Unless you are completely new to WordPress, you definitely have come across a few Best WordPress Plugins posts already. In that case, why should you bother reading another one?
Well, unlike most other lists, I have made this list based on practical experience. I have taken the time to compare the features of various plugins and find out which ones offer the most values for you.
Each of these plugins are incredibly popular. They are used by millions of users all over the world. That means you can easily get support in case of any difficulties.
If you are starting a brand new WordPress site or looking for the essential WordPress plugins, I recommend you to check this list out. Give these plugins a try and see for yourself.
- 1 Optin
- 2 SEO Plugins
- 3 Security
- 4 Backup
- 5 Contact Form
- 6 Social Media Sharing
- 7 Caching Plugin
- 8 Analytics
- 9 Misc
This is the next premium solution offered by the ElegantThemes. Personally, I’ve always thought to buy this plugin, but it doesn’t come individually. Rather, you get it in the whole package with their premium themes and plugins. This is the only downside of going with Bloom, but if you’ve no issues with that, then you’re all set to get a fully functional, elegant looking and perfectly coded email subscription popup plugin. Don’t forget, that you’re also getting premium themes in the same package.
After knowing its worst part, let’s know the best one. It supports templates, which makes it highly customizable. You can either choose a template from its own store list or create and upload yours custom one too. Visually, the plugin interface is stunning, which makes it both easy to use, easy to remember in future, and completely time-saving. It supports almost every kind of pop-up which has found to be converting highly.
As the name suggests, this is the plugin which is literally a monster among opt-ins. Whatever feature you can think of to be included inside, is already available and the developers are always keen to include new ones too. Most importantly, the design layouts are gorgeous and elegant enough to grab visitor’s attention and force them to subscribe or convert.
You can set the full page pop-up, or flyin at the bottom, or flying from the left, or a sidebar pop-up at the bottom, or after the post widget, etc. All these options are available to anyone who has bought the rights to use it. You’re not only allowed to set your own texts but also set your own designs.
The design elements available inside are good enough to offer dozens of customization options which make everything look unique. It also comes with a Live Preview tool, which can help you see the changes instantly, before making them publicly. If you’re looking to trigger a pop-up just before a visitor is planning to leave, then that’s too possible. Thanks to the Exit Intent feature, which comes pre-included.
When it comes to SEO plugins, my first choice is Yoast SEO. This very popular plugin comes with all the necessary options for optimizing your content and get better search engine rankings.
The built-in page analysis feature is very useful in detecting the common mistakes. You can check out the length of your title, description and optimize these to get the best results.
There is also an integrated XML sitemap generator. The plugin can generate the sitemap and submit it to the search engines automatically. The multi-site compatible plugin also comes with other features like breadcrumbs, Facebook OpenGraph support, editing robots.txt and .htaccess files, etc.
- Snippet preview to optimize title and meta description
- Page analysis to find out common errors
- Import and export plugin settings
We have put together a handy guide on how you can secure your WordPress site, in the case you ever get hacked there is this handy guide on how to clean up hacked WordPress sites.
Wordfence provides a complete solution for the security of your WordPress site. Features like App Firewall and regularly updated Threat Defense Feed are incredibly useful in protecting your website from hackers.
It is also possible to track the changes in your site and get instant notifications in case of any unauthorized changes. You can block suspicious network, IP address, crawlers, user agent, and robots.
The built-in login security allows you to enable two-factor authentication, enforce strong passwords, and prevent brute force hacks. Thanks to the built-in security scanner, you can perform a full check of your website any time you want. The multi-site compatible plugin works with any WordPress theme.
- Superior website monitoring options
- Automatic blocking of malicious traffic
- Total login security with two-factor authentication
I alway recommend that you create regular backups of your site to plan for any unforeseen event happening.
Powered by Automattic, VaultPress is the most reliable backup plugin for WordPress. It allows you to backup your website including all the posts, pages, uploads, comments, revision, settings, etc.
