There’s a reason WordPress has a whopping 60.8% market share in the CMS (Content Management System) market – and that it powers almost 15% of the world’s websites*.
That reason? Well…there’s a few! WordPress is super customizable. Brilliant for blogging. And free! But there’s one reason – perhaps above all – that WordPress is such a powerful, popular choice, even compared with big-name website builders like Wix. It offers thousands, upon thousands, of plugins.
What are WordPress plugins? They’re essentially pieces of code you can “plug in” to your WordPress site to add an extra feature, or set of features, to it – or extend your site’s existing functionalities. But with literally thousands to choose from, how can you know which WordPress plugins are the best fit for you – and the unique needs of your WordPress website?
Let us help. Below, we’re unpacking the best WordPress plugins across a huge range of categories: from SEO and security to ecommerce and design – plus much, much more!
The best WordPress plugins are:
- Yoast SEO
- Rank Math
- All in One SEO Pack
- Sucuri Security
- iThemes Security
- Wordfence Security
- Easy Digital Downloads
- WP Super Cache
- W3 Total Cache
- WP Optimize
- Social Snap
- Gravity Forms
- Contact Form 7
- WP Forms
- Beaver Builder
- Jetpack Backup
- WP Reset
These are the best WordPress plugins available today – although please note they’re not ranked in order of best to worst, but rather the best picks from different important categories such as SEO, security, and ecommerce. Why are these the best? Let’s find out!
We all struggle with even the SEO basics sometimes. The best WordPress plugins for SEO help you optimize your WordPress site for search engines: improving the visibility of your website – and its content – across Google, Bing, Yahoo!, and more.
Let’s take a look at our top picks – Yoast SEO, Rank Math, and All in One SEO Pack.
1. Yoast SEO
With more than 13 million users, Yoast SEO is the people’s choice. With a wealth of features empowering you to create better, SEO-friendly content, build a solid internal linking structure, and avoid those pesky 404 pitfalls, Yoast SEO is a fantastic, fan-favorite – and free – choice.
That said, $99 per year will score you access to Yoast SEO Premium. This gives you access to all Yoast’s freshest features and functionality before anyone else – plus access to the renowned Yoast SEO Academy. Pays for itself, really!
2. Rank Math
Not only is Rank Math the first WordPress plugin to use AI – it’s completely free, too.
But don’t be fooled by the affordable price point – because Rank Math comes with more than its fair share of features. From intelligent keyword recommendations and smart link suggestions to SEO-optimized breadcrumbs, Rank Math allows you do everything – from the basics to the technical.
Plus, Rank Math is simple to set up and use. And integrating with all the essentials – Google Analytics and Google Search Console in particular – is a cinch.
3. All in One SEO Pack
The “original” WordPress plugin, All in One SEO Pack has been doing its thing since 2007.
Free to download, simple to use – and enjoyed by more than three million WordPress website owners – All in One SEO Pack is true to its name. Why? Because it comes with all the features you need to set your site up for search engine success – in one single, convenient pack!
With AIOSEO, you can connect your WordPress website to a range of webmaster tools – including Bing and Yandex, as well as Microsoft Clarity. You’ll benefit from advanced SEO reports and XML sitemaps at your fingertips – all viewable from your WordPress dashboard – as well as benefiting from AIOSEO’s top notch local SEO features. Enjoy!
Security plugins are tools designed to safeguard your site, and its data – yours and your customers’ – from external threats and malicious activities.
Our top security plugins for securing your WordPress website? Sucuri, iThemes, and Wordfence.
4. Sucuri Security
Undoubtedly one of the best WordPress plugins for security, Sucuri Security is a robust – and completely free – WordPress plugin offering website integrity monitoring, malware scanning, and removal. That means it’s constantly on the lookout for threats to your site – and is quick to snuff them out when they arise.
What’s more, Sucuri provides a web application firewall (WAF) to block malicious traffic – before it has a chance to take a toll on your site. If your WordPress site is unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of an attack, though, Sucuri’s post-hack actions – including identifying and fixing vulnerabilities – will help.
5. iThemes Security
Known in a previous life as Better WP Security, iThemes comes packed to the brim with cutting-edge security features.
File integrity checks? Check. Brute force protection. Check. Database backups, strong password enforcement, and two-factor authentication? Check, check, and check! iThemes is also super easy to set up and use, and offers the ability to hide login and admin URLs.
You can also use iThemes to block suspicious IP addresses, as well as detect – and block – most types of attacks. Plus… it’s free!
6. Wordfence Security
Highly rated, regularly updated, and with over four million active installations, Wordfence is one of the most popular (and free!) WordPress plugins on the shelf.
