However, to bring functionality to your WordPress site and to grow your online business, you need to work on the SEO, increase site speed, enhance your website and landing pages, add contact forms, and offer email subscription options. The good news is, whatever you want your website to offer can be done with WordPress plugins.
If you are confused about what WordPress plugins are, like I was when I made my first WordPress blog, don’t worry! Keep reading.
What are WordPress Plugins?
If you’re wondering what WordPress plugins are, you have come to the right place!
Before we dive into what WordPress plugins are, let’s first look at the definition of a plugin:
“A plugin is a software component that acts as an extension or add-on to an existing program and provides additional features to that computer program.”
Plugins are programs that fulfill the customization requirements and perform a definitive task according to the website owner’s needs.
Now, imagine, you need an office room. You will first bring in a nice table, some chairs, a laptop, a printer, stationery, blinds for the windows, and other things to ensure that the office is prepared for work.
The same is the case with a website. Registering a domain name is not enough; you have to include different programs, called plugins, to add functionality to your site. Without plugins, your WordPress site will be similar to a skeleton.
According to WPBeginner, there are nearly 59,000 plugins available in the official WordPress plugins directory. Since different plugins have different functionalities, selecting the right WordPress plugins for your website might be confusing or even difficult.
That being said, there are many WordPress tools that every website owner needs to consider. In our list of 13 Best Plugins for WordPress in 2022, we have included some lesser-known WordPress plugins along with the absolute must-haves that will add unbelievable usefulness to your site.
The Best WordPress Plugins
Following are our top picks of the absolute must-have plugins that every site owner needs and their main features and pricing details.
WooCommerce is one of the best plugins for WordPress. It enables users to build their own ecommerce platform by transforming a bland WordPress website into a fully functioning one.
With WooCommerce, online retailers can provide multiple options to their customers.
With this WordPress tool, you can also manage your inventory, payments, shipping, and more with ease. According to Barn2 Plugins, more than five million stores used the free WooCommerce plugin in 2021.
- With WooCommerce, online sellers can sell almost anything with the plugin, from physical products to appointments, to subscriptions.
- It allows you to customize and modify everything.
- It has 400+ extensions, from shipping and payment to marketing and store management.
- It allows you to set the language, currency, and measurement units that work for you.
- It accepts payments via credit cards, PayPal, direct bank transfer, cheques, or cash on delivery.
The plugin itself doesn’t cost anything, but you can get additional features with WooCommerce Plus for $8.95 per month and WooCommerce Pro for $12.95 per month.
This WordPress plugin will help optimize your site as per the search engine guidelines. With Yoast SEO, you can add titles, meta descriptions, meta tags, and other things to your website to ensure that it meets the technical SEO standards.
This WordPress tool is a must for every site owner as it provides you with tools that will optimize your website for SEO and improve the overall readability of your content.
- It takes care of all your website’s technical SEO.
- It allows you to check the keyword density by showing how often keywords are used.
- It improves the readability by analyzing the structure of your paragraphs.
- It allows you to create your own meta descriptions.
- It monitors external and internal links.
- It allows you to modify permalinks.
YoastSEO has both free and paid versions. The free version is quite helpful and provides several features that are essential for the SEO of your website. The Yoast SEO Premium plugin costs $99 per year.
Back in the day, business owners had to juggle between several different platforms to market their products and services to their target audience.
Now, with HubSpot, you can do the following:
- Create and optimize content.
- Track and nurture leads.
- Monitor contacts as they evolve from potential customers to consumers.
- Store information regarding potential customers and competitors.
- Track your marketing progress and a lot more.
This all-in-one tool has several capabilities that make it one of the best plugins for WordPress website owners.
- It engages users with chatbots and live chat.
- It converts leads with popups and forms.
- It creates marketing automation campaigns.
- It allows you to manage your database, segment the customers into different lists, and track each interaction they have had with your brand.
- It allows you to oversee site analytics, including keywords, site traffic numbers, and page rankings.
- It allows you to measure growth with HubSpot’s analytics dashboards.
The basic features such as live chat, analytics, CRM, forms, and email marketing are free to use, while their paid packages start at $45 a month, billed $540 annually.
Many tools perform an awful job when it comes to managing potential consumer risks (e.g., no free trials, extremely high setup charges, long-term contracts, etc.). While Hubspot does require a high setup fee and a contract, it is one of those platforms that offer a free trial.