Once you set up the initial settings, the plugin will automatically create a backup of your site. You can easily restore or transfer your site from any location. It is also possible to download the backups and save them locally.
When creating the backup, the plugin will scan your site and inform you about any potential issue. The real-time updates will keep you updated about the latest backup activities of your website.
VaultPress pricing starts from $9 per month.
- Automatic backup and restoration facility
- Simple site migration with a few clicks
- Built-in security scanning to detect potential threats
Below you will see a few of the contact form plugin I like, you can see the full list of contact form plugins here.
Gravity Forms provides a simple way to create fully functional forms for your WordPress site. You can choose the fields, options for the forms. The forms could be embedded into any content area. It is also possible to create multi-page forms with progress bar.
If you want to limit the form entries, that is also possible with Gravity Forms. The schedule forms feature will be useful for displaying the form only for a specific period of time. As the plugin supports pricing fields, it is also possible to create order forms with this plugin. The plugin works perfectly with the popular web applications.
Gravity Forms pricing starts from $39 per year.
- Simple, effortless way to create online forms
- Extend the form functionalities by integrating with other web services
- Supports both standard and advanced field types
Social Media Sharing
Expand your social reach with these social media plugins which will help you automate and grow your following.
SumoMe is a highly optimized social sharing solution for WordPress sites. You can use this plugin to provide simple sharing options for the visitors. The plugin supports 16+ social media networks including the common names like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, Digg, Tumblr, Pocket, etc.
A specialized mobile optimization is an interesting option of the plugin. Having WhatsApp and SMS sharing options, your mobile visitors will feel more encouraged to share your content. It is also possible to download a CSV file of your historical data and find out more details about the best days and best performing social media networks.
Thanks to the built-in UTM tracking feature, it is also possible to track the performance of individual social media networks.
- Works great with any WordPress theme
- Various options for social bar position and styling
- Additional sharing options for mobile devices
Below you find a few of the caching plugins that I recommend. In the event, you are unable to find a suitable plugin below you can view the full roundup of all the best caching plugin to here in one place.
Featuring very simple setting options, WP Rocker is my pick for the best caching plugin. The advanced compression technologies used by the service significantly decreases the load on both the server and the web browsers.
Thanks to the built-in browser caching feature, your visitors will enjoy a faster loading speed when browsing the posts and pages. WP Rocket also comes fully integrated with the lazy loading feature. That means you don’t have to install any third-party plugin for that purpose.
The plugin is capable of detecting mobile visitors too. It works great with CloudFlare and all the popular CDN services.
WP Rocket pricing starts from $39 per year for a single site.
- Very easy to set up and get started
- Built-in page caching and lazy loading to improve user experience
- Intelligent file compression for faster page loading time
We all know that tracking is important and that’s why in this section you will see a few of the best Google Analytics tracking plugins currently on the market.
Featuring a simple integration process, this is an excellent analytics plugin for your WordPress site. It uses the asynchronous tracking code, which means you can rest assured that you are always getting the latest data.
The informative dashboard widget will be helpful in keeping track of the important site metrics. Along with the usual downloads and outbound link tracking, the plugin also makes it easy to track affiliate links. It is also possible to enable the demography and interest reports.
Another notable feature is ignoring the activities of specific user levels. This makes sure that you are getting the most accurate reports.
- Simple authentication and integration process
- Tracks search result, 404 pages and affiliate links
- Allows excluding site admins and other users from the report
Below you will see a couple other interesting dragons that might be of use to help you grow or increase productiveness.
This is the last option from my side, which might look little aged to you, but if that’s what you’re looking for, then proceed without thinking a lot. It surely comes with required features and functionalities which are must have, along with uniquely looking layouts.
Crafting a bet list is always difficult. However, I have tried my best to think about all use cases and choose the most appropriate plugin for each category. If you think I have missed any of your favorite plugins, let me know by leaving a comment below. And if you want to differ with my choice, you are welcome to do that too. I will be glad to know your opinion.