If you are looking for the best WordPress plugins to ensure your website is well-built, Look no further! This article reveals the top WordPress plugins business websites have to be using. We've got you covered if you are looking for a plugin to help with SEO, analytics, security, speed, and many other critical areas of a WordPress website.
The 13 Best WordPress Plugins in 2022
This article covers the best WordPress plugins from the categories below. These plugins are well-supported, offer the best features, and are essential to help your WordPress site enhance its functionality and performance.
1) Speed Optimization / Caching
WP Rocket is eCommerce friendly. It doesn't cache the cart or checkout pages to ensure that the website user's payment and personal information is kept private. This plugin is compatible with 99% of hosting providers, so your provider is likely among these.
It is also compatible with the most popular page builders and themes, including Elementor and Oxygen builders and Elegant or Astra themes.
WP Rocket has three pricing plans that vary based on the number of websites you intend to install it on.
Single: $49/year – for one website
Plus: $99/year – for up to 3 websites
Infinite: $249/year – for an unlimited number of websites
All the above plans come with a 100% money-back guarantee that you can claim if you are not impressed with the plugin in the first 14 days.
Best WordPress Alternative – W3 Total Cache
If WP Rocket is not ideal for you or you're looking for an option that allows you to pay monthly, W3 Total Cache is one of the best alternatives. It has over 1 million active installations, making it one of the most popular WordPress plugins. This tool will optimize your site using several methods, including caching, WebP image conversion, and minification.
Using this plugin will help you see an improvement in loading speeds when you test with the different site speed testers. It also includes mobile support, so all the optimizations are done for your site's desktop and mobile versions.
W3 Total Cache has a free version that provides you with a limited number of features that you can use to improve your site's performance slightly.
You can install the pro version of the plugin to get all the features W3 Total Cache offers. The pro version goes for $8.25/month, billed annually.
2) Image Performance & Compression
Suppose you are tired of having to manually size all your website images, deal with compression, and then re-upload to your WordPress media library. In that case, there are some plugins for WordPress to make this process much more manageable.
This is one of the best WordPress plugins, with over 1 million active installations worldwide and over 5,000 5-star ratings. This plugin will optimize your images, lazy load your images, and resize and compress your images, all to improve your site's page load time. The images are compressed without a visible loss in quality. It uses AI to remove unnecessary pixels so you won't see any loss.
Smush is compatible with popular WordPress themes, plugins, and page builders. Some notable ones include Thrive, Elementor, Astra, Zakra, and multiple plugins to help with page speed and caching, like WP Rocket, WP Fastest Cache, etc. You can get a lot done even with the free plugin.
The Pro version of Smush costs $7.50/month billed annually, and comes with a 7-day trial period.
Best WordPress Alternative – Imagify
Imagify is another image sizing plugin alternative that you can use to optimize your images automatically. WPmedia built this plugin, the creator of WP Rocket – arguably the best speed optimization plugin for WordPress sites. Like Smush, this plugin also uses AI to compress images by removing all unnecessary pixels from an image to make it smaller without compromising the quality.
This plugin also allows you to choose the compression level depending on how small you would like the images to get. Of course, the default compression level is good enough for most people, but having this option is an extra that a few people may find helpful. Imagify also has a completely free plugin that you can use in the beginning.
Imagify has a free Starter version and a paid plan, Infinite.
Starter: $0/month – offers up to 20MB of storage. (roughly 200 images)
Infinite: $9.99/month – offers endless storage.
3) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization should be one of the prioritized aspects of your WordPress site. The following must-have WordPress plugins will help you simplify the implementation of different SEO strategies on your site.
Related Content: Rank Math vs Yoast & All-In-One SEO vs Yoast SEO
Rank Math is one of the most powerful SEO plugins for WordPress websites. It has built-in suggestions based on widely-accepted best practices that you can use to optimize your WordPress site for search engines. Rank Math allows users to customize crucial SEO settings like title tags, focus keywords, meta descriptions, and images. WordPress users can also choose which pages are indexable and how they want their WordPress site to appear in search.
Rank Math integrates with the most popular search engines and social media networks, including Google, Bing, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter. It's also supported by the most commonly used WordPress themes and web hosting providers. Even with the free version of Rank Math, you can get a lot of SEO for your WordPress blog.
