Plugins can take your website from bland to zingy in no time! But there is a problem though, there are nearly 55,000 wordpress plugins available for WordPress. Choosing what plugins your website needs can prove quite the challenging.
To help you out we’ve compiled a list of the 41 of the best WordPress plugins for 2020. These plugins are most brilliant free and paid WordPress plugins we’ve found. Let’s begin!
Starting with possibly the most important tool for any website, unless you are an SEO expert, installing an SEO plugin will make creating sitemaps, managing page titles and optimizing your website much easier.
1. Yoast SEO (Freemium)
Yoast is a very popular free SEO plugin. It adds an SEO tab to your WordPress dashboard which enables you to make changes to your titles, sitemap, breadcrumbs and RSS. The free version of the plugin is a really useful tool for most blogs, upgrading to the pro version adds more useful options like priority support and on-site optimizations. We use Yoast here at WPsetup.org so you can be sure you’ll love it.
2. SmartCrawl SEO (Freemium)
SmartCrawl SEO from WPMU DEV makes SEO pretty straightforward. It includes a setup wizard to help you get started, a built in Moz SEO Tools panel to help you keep track your rankings.. Again, for more features and access to 100+ other plugins offered by WPMU, you can get a WPMU membership.
3. All in One SEO Pack (Freemium)
Last in our SEO plugin recommendations but not least is All in One SEO Pack. It’s not as comprehensive as Yoast but it still get’s the job done. There is the option to upgrade to the premium version for additional features and support. The free version of the plugin allows you to adjust on-page SEO attributes. The All in One SEO Pack includes options for Google Analytics, AMP, sitemaps and WooCommerce SEO.
WordPress Page Builder Plugins
A page builder is essential if you want to completely change the look of your website and create custom page layouts. There are many page builders available, of which we recommend two of our favourites Elementor & WPBakery. The way they work is similar for the most part- you have “blocks” that can be inserted, arranged and customized on a page or a post to create new layouts. These days we prefer Elementor over WPBakery as it’s really user friendly and offers some super neat features.
4. Elementor Page Builder (Free)
Elementor is our favourite page builder plugin if you’re looking for an affordable, user friendly and all round excellent page builder. You can easily create custom pages with Elemetor without any coding at all. Elementor is compatible with most themes and includes tons of elements blocks for columns, sections, text, headings, buttons, videos and more along with some top templates to speed up your website creation time. With Elementor Pro you can even create your own Popups and save yourself from using another plugin like Hello Bar or Optinmonster. We use Elementor here at WPsetup so you’re in good company 🙂
5. WPBakery Page Builder (formerly Visual Composer) (Premium)
WPBakery Page Builder is a neat tool which allows you to make your posts/ pages more appealing. The reality easy to use drag and drop builder supports both front-end and back-end. This page builder allows you to modify paddings, margins, custom colors options, margins, icons, backgrounds, images and more. Plus there are tons of add-ons and extensions that are available to make website creation more streamlined. We have tried both WPBakery and Elementor and whilst we prefer Elementor, WPbakery is still a solid option with years of history and top customer support.
6. Brizy Page Builder
Brizy Page Builder is another excellent page builder. It’s super intuitive and offers a fully featured WYSIWYG page builder. The easy to use drag and drop builder supports both front-end and back-end. You have full control over the creation of your site and with super simple Drag and Drop Blocks. Easily create Forms and Slider galleries with the pro version to give your site those extra bells and whistles. The standard page building options like adjusting fonts paddings, margins, colors, margins, etc are there plus seamless video and image integration. Brizy page builder offers tons of add-ons and extensions that will enhance your website. At 4.4 Stars on the WordPress Plugin directory and thousands of reviews, you’ll be in good company when using Brizy.
Social Sharing Plugins
While focusing on your SEO and optimizing it will bring a lot of traffic to your website, don’t forget about the new rising champion of the internet – Social Media.