On top of all the features you’d expect from a top-class security plugin – firewall protection, malware scanning, real-time threat defense – it offers a wealth of tools to strengthen your credentials and user passwords. Helping you take a holistic approach to safeguarding your site, and combat threats – from outside and in!
Ecommerce plugins offer all the tools and capabilities you need to turn your WordPress website into a fully functional online store.
Our top WordPress plugins for budding ecommerce businesses are WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, and Shopify. Let’s explore!
Dependent on plan
The most widely used ecommerce plugin for WordPress, WooCommerce is also the world’s most popular open-source ecommerce solution – so it comes with pedigree!
WooCommerce allows you to set up product listings, manage your inventory, configure shipping options, and accept multiple payment methods. (All with relatively little effort – something far easier said than done!)
The popular plugin also comes with a huge host of several extensions and themes: building on your WordPress site’s capabilities, and enabling you to take its look and feel to a new level of personalization.
Of course, all that doesn’t come free. For more information about WooCommerce’s pricing plans, we’ve got you covered!
8. Easy Digital Downloads
Looking to sell digital products – including software, ebooks, and downloadable content – through your WordPress site? Easy Digital Downloads is designed specifically for just that.
From access control and discount codes to payment gateway integration and a wealth customer management features, Easy Digital Downloads lets you do more – and sell more! – with your WordPress site. Even better? It’s super easy to customize to your burgeoning store’s exact needs – and it offers a bunch of extensions to further expand its functionality.
Prices start at $99.50 per year for the Personal plan, and range up to $499.50 for the All Access Pass. It’s punchy – but the money-back guarantee removes the risk.
Dependent on plan: $29-$299/month
Alright – so it’s not strictly a WordPress plugin. However, Shopify does integrate seamlessly with WordPress, and it’s one of our highest-rated ecommerce website builders (especially for larger businesses). Plus, it’s packed full of features and functionality ideal for all online businesses.
Shopify’s robust ecommerce infrastructure includes product management, inventory control, payment processing, order management, and more. Better still, the ease with which you can set up and manage your online store on the Shopify platform – all while continuing to drive your content management through WordPress – make it a no-brainer.
The only catch? Quality doesn’t come free, and nor does Shopify. For the full rundown on how much Shopify for WordPress will cost you, explore our comprehensive guide to Shopify pricing.
Performance plugins for WordPress help boost the speed and overall performance of your website: cutting down page load times, and optimizing your site’s database and code.
Our top three? WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache, and WP Optimize.
10. WP Super Cache
Free, highly rated, and boasting over two million active installations to its name, WP Super Cache’s key selling point is its ability to generate static HTML files – enabling lightning-fast page loading. Ideal for optimizing your WordPress site for Google’s Core Web Vitals, WP Super Cache also offers simple configuration options – and integrates well with CDNs.
11. W3 Total Cache
Simple – and, perhaps more importantly, free – to use, W3 Total Cache is a caching plugin. Through a variety of caching methods – including page, object, and database – it improves the speed, SEO, and overall user experience of your WordPress site.
Supporting browser caching, minification, and integration with an array of different content delivery networks (CDNs), W3 Total Cache makes your WordPress site a better place for you – and your users!
12. WP Optimize
The key to understanding WP Optimize’s approach is, really, in the name. It optimizes your WP (WordPress) database by cleaning up unnecessary data (like spam comments and post revisions). By flushing out the deadwood clogging up (and slowing down) your WordPress website, WP Optimize enables your pages to load faster – reducing your bounce rate!
Social media plugins allow you to integrate social functionality – such as social feeds and sharing buttons – into your WordPress site. Plus a whole lot more!
For us, the picks of the bunch are Jetpack, Social Snap, and Shareaholic.
A free WordPress plugin that’s as versatile as it is vividly named, Jetpack is a slick, seamless way of adding social media functionality to your website. With social sharing buttons, social login options, and the ability to display social media icons in your WordPress site’s sidebar or footer, it’s an excellent way of getting your site’s social efforts… off the ground!
14. Social Snap
As customizable as it is simple to set up, Social Snap is a brilliant – yet beginner-friendly – way to socialize your WordPress website. For free!
You can add social share and follow buttons – from almost any social media platform – to your site. And, unlike some other social sharing plugins, Social Snap loads “asynchronously” – essentially meaning that it won’t slow down your site. Responsive, retina-ready, and with a range of pricing plans to suit all budgets, Social Snap has something for all WordPress sites.
Boldly professing to be “the world’s leading suite of Audience Growth and Engagement Tools”, it’s hard to deny the quality of Shareaholic’s WordPress plugin. (Even if it isn’t all that humble!)
