There are over 55,000 WordPress plugins listed in the official WordPress Plugin Directory.
With that many plugins, how do you know which are legit? And more importantly, how do you know which plugins you are missing out on in 2021?
Today we’re bringing you the most comprehensive list of the MUST-HAVE WordPress plugins, crowdsourced from some of the most successful online entrepreneurs and bloggers we know.
What is a WordPress plugin, anyway?
A WordPress plugin is an app or a piece of software you can add to your WordPress site. It extends the functionality or adds a new feature to your existing website.
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.
This drag & drop online form builder allows you to easily create contact forms, email subscription forms, online order forms, payment forms,
surveys, polls, and basically all other types of online forms with just a few clicks.
WPForms integrates with all popular marketing and payment platforms, so you can build powerful forms in less than 5 minutes.
It comes with powerful features that simply don’t exist in other form builders such as conversational forms, form landing pages, user journey tracking, form abandonment, geolocation tracking, GDPR friendly, custom WordPress user registration and login forms, etc.
There’s a free WPForms Lite version available for those who are looking for a simple solution.
If you are seriously looking to grow your business, then we recommend getting the Pro version because it comes with all the powerful features you need to boost your lead generation efforts. Use this WPForms coupon to get 50% off your purchase.back to menu ↑
Imagine logging into your Google Analytics account and looking at a bunch of numbers and charts. What do they even mean?
Want someone who organizes the data for you? And presents it on the WordPress dashboard? Instead of you logging into multiple websites and tools.
MonsterInsights is the plugin you need.
Now imagine logging into your WordPress dashboard… with all the data you need to know how your website performs (and only those you need):
- Website visitors categorized based on age, gender, countries, interests, devices, and more.
- Top referral websites, search terms, and landing pages (with metrics like visits and bounce rate).
- Ecommerce data such as top products, conversion rates, average order value, and more.
MonsterInsights also comes with multiple add-ons that allow you to do things like forms integration, advanced ecommerce tracking, and EU compliance improvement.back to menu ↑
SEO helps you get more visitors from search engines to your website. While WordPress is SEO friendly out of the box, there is so much more you can do to increase your website traffic using SEO best practices.
All in One SEO (AIOSEO) is one of the most popular WordPress plugin of all time. It is used by over 2 million websites.
Out of all the WordPress SEO plugins, AIOSEO 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.
Their team is continuing to innovate and add new SEO features to help you improve your SEO rankings.back to menu ↑
Email is the most effective and most reliable marketing tool at your disposal as a business owner. It allows you to stay in touch with your users even after they leave your website. This is why we recommend every business owner to start building an email list right away.
Constant Contact is one of the most popular email marketing service providers in the world.
Their platform allows you to build an email list and send beautiful email newsletters to your subscribers.
It offers a quick and easy setup for non-techy users. It also works well with popular lead generation plugins for WordPress like OptinMonster and WPForms.back to menu ↑
This WordPress plugin and application helps you get more email subscribers and sales, fast.
You can use their hundreds of high-converting templates to create WordPress popups, slide-ins, announcement bars, gamified spin a wheel, and full screen welcome mats to capture user’s attention.
Each opt-in forms or campaign template can be easily customized with their drag & drop builder.
OptinMonster’s powerful display targeting features allow you to personalize the campaigns for each user, so you can show the right message at the right time.
It’s a great solution for bloggers, business websites, and eCommerce websites. Basically, if you want to make more money from your website traffic, then you need OptinMonster.
It helps you recover abandoned cart sales, convert website visitors, and grow your email list. Read these case studies to see how much success other businesses are having by using OptinMonster.
We use OptinMonster on WPBeginner and our other websites.
There’s a free version of OptinMonster available if you signup from inside the WordPress plugin.back to menu ↑
SeedProd is a WordPress landing page builder with coming soon and maintenance mode functionality. Its powerful drag and drop page editor makes it easy to build any WordPress landing page without hiring a developer.
With a growing library of customizable landing page templates, it’s easy to get started with SeedProd. You can customize any page element by pointing and clicking and see the changes in real-time.
Whether you want to…
- Collect email addresses
- Show a maintenance page
- Promote a webinar
- Or increase your sales
SeedProd has a template or landing page block to make the page building process easy, with no coding required.
