I have not been listening to my own advice again.
Why do something that someone else has already done, and especially if it is actually easier to use their program than it is to do it myself?
The best example of this is WordPress Plugins. For the longest time I would code everything myself. As an example I did my own SEO programming and it worked well, but, I discovered as I moved from blog to blog I had to do a lot of extra work that I would not have to do if I had used a WordPress Plugin. So I started looking to replace all my custom programming with WordPress plugins, and I can not tell you how much easier it is to manage my blogs now.
I also found that in some cases the plugins were better than what I had done myself, ouch. But hey, that is the idea, use the software that gets the job done and is the easiest to maintain. I will say that in some cases I think a particular WordPress plugin can be improved, in that case I try to do one of two things, improve it and send it to the originator, or comment on the originating blog and give them my idea.
Here is a list of my current favorite WordPress plugins I am using on the majority of my blogs.
Using WordPress Plugins can certainly help you manage your blog better without all the additional work. Just make sure to test each plugin carefully before rolling out in full production. I have found some plugins may cause problems with other plugins and that even the order in which you install them can sometimes cause issues. The best thing to do is setup a sub domain with WordPress that is not indexed in the search engines and use it as a test site.