Before we dive into the Top 20 WordPress Plugins, as always, let’s start with the basics.
What is a WordPress Plugin?
A plugin is a piece of software that can be added to a WordPress website. In simple terms, WordPress plugins are like apps for your website. They enhance the functionality or features of your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. Apart from the free plugins, there is a whole range of paid plugins too. While this article is being written, there are 54,576 plugins. (WordPress.org)
While there is no limit to the number of plugins you can add to your website, it boils down to the quality of the plugins. A word of caution. Do consider looking at the reviews, recommendations and the number of installations. This gives you a clear indication if the plugin is one that is used by others or not. Poorly coded plugins could slow down your website. So, it’s in the best interest of your website that you review the plugins before downloading. Also, do check out if your plugin is compatible with your theme.
How do install a plugin?
Once you are on your WordPress dashboard, you will notice a link for ‘Plugins’ on the left-hand side. You could either view the installed plugins or add a new plugin. Click on ‘Add New’.
For example, let’s search for ‘SEO’ in the keyword search area.
You will then notice a number of SEO plugins.
As mentioned earlier, do pay attention to the ratings, “Active Installations” and the Compatibility with your version of WordPress and Theme.
Once you have decided upon the Plugin, click on “Install Now” and then “Activate”. Once activated, you will notice the plugin both in the list of your installed plugins as well as in the left-hand navigation menus.
Now, let’s get into the Top 20 WordPress Plugins For Your Website
Top 20 WordPress Plugins For Your Website
Contact Form 7 can manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and so on.
YOAST SEO: THE #1 WORDPRESS SEO PLUGIN
Since 2008, Yoast SEO has helped millions of websites worldwide to rank higher in search engines. This WordPress SEO plugin helps you with your search engine optimization. Are you not entirely convinced? Yoast SEO is the favorite WordPress SEO plugin for millions of users worldwide!
As Yoast’s mission is SEO for Everyone, the plugin’s users range from the bakery around the corner to some of the most popular sites on the planet.
Akismet checks your comments and contact form submissions against our global database of spam to prevent your site from publishing malicious content. You can review the comment spam it catches on your blog’s “Comments” admin screen.
Major features in Akismet include:
- Automatically checks all comments and filters out the ones that look like spam.
- Each comment has a status history, so you can easily see which comments were caught or cleared by Akismet and which were spammed or unspammed by a moderator.
- URLs are shown in the comment body to reveal hidden or misleading links.
- Moderators can see the number of approved comments for each user.
- A discard feature that outright blocks the worst spam, saving you disk space and speeding up your site.
Security, performance, and site management: the best way to WordPress is with Jetpack.
- 24/7 SITE SECURITY
Jetpack is your site’s security detail, guarding you against brute-force attacks and unauthorized logins. Basic protection is always free, while premium plans add expanded backup and automated fixes.
- PEAK PERFORMANCE
Activate site accelerator tools and watch your page load times decrease — we’ll optimize your images and serve them from our own powerful global network, and speed up your mobile site to reduce bandwidth usage (and save money!).
- EFFORTLESS SITE MANAGEMENT
Create and customize your WordPress site, optimize it for visitors and revenue, and enjoy watching your stats tick up. Built it, share it, and watch it grow.
WooCommerce is a flexible, open-source eCommerce solution built on WordPress. Whether you’re launching a business, taking an existing brick and mortar store online, or designing sites for clients you can get started quickly and build exactly the store you want.
Activate the free WooCommerce plugin on a new or existing WordPress site, follow the optional guided tour, and set up a new store in minutes with:
- Product, Cart, and Checkout pages
- Secure payments by credit card and alternatives
- Configurable shipping options, including flat rates and label printing
- Integrate content and commerce across your site via modular blocks
- Automated tax calculations
- Google Analytics, MailChimp, and Facebook integration
- Central store dashboard with key metrics, and more.
Beyond the basics, WooCommerce is fully customizable and extendable:
- Choose a design to suit your brand and industry.
- Enhance your store with free and paid extensions: add features and integrate with local and global eCommerce web services.
- Inspect and modify any aspect of the core plugin code.
- Leverage hooks and filters to modify functions.
- Build on top of the REST API and webhooks.
WooCommerce is built to allow store managers to run an eCommerce site themselves, no web developer needed. There is also a free WooCommerce mobile app (Android and iOS) for store management on the go.
The most advanced frontend drag & drop page builder. A page builder that delivers high-end page designs and advanced capabilities, never before seen on WordPress.
Features of Elementor Page Builder
- FASTER. MUCH FASTER
Instant drag & drop page builder, instant live edit, instant page load. The speed of Elementor is not matched by any other page builder, free or paid. This makes the interface fun and easy to work with, as well as reduces the time it takes to design.
- LIVE DESIGN. TRULY LIVE
With the Elementor page builder, you edit the page and simultaneously see exactly how it looks like. Elementor features live design & inline editing, so the whole process of writing and designing is done directly on the page, with no need to press update or go to preview mode.
