A large number of available WordPress plugins is one of the primary reasons why WordPress is a highly customizable content management system (CMS). They help to extend the functionality of WordPress sites without the need for coding.
However, choosing WordPress plugins that are exactly suitable for your needs can be overwhelming since there are over 59,000 choices on the WordPress plugin directory.
This article lists the 10 best WordPress plugins to narrow down your options. They cover the fundamental functions of a good WordPress website, including security, design, and performance.
Elementor is a popular page builder plugin. It has a drag-and-drop editor that enables users to design their WordPress pages easily.
For a faster web design process, Elementor offers pre-made page templates for various website types, such as blogs, portfolios, and online stores.
This plugin also provides advanced design features, such as animations, custom CSS, and mobile responsive templates, helping users make a truly unique WordPress site.
Elementor premium users can access the pop-up and form builder with attractive templates in various formats. With these features, you won’t need to install other forms or pop-up plugins, saving hosting resources and simplifying the lead generation process.
Price: Freemium with paid plans starting at $49/year.
AIOSEO is one of the best WordPress extensions to help users optimize their WordPress blog or website for search engines. Its TruSEO tool provides an on-page SEO checklist to attract traffic, such as adding title tags, meta descriptions, and keywords.
Meanwhile, the SEO Audit Checklist can analyze an entire website, detecting critical errors and providing actionable suggestions to boost your SEO.
Compared to the popular Yoast SEO, this SEO plugin outperforms many factors. AIOSEO has a neat, beginner-friendly interface, comprehensive features, and more affordable paid plans.
Price: Freemium with premium plans starting at $49.60/year.
3. Everest Forms
Everest Forms is an easy-to-use form builder plugin for WordPress. It has a drag-and-drop editor and pre-designed templates that you can import with one click, from a contact form to booking and donation forms.
Moreover, users can add as many fields as they want and create several columns to make the forms scannable. Free plugin users can also integrate spam protection from reputable tools like Google’s reCAPTCHA and hCaptcha.
If you purchase the premium version, this popular WordPress plugin enables you to customize the form design, process payments, and receive files from visitors.
Price: Freemium with paid plans starting at $48.30/year.
Sendinblue is one of the most popular WordPress plugins for email marketing, with over 100,000 active installations.
Create custom subscription forms easily and display them in any part of your WordPress website, including posts and sidebars.
WordPress users can also utilize its drag-and-drop builder to design attractive newsletters and SMTP to enhance deliverability. The free version lets users collect unlimited contacts and send up to 300 emails per day.
It’s also possible to automate tasks to save time, such as sending a birthday offer or a welcome email after someone joins your list. To help measure your email marketing success, this plugin offers a real-time report dashboard showing essential metrics like open and click rates.
Price: Freemium with premium plans starting at $25/month.
MonsterInsights provides users with a simple way to connect their WordPress website with a Google Analytics account.
This plugin lets site owners see statistics directly from the WordPress dashboard, including page sessions, bounce rates, and user devices. You can also check audience demographics, such as age and gender.
Premium users can track affiliate links and unlock eCommerce reports, showing crucial store statistics like total revenue, conversion rates, and average order value.
This tracking tool works with popular eCommerce plugins, including WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, and MemberPress.
Price: Freemium with paid plans starting at $99.50/year.
Akismet protects your website from spam comments. It will automatically filter comments that look suspicious, then send them to a queue for you to check via the WordPress admin panel’s Comments section.
The spam will stay in the folder for 15 days before the tool deletes them. Alternatively, choose the discard feature if you want to permanently remove spam messages right away.
You will need to sign up and activate this plugin to get its API key. The key is free for personal blogs, while the paid ones are available for business and commercial websites.
Price: Freemium with premium packages starting at $8.33/month.
During the first half of 2022, approximately 2.8 billion websites experienced malware attacks. Therefore, installing a security plugin like Wordfence is important.
This plugin covers essential security features even with the free version, such as:
- Web application firewall – identifies and blocks malicious traffic.
- Malware scanner – checks core files, themes, plugins, bad URLs, and malicious redirects.
- Login security – limits login attempts and provides two-factor authentication and CAPTCHA to stop bots and unauthorized users from gaining access.
If you purchase the premium version, this security plugin offers real-time firewall and malware signature updates and checks if a website blocks your site or IP for malicious activities.
Price: Freemium with paid plans starting at $99/year.
WordPress can be vulnerable to server crashes, hacks, and security flaws. While security measures like firewalls and malware scanners are necessary, backups are just as crucial. They enable the copying of files and databases to prevent data loss.
A popular WordPress backup plugin is UpdraftPlus. It saves and restores backups directly to cloud storage. Some cloud options for free users are Google Drive, Dropbox, and UpdraftVault. Premium users have more storage destinations, including OneDrive and WebDAV.
This plugin also lets all users set up automatic backup schedules, from specific hours to monthly backups.
Price: Freemium with premium plans starting at $70/year.
9. LiteSpeed Cache
Caching refers to the process of storing a website’s file copies in a temporary storage location, so users can access them more quickly when they revisit the site.
LiteSpeed Cache is a free WordPress plugin that can help you with this. This caching plugin will display the cache status and let users enable advanced features, such as clearing cache from specific URLs.
If you want to make eCommerce WordPress websites, WooCommerce is an excellent plugin option. It offers all the necessary eCommerce functionalities, including product listings and order management.
This WordPress eCommerce plugin also comes with a quick setup wizard, guiding you to build an online store step-by-step. It integrates seamlessly with WordPress so that you can manage products, orders, and reports directly from the admin panel.
Additionally, WooCommerce accepts various payment methods, from major credit cards to digital money and bank transfers.
Price: Free, with optional free and paid extensions.
Adding more functionality to WordPress sites is easy, thanks to the various plugins available. All that’s left is to choose the best ones for your needs.
To recap, here are the 10 must-have WordPress plugins:
- Elementor – design web pages without coding.
- AIOSEO – analyze your website’s SEO performance.
- Everest Forms – create various forms in just a few clicks.
- Sendinblue – send newsletters directly from the WordPress admin panel.
- MonsterInsights – track your website performance.
- Akismet – filter spam messages.
- Wordfence – protect your website from cyberattacks.
- UpdraftPlus – back up your site data.
- LiteSpeed Cache – store a copy of website content for future requests.
- WooCommerce – perfect for online stores.
There you have it – the best free and premium WordPress plugins to help improve your site’s functionality. If you have any other WordPress plugins to recommend, drop them in the comments section below.