The SEO plugin has a clean and straightforward one-page interface that will guide you on changes you need to make to improve the SEO of your content. You also get SEO tools like broken link checker, XML sitemaps generator, and Google Analytics.
Rank Math has a free WordPress plugin and three paid versions that you can choose from. The pricing plan varies based on the number of supported websites and content AI credits.
Free: 5 content AI credits, no keyword tracking, and no support
Pro: $59/year – up to 15 free content AI credits, 500 keywords, unlimited personal websites, and 24/7 customer support.
Business: $199/year – up to 125 free content AI credits, 10,000 keywords, 100 client websites, and 24/7 customer support.
Agency: $499/year – up to 600 free content AI credits, 50,000 keywords, 500 client websites, and 24/7 priority customer support.
All paid plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee that you can take advantage of if you are unsatisfied with the plugin.
Best WordPress Alternative: Yoast SEO
Yoast is one of the most popular plugins in the WordPress plugin store, with over 5 million active installs and over 25,000 5-star ratings. Like Rankmath, Yoast also offers a free plugin. Even with the free plugin, you get great features. This option is suitable if you don't need the sophisticated SEO features of the paid version.
Its features, such as SEO and readability analysis, broken link checker, XML sitemaps generation, Google analytics integration, and on-page SEO optimization, will help you optimize your WordPress blog and ensure it performs well in all the popular search engines. Yoast also has excellent resources on its website that you can take advantage of to improve your SEO knowledge.
Yoast has a free version and two premium plans that vary based on your desired features.
Yoast SEO Free: Comes with the essential SEO tools and six free academy courses.
Yoast SEO Premium: $99/year – Comes with all SEO tools, social media previews, and full access to Yoast SEO academy.
Plugin Subscription: $229/year – All features the premium package, five powerful Yoast plugins, and all online SEO training courses.
4) Analytics & Measurement
These plugins will track and measure your WordPress site performance. Some of the information includes numbers of website visitors, source, time on site, new vs returning, etc. They integrate seamlessly with your Google Analytics account to bring the metrics into the WordPress dashboard.
This is the best option you should consider if you are looking at getting a robust tool to monitor your website's performance. It is also a popular WordPress plugin with over 3 million installs. This plugin also has over 2000 5-star ratings on the plugin store for WordPress.
MonsterInsights has several useful analytics features, including Universal Analytics & GA4, a WordPress dashboard to display analytics reports, enhanced eCommerce tracking, page-level analytics, affiliate link & ads tracking, and more. It also works with the most popular themes and plugins, including Yoast, WooCommerce, GoogeAdSense, etc. You don't need to set up Google Analytics tracking separately if you use MonsterInsights.
MonsterInsights has three pricing plans that you can choose from based on the size of your business.
Plus: $99.50/year – Supports up to 1 website and is ideal for small businesses and publishers.
Pro: $199.50/year – Supports up to 5 websites and is ideal for eCommerce sites and businesses.
Agency: $399/year – Supports up to 25 websites and is ideal for marketing and web development agencies.
All plans come with a 100% money-back guarantee if you are unsatisfied with how the tool works.
Best WordPress Alternative: Analytify
If you don't want to use MonsterInsights, Analytify is the best alternative. Analytify is a WordPress plugin with over 60,000 active installations and 400 5-star reviews. It has all the tools you need to track (in real-time) every visitor that comes to your website.
Its core analytics features include social media tracking, real-time tracking, universal tracking, enhanced eCommerce tracking, page-level analytics, etc. Analytify is a rather easy plugin to install and configure on your WordPress website. It t also integrates with your Google Analytics account to bring reporting to the WordPress dashboard.
Analytify has three pricing plans you can choose from based on the number of websites you manage.
Pro: $59/month – Up to 1 website
Conversion: $99/month – Up to 10 websites
Developer: $299/month – Up to 50 websites
All the above plans come with a 100% no-risk money-back guarantee if you are unsatisfied with the plugin after 14 days.
5) Structured Data / Schema Markup
You can use these plugins to organize data on your website and optimize it to enhance search engine visibility. Below are some of the best options to consider.
It is the best WordPress plugin for anyone looking for a plugin to optimize their website data with a few clicks. It also has many other features that you can utilize to improve the overall performance of your website. Schema Pro supports all the popular themes and WordPress plugins.
Schema Pro also allows users to buy this plugin once for life. This is a good deal if you hope to use this plugin for many years. However, it might be best to subscribe to the annual plan and decide if it is worth paying for the lifetime package.