- SURPRISES YOU WON’T SEE ANYWHERE ELSE
With Elementor’s unique features, you can create websites that have that certain ‘designer touch’. Among our page builder features are Box Shadows, Background Overlays, Hover Effects, Headline Effects, Animations, Shape Dividers, Gradient Backgrounds and much more.
- PRE-DESIGNED TEMPLATES & BLOCKS
Choose from 100+ beautiful full page WordPress templates and customize them to make them your own. You can also build your page by choosing from 300+ Blocks. Blocks are pre-designed section templates that can be easily combined into any page. Blocks include a variety of categories: services, testimonials, call to action and more.
- MOBILE FIRST. MOBILE EDITING
Elementor Page Builder comes with an exclusive toolset, that lets you create truly a responsive website in a whole new and visual way.
- UNDO / REDO & REVISION HISTORY
The page builder includes undo and redo for any action you make. Click on Ctrl / Cmd + Z, or browse through the complete list of actions. Want to go back even further? Switch to Revisions to view a complete list of all earlier saved versions of the page.
- CANVAS. A BLANK PAGE TEMPLATE FOR LANDING PAGES
Design your entire page in the page builder. No header, no footer, just Elementor. This is perfect for landing pages and coming soon pages. Canvas works on any theme and lets you get rid of the header area so you get a blank template to work on.
- BUILT-IN MAINTENANCE MODE & UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Need to get your site offline for maintenance? Use Elementor page builder’s built-in Maintenance Mode & Coming Soon feature to show your visitors an under construction / coming soon page.
THE MOST POPULAR WORDPRESS FIREWALL & SECURITY SCANNER
Wordfence includes an endpoint firewall and malware scanner that was built from the ground up to protect WordPress. Our Threat Defense Feed arms Wordfence with the newest firewall rules, malware signatures and malicious IP addresses it needs to keep your website safe. Rounded out by 2FA and a suite of additional features, Wordfence is the most comprehensive WordPress security solution available.
Features of the free plugin
- Web Application Firewall identifies and blocks malicious traffic. Built and maintained by a large team focused 100% on WordPress security.
- Protects your site at the endpoint, enabling deep integration with WordPress. Unlike cloud alternatives, it does not break encryption, cannot be bypassed and cannot leak data.
- Integrated malware scanner blocks requests that include malicious code or content.
- Protection from brute force attacks by limiting login attempts.
- Malware scanner checks core files, themes, and plugins for malware, bad URLs, backdoors, SEO spam, malicious redirects and code injections.
- Compares your core files, themes, and plugins with what is in the WordPress.org repository, checking their integrity and reporting any changes to you.
- Repair files that have changed by overwriting them with a pristine, original version. Delete any files that don’t belong easily within the Wordfence interface.
- Checks your site for known security vulnerabilities and alerts you to any issues. It also alerts you to potential security issues when a plugin has been closed or abandoned.
- Checks your content safety by scanning file contents, posts and comments for dangerous URLs and suspicious content.
- Two-factor authentication (2FA), one of the most secure forms of remote system authentication available via any TOTP-based authenticator app or service.
- Login Page CAPTCHA stops bots from logging in.
- Disable or add 2FA to XML-RPC.
- Block logins for administrators using known compromised passwords.
THE ORIGINAL WORDPRESS SEO PLUGIN, DOWNLOADED OVER 50,000,000 TIMES SINCE 2007.
Use All in One SEO Pack to optimize your WordPress site for SEO. It’s easy and works out of the box for beginners, and has advanced features and an API for developers.
Contact Form by WPForms – Drag & Drop Form Builder for WordPress
We believe that you shouldn’t have to hire a developer to create a WordPress contact form. That’s why we built WPForms, a drag & drop WordPress form builder that’s EASY and POWERFUL.
WPForms allows you to create beautiful contact forms, feedback form, subscription forms, payment forms, and other types of forms for your site in minutes, not hours!
At WPForms, user experience is our #1 priority. Our pre-built form templates and workflows make WPForms the most beginner-friendly contact form plugin in the market.
WPForms is a 100% mobile responsive contact form solution, so your contact forms will always look great on all devices (mobile, tablet, laptop, and desktop).
WPForms’ contact forms are also highly optimized for web and server performance because we understand the importance of speed when it comes to SEO, marketing, and conversion. We can honestly say that WPForms is one of the fastest WordPress contact form builder plugins in the world.
We believe that it’s easy to double your traffic and sales when you know exactly how people find and use your website. MonsterInsights shows you the stats that matter, so you can grow your business with confidence.
With over 2 million active installs, MonsterInsights is the most popular Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. At MonsterInsights, we make it “effortless” to properly connect your WordPress site with Google Analytics, so you can start making data-driven decisions to grow your business.
Unlike other Google Analytics plugins, MonsterInsights allow you to enable all advanced Google analytics tracking features with just a few clicks (no need to hire a developer).
This plugin exports your WordPress website including the database, media files, plugins and themes with no technical knowledge required. Upload your site to a different location with a drag and drop into WordPress. There is an option to apply an unlimited number of find and replace operations on your database during the export process.
The plugin will also fix any serialization problems that occur during the find/replace operation. Mobile device compatible: All in One WP Plugin is the first plugin to offer true mobile experience on WordPress versions 3.3 and up.
