Hand-picked list of the best WordPress plugins
One of the things people love about WordPress is its huge library of third-party plugins. But with 54,000+ free plugins listed at WordPress.org alone and thousands more listed elsewhere, it can be hard to find the one plugin that you need. Talk about a needle in a haystack!
- Page builders
- Social media
- Photo galleries
- Contact forms
- Image compression
- Real estate
- Age verification
- Project management
- Download managers
- Lead generation
- Columns + tables
- Transactional emails
- Affiliate marketing
- Spam reduction
To help save you time, we‘ve whittled down those tens of thousands of plugins into a list of the 71 best WordPress plugins for a huge variety of different uses. 71 might still be a lot, but it‘s better than 54,000! From SEO plugins to project management plugins, you‘re about to discover the best WordPress plugins for everything!
The best WordPress SEO plugins
If you want your WordPress site to rank well in search engines like Google, you need an SEO plugin to help you optimize your on-page SEO. Here are two of the best...
Yoast SEO is the SEO plugin that we officially recommend, as well as the plugin that we use on the Kinsta blog. It offers a beginner-friendly way to take care of most of your blog's on-page SEO, including:
- Easy setup wizard to configure sitewide SEO settings
- An analysis tool to help you optimize individual pages
- XML sitemap tool
- Open Graph support (this lets you control how your content looks on social media)
- Lots of other smaller settings
Read our full Yoast SEO guide for a look at everything this plugin can do (and how you can use it).
The best WordPress security plugins
If you choose a secure WordPress host, your host should already take care of many important aspects of WordPress security. But that doesn't mean you can't beef things up even more with some security plugins!
Sucuri Security is a freemium plugin that offers a comprehensive approach to WordPress security.
In the free version, it offers:
- File integrity monitoring to track file changes
- Remote malware scanning
- Blacklist monitoring
- Security activity auditing
- Security notifications
And with a paid plan, you can also add a website firewall.
The best WordPress performance plugins
Like security, performance is something that your host plays a big part in. But you can also further improve your site's performance by using the right set of performance plugins.
WP Rocket is a premium caching and performance plugin that makes a wide variety of tweaks to speed up your WordPress site. It's also fully compatible with Kinsta's built-in caching, so you can use it on your Kinsta-hosted sites even though we don't normally allow caching plugins.
Beyond page caching, WP Rocket can also help you:
- Add lazy loading for images and videos
- Optimize your database
- Make tons of smaller tweaks, like removing query strings, disabling emojis, and more.
The best WordPress page builder plugins
Page builders help you create more complex designs without the need to resort to using code. If you've ever felt constrained by the limits of the regular WordPress editor, a page builder plugin might just be your new best friend.
Though it was only released in 2016, Elementor has quickly shot up the ranks and is now one of the most popular page builders in existence with over 1.2 million active installs, according to WordPress.org.
It offers a generous free version that lets you build complex designs using simple drag and drop and a live, visual preview.
And Elementor Pro - the paid version - lets you build your entire WordPress theme using the same drag-and-drop interface.
The best WordPress social media plugins
Social media can work in two ways: You want to boost your site's visibility on social media by getting more shares/likes or you want to display your own social media content on your site. The social media plugins in this section can help you do both.
Social Warfare helps you add great-looking share buttons to your WordPress site. Your visitors can click on the button to quickly share your content on social media. And you can also display share counts on your own site to add social proof.
It has a free version that's fine for basic share buttons. But the Pro version adds support for more social networks, as well as helpful features like:
- Pinterest-specific share images
- Lots of customization options
And it can even help you recover lost share counts if you ever moved your site to HTTPS or changed domain names.
The best WordPress photo gallery plugins
If you want to display a large number of images on your site, an image gallery is the way to do it. But while the core WordPress software does include basic gallery functionality, it's pretty limited. That's why most people turn to gallery plugins instead!
Modula is a lightweight gallery plugin that makes it easy to quickly create some beautiful-looking galleries.
Its simple wizard lets you quickly create a gallery. Then, users who want more control can dig into the optional settings to fine-tune exactly how the gallery looks and functions.
The free version comes with a limit of 20 images per gallery. But you can lift that limit, as well as get access to more advanced features like filterable galleries, starting at $19.