Schema Pro has two plans you can choose from depending on your desired features.
Schema Pro: $79 per year or $249 lifetime – This package is for those who need an easy way to automate schema markup for their website
Growth Bundle: $249 per year or $699 lifetime – This plan is for those who want a fully-fledged suite of tools necessary to build and grow your business on the web
All the above plans come with a 100% money-back guarantee that you can claim within 14 days if unsatisfied with this plugin.
Best WordPress Alternative: Snip
Snip is one of the best WordPress plugins for creating advanced structured data and schema markups for WordPress. If Schema Pro doesn't meet your needs, this is the next best option to consider. It is not a well-known plugin like Schema Pro. However, the few that have used this plugin rate it highly.
Suppose you want your website to display eye-catching results on Google and several other search engines. In that case, this is one plugin you need to install. Snip has a free version with basic features, including adding structured data to all your web pages, posts, or custom post types.
Snip offers an affordable premium plan compared to other alternatives, ideal for small businesses and individuals who do not have a big plugin budget. This plugin should also work with most themes and hosting providers.
Snip has a free version with essential features you can get started with, especially if your site is still small. They also have a lifetime plan priced at $59.
6) Website Security
Security is one of the core issues that you should never compromise while running WordPress sites. We recommend using either of the two must-have WordPress plugins below if you want to enhance the security of your website.
It is one of the most reliable WordPress plugins to enhance security. Security features Sucuri will incorporate into your website include a malware scanner, malware removal tools, a powerful cloud-based firewall, and a speed-optimizing tool that uses Sucuri's built-in CDN.
Sucuri is built for WordPress, but it is also compatible with custom-built websites and other website-building platforms, including Magento, Joomla, and Drupal. This plugin should also work with almost every WordPress theme and hosting provider. Once you subscribe to any of their plans, you will receive access to a 24/7 security team that monitors your site for any possible attacks.
Sucuri has four plans that you can choose from based on the size of your business and the security features you want to integrate into your website. The premium WordPress plugins are more suited for SMEs.
Basic Platform: $199.99/year – This plan is ideal for small businesses, including blogs and small websites.
Pro Platform: $299.99/year – This plan is suitable for medium-sized companies seeking to minimize disruptions with advanced support for quick SSL certificate transfers.
Business Platform: $499.99/year – This plan is ideal for relatively large businesses needing the fastest response time, site cleanups, and frequent scans to avoid vulnerabilities.
Multi-site & Custom Plans: (custom pricing) – This plan is meant for agencies and professionals that need enterprise-level features and multisite support.
Best WordPress Alternative: Wordfence
If you find Sucuri a little expensive for your business, then Wordfence is the next best alternative you can consider. It has a team of WordPress security analysts, threat researchers, software engineers, and support staff that will ensure your site is secure. Wordfence is also one of the most popular security plugins, with over 4 million active installations.
Upon installation, you benefit from critical security features and services including login security, centralized management, two-factor authentication, a 24/7 incident response team, frequent malware scans, and the Wordfence firewall.
Wordfence has a free plan and three premium plans that you can pay for if you want more advanced features.
Wordfence Free: It comes with an industry-leading firewall and essential tools to keep your site safe.
Wordfence Premium: $99/year – This comes with Real-Time Threat Intelligence and excellent customer support.
Wordfence Care: $490/year – This plan involves hands-on support and monitoring.
Wordfence Response: $950/year – This comes with all the security features Wordfence can offer and a 1-hour response time for any support issues.
7) Website Backup & Restore
These WordPress plugins are meant to back up your website data to a safe cloud storage provider that you can access if your website fails or you lose vital data that you would like to restore.
Backup Buddy is one of the most popular WordPress plugins you can use to back up and restore your website to protect against data loss. This plugin has had over 1 million downloads since its creation in 2010. It has a simple UI that enables users to create a website backup with just a few clicks.
Core features you receive with this plugin include complete WordPress website backups, scheduled backups, and automatic backups. Remote backup storage to a Backup Buddy repository or integration with many popular storage repositories such as Google Drive, Amazon S3, and Dropbox, and the ability to download your backups. A manageable feature within the plugin to restore your site from a backup is also included.
Backup Buddy has four plans you can choose from based on the number of sites you intend to back up, the storage requirements, and other advanced features you might want. They don't have a free plan, so you must opt for a premium one.
