21 Best WordPress Plugins

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

Caching

WP Rocket
Great for hands-off don’t-wanna-think-about-it caching configuration.

Cache Enabler
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.

File optimization

Asset CleanUp: Page Speed Booster
A huge help when it comes to optimizing JavaScript, CSS, Google Fonts, and Local Fonts. Also can help unload CSS and JavaScript that isn’t being used on a particular page / group of pages.

CAOS
Google Analytics is an essential tool for keeping tabs on the performance of any website or store. Every time a Google Analytics capable page loads, a script is requested from Google. While Google’s servers are generally fast when serving the Google Analytics file, it’s even faster to serve the file from your local web server. This plugin periodically downloads the Google Analytics JavaScript file and hosts it locally on your web server.

Image optimization

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

Query Monitor
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
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.

AffiliateWP
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.

FacetWP
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.

Astra Pro
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.

WPS Cleaner
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

Redirection
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 SEO
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.

4 Comments

  1. Not sure if this is “e-commerce” but I love Simply Schedule Appointments for scheduling calls with my clients. I used the free version for a while and eventually upgraded. Really clean

  2. Pretty big fan of IgnitionDeck for crowdfunding. =)

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