Last updated on: May 7, 2020
Wondering which WordPress plugins to install on your website? With over 50,000 plugins available in the WordPress repository, finding one that suits your site can be a daunting task.
In this article, we’ll share the best plugins to use so you can crack on with running a successful site.
Best Free and Premium Plugins for WordPress
To help you find the “must-have” WordPress plugin for you, here’s a quick summary:
- WPForms – Best WordPress Contact Form Plugins
- Formidable Forms – Best Complex Form Builder
- MonsterInsights – Best Google Analytics Plugin
- ExactMetrics – Best Alternative Statistics Plugin
- OptinMonster – Best WordPress Lead Generation Plugin
- TrustPulse – Social Proof and FOMO app
- SeedProd – Coming Soon & Maintenance Mode Plugin
- RafflePress – Super Easy Giveaway Plugin
- Smash Balloon – Top Social Feeds Plugin
- MemberPress – Best Membership Plugins
- Beaver Builder – Popular Page Builder
- Pretty Links – Top Affiliate Marketing Tool
- WooCommerce – Must-Have Plugin for eCommerce Sites
- BigCommerce – Best Tool to Scale Your eCommerce Business
- Easy Digital Downloads – Amazing Plugin to Sell Digital Products
- UpdraftPlus – Best Tool for WordPress Backups
- VaultPress – Easiest Backup Plugin
- BackupBuddy – Best Premium Backup Plugin
- W3 Total Cache – Best WordPress Caching Plugin
- WP Rocket – Most Powerful Caching Plugin
- WP Super Cache – Top Free WordPress Caching Plugin
- Shared Counts – Simple Social Sharing App
- Sassy Social Share – Fancy Social Share Plugin
- Sucuri – Best Website Security Tool
- iThemes Security – Top Free Security Plugin
- Envira Gallery – Amazing Image Gallery
- Yoast SEO – Must-Have WordPress SEO Plugin
- WP Mail SMTP – Easy Transaction Email Tool
- CSS Hero – Simple WordPress Customization
- Insert Headers and Footers – Change Headers & Footers Easily
- TablePress – Easy WordPress Tables
Let’s dive in!
WPForms is the most powerful drag and drop form builder plugin for WordPress users. And it lets you create all kinds of contact forms for your website. Plus it offers tons of beautiful pre-built templates that are fully customizable.
You can view all your leads in one place so it’s easy to streamline your workflow.
And if you’re selling a product or service, WPForms offers easy ways to collect payments too. You can embed your posts anywhere you want on your site and use the spam protection feature to prevent spam submissions.
With many other advanced and modern features like integration with popular email marketing services, it’s the best choice for complete beginners.
You can get WPForms Lite for Free here. Alternatively, you can upgrade to the pro version for $39.50 per year.
It lets you do everything to enhance your website functions and performance, including :
- Create multiple page forms
- Add calculator fields
- Build smart forms with conditional logic
- Automatically populate fields, and more
You can also let users edit your forms from the front-end of your site without having to log in. With this plugin, your users can even submit graphs and statistics too.
The cost of Formidable Forms starts at $99.38 a year.
It offers in-depth reports for eCommerce performance, affiliate links, outbound links, and more. You can even track the number of downloads your website has achieved.
And it will automatically exclude the administrator giving you the exact number of visitors you’ve had.
Even better, you can track the user’s scrolling activity and find out where you lose them. This helps you work on those areas where users tend to lose interest.
MonsterInsights pricing starts at $99.50 a year for the Plus version.
ExactMetrics is another brilliant plugin that lets you get website statistics right on your WordPress dashboard.
It also offers great options to let you track real-time stats so you know exactly how your website is performing. You can also track your affiliate links with this plugin. This is a great plugin if you are looking for an alternative to Google Analytics. You can even translate this plugin to other languages.
Heres what else you can do with ExactMetrics:
- 1-Click enhanced eCommerce tracking for WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, and more.
- Enable event tracking for file downloads.
- View the browsing sessions for logged-in users.
- Automatically track email and phone links to track conversations.
- See stats for Yoast SEO score and learn how it impacts your site.
