In this post, I will share the 15 best plugins for WordPress websites that can give your website an extra boost in its functionality.
When it comes to WordPress websites, it is undeniable that plugins are an integral part of it. And why wouldn’t it be? These plugins come with almost every kind of function you would want from your website with just a few clicks.
And with millions of downloads around the world from the free WordPress directory itself show its importance when it comes to WordPress websites.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means, I will earn a commission (without any additional cost to you) if you click and make a purchase through those links. And if you do make a purchase, thanks for the support!
What is a plugin?
A Plug-in or plugin is a kind of software that extends the functionality of different applications or a computer program. Hence plugins for WordPress also do the same. It extends the features beyond what a basic WordPress website offers.
The most common extensions that website owners seek in plugins are SEO optimization, Contact forms, connecting Google Analytics, eCommerce functionalities and social sharing buttons.
Most of these functions can be added by tweaking some codes in the WordPress themes but it’s often difficult for non-technical persons to deal with things like Html, CSS etc. including me. So the plugins make a better option.
The WordPress directory contains free plugins only, and most of the free plugins come with some limitations to enable the full feature you will need to buy and upgrade those plugins.
When it comes to installation, both the free and paid versions have to be installed differently. They are not complicated at all.
However, let’s have a look at the steps on how to install the WordPress plugins anyways, in case you are not familiar with it.
To skip this and directly go to the plugins list. Click here.
How to install a WordPress plugin?
To install free plugins from the WordPress directory, Go to the Plugins tab in the left-hand menu of the WordPress backend dashboard and click the “Add new” button/tab.
This will lead you to the plugins library.
Now find the plugin you would like to install. You can also search for it from the search bar if you already know which one you would want.
And click ‘install‘ and activate the plugin.
To upload and install a pro plugin, Just follow the same step as above till you end up in the plugin library.
Now, just above the plugin category option bar find the upload plugin and select it and click install.
Then find the compressed folder where your plugin file is located on your laptop or any other place and upload it.
Lastly, click ‘activate the plugin‘.
Let’s have look at the list of plugins for WordPress that most websites might need.
Note: I will only share about the plugins that I use on my websites. Also, the features listed in each plugin might differ from the free to the paid version.
Now let’s look at…
What are the best plugins for WordPress?
Most of the plugins are free to use, however, some of them would help much better with the paid version.
- WP Forms
- CookieYes GDPR Cookie Consent
- Insert Headers and Footers
- WP Table builder
- Sassy social share
- Broken link checker
- Pretty links
- One Signal – Web push notification
- WP Foro
The most important component of a website is SEO. As it helps in bringing organic traffic to your site, and that’s why I have listed Rank Math on the first of the list.
RankMath is a WordPress plugin for SEO optimization that’s one of the best in the market. Over a million downloads from the WordPress plugin directory make it one of the most downloaded SEO plugins.
SEO is a key component of any website, I would advise you to use RankMath PRO to get all the features of the plugin.
Spam comments are one of the most annoying things, it hurts the credibility of your website. With Akismet you don’t have to worry about filtering spam comments, Akismet will do it for you.
3. WP Forms
Forms being an integral part of your website can’t be left out. Every now and then you will need to create one whether it’s for newsletter sign-up or a contact form. And WP Forms is a perfect plugin to make this task easier for you and your website.
As you are legally required by the European GDPR and Californian CCPA to have a Cookie consent button and policy placed on your website, a plugin for the same would make it easier for you to attach one to your website.
And with over a million downloads and more than fifteen hundred five-star ratings, the CookieYes GDPR Cookie plugin might be the best one for your website.
Adding codes and custom CSS to your website might be daunting for a non-technical person, but Insert Headers and Footers makes it easier for anyone to add codes in your website’s header, body and footer.
It’s complicated to make a table directly in your post and pages with Gutenberg blocks which is the default editor in WordPress. With WP table builder, you can drag and drop and build tables for your posts.
It is a perfect plugin to create pricing tables, lists and other types of tables for your website contents.
Although some themes come with options to add social share buttons, most don’t have the option to add social share buttons to your post or pages. This gap can be filled by “Sassy social share”.
This plugin allows your users to share your content on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest and a hundred other services.
Broken links within your website’s pages and also directed to other resources might affect your website’s SEO and also your visitor’s user experience. With “Broken link checker“, you can easily keep track of your website links.
If you want to get your Google Analytics stats right inside your WordPress dashboard that shows you the exact actionable reports. MonsterInsights might be the one for you.
10. Pretty links
Pretty Link is a link management plugin that comes for WordPress. It enables you to shorten links using your domain name, apart from that you can manage and track your links.
Growing your email list, website traffic and social media following can be difficult but RafflePress makes it easier for you to accelerate this process with giveaways. You can create attractive giveaways with RafflePress and boost your engagement.
Traffic is the key ingredient to a website’s success and there are various ways to increase your website traffic, one such way is sending notifications to your audience whenever you publish something. And it’s possible through One Signal web push notification.
The free plan allows you to target up to 10,000 subscribers, and that is enough for a new website to get started.
13. WP Foro
Forums can be a great way to create an interest-based community on your website. It also helps in increasing engagement and driving traffic to your website. With WP Foro you can create a forum with just a few clicks on your website.
WP Foro can also be used to create a whole website completely dedicated to forums.
WoocCommerce is the one-stop solution for your website’s eCommerce needs. You can create a customized storefront with any theme suited to your business.
It’s free and flexible and unlike other eCommerce-based website builders, in WooCommerce you retain full ownership of your store’s content and data.
Without a backup system, your website might be vulnerable to loss of data. With UpdraftPlus you can easily schedule your website data backup and restore with a single click.
The fifteen plugins above might be enough to run a blog website, eCommerce website or any kind of website. However, I’ll add some extra bonus plugin lists in case they might be of some help to you.
Easy Digital Download is a good option instead of WooCommerce if you are planning to sell only digitally downloadable products.
The default Gutenberg block that comes with WordPress has a limited block option. Ultimate addon for Gutenberg can extend its functionality by adding extra block options.
18. WP Post Author
Although most theme comes with the feature to display the post author option if your theme lacks this option you can go for WP Post Author.
19. Popup Maker
Popup Maker is a great plugin to create popups for email opt-in, lead generation, eCommerce, content overlay, slide-ins, banners and much more.
I will add more to the bonus list whenever I come across a useful plugin.