So, you’ve just finished building your first WordPress site. And now you’re wondering, “How do I make my website look appealing and stand out from the crowd?”
What’s the best way to include that fantastic photo gallery you saw on a blog the other day?
How can you monitor user behaviour to increase traffic to your company’s website?
How do you build and modify your dream website before all of that?
This is when WordPress plugins come in handy and in this article we provide a list of the top 25 essential WordPress plugins in 2021.
The thousands of Plugins that make WordPress what it is just cannot be neglected when it comes to WordPress websites. Plugins are comparable to add-ons that you use to enhance the functionality and features of your website. They are capable of transforming a static website into a dynamic one.
While it’s easy to get lost among the thousands of WordPress plugins available, we feel that this list of the top 25 essential WordPress plugins in 2021 will serve as an excellent beginning point for your WordPress adventure.
- Elementor Page Builder
- Yoast SEO
- Ninja Forms
- GA Google Analytics
- Wordfence Security
- WP Super Cache
- All in One WP Migration
- Photo Gallery
- Hyvor Talk
- Sassy Social Share
- Akismet Spam Protection
- WP Mail SMTP
- Revive Old Posts
- Smart Slider 3
- Optin Forms
- Crisp Live Chat
- WP Limit Login Attempts
- Google Authenticator – WordPress Two factor authentication
- Smartlook Visitor Recording
Only those WordPress plugins that are absolutely important for your website have been thoroughly picked out. As a result, we feel that this collection of top 25 essential WordPress plugins in 2021 can transform your website.
Essential WordPress Plugins in 2021
This is a list of ten essential plugins that are a must-have for each website, regardless of its nature. We’ve carefully selected this list of absolute essential plugins for running a WordPress website, from security to search engine optimization (SEO).
WordPress themes, while determining the style and feel of your website, are not very customizable. This implies that if you wish to add a new part to your page or change an existing one, you’ll have to change the CSS code of the theme. Although you may be familiar with CSS, it is not recommended that you edit the CSS code because it may cause your website’s appearance to be disrupted.
Free WordPress plugins like Elementor make it simple to design new sections or even web pages from scratch using a drag-and-drop builder. It comes with a number of modules that you can drag and drop onto your website, including images, buttons, and even carousels.
It also offers a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) interface, which means that anything you see when editing is the final view shown to the audience.
With its expanding popularity, Elementor is now completely compatible with the popular Astra theme, allowing you to create any outstanding website design. Although Elementor is a free plugin, if you want to use features such as sliders or customisable contact forms, you need upgrade to the premium version, which will significantly improve the worth of your website.
If you’ve worked with WordPress or websites in general, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with SEO. Simply said, SEO is the practise of optimising your website in order to improve its ranking in the Search Engine Results Page. And any website owner who has been in business understands how difficult it is to rank on the first page of search engine results and why SEO is so vital for a company.
There are various variables that go into optimising your website for search engines, including keywords, meta descriptions, internal and external links, and sitemaps. While these are all basic things you can perform straight from your WordPress dashboard, the terminology are enough to make a novice scared.
You can use Yoast SEO, the best and most popular WordPress SEO plugin, to assist you with this. It creates XML sitemaps (a list of all of your website’s webpages) and allows you to add Title, Meta description, and focus keywords. It also features a built-in readability calculator that uses score analysis to verify the clarity of your content.
Yoast SEO is available in both free and premium editions; however, for novices and small business owners, the free version is sufficient.
Take a look at our article on the importance of SEO for your business.
Images are crucial visual elements that help to better convey your content and elevate your website design to a new level.
However, there is one issue with images: their “file size.”
Because no one wants a low-quality photograph, photos will have a bigger file size. As a result, several images with greater file sizes will inevitably slow down your website.
As a website owner, you should pay attention to website performance because it is an important aspect in the user experience. Aside from user experience, page speed is a ranking criteria for search engines, therefore it can have an impact on your website’s SEO. As a result, you must compress the photographs and lower their sizes without sacrificing image quality.
Smush is a robust image optimization plugin that allows you to compress images with a single click. It compresses all of your photos without sacrificing quality. Instead of optimising each image individually, the Smush plugin can batch optimise up to 50 images at once.
While the free version of the Smush plugin compresses photos and works fine for personal websites, Smush Pro is a commercial version that provides 2x compression and allows you to bulk-optimise limitless images with one click.
A contact form is one of the finest ways for your website visitors to reach you. But, to create a contact form, don’t you need to be familiar with computer languages?
Not any longer! You can construct your own contact forms with the popular Ninja Forms plugin and invite your visitors to submit their problems in that form. You may also use this plugin to build survey forms, job applications, and even newsletter forms.
When one of your visitors fills out the contact form on your website, an email will be sent to the admin mail inbox.
Additionally, you may save all of the responses as a PDF, Excel sheet, or even a Google Sheet to use for your mailing list.
Ninja Forms is a popular free WordPress plugin that includes all of the tools you’ll need to create forms for your website. You can also upgrade to a subscription account to gain access to additional features such as multi-part forms and user analytics.
Understanding consumer behaviour is critical to any company’s success. The same may be said about websites. Understanding why and how people arrive at your website, as well as how much time they spend there, is critical to determining whether you are receiving any conversions from it.
If you’re wondering why your website isn’t getting enough traffic or has a high bounce rate, look into the behaviour of your visitors. This is when Google Analytics comes into play. Google Analytics is a web analytics tool that records visitor behaviour and provides you with relevant information about your website.
The GA Google Analytics plugin can be used to add Google Analytics to your WordPress website. You can use this plugin to add Google Analytics and its capabilities to your WordPress website.
In addition, the GA Google Analytics plugin has a free and a commercial version (GA Google Analytics Pro).
There is no worse feeling than having your website hijacked by one of those Internet hackers. The harsh reality is that someone will always try to get into your WordPress website. As a result, the security of your website should be a top priority, as it will damage not only you but also your clients, whose data is stored in your databases.
Wordfence Security is a security plugin that can help protect your WordPress website from being hacked. You can safeguard your website from all types of cyber-attacks and data breaches using this popular security plugin. You can also gain insight into the total hacking efforts on your WordPress website.
It also looks for things like bad URLs, SEO spam, malicious redirection, and code injections that could harm your site. