Are you running a WordPress website?
WordPress plugins are great to extend the functionality of your website. They can add new features, or improve the features that are already on WordPress.
We have reached out to 60+ WordPress experts and asked them: which WordPress plugins would you recommend others to use and why?
Here are the must-have WordPress plugins that they recommend you to use.
Top 10 WordPress Plugins 2021
1. Yoast SEO (33 votes)
Yoast SEO will help you to write better content and have a fully optimized WordPress site. This will have a positive impact on the organic rankings of your website.
2. WP Rocket (9 votes)
WP Rocket is recommended as the most powerful caching plugin by WP experts. It’s caching creates an ultra-fast load time, essential for improving SEO and conversion rates.
3. Wordfence (7 votes)
Wordfence is the most comprehensive WordPress security plugin and will help you secure your website. It includes a firewall, malware scan, blocking, live traffic, login security & more.
3. UpdraftPlus (7 votes)
3. Smush (7 votes)
Smush compress and optimize images with lazy load, WebP conversion, and resize detection to boost performance and make your site load amazingly fast.
6. Elementor (6 votes)
Elementor is the most advanced frontend drag & drop page builder. Create high-end, pixel perfect websites at record speeds. Any theme, any page, any design.
7. WP Forms (4 votes)
WP Forms is the best WordPress contact form plugin. It’s a drag & drop online form builder that helps you create beautiful contact forms with just a few clicks.
8. Rank Math (3 votes)
Rank Math is a revolutionary SEO plugin that combines the features of many SEO tools in a single package & helps you multiply your traffic.
8. Broken Link Checker (3 votes)
Broken Link Checker will check your posts, comments and other content for broken links and missing images, and notify you if any are found.
10. TinyPNG (2 votes)
TinyPNG will speed up your website by optimizing your JPEG and PNG images automatically.
The experts we asked have compiled a complete list of their favorite WordPress plugins. Most of these plugins are applicable to any type of website.
For example, Yoast SEO (the top-pick of our experts) is a must-have for any WordPress website. Every business, no matter large or small, that has a WordPress website should have this plugin installed.
The recommended plugins are really focussed on optimizing and securing your website. This will have a positive impact on the performance of your WordPress site, for both the visitor as yourself.
We highly recommend to have a look at the WordPress plugins that the experts recommend you to use, and install the ones that are applicable for your website.
Read What The Experts Said
Find out what each expert had to say about their favorite software. Select the software from the list below.
Here’s my favourite plugins which I’d recommend to any WordPress site owner or webmaster seeking to improve the performance and visibility of their website for both users and search engines.
✓ Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is a really handy plugin for business owners and marketers alike, taking some of the heavy lifting out of optimising your website for technical SEO items (such as metadata, canonical tags, URLsstructures, XML sitemaps and Schema) as well as helping improve the content structure and performance of your website.
With a simple-to-use interface for both beginners and seasoned marketers, it’s a must-have for any new WordPress build, in my view.
✓ WP Rocket
WPRocket is a super-effective plugin for boosting page speed performance which can have a profound impact on traffic and conversion for your WP site. With a bunch of cool features to help improve caching, image compression, code minification, it offers both simple functionality and advanced features for developers to implement and help get the site to optimal performance with minimal server load.
Both of these plugins used together can enhance the performance of out-of-the-box WordPress and do the job of several alternative plugins while avoiding triggers to dev on your site and reducing the need for costly SLAs and maintenance costs on more expensive custom coding options offered by many developers.
✓ Sticky Banner
This is super helpful to get a non-popup, clean message at the top of your website. And has a super simple interface.
✓ ShortPixel Optimizer
Helpful for those who do not have the ability to properly compress or resize their images before uploading to their site.
Super simple interface to help improve on page optimizations for search engines.
UpdraftPlus is the most popular WordPress backup plugin in the market. There’s nothing worse than losing all of your website’s content to a breach, server crash, or other malfunction in the website. It’s simply the most effective WordPress backup plugin around.
Here are some features of UpdraftPlus:
Backups Automation: You can schedule an automatic WordPress backup of your website’s files and WordPress database.
Cloud Storage: You can store your backups in a cloud storage service such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or Amazon S3.
Instant Restore: You can easily restore your website instantly in case if anything gets deleted, by using a one-click restore button.
TrustPulse triggers FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) to assist in driving more conversions and sales in websites through social proof. FOMO is a psychological and social phenomenon in which people depend on actions and feedback from other people to make a decision on purchasing a service or product.
You definitely must be using social proof on your website, especially if you’ve got an eCommerce store like WooCommerce.
Here are some features of TrustPulse:
Visual Builder: Visual builder comes with an easy-to-use social proof notification builder that allows you to build WordPress FOMO popups that are proven to convert visitors.
Simple Customization: Simple customization is easy to customize elements such as colors, messages, and images so that you can brand your notifications to match the theme of your website.
Live Activity: Live activity shows a live stream of recent activities such as purchases, registrations, email signups, etc. It also shows an ‘on-fire’ campaign that shows the percentage of people that took action on your site during a selected period of time.
Elementor is amazing and free, it helps you build a the frontend from scratch and has user friendly drag and drop functions which allows users without coding experience to create their website just as they like it.
You can add buttons, videos, imades, icons etc. position everything where you want it to be and easily optimize your page in a way that it represents your values.
Also free, very important to back up the website and restore it once something malfunctions. I’ve had multiple occasions where my website broke because I tested out a new plugin and thankfully I always backed up the site before using this plugin otherwise all of my work would have been lost.
Another free plugin that allows you to create pop-up windows and newsletter collectors etc. It’s great if you want to make the users aware of one specific thing for example a new product or video etc. and you can let people sign up for news using their EMail which comes in handy to let them know whenever you make a new Blog post.
✓ Contact Form 7
As wild as it may seem, the standard WordPress package does not come with a contact form. I recommend Contact Form 7 partially because it is incredibly easy to use, but also because of the many addons available. For example; it’s a really good idea to backup all the messages people are sending you through your WordPress website.
There is a Contact Form 7 addon plugin that will save a copy of messages in your WordPress dashboard. Email is notoriously unreliable and a lot of email software will flag up emails being sent to you from your website as spam, so you may miss out on some really important messages. Complex contact forms (with lots of fields) on your website are much less likely to get filled in than really simple contact forms.
