With over 455 million active websites running on WordPress, it certainly is the biggest CMS platform for building websites globally.
Whether you are running your online business or a blog website, WordPress is a viable choice. And what makes it so special is the plethora of plugins that when installing on a WordPress website, breathe new life into it.
But what is a WordPress plugin?
If you own a WordPress website, then you must have crossed paths with WordPress plugins.
WordPress plugins are apps or software that when installed, add new features and functionality to your WordPress website. It is similar in concept to mobile apps on a smartphone.
Plugins play the same role as WordPress, as WordPress to your website. These small pieces of plug-n-play software transform your vanilla website into a fully functional one.
Whether you want to build an e-commerce website, protect your website from phishing attacks or build a mobile app for your WordPress website, there’s a plugin for everything (well, almost everything).
Currently, there are over 54,000 plugins available for WordPress. This can also hold you back at times as the number of options can be overwhelming. It becomes difficult to decide which ones to go for.Therefore, let us run through a list of the top 12 must-have plugins for any WordPress website that can transform your online business.
#1 – Yoast
Yoast is a must-have WordPress plugin for all business.
Every online business requires search optimization to gain and grow search visibility. This is where Yoast steps in.
Yoast analyses the text content on your website (which also makes the most of any website) and reports on how SEO friendly your web-pages are. It also checks your content’s readability to see
Yoast also helps optimize the meta-information of a web-page like page title, meta description and so on.
But hey, that’s not all, Yoast comes in free and a premium version as well. The premium version unlocks multiple other features that will sky-rocket your SEO optimization strategies.
Payment model: Yoast comes as both Free and Premium downloads.
Alternatives: There are not a lot of plugins that can compete with Yoast, but All in One SEO Pack is a good alternative to Yoast.
#2 – Jetpack
Jetpack is one the most downloaded plugins in the WordPress marketplace. Developed by the brilliant team at WordPress.com, Jetpack comes loaded with features that help boost your website’s performance.
Jetpack offers features like website security from penetration attacks and regular website backups. It also monitors your website every few minutes for downtime and instantly notifies when there is an issue.
There are also features to optimize all static content like images, CSS, and other files.
Other features include traffic stats, image optimization, website appearance, and more.
Payment model: Jetpack comes as both Free and Premium downloads.
Alternatives: UpdraftPlus and BackupBuddy, both are good alternatives to Jetpack.
#3 – WooCommerce
WooCommerce needs no introduction. It is the first resort (and for most, even the last) for starting an e-Commerce website.
With over 86 million downloads, WooCommerce is the most popular e-Commerce plugin for WordPress.
Be it retail products, products with multiple variations, online products or even subscriptions. WooCommerce can handle it all. You can also boost WooCommerce with third-party plugins to make your online store even more powerful.
Payment model: WooCommerce is an open-source solution, hence, it is free of cost.
Alternatives: An alternative to WooCommerce is WP Easy Cart.
#4 – Akismet Anti-Spam
When you start attracting visitors to your website, you also have to face spammers.
This is where Akismet Anti-Spam comes into the picture. It is one of the most reputed plugins when it comes to blocking out the spammers.
This not only ensures that the spammers have been filtered out, but also helps maintain the long-term integrity of your website.
Akismet reviews all comments on your website and provides a status for them. It filters the spammy comments even before they can make any damage to your website.
You can view the approved comments for each user, look for URLs in comments, and remove them on request. With the premium version, you can also moderate each comment.
Payment model: Akismet comes as both Free and Premium downloads.
Alternatives: AntiSpamBee and Anti-Spam, both are good alternatives to Akismet.
#5 – WPForms
WPforms makes it very easy for you to create multiple forms for your website. Be it a contact form or a survey where you need feedback, you can depend on this plugin.
WPForms is a very user-friendly solution. With its drag & drop online form builder, you can easily create any kind of forms, such as contact forms, email subscription forms, online order forms, payment forms, surveys, polls and more. You can also build a custom user registration form and login page.
Payment model: WPForms comes as both Free and Premium downloads.
Alternatives: Formidable Forms, Contact Form 7 and Gravity Forms are some good alternatives to WPForms.
#6 – MemberPress
MemberPress helps you create a robust and sophisticated social network on your own website. It not only helps you engage with your audience, but also allows them to interact with each other. Having an active community amongst your audience greatly helps you promote your products and services.
MemberPress also offers detailed documentation to help you setup a social network on your website effortlessly.
Payment model: MemberPress comes with multiple pricing options.
Alternatives: BuddyPress is a good alternative to WPForms.