Through Shareaholic’s award-winning social media share buttons, you can encourage your site’s visitors to share social content with their friends. While its share count feature means that – even if your URLs change, or you adjust your site’s taxonomy – your number of shares will stay the same. Shareaholic really has thought of everything!
Form plugins allow you to create and manage forms on your WordPress website. Enabling you to collect data from your users, and use it to grow your business – without the need for any coding or technical knowledge.
The best form plugins for WordPress are Gravity Forms, Contact Form 7, and WP Forms.
16. Gravity Forms
Fast, free, and flexible, no form flusters Gravity Forms.
With a huge range of form fields, features, and complex capabilities – conditional logic and multi-page forms among them – Gravity Forms ticks all the boxes for data-hungry WordPress site owners. The array of integrations – with what can only be described as a stack of third-party services – is just a bonus.
Newton would be proud!
17. Contact Form 7
Powerful, popular, and with the perfect price point – it’s free! – Contact Form 7 is the ideal form for WordPress users looking for a no-frills, no-nonsense form plugin.
That said, don’t let its basic name and straightforward interface fool you. With multiple form fields and customization options – as well as the ability to support CAPTCHA and spam filtering – there’s a lot more to this one than meets the eye.
18. WP Forms
Possibly the most popular and widely used form plugin available on the WordPress store (heck, it had to be with that name!), WP Forms is a dependable – yet dynamic – choice.
It provides a range of form fields, pre-built form templates, conditional logic, and advanced features (file uploads, payments integrations, and surveys – to name a few). And will meet the needs of all but the largest, most data-discerning WordPress sites.
WP Forms’ most basic version is free – forever – although paying a monthly subscription fee will unlock its juicier, more advanced features.
Design plugins have one goal – to give your WordPress site a makeover! (That is, help you enhance your site’s visual appearance and design elements to stand out – and better reflect your brand’s unique look and feel.)
Our top design plugins for WordPress are Elementor, Beaver Builder, and Divi.
Boasting over 5 million active installations, powering over 10 million websites, and with an impressive title – ”the #1 web creation platform” – Elementor is a top-shelf selection for those looking give their WordPress site a glow-up.
With a visual builder that’s as easy on the eye as it is to use, Elementor allows you to quickly, conveniently create a website – without having to write, or even know anything about, code. Sure – for seamlessness and simplicity, Elementor doesn’t have a patch on the best website builders (as ranked by our own in-house research). But it’s a good place to start, and it’s free!
20. Beaver Builder
A dam good design plugin for WordPress, Beaver Builder is a beginner-friendly drag-and-drop builder that takes the hassle out of putting a website together. No confounding shortcodes or harrying HTML involved – nor will you even have to open your wallet!
Highly rated and simple to set up and use, Divi does away with the standard WordPress post editor – and replaces it with something that looks, and operates, far better. Ideal for WordPress site owners preferring to focus on running a business, or creating content (rather than building and maintaining their site’s front-end manually!), Divi takes the hassle and headache out of the website game.
Backup and maintenance plugins create backups of your WordPress site’s files and database – as well as handling all the regular maintenance tasks that keep your website ticking over.
When it comes to backup and maintenance WordPress plugins, the cream of the crop are UpdraftPlus, Jetpack Backup, and WP Reset.
UpdraftPlus allows you to schedule automatic backups of your website’s files and database to remote storage locations: such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or FTP. You can also use UpdraftPlus to restore old website backups, migrate your site to a different hosting provider – plus a whole lot more!
23. Jetpack Backup
Like UpdraftPlus, Jetpack Backup offers automated (and real-time) daily backups of your website’s content, files, and settings – storing them securely on the WordPress.com cloud, and making it easy for you to restore them in just a couple of clicks.
24. WP Reset
WP Reset empowers you to manage, and back up, your WordPress site’s database. You can schedule database backups, optimize database tables (and repair corrupted ones) – plus a range of other maintenance tasks. With an intuitive interface and a no-frills, beginner-friendly approach, WP Reset will suit WordPress owners of all experience and knowledge levels.
That’s a wrap of the best plugins for WordPress – 24 handy, hassle-free ways of adding a brilliant breadth of extra functionality to your site. Whether it’s boosting your SEO, backing up your site’s files, setting it up for social media success, or helping you collect crucial insights from your audience, these plugins have you covered!
For a closer look, explore our guide to Wix vs WordPress.
Costs for WordPress as a website builder (WordPress.com) start at $4 per month. For more info check out our extensive guide to WordPress pricing.