Karol Krol

Staff Writer

What would a WordPress website be without a handful of the very best WordPress plugins installed on it?

One of the main reasons why WordPress grew to be the most popular website engine on the web is the plugin ecosystem that grew alongside. There are literally thousands of plugins available. But how do you pinpoint only the best WordPress plugins – the kind of plugins that will take your site to the next level? That’s what we’re here for!

In this roundup, you’ll find 25 of the best WordPress plugins that the market has to offer. We tell you what’s so cool about them and why they’re an absolute must-have.


We’re going to divide this list into a couple of categories:
  1. Best SEO plugins
  2. Best multipurpose plugins
  3. Best security and data plugins
  4. Best performance plugins
  5. Best content plugins
  6. Best developmentplugins
  7. Plugins for extra blocks

Ready? Let’s start.

Best WordPress SEO plugins

Rank Math

WordPress plugins for SEO: Rank Math

Rank Math is a newcomer to the SEO plugins space, but it has been making its mark rather quickly. As the name suggests, Rank Math introduces a game-like process to help you optimize your content for the search engines. Each post gets ranked on a scale of 0-100 based on its level of optimization.

Apart from that, the plugin comes with built-in SEO modules that you can turn on/off based on what your needs are. Among other things, Rank Math can integrate your site with Search Console, help you with local SEO, WooCommerce SEO, image SEO, and more.

Yoast SEO

WordPress plugins for SEO: Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is the most popular WordPress SEO plugin and one of the most popular WordPress plugins overall. Currently installed on more than 5 million(!) WordPress sites.

Arguably, it’s a bit easier-to-use solution than Rank Math. It comes nicely preconfigured and operates based on showing you just a simple SEO recommendations list for the keyword that you want to target. It tells you how to craft your page title, meta description, and other elements.

Pro-tip: Beginner? Use Yoast. Advanced? Check out Rank Math.

Best Multipurpose Plugins

Jetpack

Multipurpose WordPress plugins: Jetpack

When it comes to free WordPress plugins, Jetpack is one that’s hard to classify into the categories we have in this roundup. Let us just list some of its features: security improvement, backups, performance improvement, real-time site stats, social media sharing, lazy loading, related posts, contact forms, downtime monitoring, activity logging, marketing tools, and more.

The one caveat here is that not all of these features are free. Either way, if you want to take care of many individual things with just one plugin, Jetpack is a great solution and everything a blogger could need.

WooCommerce

WordPress plugin for online store: WooCommerce

WooCommerce is the tool to use if you’re considering starting an eCommerce store on WordPress. There’s no other better solution to give you an all-in-one complete package of features that every online store needs.

WooCommerce doesn’t come with any limitations as to what you can sell and how much of it. You can also accept payments online through multiple payment gateways (PayPal, Stripe, and more).

On top of all that, WooCommerce is quite user-friendly – letting you focus on taking care of your products instead of having to worry about making your eCommerce store work from a technical point of view.

Best Security and Data Plugins

Wordfence Security

WordPress plugins for security: Wordfence

WordPress being the most popular website platform means that, unfortunately, it’s also the most frequently hacked platform. WordPress has a big target on its back, but this doesn’t mean that we can’t mitigate some risks and keep attackers at bay. This is where Wordfence comes into play – it’s the best security plugin for WordPress.

Wordfence can do a lot for your WordPress security, and most of it happens on autopilot. First, it puts up a firewall that protects your site from login break-ins and other common attacks. Then, there are security scans that you can perform to attack-proof your site even more. It will also get rid of malware and protect your WordPress users.

Another viable alternative: Sucuri Security.

UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore

WordPress plugins for backups: UpdraftPlus

The problem with many WordPress backup plugins is that they come with sneaky paywalls. As in, you can back up your site just fine, but then when you try to restore it, you find out that it’s not as simple. There’s no such problem with UpdraftPlus. This plugin allows you to make backups of your website easily and then restore them just as smoothly.

You can set those backups to happen automatically every day or every week. UpdraftPlus also integrates with cloud services like Dropbox for storing your backup archives.

Duplicator

WordPress plugins for migration: Duplicator

As the name gives away, Duplicator is a tailor-made solution to let you take your site and duplicate it on another server. For instance, you can use this plugin when migrating your site to another host, building staging sites, or even making local copies of your site for development.

The main strength of Duplicator is that it’s fail-proof. It works every time, no matter how big your site is or what type of content you have on it. The export packages have the form of “installable web scripts,” so they’re also straightforward to use – plus there are tutorials to help you out.