ExactMetrics is multi-site ready and is GDRP-friendly too. The plugin comes beautifully documented and is super handy even for beginners.
The Plus version of ExactMetrics starts at $99.50 a year.
OptinMonster is the most popular customer acquisition and lead generation software for your business.
It lets you easily detect user behavior based on the movement of their cursor. You can then use stunning pop-ups just when they are about to leave your site. And you can collect emails in exchange for a lead magnet download with the MonsterLinks feature.
The drag and drop builder makes it super easy to create your popups. And you can improve conversions by personalizing your campaigns based on locations. There’s even the option to schedule campaigns for specific times.
Take a look at eve more powerful features included with OptinMonster:
- Convert any link or image into an optin form boost conversions.
- Improve conversions by customizing campaigns based on user locations.
- Powerful Exit-Intent technology tracks when users are about to leave, serving them an optin at the right moment.
- Mobile friendly popups are 100% responsive
- Select from a range of professional animations and sound effects.
- Create interactive spin-to-win campaigns proven to increase sales.
- Integrate with all popular apps and services including Salesforce, MailChimp, and more.
Pro Tip: OptinMonster uses gorgeous lightbox effects for their popups. Learn all about WordPress lightbox plugins here.
The most popular plan for OptinMonster begins at $47 per month.
TrustPulse is a social proof notification app that shows the real-time activities of customers on your site. It lets you add credibility to your business which helps you gain your visitor’s trust.
The plugin is packed with amazing features to easily convert your visitors to customers.
With TrustPulse you can display the following actions :
- A live stream of purchases on your site
- The number of people who’ve signed up to your email list
- Any other action people take on your site
You can easily customize the design of TrustPulse to fit with your branding. And with smart tracking options, you can reach out to the right people to boost conversions. On top of that, it’s compatible with WordPress, Squarespace, Shopify and more.
TrustPulse costs $39 per year for the Basic plan.
You can also add a maintenance mode page to easily update your site without disturbing visitors. This is possible for the entire website or a specific site page.
As an admin, you can log in to the backend like you normally would and work on it until it’s ready to go live.
With SeedProd it’s also easy to collect emails from your visitors. It supports more than 15 different email marketing services and you can completely customize the entire design of the page.
Here’s what else you can do with SeedProd:
- Build stunning coming soon pages in real-time with the drag and drop page builder.
- Access over 500,000 background images, 750+ Google Fonts, and 50+ themes.
- Grow your social following by adding share buttons to your page.
- Add a popup contact form for people to get in touch easily.
SeedProd costs $37 for the Basic package which you can use on 1 website.
RafflePress is the only giveaway and contests plugin designed just for WordPress site owners. And it’s packed with tons of features to let you grow your email list, social media followers, website traffic, and more.
The robust drag and drop builder makes designing quick and easy. And the stunning giveaway templates help you build contests that generate leads in a few minutes.
To let more people know about your contest make use of the viral sharing (refer a friend) feature, along with the many social sharing integrations.
There’s a free version of RafflePress with all the features you need to create a basic giveaway. But to unlock more advanced settings to supercharge your contests and go viral, you’ll need the pro version.
The Plus version of RafflePress costs $49 per year for use on 1 website.
Far from being a single plugin, Smash Balloon is made up of 4 individual plugins for creating customized social media feeds in WordPress.
As a whole it covers the major social networks with the following plugins:
- Custom Facebook Feed Pro – Save time by automatically adding Facebook updates on your website. And increase engagement between you and your users.
- Instagram Feed Pro – Keep your site content fresh and updated with new visual content from your Instagram feeds.
- Custom Twitter Feeds Pro – Easily embed dynamic Twitter content in WordPress and have your followers interact right on your site.
- Feeds for YouTube Pro – Push new YouTube content straight to your website to save time and increase your followers.
The real selling point of Smash Balloon, however, is how easy it is to set up. Once installed it takes less than a minute to be up and running, which means no technical knowledge required.
All your feeds can be displayed in a way that matches your site. And with cool features like hashtag filtering, comments and reaction support, and multi-feed displays, it makes for a feature-packed solution.
