WordPress already comes with many features and functionalities. But if you have been on WordPress for a while, you know that a lot has been missing from the core. And this is where, the plugins come into the scene. You have plugins, almost for everything, on WordPress. But installing too many plugins for your WordPress website can be a problem. Too many of them can slow down your site extensively.
An experienced user of WordPress will know, which of them are actually essential and popular. But if you are a beginner, then you cannot check every plugin out there. Do not even try for the sake of your sanity.
25 Best WordPress Plugins
So, once you have read this article, you will know, which are those Best WordPress Plugins for your WordPress website.
Spam comments can be anywhere on internet. With WordPress being a popular CMS, spam comments on your blogs, can actually put you at your wits’ end. And Comment Moderation will take hours, if you take the task into your hands. All you need is a plugin for the same.
Akismet, basically, is comment filtering mechanism for your WordPress blog, developed by Auttomatic. It is the most popular plugin for spam comments. It comes pre-installed with WordPress, but is not activated by default. With a few steps, you are there.
Akismet has a unique algorithm to analyse which comments are spams, and which ones are legitimate. The plugin automatically checks comments against the Akismet Web Service, and informs you of the comments that look like spams.
2. Yoast SEO
Though WordPress is already optimized for SEO, if you are planning to leave no stone unturned for getting the SEO right, Yoast SEO is another must have plugin.
The plugin comes with a lot of useful options to deal with you blog content, and is going to take care of everything that can optimize SEO for your posts. It instructs you regarding the page title, meta descriptions, focus keywords, meta keywords for your posts, to improve your SEO score. It will actually force you to write better content.
With Yoast SEO, you don’t have to install another plugin for Sitemaps. It will automatically generates XML sitemaps for your site.
Yoast SEO can also display breadcrumbs on your website.
Speed is crucial as a ranking factor on internet. With W3 Total Cache enabled for your WordPress site, page load time is reduced extensively.
Let us understand how.
The programming language for WordPress is PHP. Each time a user requests a page from your website, WordPress will run a PHP script to display the requested page, and this script will query the database to fetch data. All of this is going to take time, and will impose the load on the server. What W3 Total Cache will do is, store an HTML cached version of all your pages. So every time a user looks for a page, the cached version of that page is displayed.
The features are just endless, and can be a little confusing for a new WordPress user, but once you have used it for a while, it will be the best thing you will have for your WordPress site.
Read our full review of W3 Total Cache Plugin.
Not using any jargon, a sitemap is a page that contains all internal links of your website, which can be crawled by search engines. A sitemap for your website is going to tell the the search engines, what pages are there on your website for users. Not having a sitemap will make crawling of your website difficult.
Google XML Sitemap will help search engines better index your website. You will be interested to know that it is also rated as the best WordPress plugin, and therefore, there is no doubt that you need this plugin right now. It is simple, yet an effective tool. “It will do exactly what it is supposed to“, because this is quite a focused program. Everything that concerns with the indexing of your website, leave it to this plugin.
I have already mentioned a really effective comment filtering mechanism – Akismet.
But unlike Akismet, Disable Comments plugin will altogether disable comments on your posts and pages. It is not going to identify spam comments or help you remove them. But if you don’t want comments for your certain posts, you very much need this plugin.
It is multisite friendly too, like most of the other plugins I have enlisted..
Never downplay the security of your WordPress site. Always provide for the same.
With more than 30 ways to protect your WordPress site, iThemes Security will cover everything that has got to do with WordPress security. It has features such as Two-Factor Authentication, WordPress Salts & Security Keys, Malware Scan Scheduling, Password Security, Password Expiration and in fact much more.
It has premium upgrades too for other services such as backups.
7. BJ Lazy Load
An HTTP request to the server for every image will make things really annoying for users, if a page contains a good number of images. There will be more bandwidth used per hit with all the image files getting loaded at once. Hence, the page will load slowly.
You can lazy load the selected images with BJ Lazy Load plugin. There is some simple tweaking available with the plugin. All the image files, thumbnails will get replaced with a placeholder and the files will get loaded only before the visitor is going to scroll down further to see the post. It is going to work with the text widgets also. Also see our list of top 5 lazy load plugins for WordPress.
A mega pack of shortcodes, Shortcodes Ultimate, saves you from struggling with HTML codes. It has 50+ amazing shortcodes, a shortcode generator, custom CSS editor, custom widget, and much more.
Create unlimited buttons, galleries, tabs, accordions, spoilers, columns, headings, lists, boxes, quotes, and much more with just a few clicks. And it is going to work with any theme.
WordPress comes with a good system to publish content and interact with users through comments. However, it does not have a built-in contact form.
The oldest and the most downloaded plugin, Contact Form 7, is the most popular contact form plugin for WordPress.
It is very simple to use. The main form editor has a really user-friendly interface, and has simple buttons on the top menu which you can use to add a form element. Without having to open their email account, your users can reach out to you.
Jetpack is the most feature-rich plugin for WordPress. Written by those who wrote WordPress, Jetpack can actually replace many plugins, for different functions, from your WordPress site, as it stands out as an all-rounder plugin.
Its features include Photon CDN, Automated Related Posts, Contact Form, WordPress Stats, Sharing, Shortcode Embeds and a lot more.