WP-Sweep

WordPress plugins for maintenance: WP-Sweep

WP-Sweep is a database-maintenance plugin. It takes a look into your site’s database and optimizes anything that’s out of line.

Some of the things it’ll do include cleaning revisions, erasing auto-drafts, deleting spam and unwanted comments, broken links, fixing post metadata, plus several other similar operations. Letting this plugin run through your site every once in a while is an excellent idea.

You’ll also be happy to know that there’s no paid version of this plugin, so you get access to all features in the free WordPress.org version.

Really Simple SSL

WordPress plugins for SSL: Really Simple SSL

These days, most web hosts offer free SSL certificates, which is great since it makes the web safer overall. However, to actually be able to use that free certificate, you have to enable your site to integrate it. This is what the Really Simple SSL plugin does.

Using it is simple and doesn’t involve any server-level work. As soon as you install the plugin, you’re going to be taken by the hand through the process of getting that SSL of yours to work.

Best WordPress Performance Plugins

WP Fastest Cache

WordPress plugins for caching: WP Fastest Cache

Caching is a fairly complicated (and boring) concept for those who aren’t really excited by server- and browser-level optimizations. Overall, what it comes down to is that caching makes your site faster by displaying the same content to consecutive visitors of your site, instead of generating that content on the fly each time.

The specifics as to how that happens are, as we said, complicated and boring, but what’s important is that the usage is quite simple. WP Fastest Cache comes with good out-of-the-box settings to let you take full advantage of caching and improve your load times.

WP Rocket

WordPress plugins for caching: WP Rocket

WP Rocket is another caching plugin on our list. For a number of years now, it has been the gold standard for WordPress caching, and it’s delivering some of the best results you can get.

The only reason we’re not including it above WP Fastest Cache is that there’s no free version of WP Rocket. So, if you’re willing to invest in caching to improve WordPress performance, get WP Rocket.

  • Free version: Not available
  • Pro version: (pricing starts from $49/year)

Another viable alternative: W3 Total Cache.

Optimole

WordPress plugins for image optimization: Optimole

Optimole is the next generation of an image optimization plugin. Compared to the previous such solutions (like Smush), this one adds new features and moves all computing into the cloud.

In short, Optimole takes a look at all the images that you have on your site, optimizes them, makes them take up less disk space (without any loss of quality), and then serves them through a CDN (a network of servers that can deliver media files quickly).

As a result, your site loads faster, and you’re consuming less of your server resources. This usually means that you’re also spending less on hosting. Optimole works pretty much on autopilot once you install it.

Best WordPress Content Plugins

Elementor

WordPress plugins for content: Elementor

Elementor is the most popular page builder plugin of them all. Currently in use on more than 5 million websites.

It lets you create unique (and beautiful) landing page designs without any coding or actual web design work involved. There’s a simple drag-and-drop interface that’s entirely visual and provides a good user experience. Just take any content element you like, drag it onto the page canvas, and adjust until you’re happy with the result. You can also use WordPress widgets as your content elements.

Elementor works with any WordPress theme.

Beaver Builder

WordPress plugins for content: Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder is another frontend page builder plugin that you can use to do pretty much the same things you’d use Elementor for.

That said, we’re including it here as a great alternative to Elementor if you end up not liking its interface or whatever other aspect of it. Also, the premium version of Beaver Builder is cheaper to use on multiple sites than Elementor’s.

Beaver Builder works with any WordPress theme as well.

WPForms

WordPress plugins for contact forms: WPForms

Your WordPress website will likely need a contact form. How else are you going to enable your readers/subscribers to reach you directly?

There are many contact form plugins available out there that offer the needed functionality, but WPForms is one of the more modern ones.

If what you need is just a simple contact form, you can get that out of the box with a minimal setup with WPForms. However, whenever you need a more complex form builder that can serve other purposes (like opt-in forms for your email list or pop-up forms), WPForms has your back as well.

TranslatePress

WordPress plugins for translation: TranslatePress

In its native version, WordPress is not very friendly toward multilingual websites. The thing is that if you want to publish more than one language version of your content, you’re going to need a plugin to get the job done. TranslatePress is that plugin!

TranslatePress comes with an easy-to-use interface that integrates with the standard customization interface in WordPress and allows you to translate your content piece by piece.

Sassy Social Share

WordPress plugins for social sharing: Sassy Social Share

Having some social media buttons on your site is a very good idea. They make sharing your content much more convenient for your readers. Sassy Social Share is a simple solution that gives you that functionality.