Blogger: $80/year – Supports only one website and up to 1GB of Backup Buddy Stash storage space.
Freelancer: $127/year – Supports up to 10 websites and comes with 1GB of Backup Buddy Stash storage space.
Gold: $199/year – Unlimited number of websites and offers up to 5GB of Backup Buddy Stash storage space
Plugin Suite: $499/year – Unlimited number of websites and comes with 10GB of Backup Buddy Stash storage space
All the above packages come with a 100% money-back guarantee that you can claim within the first 30 days if unsatisfied with the service.
Best WordPress Alternative: Updraft Plus
UpDraft Plus is the best alternative plugin if you don't want to use Backup Buddy. It is top-rated, with over 3 million active installations. UpDraft Plus will send your website files like Backup Buddy to your favorite cloud storage provider.
Providers you can use include Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3, UpdraftVault, Rackspace Cloud, FTP, DreamObjects, etc. Most cloud storage services give users an average of 5GB free, which is more than enough to back up a small website that has no image or video-laden.
This tool's primary backup features include cloning and migration, incremental backups, pre-update backups, backup time and scheduling, reporting and analytics, importing websites, lock settings, etc.
UpDraft Plus has four plans that you can choose from depending on how many websites you intend to install it on. Below are all four plans that UpDraft Plus offers.
Personal: $70 per year – Supports up to 2 websites
Business: $95 per year – Supports up to 10 websites.
Agency: $145 per year – Supports up to 35 websites
Enterprise: $195 per year – Supports an unlimited number of websites
Renewal rates are less than the initial cost of the plugin.
8) Form Creation
Almost every website needs this type of plugin. It is nearly impossible to find a website that doesn't have at least one page with a contact form. A contact form requires users to fill in their contact details, which is essential to maintain communication with prospects and customers. There are several form-creation WordPress plugins, but the two mentioned are the best options.
This is one of the most popular WordPress plugins for building custom forms and flows to connect with your website visitors. With Gravity Forms, you can quickly and efficiently create many forms for your website. This plugin comes with several handy tools that make creating custom forms more manageable.
This plugin's core features include a visual, drag-and-drop form editor, online payment integration, workflow automation, conditional logic, file uploads, and secure data collection. With these features, you will be able to create any form with just a few clicks.
A contact form helps you to collect the emails of your ideal customers and helps you convert them from leads to paying customers through email marketing. According to Hubspot, email marketing can generate an ROI of 4,200%. Over 4 billion people use email daily. If you are not using email marketing in 2022, you will miss out on tons of sales.
Gravity Forms integrates with many 3rd party applications. Some of these include; HubSpot, Dropbox, PayPal, Zapier, Stripe, and top email marketing software. It is also supported by most WordPress theme and hosting providers.
Gravity Forms has three premium plans to choose from. Pricing is based on the number of sites you intend to manage, the level of customer support you need, and other advanced features.
Basic: $59/year – Up to 1 website and standard customer support.
Pro: $159/year – Up to 3 websites and standard customer support.
Elite: $259/year – Unlimited websites and priority customer support.
These plans don't offer a free trial. However, they have demos that you can use to review how the plugin works. Gravity Forms also offers a 30-day refund window on all purchases.
Best WordPress Alternative: WPForms
If you find Gravity Forms doesn't meet your needs, WPForms is one of the best alternatives you should look at for creating contact forms. It's a WordPress plugin with over 5 million active installations. This plugin has over 10,000 5-star ratings. WPForms has handy tools, like a drag-and-drop form builder, that will make your life much easier while creating practically any type of contact form.
This plugin's core features include a drag & drop form builder, over 300 form templates, smart conditional logic, instant notifications, entry management, and spam protection. It also allows the creation of different form types, including payment, survey, newsletter, registration, and contact forms.
This plugin also integrates with several other web applications, such as Constant Contact and PayPal, to give you a seamless experience. Constant Contact integration comes with the lowest price plan but to integrate with PayPal and many other services, you'll need to upgrade to a higher level.
WPForms offers four premium plans you can choose from. Pricing depends on the number of websites you intend to manage with this plugin and the integrations you need. Below are the four plans that you can choose from.
Basic: $39.50/year – Supports only one site and comes with unlimited forms, unlimited submissions, and unlimited users.
