There are a staggering 50,000+ WordPress plugins to choose from – all independently made and maintained. So let’s take a look at some of the best plugins for WordPress. Make sure to share this page or bookmark it if you found it helpful as it’s updated on a regular basis.
What are the Best WordPress Plugins?
You have a wide selection of helpful plugins to leverage depending on what specific features you want to add onto your website and what type of website you’re running in the first place.
An e-commerce website will have much different requirements when compared to an online portfolio of work. So, what are the best plugins for WordPress? Let’s get the comprehensive guide.
Best WordPress Plugins for Blogs
Blogs are effective content marketing tools designed to attract an audience from organic search and to the convert that organic traffic in some meaningful way. Typically to buy something or to subscribe to an email list.
As such, the following are the most helpful plugins I’ve come across for any blog focused on making money from affiliate marketing and display advertising like Google AdSense.
AAWP – Helpful for Amazon Associates Affiliate Marketing
AAWP is a premium plugin designed to hep you make more money with the Amazon Associates program. When you sign up for Amazon Associates you’re able to to get various links to products people can buy on Amazon.
What this plugin specifically does is that it makes creating product review tables and real time visual product boxes that show prices that have a better click through rates than a standard hyperlink.
If leveraging Amazon Associates is going to be a significant part of your monetization strategy, you may want to consider this plugin as a way to create product review boxes and tables that work, easily.
Jetpack – The WordPress suite of tools
Jetpack is created and maintained by the development team behind the WordPress CMS. Jetpack offers a suite of helpful tools you may want to implement on your website.
Tools like security enhancements for your website, related posts at the bottom of each blog post, a simple way for users to subscribe to your website (and get emails when you release a new blog post), social sharing plugins added to your content, site backups, brute force protection and down time monitoring.
PRyC WP – Add content To the bottom of every post
PRyC WP is a simple plugin that does one thing really well. It allows you to add content to the bottom or top of any and all blog posts from one simple interface.
When you start to have 50+ blog posts and are wanting to add an email opt-in form to the bottom of each post, it’s unreasonable (and insane) to go into every single post and manually add in the short code for your email opt-in form.
With this plugin you can easily add content to the bottom or top (top being right under the blog post title) of your blog posts be it breadcrumbs, an opt-in form or a display ad.
Lasso – All in one affiliate marketing
Lasso is an advanced affiliate marketing plugin that combines a lot of features found in other free plugins with some of the best integrations around for Amazon Associates.
With Lasso you can cloak and organize links, find product opportunities, have beautiful product display boxes and it provides seamless integration with Amazon Associates as a way to create beautiful, high converting product boxes.
Pretty Links – Cloak affiliate links
Pretty Links is an essential plugin for any affiliate marketer because it turns ugly, long affiliate links into a more trustworthy link. On top of that it also reports back to how many times a link was clicked.
AdSanity – Display advertising management
While you can simply copy and paste in ad code on your site where ever you want or run Google Auto Ads, if you’re looking to take more control over your display ads that’s where AdSanity comes in.
It’s a developer focused ad management plugin that gives you all the data and features in order to best optimize your display ads.
WP Link Status – Keep Your Site Current
WP Link Status is a plugin that that checks the status of ALL your links on your website. Linked to a blog post 6 months ago that no longer exists? This plugin will tell you links you need to keep updated. While there are various SEO tools that allow you to scan the links on your website, this is a plugin that allows you to do it directly in WordPress.
I would suggest running this plugin once or twice a month to check any potential links you should update.
Best WordPress Plugins for Design
DIY WordPress website design can be achieved with a wide variety of helpful plugins. You certainly don’t need everything on this list, but it’s helpful to know what’s available for different use cases.
Elementor – The page building plugin of choice
Elementor is a top 20 WordPress plugin that enables various page building features for your website. To be honest, I’m not a fan as Elementor takes over the whole design of your website and requires you to upgrade your account to use any of the helpful features.
