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20+ Best WordPress Plugins for 2024

To make it easier, I’ve divided this post into two parts: must-have plugins for all blogs 🌱 and plugins for power users and WordPress developers 💪. The first part covers essential plugins that every blog should have, regardless of its niche or audience size. The second part is for those who want more advanced functionality and customization options, aimed at experienced users and developers.

Also, later on in the post, you can find insights and tips from 30 WordPress professionals and site owners that we interviewed to get their opinions on WordPress plugins and which their favorite ones are – explaining why they like them and how they use them on their own sites.

Must-have WordPress plugins for all sites

🆎 In alphabetical order:

Antispam Bee

Spam is the bane of the internet’s existence. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about spam on your WordPress website thanks to Antispam Bee. It’s a free plugin that offers arguably the best performance among its class for the platform.

Antispam Bee is a ‘set-and-forget’ plugin, although it comes with a multitude of options. You have a number of ways to ‘trust’ users, block comments based on choice of language or country, validate IP addresses, search a local spam database, and plenty more. That this plugin has no premium tier is astounding, which makes Antispam Bee even more essential for every site you run.

Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7 is a widely-used WordPress plugin that allows you to create and manage multiple contact forms. It enables customization of form fields and supports various types of input, such as text, email, and radio buttons. The plugin also integrates seamlessly with CAPTCHA and Akismet, helping to reduce spam.

Having Contact Form 7 installed is useful because it simplifies the process of setting up contact forms, ensuring visitors can easily reach out to you. This functionality is essential for maintaining open communication channels with your audience. This is also one of the most downloaded plugins of all time.

Caching plugin: LiteSpeed Cache or WP Fastest Cache

Caching plugins are essential for optimizing WordPress website performance. They work by storing static versions of your web pages, reducing server load and speeding up load times for users. These plugins typically offer a range of features, such as page caching, browser caching, and object caching.

Some also include image optimization, database cleaning, and support for content delivery networks (CDNs). Using a caching plugin can significantly enhance your site’s loading speed and overall user experience. This is crucial for retaining visitors and improving search engine rankings, making caching plugins a must-have for any WordPress site.

If you use a LiteSpeed server, it’s best to use LiteSpeed Cache for optimal performance. Otherwise, WP Fastest Cache is a great alternative.

iubenda

Setting up a cookie and privacy solution is a minefield at the best of times. However, iubenda is hands-down one of the best WordPress plugins available that lets you do this pain-free. Within a few clicks, you can have a custom cookie and privacy policy for your site that updates automatically.

The service works by selecting different elements that your site uses. For instance, you can choose WordPress itself, social media sites you may link to, analytics software, and hundreds of others. From there, iubenda will generate a full cookie and privacy policy, and let you host it in the cloud.

Even better, a new pricing model means buying is more straightforward. The Essentials plan is $5.99 per month, per app, although there are higher tiers too.

Optimole

Image optimization is a key way to create a performant site, so a good solution here is a must. Optimole is one of the best all-in-one tools on the market. It combines compression with device-specific optimization, cloud-based hosting, and more.

Optimole resizes your images for the device it’s displaying for without the need for your input. What’s more, you can carry out some basic editing too if an image needs it. You can also take advantage of lazy loading and a CDN so that images won’t stress your server.

Optimole offers a free plan to get you started, and then also comes with premium tiers at around $19 per month, although you can scale up based on your monthly site visits.

Otter Blocks

The WordPress Block Editor is fantastic, but might not include everything you need to build a site layout. Otter Blocks gives you a whole host of templates, Patterns, and extra content Blocks to add in extra functionality.

This plugin would be great for ecommerce sites, as it includes WooCommerce Builder Blocks such as Add to Cart, Product Metadata, Review Comparison, Business Hours, and much more. Not to mention, you have advanced control over Block visibility, styling, animations, and more.

Otter Blocks has a free version on the WordPress Plugin Directory, but the premium edition starts from only $49 per year.

Really Simple SSL

Really Simple SSL is a plugin designed to simplify the process of moving your site to HTTPS. It automatically detects your SSL certificate and settings, and configures your website to run over a secure HTTPS connection. The plugin handles common issues like mixed content and redirects, ensuring that your site is fully secured without requiring manual intervention.

Installing Really Simple SSL is useful because it enhances your site’s security, which is crucial for protecting user data and improving search engine rankings. Having a secure site also helps build trust with your visitors, making this plugin an important addition to any WordPress website.

