10 Must-Have WordPress Plugins (Update 2021)


Looking for the best WordPress plugins to take your business to the next level? You've come to the right place. 

WordPress is indeed the world's most popular content management system. Its community has grown considerably, and that growth doesn't seem to be slowing down. Beginners, businesses, and dedicated website designers use this because of its capability to adapt to new and modern technology.

However, its core code only provides needed elements for building a basic website. In order to step up the game, your websites need to be powered by the essential WordPress plugins. Plugins are a must-have to completely customize a website’s features. They bring in important functions to your web page, such as boost its loading speed, protect it against spammers, optimize it for search engine optimization or SEO, and meet users' specific needs. To simply put, it does not just add advanced functionality but also increases the existing functionality of a site.

There are over 58,0000 plugins in the WordPress plugin directory that you can choose from. The said number has grown over the years with more being developed by designers and developers across the globe. This makes it overwhelming for users to find the best or right plugin for their website.

We've got you covered! Keep reading and we'll introduce you to 10 must-have WordPress plugins and explain what makes each one stand out.

Let’s get right to it!

1. Yoast SEO

The truth is, every WordPress website needs an SEO plugin as it plays a vital role in increasing visitors and improving the site's rankings. It is important to remember that not having one can be detrimental to the performance of your website, and no one wants that to happen. 

Yoast is among the leading WordPress SEO plugins that have helped millions of websites to get and stay ahead of the competition. It is built by a team of professional developers, testers, software architects, and SEO consultants.

Yoast SEO is packed full of features, including title and meta description templating for brand consistency, automated technical SEO improvements, and advanced XML sitemaps, which makes it easier for Google, Pinterest, and other platforms to understand your site structure. Moreover, Yoast contains additional features, such as readability checks and full control over breadcrumbs. It also lets you preview your content to see what it will look like in the search results and when shared on social media.

You also do not have to worry if you're on a budget as this powerful tool can be installed for free. Yoast free version contains a lot of basic features that you need, while the premium version and its extensions unlock even more exciting tools and functionality, like multiple keywords for more optimized content, content insights, an ad-free interface, and a redirect manager that prevents “404: page not found” errors.

Furthermore, Yoast comes with SEO courses for beginners, intermediates, and advanced users alike.

2. Wordfence

The security of your WordPress site should never be taken lightly. Looking for a guaranteed WordPress security plugin, as a matter of fact, should be a top priority. Anything can comprise the entire site, leading to a loss in revenue and reputation. This is where Wordfence comes into play. It is among the most trusted security plugins that help you from cybercriminals trying to infiltrate and control your website. 

The Wordfence plugin has two key features that will ensure your site's security. They are the firewall and security scanner. The firewall works to block any suspicious website traffic or hackers from gaining access. It defends the site by restricting failed login attempts, imposing strong passcodes, and more sign-up protection protocols. The security scanner, on the other hand, notifies you of a number of security findings. It scans every file coming to the site, plugins, and themes for malware, backdoors, spam, code injections, and harmful URLs.

In addition, Wordfence also allows you to monitor customer visits in real-time and informs you whether a plugin has either been abandoned or removed from the WordPress plugin directory to help reduce the possible security breach.

Wordfence is a WordPress plugin that is free to download. But like any other plugins, it comes with a premium version. It will allow you to have the advanced features of Wordfence.

3. WPForms

No matter what type of website you are running, this plugin is always worth installing. WPForms is the most trusted WordPress form solution of over 4,000,000+ business owners, designers, and developers for a reason. It is a must-have to make it easy for your visitors to get in touch with you.

This user-friendly drag and drop WordPress form builder allows you to create eye-catching contact forms, online surveys, donation forms, online order forms, email subscription forms, and other WordPress forms in just a few minutes without having to work on JavaScript or other code. Its pre-built form templates come entirely with the form fields you need, which you can customize based on your liking. What makes this popular plugin even greater is that it is 100% responsive and works on mobile, tablets, and desktop.

Furthermore, WPForms uses hCaptcha, reCAPTCHA, and anti-spam protection to prevent spam submissions. This plugin also allows users to upload files, documents, or images with form submissions.

WPForms comes with a free version and a premium one. The free version called WPForms Lite offers crucial features needed to design a form using its easy interface. The pro version, on the other hand, aims to cater for users with more advanced needs. Its pro version enables you to collect payments, conduct surveys, hire for a new position with a job application form, and even enable smart conditional logic.

4. WP Rocket

We hate to tell you this, but building a website is just not enough. Most of your visitors will probably get bored and abandon your WordPress website if it takes more than three seconds to load. To reduce the loading time of your site and avoid such unfortunate situations, installing a powerful caching system is definitely a must. It is important to know that a faster site not only improves user experience but also leads to a higher rank in search engines.

