Must Have WordPress Plugins

Must Have WordPress Plugins Every New Website Needs – Complete list

Must Have WordPress Plugins Every New Website Needs – Complete list


How many plugins should I have?

When it comes down to installing plugins, the choices are endless. Often people start with only a few of them, and after a couple of months, they already have a really large library of WordPress plugins. Which they probably don’t use.

Having too many plugins is not only confusing and unnecessary but also bad for you overall website performance.

You are not the only one who is wondering which, and how many plugins to add after installing WordPress. However, adding ones you don’t need or you only heard they are good is not the right path.

On the question: How many plugins should I have? The simple answer is as less as possible. To be a little bit more specific, I would answer: Install plugins that add functions to your site that you are going to use.


Free Plugins vs Paid Plugins: What should I choose?

When something is free, this doesn’t necessarily means, that is not going to get the job done. Especially in the WordPress plugins market.

There are a lot of free plugins that are even better from some paid ones (some of them are included here). And of course, there is the other version: for some specific functions, you will need to purchase a plugin.

Most of the plugins I will include here are free ones, not only because they are free, but also because they add getting the job done.

You will also see a couple of premium plugins that you can go without in the beginning, but I personally recommend in a long run.


1. Must Have Dashboard Protection Plugin

Limit Login Attempts

Limit the login Attempts plugin

Each WordPress installation has an administrator URL, which by default can be accessed by anyone who types wp-admin after your domain name.

To prevent hackers from cracking your password is highly recommended to limit the login attempts per user.

Limit login attempts plugin limits the number of login attempts for a person who wants to access the WordPress admin area. After a couple of bad passwords, the admin area will be locked for a period of time.

Free or paid?

Free WordPress plugin. You can see more information about it visiting this page: Limit Login Attempts


2. Must Have Security Plugin


Sucuri wordpress plugin

Preventing people from accessing your website and wiping out all of your data is something you should take very seriously.

Sucuri plugin will help you protect your website by monitoring all security related events within your WordPress install.

This is important because it allows you, the website owner, the ability keep a good eye on the various changes occurring within your environment. Who is logging in? What changes are being made?

Free or Paid?

Free plugin with the option to upgrade. See the full features visiting the official plugin page: Best Malware Protection Plugin


3. Must Have Spam Blocking Plugin


Akismet spam protection plugin

There are thousands of bots that will try to add bogus content and links to your site using the comment section. Which can easily ruin your online reputation.

Something  you will definitely need to activate after installing WordPress.

Akismet plugin will filter the comments submitted to your site and block the ones that look like spam. Each comment has a status history, so you can easily see which comments were caught or cleared by the plugin and which were spammed or unspammed by a moderator.

Free or Paid?

Akismet is paid WordPress plugin based on monthly subscription, but it also has a Free version you can start in the beginning. See full description: Block Spam Comments


4. Must Have Plugin for Increasing Comments


Disqus wordpress plugin

By default WordPress will want an email, name, website and the actual comment from someone who wants to add their opinion to your website. It might seem like nothing to you, but there are lots of people who will prefer not to add their comments only because you asked for an email or site URL (probably they don’t have one).

Disqus makes commenting easier and more interactive, while connecting websites and commenters across a thriving discussion community.

Free or Paid?

Free WordPress plugin. You can find more information about this plugin visiting the official page: Disqus Comment System


5. Must Have SEO Plugin

Yoast SEO

Must Have SEO Plugin

Search engine optimization is the best-known way to attract new visitors and make more sales. And Yoast SEO is the best WordPress plugin for this kind of job.

Joost de Valk is one of the gurus in WordPress SEO and his plugin is probably one of the best ever created.

You will not only learn how to write better content, but you will also understand how to make it even better for the search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.

If you are looking for a free way to increase your organic traffic, this is the right tool.

Free or Paid?

Free plugin available for download using this link: SEO Plugin by Yoast


6. Must Have Caching Plugins

W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache

If you’re a WordPress fan, there is no way that you didn’t hear about this plugin.

W3 Total Cache is really famous WordPress plugin for optimizing your website performance. Installing it will improve the user experience of your site by increasing server performance, reducing the download times and providing transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration.

Free or Paid?

Free plugin with an option to upgrade to a paid version. See more details here: W3 Total Cache


SG CachePress

SG CachePress

This is my choice for a caching plugin.

Super Cacher by SiteGround will optimize your site performance by purging your dynamic cache whenever your content updates.

Free or Paid?

Free plugin and available only when you host your site with SiteGround. Visit this link for more information: SG CachePress


7. Must Have Widget Plugin

Image Widget

Must Have Widget Plugin

I use Image Widget plugin in all of my WordPress sites. This is really simple to use plugin that will allow you to add media files inside your widget area. It may not seem like something really fancy, but you will understand how important and powerful this plugin is, when you need to add a banner or an image inside your widget section.

Free or Paid?

Free plugin. See more information here: Image widget


8. Must Have Contact Form Plugins

Contact Form 7

Must Have Contact Form Plugin

WordPress install can’t go without contact form plugin. Contact Form 7 is a simple but very powerful WordPress plugin.

Easily manage multiple contact forms and set up automated messages when someone fill all the fields. Additionally, it has captcha option included to block spam messages.

Free or Paid?

Free plugin. See more information and how to use it here: Contact Form 7


Gravity Forms

Gravity Forms plugin

The most advanced contact form plugin ever created. Creating contact forms with Gravity Forms is only a fraction of what this plugin can do. MailChimp, AWeber, Mad Mini (and more) integrations. Take payments using Pay Pal, Stripe, Slack or other. On to of that you can also create online surveys.