SEOPress

SEOPress is a comprehensive WordPress plugin designed to improve your site’s SEO. It’s comes as opposition to the more popular Yoast SEO, but proves to be more stable and deliver more overall features available for free.

It offers things such as meta tags management, XML and HTML sitemaps, content analysis, and social media integration. SEOPress also helps you optimize your site for better visibility in search engine results, making it easier for potential visitors to find you. It will also handle integrating your site with Google Analytics, which is the main reason we don’t have a separate Google Analytics plugin on this list.

Installing SEOPress is useful because it provides all the necessary tools to manage and enhance your site’s SEO in one place. This can lead to increased traffic and better search engine rankings, which are essential for any successful WordPress website.

UpdraftPlus

UpdraftPlus is the best option among WordPress plugins when it comes to backups and restoration. It allows you to create complete backups of your website, including files and databases, and store them on remote locations like Google Drive, Dropbox, or Amazon S3. The plugin supports scheduled backups, making it easy to automate the process.

Having UpdraftPlus installed is essential for protecting your site against data loss. In case of a server crash, hacking attempt, or accidental deletion, you can quickly restore your site to its previous state. This makes UpdraftPlus a vital tool for ensuring the security and continuity of your WordPress website.

Best WordPress plugins for power users and developers

WordPress development takes many forms, so it’s understandable that you’ll need a whole range of plugins to help with the various tasks you’ll encounter.

As such, we can’t give you an exact list of requirements for a specific plugin. Instead, here are a few guidelines and tips to help you choose the right ones:

  • First, think about the task you need help with, and how a plugin could fulfill that need.
  • While ratings, reviews, and support are important for any plugin choice, it’s imperative for development plugins. You don’t want to introduce vulnerabilities or bugs while you’re trying to build a stable product.
  • You may want to take a look at the documentation for a plugin, too. This is because you can get a feel for the support provision on offer, and understand aspects of what a plugin can achieve.
  • By the same token, take a look to see what developer-specific features and support you can get. A plugin may offer plenty of hooks and filters, or an Application Programming Interface (API), for example.

Overall, I advise you to use a lot of common sense when it comes to choosing the best WordPress plugins. After all, your choice will be unique for your project’s needs.

With that out of the way, here’s a list of WordPress plugins that we (collectively here at WPShout) find the most worthwhile and valuable for a WordPress power user. Again, 🆎 in alphabetical order:

Admin and Site Enhancements (ASE)

Admin Site Enhancements is an interesting WordPress plugin designed to improve the functionality and user experience of the WordPress admin area. It offers various features that will let you get rid of a number of individual plugins that used to handle those things.

I’m talking things such as customizing the admin dashboard, adding shortcuts, disabling REST API, XML-RPC, limiting login attempts, and enhancing the overall interface with additional tools and options. ASE helps streamline administrative tasks, making site management more efficient overall.

Installing this plugin allows you to tailor the WordPress admin area to your specific needs, improving productivity and making it easier to manage your website. This can be particularly helpful for site administrators and developers who spend a lot of time in the backend.

Advanced Custom Fields

We think Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) is one of the most popular and best WordPress plugins for developers. It lets you add custom fields to WordPress edit screens, which means you can create the exact layout, workflow, and experience you wish on the WordPress dashboard.

There are around 30 field types on offer, and one of the best developer APIs around. Thousands of developers love ACF thanks to its extensive documentation, world-class support, and ability to create custom ACF Blocks.

What’s more, the core plugin is free, although a PRO subscription starts from $49 per year.

AutomatorWP

Automating tasks and parts of your workflow can theoretically put you in multiple places at once. It’s a way to multitask without spending brain power. AutomatorWP is kind of like a platform-specific Zapier, in that you can connect plugins together within WordPress and automate complex tasks without code.

To use the plugin, you add triggers to your workflow. These combine into actions that run when you need them to. The triggers fire on all sorts of actions, such as watching a video, purchasing a product, and more. Combining them lets you automate actions such as auto enrollment on courses, emailing a discount code, and others.

While there’s a free version of AutomatorWP, the premium version starts from $149 per year and gives you access to all add-ons.

Custom Post Type UI Extended (CPTUIE)

It seems as though custom post types are par for the course when it comes to WordPress web development. As such, Custom Post Type UI Extended could be an essential plugin in your armory. It provides an interface within WordPress to register custom post types with ease.

The plugin enables you to create your custom post types and display the data they collect right inside posts and pages. You can do so from the WordPress Block Editor, and CPTUIE also lets you work with data from any other post type on your site. The plugin does this through a dedicated shortcode builder that’s a breeze to use.

