11 February 2022
Looking for the essential WordPress plugins to help your business grow?
There are more than 60,000 WordPress plugins to choose from. This makes it incredibly difficult for new users to select the relevant plugin for their website.
In this article, we’ll show you some of the essential WordPress plugins for a new website.
A WordPress plugin page in the WordPress repository offers extensive information about the plugin, including what it does and how to use it. Use this information to find out whether or not this plugin is right for you. Once you’ve decided what you need, browse the WordPress plugin directory for a few plugins that will meet your requirements. Use the advice we’ve provided below to help you select the best one.
The first thing to do when choosing WordPress plugins is to investigate the plugin by checking out the average user rating. The number of stars represents the rating score, with five representing the highest and one representing the lowest.
Always bear in mind that a large number of WordPress users do not rate the plugin. Even if thousands of individuals have downloaded a plugin, there may not be enough users to give it a rating.
Customer reviews are usually a good starting point when picking a WordPress plugin. It represents the views of the plugin’s actual users. So, by reading the reviews, you can determine whether or not the customers had a positive user experience. It also helps in finding the plugin’s quality.
The number of active installs may determine a plugin’s popularity and usefulness. Choosing a plugin that is used by many WordPress sites is a smart option. As a result, when deciding between the plugins, go with the one with the most active installs.
You should always examine the plugin’s last update date. Plugin developers update a well-maintained plugin regularly. Such updates will ensure that the plugin is compatible with the most recent version of WordPress.
So, before you decide to install a plugin, make sure it’s up-to-date and compatible with the most recent version of WordPress.
The support section of the plugin pages will provide you with a fast overview of how many support threads for a plugin have opened in the previous two months. It’ll also tell you how many of the topics are resolved.
On the other hand, if a plugin has many unresolved threads and the author hasn’t reacted to any of them in the previous two months, the author may have lost interest. Although the plugin may still function for you, it is unlikely to be supported in the long run.
If WordPress plugins are poorly developed or do not meet WordPress code standards, they may cause your website to slow down.
To check for this issue, use a well-known site performance testing tool. Before enabling the plugin, test the page speed of your website.
Then, return to your WordPress website and activate the plugin. Now do another speed test on your website.
If the plugin adds a massive amount of time to the speed of your site, you should look for a different plugin.
Here are our top picks:
MonsterInsights is the top Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. It lets you correctly connect your website to Google Analytics, allowing you to see how visitors find and use your website.
The best feature is that it displays all of the important metrics directly inside your WordPress dashboard.
Then, you may optimize your website to boost traffic, subscribers, and profit.
Check out our detailed guide on how to install Google Analytics in WordPress.
MonsterInsights offers a free version, but its real power is only unlocked when you switch to the premium version. The premium version starts from $99.50 per year for a single site up to $239.70 per year for 25 sites.
ExactMetrics is a good alternative to MonsterInsights.
A contact form is essential for every website since it allows people to contact you quickly. WPForms is the most user-friendly WordPress contact form plugin.
It offers a powerful drag-and-drop builder that lets you quickly create online forms. This includes a contact form, email subscription forms, online order forms, surveys, polls, etc., with just a few clicks.
Further, WPForms interacts with all major marketing and payment platforms, allowing you to create effective forms in under 5 minutes.
Plus, it has powerful features that don’t exist in other form builders. Such as conversational forms, form landing pages, user journey tracking, form abandonment, etc.
A free WPForms Lite version is available for those searching for a quick solution. You will need to upgrade to their pro version for advanced contact forms. The premium version starts from $49.50 per year for a single site up to $179.70 per year for unlimited sites.
Formidable Forms and Ninja Forms are excellent alternatives for creating advanced solution-focused WordPress forms.
Must Read: WPForms vs. Ninja Forms: Which One Is The Best Form Builder?
Elementor is one of the essential WordPress plugins for page building. At its core, Elementor offers drag-and-drop functionality, allowing users to customize their pages and posts quickly.
The plugin also comes with over 100 pre-made page templates to help you get started with any type of website. 90+ widget choices allow you to include features like social media icons and a progress bar without installing other WordPress plugins.
