Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

15 Top WordPress Plugins to Consider for Your Website

The WordPress Plugin Directory has over 57,500 WordPress plugins. The number of WordPress plugins has more than doubled in the past 7 years, so it’s becoming increasingly difficult to figure out which ones to install. I have made a list of 15 WordPress plugins that I typically install on every new WordPress website that has been built from the ground up.

1. Yoast SEO

Search engines love WordPress websites, although there are still ways you can improve it. Yoast SEO helps you write better content by allowing you to choose a focus keyword and making sure you use that focus keyword everywhere. It also gives you things like XML sitemaps, breadcrumbs, and social integration.

Get Yoast SEO

2. UpdraftPlus Backup & Restoration

Updraft Plus Backup Plugin

UpdraftPlus is the best free backup solution out there. Before we switched to our own backup solution for ourselves and our customers, we used Updraft on several websites to backup to an external location on a regular basis. It’s really simple to setup and you can schedule it for off-site backups for services like Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.

Get UpdraftPlus Backup & Restoration

3. Wordfence Security

wordfence security plugin

Wordfence is a solid security plugin that helps protect your website from hacks and malware. You can filter your traffic through Wordfence’s firewall to weed out unwanted visitors and hack attempts. You can also scan your website files, and set up alerts to let you know if your website is being tampered with.

Just be aware that security plugins like WordFence and iThemes Security can use up a lot of server resources, so if you’re on an expensive shared hosting solution where resources are thin and being shared with many other sites , then you might want to leave it to the side. Consider website performance and choose a few more lightweight options such as Limit Login Attempts Reloaded and perhaps a cloud firewall that filters your traffic before it arrives at your website such as Sucuri or even Cloudflare, Which has a free option.

Get Wordfence Protection

4. WP Super Cache

super cache plugin

In the past I have found WP Super Cache to be the simplest and most effective caching plugin I have adapted for most websites. It works by creating static HTML files that will be shown to your visitors instead of your server having to process the bulky and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts. Remember to clear the cache in the settings area every time you update your website content.

Caching plugins can help with your site performance but if you are on a managed WordPress host it is usually not needed as the caching will be handled directly on the server, which is much better than a plugin handling it for you. If you are not sure whether your host has server caching enabled for your website, you should simply check with your hosting provider.

Get WP Super Cache

5. Automatic Optimization

a wind surfer riding the waves

This plugin allows you to combine and minify your HTML, CSS and JS codes and files which improves the load times of your websites. Imagine a barista who goes to get coffee, and then milk, and then sugar versus one who gets everything at once and brings it straight to you. Combining and reducing the process results in a shorter queue and fewer frustrated visitors.

get automatic optimization

6. WP Smush

wp smush plugin

WP Smush reduces the file size of your images without loss of quality when you upload them to your media library. You can also bulk optimize all your existing images without putting any strain on your servers. Optimizing your images speeds up your website making it a better experience for your visitors and also helps with your overall search engine ranking.

Get WP Smush

7. Contact Form 7

contact form 7 plugin

Contact Form 7 is the most popular contact form plugin because it is simple and flexible. You can manage multiple contact forms and you can customize them with simple markup. You can place a contact form anywhere on your website that allows you to use shortcodes. The popularity of Contacts7 has seen many extensions like PayPal add-ons to send payments with your message.

Get Contact Form 7

8. MailChimp for WordPress

mailchimp plugin

MailChimp for WordPress allows you to connect your MailChimp account to your WordPress website so that you can add more customers to your MailChimp lists. The sign-up forms are good looking, user friendly and mobile optimized. You can also integrate it into many other plugins like WooCommerce.

Get MailChimp for WordPress

9. WPDiskuse

wp discuz

The WpDiscuz commenting system replaces the default WordPress commenting system to make it easier for people to comment and interact with your website. You can login to comment via Facebook, Twitter, Google+ which lowers the barrier of entry for your audience. It allows image uploads and is really smart when it comes to spam, so there’s no need for additional spam plugins.

get wpdiskj

10. Add any share button

Add to Any Share Button Plugin

The AddToAny Share Buttons plugin allows people to share your posts and pages on over 100 sharing and social media websites. You can choose a set of buttons and place them anywhere on your website. You can also choose a size and layout like the popular vertical floating share bar. In addition to the buttons you choose, you can also include an AddtoAny button that reveals all 100+ options.

Get the AddToAny Share Button

11. Jetpack

jetpack plugin

Jetpack has several features that you can choose from based on your needs. Highlights include uptime monitoring to know when your site goes offline, CDN to serve your website assets faster, related posts for increased engagement, automatically publish your posts on social networks Promotes to, and statistics to see how many people are visiting your posts and pages.

get jetpack

12. Post Type Order

post type order plugin

The Post Type Order plugin makes it easy for you to reorder your posts. You can override the previous method of ordering your websites whether by date, title, menu, etc. The easy to use drag and drop system allows you to re-order your entries for any post type on your website.

get post type order

13. Duplicate Post

duplicate post plugin

This plugin allows you to duplicate any previous post or page making it easy for you to repost or copy/paste everything you want to reuse. This can be useful when you’re creating a series of posts or when you don’t want to start from scratch every time you create something new.

get duplicate posts

14. Relevance – A Better Find

relevant plugin

Contextual replaces WordPress search with a more dynamic search engine. There are tons of features and configurable options to change the search how you want. The results are sorted in order of relevance, not by date. It can match partial words if full words do not match. It creates custom excerpts with the search term highlighted and it searches for comments, tags, categories and custom fields as well. This results in better presentation that helps your visitors find exactly what they’re looking for.

Get Relevance – A Better Find

15. Google Analytics by MonsterInsights

google analytics plugin

By adding Google Analytics you can track how your visitors locate your website and identify which pages and links your visitors click on the most. This allows you to improve your website to help them convert better, bring in more visitors and get more customers. The Google Analytics plugin simplifies data and display it directly in your WordPress dashboard.

Get Google Analytics by MonsterInsights

honorable mentions

Here are some additional plugins that have helped me throughout the years, they’ve been great and I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t at least give them a shout.

advanced custom fields
WP Sweep
google authenticator
Video thumbnails
wp mail smtp

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about steven watts

Steven Watts

Steven is the founder of Newt Labs. He is a WordPress expert with an interest in building the most effective websites. Since 2010, he has been helping businesses with their online goals.

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