With nearly 50,000 free plugins available and thousands more to choose from when you start looking at third-party websites, plugins really are the bread and butter of website performance and customization.
If you’re wondering what WordPress plugins are, then you should check out our blog post all about Getting To Know WordPress Plugins!
With so many plugins to choose from, it may be overwhelming when deciding which plugins you actually need for your website.
Of course, it depends on what your website does – and doesn’t – do. But, if you’re curious about what the best of the best WordPress plugins are in 2019, our list below is a great place to get started.
The 17 Best WordPress Plugins Of 2019
- Everest Forms. Contact forms are a critical part of any website, but making them look attractive and function the way you want them to isn’t always a walk in the park. Everest Forms, a free plugin for WordPress, allows you to create contact forms just by dragging and dropping. And, thankfully, the result is attractive and minimal, giving your website a professional look while you get the information you need to scale and grow.
- Yoast SEO. With two options available, the free and the premium, the Yoast SEO plugin gives everyone the ability to improve their SEO. Efficient and incredibly functional, Yoast SEO gives you a step-by-step experience for optimizing your website for better search results. Consider it your new best friend when it comes to getting the most out of your target keywords, titles, and h2 tags.
- Sucuri Security. Every website, no matter how big or small, needs security in order to continue operating day after day. The Sucuri plugin is one of the best options for maintaining this kind of premium security. Not only will it protect your website from malware, but it does its job keeping hackers and other “brute force” attackers out, which means your website is working for you 24/7 – no expensive downtime.
- Jetpack. Designed by WordPress for WordPress, Jetpack is a one-stop plugin for website owners who want to keep their sites as lightweight and agile as possible. The single Jetpack plugin provides essentials like “site security, website performance, traffic growth, image optimization, website appearance,” and a host of other features. And, if content is an important piece of your online performance, Jetpack can help with that by providing enhanced distribution options, which automatically share the content you publish with search engines and other third-party services, resulting in better reach and increased traffic.
- Akismet Anti-Spam. Nobody likes Spam (including the canned meat), which is why the Akismet Anti-Spam plugin is so popular with website owners. This handy plugin deters and prevents spammers from attacking your site by reviewing and filtering every single comment. And, if you don’t want people dropping links in your comments, this plugin makes it easy to quickly review what’s being shared – and remove spammy links as necessary.
- OptinMonster. Generating leads on your website becomes much easier when you leverage the power of the OptinMonster plugin. Offering ready-to-go templates designed for performance, this smart plugin helps you convert your traffic so that your website is more profitable. Choose from a variety of campaigns depending on your site’s needs, including lightbox popups and full-screen welcome mats.
- Google XML Sitemaps. This free plugin is often considered essential for all websites because of how well it works at helping your website rank. It works by indexing your site with all of the popular search engines, including Google, giving search engine bots something they understand – and like. In other words, if SEO matters to you, including Google XML Sitemaps as part of your plugin lineup is a no-brainer.
- WooCommerce. The WooCommerce plugin allows you to transform your WordPress website into a fully-functioning eCommerce store. Considered an all-in-one eCommerce platform, WooCommerce itself is open source, which means the features, extensions, and capacity for customization really is endless. Whether you’re selling physical products, digital courses, or linking to affiliates, WooCommerce helps you optimize your site – and make sales.
- Constant Contact. A great plugin for small businesses, Constant Contact provides website owners with a variety of fully-customizable email templates so that it’s easy to stay in touch with your audience, whether leads or customers. A great place to start if you’re just getting started with email marketing, Constant Contact gives you access to a large library of resources, giving you the foundation you need to fully grasp the importance of email marketing. (And then, of course, implement.)
- Nivo Slider. Engaging your audience with rotating images and videos is essential in the fast-paced digital world. The Nivo Slider plugin makes it easy to transform the way your website works by giving you the ability to add a variety of features, including post sliders, image carousels, and slideshows. Easy to use and with attractive results, the Nivo Slider can be put on any page of your WordPress website, including your home page. There is a free and a premium version available.
- WP Super Cache. Want to improve the speed of your website? If you don’t, then you’re probably the only one. In a world where faster websites get ranked better, it seems like everyone is out to increase their load time, even if it’s just by a millisecond. And that’s exactly why the WP Super Cache plugin is so popular. Free and easy to use, the WP Super Cache instantly improves the baseline of your website by generating static HTML files from your dynamic site.
- Shared Counts. Fast and intelligent, the Shared Counts plugin gives you the ability to allow for social sharing on your site – without weighing it down. Flexible and easy to customize, Shared Counts works so well because it “quickly retrieves, caches and displays various sharing counts” created by its own unique API.
- VaultPress. What would happen if your website crashed and you lost all of your work? Before you start worrying, go get the VaultPress plugin. An invaluable tool for all WordPress websites, VaultPress automatically creates real-time backups of your website, making sure that all of your content, including comments, are saved. So, if and when your website is attacked or crashes, you have the ability to restore it back to its full glory in seconds.
- Google Analytics Dashboard. Knowing what is happening on your website gives you the information you need to make changes and improve optimization. The Google Analytics Dashboard plugin puts all of this real-time info at your fingertips, without having to suffer through trying to find the data you want on the difficult-to-navigate Google Analytics website.
- Live Chat. Adding a live chat feature to your website does wonders for SEO and conversion. The easiest way to add live chat to your WordPress website is through the Live Chat plugin. Simple to integrate, Live Chat gives you the ability to see what each customer is typing into the text box in real time, allowing you and your team to answer and engage instantly.
- WP Smush. If your website is image heavy, then the WP Smush plugin can be incredibly helpful. By reducing the amount of storage space needed by compressing images, WP Smush gives you all of the benefits of image optimization without slowing your site down.
- Pretty Links. Tired of those super-long, super-clunky links? So is your audience. Transform lengthy links into “pretty links” by using the perennially popular plugin Pretty Links. This plugin, while handy for everyone, is invaluable for any WordPress website using and sharing affiliate links.