Often newcomers to WordPress get confused when trying to pick the best plugins for WordPress website they should use among so many that are available.
That’s the great thing about WordPress. Just in the WordPress Plugin Repository, there are more than 30,000 plugins. Not to mention a huge amount of plugins from various other marketplaces and third-party sellers.
Every WordPress developer or user has a toolkit of plugins they can’t live without. They usually include solutions for caching, security, and adding other improvements.
But with so many free and premium plugins available, how do you sort the good from the bad?
22 Best Plugins For WordPress Website
Below is a collection of essential plugins, all chosen based on their usefulness, quality, popularity, and my personal recommendation. Not all are plugins. Some tools can easily be used on the WordPress site as well.
SMART SLIDER 3
Smart Slider 3 is currently the most popular slider plugin in the official WordPress repository with 500.000 active installs.
A slider can fit every type of websites, it can be a good hero header, a post slider, which shows your latest news or a simple image slider in your blog.
The plugin works well with the search engines, it is optimized for SEO. The slide editing is very easy, the drag & drop editor lets you build up your slider as you’ve imagined, but you can choose from the free prebuilt slider templates, too.
Smart Slider 3 is great to showcase images, but you’re not limited to use images. You can use layers on your slider, a heading or a button with a link, but creating a video slider is also possible.
The plugin has a Pro version as well if you want to reach more features such as layer animations and other useful layers.
|Best features of Smart Slider 3:|
Every WordPress website requires some type of contact form regardless of its niche or traffic. Great form plugin will allow you to integrate with email services like MailChimp, SendGrid, ConstantContact, etc. in your contact forms, and that is what WPForms makes easy.
With WPForms drag and drop builder creation of various forms is straightforward. You can create surveys, polls, accept payments, guest submissions, etc.
WPForms also many add-ons that let you extend its built-in functionalities and integrate with marketing tools and cloud apps.
Let’s take a look at some of its features:
Backups are crucial for any online business. If you have cPanel on your hosting, then Softaculous can be used for backups. It is pretty easy and convenient to use.
But if you don’t have cPanel or want to let the plugin do backups, then BackWPup is a solution for you.
It has a free and paid version. The free version is excellent and can be enough for full site backups. You can even schedule backups in the free version.
For more information about BackWPup and other free backup alternatives check out best free WordPress backup plugins comparison.
This is one of the best free WordPress plugins which provides a vast number of ways to secure and protect your site. If there is any vulnerability in WordPress, be sure this plugin will patch it up.
Some of its features include:
- Changes the URLs for WordPress dashboard areas including login and admin
- Scans your site to report where vulnerabilities exist and fix them in seconds instantly
- Detects bots and other attempts to search for vulnerabilities
- Makes regular backups of your WordPress database
UPDATE: I recommend using the free WordPress security plugin All In One WP Security & Firewall.
PREMIUM SEO PACK
This plugin has various additional modules included. It has a free version so users can test it out first.
Once paid it is yours for good and is packed with a bunch of extra features which will make many of your installed plugins redundant.
I don’t want to repeat myself so if you are interested in finding out more information’s about Premium SEO Pack be sure to read Premium SEO Pack vs. All In One SEO vs. WordPress SEO. It includes SEO plugins comparison table for a better overview.
UPDATE: As an SEO optimization plugin, I highly recommend using WordPress SEO by Yoast, which I currently use on all my sites or RankMath.
Do you need to collect feedback information’s from your visitors? Want to add surveys, polls, voting, quiz to your site? No problem. There are many plugins for that too.
I recommend SurveyMonkey. It has few pricing plans, but there is a free option too. It can be easily integrated into any website, including WordPress sites.
Easily customize the look and feel of your surveys. Add your logo, company name, colors, and images. Create your survey URL and send respondents to a promotional landing page upon survey completion.
Get the data you need with the required questions and response validation. Create interactive surveys and more.
Gather responses with one handy URL by including your link on emails, websites, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Surveys created will also look great on handheld devices.
Splurgy is an excellent tool for engaging visitors, building email list, promotion, etc. Create online giveaways and sweepstakes, incentivize users to engage with your brand socially, amplify sales with coupons, convert fans and followers, and much more.
Splurgy provides a simple, easy to use platform for you to create your unique online promotion in minutes. Share your promotion anywhere on the web with the click of a button.
By increasing the visibility of your promotions, Splurgy helps drive online traffic to your brand and real customers to your business.
Users gain entries to your promotion by engaging with your social media and sharing it with their social network via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and more. Rafflecopter is a great alternative.
Nobody wants to have his website full of grammatical mistakes. This simple plugin which adds a contextual spell, style, and grammar checker to WordPress. To get it working you will need to install TinyMCE Advanced which enables advanced features in WordPress visual editor.