WP Rocket is considered the most popular premium WordPress caching plugin in the market. It comes with three payment plans you can choose from, but trust us when we say every single penny you pay is worth it.

This simple and effective plugin is designed to improve the speed and performance of your website. Its main features include page caching, lazy loading of media, automatic loading of the cache files in advance, optimize the loading of Google fonts, HTML, CSS, and Javascript files, and import and export settings configuration.

5. HubSpot

For a business to grow, marketing is a must, and HubSpot helps you do all that. The HubSpot WordPress plugin works to help you manage contacts, follow leads, track conversions, add user-friendly and modern pop-ups to your site, and build email newsletters with its drag and drop tool. It gives you access to the HubSpot CRM and HubSpot's free marketing tools that add essential value to every WordPress website. 

In addition, you will also be able to have real-time interactions with your site visitors and provide them with better service as this plugin comes with a powerful live chat tool. You can answer the questions of your potential customers and guide them as they navigate the site. If you are not around, you can also create a chatbot that will answer their queries. It also contains analytics tools that give you a holistic overview of all of your marketing activities.

Moreover, with the help of this 100% free plugin, you can also determine how well each form and chat flow is doing or which one is creating the most leads. This will help you make a decision while growing your business.

6. WooCommerce

There are probably hundreds of thousands of online businesses being launched every year, and each one of them starts with getting the best eCommerce plugin for their WordPress site. Whether you're starting an online store or designing sites for clients, WooCommerce is just an install away.

WooCommerce has established itself as the top eCommerce plugin for WordPress throughout the years. With its significant features and endless flexibility, it has become the go-to eCommerce solution of both startups and established brands. It is the plugin you can use to make an online store and sell everything from digital files to physical products, all within just a few clicks. Additional features include inventory and tax management, configurable shipping options, and secure payments. It also has access to hundreds of free and premium WordPress extensions.

On top of making it very simple to create and manage an online store, WooCommerce has free and premium versions.

7. Akismet Anti-Spam

We all hate receiving spam. It can hurt our site's credibility and can cause confusion. However, filtering it manually is time-consuming and seems to be almost impossible with hundreds or even thousands of spammers out there. Time spent working on it is the time taken from the business of your site. It's time to get rid of them with the help of Akismet Anti-Spam. 

Each WordPress download comes with some pre-installed plugins, and one of them is Akismet. It automatically checks every comment and contact form submission and filters out the ones that appear to be spam. It aims to protect your sites from the constantly growing global spam database and prevent it from publishing irrelevant, malicious content. 

Furthermore, Akismet is pre-installed but you still need to activate it. It contains more features that are available for both free and premium versions. 

8. UpdraftPlus

WordPress like other content management systems can be at risk for things such as server crashes, hacking, failed updates, and security flaws. Backup plugins are the insurance if anything happened to your site.

UpdraftPlus is the world's highest-ranking backup plugin, with millions of active installs. It is a powerful WordPress plugin that allows you to back up your files and database backups into several cloud options and restore everything with only one click. UpdraftPlus also allows you to set up automatic backup schedules and is faster than any other.

But it doesn't just end there. More exciting features include performing a complete update on themes, plugins and cores, and managing the settings from one central dashboard. Its free version is already functional, but UpdraftPremium unlocks more features that will make your journey even better. 

9. Elementor

It is crucial for every WordPress website to have a design that fits your brand with motion effects, multiple fonts, enhanced background images. Whether you're a web designer, a developer or a marketer, Elementor has what you need to achieve the website of your dream.

Elementor is the world's number one free website builder for WordPress—all without the need of writing complex code. With a versatile plugin like Elementor, you can create and design any kind of page, such as home pages, blog pages, about pages, and full websites.

Moreover, its free version features countless design options, allowing you to have a stunning custom-made website. With Elementor Pro, you can have more professional tools that are essential in boosting your workflow and editing every single aspect. 

10. Jetpack

With a large number of WordPress plugins available, it can be a challenge to install more than you need. Thankfully, there is a plugin that has it all.

Jetpack is designed as an all-in-one solution for people using WordPress, regardless of their website knowledge. Jetpack features range from performance enhancements to theme customization and many more. It provides simply everything a website should have. With Jetpack, you can customize your home page and widgets and have a more secure site, faster-loading speed, and increased site traffic, without touching any code.

It's almost hard to imagine that all of these great features are free. However, you have the option to add more advanced features, such as spam protection, daily backups, and malware scanning.

Plugins are without a doubt the building block of every WordPress site. It's almost impossible to run one without adding functionality through plugins. The right set of plugins can make a huge difference to your site and can give you better chances of reaching wider audiences.