While Elementor works with mostly all WordPress themes, make sure you choose one that is Elementor-ready to avoid any problems. When in doubt, choose the Hello Elementor WordPress theme created by the plugin’s developers.
Check out our complete Elementor review.
Elementor lite version is available for free on the official WordPress plugins repository. However, the premium version starts from $49 a year for a single site up to $399 per year for 1000 sites.
Beaver Builder, SeedProd, and Divi page builder plugins are great alternatives with powerful features.
Must Read: Elementor vs. SeedProd vs. Divi Comparison: Which is the Best?
All in One SEO is one of the essential WordPress plugins of all time. Nearly 3 million websites use it.
AIOSEO is a complete WordPress SEO plugin with all the features and tools you need to boost your on-page SEO.
It allows you to correctly add SEO title, meta description, and keywords, as well as create XML sitemaps, connect your site to Google Search Console, and optimize it for social media.
The best thing about All in One SEO is that it’s user-friendly, so even if you’re new to SEO, you can use it to get your WordPress website to rank on search engines quickly.
It also provides statistics to see how well your site is functioning and what you can do to improve it.
A free version of AIOSEO is available. The pro version, on the other hand, comes with more powerful features such as WooCommerce SEO, local SEO, smart schema, a video sitemap, a news sitemap, and so on. The pro version starts from $49.60 per year for a single site up to $299.60 per year for 100 sites.
Yoast SEO is a good alternative for AIOSEO.
Must Read: Yoast SEO vs. All in One SEO: Which One is Best for Beginner?
The most popular conversion rate optimization plugin on the market is OptinMonster. It helps you to convert website visitors who are about to leave into email subscribers and customers.
Further, you can use their hundreds of high-converting templates to create WordPress popups, slide-ins, gamified spin-a-wheel, etc.
The advanced display targeting tools in OptinMonster allow you to customize campaigns for each user, allowing you to see the right message to the right person at the right time.
It’s an excellent choice for bloggers, businesses, and e-commerce sites. Essentially, OptinMonster is required if you want to generate more money from your website traffic.
Check out our complete OptinMonster review.
OptinMonster lite version is available for free on the official WordPress plugins repository. However, its premium version costs $9 a month for one site with 2,500 pageviews.
Convert Pro and Thrive Leads are the best alternatives to OptinMonster.
WP Rocket is the best WordPress cache plugin. It helps you speed up a WordPress site without any technical skill.
It automatically enables recommended WordPress caching settings such as gzip compression, page caching, and cache pre-loading. To optimize page load times even further, you may enable optional features like lazy loading pictures, CDN support, DNS pre-fetching, minification, and others.
Most notably, WP Rocket does not wait for someone to request a page before saving it in the cache. It automatically scans and creates your website cache, resulting in a quick speed performance.
Check out our complete WP Rocket review.
WP Rocket is a premium plugin. It costs starts at $49 for a single site.
WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache are the best free alternatives, but they are not as powerful as WP Rocket.
UpdraftPlus is a backup plugin for WordPress that comes with many helpful backup and restoration options. It enables you to perform a complete backup of your site, save it to multiple cloud storage options such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and Amazon S3, and restore backups instantly from your WordPress admin panel.
This superb plugin is an absolute must-have for any WordPress blog or website because backups are such an important tool.
UpdraftPlus lite version is available for free on the official WordPress plugins repository. However, its premium version starts from $70 for two sites up to $195 for unlimited sites.
VaultPress and backupBuddy are excellent options, but they are paid only.
Security should be the most important priority for all web business owners. Sucuri is a complete website security solution protecting your sites against malware, brute force attacks, and other possible vulnerabilities.
It also protects your website from SQL Injections, XSS, and any other known security problems. Furthermore, they alert the WordPress core team, as well as third-party plugin developers, to potential security issues.
Sucuri also automatically installs a CDN layer, which significantly speeds up your site.
Sucuri lite version is available for free on the official WordPress plugins repository. However, its premium version starts from $99.99 a year for one site.