However there is no denying the design functionality provided by this plugin. You get a drag and drop block editor (that replaces the default WordPress editor) comes in really handy when designing product review pages, sales pages and other types of content that require something more dynamic than simply text.
Stackable – Helpful Bbocks for WordPress
We’re not sure why Stackable is not more popular. It provides some of the most useful blocks around. In particular we love their “feature” block options that allows use to create high converting blocks for affiliate marketing purposes for the web hosts and domain registrars we work with.
If you’ve been looking to add more functionality to your WordPress block editor, checkout Stackable.
Ubermenu – Create a mega menu
What’s great about the Ubermenu plugin is that it allows for any WordPress blog to leverage a mega menu. A mega menu is a way to display a dropdown in a well design, expandable way. So you can showcase a lot of information and links instead of using a simple dropdown.
Fixed Widget – Make a widget sticky
Fixed Widget makes a widget in your sidebar sticky. That means when a user visits your website on a laptop, the widget item in your side bar can be sticky so it follows the user as they scroll down the page. Most use the sticky widget for things like an email opt-in form or for a an advertisement.
If you’ve been looking for a way to create one of those sidebar widgets that follows you as you scroll down, you can do so with this plugin.
Monarch – Premium social sharing plugin
Monarch allows you to add social sharing plugins to your website. While there are a lot of free plugins that do this, what makes Monarch the best is the advanced back end features you get.
You’re able to set within your Monarch plugin how all social buttons appear. From timed delay, pop-ups, after some pre-defined activity like commenting or subscribing to something. You get a lot of granular control over this design feature.
Presto Player – Meta data free YouTube videos
This plugin is essential for any small business or YouTube looking to embed videos on their website. What it does is that it stripes your videos of the meta data when embeded and instead replaces it with a modern UX.
You can also integrate a “subscribe now” button automatically and it’s better coded to not slow down your website.
Tablepress – Create dynamic tables
The TablePress plugin for WordPress makes it simple to design and maintain attractive tables that you can add to your blog posts.
You may use a simple Shortcode to embed the tables into posts, pages, or text widgets. Table data may be changed in a spreadsheet-like format, so there is no need for any code.
SVG Support – Use .svg images
The .svg image format is not currently supported by WordPress because users can add malicious code into an .svg image. With that said, .svg is much smaller and lighter than a .jpeg or .png because it’s data.
What this plugins allows is for you to upload .svg images to your website. As there is risk, you should only upload .svg images that you yourself create.
Best WordPress Plugins for SEO
WordPress is already excellent with regards to on-page SEO. Here are some essential plugins though that help you optimize your blog posts to their fullest extent.
Rank Math – My personal choice
Rank Math allows for you to optimize the on-page SEO of your blog posts and pages. Create detailed meta descriptions, set target keywords, get real time feedback of how well your content is structured with regards to SEO.
Where Rank Math really shines is all the features you get for free that Yoast still restricts behind a paywall. Features like setting up a start rating to appear in the SERPS, a local SEO knowledge graph to help small business with “Google my business” and the ability to set schema data for higher click through rates.
Yoast SEO – The current most popular SEO plugin
Yoast SEO is the most popular plugin for WordPress and it’s a must have for ALL WordPress websites. What it does is that it makes managing your on-page SEO a quick and easy process for experts and beginners alike.
Yoast SEO does everything you would want and need from an SEO perspective. It allows you to redirect pages (the premium version does, not the free version), builds out your sitemap, heslps you craft titles and meta data, tells search engines what to index and what to ignore and so forth.
Link Whisper – Build internal links
Link Whisper is a plugin that helps you build internal links by giving you optimal suggestions for what blog posts should link to on your own website.
In addition Link Whisper reports to you broken links that you can fix and orphaned blog posts that you are not linking to from any website. Internal links help your on-page SEO and are one component of link building.
Headers and Footers – The Super Simple Plugin
Headers and Footers adds a space in your WordPress dashboard to copy and paste scripts in with ease. Say you’re trying to install Google Analytics, custom CSS or the Facebook pixle on your website, but the theme you’re using does not have a a place to easily copy and paste the Google Analytics code in.