The plugin supports all of the most popular social networks, displays your current share counts, and lets you pick from a handful of button styles.

Better Click To Tweet

WordPress plugins for social sharing: Better Click To Tweet

“Click to tweet” social sharing buttons are a new way of letting your readers tweet about your content. Instead of the standard “blue bird” button, you get a nicely-designed box that displays a pre-written tweet. You decide what the contents of that tweet are – you can put whatever text there, emojis, and @mention other people.

Better Click To Tweet is currently the best plugin to get this functionality.

Cookie Notice & Compliance for GDPR / CCPA

WordPress plugins for GDPR and CCPA: Cookie Notice

If you’re targeting your website to readers in Europe, then you need to comply with current laws and regulations in the realm of “data privacy.” What those regulations come to in practice(*) is that your site should display a “cookie notice” to your EU-based readers. This plugin lets you do just that.

After installing it, you can enable a cookie notice either based on a template or write your own.

(*) This is not legal advice.

Akismet

WordPress plugins for comment spam: Akismet

Akismet is one of the oldest plugins on this list but also one of the most useful ones. Its job is simple – to not let any spam comment through. Akismet is pretty effective at that.

The great thing about it is that you don’t have to do anything more to it other than simply installing the plugin on your site. The daily filtering and spam prevention all happen on autopilot.

Best WordPress Development Plugins

Regenerate Thumbnails

WordPress plugins for thumbnails: Regenerate Thumbnails

Regenerate Thumbnails is one of those small plugins that quietly sit in the background and only come out to do some work every once in a while. However, they’re still invaluable when it comes to the quality of that work.

What this plugin does is simple; it looks at the correct image sizes set in your current theme and then regenerates all your thumbnails to match. For instance, whenever you switch your WordPress theme, use this plugin to reset your images to look right.

Advanced Custom Fields

WordPress plugins for custom fields: Advanced Custom Fields

Advanced Custom Fields – referred to as ACF by people in the know – is a must-have plugin if you’re planning on custom-coding any original customizations on your site.

ACF lets you add custom fields to different areas of your WordPress website – can be your posts, pages, users, or any post types. What those custom fields can then do is a blank canvas, really – as in, they will do whatever you want them to do. ACF also makes it easy to display custom field data on any page of your site.

Code Snippets

WordPress plugins for snippets: Code Snippets

Code Snippets is a very clever plugin. The main idea of it is very simple. It allows you to add custom code snippets to your site, customize them, and also toggle them on/off when you need them. Those snippets can be anything – HTML, CSS, JavaScript, XML, shortcodes, PHP, etc.

For instance, if you want to add a new image style to apply to all images in your WordPress blog posts, doing this directly in your theme’s source files would be counterproductive. As soon as you updated that theme, your changes would vanish. However, if you do those tweaks through Code Snippets, they will continue to work.

Adding your Google Analytics code via Code Snippets is also a great idea and saves you the need to install a separate analytics plugin for that (like MonsterInsights).

WordPress Plugins for Extra Blocks

Atomic Blocks

WordPress plugins for additional block options: Atomic Blocks

A while back, WordPress underwent a complete overhaul in terms of the interface used for creating new posts and pages. In short, things are “block-based” now. This means that instead of inserting content via a classic MS-Word-like interface, you now select from a set of available content blocks and add those to your page instead.

The only problem is that there are still not that many blocks available in WordPress out the gate. Plugins such as Atomic Blocks aim to solve this by delivering a pack of additional blocks that you might find useful.

There’s a lot of interesting things in this pack. You’ll find layout blocks, newsletter blocks for email marketing and lead generation, call-to-action blocks, customizable buttons, and more.

Gutenberg Blocks and Template Library by Otter

WordPress plugins for additional block options: Otter

The concept of Otter is very similar to Atomic Blocks. It is your pack of additional blocks so that you can create more diverse content and stand out from the competition.

What’s interesting about Otter specifically is that it also comes with its own template library. The library is where you can find ready-made designs that put together two or more elements to create reusable sections for your pages. This is a great way of building things like headers, testimonial blocks, pricing tables, and more.

To Sum Up: Your Best WordPress Plugins

We hope you’ve found some interesting plugins on this list and that they will help you build a WordPress site that both you and your audience will love!

If we missed your favorite plugin, don’t hesitate to share what that is in the comments below.


Previous Chapter: How to Make a Website
Next Chapter: Customizing WordPress 101
Next Chapter: How to Use WordPress Editor