Nowadays, everyone is on social media and is always clicking one link or another. And you can connect with them by simply adding social links to your website using one of the following WordPress social sharing plugins.
7. AddThis (Free)
Use AddThis to promote your social links. Using the free version of the plugin, you can integrate your site with 200 of the most popular social networks and you get multiple share button styles and page display settings.
8. JetPack Social Sharing (Free)
JetPack is a beast of a plugin featuring many useful features – one of them being social sharing. Using it you can add icon and/or text social sharing links to your posts, so users can share the content on your site with ease; pretty basic stuff.
WordPress CSS Editing Plugins
9. Yellow Pencil (Freemium)
There are two versions for this plugin, Visual CSS gives access to all the basic features which is free of cost. If you are looking for more advanced options, you’d have to upgrade to Yellow Pencil Pro where you get access to additional features.
10. CSS Hero (Premium)
CSS Hero is a CSS plugin that gives you the ability to control the design aspects of your WordPress site. With CSS Hero you’ll be able easily adjust fonts, layouts, colors and insert images all with a lovely point and click interface. CSS Hero let’s you see in real time exactly what your adjustments will look like and it is also fully responsive supported so you can make sure that your site looks great on mobile, tablet and desktop.
WordPress Caching Plugins
A very important part of a websites speed is caching. Whether or not you are using a CDN, a caching plugin will work wonders for your site’s speed. So, try installing one of our favourite plugins.
11. W3 Total Cache (Free)
W3 Total Cache improves your page speed by ‘caching’ (having a version of your webpage ready to serve up) rather than having to fetch all the files. The benefits of W3 is reducing file loading times and increasing server performance.
12. Swift Performance (Freemium)
Swift Performance has both Lite and Pro versions on offer. We are currently using Swift Performance Lite on our site and it really page a difference with our page loading times. If you need something extra get the Pro version for Image and Database optimisation.
13.WP Super Cache (Free)
The WP Super Cache displays static HTML pages to most users using Mod_Rewrite, legacy caching and PHP to speed things up and can thus make your WordPress website super fast. In fact, the plugin is so popular that it has 2.2 million downloads!
WordPress Notification & Opt-in Plugins
Even though notification or an opt-in form is not an absolute necessity, it is an ideal tool to promote a new product, discount, article or gain newsletter subscribers. These plugins are sure to help for all those needs.
14. Sumo (Free)
The free version of Sumo gives you the power to create welcome mat, pop-ups, notice bars, scroller boxes and more. Sumo is compatible with more than 25+ email services and also includes a handy highlight to tweet feature. With heatmaps to see what folks are clicking, it’s a super powerful notification/popup plugin. It’s free for small websites just starting out although you need a SumoMe account, which is free to setup.
15. OptinMonster (Premium)
Being one of the leading opt-in form and lead generation software options on the web, you won’t be disappointed with OptinMonster. It allows you to create fully custom opt-in including welcome mats, time regulated opt-in, exit intent popups and more. Plus you can even boost your conversions and newsletter signups even more by creating targeted “follow up” messages or onsite retargeting.
16. Bloom (Premium)
This premium pop-up and opt-in form builder is included with your membership of Elegant Theme. This plugin is suitable for e-commerce websites and blogs because it helps you serve your readers with custom content based on their location or even their user interaction on your website. Pretty cool eh?
17. WordPress Notification Bar (Free)
Give WordPress Notification Bar a try if all you want is a basic notification bar. This free plugin lets you add a simple notification bar to the top of your website with options for text, color customization and callout button.
18. HelloBar (Premium)
This popular premium option allows you to easily create and add notice bars to WordPress with plans starting at $4.95 per month. Just sign up for a HelloBar account, add your website, create a hello bar and finally use your bar by simply downloading the custom WordPress plugin for your Hello Bar or manually adding it to your website.
