There are thousands of plugins listed in the WordPress.org repository, and thousands more available for download on developer websites, GitHub repositories, and third party directories. With so many options out there, picking the best WordPress plugins for your website can be hard work.
How does a plugin get on this list? If it’s listed here, I’ve used the plugin in a production environment, it works well out-of-the-box, and I haven’t noticed negative effects on site performance.
Best WordPress Plugins for Performance Tuning
Great for hands-off don’t-wanna-think-about-it caching configuration.
Great simple budget pick for caching that doesn’t cost anything.
W3 Total Cache
Caching plugin with plenty of options. The new onboarding experience is great for getting things set up correctly the first time.
Asset CleanUp: Page Speed Booster
Image Optimization Service by Optimole
If you’re looking for an image CDN that serves scaled and optimized images and is capable of creating image fills like the pros, and is hip to WebP, this plugin is perfect. Simple to implement, works astoundingly well.
Best WordPress Plugins for Performance Testing
Not sure what code or query is slowing your site down? Query monitor is a great way to get additional real-time intel into the performance of your site.
Best Rewards and Incentives Plugins for WordPress
myCred provides a simple-to-implement way to reward users or customers with points for taking a whole bunch of different actions on your website. It’s also great because it allows users to use their points as a form of payment (or a way to offset payment) for products and services on your web store.
This plugin is the standard when it comes to creating an affiliate program for your website. Whether you’re trying to sell more products, experiences, or services, use AffiliateWP to quickly and easily set up your own affiliate program and drive more sales from customer advocates.
Best WordPress Plugins for eCommerce
Kadence WooCommerce Email Designer
So awesome and easy to use, it’s a wonder this plugin is free. Quickly and easily update your order templates with a more modern look. ESSENTIAL for any WooCommerce store.
If you’ve ever wondered how to create highly customizable filters in the sidebar of your website, check out this plugin. It’s straightforward to use, and the combinations and power of use cases that this plugin enables is almost limitless.
Best WordPress Plugins for Design
Beaver Builder + Beaver Themer
This powerful combination of plugins allows you to re-skin every page on your website regardless of your theme. While I haven’t spent a ton of time with other builders, what I love about Beaver Builder is that the support team is always responsive, helpful, and willing to go the extra mile.
The Astra theme is hands down one of the most performant themes in the repository for both WordPress and WooCommerce (and it’s free), and the Astra Pro plugin gives the Astra theme layout and design superpowers.
Best Utility Plugins for WordPress
WordPress Advanced Database Cleaner
If you’re tracking down orphan tables, options, cron jobs, etc, this is the the best database cleaning plugin I’ve found.
For orphan image, theme, and user cleanup, this plugin is simple to use and gets the job done. The free version supports some website builders (other plugins offer this as a paid feature).
WOOBE – WooCommerce Bulk Editor Professional
While a little buggy, this plugin is packed to the brim with functionality. Used it to edit variant display information and worked well.
Better Search Replace
Need to make sure your URLs are changed after a site migration? Want to search the database, but don’t know SQL? This plugin is simple to use, and comes with a ‘preview’ mode to test changes before committing them to the database.
Best WordPress Plugins for SEO
This redirection plugin is straightforward and includes 404 page detection to help you clean up referrals to URLs that no longer exist (think referring sites or search engines).
Yoast is the standard when it comes to WordPress and SEO. Start with the free version and upgrade when you have a need for the more advanced features that the paid version offers.
Best Email Marketing Plugins for WordPress
Send in Blue
The Send in Blue plugin just works, and the server is inexpensive and easy to use. I love the fact that you don’t have to pay for the number of subscribers in your account, just your monthly sends. Bonus: you can enable SMTP mode to send all transactional emails through the Send in Blue service so you can track sends, opens, and clicks.
Best Productivity Plugins for WordPress
Simply Schedule Appointments
This is an awesome plugin that gives your WordPress site the same scheduling functionality as some of the dedicated calendar link solutions out there. This plugin is a rising star because, although the end-functionality is awesome, it takes technical know-how to link Google Calendar to the plugin, and conferencing solutions are not yet integrated like some of the other options out there (you can however include a conference link in your outgoing email confirmation). Overall, if you’re looking for a WordPress-based solution for scheduling appointments, this is a great option.