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10 Essential WordPress Plugins for Your Website

By March 28, 2023April 17th, 2024No Comments
10 Essential WordPress Plugins

After 20 years on the market, WordPress CMS has grown to become the most popular website platform for small and mid-size businesses. An estimated 40%+ of websites on the internet are using WordPress. It’s easy to use for non-coders, highly customizable, and offers a wide range of plugins to enhance the functionality and aesthetics of your website. WordPress plugins are add-ons (comparable or similar to small apps) that can be installed on your WordPress website for a variety of reasons. For instance, installing a contact form plugin to capture data without having to code it from scratch.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular WordPress plugins that a small business owner or even a web design agency, may find helpful when managing and/or creating a WordPress website. This list of plugins can help you with everything from SEO and security to social media integration and e-commerce functionality.

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO interface


Yoast SEO is by far the most popular Search Engine Optimization plugins for WordPress, offering a range of tools to help optimize your content for search engines. Over a million websites are utilizing Yoast for their SEO practices.

With the Yoast SEO plugin, you can easily optimize your titles, meta descriptions, and content for specific keywords. The plugin also provides analysis and ratings for readability, so you can ensure that your content is also easy to read and understand for your users. Yoast SEO also offers social media integration, allowing you to optimize your content for social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.


Jetpack interface


Jetpack is a comprehensive plugin that offers a range of features for WordPress websites—from site security and backups to social media integration and analytics.

One of the most useful features of Jetpack is its security tools. It provides protection against brute force attacks, spam, and malware, helping to keep your website safe and secure. Jetpack also offers daily backups and one-click restoration, ensuring that your site can be quickly restored if something goes wrong.

Jetpack also provides features that  include website analytics, social media integration, and site customization tools. Overall, Jetpack can be considered an essential plugin for any WordPress website, but there are other similar plugins that are considered comparable.


WPForms interface


There are a number of great form-builder plugins available for WordPress. We choose to list WPForms here because the ‘Lite’ version is free and in our opinion, the easiest to use for non-coders. WPForms is a user-friendly form-builder plugin. It allows you to create custom forms for your website, including contact forms, survey forms, and order forms and they look great out-of-the-box.

WPForms offers a drag-and-drop interface, making it easy to create and customize all of your website’s forms. It also offers a range of templates to help get you started. The plugin also offers various add-ons that integrate with popular email marketing services like Mailchimp and Constant Contact, allowing you to capture leads and grow your email list.

WP Rocket

WP Rocket interface


Website speed is essential for user experience and can also help your performance with search engine rankingsespecially Google which now measures your site’s desktop and mobile speed in its algorithm. WP Rocket is a popular caching plugin that helps to improve website speed and performance.

WP Rocket offers a wide range of features to help speed up your website, including page caching, browser caching, and more. The plugin also offers lazy loading for images, which can significantly improve website speed by only loading images that are being pulled up by the user rather than loading them all at once.


Woocommerce interface


If you’re planning to sell products or services on your website, WooCommerce is the plugin you need to add and list products and accept payments on your WordPress site, rather than using a 3rd party company such as Shopify to build, host and maintain your website on their own platform (not WordPress). WooCommerce is a powerful e-commerce platform that integrates seamlessly with WordPress, and is by far the most popular e-commerce plugin available. 

Installing WooCommerce, your WordPress site will be able to handle product management, order tracking, and payment processing. It also integrates with popular payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe, making it easy to accept payments from customers.


MonsterInsights interface


MonsterInsights is a powerful analytics plugin for WordPress. It integrates with Google Analytics, allowing you to track website traffic and user behavior.

With MonsterInsights, you can easily view website analytics directly from your WordPress dashboard. It also offers a range of tracking features, including tracking for file downloads and outbound links.


Optinmonster interface


OptinMonster is a popular lead generation plugin for WordPress that has been picking up steam in the digital marketing industry. It allows you to create custom popups, slide-ins, and other opt-in forms to capture leads and grow your email list.

OptinMonster offers a range of targeting and customization options, making it easy to create opt-in forms that match your website’s branding and messaging. The plugin also integrates with popular email marketing services and other marketing apps.


One of the oldest plugins offered for WordPress, Akismet is a plugin that helps to filter out spam comments and protect your website from spam.

Spam comments can be a major nuisance for small business websites and can cause various security and performance issues. Akismet uses machine learning algorithms to identify and block spam comments. It also provides a range of settings to help you customize how spam comments are handled on your website.

WPForms Surveys and Polls

We’ve included WPForms Surveys and Polls with this list to pair with our form-builder recommendation. This is an add-on to the WPForms plugin that allows you to create custom surveys and polls for your website. Surveys and polls can be an excellent way to collect feedback from your customers and improve your business, and this plugin and add-on is free to use (upgrades available). WPForms Surveys and Polls offers a library of pre-made templates to help you get started with your survery/poll.


Storing and maintaining regular backups are essential for maintaining any WordPress website. UpdraftPlus is a backup plugin that helps to automate the backup process and ensure your website data is safe and secure.

UpdraftPlus allows you to schedule regular backups of your website data, including your database and files. It also offers storage options, including cloud storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive.

In Summary…

There are literally tens of thousands of WordPress plugins available to install that can enhance the functionality and/or the look and feel of your website. From SEO and security to e-commerce and lead generation, there’s a plugin for almost any need that can save you countless hours and money by eliminating the need for custom development and design.

Some of the most popular WordPress plugins that can help you on your web design and development journey include Yoast SEO, Jetpack, WPForms, WP Rocket, WooCommerce, MonsterInsights, OptinMonster, Akismet, WPForms Surveys and Polls, and UpdraftPlus.

By utilizing these plugins, you can vastly improve the user experience of your website, enhance your search engine rankings, and grow your business with minimal outside help if you take the time and commitment to learn the ropes. Ttake some time to explore these plugins and what they offer, and see which ones are right for your WordPress website.

If you’re looking for an experienced web design company to help you get started, contact 1Brand Design for a free consultation.


Mike Kotler

Author Mike Kotler

Mike Kotler is Creative Director at 1Brand—a small team of expert designers, developers and marketers based in Chicago. He is a graduate from the University of Florida, an animal-lover and a die-hard Chicago sports fan.   Read a recent interview with Mike from Voyage Chicago.

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