I’m developing a list of recommended extensions and plugins for members of CASE. There is some excellent free software out there. BuzzMoo.com has been running on WordPress for quite some time now and there are a few plugins I just can’t do without. Here are my current top three! (in the top three because they’re the ones I always install as default).

Akismet  for WordPress: Anti-spam. If you’re running WP you’re probably already running Akismet. It’s a fantastic anti spam plugin that fights against the scourge of comment spam. If you aren’t running Kismet you’ve probably got a lot of jibberish comments from Russia. If you’re not running it, you must set it up immediately! You’ll need an API key for this, but getting one is a simple process. Akismet = ftw.

NextGEN gallery: Photo Gallery. This is a fully featured but simple to use gallery plugin for WordPress. It uses the nice Lightbox transition effects to display your photos and there’s an option to turn those photos into a flash slideshow. It’s got good thumbnailing, tagging and watermarking options. I’ve tried a few gallery plugins and this is definately my most favourite to date!

Cystats: Cystats is a great web-stats plugin with a good layout and a comprehensive set of views. It lets you see who visists, when and where. I use Cystats for “blog-only” traffic data which for some people is going to be their focus. Free, well supported – a must have!

So there you have three essential plugins for a multimedia website. Check back later for additions to this list!