Plugins for WordPress, without any doubt, are one of the reasons why WordPress is such a delightful website management system.
The problem is that there are over 50,000 plugins in the WordPress repository alone, not to mention several other plugins for WordPress available on third-party websites.
Without a doubt, picking the best plugins for WordPress websites can be daunting.
When you pick the wrong plugin, it can have a fatal impact on your website’s security, speed, and general user-friendliness.
That’s why I have selected the top 10 plugins for WordPress that will give your WordPress website the best experience, both from the backend, and user experience in the front.
Also, I have classified these plugin selections into two;
- The core plugins that every WordPress website must install
- The important plugins for WordPress websites
This guide is a product of deep experience, reviews from other top WordPress experts, and research from an active space of experienced WordPress users.
This is a must-read handout for every WordPress user.
Let’s dive right in.
Why are plugins for WordPress so important?
WordPress plugins are the pieces that hold your WordPress website together.
Plugins allow WordPress website owners to add features and functionalities to their websites without understanding a single line of code.
For any feature, you dream to add to your website, be it a contact form, popups, SEO monitor, e-commerce capability, speed, visual effect, security, or email option.
Just mention it, you can be so sure that there will be a plugin somewhere that can help you add it to your website.
There are thousands of free, freemium, and premium plugins for WordPress that you can choose from. Below are the best WordPress plugins for different purposes.
Check them out.
The BEST WORDPRESS PLUGINS
Core WordPress plugins every website must have
Important WordPress plugins
- Anti-spam plugin
- Social sharing plugin
- Contact form wordpress plugin
- Gallery plugins for WordPress
- Ecommerce plugin for WordPress
- Image resize plugin
CORE WORDPRESS PLUGINS
These are plugins for WordPress that every WordPress website must have installed and activated. You can’t do without them if you are a WordPress user.
Best WordPress backup plugin: Updraft plus
Website backup is a core feature that you should add to your WordPress website immediately.
In the cause of the daily management and handling, anything can go wrong with your website. Even WordPress experts do experience loss of data on their websites.
Some of these losses could result from website hacks, installation of wrong plugins, or tampering with wrong codes during file editing. The summary is that data loss can be unpredictable and it could be so fatal that it can result in complete website loss.
The only way to guide against such unpredictability is to install a trusted website backup solution.
There are several WordPress backup plugins that can help you safely back up your site data. My best WordPress backup plugin is the Updraft plus.
Updraft Plus is a freemium WordPress backup plugin but the free option is enough to help you effectively safeguard your website data.
This plugin will save your data in your preferred cloud storage. Anytime there is a need, you can always restore your website without losing any files.
Other recommended WordPress backup plugins: BlogVault VaultPress, Jetpack
Security on WordPress plugin: Malcare security
You need to know that Security in WordPress is a big deal.
According to Malcare security report, an average of 30,000 websites are hacked every day.
You may not be running a Crypto site or Government website, but that doesn’t mean that hackers are not after you.
Hackers target and undermine websites’ security for different reasons, so, it will be smart to be concerned about the safety of your website.
There are a couple of security on WordPress plugin out there that can help you secure your WordPress website. They all have their strengths and weak points.
But if you are looking for a simple-to-use, effective security on WordPress plugin that is easy to understand and won’t go heavy on your Website, then you should consider Malcare security plugin.
Just like most other security on WordPress plugin, Malcare is also a freemium security plugin. But I assure you that the free version will be just good enough to get you started.
If you want to upgrade on your security, then you can subscribe to the pro version.
Other recommended security on WordPress plugin: Sucuri security plugin, Wordfence, ITheme security plugin
SEO plugins in WordPress; Yoast SEO plugin
How great is your website SEO score?
SEO plugins in WordPress are one of the most popular installed plugins by WordPress users.
Without a good SEO score, a website will not rank high in search engine results pages (SERP), that’s even if it ranks at all.
In fact, many businesses are now relying on SEO to help them achieve better online visibility and increased web traffic.
Consider this a categorical statement; You have to fix SEO issues in your website.
There are a number of SEO plugins available for fixing SEO issues. But without the slightest hesitation, you should go with the Yoast SEO plugin, especially if you presently don’t consider yourself an SEO expert.
Once again, the Yoast SEO plugin is a freemium plugin but its free features are more than enough to get your major SEO jobs done.
Other recommended SEO plugins in WordPress: RankMath, All In One SEO Pack, SEMRUSH SEO plugin
Cache plugins; Litespeed cache
Web speed is one factor you must consider if you want your website to rank on Google search or even want to retain your web visitors and cut down your site’s bounce rate.
There are factors that impact your website speed ranging from your hosting, and how much your images and videos are optimized among other factors.
Every website needs a cache plugin to help improve your website performance for page speed, mages, and code optimization.
So, which of the cache plugins should you go with?
I got a bit stuck while compiling my facts about cache plugins. I have always used the Litespeed plugin, and that’s quite strange of me who loves to test many tools.
So I decided before publishing this report to try a number of popular cache plugins on my websites to study their individual performances.
Few names seem to have floated to the top of the pile, particularly Lightspeed as expected, and then W3 Cache plugins.
So I zeroed down on both. Lightspeed did much better.
I felt proud I made the decision to not switch all these years.
The only weak side I have noticed with the Litespeed cache plugin is that it’s not supported by all servers.
If you use a weak or cheap server, or just for any reason that your server is not enabling the Litespeed cache plugin, then you can go ahead and activate the W3 cache plugin.