Don’t you just hate it when you open a website, and the images take way too long to load?
According to Akamai, 53% of mobile users leave a site if it takes more than three seconds to load; that is why image optimization is important.
Without image optimization, your loading time will be affected, and you will likely lose viewers.
That is why you need Smush, one of the best plugins for WordPress. It will take the hassle out of optimizing your website’s image by doing it automatically every time you upload a new image without compromising its quality, helping you reduce the loading speed of your website and enhancing the user experience.
- It optimizes, resizes, and compresses approximately 50 images at a time with just one click.
- It provides image optimization without sacrificing image quality.
- It allows you to optimize images that are 5MB in size at absolutely no cost. The pro version allows you to optimize images up to 32MB.
- It allows you to find images that are slowing your WordPress site.
Smush is absolutely free; however, the pro version costs $6 per month paid monthly and $5 a month paid yearly.
According to BloggingWizard, more than 75% of your website visitors today will never come back again. That means the first time a visitor views your site is crucial, and you want that person to return. This is why you need to convert those users into email and newsletter subscribers.
Creating a form for your site from scratch can be an extremely long and daunting process; that is why you need WPForms, one of the best plugins for WordPress.
With the help of this plugin, you will be able to create several different types of forms according to the needs and wants of your website.
- It is a drag and drop form builder that allows you to create several different types of forms, such as registration forms, feedback forms, payment forms, and other types of forms for your website.
- It is mobile-friendly and highly optimized for SEO.
- It has over 300+ pre-made form templates.
- It allows users to create surveys and polls.
The lite version of WPForms is free. However, if you require advanced features, such as collecting payments, unlimited forms, conversion tools, offline forms, and others, then you need the pro version that costs $199.50 per year.
Customers feel more confident purchasing a product from a company that provides easy and hassle-free support. The live chat features will allow your business to solve customer issues faster, provide quick answers to customer queries, and assure users that you are there whenever they require assistance.
Thus, LiveChat is one of the best plugins for WordPress as it will help you send website visitors personalized greetings and chat invitations and engage them with the live chat feature.
- It allows you to place the chat widget on all or particular pages of your WordPress website.
- It also integrates with Facebook Messenger.
- It can send customers well-tailored greetings and invitations when they perform a particular action on specific pages.
- It is mobile-friendly, so your customer service team can work on their laptops, mobile devices, and tablets.
- It allows you to add evaluation surveys before and after the live chat session.
LiveChat allows you to try their Team plan for free for 14 days. Their plans start at $16 per month billed annually.
Elementor is a free WordPress tool that will help you add additional features to your website. You can design your landing pages and web pages, and make your blogs and sites more attractive.
It is also extremely easy to use with its simple drag-down interface, which will help you design the layout of your web pages and make them look visually appealing with its free templates and elements.
- It allows you to give your website an aesthetic rehaul by simply dragging, dropping, and customizing.
- It has 300+ designer-made templates and 100+ widgets.
- It allows you to view your WordPress site as you build it and see it come to life in real-time.
The basic version of Elementor is free with limited features. The pro version costs $89 per year.
MonsterInsights is one of the best Google Analytics plugins for WordPress websites. With this WordPress tool, you can easily connect your site to Google Analytics.
With MonsterInsights, you will be able to see how website visitors find and use your site so you can keep them coming back.
- It provides audience reports, publisher reports, behavior reports, content reports, and various customized reports to help you see important stats.
- It lets you monitor user behavior across your website, from website views to cart views to the checkout page and beyond on different devices and platforms.
- It allows you to track your Google AdSense ads’ performance.
- It has affiliate link tracking which makes it easy for users to monitor their affiliate links.
The basic version of MonsterInsights is free. However, if you require advanced features, such as events tracking, ecommerce tracking, popular post tracking, page speed reports, affiliate link tracking, and a lot more, then you can get the pro version for $199.50 per year.
If you’re looking for the best plugin for WordPress website security, then we recommend Sucuri!
This WordPress plugin helps protect your site’s data by fighting bugs, errors, malware threats, brute force attacks, unwanted spam contents, and even XSS attacks.
- It logs security-related site activity, including logins and failed login attempts.
- It detects changes made to your site.
- It automatically searches your site for malware.
- It checks blocklist engines to ensure that your website isn’t blocked for security reasons.
