Top 140 WordPress Plugins: The Definitive List

Last updated on December 3, 2017.

Flexibility of WordPress Plugins

Plugins provide amazing customization and flexibility for any WordPress website. They are one of the three reasons why (along with security and theme flexibility) WordPress is the No.1 CMS for website development today.

Plugins are endorsed and downloaded in the thousands every day. In no uncertain terms, they can transform a non-responsive, under-optimized website into an industry leader.

While they can offer a lot of functionality, poorly tested and seldom updated plugins can be security risks and slow down your site. As such, it’s important to do a little research on a plugin before using it. Also, if you have 20+ plugins, you may want to start pruning your list to prevent your site from having performance issues.

So, you may want to start by creating a list of plugins that you would like to have on your site before installing any of them. Then, if the list gets too big, you can prune it down to your must-haves before you begin to install the plugins.

That said, here’s our list of the best WordPress plugins in various categories.

  • Page Building & Content Management
  • Images & Visual Optimization
  • SEO
  • Form Building, Comments & Spam
  • Sliders
  • Social Media
  • eCommerce
  • Security & Backup
  • Online Advertising
  • Customer Service & Support
  • Analytics & Metrics
  • Marketing & Affiliates
  • Performance & Speed
  • Best of the Rest

Page Building & Content Management

  1. BeaverBuilder
  2. Instapage
  3. PageBuilder by SiteOrigin
  4. Elementor
  5. Simple Page Ordering
  6. WP-PageNavi 
  7. Shortcodes Ultimate
  8. All-in-One WP Migration
  9. Cornerstone
  10. WPBakery Page Builder

It may seem odd to lump page builders and content management tools on the same list. However, they’re both intended for the same purpose – to make it easier to build and maintain websites.

The page builders on this list aren’t just for non-developers. They can save developers a lot of time AND make it easier for their clients to update their sites. The latter will help build your reputation in your industry as a web developer that cares about clients.

When choosing a page builder, be sure to test its speed and performance – both on the frontend and backend of your site. Some are notoriously slow to use when building pages, and others are bloated plugins that increase page load time for visitors to your site. Instead of testing all of them yourself, you can check out reviews of the plugins and Authority Hacker’s excellent analysis of WordPress page building tools.


Images & Visual Optimization

  1. Regenerate Thumbnails
  2. Essential Grid
  3. Black Studio TinyMCE
  4. NextGEN Gallery
  5. Smush Image Compression and Optimization
  6. Image Widget
  7. Photo Gallery by WD
  8. Responsive Lightbox
  9. Huge IT Video Gallery
  10. Simple 3D Coverflow

Unoptimized images are one of the main issues that cause a website to be slow.

While you can always optimize them without a plugin by compressing and resizing the images before you upload them to WordPress, that can take a lot of time – especially if you need to re-optimize a hundred or more images that are already on your site. That’s why you may want to put a good, lightweight image optimizer on your list of must-have plugins.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

  1. Yoast
  2. All in One SEO Pack
  3. Jetpack
  4. Google XML Sitemaps
  5. Premium SEO Pack
  6. Rankie
  7. Redirection
  8. EWWW Image Optimizer
  9. SEO Squirrly
  10. Broken Link Checker

When building a new site, a solid SEO plugin is always on our list of must-haves. The two most popular plugins on this list are Yoast and All in One, but the others on the list may appeal to those who are looking for specific features or for those who want to supplement the major players with additional capabilities.

The Creative Mindscape website currently uses All in One SEO, but we’ve also used the others on this list when building other sites. Sometimes, it all boils down to personal (or client) preference and features needed.


Form Building, Comments & Spam

  1. Akismet
  2. Gravity Forms
  3. Ninja Forms
  4. Contact Forms 7
  5. Real Simple Captcha
  6. Disable Comments
  7. Disqus
  8. Quform Builder
  9. Contact Form to DB
  10. Replyable

It may seem like an afterthought, but it’s a good idea from the get-go to install a good form builder as well as a robust comment and spam management tool. We use Gravity Forms and Disqus on the Creative Mindscape site, but others on this list may work better for you.


Sliders

  1. Slider Revolution
  2. Layer Slider
  3. Meta Slider
  4. Soliloquy
  5. Slider Pro
  6. Royal Slider
  7. Accordion Slider
  8. Easing Slider
  9. Huge IT Slider
  10. SlideDeck

Sliders aren’t as popular as they used to be, but there are a ton of plugins that make creating them a breeze. Be careful when choosing one, though. Some slider plugins are a bit heavy and can slow down your site.


