Vital plugins for wordpress
GA Editorial calendar Yoast AddThis Google forms
From a development POV I steer clear of modifying Wordpress, but I’ve no problem with using plugins
Great tools for Wordpress Mars Edit is about top of the list, not much this can’t do.
MacJournal used to be great until they pulled out the blog post features.
Mostly though, don’t bother - it’s not worth it. Use the web-based editor and save frequently.