But how can you figure out what your potential clients or customers needs are if you only use very simple forms? Well guess what; there’s a Contact Form 7 addon that will give you plenty of information about the people making contact with you, without the need to actually ask your visitors for more details! These are just a few of the reasons that I use Contact Form 7 on almost every website I ever build. Sure there are some amazing paid contact form systems you can use on your WordPress website, but Contact Form 7 arguably just as powerful and costs nothing.
Did you know that simply by having a WordPress website you are making yourself vulnerable to constant attack from hackers? Hackers use (free!) software that is easily available to routinely try and gain access to thousands of WordPress websites every minute of every day. The main reason for this is that WordPress is so popular that it is an easy target. Hackers don’t tend to waste their time manually attacking websites; it’s all a numbers game. If they can try and breach 5,000 websites an hour they only need to break into one website a day to make their many attacks worthwhile. This is where the Wordfence plugin comes to the rescue.
Wordfence is in effect a firewall; it protects your website from hackers. There is a premium, paid for, edition of Wordfence but the free edition is also exceptionally at protecting your website. Ultimately if a hacker wants to break in they probably will, but installing the Wordfence plugin makes their task much more challenging. Contrary to what Hollywood movies might have you believe, hackers don’t want to make an effort to bust their way into your website. If they can’t get in immediately then they’ll invariably move on and search for a sucker without security software (liek Wordfence) running on their WordPress website. So Wordfence is a free way of taking your WordPress website off the hackers’ ‘suckers list’.
✓ Yoast SEO
The Yoast SEO plugin is another example of a premium WordPress plugin that has a brilliant free version. Even if you installed the Yoast SEO plugin and did nothing else you would still put your website ahead of competitors from an SEO perspective. If you take a little bit of time to actually configure the Yoast plugin (it’s very easy), you’ll be rewarded with better search engine rankings. If you use every facility the Yoast plugin has to offer (yes, even the free version), you’ll be doing yourself and your website a huge favour. SEO can be a complex topic, but by installing the Yoast SEO plugin you’ll be making SEO efforts not only easier, but a lot more effective.
Every website needs a contact form because it makes it easy for your visitors to get in touch with you. WPForms is the most user-friendly contact form plugin for WordPress. WPForms integrates with all popular marketing and payment platforms, so you can build powerful forms in less than 5 minutes.
WP Rocket is one of the best WordPress caching plugin on the market. It allows you to instantly improve your WordPress website speed and performance with no technical skills required. WP Rocket also offers Imagify which is a free image optimization service to help you speed up your website even further.
✓ Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is one of the most popular WordPress plugins of all time. Out of all the WordPress SEO plugins, Yoast offers the most comprehensive solution with all the features and tools that you need to improve your on-page SEO. It helps you add meta tags, generate sitemaps, connect your site to Google Search Console, optimize it for social media, and more.
✓ Rank Math
I highly recommend installing RankMath on any WordPress website as it is the best SEO plugin available at the moment. It comes with so many features enabled out of the box and will benefit any website. If you are serious about getting traffic this plugin is definitely a must. Additionally, WP Rocket is a great plugin to boost your site speed and provide a better overall user experience.
The best WordPress plugin which I came across during the last few weeks is called MailPoet.
MailPoet is a newsletter plugin which turns your WordPress website / blog into a newsletter headquarter and it’s free until your mailing list is ≤ 1.000 subscribers.
The cool thing about MailPoet is that it allows to send newsletters directly from your WordPress dashboard. That means that you don’t have to login into any other service like Mailchimp and so on.
Another great reason to try out Mailpoet is that it is GDPR compliant. I mean really GDPR compliant and not Privacy Shield certified. In contrast to Mailchimp, Active Campaign etc. subscriber data will not be exported to external servers which might be based in not so GDPR compliant countries like the US. So depending on where your WordPress servers are based, this is a pretty law compliant solution.
✓ Advanced Custom Fields
The introduction of the new Block Editor has been a great addition to the WordPress core functionality, but sometimes you still need to flex out the functionality of pages or custom post types, and Advanced Custom Fields does just that. You can even combine the plugin with the new block editor to create custom blocks, increasing further the functionality that comes with the Block Editor.
The Options page feature allows you to create an additional Options area within the WordPress dashboard where you can set up custom fields which can be used globally throughout the site. Ideal for settings such as social media links or accreditation logos.
✓ WP Featherlight
There are lots of Lightbox style plugins out there which are overly complex and bloated with code. In comes WP Featherlight – a responsive, lightweight JQuery lightbox. When installed it will automatically make all image links throughout the site load in the lightbox. It can even be disabled on a per page basis if required.
Websites must download quickly and perform fast, not just from a user experience point of view, but in order to help with your SEO. With lots of ways of compressing images out there, the best solution we have come across is this plugin by TinyPNG. Some of the file size savings we have seen are far better than other image compression plugins. There is a limit to how many images you can compress on the free account, but a paid account lets you bulk compress the images in your media folder.
One of the most worthwhile plugins to add to your WordPress account is Yoast, without a doubt. Harnessing the power of SEO is the key to building your brand, increasing web traffic and bringing in customers – and Yoast makes it super simple.
This clever plugin analyses posts as you write, giving you a colour coded response and then giving helpful tips on how to improve your content. It also kindly tells you when you’ve done a good job!
You only have to pay for one of the plugins I recommend, but it’s well worth it. And this is Elementor Pro. I’ve tried many theme builder plugins, but none have approached this. It is very easy to learn and you can change important things very effectively in minutes. And the built-in themes look really good. I don’t use them because I design my websites to my own taste, but for anyone with such needs, this plugin will be perfect.
✓ Gutenberg Editor
Gutenberg Editor is an easy to use post creator. Many people have a bad opinion of it because it might be too simple and there aren’t many fancy options built in it. But that’s why I like it. I wouldn’t do simple blog posts with any other editor.
✓ Font Awesome
As a beginner, I suffered a lot with the little icons. Hamburger menu icon, search box magnifier icon, etc. Many times these did not appear properly. Or I solved one problem and then had a problem with the other. The Font Awesome plugin helps with these things. You just install it, activate, and you’re done. It really solves your troubles.
