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 whole 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 WordPress plugins 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 optional paid upgrades.

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 to install WordPress plugins

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

The 17 best WordPress plugins

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. And, since WooCommerce was made by the team behind WordPress, it’s fully integrated into your WordPress dashboard and is extremely easy to use.

With WooCommerce, it’s a breeze to build eye-catching storefronts, customise pages in minutes and handle all the admin in one place. When you install the WooCommerce plugin, your website will automatically turn into an online store, giving you the ability to sell products, memberships, files and more. You’ll also get all the tools you need to build product pages, a customer checkout and shopping carts.

Thanks to its user-friendliness and compatibility with WordPress and popular payment providers, many businesses prefer this WordPress ecommerce plugin over ecommerce platforms like Shopify and PrestaShop. Plus, you can even manage your online store on the go with the WooCommerce app! With the ability to accept major credit cards, cash on delivery and integrate with the likes of PayPal, Amazon Pay and Google Pay, you have all the tools you need to build and 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 SEO isn’t always easy, which is why Yoast is so amazing. Even if you’ve never optimised a website before, Yoast makes it so easy to tweak your content and settings so that your website ranks higher in search engine results, ensuring that more people can find and visit your website.

As one of the best SEO WordPress plugins, not only can Yoast analyse and optimise content as you write it, but it can also automate technical improvements and help with sitemaps, leading to faster loading times for your whole website and more. Yoast includes easy-to-use templates for features such as meta descriptions and SEO titles, and it will automatically analyse your content for keyword usage and readability as you write. This ensures that your web content appeals to both search engines and humans. Plus, whenever Google issues an update to its algorithm, Yoast will automatically update its features and analysis to make sure your website is always SEO-friendly. 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 website 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, from website security and backups to website speed, growth and customer relationship management (CRM). 

Jetpack gives you in-depth traffic growth and website statistics, contact forms, SEO tools, 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 such as two-factor authentication and brute force attack protection. You can back up your website automatically, view site changes, perform anti-malware scans, block spam comments and more. The list really does go on and on.

6. WPForms

WPForms WordPress plugin logo

No matter what your website is for, it’s important that your visitors have a way to get in touch – this will help them ask their burning questions, get tech support, or simply offer fantastic feedback on your products and services. However, WordPress doesn’t have built-in contact form functionality, so you need a form builder plugin like WPForms to help you get started. WPForms gives you pre-built form templates, a drag-and-drop editor to build forms, email notifications of form submissions, and CAPTCHA support to defend against spam submissions. Staying in touch with your audience has never been easier!

But why should WPForms be your number one choice for a form builder plugin? WPForms offers many more advanced features compared to its competitors, including form landing pages, user journey tracking, geolocation tracking, custom WordPress user registration and so much more. Plus, WPForms integrates with popular platforms like PayPal, Square and Stripe, making it the perfect choice for many businesses just like yours.

7. Akismet

Akismet WordPress plugin logo

Is there anything more annoying than spam? Any website can be targeted by bots that send spam in comments and form submissions, so you need to defend your site with an anti-spam WordPress plugin like Akismet. This plugin integrates seamlessly with the WordPress comment system to automatically analyse and filter all comments on your site, blocking the ones that look like spam with a high degree of accuracy. Akismet will also flag questionable comments for you to review, so you can easily stay in control of your website and keep things looking neat and professional.

8. OptinMonster

OptinMonster WordPress plugin logo

Website owners know that not all traffic leads to conversions. One of the key difficulties of building a successful website is figuring out how to turn website visitors into leads, but this task is made much easier with OptinMonster. OptinMonster is a lead generation plugin that helps you create notification bars, popup forms, slide-in notifications, welcome gates and coupon wheels with a handy drag-and-drop tool. This popular WordPress plugin is extremely responsive and intuitive, with the ability to set different triggers or tailor your popups to different groups for maximum effectiveness.

OptinMonster gives you plenty of templates if you need a bit of help, or you can get creative and fully customise your popups yourself using the drag-and-drop tools. You can add any information you want to these popups depending on your goals, such as email sign-ups or account creation prompts. If you’re struggling to turn visitors into solid leads, give OptinMonster a try.

9. WPCode

WPCode WordPress plugin logo

WordPress is brilliant for tech novices because you don’t need to know anything about coding to build your own website. However, companies like Google and Facebook require you to add code to your website to use their tracking tools. With a code inserter plugin like WPCode, there’s no need to fret about your coding abilities. WPCode makes it super simple to add code to the headers and footers of your pages and enable and disable each code snippet. Plus, it offers support for a wide range of coding languages, including JavaScript, PHP, HTML, and CSS.