Free or Paid?

Premium plugin. The pricing starts from 39$ for the most basic options: Gravity Forms Plugin


9. Must Have Analytics Plugin

Must Have Analytics Plugin

Another WordPress plugin you can’t go without. After the installation you will be prompt to connect the plugin with your Google analytics account so you can easily see your visitor statistics inside your WordPress admin area. Really handy tool to keep eyes on your traffic.

The Google Analytics tracking code is fully customizable through options and hooks, allowing advanced data collection using custom dimensions and events.

Free or Paid?

Free plugin that will require Google Analytics account. See mor information about the plugin here: Google Analytics Dashboard for WP


10. Must Have Anti Bounce Plugin

Reduce Bounce Rate

Reduce Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is a crucial factor for your website rankings, this is why having a low percent in this area is really important.

Reduce Bounce Rate plugin will reveal the real on site and bounce rate in Google Analytics. Google Analytics calculates the time on site based on the length of time between a user entering your site and their last page view. Unfortunately, this won’t give you the real-tTime on site and bounce rate stats, unless you install this tool.

Free or Paid?

Free WordPress plugin available for download here: Reduce Bounce Rate


11. Must Have Image Size Reducer Plugin

WP Smush

Must Have Image Size Reducer Plugin

Every site needs quality images to attract visitors and to make the content easier to read. And of course, quality images have a certain size, which in most cases is quite large. WP Smush plugin will reduce the size of the pictures you upload without compromising on quality.

This significantly will increase your website performance which will be really appreciated from the search engines.

Free or Paid?

Free plugin that can be upgraded to a paid version. See more information here: WP Smush


12. Must Have 404 Plugin

404 to 301

Must Have 404 Plugin

Do you know how many people are redirected to your 404 page everyday? Well, this largely depends on the overall traffic your site receives, but the actual number will amaze you. Probably more than 30 request a day. Imagine all that traffic subscribing to your newsletter or purchasing a product.

With 404 to 301 plugin, you can redirect the traffic of all 404 request to a page of your choice. This will also remove the error inside your Webmaster tools account.

Free or Paid?

Free and really easy to use. You can download it from here: 404 to 301 


13. Must Have Page Builder Plugin

Visual Composer

Must Have Page Builder Plugin

Powering more than 1 million sites, Visual Composer is the best drag and drop builder, period. Build unique landing pages, add beautiful buttons inside your content, insert slides into posts, all of this and much more with this premium plugin.

See why this plugin is the best page builder ready my detailed review: Best Drag and Drop Website Builder

Free or Paid?

You can purchase the plugin for $34 from


14. Must Have eCommerce Plugin


Must Have eCommerce Plugin

Online stores are replacing the physical ones thanks to plugins like WooCommerce. Preferred choice from famous bloggers and website owners.

If you are planning to start an online store, I will suggest using this WordPress tool.

With WooCommerce you can easily sell your products, no matter physical or virtual ones. With endless flexibility and access to hundreds of free and premium WordPress extensions, WooCommerce now powers 30% of all online stores – more than any other platform.

Free or Paid?

Free plugin. However, there are add-ons that can be purchased at a certain price.

Download the plugin from here: WooCommerce


15. Must Have Podcasting Plugin

Seriously Simple Podcasting

Must Have Podcasting Plugin

Podcasting is becoming more and more popular these days. Another great way to reach your audience and earn money doing so.

Seriously Simple Podcasting is a great, easy to use, solution for someone wanting to start their podcasting site. Really simple, but yet powerful plugin, that will get you started in no time.

Free or Paid?

Free Plugin that you can download using this link: Simple Podcasting


Smart Podcast Player

Smart Podcast Player

The best looking podcast player ever made. If you are serious about your podcasting business you will need this plugin.

Product introduced by Pat Flynn, one of the pioneers in this kind of online business.

Smart Podcast Player has everything you will ever want in a podcast plugin. Updates, mobile friendly, easy download, library and etc.

Free or Paid

Starting from 8$/month you can download the plugin from the official website:


16. Must Have Optin Form Plugins

Mailchimp Forms by Optin Cat

Mailchimp Forms by Optin Cat

I really love using this plugin for all my new sites. Mainly because it’s free and you can create amazingly beautiful opt-in forms.

MailChimp Forms by Optin Cat great solution for startups and people who don’t want to spent a lot of money in the beginning.

Free or Paid?

Free plugin which also has a paid version. See more details here: Forms by Optin Cat


Thrive Leads

Thrive Leads by Thrive Themes

Super effective plugin for capturing leads and building a profitable mailing list. Thrive leads by Thrive Themes is complete WordPres solution for website owners to help them dramatically increasing their subscribers.

Probably the best WordPress plugin I’ve ever seen for creating opt-in forms.

Free or Paid?

Install and activate the plugin for 67$: Thrive Leads


17. Must Have Social Sharing Plugins


SumoMe plugin

SumoMe is more than just a Social Sharing plugin. It’s a free tool allowing you to grow your online business in 3 main aspects: Social Sharing; List Building; Analytics.

Add one of the best social sharing buttons by installing SumoMe plugin.

Free or Paid?

The free version has a lot of options available, but if you want to unlock the full functionality, you will need to upgrade to a paid plan. See more information here: SumoMe



Monarch social share

Take social sharing to the next level with Monarch. One of the best plugins provided by Elegant themes.

Definitely one of the best plugins on the market for increasing your social shares.

Free or Paid?

Premium WordPress plugin. To download it, you will need to subscribe to the Developers package offered by Elegant Themes. See full feature list: Monarch Social Sharing


What Tools and Plugins are you using on your WordPress site?

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