Anyone who has a blog or any type of website on WordPress knows how plugins are essential to add new features to your web space. It is also true that very often they can create conflicts between them or the template and incompatibility with other programs on our web pages. This is why we recommend installing a few (let’s say a maximum of 10/15) and only those that are really necessary for optimal management. In this regard, I thought it was useful to compile this list with the 10 best WordPress plugins. Selected both for my personal experience in years and years in which I have really tried each and for being the ones who have obtained the most downloads and positive feedback.
The 10 best WordPress plugins that you really need
1. Akismet Anti-Spam
Akismet is the best WordPress plugin capable of protecting your website from spam. In a nutshell it is a filtering service that once installed automatically blocks all those ugly unwanted comments that are clearly spam. In many hosting providers it is already included in their WordPress installation package.
2. Broken Link Checker
Sooner or later every site finds itself having broken links and missing images on its web pages. This is not good because both for users and for search engines, they represent a negative evaluation factor with a probable penalty. The Broken Link Checker plugin helps us do just that. Regularly check for links that are no longer working and for missing images by notifying you and allowing us to change or deactivate those links.
3. Contact Form 7
The most popular and used WordPress contact form plugin in the world. Simple, flexible and responsive Contact Form 7 has all the most important functions to easily and in a few steps create contact forms in your image and likeness. What about spam? No problem, it supports both Akismet and Captcha systems as well as the possibility of inserting a customizable quiz question in order to block any spam messaging bot.
Valid alternatives to this plugin can be Caldera Forms, Gravity Forms (premium plugin) and Very Simple Contact Form.
Elementor is the most advanced page builder plugin for drag & drop front-end page creation. It allows you to create professional websites without necessarily having to have programming knowledge. There is no design limitation, the pages are responsive and fit very well with both standard and premium templates. The only care is to keep it constantly updated. Delaying an update can momentarily cause some visual hitch to the created graphics.
5. TinyMCE Advanced
WordPress plugin specifically designed to extend and improve both the block editor (Gutenberg) and the classic one (TinyMCE). For me, TinyMCE Advanced was the salvation. I was able to continue using the classic Paragraph block, with which I am much better, without giving up all the new features designed for the block one.
Ideal plugin for those who want to create an online store on WordPress. WooCommerce allows you to easily manage all those processes necessary for an e-commerce platform. From the product offer to the cart, from payment to shipping up to a user account. It is the most complete and recommended solution both for those who sell their products and for those who sell through affiliations.
7. WP-CopyProtect [Protect your blog posts]
Despite not being updated since WP-CopyProtect remains among my best WordPress plugins to recommend. Unfortunately I have been copied so many times that I necessarily have to resort to some tricks. This simple free plugin deactivates the right mouse button and allows us to show a small pop-up with a personalized warning to anyone who tries to make other people’s content. It doesn’t save us 100% but it’s a good deterrent.
! If you want to know what to do when you find a script, read “What to do when they copy content on the internet“.
8. WPML Multilingual CMS
When you need to provide your own content in multiple languages, I always advise against inserting translations on the same page because they create misunderstandings for search engines that penalize if not understanding which is the main language. In these cases it is essential to create a multilingual site. The WordPress WPML plugin does just that. Through a very simple and intuitive interface, it allows you to manage all the translations of articles, menus, pages, taxonomies and even widgets. It is premium but it is really worth it.
A valid alternative can be Polylang.
9. WP Rocket
When a website begins to mesh, there is nothing worse than being faced with a significant slowdown of the pages with possible server collapse. This can easily happen when the number of visitors is high for an extended period of time. This is where caching comes in.
Process by which every time a website is visited the pages are saved and subsequently loaded without having to make a new query of the database.
WP Rocket is the best WordPress plugin to improve the performance of a website. Automatically creates a cached copy of the site allowing you to load its contents much faster. This is very important because an internet page that opens slowly in addition to being penalized by search engines does not even like the users themselves, leading them to abandon it immediately. WP Rocket is paid but a professional website cannot and must not do without it. Loading times are significantly reduced as well as ensuring that the site does not crash making its performance reliable.
Other very good plugins to consider as an alternative to WP Rocket are:
- W3 Total Cache.
- WP Super Cache.
! To test the loading speed of your web pages by noting the difference between before and after the installation of one of these plugins, you can use GTmetrix.
10. Yoast SEO and Yoast SEO Premium
Anyone who runs a blog or a website knows very well how much visits depend on its easy availability on search engines. Among the best WordPress plugins, Yoast SEO, both in free and premium versions, is the number one capable of improving the positioning of a site among the results of search engines. It allows you to work on on-page optimization by processing and managing keywords, meta descriptions, internal links, permalinks, taxonomies and titles in page editing, as well as using XML sitemaps correctly. In short, it allows even less experienced users to do SEO.
The most recommended alternative to Yoast SEO is the All In One SEO Pack.
Plugin you can easily do without
In several years of presence on WordPress I can say that I have tested, tried and tried hundreds of different plugins. In the end and in my humble opinion it is enough to simply choose immediately an excellent responsive template complete with everything we need. We will thus avoid resorting to installing a plugin for every feature that comes to mind by focusing only on those that are really useful in order to improve the user experience and performance for search engines. The worst I’ve ever come across remain JetPack and Disqus.
The first, in addition to creating internal conflicts with everything installed, slowed down the blog a lot and at the end of the fair I still haven’t understood what the heck it is for because I haven’t found any changes in eliminating it. Indeed the site has only benefited. The second weighs heavily on every web page and assuming that we have selected a template to our taste, I do not understand the usefulness of changing the comment system with this service, let me tell you, just uncomfortable and ugly to look at.
If you need to know more about what they are, how to choose the best ones and how to install them correctly step by step, read the “Guide to WordPress plugins“. That said, do you know and use these plugins or do you resort to other solutions?