WordPress started out as a simple platform for bloggers but has since evolved into a full-fledged content management system through thousands of themes and plugins. This makes WordPress an exceptional content management system.
There are a lot of fantastic plugins available to make building and managing your WordPress website easier.
The only problem? You have 50,000+ plugins in the WordPress plugin library to choose from, making it tough to determine which ones are worth downloading.
In this article, we will recommend you 20 of the best plugins to use based on your needs, along with a few noteworthy alternatives for some of them:
Contact Form 7 simplifies managing various contact forms on your website, giving you the ability to use simple markup language to customize forms and mail content. The plugin is free to download.
MailChimp Forms by MailMunch lets you take website visitors and transform them into email subscribers. With this plugin, you can easily add MailChimp opt-in forms to your WordPress blog, e-commerce store, or website.
MailChimp Forms by MailMunch integrates with your MailChimp account so you can simply sync your email list subscribers. You can even coordinate more detailed information such as names, birthdays, and additional contact information (e.g., phone numbers). Sign-up forms can be inserted into the widget area, posts, pages, and more. This is an extremely valuable plugin for lead capture.
AddToAny Share Buttons allows you to drive traffic to your website and boost engagement.
How? It makes it easy for people to share your web pages and blog posts to other platforms, including social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and messaging apps.
AddToAny Share Buttons is highly customizable. For example, you can include standard sharing buttons for content or opt for floating share buttons that are responsive and come in different formats (horizontal versus vertical).
There are also counters, follow buttons, image and vector share buttons, and custom share icons available if you want to create your own. Some platforms also provide official share buttons, including Facebook and Twitter. You can also integrate sharing analytics by displaying sharing counts on individual posts and pages.
Akismet Spam Protection is a useful security solution for your website against spam, which not only hurts your website’s security but can also negatively affect your search engine optimization (SEO) ranking success.
Akismet reviews comments and contact form submissions to check for spam by comparing input against a global database of known spam. This protects you against potentially malicious content.
With Akismet Spam Protection, you can review comments that have been flagged as spam on your dashboard. A detailed status history shows you when Akismet caught and cleared the comment, while an automatic discard feature blocks the most dangerous spam right away and ensures site efficiency. Also, an admin can mark comments as spam or not.
Smash Balloon Social Photo Feed allows you to easily take content from your Instagram account and display it on your website or blog. You can display posts from multiple accounts in one unified feed or across multiple feeds.
Modula Image Gallery gives you complete control over your image galleries and videos that display on your WordPress website or blog. The plugin is fully customizable and mobile responsive and requires zero coding to set up.
Modula allows you to create galleries using presets. You don’t need to code — just add your images. This makes creating and tweaking galleries quick and simple. The plugin also has capabilities for video extensions, slideshows, and sliders. Galleries can also be filtered based on the user’s preferences.
What’s more, you have the option to password-protect certain galleries and add right-click protection to prevent people from downloading your proprietary images. You also gain creative benefits, such as the ability to add animations for image-loading effects.
With TablePress, you can create and manage aesthetically appealing tables, embedding them into text widgets, webpages, or blog posts using a user-friendly shortcode.
TablePress allows you to comfortably work with tables containing diverse data formats, including text, numbers, images, formulas, links, and more. You can also enhance table functionality for your website visitors thanks to elements like pagination, search, and live sorting. You don’t need any coding knowledge to create and manage your tables with TablePress.
Google Analytics Dashboard for WordPress by MonsterInsights makes it easy to get essential stats about your website. You can use Google Analytics tracking features to access actionable reports via your WordPress dashboard. There’s no coding needed, and it takes only a few clicks.
With this plugin, you can get real-time stats, including audience reports, content reports, form reports, and more. You can also get a search console report and see how well your website is performing in SEO.
If you run an e-commerce shop, you might be interested in their WooCommerce tracking add-on. The plugin’s creators have also taken into account the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and you can now make use of the EU compliance add-on to anonymize IP addresses, disable demographic reports for remarketing, and integrate cookie consent.