10. Redirection

Redirection WordPress plugin logo

Don’t lose visitors or harm your search engine rankings through broken links! Finding a 404 error page is a frustrating yet common experience for web users, but you can easily fix this issue by installing the Redirection plugin. This plugin allows you to set up both global redirects and conditional redirects, which means visitors will be redirected to an active page where they can continue browsing your website. In addition, Redirection detects when you change the permalink of a post or page and then creates a redirect to ensure your visitors can still get there if they’ve bookmarked it. This is a simple tool that can really make a world of difference!

11. All in One SEO

All in One SEO WordPress plugin logo

Another highly popular SEO plugin is All in One SEO, which can be a great alternative if you don’t get along with Yoast. All in One SEO will help you optimise your website for search engines and improve search rankings, even if you’re completely new to SEO. This is because this SEO plugin makes it easy to add SEO titles, meta descriptions and keywords, which can all boost your rankings. Plus, All in One SEO allows you to connect your site to Google Search Console, generate custom schema and optimise your content with a handy SEO score, and it’s the only SEO plugin that helps you automate internal linking. Overall, this is one of the must-have plugins for all WordPress websites, so it’s no wonder that millions of websites rely on it for their SEO needs.

12. Constant Contact

Constant Contact WordPress plugin logo

Building an email list is absolutely key if you want to build long-lasting relationships with your customers. Not every website visitor will immediately make a purchase on your site, but through email marketing efforts, you can make them aware of future sales and promotions and hopefully push them further along the sales funnel.

This is why you need an email marketing plugin like Constant Contact, which allows you to easily build an email list and send regular email newsletters to all of your subscribers. Another amazing benefit is that Constant Contact works well with plugins like WPForms and OptinMonster, so all of your lead generation plugins can work together seamlessly to nurture leads and improve your conversion rate.

13. SeedProd

SeedProd WordPress plugin logo

Don’t know any code? No worries! With a page builder plugin like SeedProd, you can easily build and customise your WordPress website without any prior tech knowledge. SeedProd allows you to easily create custom landing page layouts in no time at all, so you won’t have to spend money on hiring a developer.

SeedProd is a drag-and-drop page builder plugin, which means you can quickly create custom pages using built-in features like buttons, social profiles, content blocks and countdown timers. Want to create something in just a few minutes? You can also choose from hundreds of pre-made templates. SeedProd works with all WordPress themes, so you can create amazing custom pages without having to change your existing theme.

14. MonsterInsights

MonsterInsights WordPress plugin logo

Google Analytics is an essential tool for tracking website traffic and understanding how people find and use your website. Google Analytics plugins like MonsterInsights allow you to connect your website to this platform, enabling you to see reports on important website stats right from your WordPress dashboard. These stats can include things like your website traffic and conversions, helping you pinpoint your most popular pages. You can also see the pages that users visited before making a purchase, which will allow you to map out the typical customer journey and therefore better understand how to turn website visitors into leads.

15. WP Rocket

WP Rocket WordPress plugin logo

It’s an established fact that faster-loading websites have much better engagement. Customers don’t want to wait around for your pages to load, so it’s important to improve page load times as much as possible.

One way to easily speed up your website is to implement caching, which is a total breeze with WordPress caching plugins like WP Rocket. Adjusting caching settings manually can be a bit complex if you’ve never done anything like this before, but WP Rocket makes things super simple by automatically turning on recommended caching settings like GZIP compression and page caching. With WP Rocket, you can also turn on optional settings like lazy loading images and minification, which will speed up your website even further if you’re still having problems.

16. Uncanny Automator

Uncanny Automator WordPress plugin logo

Managing a website can take a lot of time, but you can instantly reduce your workload by automating key admin tasks. Uncanny Automator is the number one automation plugin for WordPress, allowing you to choose from hundreds of triggers and actions to create automation scripts for your website – no coding needed! Plus, Uncanny Automator integrates with most other popular plugins and third-party platforms, so you can get all of your WordPress features to work together to automate key tasks. You can even get two separate WordPress websites to work together, which is extremely useful if you have a separate business or membership site and an online store.

Pretty Links Pro WordPress plugin logo

Want an easier way to manage your affiliate marketing strategy? Affiliate links are a fantastic way to make extra money from your website, so make the most of them with a link management plugin like Pretty Links Pro. With this plugin, you can make all of your affiliate links short and memorable, create QR codes, automatically add relevant links to your blog posts with the keyword replacement tool, and manage all of your affiliate links in one place. If you’re an affiliate marketer, Pretty Links Pro should be at the top of your list.

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.