Last updated on: February 12, 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 be sharing 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 Form Plugin
- 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
- 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 that 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.
If you are selling a product or service on your website, WPForms offers easy ways to collect your payments as well. 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.
Formidable Forms is another brilliant form builder plugin that’s better placed for building more complex web forms. With its drag and drop page builder creating new forms is super easy.
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
- 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 to the back-end. With this plugin, your users can even submit graphs and statistics too.
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.
It will automatically exclude the administrator and give you the exact number of visitors that you’ve had.
You can even track your user’s scrolling activity and find out where exactly you lose them. This helps you work on those areas where your users tend to lose interest.
ExactMetrics is another brilliant plugin that lets you get your website statistics right on your WordPress dashboard.
It also offers great options to let you track your real-time stats so that 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 a free option. You can even translate this plugin to other languages.
ExactMetrics is multi-site ready and is GDRP-friendly too. The plugin comes beautifully documented and is super handy even for beginners.
OptinMonster is one of 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.
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 set 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.
SeedProd is a brilliant coming soon plugin that lets you add a coming soon page to your website without coding a single word.
You can also add a maintenance mode page to easily update your site without disturbing visitors. This is possible either for the entire website or for a specific page on your site.
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.
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 your designing experience 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.
MemberPress is by far the most powerful membership plugin. You can use it to create beautiful membership sites without any prior experience.
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 your product pricing. It is compatible with all themes and works brilliantly alongside other plugins too.
Beaver Builder is one of the most beginner-friendly drag and drop page builder plugins. You can use its library of beautifully designed pre-built templates to style your pages and post.
The customization options help you create WordPress layouts from scratch. You can then add all the elements you want to enhance your website functionality with popular modules and widgets.
You can use Beaver Builder to add rows, columns, toggles, accordions, tables, and more. And you can check out a detailed review of the plugin here to know more about it.
Pretty Links is a must-have plugin for link management, automation, affiliate management, and creating short links. With this plugin, you can easily cloak your affiliate links and make them presentable for your visitors.
With Pretty Links, you no longer have to add your affiliate links manually. Your links will automatically be organized and added to your WordPress content.
You can also track your link clicks and see how they are performing. The plugin is super easy to use and even a novice can use it like a professional. You can check out the detailed review of the plugin here.
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.
Big Commerce is yet another amazing solution for all those who want to set up their eCommerce websites. With Big Commerce, you can design your online store just like a professional without having any designing 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.
Easy Digital Downloads is an amazing 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 straight-forward.
You can add a discount coupon and add a shopping cart as well. You can even have full control over who can access the products on your website.
It also simplifies the process of tracking the downloading activities of your visitors. The plugin is user-friendly and 100% responsive even when used alongside other plugins. You can also use it with any theme that you want.
Updraft is one of the best backup plugins that simplify the process of backups and restorations for your website.
It lets you backup your data to a number of cloud storage options such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3, UpdraftVault, FTP, etc. You can also send your files and data to an email address if you want.
Updraft plugin lets you enable its automatic backup option so you don’t have to do it manually every time. This backup plugin is super fast and is trusted by millions of users.
VaultPress is another powerful backup plugin for all WordPress websites that lets you backup your website whenever you want. It also lets you activate the automatic backup function that comes with a scheduling feature.
You can restore your backup and recover all your data (in case you lose it) in a few quick and easy steps. VaultPress even enables you to migrate your site to a new host without any hustle.
Apart from that this plugin automatically detects and eliminates viruses, malware, and other exploitable security problems that may be hurting files on your website. Automatic file repair and spam defense are other crucial features that the plugin comes with.
In case you are looking for a premium plugin BackupBuddy is the best option for you. It has all the essential features that you might want in a backup plugin. Unlike other backup plugins, BackupBuddy backs up your WordPress installation too just to ensure that you have a copy of all your WordPress website files.
you can also easily customize the backup settings for individual files before starting the backup process. Apart from full site backup, you can also automate and schedule your backups whenever required.
The backup files can be stored in the local or online storage to keep them completely offsite for future use. Like VaultPress you can restore your backup anytime you want. You will also get some email notification for automatic backup weekly or monthly according to your schedule.
W3 Total Cache is one of the top-rated cache plugins in the WordPress repository. It can improve your website SEO and user experience by increasing website speed, enhancing responsiveness, and reducing load times via its powerful configuration and content delivery network (CDN) integration.
It comes with a huge list of features to help you improve your site performance to a considerable extent.
WP Rocket is another very powerful caching plugin in the WordPress market. This plugin offers amazing options to speed up your website and optimize your site’s performance.