Considering this plugin is active on over 1 million WordPress sites with an average rating of 4.9, it’s a great choice for showing social feeds on your site.
The cost of Smash Balloon starts at $49 a year for a single site license.
This all-in-one plugin comes with the following features:
- Access rules to control who can view your content
- Forums to create a premium community
- Coupons to offer savings and discounts
- Pretty pricing pages to create dynamic pricing
- Content dripping to release content over time, and much more
The plugin is super flexible in terms of customization and lets you add stunning pages to list product pricing. It is compatible with all themes and works brilliantly alongside other plugins too.
The pricing for MemberPress starts at $249 for use on a single site.
Beaver Builder is one of the most beginner-friendly drag and drop page builder plugins. You can use its library of pre-built templates to style your pages and posts.
The customization options help you create WordPress layouts from scratch. You can then enhance your website with popular modules and widgets.
Beaver Builder has a range of design elements including rows, columns, toggles, accordions, tables, and more. And you can check out a detailed review of the plugin here to know more about it.
The standard license for Beaver Builder is $99.
Pretty Links is a must-have plugin for:
- Link management
- Affiliate management
- Creating short links
With this plugin, you can easily cloak affiliate links and make them presentable for your visitors.
With Pretty Links, you no longer have to add affiliate links manually. Your links are automatically organized and added to your WordPress content.
You can also track link clicks and see how they are performing. The plugin is super easy to use and even a novice can get started quickly.
Why not check out the detailed review of Pretty Links here.
The base price of Pretty Links normally costs $118 per year.
When it comes to eCommerce for WordPress the most popular name is WooCommerce. With an extensive list of features, WooCommerce is the most flexible and user-friendly plugins for any eCommerce website.
It’s fully customizable and the functions can be easily extended with the help of addons. You can use it alongside any other plugin that you have installed on your site.
Here’s a quick look at what you can do with WooCommerce:
- Has over 400 official extensions to customize your store.
- Unrestricted customization for editing your site.
- Built-in blogging to start creating content easily.
- Embed products, checkouts, and more in WordPress.
- Show customer feedback with reviews and ratings.
WooCommerce itself is free to download and use. However many of the extensions do have a fee.
Big Commerce is yet another amazing solution for setting up an eCommerce website. With Big Commerce, you can design your online store just like a professional without having any design experience.
You can pick a beautiful template from its collection and go ahead to style it as you want. It offers great flexibility in terms of its design and functionality.
Big Commerce includes the following features:
- Build a store from scratch with code-free updates.
- Focus on selling products with a full hosted eCommerce store.
- Easily migrate your store and import products.
- Manage your store from your phone or mobile device.
- Accept payments from popular providers.
- Sell more across all your channels.
The Standard pricing for Big Commerce starts at $29.95 per month.
Easy Digital Downloads is a plugin that simplifies the process of selling digital products online. Whether its a PDF file, an eBook, or a vector file. With Easy Digital Downloads, it’s all straight-forward.
Here’s a glance at the features:
- Customize the shopping cart experience for customers.
- Easily manage customers all in one place.
- Choose a flat rate or percentage-based discount codes.
- Get powerful data reporting for download activity.
The plugin is user-friendly and 100% responsive even when used alongside other plugins. Plus you can also use it with any WordPress theme that you want.
The Personal Pass for Easy Digital Downloads costs $99 a year.
It lets you backup your data to a number of cloud storage options such as:
- Google Drive
- Amazon S3
- FTP, etc.
And you can also send your files and data to an email address if you want.
What’s more UpdraftPlus lets you enable an automatic backup option so you don’t have to perform manual backups. Plus it’s super fast and trusted by millions of users.
The entire package of Updraft Plus premium starts at $32.40 a year.
VaultPress is another powerful backup plugin for WordPress websites. And it lets you backup your site whenever you want. Plus it also lets you activate automatic backups that have a nifty scheduling feature.
You can restore your backup and recover all your data in a few quick steps. And it even lets you migrate your site to a new host without any hustle.