I have it on every site I manage. As an alternative to TinyMCE Spellcheck you can use After the Deadline. You can also use tools (not the plugin) for grammar and spellcheck like Grammarly, Ginger or WhiteSmoke.
SOCIAL MEDIA FEATHER
To provide visitors option to share your content, you need some social sharing plugin. This is a good choice if your WordPress theme doesn’t have inbuilt feature for social sharing (most premium themes have it).
I have tested many, and Social Media Feather is definitely my number one free social sharing plugin. It also has paid version too.
WordPress Social Media Feather is a lightweight free social media WordPress plugin that allows you to quickly and painlessly add social sharing and following features to all your posts, pages, and custom post types.
The plugin includes all major social sharing providers like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Reddit, Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and even e-mail. As an alternative, you can use Floating Social Bar or Floating Social.
UPDATE: I highly recommend using Easy Social Share Buttons plugin. It is a paid plugin but worth every cent.
Displaying related content at the end of your articles is an effective way to increase page views. If your theme doesn’t already have related posts option built, then reaching out for useful plugin is a way to go.
Exposing visitors to related posts is a great way to encourage them to stick around and engage with the site.
YARPP displays pages, posts, and custom post types related to the current post, introducing your readers to other relevant content on site. It also has a very original name!
Definitely check out YARPP if you need to insert related posts option in your theme. As an alternative, you could use nrelate Related Content, which is a third-party related content service provider.
Social Login is a professionally, free WordPress plugin that allows your visitors to comment, login and register with 25+ Social Networks like for example Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, PayPal, LiveJournal, Instagram, and Yahoo.
This plugin is excellent, especially if you want to allow visitors to comment on your website using different social sharing sites. It will increase your WordPress user engagement.
Depending on how much social sharing sites you want to enable setting this plugin can be a pain in the ass.
Not because it is hard or complicated as much as time-consuming. But once all done, it will be worth it. Another popular and worthy alternative for comments is DISQUS.
Having a slider on the website really makes one more appealing. There are many WordPress slider plugins available on the market.
However, most of them slow down your website significantly. Also, many SEO experts say sliders are bad for SEO, especially if there are at the top of the site.
They have a really huge amount of features and possibilities. But greatness comes at the price as you will have to pay if you want to use one of them.
If you need free slider plugin, then check out Soliloquy Lite or Cyclone Slider 2. But bear in mind that they have just basic features.
Creating a subscriber list is essential for every website owner. With MailPoet, you can easily create beautiful newsletters, post notifications, and autoresponders.
Newsletters can be easily created. Simply drop your articles, images, dividers and free form text, insert your logo, and more.
Move them around at will. Edit as you wish. You can also create newsletters to be sent when new content is published, or weekly summarize of posts, send a welcome message, etc.
See how your subscribers act with detail statistics on open, clicked, bounced and unsubscribed mail list and newsletters. There is a free and paid version.
Good alternatives to MailPoet are MailChimp, AWeber, and Campaign Monitor.
Email marketing is the easiest and most reliable way to make sure that your users keep coming back. Look around at all your favorite blogs or websites, and you will find that they all have an email list. But what is the best way to grow your email list?
OptinMonster is one of the best WordPress lead generation plugin. It allows you to add beautiful opt-in forms into your WordPress site and helps you get more subscribers.
It comes with page-level targeting, split testing, analytics, and exit-intent technology which allows you to display a lightbox popup when a user is about to leave your website. It allows you to create and integrate effective email sign up forms on your website.
It works with most popular email service providers like MailChimp, Aweber, ConstantContact, Campaign Monitor, Mad Mimi, MailPoet, and more.
W3 TOTAL CACHE
Caching is the best way to quickly improve your website and users experience without having to make a change to your site’s content. So it is natural to have some caching plugin installed.
W3 Total Cache is definitely one of the best plugins for WordPress. It improves the user experience of your site by increasing server performance, reducing the download times, and providing transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration.
You can integrate it with Cloudflare or MaxCDN for extra site speed. With over than 3M downloads, this is one of the most popular and used WordPress plugins. But be aware that it can also cause conflicts with other plugins or themes. Personally, I have had many troubles using it. But it is still a great plugin to have in your arsenal.
UPDATE: I prefer and personally use WP Rocket as cache plugin on all my sites.
CONTACT FORM 7
The most popular free form plugin available. Contact Form 7 has been downloaded over 20 million times in the WordPress Plugin Repository. This plugin can manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and any email content with simple markup.