Social Media

  1. Social Warfare
  2. Monarch
  3. Sumo
  4. WP Social Sharing
  5. Simple Social Buttons
  6. Instagram Feed
  7. Social Network Tabs
  8. Easy Social Share Buttons
  9. Sassy Social Share
  10. Ultimate Social Media Pro

A good social media plugin is another item that should be on your list of must-haves (unless your theme has a built-in one). At Creative Mindscape, we’re particularly fond of Social Warfare, but there are lots of other great options, too.


eCommerce

  1. WooCommerce
  2. WordPress Simple PayPal Shopping Cart
  3. Ecwid E-Commerce
  4. Marketpress eCommerce
  5. WP EasyCart
  6. Worldpay Gateway for WordPress
  7. YITH WooCommerce Wishlist
  8. WooCommerce Services
  9. WP Simple Pay — Stripe Payments for WordPress
  10. Product Catalog

When choosing an eCommerce plugin, a lot depends on what types of things you’re selling on your site and what payment methods you are using. WooCommerce is a big favorite among WordPress users, but it’s probably not the best choice if you’re selling services or only have a small number of products.


Security & Backup

  1. Wordfence
  2. All In One Security & Firewall
  3. Bulletproof Security
  4. iThemes Security
  5. Login Lockdown
  6. Sucuri Security
  7. Security Ninja
  8. Duplicator
  9. Backup Buddy
  10. Updraft Plus

Before installing a security or backup plugin, check to see what options your web host is using on their side. If your host already has good options in its plan package, you may not need anything additional.


Online Advertising

  1. Ad Inserter
  2. WordPress Ad Widget
  3. Adsanity
  4. Popup Maker
  5. WP Quads Pro
  6. Ads Pro
  7. WP In Posts
  8. WP Pro Advertising System
  9. Ad Rotate
  10. Advanced Ads

Planning to monetize your site with ads? The plugins on this list can make it a whole lot easier. Some are mainly geared toward supporting AdSense, but others can handle direct ads as well.


Customer Service & Support

  1. Live Chat By Formilla
  2. WP Live Chat Support
  3. WP Support Plus Responsive Ticket System
  4. Olark
  5. Zendesk
  6. Support System
  7. Awesome Support
  8. AIO Support Center
  9. Fast
  10. Tawk.To Live Chat

Some of the options on this list are complete solutions and others support integration with external customer support tools, like Zendesk. Think about the features you want – such as knowledgebase and FAQ functionalities – before selecting one.


Analytics & Metrics
  1. Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights
  2. AFS Analytics
  3. Jetpack
  4. WP Google Analytics Events
  5. WP Power Stats
  6. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP
  7. Analytify
  8. Analytics Cat
  9. WP Statistics
  10. Clicky by Yoast

Ah, yes. Analytics. Google Analytics pros may not be interested in many of these, but there are some on this list that complement GA well. Others use their own tracking system to generate useful metrics.


Affiliate Marketing
  1. Affiliates
  2. AffiliateWP
  3. WP in Post Ads
  4. Amazon Estore Affiliates
  5. Thirsty Affiliates
  6. WordPress Affiliate & Referral Plugin
  7. Easy Affiliate Links
  8. Affiliates Manager
  9. EasyAzon
  10. Shortlinks by Pretty Links

Each of these plugins has its own set of pros and cons, depending on the number and type of affiliate links you plan to use. Also, your affiliate program may have its own proprietary plugin that could be an even better choice for your site.


Performance & Speed
  1. WP Rocket
  2. W3 Total Cache
  3. Cloudflare
  4. GTmetrix for WordPress
  5. WP Super Cache
  6. Autoptimize
  7. Hummingbird
  8. Speed Booster Pack
  9. WP Fastest Cache
  10. WP Speed of Light

Okay, this is a category that can really make a difference in your page load. Some of these plugins may even shave seconds off your page load time, which is a big deal. Not sure what your current load time is? Use GTmetrix to find out.


Best Miscellaneous Plugins

  1. Duplicate Post
  2. Revive Old Posts
  3. All in One Schema Rich Snippets
  4. WPOptimize
  5. OptinMonster
  6. Insert Headers & Footers
  7. Title Experiments
  8. BJ Lazy Load
  9. StackPath
  10. The Events Calendar

Some of the plugins might fall into multiple categories on our list, and others may not quite fit in any category. Still, they’re plugins we like, depending on the site, and they’re worth checking out.


Many of these plugins are free, while others require payment. Do not let the fact that some cost money put you off using them. For any of these, the cost is well worth the investment. For ease of use, customization, and all-around peace of mind, they offer you the potential to maintain a best-in-class WordPress website that give a much better user experience than your competitors’ sites.

But, remember, don’t go crazy installing plugins either. For performance reasons, try to stick to having 20 or less installed on your site.

Contact us today to learn more about using the right WordPress plugins for your website.