Currently, it has more than 30 modules and you can enable those you like.
WooCommerce is a powerful eCommerce plugin that helps you sell anything. By powerful what I mean is that, with this plugin, you have ABSOLUTE control of your online store. Whether you have a small or big store, WooCommerce will match up to meet your requirements.
With many features of its own, it also has many other plugins as an add-ons. The framework is robust and for a marketing WordPress website, you cannot afford to work without it. It is popular for its easy installation and customization.
Security is no concern with this plugin, as it is backed by those who developed WordPress.
12. Google Analytics
Tracking the traffic for your website is vital to know the popularity of your site, and, to analyse on what fields, there is a need for improvisation.
Google Analytics plugin will help you check on your site’s statistics. It’s easy to use and comes with all the basic features you will be looking for. It will track visits, page views, bounce rate, average visit and duration.
You can also use our theme, which has a built in functionality to embed Google Analytics.
Well before anything, you won’t be needing this plugin all the time. But it finds place in this list as it is very handy, and you are going to REALLY NEED, when you need it. Regenerate Thumbnails plugin allows you to regenerate thumbnails for your image attachments and resize your thumbnails after they have already been generated by WordPress.
You have the option to regenerate the thumbnails for all uploaded images, individual images, or specific multiple images.
The list would be incomplete, if I would not have mentioned this more than 30 million times downloaded plugin. All In one SEO Pack, will take care of everything that concerns SEO. The plugin is going to work on every basic ground that can optimize your website for SEO. But when it comes to advanced SEO, then you may find some features missing.
But as a beginner, you will definitely love it.
As a blogger, you want your visitors to, if not subscribe, at least keep on reading the content on your website. This comes easy with YARPP.
YARPP once installed, will use an algorithm to check the content of your posts and pages. The title, body content, headings, categories, tags – all of them are examined and therefore, on the basis of relatedness, other posts are shown at the end of your posts and pages. You can even choose not to show them in your certain posts.
It is by far the most popular plugin for related posts. No other plugin of its type, stands close to it.
If you know how important it is to ensure a good user experience for SEO, then Redirection is a plugin that you need to install right now, in case if you have not. With this plugin, you can setup 301 redirects, which are used to divert users from one URL to another.
The primary features will take care of 301 redirects and 404 errors and will work on all your URLs.
17. NextGEN Gallery
As a beginner, you will put all of your efforts to make your website look its best. A plugin can help you with this thing.
NextGEN Gallery is the most popular WordPress gallery plugin. It is optimized for both desktop and mobile devices.
You can create multiple galleries, add them anywhere on your site, create albums, open images in lightbox popups, and much more.
Integrating forums to your WordPress website will help you stay connected to your readers. Many marketers are aware, what returns, being in touch with their customers, can they get.
bbPress allows you to make your own social network and create discussion boards within your WordPress site.
19. WP Smush
I have already mentioned above in the article, speed is quite an important factor for SEO. Another way to increase page load speed is optimizing images for your posts and pages.
Large image files may be slowing down your site without you even knowing it. WP Smush uses WPMU DEV’s super servers to quickly smush every single one of your images and cuts all the unnecessary data, making your website load faster.
Actually, Shareaholic is all in One Content Amplification Platform including social sharing. It finds a place in our list because, social sharing is very crucial in the blogging world.
It is totally customizable. The installation and usage is easy like any other plugin. The well-engineered code will not slow down your site.
21. Backup Buddy
Loosing all of your data will be your worst nightmare. Since WordPress is actually a very popular CMS, therefore, more prone to hacks. So, it is wise to have a backup option.
Backup Buddy is one of the best WordPress plugins. It is a complete solution, which can backup, restore and migrate WordPress sites with ease. It can backup your entire WordPress site, as well as restore it with a single click, or migrate from one domain or server to another in a few clicks.
It allows users to comment on your content with their Facebook IDs. With this plugin you can moderate the comments as well, if need be. This ‘sharing thing‘ is not possible with default comments of WordPress.
Each time you are notified of WordPress updates, doing so manually may take time. So, why not a plugin for auto-updates?
All your WordPress updates are taken care with Easy Updates Manager. Be it minor or major WordPress releases, plugin updates or theme updates, all is managed with this plugin. And it is highly customizable.
Within your posts, if there occurs any broken link, the usability of your website can be hampered. In order to combat with those 404 errors, all you need is Broken Link Checker – a detection tool that not only locates the bad URLs or obsolete links, but also, in no time, allows you to fix these broken links in your posts/pages.
The plugin will detect links that don’t work, missing images and redirects, and will notify you either via WP Dashboard or by email.
You might have deleted a lot of things from your WordPress website. But by default, WordPress will keep all you deleted stuff, until you delete all of these stuff manually. With a huge pile of unnecessary information in the database, your site will be bloated and slow.
Use the Optimize Database plugin to choose exactly what you want removed, so you don’t accidentally delete the items you didn’t want to.
Once your database is clean, it ensures the smoother running of your website.
In A Nutshell
All of the plugins that we have mentioned, are popular among WordPress users. Some of them are must have plugins, and for rest of the plugins, you can make an informed choice, according to your needs.
If you have found this article helpful, let us know.