Instead of fumbling around in the actual .php files of your theme you can simply install headers and footers and it will add the needed area to copy and paste code in.
Side note: MOST themes have a place to copy code in. It’s normally under appearance >> theme options or customize or something like that. If your theme has a place to copy and paste code in, you don’t need this plugin. If however your theme does not have a dedicated area this plugin is a life saver.
Best WordPress Plugins for e-commerce
When everyone thinks of e-commerce, they automatically think selling physical products online. However, with a website you can sell courses, digital products, drop ship as well as run affiliate and referral programs in addition. Here are the most useful WordPress plugins for e-commerce:
WooCommerce – Add e-commerce functionality to WordPress
WooCommerce adds e-commerce functionality to your WordPress website. You can sell any type of product from physical or digital and accept payments through various payment gate ways. WooCommerce however is not designed to sell online courses.
WooCommerce is quite powerful and feature rich. You can easily setup product categories, make coupon codes, manage shipping and taxes and bundle products together.
Learn Dash – Self host online courses
Learn Dash is an LMS plugin. LMS is short for learning management system. With online courses you have a lot of options today. Udemy, Teachable, Gumroad. If you’re curious about how to implement it from a self host perspective, you can use the Lean Dash plugin.
Learn Dash integrates into any WordPress website and allows you to start hosting your own online courses on your own website. If you want to sell digital courses but want to do it 100% on your own platform, the Learn Dash plugin is for you.
Again, we suggest going with Teachable, Thinkific or Podia for online courses. But if you want to self host, Learn Dash is the best LMS plugin.
Easy Digital Downloads -Sell simple digital products
Easy Digital Downloads is the go to plugin for anyone looking to sell digital products on a WordPress website. With this plugin you can sell courses, ebooks, physical products, pictures, you name it. This plugin has a free and a paid version as well as numerous extensions to enable more advanced capabilities like recurring payments for example.
This plugin is a generalist plugin. It’s not designed to do any one thing specifically like Learn Dash or MemberPress. It does however enable you to engage in e-commerce with your website. If you’re looking to sell digital products of any type be sure to keep Easy Digital Downloads in mind.
Affiliate WP – Run your own affiliate program
AffiliateWP is a complete affiliate management solution for your WordPress website that seamlessly integrates with all major WordPress e-commerce and membership platforms. It strives to deliver everything you need in a simple, intuitive, easy-to-use system that you’ll enjoy using.
For example, this plugin allows you to select which items on your site should earn commission for your affiliates. Affiliate WP also lets you disable commission on goods with ease. As doing so manually may be time-consuming, especially if you’re running an e-commerce website with hundreds of items, all you have to do is install and activate this plugin; then input the product IDs of the things you wish to exempt.
Referral Candy for WooCommerce
ReferralCandy helps you gain more sales by rewarding your consumers for referring others to your business. This plugin provides each of your consumers with a unique reward link they may share with their friends.
Referral Candy is an overall versatile tool that lets you run customer referral campaigns automatically on your WooCommerce store. Your initial consumer receives a bonus, their friends get a discount and you make additional sales.
Best WordPress Plugins for memberships
The following plugins allow you as a creator to setup your very own subscription based membership website. Here is what I suggest anyone take a look at first if you’re aiming to create a Patreon alternative:
MemberPress – Professional membership plugin
MemberPress is a premium plugin that allows you to create a membership website. MemberPress makes managing payments and subscriptions a simple process. It also enables you to have complete control over the type of content that is within your membership website and what tier has access to what.
With MemberPress you’re also able to accept credit cards or PayPal and implement recurring payments. If you’re wanting to create a private community, you’re going to want to use MemberPress. It’s the industry leading plugin for WordPress for this use case.
BuddyPress – Social media website
Now you can create a sophisticated, modern, and multifunctional social networking platform with BuddyPress. This plugin is a collection of tools that work together to provide basic functionality of a social networking website like Facebook.