The plugin supports Gtmetrix and Pingdom, two of the most popular testing tools for digital entrepreneurs. So now it’s easy to keep an eye on how your website is performing.
WP Super Cache is a free plugin that can help you boost your website performance for better browsing experience and improved SEO.
With WP Super Cache you can easily manage cache for different users on your site. It also lets you compress your images, integrate the CDN support and do a lot more right from your WordPress dashboard.
This plugin works by creating static HTML files for your website to replace the relatively heavier and more sophisticated WordPress scripts. WP Super Cache is lighter than any other caching plugins but offers the same service to your website. This makes it a good alternative to other popular caching plugins.
Shared Counts is a very popular WordPress social sharing plugin that can help you increase your traffic and engagement with its attractive sharing buttons. It lets you add as many social share buttons as you want. It has almost all the options for you.
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.
The buttons are fully customizable and you can even alter its size and inner space. The plugin’s configuration is another great advantage for its users. To get the accurate share count you might have to configure your settings with 3rd party websites like Facebook, Twitter, etc but doing so is perfectly worth it.
Sassy Social Share is another fancy social share plugin that comes with a huge package of 100 social sharing and bookmarking services. It also comes with a set of social profile icons on which you can provide a quick link to your social pages or profiles.
You can even configure the size and shape of your social share buttons. The customization of these buttons can be done really easily and is quick too. The live preview option provides you a clear understanding of how the buttons will appear on your site.
You can enable the share count cache to ensure that the plugin will track and update each and every share count almost immediately. With this plugin, you will be able to enable or disable the vertical/floating sharing interface for mobile devices.
With all its amazing features Sucuri has always been the top choice for many successful bloggers and website owners.
With Sucuri you can get a set of spam detection tools that are constantly 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 monitor 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 unwanted threats this tool also lets you check your site’s performance and optimize it for speed. To backup your site and avoid any data loss you can enable their scheduled site backup or individual section backup.
iThemes Security is a free WordPress plugin that can be downloaded directly from the WordPress repository. It also has a premium version if you want more advanced features.
To ensure that the site is safe from any kind of malware you can enable its malware scanning schedule that runs automatically without any manual process.
The Google reCAPTCHA function lets you protect your site against spammers. If you are the admin you can also ban specific users from accessing the website. You can even enable the system scans right from the WordPress dashboard when the plugin is installed.
Envira Gallery is the best and the most flexible image gallery plugins that you’ll find in the WordPress market. 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. The plugin will also make image proofing easier for you. Not just that, you can also integrate it with tons of other plugins if you want. One of them is the Woocommerce plugin.
The drag and drop gallery builder and the pre-built templates make working with this plugin super fun and easy.
Yoast is one of the most popular and widely used SEO plugins in the WordPress market. This plugin is super easy to use and it helps you optimize your post for better search results. Once you install it on your website it will prompt you the on-page SEO results right on your WordPress dashboard.
You will see the Yoast analysis right below every post when you draft them. 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:
- 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, and more.
The primary aim of using WP Mail SMTP is to enable the mail sending option on your WordPress website. This plugin makes email deliverability easy and reliable for your WordPress site. In case you experience any problem with mail delivery from your default mailing service Mail SMTP is a great alternative.
Emails are delivered using the provider’s direct API which means even if your web host is blocking SMTP ports your emails will still be sent successfully.
If you want to customize your website’s design beyond your default theme settings CSS Hero is the right plugin for you. This is one of the most reliable WordPress plugins that let you customize your website design very easily. With its easy and intuitive user-interface you will be able to change each and every component’s look, color and size individually.
This plugin is compatible with most themes and is super light-weight. CSS Hero also generates and enables a single and static CSS stylesheet separately that cleanly overrides your theme’s original stylesheet.
Insert Headers and Footers is a simple but very effective plugin developed by WPBeginner. It lets you insert any code such as Google Analytics, custom CSS, Adsense ads, Facebook Pixel, and much more into your website’s header and footer without editing your theme files.
This plugin is very lightweight and easy to configure. All you have to do is to download the plugin from the WordPress repository and install and activate it on your WordPress dashboard. Then go to the plugin settings and apply your specific codes into the header and footer.
This plugin is compatible with all kinds of WordPress themes and currently has more than 800,000 active installations. Here’s a detailed review of the plugin.
If you want to display information to your visitors in a tabular form, TablePress can be the best option for you.
It enables you to easily create, design and manage your tables right from your WordPress dashboard. Once the table is ready you can embed it into individual posts, pages, or text widgets using its simple shortcode. The data inside the table can be edited easily with its inbuilt editor and no coding is required at all.
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.