The best WordPress contact form plugins
No matter what type of site you're creating, you're probably going to at least want a basic contact form. But form plugins can also do a lot more than just contact forms - they can also help you register users, accept payments, and perform plenty of other important functions.
Gravity Forms is one of the most popular form plugins, especially with developers. It offers deep functionality and customizability - if what you want involves a form, there's probably a way that Gravity Forms can do it.
Some of the functions it can perform include:
- Multi-page forms with conditional logic
- File uploads
- User registration
Gravity Forms starts at $59, though that doesn't include all the functionality listed above.
The best WordPress ecommerce plugins
Based on market share numbers, WordPress is the most popular way to build an ecommerce store. And when it comes to WordPress ecommerce, there are two main ecommerce plugins, depending on what you want to sell.
You can use WooCommerce to sell both physical and digital products (though many people opt for the next plugin in this section for digital products).
Beyond the core WooCommerce plugin, there's a massive marketplace of official and third-party extensions that can help you add all sorts of additional functionality to your store.
To get started with WooCommerce, check out our massive WooCommerce tutorial.
The best WordPress image compression plugins
Image compression plugins help speed up your WordPress site by reducing the file size of the images that you use.
Imagify is an easy-to-use image compression plugin from the same developers as WP Rocket. It can help you manually or automatically:
- Compress the images that you upload to your site using three different methods (including lossless and lossy compression)
- Resize the actual dimensions of your images to a maximum size that you specify
Imagify is free for up to 25 MB of images per month (~250 images). After that, paid plans start at $4.99 for 1 GB of data per month. You can also purchase one-time plans, which come in handy if you need to bulk optimize an existing media library.
The best WordPress CRM plugins
A CRM, short for customer relationship management, helps you better understand your customers, which is important for pretty much every business. Thanks to WordPress CRM plugins, you don't need to use a pricey external platform just to get to know your customers.
WP ERP is a HRM, CRM & Accounting Solution for WordPress. That's a lot of acronyms, so let's break it down:
- HRM - Human Resource Management - this helps you manage your own company structure and employee information - including stuff like holidays and leave requests.
- CRM - Customer Relationship Management - this helps you manage relationships with your customers, including customer profiles and logs.
- Accounting - this helps you see the transactions within your organization in real-time and just generally manage your accounting.
So if you're looking for a plugin to run not just your CRM, but other aspects of your business as well, WP ERP offers a lot of functionality.
The best WordPress LMS plugins
In recent years, eCourses have exploded as an industry, with tons of talented instructors selling courses on...pretty much anything! LMS plugins - short for Learning Management System - can help you create and monetize your own courses via WordPress.
LearnDash is a popular LMS plugin used by both big universities - like the University of Michigan - and smaller digital entities - like WP Elevation and Pro Blogger.
It helps you create detailed online courses, complete with gamification, engagement triggers, and drip-fed content.
Whether you want to create free courses or accept payments and directly monetize your courses, LearnDash has the functionality that you need.
The best WordPress directory plugins
Want to create a directory of businesses in a certain geographic area or industry? If so, you need a directory plugin to keep everything organized and searchable.
Business Directory Plugin
Business Directory Plugin helps you create a Yelp-like directory for your chosen niche. It's a free core plugin that you can extend as needed with a variety of premium modules.
You're able to create either free or premium listings. And with the premium modules, you can also add functionality like ratings, maps-view, more detailed searches, claimable listings, and more.
The best WordPress forum plugins
Want to create a discussion board at your WordPress site? Then you need one of these forum plugins!
Originally launched back in 2004 as a solution for the WordPress.org support forums, bbPress is the quintessential WordPress forum plugin. In fact, even today it's still used at the WordPress.org support forums, so that's about as good of a demo as you'll get!
bbPress' focus has always been on remaining lightweight, so there aren't a ton of features baked into the core. But because it's so popular and has been around so long, you can find tons of helpful extensions if you do want more functionality.
It's also backed by Automattic, so you can be pretty confident it's not going away any time soon.
The best WordPress donation plugins
If you're running a non-profit on WordPress, or just looking to accept donations as part of your site, there are some great donation plugins that can help you either accept one-off donations or run complete fundraising campaigns.