- It provides a checklist of post-hack actions that a site owner needs to take in case his or her website is compromised.
The limited version of Sucuri is free, while the paid plans start at $199.99 per year.
Instead of researching, installing, and configuring multiple WordPress tools, all you need is Jetpack. It is one of the most powerful plugins for WordPress sites and includes several tools to help you improve and grow your WordPress website.
Jetpack will help you take care of website performance, website security, and image optimization; track page views and traffic generation; add social media sharing icons; check site statistics; and fight brute force attempts. These are just some of the features offered by Jetpack.
- It provides you with individual stats on how specific posts are doing. You will also be able to see how many people have found your post through search queries.
- It guards your WordPress site by fighting against brute force attacks and protecting against unauthorized logins.
- It allows users to subscribe to your blog or site through the subscriptions feature.
- It makes your blog mobile-friendly.
- It allows you to automatically share your latest posts on several social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more.
- It lets you control widget visibility.
There is a limited free version, and the Jetpack paid plans start at $4.92 per month.
It matters a lot to customers when their loyalty to a brand is rewarded in some way; this can be through offers, discounts, rewards, and loyalty points. Offering these rewards will not only save the customers some bucks, but they will also feel like their investment has been more than merely transactional.
MyRewards is one of the best plugins when it comes to reward-focused programs. It allows site owners to reward customers with loyalty points for writing reviews, making a purchase, signing up, referrals, social promotion (Facebook likes, Instagram follows, Twitter tweets, etc.), taking polls, watching videos, and other tasks.
The points earned by the customers can be redeemed when they’re purchasing a product from the website.
- It provides points to customers when they spend money or perform a particular task, such as placing an order, reviewing a product, adding products to the cart, etc.
- It converts points into discount coupons.
- It allows you to monitor customers’ points and add/subtract them.
- It shows your customers the points they currently possess.
- It sends customized emails to the users when they unlock new rewards.
The basic version of MyRewards is free. However, the premium version starts at 99.00€ per month and provides several features, such as infinite loyalty programs, an ambassador system, points expiration, timed loyalty programs for special occasions such as Easter and Christmas, and many more.
Website security can be a huge deal to many business owners. Thus, you need a WordPress security plugin to keep your website and files safe from any potential threats.
WordPress allows users to enter their password as many times as they want, so if you just make your own website and leave it alone, any unauthorized user could gain access to the admin area by cracking your password.
If you want to stay protected from individuals looking to gain unauthorized access to your website, you need Login LockDown – one of the best plugins for WordPress security that allows you to limit which IP addresses can access your WordPress admin area.
- It records IP addresses and failed login attempts.
- It detects failed attempts and, after three failed login attempts within five minutes, disables login requests from that IP address for one hour (this option can be modified).
- It prevents brute force attacks.
The Login LockDown plugin is free.
13.Constant Contact Forms
Did you know that for every $1 spent, an email generates $42? With an astounding 4,200% ROI, email marketing is one of the most effective and reliable tools available at your disposal as a business owner. (Source: HubSpot)
Email marketing allows you to stay in contact with your website visitors even after they leave your site. This is why it is important for every site owner to start building a database of user emails right away.
With the Constant Contact Forms plugin, you will be able to build a mailing list and send personalized emails and well-drafted newsletters to your subscribers.
- It allows you to create sign-up forms.
- It allows you to customize the type of information you need to collect from visitors.
- It adds email addresses to email lists.
- It allows you to create Facebook and Instagram ad campaigns that drive traffic to your WordPress site.
Constant Contact Forms allows customers to avail their free trial before paying for the WordPress tool. Their plans start at $20 per month.
Click here to get started with Constant Contact Forms.
The Final Takeaway on the Best Plugins for WordPress
There you have it! Now you are aware of the best plugins for your WordPress site. We hope that this list will help you select the right plugins for your website.
Shortlist the plugins that match your needs and have a closer look. Most plugins provide videos, screenshots, and free trials that will allow you to see how they function. There are also several YouTube tutorials, guides, and reviews that can be helpful.
Once you have selected your plugins, install them and test them before uploading them to your WordPress website. That way, you will be able to see how the selected plugin will affect your site (for example, it may slow down your website or be incompatible with another WordPress tool).
Once you have researched, shortlisted, and tested your plugin, you can go ahead and load it to your site.