Now that you know what it is, let’s look at why you should be using SeedProd as your page builder plugin.back to menu ↑
MemberPress is a powerful and easy to use WordPress Membership Plugin.
MemberPress will give you the ability to confidently create, manage and track membership subscriptions and sell digital products. In addition to these powerful abilities, MemberPress will allow you to grant and revoke access to posts, pages, categories, tags, feeds, communities and digital files based on what products your users have purchased or subscribed to.
With MemberPress you’ll be able to create powerful and compelling WordPress membership sites that leverage all of the tremendous features of WordPress and WordPress plugins including content management, forums and social communities.
Unlike many other Membership Software solutions, MemberPress integrates fully with your already-existing WordPress website, is very robust but is also simple to use.back to menu ↑
UpdraftPlus is the most popular WordPress backup plugin on the market. It allows you to set up automatic backups and safely store them on a remote location like Google Drive, Dropbox, S3, Rackspace, FTP, email, and more.
It also makes it super easy to restore your website from a backup. Their base plugin is free, but they also have a paid plan with extra features and priority support.
Alternative: BackupBuddy and VaultPress (Jetpack Backups) are also excellent solutions, but they are paid only.back to menu ↑
WP Rocket is 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.
It automatically turns on recommended WordPress caching settings like gzip compression, page cache, and cache pre-loading. You can also turn on optional features like lazy loading images, CDN support, DNS pre-fetching, minification, and more to further improve page load times.
Most importantly, WP Rocket doesn’t wait for someone to request a page to save it in the cache. It automatically crawls and build your website cache which results in an instant performance boost.
WP Rocket also offers Imagify which is a free image optimization service to help you speed up your website even further.
This is by far the easiest and most beginner-friendly caching plugin. The only downside is that it’s paid only.
Alternative: WP Super Cache is free, but it’s not as powerful or easy.back to menu ↑
Security should be a top priority for all online business owners. Sucuri offers a WordPress security plugin and web application firewall that is probably one of the best protection you can get for your site.
They monitor and protect your site from DDoS, malware threats, XSS attacks, brute force attacks, and basically every other type of attack. If you don’t have a firewall on your website, then you need to add one today.
To learn more on how to strengthen the security of your website and protect your business, see our ultimate WordPress security guide with step by step instructions for beginners.
Sucuri help us block hundreds of thousands of attacks every month on WPBeginner.back to menu ↑
RafflePress is the best WordPress giveaway plugin on the market. It allows you to instantly increase your website traffic, get more social media followers, and email subscribers with viral giveaways and contests.
RafflePress comes with an easy drag and drop giveaway builder along with proven giveaway templates that you can use to create a giveaway that attracts visitor’s attention.
To enter the giveaway, website visitors must use their email address. This helps you get more subscribers for your email newsletter.
RafflePress incentivizes users to follow your social profiles and share the giveaway with their friends to get more entries into the contest. This helps you increase social media engagement.
The word-of-mouth marketing helps you get more traffic, FASTER! This results in more followers, more sales, and more revenue!
You can easily connect your social profiles, WordPress form plugins, and all popular marketing platforms and CRMs.
WPBeginner users can use our RafflePress coupon code: wpbeginner20 to get an additional 20% off.back to menu ↑
PushEngage is the best web push notification plugin for WordPress. It allows you to send targeted messages and announcements to your website visitors using the browser push notification technology.
We use push notifications alongside our email newsletter to increase our customer engagement and website traffic.
Push notifications are consistently a top 5 traffic source for WPBeginner.
PushEngage comes with all the powerful features like drip campaigns, a/b testing, dynamic user segmentation, opt-in reminders, powerful analytics, goal tracking, and more.
For eCommerce websites, it can automatically trigger cart abandonment notifications, price drop alerts, inventory alert notifications, and more.
For bloggers & publishers, it can automatically send out new blog post notifications to all of your subscribers.
They have a PushEngage WordPress plugin that makes it easy to enable web push notifications on your website.
The best part about PushEngage is that they DO NOT sell your data unlike every other provider in that space.
Alternative: OneSignal is another popular alternative, but they sell your data on free plans.back to menu ↑
Uncanny Automator is the best WordPress automation plugin. It allows you to connect your existing WordPress plugins to work together without writing any code, so you can automate routine admin tasks and save time/money.
