are primarily for day to day protection & optimization.
Here is a list of 4 plugins that I believe every single WordPress user should have:
Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not and lets you review the spam it catches under your blog’s “Comments” admin screen. *Protect against spam*
2. W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache improves the user experience of your site by improving your server performance, caching every aspect of your site, reducing the download times and providing transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration.
This simple but effective plugin allows you to clean up your WordPress database and optimize it without phpMyAdmin.
WP-DB-Backup allows you easily to backup your core WordPress database tables. I suggest having your database emailed to you weekly.
Hope that this list is helpful to you!