This plugin is created with the developer in mind to make it easier for site builders and developers to integrate, use, and extend the usability of WordPress. It’s intentionally powerful yet easy-to-use and extensible social network software created by WordPress contributors.
BuddyPress overall allows you to develop a social network in a box, which includes aspects such as user profiles, private conversations, social connections, groups and more. BuddyPress is essentially a social network website software solution.
Best WordPress Plugins for security
As long as you keep your WordPress installation updated and use a secure password, it’s in yours and your web hosts best interest to make sure your site is protected. With that said, here are the best plugins for WordPress security currently available.
Sucuri – WordPress security
Sucuri is a WordPress security plugin that protects your blog or website against bots, hacks, various exploits, brute force attacks, and malware. It also has a built in auditing feature that will inform you of various ways you can improve your websites security.
Sucuri is designed to be an added layer of defense in addition to following WordPress best practices like keeping your WordPress installation and your theme and plugins updated. It’s currently the industry leader in it’s category and the most popular option for anyone looking for a complete WordPress security solution.
Updraft Plus – The free backup plugin
Updraft Plus is a WordPress database backup plugin. When you’re on a shared hosting account it’s standard policy to provide a weekly or even monthly backup of your website. What a backup is specifically is a copy of your website.
So if you make a change that breaks your website or worse, if your web host has some sort of server issue – having a backup of your website makes your life worry free if anything goes wrong.
The useful thing about Updraft as well is that it can be setup to automatically send backups right to your email. Set it once and forget it.
Akismet – Spam protection
Akismet is a spam blocking plugin for WordPress. If you intend on blogging and allowing comments, you blog is going to get hit regularly with comments from spam bots trying to get links from your site back to something seedy like a casino website or something more adult themed.
While WordPress is pretty good at sorting these types of comments, having a plugin like Akismet provides a whole new level of protection.
Google Authenticator – Enhanced login security
This plugin allows you to secure your WordPress website with two-factor authentication. Google Authenticator is a free, simple, and easy-to-use plugin. This plugin may be used with any TOTP-based security mechanism such as Google Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator and so forth.
This plugin also supports OTP as well as a variety of other two-factor authentication mechanisms, including OTP Over SMS, Duo Authenticator, Microsoft Authenticator, OTP Over WhatsApp and OTP Over Telegram. It also allows you to log in without using a password.
Overall a bit excessive in my opinion, but if you’re looking for a way to harden your WordPress security then setting up an authenticator will make it next to impossible for unauthorized use.
Login Lockdown – Prevent brute force attacks
LockDown records the IP address and timestamp of each unsuccessful login attempt. If a large number of logins from the same IP range are detected within a short time frame, all requests from that range are disabled until further notice. This helps to prevent password cracking by brute force techniques.
After three failed login attempts within five minutes, a user is locked out of an IP block for 1 hour. This can be changed in the Options area and administrators may manually release blocked IP addresses from the panel.
A very simple, but helpful security plugin to prevent access to your WordPress admin.
Best WordPress Plugins for Speed
Your websites load time is critical. If your site takes more than 3 seconds to load, most visitors will bounce off the web page. This is even more important for e-commerce websites which are often complex. So here are the best plugins for speed:
W3 Total Cache – WordPress cache
W3 Total Cache is a free plugin that caches your website. Great, so what exactly does that mean?
Every time someone accesses your website from a laptop or mobile device they are sending a request to the server where your website is currently hosted. WordPress then fetches your websites information from a database and then goes through various technical steps before the requested page is delivered to the end user.
Caching your website simply allows your server to skip a lot of steps – which reduces the load on your server and makes your website load faster.
WP Smush – Optimize .jpegs and .png files
Smush is an award winning image optimization plugin. What does it do? It compresses your images to make them a smaller file size. Why is that important? Image size effects page load speed which affects your SEO and rankings.