Plus: $99.50/year – It supports up to 3 sites and has unlimited forms, submissions, and unlimited users.
Pro: $199.50/year – Up to 5 websites and supports unlimited forms, unlimited submissions, and unlimited users.
Elite: $299.50/year – Unlimited number of websites and, unlimited forms, unlimited submissions, and unlimited users.
WPForms also offers a 100% no-risk money-back guarantee for all paid plans if you are not satisfied with any of them within the first 14 days.
Note: The prices listed here are 50% off retail or so they claim.
9) On-site Search
These plugins are used to integrate more robust search features into your site. With these plugins, your website visitors will find it much easier to find anything they are searching for on your website. Let's look at the two WordPress plugins we recommend for this feature.
SearchWP is one of the most robust and reliable WordPress plugins for search that you can integrate into your WordPress website. With this plugin, you will get a report showing your site's search history to help you figure out the most common terms that users search for when they visit. This data can help you improve your site content over time.
Popular page builders, including Elementor, Avada, Divi, and Beaver Builder also support the SearchWP plugin. It also works with almost every theme, including custom-built themes.
SearchWP has three plans to choose from depending on the number of websites you manage and any extra features you find essential.
Standard: $99/year – Up to 1 site with all the standard features.
Pro: $199/year – Up to 5 sites, all the standard features, plus WooCommerce integration, metrics, related content, redirects, and custom results ordering.
Agency: $399/year – Unlimited sites, all standard features, plus WooCommerce integration, metrics, related content, redirects, and custom results ordering.
Best WordPress Alternative: Relevanssi
This is the best alternative if you want to use free WordPress plugins or find SearchWP unsuitable for your website. It walks within the realm of popularity with over 100,000 active installations for the premium version and 1.6 million for the free version. Relevanssi was created to improve the already existing search engine built into WordPress.
With search features like PDF content search, multisite search, user profile search, taxonomy terms, and custom field search, it will significantly improve the search experience for your users. Relevanssi also supports integrations with bbPress and WooCommerce, making it ideal for eCommerce websites. This plugin will also work with most themes and other WordPress tools you may already use on our website.
Relevanssi has a free version with essential features to get you started. There are also two premium plans that you can opt for if you would like to integrate more search functionality into your website.
Annual: $99/year – Supports an unlimited number of websites.
Permanent: $349/lifetime – Supports unlimited sites and can be used for a lifetime.
Relevanssi offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
10) Social Sharing
These are WordPress plugins built to make it easier for website owners to share content on social media. There are several social sharing plugins to choose from, but here are the two that we most recommend.
Social Snap is one of the most popular social sharing plugins for WordPress. It also has over 20,000 active installations and an average rating of 4.5/5 stars. Some top digital marketing gurus, such as Neil Patel recommend Social Snap. This plugin has a wide range of features that you can take advantage of to increase your brand's social engagement and drive more traffic to your website.
Key features you will discover with this plugin include:
- social sharing
- dynamically displayed social follower count
- social auto poster
- advanced analytics
- social login
- social meta tags
- click to tweet
These tools can improve your brand's presence on social media and generate traffic for your site.
Social Snap has three plans that you can choose from based on the number of websites you intend to install it on.
Plus: $39/year – One website with no add-ons.
Pro: $99/year – Up to 3 websites with all add-ons.
Agency: $299/year – Up to 15 websites with all add-ons.
Each of these plans also comes with a 100% money-back that you can claim within the first 30 days of use. As of writing, Social Snap offers a 30% discount on any plan.
Best WordPress Alternative: Social Warfare
Social Warfare is the next best alternative if you don't want to use Social Snap. This plugin currently has over 1 million downloads, making it one of WordPress's most popular social sharing plugins. It comes with many features that you can utilize to enhance the social sharing experience of your website.
These features include a social optimizer, social analytics, social widgets, social proof by displaying follower count on your site, popular posts, analytics integration, and more.
Social Warfare has four plans that you can choose from depending on the number of sites you intend to install this plugin on. All plans provide the same features.
Single Site: $29/year
5 Sites: $89/year
10 Sites: $139/year
Unlimited Sites: $349/year
11) Social Feeds
These are WordPress plugins specifically built to display your social media content on your site. They give the option to choose which posts are displayed and how. Let's look at the best social feed options.