WordPress Slider Plugins
Sliders are an excellent and easy way to pimp your website with more content and create more interesting visuals. Of the tons of great free and premium slider options, we have narrowed it down to the following which are in our opinion the best slider plugins for WordPress.
19. Slider Revolution (Premium)
The Slider Revolution plugin offers a range of features to make your slider full screen, full width, responsive, fast, slow, captioned, or choose from any number of customizations for links, typography, buttons, transitions, animations, etc.
20. Soliloquy (Freemium)
Soliloquoy is a solid slider plugin that you can use for free by trying the Lite version. It has the usual drag & drop image uploading, is fully responsive. If you want to unlock additional features you’d have to upgrade to premium.
21. Layer Slider (Premium)
This popular plugin allows you to create and perfect your sliders down to the millisecond, pixel, and even percentage of a degree rotation. It’s not as fully featured as Slider Revolution but it gets the job done.
22. NivoSlider (Premium)
NivoSlider is an excellent plugin which is tried and tested for preset css styles, multiple transitions, a handful of slider types like manual, category, sticky, etc. The plugin is easy to setup and use and is also integrated with Instagram, Flickr and 500px.
23. SlideDeck (Free)
Create neat and tidy sliders using SlideDeck which supports text, image, videos and HTML and includes a side-by-side editor. In this way, you can see your changes in action as you make them and Soliloquy supports 14 different content sources and features a drag & drop slide order.
WordPress Advanced Menus Plugins
Most WordPress themes include basic menu functionality with dropdown and a few set menu locations. If you want to add images, post excerpts, custom layouts, etc then a plugin is definitely the perfect solution.
24. UberMenu (Premium)
Ubermenu is a mega menu plugin you need to check out if you want to improve the navigation on your website. With this plugin, you can add images, descriptions, shortcodes, use drag & drop widgets, create vertical or horizontal menus, choose sub-menu effects, and customize just about everything.
25. Mega Main Menu (Premium)
The premium Mega Main Menu plugin is another great option through which you can choose from 10+ dropdown styles, select a custom Google font, pick any color (even gradients), choose from 1600+ built-in icons and more. Apart from amazing features, it is even compatible with WPML for easy language translations.
WordPress Contact Form Plugins
26. WPForms (Freemium)
This powerful form builder plugin comes with tons of options for building booking forms, contact forms, subscription forms, quote requests, and others. You can give it the plugin a go for free by getting WPForms Lite from WordPress.org and start building your own responsive forms. If you need a little extra you can always upgrade later and unlock more features.
27. Contact Form 7 (Free)
Contact Form 7 creates straightforward and lovely contact forms with fields like name, subject, and message. You can enable email confirmations and prevent spam using its features.
28. Gravity Forms (Premium)
Gravity Forms enables you to make forms with entry confirmations, multiple pages, addresses, drop-downs, check-boxes, radio buttons, pricing fields, etc. You can also enable form-to-post features and schedule your forms.
WordPress Backup Plugins
It is good practice to take frequent backups of your wordpress websites due to rising instances of data theft and hacking. A plugin is excellent option because it makes the whole backup process automated and takes care of things for you.
29. BackupBuddy (Premium)
BackupBuddy is a top plugin that will take care of all your backup needs. It’ll back up your WordPress plugins, installation, content, widgets and can even provide a full restore.
30. VaultPress (Premium)
The premium plugin offers great level of protection, just in case something goes astray. It takes daily backups or real-time ones, keeps an archive of them, and help you restore your site, should the need arise.
31. BackUpWordPress (Free)
With the BackUpWordPress plugin you can easily achieve daily backup and get the backup files emailed to you. It uses zip functions and mysqldump to backup your installation.
WordPress Security Plugins
With all kinds of security threats to worry about, keeping your WordPress website secure like Fort Knox can be a stressful process. It is much safer if you leave it to one of these plugins and let they keep the bad guys out.