Installing this free plugin is one of the simplest things you can do to boost your page speed. Smush is an essential plugin for any website because no matter the website, you’re going to be uploading images. Compressing them makes it so your website loads fast and provides a good user experience.
WP Rocket – The best cache plugin
WP Rocket is the best cache plugin. It does everything W3 Total cache does except better. If you want your website load times to be as fast and optimized for the end user experience as possible then you’ll love the features WP Rocket provides.
Best WordPress Plugins for Photographers
Any digital artist or photographer is going to want a website to showcase their work for prospective clients. While WordPress does have some basic gallery features built in, it’s not quite adequate for the serious artist and professional. So here some options to expand the usefulness of WordPress for photographers:
Envira Gallery – Photo and video display plugin
This plugin allows you to display beautiful photo galleries or video galleries with their pre-made templates that are simple to customize. You can also watermark pictures and content lock them to prevent theft.
Easily create customized galleries and albums that are SEO friendly. You also get deep linking, Pinterest image optimization and support for Instagram photos.
Sunshine Photo Cart – Sell client photos
Sunshine Photo Cart is a WordPress client photo gallery plugin designed for professional photographer or digital artist. It’s perfect for someone who needs a complete, feature rich client photo gallery to sell photographs directly to clients, with no costs or fees.
Now you can create galleries, sell photos to customers. Used and loved by thousands of wedding photographers, portrait photographers, fine art photographers and digital artist looking to make money from their art.
Modula – An elegant gallery plugin
Modula is a WordPress gallery plugin that allows you to add custom, unique, and responsive galleries to your website. There’s a free version (Modula Lite) and a premium version (Modula Pro), both of which may be used to add spectacular, fast-loading galleries to your website.
With this plugin you can create stunning lightbox galleries, masonry grids, custom grids, and more with ease.
Soliloquy – Responsive slider images
This plugin lets you create slider image or video galleries that you can easily embed on your website. You can also add a text over lay with a call to action on each image as well.
Best WordPress Plugins for Real Estate Websites
Real estate websites are photo heavy, require various forms and scheduling built in. There are quite a few helpful plugins to be aware of if you’re making a real estate website.
Estatik Real Estate – Home listing functionality
If you’re building a real estate website with WordPress, this is the industry leading add-on for your website. It turns a simple WordPress blog into a real estate listing website.
You get integrations of maps, a mortgage calculator, slideshow for showing off properties and the ability to show off listings. There is a free version, but the paid version is just a one time fee and is very much worth it if you’re building a full featured real estate website.
Easy Appointments – Booking and scheduling
With this plugin you can create appointments for your visitors to book on your WordPress site. Extremely versatile scheduling for a wide variety of uses, not just real estate.
You can set it on the backend for multiple services, and employees to manage. If you need basic appointment booking functionality, you can achieve that with Easy Appointments.
Sugar Calendar – Events management
Sugar Calendar allow you to set public events that your visitors can register to attend. You can set events to be private where users have to pay or public like an open house for a home listing.
This plugin also integrates with form plugins to manage emails and Stripe as a way to accept payments.
Best Plugins for Nonprofits
Nonprofit websites are typically aimed at explaining what the goal of the organization is, how you as a visitor can participate as well as various ways to donate contributions. Here are the best WordPress plugins made for nonprofits:
Give – The best donation plugin
GiveWP is the most well-known, widely used and most popular donation plugin for WordPress. GiveWP is perfect for you whether you need a basic or sophisticated donation button solution.
Level up beyond a simple PayPal donation button. GiveWP allows you to accept gifts for charity or other purposes through bespoke contribution forms, recurring contributions, multiple payment gateways and more.
This donation plugin also lets you to view donor data and fundraising reports, handle contributors, and connect with a variety of third-party gateways and services. It’s simply the best donation plugin for all types of nonprofit organizations looking to fundraise.
Charitable – Fundraiser plugin
Charitable is a free alternative to Give that does not charge any sort of transaction fee with people donate. This plugin is a light weight, simple alternative designed for a nonprofit organization that is running a fundraiser. With this plugin you can also setup recurring donations.