Other recommended cache plugins: W3 Total cache, WP Fastest cache, WP Rocket
IMPORTANT WORDPRESS PLUGINS
For this category of WordPress plugins, though they may not be core to the life of your website. But, adding their feature to your WordPress website will greatly enhance your site and improve its user experience among other benefits.
You should install them.
Anti-spam plugin: Advanced Google reCAPTCHA plugin
As a web owner, you will have pages designed to be an interface between you and your customers or web visitors. Examples include the Contact Us page and Comment section among others.
The problem is, that you may not be able to distinguish between visitors with sincere intentions and spam messages.
I remember having issues with spam messages until it became unbearable for me to manage.
The solution is to install anti-spam protection that will help you distinguish and block spam messages from flooding your website.
To do so, install and set up the anti-spam plugin called Advanced Google reCAPTCHA.
Once you set up this anti-spam plugin, the reCAPTCHA box will be featured on your web forms and this will help you sieve off spam messages allowing only messages by real humans to filter through.
Other recommended anti-spam plugins: Akismet Spam Protection, CleanTalk
Social Sharing plugin: Sassy Social Share
The Social Share feature enables you to employ your blog readers to share your articles and offers across social media.
This helps you raise your blog followers and increase the number of eyes on your website.
There are both premium and free social share plugins that can help you do this in the WordPress repository. I will recommend the Social Share plugin.
With the Social Share plugin, you can add dozens of social networks and profiles. It also comes with sleek settings that make these social buttons visually appealing and well positioned on your blog pages.
All of these are available on this plugin for free.
Other recommended social sharing plugins: Super Socializer, Shareaholic
Contact form wordpress plugin; Contact form 7
One core page that your website must have is the Contact Us page.
Apart from the Contact page, you will always need different forms on your web pages.
Some themes do have options for building some kinds of forms, but if you are looking for easier options with even better features, you will have to use a plugin to create your forms.
There are a number of Contact form wordpress plugin available in WordPress.
Personally, I use the Forminator plugin to create forms.
I consider the Forminator contact form wordpress plugin much easier to use, and it serves me well.
But I have also used Contact form 7 which is more popular. Maybe that’s why I’m recommending it in this article.
Other recommended contact form wordpress plugin: Forminator, WP Form, Ninja Form
Gallery plugins for WordPress; Envira Gallery
Adding up an enhanced gallery to your website is the way to go if you want to add visual effects to your WordPress website.
Also, sometimes, you are cracking up on what feature to add to your website to wow your web visitors…
Then give them a beautiful photo and video gallery to behold.
Several gallery plugins for WordPress can take your page gallery to the next level, but one that stands out is the Envira Gallery.
Envira Gallery is a freemium gallery plugin for WordPress that’s easy to use. It helps to create great-looking galleries for various purposes.
So, if you think the default theme gallery you currently use sucks, or your client is making a demand on you, or whatever…then a great gallery plugin for WordPress you should consider is Envira gallery.
Other recommended gallery plugins for WordPress options: Photo Gallery by Ays, Modula Image Gallery, NextGen Gallery
eCommerce plugin for WordPress; WooCommerce plugin
eCommerce is the process of buying and selling products online.
It’s a booming industry, with sales expected to grow by 16.9% this year.
Ecommerce with WordPress is becoming more popular than ever.
When you view an average eCommerce website, it looks like a complicated setup but that’s not so. eCommerce with WordPress is one of the easiest and most fun projects you can embark upon as a web designer. You can guess the reason why…There is a plugin for it!
The one eCommerce plugin for WordPress that is most popular with eCommerce with WordPress is the WooCommerce plugin.
I will feel reluctant to even give you any other alternative. If you are planning on selling products or services and you are considering eCommerce with WordPress, then go for the WooCommerce plugin.
It is by far the most used eCommerce plugin for WordPress in the WordPress repository.
Other recommended eCommerce plugin for WordPress: Easy digital download, WP Simple pay
Image resize plugin: EWWW Image Optimizer
Image sizes and dimensions contribute to the loading speed of website pages.
Sometimes, you are confused about the recommended image size for different uses on your website.
Other times, by the time you are mind made up about the dimensions you should upload, it’s a little too late because you already have hundreds of images on your websites that will be practically impossible to replace them.
You do not have to worry about this if you have a great auto image resizer plugin installed on your website.
If this feature sounds interesting to you, then you should install an image resizing plugin on your website. I recommend EWWW Image Optimizer.
Once installed and activated, it will automatically correct all wrong image dimensions on your website, both the previously uploaded images, and the most recent ones.
Other recommended image resize plugins: Resize Image After Upload, Smuch
Plugins are one of the major reasons why WordPress remains thick!
With WordPress plugins, you can add any imaginable feature to your WordPress website without a single knowledge of coding.
But, before you can even think of installing a plugin, you will need to know the features that will improve your website, beef its safety, and enhance the website’s user experience.
You should also know that not all WordPress plugins are coded right and not all of them are safe for your website.
At how many plugins will it be safe to say you’ve installed too many? Truth is, there is no particular number as long as you understand what you are doing. Installing the right plugins and improving the user experience of your website.
I have explained two types of WordPress plugins in this guide; the core plugins that your website must have, and the ones that are important to improve your WordPress website’s user experience.
Feel free to pick them up as you feel and install to meet the standard that you desire for your website.
Are there other WordPress plugins that you think should be on this list? Let’s know in the comment section below.