Smash Balloon is the best social feed plugin currently used by over 1.75 million professionals on their WordPress sites. This tool is also being used on top brands' websites, including Coca-Cola, WPBeginner, Indeed, Bailey, Mariah Carey, and many more. It also integrates with most social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
Some of the core features of this plugin include a powerful feed customizer, downtime prevention, speed optimizer, SEO booster, GDPR compliance, and much more. It is easy to install and has no strong competitor; it is the best.
Smash Balloon is priced based on the platform you want to feed into your site. Each platform integration costs the same, you decide how many you need. Or, you can buy all of the integrations in a bundle.
Facebook Feed Pro: $49/year – For use on one website.
Instagram Feed Pro: $49/year – For use on one website.
Twitter Feed Pro: $49/year – For use on one website.
YouTube Feed Pro: $49/year – For use on one website.
All Access Bundle: $299/year – All plugins for an unlimited number of websites.
12) Website Builders
WordPress builder plugins help architect your web pages' different sections without using the standard WordPress editor. They are at times, referred to as page builders. They make building your site smoother than the default editor that comes with WordPress. Here are the two website builders that are best in class.
Elementor is the best drag-and-drop website builder plugin for creating WordPress websites. It is arguably the most popular website builder, with over 5 million active installations and over 5000 5-star reviews. This plugin comes with drag-and-drop tools that you can use to create any web page. It is one of the best free WordPress plugins you can install as the free version allows you to create stunning websites.
Some of the features that Elementor Pro comes with include 300+ designer-made templates, more than 100 widgets, live editing, responsive editing, and more. Elementor has an intuitive UI that makes it pretty easy to find and use all the drag-and-drop tools you need to create the different web pages of your site.
Elementor has a free version with basic features to build your website. Their premium plans are what you will want to unlock its full potential. You can choose from any of Elementor's plans depending on the number of sites you intend to manage this tool with.
Essential Plan: $49/year – Supports only one site and includes all the pro features, premium support, and website kits.
Expert Plan: $199/year – Up to 25 websites and all pro features, premium support, expert website kits, and Elementor expert profile
Studio Plan: $499/year – Up to 100 websites and all pro features, premium support, expert website kits, and Elementor expert profile.
Agency Plan: $999/year – Up to 1000 sites and all pro features, premium support, expert website kits, and Elementor expert profile.
All the above plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee that you can utilize if you are not satisfied with what this plugin offers.
Note: You can purchase Elementor Pro Advanced, which will provide you with all the features for 3 websites for $99.
Best WordPress Alternative: Oxygen Builder
Oxygen is one of the best alternatives to consider if Elementor doesn't suit the kind of website you are building. One of the advantages of this tool is that it has the option of a one-time purchase, so you can choose to buy it for life. Oxygen has all the tools you need to create web pages for any website.
Some of the core features of Oxygen include header builder, dynamic data, Gutenberg integration, simplified client UI, global colors, design library, and composite elements. It also has an intuitive drag-and-drop editor that makes it pretty simple to create web pages from scratch.
Oxygen is the most lightweight builder plugin available and supports your website speed and page load times more than Elementor or other page builders.
Oxygen Builder has four plans you can choose from based on the type and number of websites you create.
Basic: $129 one time – Comes with a lifetime unlimited license.
WooCommerce: $169 one-time – Comes with a lifetime unlimited license and WooCommerce integration.
Agency: $199 one-time – Comes with Lifetime Unlimited License, WooCommerce Integration, Gutenberg Block Builder, and Simplified Client UI.
Ultimate: $229 one-time – Comes with Lifetime Unlimited License, WooCommerce Integration, Gutenberg Block Builder, Simplified Client UI, and Composite Elements.
If you don't want to purchase the lifetime packages, Oxygen gives you the option of getting the $29/year package. Each plan comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee that you can claim if you are not satisfied with the plugin.
13) eCommerce / Storefronts
Using an eCommerce store plugin is the easiest option to add an online store to your website. These WordPress plugins will help you integrate online shopping capabilities into your site without writing a single line of code. The following are the best options we recommend.
This is the best WordPress eCommerce plugin on over 5 million websites. It also has over 3000 5-star reviews on the WordPress plugins store.
WooCommerce is completely free to install. It comes with all the necessary features and tools to integrate a fully-functional online eCommerce store with your website. These features include payments, shipping, store content and customization, marketing, customer service, and management.