Apart from that this plugin automatically detects and eliminates viruses, malware, and other security problems that might hurt your website. And with automatic file repair and spam defense you can keep things pretty secure.
VaultPress is priced from $20 per month for daily backups.
If you’re looking for a premium plugin BackupBuddy is the best option. Unlike other backup plugins, BackupBuddy backs up your WordPress installation too so you have copies of all your site files.
Alongside this you can take advantage of the following features:
- Easily customize the backup settings for individual files.
- Automate and schedule backups whenever you like.
- Store backups locally, online, or offsite.
- Restore backups at any time.
- Get email notifications for when your site is automatically backed up.
The base version of Backup Buddy costs $80 for 1 site with a year of updates.
W3 Total Cache is one of the most top-rated cache plugins for WordPress. It can improve your website SEO and user experience by:
- Increasing your website speed
- Making your site more responsive
- Reducing load times via the content delivery network (CDN) integration.
Plus it comes with a huge list of features to help you improve your site performance:
- Integrate with popular CDN services
- Supports AMP for a faster mobile experience
- Includes SSL support for better encryption
W3 Total Cache is free to download and use. However, for extra features, you can upgrade to Pro for $99.
WP Rocket is another powerful caching plugin available for WordPress. And it offers great options to speed up your website and optimize site performance.
The plugin supports Gtmetrix and Pingdom, two of the most popular testing tools for digital entrepreneurs. So you can keep an eye on how your website is performing.
The pricing for WP Rocket starts at $49 for 1 website and 1 year of updates.
WP Super Cache is a free plugin that can help you boost your website performance for a better browsing experience and improved search engine optimization.
With WP Super Cache you can easily manage caches for different users on your site. It also lets you carry out image optimization, integrate with CDNs, and do a lot more right from your WordPress dashboard.
This plugin works by creating static HTML files for your website to replace the heavier WordPress scripts. WP Super Cache is lighter than any other caching plugin but offers the same service great service. Therefore this makes it a good alternative to other popular caching plugins.
WP Super Cache is completely free!
Shared Counts is a popular WordPress social sharing plugin. And it can help you increase the traffic and engagement on your website. Even better, it lets you add as many social share buttons as you want.
Whether you want to add a share button for Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Email or LinkedIn, it is right there. You can even add a Print button if you want.
All buttons are fully customizable to suit your site branding. But to get accurate share counts you might have to configure your settings with each social platform first.
Shared Counts is a free plugin for WordPress, so there’s no need to spend any cash.
Sassy Social Share is another social share plugin with a huge package of 100 social sharing and bookmarking services. There’s also a set of social profile icons for you to add quick links to your social profiles.
Let’s look at the features included with Sassy Social Share:
- Compatible with the new WordPress editor.
- Share counts supported for Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Buffer, Reddit, Pinterest, and more.
- Great options to customize the look and feel of your buttons.
- Enable or Disable vertical or floating displays.
- Set the position of your sharing bar.
- Display buttons with a widget or shortcodes.
- Mobile responsive.
- GDPR compliant.
Again, this plugin can be used for free.
With tons of amazing features, Sucuri is the top choice for successful bloggers and website owners.
With Sucuri you get a set of spam detection tools that are always working to protect your site from potential threats.
Here are just a few of the powerful features included in Sucuri:
- Malware scanner to check for harmful malware.
- SSL certificate monitors to check the security of your site.
- SEO spam scanner to help you detect and remove possible spam.
- Blacklist status checker to check for and eliminates spam.
- Website uptime monitor for monitoring the uptime of your website.
- DNS Monitor to check site connectivity, and more.
Sucuri is actually more than just a security plugin. Apart from securing your site from threats it also lets you check site performance and optimize it for speed. And to back up your site and avoid data loss you can enable scheduled site backups.
Sucuri’s basic pricing model is $199.99 per year for each site.
iThemes Security is a free WordPress plugin you can download directly from WordPress. But there’s also a premium version if you want more advanced features.
To ensure that the site is safe from any kind of malware you can enable the malware scanning schedule. And this runs automatically in the background.
