What is a plugin, anyway? Plugins are user-friendly coding that can make your blog do almost anything! Someone puts hard work into creating these wonderful tools, so that you, the blogger, can give your blog what it needs to function or be reader friendly.
A spam filter service that puts possible spam in a separate folder. I can review them all and choose 'delete permantently' or just trust Akismet and delete them all without reviewing them. Akismet has only placed 9 real comments (or false positives, as they call them -- LOL) in the spam folder. That's not bad for having had 1,096 spam comments over the past six months.
A link checker for all links on your blog, whether it's the link to one of your blog posts or an outgoing link. This is good for reporting sites to you that are no longer active. I usually just 'unlink' and I'm good to go. Sometimes, if it's a link to a site that is still up and running, but that particular page is no longer active, I remove all but the main part of the link. For example, if "http://ABlogSiteILinkedTo.com/ThisPageNotWorking' is no longer working, then I reduce it to "http://ABlogSiteILinkedTo.com", so that my readers still have access to the blog or website being referenced.
The only concern I have is that sometimes it reports a link as broken when it's not. In that case, there is a button to click to tell the checker that the link is not broken.
Put your email address on your website or blog, and you're bound to get lots of spam, guaranteed! This plugin allows the reader to contact you via a form on your blog. You receive an email, in return. Since it's not spammer friendly, I've never received any spam email via the contact form. It also benefits your reader, because he or she doesn't have to open their email client to contact you.
This feature allows your readers to subscribe to your blog via RSS or email, and connect to you via Twitter, Youtube, Digg, StumbleUpon, and others. All you have to do is enter those links initially, and they appear as recognizable icons. (Take a look at my sidebar for an example. It's listed under my customizable heading 'Follow This Mom!')
Although I've never had to use this one, and I pray that I don't have to, this is a must for any blogger! Back up your blog! Things get lost! This plugin gives you the option of a regularly scheduled back up. It can be saved to your computer or emailed to you.
Do you have any plugins that your blog couldn't do without? Share them with me, pretty please!