Wordfence is the best alternative to Sucuri.
Must Read: WordPress Security Tips
EWWW Image Optimizer is the best image optimization plugin for WordPress. It’s simple to use and can optimize images you upload in real-time.
It can also bulk compress and optimize the images you’ve already uploaded.
Although your images are compressed, it will be hard to tell the difference in quality between compressed and uncompressed images.
Furthermore, the entire compression and optimization process is automated. This includes image resizing for the correct page and device size, lazy loading, and even conversion to the next-gen WebP image format.
It can also optimize images generated by other WordPress plugins and saved in locations other than your media library directories.
EWWW Image Optimizer lite version is available for free on the official WordPress plugins repository. However, the premium version starts from $7 a month for unlimited images for a single site.
ShortPixel Image Optimizer is the best alternative to EWWW Image Optimizer.
Envira Gallery is the most powerful and easy-to-use WordPress gallery plugin. It includes a set of pre-built templates that allow you to change the style and feel of your gallery quickly.
Envira, unlike other popular WordPress gallery plugins, is lightweight and unbloated. It has all of the necessary features right out of the box. You may improve the core functionalities by adding one of their two dozen add-ons.
Envira Gallery lite version is available for free on the official WordPress plugins repository. However, the premium version starts from $20 a year for unlimited galleries for a single site.
NextGEN Gallery is the best alternative to Envira Gallery.
WooCommerce is a popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress, with over 5 million websites using it.
It has all of the essential features required to start an online store.
WooCommerce has established itself as the most prominent eCommerce plugin for WordPress over the last several years. It was created by the team behind Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, Jetpack, and other well-known services.
There is now a complete WooCommerce ecosystem with dedicated WooCommerce hosting, WooCommerce themes, and WooCommerce plugins.
WooCommerce lite version is available for free on the official WordPress plugins repository. However, the premium extension starts from $79.
Easy Digital Downloads is the best alternative if you’re looking to sell digital downloads.
Smash Balloon is a WordPress social media plugin that allows you to customize how social media content is shown on your site. The plugin makes it simple to set up social feeds in under 30 seconds.
You have to enable the plugin and paste the shortcode wherever you want on your website. The plugin will then immediately share your content from your social network accounts.
It also allows you to modify your feed to match your website’s theme, ensuring that it looks excellent.
In addition, you may show social sharing buttons so that visitors can become subscribers and share your content.
Smash Balloon lite version is available for free on the official WordPress plugins repository. However, the premium version starts from $49 a year for a single site.
Social Snap is best alternative to Smash Balloon.
With Schema Pro, you can add rich snippets to your website, allowing it to stand out in search results.
Rich snippets make your site stand out in search results by showing star ratings below reviews, pricing below products, an image or video next to the description, and so on.
Top WordPress SEO plugins, such as All in One SEO (AIOSEO), already include structured, rich snippets of data. However, if you need additional schema types or want to improve the functionality of your existing WordPress SEO plugin, Schema Pro is the way to go.
You may also use Schema Pro in conjunction with an existing WordPress SEO plugin by mapping plugin data to Schema Pro fields.
Schema Pro is a premium plugin that starts from $79 a year for unlimited sites.
All in One Schema Rich Snippets is the best free alternative to Schema Pro.
Aside from the top 13 essential WordPress plugins that we mentioned above, we also recommend the following plugins to better manage our WordPress sites:
Adding new features and functionality to WordPress sites is easy, thanks to the availability of plugins. All you have to do is find one that meets your requirements.
There’s no limit to the number of WordPress plugins that you may install to create a powerful website. However, be cautious while installing WordPress plugins.
Too many active WordPress plugins can slow page load and increase security risks. It is also important to select trustworthy plugins.
As a result, always check the number of active installations and user ratings in the WordPress plugin directory. Also, select regularly updated plugins because they are more secure and less prone to compatibility issues.
That’s all we have for you. We hope you liked our list of essential WordPress plugins. For your next steps, you’ll find these resources helpful:
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