The golden rule with WordPress plugins is to resist the urge to install anything and everything. Think lean at all times…
✓ Ultimate Nofollow
This is particularly useful if you’re working in the affiliate space, and need to set a number of commercial links as no-follow in a single article.
It provides a simple box-tick function for classifying links as no-follow, and also for setting links to open in a new browser tab if you wish. It really doesn’t get any simpler than this, yet it can save you a lot of time in the long run.
✓ ShortPixel Image Optimizer
It goes without saying that the faster your website loads, the better it’ll be for your readers and – by extension – SEO. There are lots of image optimization plugins on the market, but I’ve come to lean towards ShortPixel’s free plugin. You get a generous monthly allowance when it comes to optimization credits, and the compression results are more than acceptable.
Here’s a tip to help you avoid running out of free credits. ShortPixel by default will optimize images to suit just about every scenario, many of which you’ll never need. They’ll eat up a credit regardless. Go to Advanced Settings, scroll down to “Exclude thumbnail sizes”, and tick any you won’t need.
I’ve come to favor SEOPress over the often-recommended Yoast over the last 12 months. It’s easier to set-up and maintain, and the free version is more than enough to get the SEO fundamentals of your site up and running. If you want to go deeper, the premium upgrade is more cost-effective too.
When it comes to WordPress plugins, the top things that you need to look for are the following:
– How useful is the plugin actually? You do not want a website over-run with a ton of plugins that REALLY don’t enrich the user experience. Having a lot of plugins can slow your web-site down or compromise it.
– How often is the plugin updated? If a plugin has not been updated in the past year, it may be better to look for one that is paid more attention to by its developers. This ensures that you do not run into problems down the road with WordPress updates, theme updates, or bugs.
– How well is the plugin rated? This one is pretty self-explanatory.
– Is the plugin compatible with any other assets?
In my opinion, the top three plugins that I recommend for any website on WordPress are the following:
o This is a plugin that compresses and reduces the file size of your images, without drastically impacting the quality of images. With Google and other search engines placing importance on fast loading websites, and websites optimized for mobile, this plugin is a life-saver! It helps can help reduce bandwidth costs. While there are other ways and websites to use to lower the file size of your images, Imagify does it on the fly for you without you having to do anything but upload images as you usually would (once installed).
✓ WP Rocket
o Once again, speed and accessibility is the name of the game when it comes to user experience and SEO. WP Rocket makes it easy for even beginners to have a high performing website. You have all the features you would want for an optimized website, including: deferring image loading (images load as visitors scroll on the website, making it easier to load), automatically minifies your code (html, css, and java) so the website can load faster, and immediately caches pages.
o Google has really placed an importance on Schema Markups in the past couple of years, and Schema-Pro makes it quick and easy to develop your own markup for your website without having to dig through a ton of markup language documentation. It also has a very easy to use UI. So now your website can show reviews on google, have an organized list of products with images on SERP, and a robust knowledge panel just like the top businesses. All of these things can lead to higher Click Through Rates on google and more traffic.
✓ Yoast SEO
This one is really a staple and, in my opinion, should come pre-loaded with WordPress out of the box. Not only is it a great learning tool for beginners to use to see how and why certain on-page content impacts SEO – but it also is a good reminder of the on-page basics for someone more knowledgeable.
The first WordPress plugin I recommend is the Elementor pro plugin, Elementor is the first front end visual drag and drop builder, which makes quick work of any design layout you want your website to have and it takes out the guessing work out of editing a design element since users are able to see the edit straight away.
Some of its features are:
1. Drag & Drop Editor
2. 300+ Designer Made Templates
3. Responsive Editing
4. Popup Builder
5. Theme Builder
✓ Stacks Extend
The second WordPress plugin is Stacks Extend mobile application plugin.
This plugin, when installed on any WordPress template users, are able to build Hybrid mobile applications for Android and iOS with no coding knowledge needed just a simple click of a button and the application build is ready to be uploaded to the app stores.
Some of its features are:
1. Compatible with any WP Theme
2. Automatic orders & products syncing with the website
3. One Click Mobile App Build
4. Multiple payment gateways integrated with your mobile App
5. Push Notifications
7. Social Login
I recommend the following 3 WordPress plugins.
✓ Link Whisper
Link Whisper is a plugin that allows you to view all the external and internal links on your website and to easily create internal links. One of the things that you should always do whenever you publish a new blog post is to create internal links from other posts that point back to it. The great thing about Link Whisper is that you can add new internal links based upon suggestions that the plugin gives you in a centralized dashboard. This saves a ton of time in the long run and helps your site to rank higher in Google.
✓ Rank Math
Rank Math SEO is a popular SEO plugin for a reason. It does just about everything you could need it to do and more. You can edit the meta tags of pages and posts, get your XML sitemap, and add schema markup to various pages on your site all for free within the plugin.
✓ Thrive Leads
Thrive Leads is an excellent popup plugin. You can create 10 different types of popup forms that are fully customizable. You’re also able to integrate tons of different email autoresponders to be able to follow up on the back end with your subscribers.
Yoast SEO is the best existing plugin for WordPress. It is essential for any website that seeks to be ranked in Google and other online search engines and thus get scale online traffic for free. Yoast SEO is a plugin developed for WordPress platform with the aim of helping website owners to easily apply the best SEO techniques. Such techniques can make all the difference in time to be indexed and be ranked by online searcher engines.
The 2 plugins that I always use on my websites are:
It helps you improve your article based on the keyword you are targeting and helps you with your readability score of the website.
✓ All 404 Redirect to Homepage
This is an underrated plugin that many people don’t use but can help you a lot. Especially if you have an old website that you delete old content or had an old website that you redirected to a new one, broken links and 404 errors and bound to happen and that is not good for your websites on-page SEO. All 404 Redirect to Homepage will help you redirect all these pages to the main page so you will get the maximum amount of link use from the old backlinks pointing to old inner pages.
Yoast’s slogan is “SEO for Everyone,” and that’s exactly why I love it. It’s a great beginner SEO plugin that walks you through exactly how to optimize your blog content. Yoast has a rating system (green = good, yellow = OK, red = needs improvement) that visually shows you where to make changes on both the front and back ends of your post.