Give is a free core plugin with a variety of paid extensions. By the numbers, it's the most popular WordPress donation plugin.
In the free version, it helps you build custom donation forms right in your WordPress dashboard. You can even add goals and let donors choose from preset or custom amounts.
To manage your campaign, you can view detailed information about donation activity right in your dashboard. And you can even manage your donors and offer them tax-deductible receipts.
For more functionality, you can find tons of premium add-ons for features like:
- Recurring donations
- More payment gateways
- PDF tax receipts
- Lots more
The best WordPress real estate plugins
If you want to sell houses, rent apartments, or otherwise list any type of real estate on your WordPress site, one of these real estate plugins can help you get the job done.
Estatik gives you the power to display your real estate listings exactly as you want. It includes a form builder to help you create your listings, as well as a listing manager to help you manage your listings on the backend.
Other helpful features include AJAX autocomplete search, a map view, support for different agents, and plenty more.
The best WordPress membership plugins
Membership sites allow you to manage members and what content is available to different types of members...plus a bunch of other smaller features! To create a membership site, though, you'll need a membership plugin.
Ultimate Membership Pro
Ultimate Membership Pro helps you create a fully-functioning membership site. You can either let users register for free or require them to pay a one-time or recurring subscription.
Beyond that, you also have tons of options for restricting your site's content, including an option to drip-feed content to members on a set schedule.
There's a lot of functionality here, so you'll need to check out the full feature list if you want to know everything this plugin can do.
The best WordPress quiz plugins
Whether you want to create a fun BuzzFeed-style quiz or a more serious survey, one of these quiz plugins can help you get the job done.
Quiz And Survey Master
True to its name, Quiz And Survey Master helps you create all kinds of different quizzes and surveys.
You can incorporate a variety of questions including:
- Multiple choice
- True and false
- Open answer
- Fill in the blank
And each quiz that you create can have unlimited results pages depending on how respondents answered. You can even let people share their results on social media to help your quiz go viral.
The best WordPress PDF plugins
If you need to display embedded PDFs or documents on your WordPress site, these two PDF plugins will be a big help.
The best WordPress age verification plugins
In order to comply with regulations - e.g. beer or liquor websites- you might need to prevent underage users from browsing your site. That's where age verification plugins come in.
Age Verify makes it easy to add an age gate to either all or some of your WordPress site. You can choose how old visitors need to be, and how long to remember them for. You can even check a box so that logged-in users never need to verify their age, as well as customize the message that appears.
The best WordPress project management plugins
Did you know that you can use WordPress to help manage you or your business' projects? All you need is a project management plugin!
WP Project Manager
WP Project Manager is a freemium project management plugin with a deep feature list. In the free version, it helps you stay on track with unlimited projects.
For each project, users can send messages back and forth and use to-do lists and milestones to stay organized.
And with paid add-ons, you can add Kanban boards, Gantt charts, time tracking, and plenty more.
The best WordPress download manager plugins
Want to let users download files at your site, but with more restrictions than just publicly hosting the file for everyone to use? If so, one of these WordPress download manager plugins can help give you a little more control.
WordPress Download Manager
WordPress Download Manager helps you both upload files and control who can subsequently download those files.
On the upload front, it gives you chunk upload support so that you can bypass your site's max upload limit for especially large files. And you can also connect to cloud storage providers to host your files there.
Then, you can control who can download your files with functionality like:
- Category access control
- Password protection
- CAPTCHA protection
- IP block
The best WordPress backup plugins
VaultPress is a subscription-based backup and security plugin from Automattic, the same company behind WordPress.com.
Depending on your plan, VaultPress offers either daily or real-time automatic backups to VaultPress' own cloud storage.
From the VaultPress interface, you can easily download or restore one of your backups.
The best WordPress Q&A plugins
You already learned about some of the best forum plugins, but if you're looking for more of a StackOverflow-feel to your forum, one of these Q&A plugins is a better option.
DW Question & Answer
DW Question & Answer creates a question and answer forum on your site complete with upvotes, view counts, and answer counts. Readers can vote on the best answer, and submitters can even close a topic once their question has been answered.