#7 – WordFence
WordPress websites always attract a lot of hackers and penetration bots.
Security is a key part of every site manager’s job description. There are thousands of malicious bots and hackers who are always on the lookout for any penetration opportunities.
There have been countless cases where businesses have faced downtime due to malicious attacks. This is where WordFence comes in. It shields your website from any external malicious attacks.
Additionally, WordFence has an application firewall that prevents unsecure third-party tools and software from accessing your site data. You can also enable two-factor authentication for user logins to amp up the security and fight brute-force attacks.
Payment model: WordFence comes as both Free and Premium downloads.
Alternatives: Sucuri is a good alternative to WordFence.
#8 – Blog Designer
Blog Designer is a design plugin that helps you customize your blog page layout easily. It is a free plugin that comes with 10 outstanding blog layouts. Moreover, you can modify various design elements such as text color, background color, font size, and so on.
The plugin comes with custom CSS support which you can use to change the look and feel of your WordPress blog design as per your need. Blog Designer offers various other features such as multiple post category selection, show/hide post category, alternative background color, and more. The premium PRO version of the plugin comes with further additional features & functionalities as well.
Payment Model: Blog Designer comes as both Free and Premium downloads.
#9 – Monster Insights
As a business owner, you’ll obviously be interested in all the activity happening on your website. Especially the traffic that you are generating.
Monster Insights gives you all the important analytical insights from Google Analytics on your website’s dashboard itself. You can view all your website’s crucial data from one unified dashboard.
These insights help you make more informed business decisions related to your website. Additionally, you get a better idea of how users are behaving on your website.
Payment model: MonsterInsight comes with both free and premium versions.
Alternatives: ExactMetrics is a good alternative to Monster Insights.
#10 – AppMySite
The rapid advancements in technology have resulted in a major shift from desktop to mobile. In fact, a study has shown that over 85% of consumers favor apps over mobile websites.
This used to be a big hurdle for small to medium-sized businesses. This is less of a challenge thanks to WordPress mobile app plugins that help website owners to convert their websites into mobile apps.
AppMySite is a premium mobile app builder that helps website owners convert their websites into native mobile apps for Android and iOS. The platform gives users complete control to customize their app as they like.
Payment model: AppMySite comes with both Free and Premium subscription plans.Alternatives: While there are a few alternatives, but none come close to what AppMySite offers.
#11 – OptinMonster
As a business, you always wish to constantly grow your customer base and are always at a lookout for converting visitors into customers.
OptinMonster helps you achieve that goal. More than 900,000 websites are currently using this plugin worldwide and benefit from it.
It is a great solution for bloggers, business websites, and eCommerce websites alike. It also comes loaded with a drag-and-drop form builder.
Payment model: OptinMonster comes with multiple pricing options. It does not offer a free trial.
Alternatives: Poptin is a very good alternative to OptinMonster and it comes with a free version as well.
#12 – Divi
Divi is a premium drag and drop WordPress theme and page builder. It extremely popular amongst many web developers and agencies as well.
It offers a friendly and intuitive user interface and comes pre-loaded with multiple templates for different types of websites and businesses. With Divi, you can create any type of custom page layout or theme within minutes.
Create premium landing pages for your marketing campaigns.
Alternatives: Elementor & Beaver Builder are good alternatives in the WordPress page builder space.
Payment model: Divi comes with multiple pricing options. It does offer a free trial.
#13 – Constant Contact
Constant Contact is an email marketing plugin for WordPress websites. It enables website owners to build an email list and then send beautiful email newsletters to subscribers.
It offers simple and fast setup and does not require any technical knowledge. It works well with other popular plugins like WPForms and OptinMonster.
Alternatives: ConvertKit and SendinBlue are some good alternatives.
Payment model: Constant Contact comes with a couple of pricing options. But it does not offer a free trial.
Role of web host in enhancing WordPress performance
The role of the various plugins covered here is to grow the overall functionality of a website. Many WordPress users search for the right plugin to enhance the performance of their website. However, the only real solution to website speed optimization is getting a good web host.
WP Engine is a leading hosting platform catering to WordPress websites alone. This degree of specialization is a key factor in making it the best managed WordPress host in the world.
WP Engine doesn’t just offer speed. It makes website management simple by managing essential tasks like updates and backups. Users can also rest easy about their website security with WP Engine as it institutes several security measures such as 2FA, data encryption, and advanced user permission.
So, there you go, we have discussed the most essential plugins that all WordPress website owners must use for their websites. For more such informative content, keep an eye out at the AppMySite blog.