Alongside this, the Google reCAPTCHA function lets you protect your site from spam. And admins can ban specific users from accessing the site. Plus there’s even the option to scan right from the WordPress dashboard when the plugin is installed.
While this is a free plugin, you upgrade to the paid version for only $80 a year.
Envira Gallery is the most flexible image gallery plugin you’ll find for WordPress. With this plugin, you can create striking image galleries for your website in a matter of minutes.
You can also add a watermark to your images if you want. While it makes image proofing easier for you too. Not just that, you can also integrate it with tons of other plugins like WooCommerce.
Here’s what else you get with Envira Gallery:
- Drag and drop builder to create stunning galleries.
- Pre-built templates to customize galleries.
- Display full-size images in lightboxes.
- Organize galleries into albums with cover photos.
- Add social sharing options to galleries.
- 100% mobile responsive.
The price of Envira Gallery starts at $29 for the Basic license.
Yoast is one of the most widely used SEO plugins for WordPress. It’s super-easy to use and helps you optimize content for better search results.
Once it’s installed, you’ll see on-page SEO results in your WordPress dashboard. And every blog post has the Yoast analysis below it when you begin writing.
It will offer a field where you can enter your keywords. After the post is drafted Yoast will tell you if you have used it enough number of times to have a good ranking.
With Yoast you can do the following SEO adjustments:
- Give posts a focus keyphrase.
- Add a meta description to posts and pages.
- Check your keyword density in site content.
- Analyze the readability of your text.
- Check if you have used the same keyword before.
- Choose custom images for social media.
- Set custom descriptions for social sharing, and more.
- Generate an xml sitemap for your site.
Yoast SEO is free. However, you can get the premium version for $89.
If you experience mail delivery issues with your default mailing service, Mail SMTP is a great alternative.
The primary aim of using WP Mail SMTP is to enable the mail sending option in WordPress. And this plugin makes delivering emails easy and more reliable for your site.
Emails are delivered using the provider’s direct API. And this means even if your web host is blocking SMTP ports, your emails will still be sent successfully.
The WP Mail SMTP plugin includes a range of SMTP setup options including:
- Pepipost SMTP
- Sendinblue SMTP
- Mailgun SMTP
- SendGrid SMTP
- Gmail SMTP
- Microsoft SMTP (Outlook.com and Office 365) [Pro]
- Amazon SES SMTP [Pro]
- All Other SMTP
The base version of the plugin is free. However, you can unlock further features with the paid version which starts at only $49 a year.
If you want to customize your site’s design beyond the default theme settings CSS Hero is the right plugin for you. This is one of the most reliable WordPress plugins for customizing your site design easily.
With its intuitive user interface, you can change each and every component’s look, color and size.
Plus it’s compatible with most themes and is super light-weight. CSS Hero also generates a single static CSS stylesheet to cleanly override your theme’s original stylesheet.
CSS Hero costs as little as $29 a year for starter sites.
It lets you insert any code into your website’s header and footer such as:
- Google Analytics
- Custom CSS
- Adsense ads
- Facebook Pixel, and more
And you can do all this without editing your theme files.
This plugin is lightweight and easy to configure. Just simply download the plugin from WordPress, install it, and activate it on your WordPress dashboard. Then go to the plugin settings and apply your specific codes into the header and footer.
Even better, it’s is compatible with all kinds of WordPress themes and currently has more than 800,000 active installations.
Insert Headers and Footers is free to download.
If you want to display information to visitors in a table, TablePress is the best option.
It lets you create, design, and manage tables right from the WordPress dashboard. And when the table’s ready you can embed it into posts, pages, or text widgets using a simple shortcode. Even better, the data inside the table can be edited with the built-in editor. So no coding is required at all.
- and controls for site visitors.
What’s more you can also import and export tables from and to Excel, CSV, HTML, and JSON files.
TablePress is another free plugin that doesn’t cost a thing.
That’s it! Those were some of the best WordPress plugins that’ll surely make your website more powerful.
If you haven’t used them so far, get started now. Meanwhile, you might also want to learn how to redesign your website without losing your SEO.