You can also make things private if you don't want guests to have access, which is good for something like a support forum.
The best WordPress lead generation plugins
If you want to build an email list, you need a lead generation plugin to help you do it. Here are two of the best.
OptinMonster helps you create a variety of different optin forms for your WordPress site using a drag-and-drop editor. Beyond that, it's known for the detailed functionality it gives you to target and trigger your forms, as well as easy A/B testing to help you optimize your forms.
Though it's now a platform-independent SaaS, OptinMonster originally started as a WordPress plugin. And it still maintains a dedicated WordPress plugin that lets you manage your campaigns from inside your WordPress dashboard.
The best WordPress advertising plugins
If you want an easier way to insert and manage ads on your WordPress site, picking a dedicated advertising plugin can save you time and get you access to new functionality.
Ad Inserter is a flexible plugin that lets you inject a variety of different types of ads pretty much anywhere on your WordPress. You can inject ads at specific spots, or use random criteria like 'random paragraph'.
You can also rotate ads and view stats to see how different ads perform, plus lots of other helpful features.
The best WordPress code plugins
Are you one of those people who's constantly adding code snippets to your site? These plugins can make your life easier!
Code Snippets gives you a user-friendly interface to add all those code snippets you previously would've added to your theme's functions.php file.
This is helpful for two reasons:
- Each code snippet is separate, so you can activate/deactivate individual snippets as needed.
- Your code snippets will stay with you if you ever switch themes.
The best WordPress columns + table plugins
Need to create a table or otherwise display your content in a grid? These two plugins can help out.
Lightweight Grid Columns
Lightweight Grid Columns helps you create responsive grids in your content using simple shortcodes. You can specify different widths for different devices, as well as add your own custom CSS classes or inline styles.
The grids are based on the Unsemantic Framework, and the plugin is developed by Tom Usborne, the same guy behind the popular GeneratePress theme.
The best WordPress transactional email plugins
Transactional emails are all those more matter-of-fact emails that WordPress sends when a user registers, requests a new password, etc. Lots of plugins will send transactional emails as well. For example, WooCommerce sends a number of transactional emails for a user's order status. If you want to make sure these emails actually land in your subscribers' mailboxes, a transactional email plugin can help.
The best WordPress affiliate marketing plugins
If you use affiliate marketing to monetize your WordPress site, you can make your life easier by taking advantage of some of the best affiliate marketing plugins.
Pretty Links helps you manage and cloak all the various affiliate links you use on your WordPress site. Beyond just cloaking your links, you can also easily insert affiliate links into your content right from the WordPress Editor - no need to go to the affiliate network each time you need a link.
And with the premium version, you can even automatically link certain keywords, split test affiliate programs, and more.
The best WordPress comment plugins
Do you find the native WordPress comments too basic by default? These comments plugins can help you add some extra functionality!
Subscribe to Comments Reloaded
Subscribe to Comments Reloaded lets commenters sign up for email notifications when a user replies to their comments. You can also require double opt-in so that users have to confirm their subscriptions.
And all of this functionality is added using the normal native WordPress comments.
The best WordPress spam plugins
Because of WordPress' popularity, it's a juicy target for spammers all around the world. But by using one of these anti-spam plugins, you can stop most spam in its tracks.
Akismet is the godfather of comment spam reduction plugins. Developed by Automattic, it's been around for what seems like forever and does a great job filtering out most comment and trackback spam.
You'll need an API key to use it. But that API key is free for non-commercial use.
The best slider plugins
Sliders sometimes get a bad rap. But when done right, they can be an effective way to showcase and make content stand out on your site. This might include things such as product tours or photo galleries.
Slider Revolution is an innovative, responsive WordPress slider plugin that powers over 4 million websites. Whether it's a slider, carousel, hero image or video scene for best conversion rates (or even a whole front page), the visual, drag & drop editor will let you tell your own stories in no time! .
- Fully responsive and looks great on both desktop and mobile devices.
- No coding knowledge necessary.
What do you think are the best WordPress plugins?
That wraps up our list of the best WordPress plugins. But what about you? If you had to recommend the best WordPress plugins, which would you add? Tweet us and let us know!