An already powerful website building platform, WordPress comes packed with tools to help you create a high-performing, professional website. And adding WordPress plugins into the mix, you can add even more functionality to your sites and make them more powerful. From image galleries and design tools to email marketing and SEO optimisation, there are loads to choose from.

What are WordPress plugins?

Essentially, a WordPress plugin is a bit of code that is ‘plugged in’ to your site. Or, in other words, it’s something that either adds new functionality to your site or extends existing features further.

They help you do a helluva lot with your online presence, adding cool features, more design choices and productivity tools. This includes everything from making small tweaks to huge changes. Some can even take you from a plain site to a fully functioning online store, social platform or blog forum.

Are they free?

A lot of WordPress plugins are free. In fact, there are currently over 58,000 free plugins available. Many plugins do come as a free version but will have paid upgrades available.

You’ll also come across what are called premium plugins and these do come with a price tag. Premium plugins vary in price and are bought on third party sites. These can then be uploaded in your WordPress dashboard.

How do WordPress plugins work?

WordPress plugins are actually a lot easier to use than they may sound. You can use the plugin search under ‘Plugins > Add new’ in your WordPress dashboard to find free ones that you want to use. Then you just click ‘install’ and once it’s done you simply configure it for your site.

WordPress plugins search in WordPress admin dashboard

What WordPress plugins should you use?

With thousands of plugins to choose from, you’re certainly spoilt for choice. To save you a bit of time, we’ve handpicked a few of the most popular WordPress plugins to help you do more with your website.

1. WooCommerce

Woo Commerce WordPress plugin logo

WooCommerce is one of the world’s most popular ecommerce WordPress plugins, no doubt. The core platform is free, flexible and full of features.  With WooCommerce it’s a breeze to build eye-catching storefronts, customise pages in minutes and handle all the admin in one place. You can even manage your online store on the go with the WooCommerce app! Plus, with the ability to accept major credit cards, cash on delivery and integrate with the likes of PayPal, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, you have all the tools you need to run a successful online store.

2. Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO WordPress plugin logo

Launched back in 2008, Yoast SEO has helped millions of businesses optimise their websites for search engines. Getting your head around search engine optimisation (SEO) isn’t always easy, which is why Yoast is so amazing. One of the best SEO WordPress plugins, not only can it analyse and optimise content as you write it, it can also automate technical improvements and help with sitemaps, faster loading times for your whole website and more. Made by experts, you’ll have an optimised website in no time.

3. Elementor

Elementor Website Builder WordPress plugin logo

Used by over 5 million websites, Elementor Website Builder is an awesome tool that unlocks so many design possibilities. Compatible with many themes, Elementor essentially adds a drag-and-drop editor to your site giving you complete creative freedom, zero coding required. From landing pages and online stores to full-blown websites, you can use it to build the site you want. You can also choose from a large selection of widgets to add things like animations, videos, galleries and Google Maps – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

Envira Gallery WordPress plugin logo

Whether you’re showing off your design portfolio, product range or projects your company has worked on, you want a stylish gallery that looks amazing. Envira is a drag and drop plugin that makes it a piece of cake to create your own image gallery. Simply upload your photos, rearrange them and do it all in just a few minutes – it really is that easy. It’s SEO-friendly, optimised for speed and mobile-ready too. And, if that wasn’t enough, Envira integrates with WooCommerce so if selling artwork is your thing, you can do that as well!

5. Jetpack

Jetpack WordPress plugin logo

If you’re looking for something that covers all the essentials, Jetpack is the WordPress plugin for you. Considered the ultimate toolkit for WordPress, it includes everything you need. This includes in-depth traffic growth and website statistics, contact forms, SEO tools and custom site search and even related posts sections and social sharing buttons for your blog. On top of all that, it also offers auto site security. You can backup your website automatically, view site changes, perform anti-malware scans, block spam comments and more. The list really does go on and on.

We hope you’ve found some WordPress plugins you like the sound of and that they’ll help you build an amazing site you’ll love. Navigating the world of plugins can seem overwhelming, but our WordPress Hosting platform provides one-click setup for some of the most popular and useful plugins available. And if you ever need any extra help or advice on managing or setting up your site, our support team is here to help 24/7.

Wondering what else you can do with your WordPress site? Maybe consider what theme you’re using or have a look at creating some awesome content.