✓ WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache helps decrease the load time of your website by creating static files of your dynamic pages. Since page load speed is one of the search engines’ top ranking factors, this plugin helps get you on their good side, ultimately resulting in higher SERP placement. And since WP Super Cache is developed by Automattic, the parent company of WordPress.com, you know it’s a reliable plugin.
WordFence protects your website from hackers looking to steal your customer data or exploit your site for black-hat SEO strategies. Plus, it helps filter out those spammy male enhancement comments we’re all sick of getting. As the most popular WordPress firewall and security scanner, you can rely on WordFence to keep your site safe.
The WordPress plugins I’d like to recommend to all site admins are Yoast SEO, WP Rocket, and Imagify.
Yoast SEO is a comprehensive WordPress plugin that simplifies SEO-related tasks such as updating meta tags, indexing, and organizing XML sitemaps. Yoast SEO allows writers and publishers to assemble the content then receive a readability score. It also provides each page draft with a custom SEO headquarters when changes can be made to tags and SERP features without complication.
✓ WP Rocket
WP Rocket is a plugin that allows for quick caching across an entire website. This efficient caching process means that at any time, our specialists can minimize site load time by cutting away unnecessary elements.
Imagify is another plugin we use to keep site load times in optimal ranges. This plugin effectively reduces image file sizes as much as possible without sacrificing image quality. Site load time is a huge factor in site rankings, and it’s important to us that we keep it in check to maximize rankings and eliminate avoidable bounces.
I highly recommend installing the TinyPNG plugin to ensure that all the images you upload are fully optimized for the web.
It’s extremely important that the file sizes of JPEGs and PNGs are as small as possible to boost your website’s speed and also for SEO. Google isn’t a fan of images having large file sizes for no reason, especially on mobile devices where the dimensions would be small.
With the TinyPNG plugin, all the images you upload are automatically compressed to the smallest size possible without affecting the image quality. This means you’ll never have to worry about forgetting to compress the images yourself. Also, all the images from your existing media library can be compressed too if you wish for further optimization.
✓ AmaLinks Pro
This plugin makes it easy to add Amazon affiliate links to your blog or website. From within your blog, you can search for product on Amazon and then with a couple clicks insert either links or images into your post. AmaLinks Pro automatically includes the nofollow link with each affiliate link. They also have a table feature that makes it easy to help readers compare products on Amazon. More here: https://thekoalamom.com/2019/10/add-amazon-affiliate-links/
✓ Yoast Premium
Yoast is a plugin that helps with SEO. It provides a checklist that assesses each page / post on your blog or website to allow you optimize for your selected keyword. Yoast Premium also helps analyze metadata on your site and create a sitemap for Google. And if you have many old posts or pages on your blog or website, Yoast creates a list of “orphaned content” or content that has no links pointing to it so that you can develop better internal links on your site.
✓ WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache is a great free plugin that will significantly improve the speed and overall performance of your website and all you have to do it install it and turn it on. Caching plugins help to compress the file sizes of your site and do things which mean it loads faster for your users, regardless of what type of site you run that is always a good thing and fast site loading speed is a minor ranking signal in Google!
✓ WordFence Security
Wordfence is a simple but very powerful tool packed with serious security features to keep your site safe and secure from hackers, malware and spam.. There is a free version (which I use) however depending on the size of your site and the kind of data you handle you could consider getting the premium version to take things to the next level.
✓ Yoast SEO
If you own a website you know that SEO is important. Let me be clear this plugin isn’t going to get your website ranking all on its own however it does make some of the more fiddly SEO jobs much easier. Things like meta descriptions, sitemaps, setting up 301 redirects and integrating your site with Google Analytics and Google Search Console will all take minutes with the help of this plugin.
Our web design company has been creating custom website design since 2003 and primarily focus on WordPress development. Over the last two decades we’ve learned how to customize the world’s most popular content management platform to achieve highly functional and hand-tailored websites for our clients. Over this time we’ve established a few trust WordPress plugins that are essential to running a successful website to support your business or marketing campaign.
✓ Yoast SEO
When it comes to SEO, Yoast is by far the most user-friendly and power tool at your fingertips. The free version prompts users to provide the correct information to help their pages rank organically and plays nice with virtually every other plugin available. Be sure to only use the pro version of this plugin if you have a thorough understanding of SEO and how 301 redirects work however as it can sometimes use a little fine tuning by hand.
This image compression plugin is incredibly smart and powerful. Images in websites seem to keep getting larger and heavier as we use transparent png files or Retina images. This plugin intelligently finds ways to compress the images you upload into the Media Library without causing any loss in image quality, and the best part is it runs automatically.
✓ Drag and Drop
WordPress is widely popular among website owners because it’s so easy to learn and use. The drag and drop plugin extends this experience further by allowing the administrator to reorder pages and posts quickly and easily by simply dragging and dropping in the back-end of the website. No fussing with republishing pages, changing post dates or anything more technical than necessary.”
Having used WordPress for several years now, I’ve come across plenty of useful plugins that make life much easier. Here are my favorites:
The ultimate plugin for speeding up any website, with just a few clicks you can massively reduce your website’s page speed, save bandwidth, and improve visitors experience to your site.
Great for protecting your website, Sucuri offers protection from malware and virus injections, as well as constant diagnostics and site alerts. It also has a great anti brute force system which stops hackers trying to guess your password.
✓ UpDraft Plus
The easiest to use backup plugin, UpDraft Plus allows you to easily set up remote scheduled backups to third party destinations like Google Drive or Dropbox.
✓ SG Optimizer
This plugin only works if your site is hosted on Siteground, but it is the best optimizer out there by far. Besides the standard functions like combining CSS files or deferring JS files, it can also optimize your images, create .webp files or “lazy load” them when needed.It is free and the support is incredible, the best part being that the devs will fix your problems very fast and without asking for admin access, since itis part of Siteground (which is probably the fastest hosting company).