Even better, CPTUIE won’t dent your budget. A single-site license is $29 for six months of support and updates, although there are options to purchase more licenses if you need them.

Debug This

You can find out quite a lot about your WordPress installation without any additional plugin, but Debug This will help you during development or even customer support. In short, you can find out more site information from the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

For instance, you can see the current WP_Query object, rewrite rules, PHP and server information, cache statistics, those files that the site renders in HTML, and plenty more. Even simple facets, such as post authors or attachments, are available for you.

Debug This is another free plugin that could become an essential part of your development workflow.

Marker.io

Here’s a plugin that could improve your collaboration and feedback loops. Marker.io is a way to give and collect visual feedback for your WordPress website. You’ll likely use it when designing or testing to get the opinion of others about the direction you’re taking.

The plugin uses a pop-up for testers to add feedback while they use the site. This removes a big barrier to offering feedback, and we love the approach. You can annotate screenshots too, using arrows, text, emojis, and more. The whole package is slick and integrates with WordPress without a hitch.

Pricing for Marker.io begins from $39 per month, which seems high, but could pay for itself if it speeds up the design and testing phase of your project.

Simple History

Here’s a completely free plugin that performs some vital functionality. Simple History shows the most recent changes to happen within WordPress, right on the dashboard. You can view changes to posts and pages, taxonomies, comments, logins (including failed attempts), and much more.

There is also lots of support for third-party plugins. For instance, the plugin will log changes you make to ACF fields and field groups. If you also use the User Switching plugin, Simple History will log those changes, too. Although there are other plugins available, it’s reassuring to know that this free solution can work with some other WordPress development plugins.

Theme Switcha

You often don’t want the site visitors to see what you’re doing behind the scenes. This is where Theme Switcha shines. It lets you swap out a theme on the back-end of a site, while the current theme stays in place on the front end.

The plugin offers focus, without the bells and whistles of other theme switching plugins. For example, you get to control who can switch themes – all the way up to everyone! – send preview links to others, and set it up with a passcode. When it comes to theme testing without disrupting the User Experience (UX) Theme Switcha is ideal.

What The File

Next, we have arguably the most straightforward plugin on this list. What The File will show you the template parts and files used to display the current page. You can find the information out in the WordPress toolbar.

That’s basically it, but we do have a caveat about the plugin. If you check its Last Updated time, it often goes well over our recommended six months. However, during our testing we didn’t uncover any issues so we are happy to recommend it. Our advice is to test it on your own setup before you do any serious work.

WP Reset

Sometimes you need to rip it up and start again. In these cases, it would help to have a quick and simple way to do so. WP Reset can offer that! In only a few clicks, you can revert the WordPress database back to its original settings.

You will set up snapshots of your site, which WP Reset will refer back to when you need. However, you can also choose to delete and restore specific parts of a snapshot too, so you have lots of flexibility.

WP Reset costs $39 per year for a single site license. This is fantastic value and means the plugin could be a regular in your toolbox.

WP-Staging

Staging is a crucial step during development, as it lets you transition from local to live without impacting your UX. What’s more, you can make more changes and conduct more tests on a live server. WP-Staging is one of the best WordPress plugins for developers we know of to help you if your host doesn’t provide staging functionality.

In fact, you don’t only get staging functionality with this plugin. You can also duplicate sites, clone them, and migrate them all within its settings. The staging itself is a breeze to use, and you can set things up in minutes. It supports all common types of web servers, and the data stays with you rather than heading off to a cloud provider. This is welcome if you choose to host sensitive information.

We like the premium version over the free one, as you get lots of cool backup options. The lowest tier costs around $89 per year.

What experts say about WordPress plugins

We spoke with a group of successful WordPress professionals to get their feedback on the topic as well. We talked with a total of 30 experts.

Keep in mind, though, that we originally reached out for this feedback a while back, so not all the plugins are still valid. However, we still want to show you this collection as we believe it holds a lot of insight when it comes to the types of things that real users like to use plugins for.

These developers, website owners, and business people have specified what they see as the best WordPress plugins, along with why they think so and how they might use them on their own websites.

Here’s the question we asked them:

What are the three best WordPress plugins that every WordPress blogger should have?

Here are the answers we got:

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One Comment

  • Lindsey John says:

    What a fantastic roundup of the best WordPress plugins for 2024! Your selection covers all the essentials, and your insights make it easy to see why each plugin is a must-have. Thanks for sharing this valuable resource!

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