An alternative would be Site Kit by Google, which is an official Google plugin designed to provide you with information about how people find your website. You get user-friendly statistics directly via your WordPress dashboard, where data from multiple Google tools is compiled. You can set it up quickly without any need to edit your site’s source code. And best of all, it is a free WordPress plugin.
Jetpack is a tool designed to enhance your website’s security and safety. This plugin provides 24/7 automated site security, including malware scanning, spam protection, and real-time backup. Beyond site security functionality, the plugin even helps maintain the website’s speed and promote growth.
This plugin provides essential security features, including brute force protection and automatic scans for code threats like malware. It also has features to improve site speed and performance, such as the Content Delivery Network (CDN), which auto-optimizes images.
You can also benefit from advanced site analytics and statistics and make use of SEO tool integration, giving you a deeper understanding of your website users.
If you’re looking for a different anti-spam plugin, WPForms offers many of the same benefits as described above, helping create more user-friendly, efficient websites. The plugin offers spam protection and smart CAPTCHAs to help protect your site. You can also benefit from a drag-and-drop form builder, mobile-friendly responsiveness, and simplified payments for online orders (if you’re running an e-commerce shop).
Slider Revolution is a responsive image slider plugin for WordPress. It lets you easily create stunning visuals by providing a drag-and-drop solution for crafting sliders, carousels, and similar visual elements.
Slider Revolution lets you choose from +200 pre-designed templates, along with +20 add-ons to create special effects. The visual editor offers improved loading times, and the templates, images, icons, and pre-made layer groups are updated and expanded regularly.
WooCommerce is an open-source e-commerce solution that allows you to easily transform your WordPress site into an online store. You can create a beautiful and engaging storefront by choosing from pre-made themes tailored to your industry or brand.
WooCommerce allows you to quickly customize the pages of your e-commerce store using product blocks. You can showcase your goods using custom configurations. Extensions allow for expanded functionality, like dynamic pricing rules, subscriptions, and SEO. You can also configure practical details, like sales tax and shipping options.
12. Yoast SEO
Great SEO ensures your website gets found by the people who matter. Yoast SEO helps your website rank high on search engine results. It helps websites rank higher in search engine rankings by providing actionable feedback on making SEO improvements.
Yoast provides feedback on technical ways to improve SEO, like adding meta tags and canonical URLs. It can further support creating detailed XML sitemaps to help Google’s bots better recognize and understand your site.
Yoast can also help with content matters, such as writing SEO-friendly titles and meta descriptions. The plugin even offers extensions for specific purposes, like local SEO, video SEO, news SEO, and WooCommerce SEO.
Rank Math SEO is another SEO solution that can do a lot of what Yoast SEO can, with some additional tools for SEO veterans. With this plugin, you can improve SEO in many ways. It gives you feedback on how to optimize keywords, provides deep content analysis tests, and can be integrated with Google Search Console for more deeper analytics. You can also get access to 30 in-depth SEO tests to figure out where your optimization could use improvement.
13. WP ERP
WP ERP is a business management enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution for WordPress. With this system, you can manage your WordPress site and business, including human resources (HR), customer relationship management (CRM), and accounting.
WP ERP has three core modules for HR, CRM, and accounting. There is also an additional project manager module you might want to take a look at.
With the HR module, you can manage company information, employee profiles, time-off requests, and more. With the CRM module, you can manage customer data, contacts, and activity logs. Finally, the accounting module lets you track expenses, income, receivables, and more.
HubSpot is another multi-feature plugin that you can use for diverse business management processes, including email marketing, live chat, and CRM. It helps you to engage directly with website visitors via live chats, create newsletters, and analyze business growth. You can even create forms and pop-ups with HubSpot.
14. Sucuri Security
A globally recognized authority in web security topics, Sucuri Security is another tool to boost WordPress site security. It handles every security aspect of your website from activity auditing to malware scanning.
Sucuri Security’s features include file integrity monitoring, blocklist monitoring, post-hack security actions, and a website firewall. Security notifications are sent directly to you, so you can be sure you’re always up to date on any potential issues that could compromise your website.