This plugin generates static HTML files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After an HTML file is generated your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.
The static HTML files will be served to the vast majority of your users:
- Users who are not logged in
- Users who have not left a comment on your blog
- Or users who have not viewed a password protected post
99% of your visitors will be served static HTML files. One cached file can be served thousands of times. Other visitors will be served custom cached files tailored to their visit. If they are logged in or have left comments those details will be displayed and cached for them.
This Google Analytics for WordPress plugin enables you to track your site using the latest Google Analytics tracking code and allows you to view key Google Analytics stats in your WordPress install. In addition to a set of general Google Analytics stats, in-depth Page reports and in-depth Post reports allow further segmentation of your analytics data, providing performance details for each post or page from your website. The Google Analytics tracking code is fully customizable through options and hooks, allowing advanced data collection like custom dimensions and events.
Popup Maker™ is the best popup plugin WordPress has to offer. It is incredibly versatile & flexible. Bend it to create any type of popup, modal, or content overlay for your WordPress website. Easily create email opt-in popups, contact form popups, announcements, EU cookie notices, slide-ins, & more. Create unlimited popups of every type you need and customize every facet of each of your popups from theme and position, to targeting and cookies.
Sucuri Inc. is a globally recognized authority in all matters related to website security, with a specialization in WordPress Security.
The Sucuri Security WordPress plugin is free to all WordPress users. It is a security suite meant to complement your existing security posture. It offers its users a set of security features for their website, each designed to have a positive effect on their security posture:
- Security Activity Auditing
- File Integrity Monitoring
- Remote Malware Scanning
- Blacklist Monitoring
- Effective Security Hardening
- Post-Hack Security Actions
- Security Notifications
- Website Firewall (premium)
Insert Headers and Footers is a simple plugin that lets you insert code like Google Analytics, custom CSS, Facebook Pixel, and more to your WordPress site header and footer. No need to edit your theme files!
The simple interface of the Insert Headers and Footers plugin gives you one place where you can insert scripts, rather than dealing with dozens of different plugins.
FEATURES OF INSERT HEADERS AND FOOTERS
- Quick to set up
- Simple to insert scripts
- Insert header code and/or footer code
- Add Google Analytics code to any theme
- Add custom CSS across themes
- Insert Facebook pixel code
Ninja Forms is the ultimate FREE contact form creation tool for WordPress. Build forms within minutes using our simple, yet powerful, drag-and-drop form creator. For beginners, quickly and easily design complex forms with absolutely no code. For developers, utilize built-in hooks, filters, and even custom field templates to do whatever you need at any step in the form building or submission using Ninja Forms as a framework.
Features of Ninja Forms include, but are not limited to:
- No Limitations on the number of forms, fields, emails, actions, or submissions that can be included.
- Give the user additional information with a success message or redirect them elsewhere after they complete a form.
- Email form data to administrators and/or users every time a form is processed.
- Dedicated fields for emails, dates utilizing a date picker, phone numbers, addresses and more.
- Validate required fields and define specific entry formats with custom input masks
- Manage, Edit, and Export form user submissions from the convenience of the WordPress dashboard
- Export and Import forms and favorite fields
- Several anti-spam field options including Google reCaptcha, Akismet, question/response fields, and honeypot fields by default.
- Form submission via AJAX without page refreshes.
- Increased functionality and integrations when using one of our many add-on extensions.
AWARD-WINNING IMAGE OPTIMIZER
Smush has been benchmarked and tested number one for speed and quality and is the award-winning, back-to-back proven crowd favorite image optimization plugin for WordPress.
- Lossless Compression – Strip unused data without affecting image quality
- Lazy Loader – Defer offscreen images with the flip of a switch
- Bulk Smush – Optimize up to 50 images with one click
- Image Resizing – Set a max width and height and large images will scale down as they are being compressed
- Incorrect Size Image Detection – Quickly locate images that are slowing down your site
- Directory Smush – Optimize images even if they are not located in the media library
- Automated Optimization – Asynchronously auto-smush your attachments for super fast compression on upload
- Unlimited & Free – Optimize all of your images up to 5MB in size forever (no daily, monthly, or annual caps)
- Gutenberg Block Integration – View all Smush stats directly in image blocks
- Multisite Compatible – Both global and individual
- Multisite settings Process All Your Files – Smush will process PNG, JPEG and GIF files for optimum results
- Super Servers – Smush images with no slowdown using WPMU DEV’s fast, reliable Smush API
- And many, many, more!
This plugin helps you grow your MailChimp lists and write better newsletters through various methods. You can create good looking opt-in forms or integrate with any existing form on your websites, like your comment, contact or checkout form.
Pretty Links enables you to shorten links using your own domain name (as opposed to using tinyurl.com, bit.ly, or any other link shrinking service)! In addition to creating clean links, Pretty Links tracks each hit on your URL and provides a full, detailed report of where the hit came from, the browser, os and host. Pretty Links is a killer plugin for people who want to clean up their affiliate links, track clicks from emails, their links on Twitter to come from their own domain, or generally increase the reach of their website by spreading these links on forums or comments on other blogs.