If SG Optimizer is not an option for you or you just don’t like the way it optimizes your images, then Imagify is your best alternative. You get to optimize 25 MB worth of media for free each month(which is more than enough for small-medium sites) and can upgrade to Pro for4 USD per month and 1 GB worth of media, or even higher plans. Extremely easy to use (basically 1 click optimizes all your photos) and for me, personally, it saved 73% of all media space.
This is a front-end customizing plugin that can help you change the way your website looks down to the pixel, without writing a single line of code. It detects all elements on your website, like buttons, images, background, drop-down lists and it can customize their appearance and their position. For example, it can change the font of a button, move a drop-down menu 12 pixels to the left, change the background color of the main menu, etc. It is free, but you can upgrade to Pro for some additional features (like special effects while hovering and element).
If you are into e-commerce you will quickly notice you need reviews of your products in order to build trust and rank higher on Google. The only reviews that matter are off-site reviews, on platforms like Facebook, Google+ and Trustpilot, mostly because anyone can fake their reviews on their own website. Trustpilot is great in that regard, because with its plugin, you will be sending an automated e-mail to your customers after they made a purchase, reminding them to review the product on Trustpilot. This is very important, because less than 3% of customers leave reviews (usually the angry ones… people love hating, but they hate loving). You will also get a cool review widget that you can use on your homepage.
✓ Beaver Builder
Our favorite plugin is the one that shapes the better part of our site – Beaver Builder. It’s a visual design plugin that is far superior to the regular WordPress editor. Drag and drop controls, an easy to use interface, and a huge range of creative options make it our favorite editor and certainly most-used plugin.
✓ WP Forms
If you’re a business user of WordPress, WP Forms is probably the best form capture plugin we have used. It’s easy to make engaging forms and there is a lot of stuff the developers do to make your forms work for your business. We’re also big fans of Smush, the image compression plugin. It compresses the images on your site and helps increase your site speed all while working quietly in the background.
✓ Updraft Backup/restore
Updraft is an industry leader in backup software and it works every time. I always suggest this to my clients even if they only want the free version, which has excellent configurations for offsite storage.
Most use either Dropbox or FTP integrations.
They have more than 2 million users and updates the software all the time
✓ Yoast SEO
A must have for all WordPress sites.
First of all the Yoast plugin works. Its always updated and every time new Google algorithm updates are released with impact to their tool, they fix it.
Secondly it fixes settings in WordPress which are not Best Practice for SEO
More than 5 million users
✓ Thrive Leads
This is one of my personal favorites. Its used to collect email leads on websites and the possibilities for design are endless. It’s a paid subscription, but worth every penny.
I use it to collect between 5-50 emails per day depending on website traffic. After this I can send emails to them, and start selling.
I use this method for many clients, which saves huge on Google and Facebook ad spent
✓ Asset CleanUp
Site speed is ultra important and we know it. One particular plugin that helps speed up my site is Asset Cleanup.
Asset cleanup has the functionality to disable specific code on individual pages.
Other options include enable/disable on posts/pages, and on front page too.
I have what you call the “trinity” plugins. No matter what your WordPress site is for, you have to have these plugins or a good alternative to them, installed.
✓ Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is the go-to plugin for basic optimizations for your website. What makes it so great is that both experts and total beginners can effectively use it. It holds your hand and walks you through basic configurations. It gives you suggestions in optimizing the content, title and URL of your pages and posts. It always generates a sitemap for you. It saves experts a lot of time and educates beginners.
If my client doesn’t already have some sort of system set up to regularly backup their website, I recommend they install UpdraftPlus. It is a plugin that will run backups of your website. You can schedule them, do them manually and decide how many backups to hold at once. Even better, and more secure, it can connect to off-site storage websites like Google Drive or Dropbox to store your backups. If your website is ever hacked and your backups compromised, having the backups offsite can save your website.
This is a comprehensive, solid security plugin for most websites. And every WordPress should have some sort of security set up. You will be surprised how many bots are constantly on the search for easy vulnerabilities. You are given a lot of great options to customize your security but even the default options are fine. It will even give you alerts for anything out of the ordinary. It has always been a help over the years I’ve used it. I’ve had websites that were being attacked every second (literally) on the website and it did its part in protecting the website while I could safely fix the problem.
Here are my recommended WordPress Plugins and why:
There is no better WordPress plug for SEO than Yoast. The plugin is a perfect tool to direct organic traffic from the Search engines. The free version is good but the premium version is better because you can optimize your content for more than 1 focus keywords unlike the free version.
✓ Schema & Structured Data for WP & AMP
This plugin, when used properly provides rich snippet of content when users search for related keywords on Google. This snippet does not directly improve SEO but users get a structured overview of your content at one glance. Users are likely going to click on your website if it has such structured snippet, hence improving your Click Through Rate (CTR).
Pages or posts are deleted from time to time. If Google has indexed such page of post before it was deleted, users will still be directed to the deleted page of post and thereby results in the dreaded “error 404”. This can create a bad user experience for your audience. But in order to avoid that, the redirection plugin can help you redirect deleted pages or posts to an updated one or to a new pages or posts. In essence, error 404 must be avoided at all cost.
1.) If you’ll be using Yoast premium, you may not need to download the ‘redirection’ plugin. Yoast premium will handle that with ease but the free version will not.
2.) Please avoid JETPACK plugin for WordPress at all costs. It’ll be recommended by WordPress but it will do your website more harm than good. In my experience with my blog https://soofootball.com I learnt in a hard way. Jetpack conflicted with Yoast so my SITEmap could not be fetched by Google for months. Also, Jetpack made my website quite slower. I didn’t realize how bad the situation was until I deactivated and deleted the plugin. Now my blog is faster than ever and my Sitemap can now be fetched by Google.
Here are my top WordPress plugins I would recommend to almost anyone:
✓ Head, Footer and Post Injections
Many advanced WordPress features force you to place lines of code into the header or footer of your website. If you don’t have coding knowledge and use generic templates, this can be difficult.
This plugin solves the problem by providing a simple way to access the Header and Footer of all the pages on your website.
✓ Yoast SEO
This is necessary for any blog that wants to be successful. Yoast SEO will tell you exactly what changes should be made to your article in order to rank for your desired keywords.
