I admit it. I’m a WordPress plugin junkie. I’m continually updating, adding, removing, and adjusting the list of plugins I have running this site. Obviously, this can lead to slowdowns, which is why caching plugins (like WP Super Cache or Hyper Cache)¬†are so important, especially for dealing with sudden surges in traffic. So keep that in mind!

That said, here are six of my current favorites:

Around this date in the past… – Widget Edition
By Joan Junyent Tarrida
This little plugin gives you a widget that shows posts from, well, around this date in the past. It’s quite useful to help “bubble up” articles you’ve written previously and that may otherwise be lost in the past.

AutoThumb
By Mathias Geat
AutoThumb incorporates phpThumb into your site in a simple, yet powerful, fashion. It automatically pipes images through phpThumb, resizing them based on the attributes you apply to the img tag. These smaller images are then delivered to browsers, as well as being cached for future redelivery. (The original images can be hosted locally or remotely.)

Free CDN
By Phoenixheart
Free CDN automatically rewrites the URLs in your site (images and more, depending on what you select in the options) so that they are delivered to your visitors via CoralCDN. CoralCDN is a free content-delivery service that, while not necessarily speeding up delivery of content, does reduce the bandwidth and load required by your server. This makes it ideal for limited hosting providers or for hosting your blog at home.

fw-post-image
By Myriam Faulkner
This simple little plugin builds on the thumbnail feature included with WordPress 2.9. Once you have this plugin installed, if you do not explicitly set a thumbnail, WordPress will scan the images you put into your posts and use the first one it finds as the thumbnail (note: it favors local images over remote ones, but supports both).

Simple Facebook Connect
By Otto
This plugin adds a series of smaller plugins, that let you add Facebook Connect features to your blog. Most useful, I think, is the support it adds for visitors to login to your comment system using their Facebook identities.

WP Smush.it
By Dialect
WP Smush.it takes advantage of Yahoo’s Smush.it service to automatically reduce image file sizes and improve performance when you upload images into WordPress.