The 11 best WordPress plugins to overload your website

WordPress is more than a blogging tool. This flexible and easy-to-configure web publishing platform has served as the foundation for more than 64 million websites since its launch over a decade ago. Its popularity has spawned an incredibly rich plugin ecosystem that helps webmasters improve their sites in a number of ways. From search engine optimization (SEO) to improving articles to managing comments, you’ll find an incredible number of ways to trick the core functionality of your WordPress installation, whether you’re hosting your own website. or whether you are using a managed WordPress hosting service.

There are over 54,000 WordPress plugins available to date. The bright side ? You’ll never be short of plugins to choose from. The wrong side? You don’t even know where to start. As with the Android and iOS app stores, the WordPress plugin catalog has countless goodies mixed in with even more duds. Our goal is to highlight those that will benefit your website the most. You can of course visit Directory of the most popular WordPress plugins to see the most downloaded plugins around, but you’ll miss out on a lot of potential additions by not digging deeper. This, however, is a potentially huge time sink, so we did the research on your behalf.

These best WordPress plugins will help your site perform like a champ. And they do it without costing you a dime because these plugins are all free (although some do offer premium tiers with additional features). We’ll update this list regularly to make sure these plugins are all freshly updated. An outdated plugin may work with your newly updated WordPress installation, but this is not guaranteed. Each plug-in featured here has been updated on or before the last two months as of this writing. Many have been updated in the last week.

Recommended by our editors

Oh, one more thing. Now is the time to mention that plugins can only be installed on self-hosted WordPress sites or sites using managed WordPress hosting services; if WordPress.com is your web host, this article is not for you. If you host a website yourself and are ready to improve your WordPress site, skip to our list of great plugins below.


Akismet Image

Developed by Automattic

Akismet checks comments and trackbacks against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam. If comments and trackbacks are found to be false, they are automatically transferred to the spam folder of your WordPress installation. Clicking on Akismet Stats (located in your dashboard) displays a breakdown of your spam, missed spam, ham (Akismet’s term for actual comments), and false positives (legitimate comments and trackbacks mistaken for spam).

Image of Elementor website builder

Elementor website builder

Developed by Elementor.com

Elementor offers many tools to make your WordPress site as robust and attractive as possible. Add video and image galleries. Integrate with services, such as Google Maps and SoundCloud. Display your social media icons. Insert custom HTML code to further extend the functionality of your site.

Jetpack image

Developed by Automattic

Jetpack is an official WordPress.com plugin that gives your self-hosted WordPress blog a host of additional features. The plugin provides visitor statistics, social media sharing options, and After The Deadline (a grammar and spelling checker). With design, marketing, performance, and security tools, Jetpack gets you started with a bit of everything.

Redirect image

Developed by John Godley

Redirection is a plugin that allows you to redirect links, track 404 (“page not found”) errors, and troubleshoot other link related issues. The plugin is incredibly useful if you are migrating pages from an old website or making changes to your site’s WordPress directory.

Simple: Tap the picture

Developed by the Simple: Press team

Want to add a forum to your WordPress setup? Simple: Press allows you to do just that. Don’t underestimate its capabilities; with Simple: Press, you can customize the forum with skins, create sub-forums, assign rankings to users based on post numbers, etc.

The image of the calendar of events

Developed by The Events Calendar

With the COVID-19 pandemic still plaguing us, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of your events, both in person and online. With the Event calendar plugin, you can create and view events, coordinate with sites and other organizers, and publish your program for visitors to browse.

UpdraftPlus Image

Developed by UpdraftPlus.com

Because you put so much effort into building a website, the last thing you want to do is lose it. UpdraftPlus, allows you to back up your WordPress site and files to cloud services such as Dropbox and Google Drive. Enjoy peace of mind knowing that you can restore your site whenever you want.

WooCommerce Image

Developed by Automattic

If you want to make money with your website, ecommerce is the way to go. With WooCommerceWordPress’ official open source ecommerce tool lets you create storefronts that make your products truly irresistible. Get paid!

Wordfence security image

Developed by Wordfence

The Internet can be a dangerous place. Wordfence Security protects your WordPress site and protects your visitors from malicious attacks. A strong firewall filters out known suspicious IP addresses, deeply built-in encryption thwarts data leaks, and multi-factor authentication adds that latest extra protection for your WordPress connection. You owe it to your users to keep your site safe.

SEO image from Yoast

Developed by the Yoast team

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the most important thing to get your website in front of as many eyeballs as possible. Millions of WordPress sites trust Yoast SEO to offer all the information they need to keep their SEO game on point. This tool scans your content for keywords, monitors your rankings, and helps you clean up your URLs. Premium users can even preview how their site looks on social media.


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