It seamlessly integrates with most popular WordPress plugins and third-party platforms, so you can easily build automation recipes without hiring a developer.
You simply choose from over 90 triggers and actions to create “if this then that” style recipes on your WordPress site (no code needed).
In plain English, it helps your WordPress plugins talk to each other, so they work better together. Think of it like Zapier, but for WordPress.
What’s even better is that you can even connect two separate WordPress sites to work together without writing any code. This is very useful for online stores and membership sites.
Some example use-cases include:
- Have 2 WordPress sites talk to each other – sell products on one while create users & setup access on another.
- Create buttons that can automatically create user accounts and perform other actions in WordPress.
- Add custom user attributes to user profiles based on user’s actions.
- Trigger automation recipes in one plugin from the action taken by another plugin (for example, a submission of WPForms can be used to create an order in WooCommerce).
- Connect your WordPress site with 1000+ external services using a single Zapier integration.
- … and so much more
LearnDash is the best WordPress LMS plugin to create and sell online courses from your WordPress website. It has a drag and drop course builder that allows you to quickly add lessons, quizzes, and assignments to build your course.
For detailed step by step instructions, see our guide on how to create online courses in WordPress using LearnDash.
Alternative: MemberPress now offers a robust course creator as part of their membership plugin.back to menu ↑
Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) is a suite of web applications like email, docs, spreadsheets, etc. Created by Google, this powerful set of office applications is cheaper, easy to deploy, and hassle free.
It allows you to save costs on software licenses, hardware, hiring IT staff, managing backups, and more. Most importantly it allows you to use professional email addresses with your own business domain name right inside Gmail.back to menu ↑
SEMRush is an all-in-one marketing toolkit for digital marketing professionals and business owners. It comes with powerful tools to help you improve your SEO, paid traffic strategy, social media, and content & PR strategy.
It also helps you gather competitive intelligence on your competitors, so you can outrank them and dominate your industry.Analyze and discover your competitor's SEO strategies with SEMrush. Try them FREE here!
We use their tool to do keyword research, backlink audit, track brand mentions, spy on competitors, discover best-performing posts and pages on social media, ad strategy analysis, keyword rank tracking, and more.
These short paragraphs are not enough to describe the true power of SEMRush. It’s a must have tool in our list for serious business owners.back to menu ↑
LiveChat Inc is the best live chat support software for businesses and e-commerce websites. It is super easy to use and allows you to quickly add live chat on your WordPress website.
It has tons of customization options, and it comes with a mobile app, so you can provide real-time support.
It integrates with your existing support software, CRM, email marketing, and other tools. Most importantly, it loads fast and offers a great user experience.
The team behind LiveChat also created ChatBot.com which is the best AI powered chatbot software. You can use it in combination with LiveChat to ensure your users always get the fastest response with the help AI + human.
Alternative: Sendinblue Chat is another popular service which lets you connect chat, CRM, SMS, Facebook, and email in one platform.back to menu ↑
Pretty Links Pro is one of the best link management plugins for WordPress. It allows you to easily manage affiliate links while making it easy make your affiliate links short and memorable for sharing.
It is the perfect tool for affiliate marketers, podcasters, business owners, and others who want to easily create short URLs in WordPress.
Alternative: ThirstyAffiliates is an excellent alternative for affiliate marketers with lots of powerful features.back to menu ↑
Shared Counts is the best WordPress social media plugin that allows you to easily add beautiful social sharing buttons on your website.
It also shows share counts, which helps you add social proof to your website.
While there are many paid solutions available, this free plugin beats them all in code quality and performance.
We use SharedCount on a lot of our website because it offers an easy out of the box solution for both beginners and developers.
If you want to display more social proof by automatically showing your latest Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube content on our site, then take a look at Smash Balloon plugins. They’re used by 1.4 million websites, and it’s the top social media feed plugin in WordPress.back to menu ↑
By default, WordPress uses the PHP mail function to send emails. The problem is that either WordPress hosting companies don’t have this feature setup properly, or they block it to prevent abuse.
This basically means that you and your users may not receive important email notifications from your WordPress site.
WP Mail SMTP solves this problem by sending WordPress emails using a proper SMTP mail server. To learn more, see our article on how to fix WordPress not sending email issue.