As mentioned, WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin. But, if you want to add additional features or functionality to your store, cart, or checkout, you might need to purchase an add-on, which will incur a fee.
Best WordPress Alternative: Easy Digital Downloads
Easy Digital Downloads is one of the best alternatives if you are looking for a premium eCommerce plugin that you can use to sell digital products online. It is a popular eCommerce plugin with over 50,000 installations and more than 430 positive reviews on the WordPress plugins store.
Easy Digital Downloads has all the core features to build a robust online store. Such features include a shopping cart, order management, discount codes, data reporting, marketing tools, customer management, etc. This plugin also allows you to install Themed, a free and extensible theme that integrates seamlessly with it.
Easy Digital Downloads has four pricing plans you can choose from depending on the eCommerce features you would like to integrate into your online store.
Personal Pass: $99.50 per year – One website and Email marketing tools, Email support, and updates included
Extended Pass: $199.50 per year – All personal pass features and sell subscriptions, payment gateways
Professional Pass: $299.50 per year – all extended pass features and premium extensions, sell licensed software, marketplace functionality, checkout fields manager, vendor commissions, custom deliverables, wish lists, and recommended products
All-access Pass: $499.50 per year – All Professional Pass features and access to 79 extensions, over $6,000 in savings! fraud monitor, slack integration, product comparison, purchase rewards, conditional emails, gravity forms integration, and unlimited sites license
All the above plans come with a 100% money-back guarantee to be claimed within 14 days.
WordPress plugins – explained!
A WordPress plugin is software that can be integrated into your WordPress site to accomplish a specific task or add extra functionality. It is wise to have a standard plugin for the following categories: SEO plugin, analytic/tracking plugin, eCommerce plugin, performance/caching plugin, a contact form plugin, and a plugin for security.
When you create a WordPress website, you'll find existing plugins already installed in your instance. These may or may not be what you need, so you'll likely want to review them or uninstall them to get a clean WordPress admin panel.
Why do you need to install plugins on your WordPress website?
As discussed earlier, any WordPress plugin's role is to enhance your website's functionality. Plugins will enable your website to do things that it wouldn’t be able to do in its default state. Most built-in WordPress tools are not enough to make your website robust and competitive.
Plugins can also enhance your website's performance. There are certain plugins that will automatically cache common sections of your websites. This will significantly improve the load times when someone who previously visited your website revisits it.
Plugins will also enable your website to integrate with other web platforms. Some plugins integrate with social media networks. These plugins make promoting your website on social media much easier by syncing most of the information.
Installing too many unnecessary plugins could negatively affect your site's performance. Don’t install every plugin that you find in the WordPress plugins store. Take time to find the ones you need.
12 key considerations when selecting the best plugins for your website
1) Website needs
The best starting point is to assess your site's needs before choosing which plugins to install. The needs of any website will largely depend on the category it falls under. For instance, the needs of an eCommerce website will be different from those of a blog.
You should already know the type of website you intend to build. The next step is to plan what you want the website to accomplish. The list of objectives your site has will make it easier to decide which plugins to install.
You will find that some types of plugins are needed by almost every website. These general-purpose plugins should always make it onto your list. Some of these could be a builder plugin if you don't intend to use the native editor or a plugin to handle spam comments if you intend to allow commenting.
Even the best WordPress plugins can have compatibility issues with others for WordPress or a WordPress theme. If you have compatibility issues, your site will not work. The difference is, with free WordPress plugins, you'll likely be out of luck getting support and so you will need to do some horse-trading amongst your plugins.
To avoid problems, plan which free and premium plugins you will use and what theme suits your needs before you build. If you see compatibility issues, it's best to start swapping out plugins to arrive at a stable framework. Sometimes you can swap out a plugin when you add code snippets to your functions file.
Pricing varies based on the functionality and the development network. Many of the plugins listed here would also make it onto a “best free WordPress plugins” list. Most plugins you find in the WordPress store have a free option. This allows a glimpse into what the plugin can do so you can decide if the free or paid version suits your needs best.
Before choosing a plugin, look at the alternatives that do the same task and select the one that best meets your requirements. It is essential to consider the plugin reviews and pricing. Don't opt for a plugin that will hurt your website's performance to save a few dollars.
Some plugins can do more than one task, and some are designed to do just one. For example, most security-related plugins also come with a feature that allows users to back up a website on external cloud services like Google Drive. However, there are also security plugins that don't give you this option.