✓ UpdraftPlus (Backup Plugin)
Backup of websites is vital in case of a disaster strike at your site such as hacking, updates, user error, problem with the host etc. Backing up your site can minimize the damage. A good incremental backup allows you to restore your site to the last version of the backup.
The UpdraftPlus is easy to use and has a full functional version that is also free to use. You also have the option to upgrade to their shared storage for a reasonable monthly fee. The backup is easy as you do backup of individual files or the whole database. You also have the option to choose the backup intervals.
The one click restore function allows you to restore the saved version with a single click. The pro version also gives you a fast personal support option.
✓ iThemes Security
For the security of your site from hackers, the security plugin is a must as the security goes beyond the hard to guess wordpress login passwords.
The iThemes security is a great option for those who need from beginner to advanced level security. The setup is easy and comes with a Securi malware and blacklist scan. If you don’t want to spend any money then the free version has all the basic security features. But if you want more security features then you can buy the pro version.
I personally like the two factor authentication and brute force network protection feature. The database of possible IP addresses of attackers blocks them from hacking into the site and safeguarding your site. The login protection with two-factor authentication is an excellent extra protection to stop hackers getting malicious access to your website.
✓ Thrive Architect
Thrive Architect is a “what you see is what you get” WordPress editor. It gives you more control over the formatting and layout of your content on the blog. The intuitive interface gives easy access to all the required panels to make changes.
The great thing with Thrive Architect is that it’s also mobile responsive. So the contents, tables and formatting made through the content editor looks beautiful and remain functional on different screen sizes.
The Thrive Architect comes with several pre-made layouts that they call content blocks. So rather than starting from a blank screen, you already have pre made beautiful design content that you can insert in your blog and change text and images to get started. You also have an option to save these content blocks as templates and use it as needed. This is a big time saver as a good looking formatted blog post can sometimes take as much time as writing the post and this is the area where Thrive Architect shines.
✓ WP Smush
I recommend WP Smush for optimizing images while maintaining the quality of the images. My blog page load speed increased by over 35% after installing it and smushing all images.
When it comes to WordPress plugins, if I’m going to install them, then I want them to perform tasks that will have a serious impact on the site’s performance. So while the following plugins might not be exciting for most people, they are vital to each and every site I’ve managed.
✓ Yoast SEO
This is the obvious one. It’s been downloaded more than 5 million times and is arguably the most well-known WordPress plugin. I’ve spent more than a decade in SEO and I still use Yoast because you simply wouldn’t do what it offers manually. But don’t stress if you are an SEO newbie, Yoast requires very little knowledge to implement the basics. Are there Yoast alternatives? Yes there are but for ease of use and staying up to date, you can’t go past Yoast SEO.
✓ WP Rocket
Speed. A slow website will turn away your users and hurt your search performance – Both having real-life consequences to your bottom line. WP Rocket is the whole package. There is a lot of competition in this space and WP Rocket is not free but it is my opinion the best available product.
You don’t want your users landing on a ‘Page Not Found’ screen, it’s not a great user experience and in some cases, it’s a missed SEO opportunity. So you will at some stage need to learn how to apply a 301 Redirect. You can do that manually or you could use a free plugin like Redirection. Again, there are alternatives for this too but with more than 1 million active installations, you can see it is a popular one for a reason. Simple to use and effective.
It’s pretty much all-in-one for page optimization. You can do title tags, you can do meta descriptions, you can go in and make pages no index, you can get an evaluation from Yoast on how that specific page is performing – not performing – but how the SEO on that page looks.
✓ WP Structured Data Schema
Essentially what structured data does is it’s extra snippets of code that goes on your site – so say you wrote about a blog or a recipe. They are deeming different categories of what they should say so, the date that you launched it, the day it’s modified, your short description, your long description, your title, etc. Depending on what you’re writing there are different criteria of what you’re going to put. So when you fill this all out, essentially to get put structured data on the back end of that page, and that page will take that information and then share it with search engines to better understand what the data means.
✓ Smush Pro
Smush allows you to compress all images, resize, incorporate lazy load, and more. Really helps with site load speed
Still one of our favourite WordPress SEO tools, Yoast does a lot of the general SEO setup a site owner needs to get their site ready to get visibility on Google. To really get good results you’ll need to do some serious keyword research (or get an expert to do it) so you know what to put in that “Focus Keyword” box and get nice green symbols on your pages/posts. That said, it’ll still do a lot of good work for you by default.
✓ iThemes Security
With very little setup, this will run backups of your site and close the main routes someone would use to get access to your WordPress website. Go through the “Security Check” and your site will instantly be a lot more secure.
✓ WP Rocket
OK so this one does cost money, but it’ll make your site super speedy out of the box in most cases. We add it to all our supported client’s sites as standard. There are free plugins that do the job, but none of them come close to being as easy to setup (most of the time, just turning it on works!) and it is only $49 per month. With site speed being more and more important to Google, it’ll pay to invest in this.
This plugin allows you to show data in table or chat format. The reason this is such a great plugin is that you can connect to your database to show data and also server side render the content so that Google can crawl it. This is huge for SEO and gives you a leg up on the competition.
✓ Calculate Fields Form
CFF is a tool that allows you to build forms that can act as calculators, payment processors, and more. The plugin takes a little bit of time getting used to, but it is incredibly powerful and has amazing support. The creator responds to support requests typically within a day. CFF can allow you to build tools by yourself (for free) without the need to pay someone else to do it.
✓ Fixed TOC
This plugin can automatically add a table of contents to your pages and posts. It even has a nice layout for mobile that allows the table of contents to scroll with you without being intrusive. This is great because it boosts your SEO rankings by indexing each heading and subheading in the post.
Keeping your WordPress site safe from hacks is incredibly important, and Wordfence is a great plugin for that. It’s a freemium plugin, meaning you can use the free version or upgrade to a paid version. For most site owners, the free version is enough. With it you get a firewall, login security, and more.
✓ Shortcodes Ultimate
Shortcodes Ultimate lets you easily add things like styled buttons, content boxes, tablets, etc. to posts without needing to know any HTML. It’s a free plugin that makes it easy for anyone to add nice visual components to blog posts.