You don’t need to set up an account with Sucuri to access the free version. However, to access the full benefits of the service (which includes the firewall), you might want to upgrade to the premium version.
15. WP Rocket
WP Rocket is a caching plugin that you can use to improve your WordPress site’s speed, conversions, and SEO rankings. It’s another simple tool, with no coding experience required.
WP Rocket offers diverse features, including page caching and preloading, GZIP compression, browser caching, and e-commerce optimization. It’s compatible with the most popular WordPress themes and plugins and can be easily customized to make your platform even faster.
With improved speed and accessiblilty, you can make your website more accessible to use. Freelancers, agencies, bloggers, and e-commerce retailers can all benefit from this plugin.
The MemberPress plugin is a great addition if you run a WordPress-based membership site. It lets you build your member site easily, accept payments securely, manage who sees your content, and sell digital downloads and online tutorials. Thousands of WordPress-based membership sites already use this tool.
MemberPress allows you to tightly control who accesses your digital products based on criteria like pages, posts, categories, and tags. You can build and sell courses, customize coupons, create engaging pricing pages, and build your own community forums. The plugin is easy to implement and works with all WordPress themes. You can also use it for analytics purposes, thanks to its clear reporting.
Images are crucial for any modern website to rank high on Google’s search results. However, they can negatively affect your SEO efforts if you don’t implement them correctly. Imagify helps you optimize images without this happening.
Imagify lets you easily optimize images, making them lighter so that they don’t slow down your website speed—one of many SEO ranking factors. It can even convert WebP images, reducing your website’s size even further and improving its speed.
Imagify works with all types of images, including animated, and across all formats, including PDF, GIF, PNG, and JPG. You can optimize up to 20 MB of images per month for free (that’s about 200 images). This tool is also compatible with WooCommerce and NextGEN Gallery.
OptinMonster is a marketing toolkit you can use to control email opt-in forms, pop-ups, and newsletter subscriber lists. This tool can help you boost email subscribers, increase conversions, get more page views, and improve overall engagement.
OptinMonster offers many useful features, including a drag-and-drop pop-up maker with pre-built templates designed to boost conversions. Other notable features include exit intent pop-ups and on-site retargeting. All of this works to keep website visitors on the page and more likely to convert. You can also use this tool for pop-up A/B testing and analytics. Other benefits include email marketing and CRM integrations. There are also integrations for WooCommerce and BigCommerce.
Elementor is a webpage builder that makes it easier to design an attractive WordPress site. Benefit from high-quality page designs with more than 100-plus templates to select from. If you aren’t a web design expert and want a beautiful site, then you’re in luck.
In addition to pre-designed templates, Elementor gives you +300 blocks — section templates that can be combined into pages, such as testimonials, calls to action (CTAs), and services. You can put these blocks together to create full pages. The plugin also boasts 40+ widgets to further enhance your design capabilities, including headers, tabs, image galleries, buttons, and more. The website builder is a free, open-source developer API product.
VaultPress offers real-time backup to help preserve your platform and security scanning capabilities (powered by Jetpack, another name on this list). The plugin is built by Automattic, which also operates and safeguards millions of WordPress sites.
A basic VaultPress plan includes an automatic daily backup of your entire website (no limits on storage space), one-click restoration, and regular statistics reporting.
In terms of security, you further benefit from spam protection, brute force attack protection, and an activity log. Upgrade to a professional plan, and you get an unlimited backup archive (for personal and premium plans, the limit is 30 days).
Some advice when installing WordPress plugins
The above list has been vetted for secure, reputable products. However, be aware of buggy plugins displayed as legitimate ones that could harm your website if you download them.
Limit the number of plugins you use. This makes it easier to keep track of your website and troubleshoot potential problems. A website with 30+ plugins is much more time-consuming to troubleshoot than one with 10.
Also, be aware of how plugins can impact your website’s performance. For instance, some can use up significant server resources, resulting in slower page load time. You want to avoid creating a less user-friendly website experience overall for your users.