It also includes support for AJAX-powered submission, CAPTCHA and Akismet spam filtering. So if you need some contact form on your website Contact Form 7 is the best choice. Other alternatives are Gravity Forms and Ninja Forms.
Or in other words, If This Then That. One of the most useful tools to make everyday WordPress tasks less consuming. But it is not limited to WordPress.
IFTTT is a service that lets other services or software (like WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, etc.) talk to each and perform actions when certain things occur.
It can help you update Facebook from the WordPress blog. Or you can automatically tweet every time you publish a new blog post.
Optimization of images is very important, especially on websites with lots of pictures. The smaller in size and better-optimized images, the better.
Smush.it optimizes images files to help improve site speed. This plugin strips meta data from JPEGs, optimizes JPEG compression and strips un-used colors from indexed images.
It reduces image file sizes and improves performance using the Smush.it API within WordPress.
Every image you add to a page or post will be automatically run through Smush.it behind the scenes. You don’t have to do anything different.
You can also run your existing images through Smush.it Some alternatives are EWWW Image Optimizer or Hammy.
It is also recommended to have some lazy load plugin which replaces all your post images, post thumbnails, gravatar images and content iframes with a placeholder and loads the content as it gets close to enter the browser window when the visitor scrolls the page.
By doing that it makes your site load faster and saves bandwidth. Decent lazy load plugin is BJ Lazy Load.
One of the best plugins for WordPress and way to protect your website from hackers is BulletProof Security. There are a lot of security plugins at the official WordPress plugins directory, promising to protect your site through their different features.
Above I have already mentioned great security plugins. But why didn’t I mention this one too? Because this one is more .htacces security-oriented and it is not bad to have it active on-site and working parallel with one of the above security plugins.
To summarize. BulletProof Security automatically creates and activates .htaccess website security protection, even if you don’t have a full understanding about .htaccess files.
If you need to put pricing tables in your site posts and content, then Go Pricing is a plugin for you.
Besides the usual pricing table style, Videos (YouTube, Vimeo, Screenr) and images are also supported with optional responsivity.
It’s very easy and fast to create stunning tables and integrate them into your WordPress site using the Admin Panel.
Beside traditional pricing tables feature, the plugin is suitable also for creating team viewer and compare tables. The Go Pricing can be used at many different areas.
On my comparison page, you can see all pricing tables I have created and used on this site till this day using Go Pricing plugin.
WPBAKERY PAGE BUILDER
Nowadays, page builder plugins are very popular. Using them, your site can get a new shine and look amazing on any device. WPBakery is drag and drop frontend and backend page builder plugin.
You can take full control over your WordPress site and build any layout you can imagine. All that with no programming knowledge required.
Easily choose to either work on a backend or move your page building process to frontend and instantly see changes you make. Design responsive websites with ease, control whole layout, or just separate parts.
WP SlimStat is one of the most popular statistic plugins for WordPress blogs. This plugin has a lot of features that are enough to fill out your Dashboard. You can also configure the plugin in your own way to show the stats that you want.
WP SlimStat offers features like real-time web analytics report, pan-and-zoom world map, traffic sources, page views, visitors, unique IP, top search terms, etc. You can jump through the calendar and compare stats according to daily, weekly, and monthly stats.
UPDATE: Good alternatives are JetPack and MonsterInsights.
Other Worthy Best Plugins For WordPress
Those are some of the WordPress best plugins for every website or blog that is powered by our beloved CMS. There are a lot more good plugins other there.
It is on you to test them and see which fits your needs best. It is a test and trial process. Some of the plugins not mention above, but still worthy of having:
- AdSense Click-Fraud Monitoring Plugin – Monitors and prevents malicious clicks on Adsense ads. Could prevent exclusion from your Google Adsense account
- Anti-spam – No spam in comments
- External Links – Marks outbound links as nofollow
- Q2W3 Fixed Widget – Fixes positioning of the selected widgets, when the page is scrolled down
- Quick Adsense – Quick Adsense offers a quicker & flexible way to insert Google Adsense or any Ads code into a blog post
- Simple 301 Redirects – Create a list of URLs that you would like to 301 redirect to another page or site
- Solve Media – Integrates Solve Media’s anti-spam solutions with WordPress
- Stop Spammer Registrations Plugin – Prevent spammers from registering or making comments
- Subscribe To Comments – Allows readers to receive notifications of new comments that are posted
- WP-Optimize – This plugin helps you to keep your database clean by removing post revisions and spam
Best Plugins For WordPress Final Words
I hope some of the mentioned plugins are just what you need. If you feel that some plugins don’t deserve to be on this list, feel free to unleash your rage at me below in comments or leave your cherished opinion about better plugins available.
This post will be updated from time to time. Thanks for reading!