32. Security Ninja (Free)
With over 50+ security tests, Security Ninja makes sure that your website stays safe. Secuirty Ninja will put your site through a security check for weaknesses and suggest ways to solve them. It also has a debug mode and will help you take preventative measures. The pro version offers more protection to your site, we’d go for that.
33. iThemes Security Pro (Premium)
With measures such as site scans, two factor authentication, obscured sensitive data, trouble bot/user bans, file change detection and more, iThemes Security Pro will help you keep your site safe. A test run can be given with the free lite version of the plugin.
34. WordFence Security Pro (Premium)
As the name implies, WordFence is a pro security suite for WordPress. WordFence is a fully featured WordPress security suite. It’ll keep your site secure, thanks to it’s endpoint firewall and malware scanner built solely for WordPress. WordFence also offers real-time threat intelligence, which identifies suspicious IP addresses, Malware signatures, so you can be sure you’re WordPress site is safe as a house.
Sucuri is probably the standard of security plugins for WordPress websites and all websites. It offers hack fixes and attack prevention so you can reset assured your site won’t be compromised. It is a paid option but as the old adage goes, you get what you pay for. We strongly recommend this to all our users.
WordPress Font Option Plugins
Font plays a very important role in improving the user experience on your website. While most wordpress themes provide you with a wide array of font options, there would be instances where you cannot find a suitable font. This where the following plugins come to use.
36. Use Any Font (Free)
You can add custom fonts on your WordPress website by simply uploading your custom font file right in the WordPress editor, or embed form using @font-face css. It is a fast way to add any custom font and the plugin works great with most page builders.
37. Easy Google Fonts (Free)
As the name suggests, adding Google fonts to your website is made easy with this plugin. The plugin enables you to choose from more than 600+ custom Google fonts, create your own font rules, preview live font changes in the Customizer and more, without any coding requirement.
WordPress Event Management Plugins
38. Events Calendar (Freemium)
Checkout the Events Calendar by Modern Tribe if you’re looking for a great events management system and online calendar. Events Calendar allows events creation options like organizers, venues, month/list/day views, Google maps embedding, events search, custom widget, event taxonomies, and tons more, especially in the pro version of the plugin. Also, it’s compatible with most popular frameworks and themes.
39. Event Espresso (Premium)
The Event Espresso WordPress plugin helps you manage the events from beginning to end, including a calendar, registration, invites, wait lists, confirmation emails, billing, coupons, multiple languages, social sharing and so much more. It’s the real deal!
40. Events Manager (Free)
The Events Manager plugin offers effective and free options for managing events throughout your WordPress website. Functionality includes: event registration, BuddyPress support, recurring events, event submissions, Google maps and a few others. It’s obviously not going to be in the same league as Event Espresso, but for some people it’ll do the job.
WordPress Lightbox Plugins
Showcase the full glory of your photos in full size by adding impressive image lightboxes to your website with any of these plugins.
41. Foobox (Premium)
FooBox is a mobile ready and fully responsive lightbox plugin. It’s an ideal addition to galleries and portfolios. Foobox additionally has a built-in slideshow function, social sharing and upon installation, it automatically works with WordPress Galleries.
42. Simple Lightbox (Free)
A powerful and ‘simple’ to use Lightbox that requires no manual coding. It’ll give you’re site images that fit perfectly. Mobile optimisation is included as as customisable Lightbox animations. You can also turbocharge this plugins with Add-ons.
WordPress Booking Plugins
43. Sagenda (Free)
Sagenda is an brilliant WP plugin that brings a seamless booking system to your WordPress site. It will help enable your clients to fix appointments and meetings with you online. It’s totally free for you and your clients and to make it even better there are no ads at all. Sagenda is perfect for Accommodation booking, professional services, doctors, dentists, you name it.
The next time you need to add an extra functionality to the theme, ask yourself if there’s already a plugin that will do the job. You will almost always find one! We hope these 41 plugins make your WordPress life easy.