While nowhere near as feature rich as Give, it’s an excellent plugin if you’re in need of a way to enable a fundraiser on your nonprofits website.
Best WordPress Form Builder Plugins
Forms are a way for your website to directly interact with your visitors. From basic contact forms to more advanced forms for your payment gateway or email list provider forms, you’ll find the following plugins very helpful.
Gravity Forms – The most powerful form builder
Gravity forms is designed for organizations that need specific features like conditional logic, secure file uploads and workflow automation. You can do a lot of advanced things with Gravity Forms like break up a checkout page with pagination and breadcrumbs.
While you can create a simple contact form with Gravity Forms, it’s designed more for high traffic websites that want forms to send data to CRM’s, sign documents digitally and process calculations.
WP Forms – The best overall choice for a solo creator
WP Forms allows you to easily add various types of forms to your website. You can set specific fields, modal buttons, what email the messages go to and more advanced forms for things like subscription, payment forms and survey forms.
They have a free and premium version. If all you’re looking to do is setup a simple contact form for your website, WP Forms is a good choice. But if you’re wanting to also incorporate payment forms, surveys and registration forms then you’ll love the paid version of WP Forms.
Best WordPress Plugins for Popups
Popups in general should be used lightly and with tact. You don’t want to annoy your visitors and Google has publicly stated that they don’t like popups because there interfere with the overall user experience.
So implement popups in the form of an exit intent popup to keep the visitor on the website or offer a generous offer if you’re running an e-commerce website as a way to get someone to buy. What are the best plugins to do this? Here is what I recommend:
Optin Monster – The leader in pop ups
Optin Monster is technically a hosted solution and not a plugin, but any WordPress user looking to create popups will want to know the value provided by Optin Monster.
In minutes, not hours you can quickly and simply produce beautiful popup campaigns, email subscription forms, sticky announcement bars that sit at the top of your website, gamified spin-a-wheel opt-n forms for e-commerce websites, and other types of engaging popups for your site with our simple to use popup maker.
From exit intent popups, floating boxes, page targeting popup and your standard lightbox. Optin Monster is the industry leader for creating effective popups. Last, as Optin Monster is a hosted solution so you can use it with any CMS, not just WordPress.
Convert Box – Exit intent popups
Convert Box is my go to choice for all exit intent popups. It’s an easy and effective on blog post engagement platform that enables you to create targeted offers, lead capture forms, and segmentation funnels for the right people at the right time.
Add in Convert Box on your affiliate pages that rank as a way to drive traffic to your #1 recommendation or simply use it to capture emails to grow your list.
Thrive Leads – A cost effective popup solution
A true popup plugin for WordPress. As a plugin all your settings and data can be access via your WordPress dashboard. Thrive Leads integrate with all the popular email marketing providers and also allows you to easily create different types of popups.
From exit intent, full screen overlays, scroll mats and content locking popups (where visitors have to subscribe to get more), Thrive Leads offers the solo creator a lot of flexibility for creating high converting popups.
Trust Pulse – Social proof purchases
Trust Pulse is ideal for e-commerce websites and your sales pages because it’s one of those plugins where a small box appears in the corner informing that your product was purchased previously by a different consumer.
This social proof can helps drive an increase in sales by up to 15%. It pays for itself given the right traffic and funnel you’ve setup for selling your own products.
Conclusion: Best WordPress Plugins
There are so many WordPress plugins it can get a bit overwhelming. I hope you found this breakdown on what the best WordPress plugins are for each specific use case. From e-commerce to blogs, to community website and nonprofits. WordPress plugins allow for a staggering amount of flexibility.
David UtkeDavid Utke is a professional blogger, YouTuber and a highly rated user experience consultant. He and his team create helpful tutorials, software reviews, videos and more based on real-world experience. Join over 30,000 monthly readers and 27k+ YouTube subscribers!
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