✓ WP Rocket
WP Rocket is a premium plugin that helps with site speed and performance. While there are some free caching plugins that offer similar features, WP Rocket is the best at what it does. And since Google is tracking site speed in Search Console, it’s important for site owners to prioritize it as well.
Without doubt one of the best plugins and website builders that you can get. The free version is super powerful and enough to get started and the pro is a good value for thew additional features. It comes with a range of free templates which means you could build you website in a matter of minutes.
✓ WP Smush
Image optimisation, performance size is very important for SEO. WP smush takes care of all of this as soon as you upload an image.
✓ Yoast SEO
This is your best friend when it comes to learning about SEO with its easy to use interface and the tips and hints it gives to boost your SEO
✓ WP Fastest Cache
Pretty much every website will benefit from a caching plugin, which will speed up your website. Users are impatient and demand websites that load pretty quickly. While there are many factors in speeding up your website, using a caching plugin is definitely one of the most important. There are many alternatives, but this plugin is reasonably easy to set up and it’s free to use, a double win.
✓ CAOS for Analytics
For design purposes, I use the WordPress plugin Layerslide. It allows for designers to do a lot of cool custom pieces.
For SEO I recommend Yoast. This will help out with Keyword optimization, Google previews, indexables & more.
We have 22 websites on one domain, and lots of content. With Autoptimize we manage to make our site faster by optimizing CSS, JS and images. After you purchase the plugin the company behind Autoptimize will take about 10-15 to come up with a customized solution, tailored to your needs to optimize the website, and include you in the process so nothing gets lost, or broken.
✓ Custom Banners
This banner allows you to create custom banners on your website. You can make them yourself, upload them anywhere and track their clicks and performance. They are responsive, which means you won’t have to worry about how they’ll look on different screens. And, most importantly – there’s no coding required!
✓ Ninja Popups
We all want more visitors on our sites, but we also want more customers! With Ninja Popups you can manage your popups and turn visitors into subscribers, offer them a discount and keep them interested in your website and much much more. This plugin can be integrated with most mailing platforms (like Mail Chimp) and is so simple to use!
✓ Rank Math
As someone who works in the SEO agency space, I believe this is the best plugin for websites looking to rank on Google. Although most agencies use Yoast for their client websites, I think RankMath is superior in several ways. Not only does it allow you to optimize for multiple keywords but it makes adding schema markup extremely simple and user-friendly.
Forms are critical for converting traffic into leads and no plugin (in my experience) makes form building simpler than WPForms. The ability to create contact forms, payment forms, and even survey forms with simple drag and drop capability makes this plugin a no-brainer for any website looking to convert traffic into leads.
✓ Link Whisper
One of the more underrated plugins in the SEO space, Link Whisper is the only effective tool I’ve found for internal linking. Placing internal links throughout your blog posts and service pages allow users to seamlessly transition from one point of the conversion process to the next. Optimizing thousands of pages with internal links is a massive project without this plugin.
✓ Formidable Forms Pro
Formidable Forms is the most robust form builder in the WordPress plugin world. You can easily build simple forms or add a bit of conditional formatting and build full database applications. The plugin makes it easy to add code customizations and you can extend the plugin to connect with Zapier and all your other business tools.
✓ WP Full Stripe
By far, WP Full Stripe is the best Stripe integration for WordPress. The plugin talks back and forth to your dashboard so that you are able to visualize payments in the WordPress admin as well as create new plans. The plugin can be used to send branded emails for your transactions so your clients can build trust with your brand.
✓ Yoast SEO
Yoast provides the best on-page SEO experience to enhance your writing for the best search expectations. The built-in grammar check allows you to improve your content for your readers and for better crawling scores. Yoast compiles your sitemaps and helps to connect you with social platforms to enhance your overall reach.
✓ WP Recipe Maker Premium
This plugin is the heart of my website! It houses all of my recipes, formats them, and more. This plugin allows readers to rate recipes, print them, adjust quantities, and even check items off their shopping list. For an author, the plugin organizes recipes and allows me to easily add them into a post with a few clicks.
✓ Yoast SEO
This is a very popular free plugin that allows authors to manage on-page SEO when writing a post. It even judges your SEO as you’re writing and gives recommendations to how you can improve your content. You can add keywords, meta information, and snippets to make your posts more search-engine friendly.
✓ Duplicate Post
This is a great plugin for authors who like to use a template for creating posts. Just create the template, save it as a draft, then use this plugin to copy it when you want to start a new blog post. WordPress used to have this ability built in, but somewhere along the way abandoned it. This plugin brings it back and is a real time saver!
I have started numerous WordPress sites in the past but my answers are going to come from a technical optimizer’s point of view. Here are my top 3 plugins that I would recommend:
✓ Yoast SEO
This is my number one plugin for WordPress. SItemap generation, quick Google Analytics installation, and readability scores all come packaged within the free plugin. The most useful feature I find is the ability to change meta titles and descriptions on a post or page is extremely useful and timesaving.
✓ Smush by wpmudev
There are a lot of different image optimiser plugins available on WordPress but I have found this one to be the easiest to operate. It displays how much data you have removed from images always feels good when you have shaved gigabytes of useless data from your site. What’s more the plugin is free for up to 50 images at a time!
✓ WP Force SSL by WebFactory Ltd
When you first set up your WordPress site you may find that users can still access the non-https version of the site. This usually happens when users type the URL directly into their browser. This plugin provides a quick and nasty way to redirect traffic to the secure https version of your site. It can also help with SEO too!
I’m an SEO Specialist and manage my WordPress blog using multiple plugins, but if I could just recommend 3 it would be:
✓ Yoast SEO
Yoast is a great tool for implementing SEO on your website. The free version is really useful in adding title tags and meta descriptions as well as generating automatic sitemaps.xml without having to resort to coding.
This tool allows you to improve your website speed by significantly reducing the file size of your images without sacrificing quality. With reduced attention span, slow loading speed is detrimental to user experience.
Have you ever wondered where people are clicking and how far along the landing page they’re scrolling? Hotjar provides click and scroll heatmaps that can help you identify user experience problems on your website.
My must-have plugins for WordPress are:
This plugin is essential for ensuring your blog posts are SEO optimized. It is a free plugin. In addition to helping with SEO, this plugin gets your sitemap setup for Google. I wouldn’t ever try to rank a website in Google without this plugin installed.