When choosing a plugin for WordPress, it is best to go for one with numerous needed features to avoid installing multiple plugins to do the job that a single plugin can do. You will also notice that multi-tenet plugins offer more value when compared to purchasing separate plugins.
5) Customer reviews
We are privileged to live in an era where feedback from previous buyers about a product is just a few clicks away. WordPress allows users to write a review about their experience with a plugin for WordPress after they have used it. Many plugin marketplaces also allow users to rate and write reviews about their purchased plugins.
Of course, no software is perfect, so you will likely find negative reviews on almost every plugin. You need to ensure the negatives are not significant enough to affect the overall functionality of the plugin. Be sure to look at the customer support rating of the plugin as well.
When you buy a plugin for WordPress, you expect the developer to continue improving it over time as technology changes and WordPress updates occur. Updates also help fix any security vulnerabilities detected in the plugin. Knowing how often the plugin receives updates before installing it is vital.
You should install a plugin that is updated frequently and those that align their updates with any WordPress bug or core updates. Many free WordPress plugins typically do not receive the update frequency of paid WordPress plugins.
7) Customer support and documentation
With any software, there come times when you need support on performance, setup, configuration, or troubleshooting of a problem.
Most plugins have documentations you can use to determine how certain things are accomplished. If the documentation doesn't provide the information you need, their customer support should be available to help you out.
You need to choose a plugin that has reliable and reputable support channels. Most vendors have the option of email and live chat. Logging a ticket is common but can be an issue if there is a backlog of tickets.
8) Installation and configuration
Installation of a plugin will help you better understand its compatibility with your theme and the other plugins you have installed. Installing and configuring it in a staging environment is typically best if you question it in any way. You never want to install a plugin on your live site unless you know it is compatible. It could take your entire site down.
With free plugins, you are typically on your own or relying on the community for guidance. The advantage of a paid plugin is that you have installation and configuration instructions and the support of the plugin developer.
9) Plugin popularity
You might be wondering why the popularity of plugins matters. A popular plugin will usually have more reviews. This makes it easier to get a solid idea of the experience you should expect when you install it. Popularity will also define the level of support you can obtain on developer forums or tutorials on YouTube and blogs.
So, how do you determine if the plugin is popular or not?
The easiest way to find out is by checking the number of downloads and reviews. Plugin stores, including the WordPress store, will show you the number of installs of the plugin. Most plugin marketplaces will also show you the average rating of the plugin and a few reviews you can read.
10) Security and privacy
WordPress is an open-source platform allowing you to install plugins from the WordPress plugin directory and other plugin marketplaces outside of WordPress. This is good because it allows users to install plugins without limitations. However, this freedom comes at the expense of security because not every plugin for WordPress is safe.
Installing a plugin with security vulnerabilities will put your website at risk of being compromised by hackers or malware. Discover the plugin's security and privacy history before installing it. Remember that a free plugin might add more risk than a paid version.
11) Number of supported websites
Some plugins allow users to use it on several additional websites without paying any extra. This may not be a concern to people running just one website. But suppose you own a digital marketing agency that manages multiple websites. In that case, it is a cost-saving to purchase a multisite license.
Additionally, a plugin with a multisite license allows you to apply custom settings across all websites without setting up each individually.
12) Lifetime pricing
Some plugins offer lifetime plans, meaning that you buy the plugin once for life. We find this to be of great value if you've properly vetted the plugin and know that you will be using it for a long time.
This is a great way to save money over the lifetime of a plugin and its usefulness to your website. Additionally, you will find lifetime plans being offered across multiple websites. This is also a great investment if you have a portfolio of sites or are an agency that will likely use this plugin across multiple clients.
Best WordPress Plugins Wrap-up
This article covers the plugins we feel are best for WordPress. These are essential plugins that meet the core needs of a WordPress website. You cannot go wrong installing any of the plugins outlined here.
There may be other plugins you need to install on your website to achieve different functionality. These could be a WordPress automation plugin, a WordPress translation plugin for multilingual sites, or even a WordPress LMS plugin for courses. We will add these areas over time, but reviews and peer ratings are a great way to vet any plugin for WordPress.
Whether you use free plugins or a paid plugin for WordPress, keep it updated to ensure it performs its best and help keep your site secure.
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Last Updated March 8, 2023
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