This free plugin is a versatile page builder that allows you to create the web pages that you see in your head.. It’s drag-and-drop, so it is easy to use, even for the most technically challenged website owner.
✓ Grow (formerly Social Pug)
This free plugin is now owned by Mediavine and helps you add social sharing buttons to your blog posts and pages. You can choose from floating social icons or inline content icons. While other plugins offer similar functionality, this is a lightweight plugin that doesn’t slow down your site.
Oh, wow! Choosing just 3 is tough! These are my top 3 favorites.
✓ Smash Balloon Social Photo Feed (formerly called Instagram Feed)
Display your photos from Instagram on your website seamlessly with Smash Balloon Social Photo Feed. A great way for your customers and viewers to interact with you brand on social media. Display highlights of your brand, customer photos, quotes, etc on Instagram and have them display on your website. The plugin has both a free version and paid version.
No one likes a slow website and there are several tools to help you make your website faster. One of those it Autoptimize. It makes your site faster by optimizing CSS, JS, Images, Google fonts and more.
This free backup solution has the same bells and whistles as some paid versions. Because you never know when your website might have an issue due to hackers, corrupt plugins, an upgrade gone wrong. It is vital to your brand to have a backup to your website. Updraft also has a paid version that allows you to store your backups off-site.
✓ Yoast SEO
I have been using Yoast SEO since almost its inception. It is one of the most powerful WordPress SEO plugin that I have come across. Yoast offers a very comprehensive solutions that covers all the features and tools that are required to improve on-site SEO of website or a blog.
Starting from adding meta tags, generating sitemaps, connecting site with Google Search Console, to required optimization suggestions for social media, it’s always helpful.
Yoast comes with a very powerful 301 Redirect feature that lets you very easily create 301 redirects, and this has always been helpful for me and my team. At the same time, it also detects any changes in the URLs and creates auto-redirects, so your website doesn’t have any broken links.
Security must be a top priority for all the online businesses. It offers a web application firewall and WordPress security plugin that is one of the best protections one can get for their website.
Sucuri monitors and protects the site from XSS attacks, malware threats, brute force attacks, DDoS, and essentially every other important attack. A firewall is a must to be installed on your website if you don’t have one.
Victor M Font Jr
I am the owner of Victor Font Consulting Group, LLC. We are the premiere Web and Application development company located in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park area. There are three plugins that we install on every WordPress powered site we build. We consider them essential. They are:
WordFence is the most comprehensive WordPress security plugin available. It includes an endpoint firewall and malware scanner that were built from the ground up to protect WordPress sites. The plugin’s “Threat Defense Feed” arms Wordfence with the newest firewall rules, malware signatures and malicious IP addresses it needs to keep websites safe. Wordfence is available in both free and premium versions. We highly recommend the premium license that costs $99/year.
✓ Formidable Forms
Formidable Forms by Strategy 11 is arguably the best form building plugin on the planet. We’ve tried them all and keep coming back to Formidable as our go-to form building plugin. There has never been a requirement that we haven’t been able meet using Formidable; and we’ve built some of the most complex WordPress applications imaginable with it. Formidable is available in both free and premium versions. We love Formidable Forms so much, that we built a center of excellence website dedicated to it at https://formidable-masterminds.com/. We also run the Formidable Masterminds group on Facebook.
✓ WP Rocket
WP Rocket is a premium caching plugin that requires minimal configuration to substantially speed up any WordPress powered site. Site speed is essential for attracting and retaining new customers. If your site takes too long to load, visitors will quickly click away and not even bother reading your content. WP Rocket costs $49/year for 1-website.
This plugin helps reduce image file sizes and it’s been a game changer. I like to run a fats site so always spent time optimizing images. However, this does it all without any manual work. Honestly has probably saved me 100+ hours in the last 12 months.
I’d be surprised to find any WordPress user that doesn’t already have JetPack installed. However, it’s worth mentioning because I didn’t realize until recently how many things it can actually do. JetPack can alert you when your site is down, can protect against spam, login attacks, and malware, and can act as your primary site backup tool. Not to mention its CDN, lazy loading capabilities, ads feature, and SEO tools. It’s so incredibly comprehensive and the ability to roll all of these items into one plugin should not be taken for granted.
✓ Yoast SEO
The great thing about Yoast is that you can handle a lot of your SEO needs on a post-by-post basis, straight from the content editor. It’s really nice to not have to switch to a different screen just to enter your meta title and description for search engines. Plus, Yoast can tell you (with a green, yellow, or red light) whether or not your post is optimized correctly.
Well, I am a passionate blogger and I have built my blog on WordPress. Below is my recommendation on 3 must used WordPress Plugins
✓ Social Warfare
It is a complete social sharing plugin for WordPress. It helps boost social shares, increase engagement, traffic, and improve conversions. Best part is that it is light-weight and is easy to use. This plugin has over 1000,000+ downloads according to Warfare Plugins. On a scale of 1 to 5 I would rate it a 4.5.
✓ SEO Yoast
This is the best plugin for WordPress SEO. This plugin too is easy to use and gives reliable SEO recommendations. The best part of SEO Yoast is that it automatically creates XML sitemaps, which is super important for SEO. This plugin is downloaded over 202 million times according to wikipedia. On a scale of 1 to 5 I would rate it 4.5.
✓ Really Simple SSL
Having your website SSL proof is super important now, since its a crucial factor in Google ranking. This plugin is super light-weight and helps to make the website, SSL proof. This plugin is also free to use.
On a scale of 1 to 5 I rate it 4.5
WordPress Plugins FAQ
Which WordPress plugin is the best?
Our experts highly recommend Yoast SEO, WP Rocket and Wordfence. Read our article for the full list.
What are WordPress plugins?
Wordpress plugins extend the functionality of WordPress. They can add new features to your website that are normally not available without the use of a web developer.
Where can I find WordPress plugins?
Wordpress plugins are available via the WordPress Plugin Directory.
Are WordPress plugins free?
Most plugins that are available are free, or have a free starter version at least. Sometimes, you will have to upgrade to a (paid) Pro version to get access to all the features of the plugin.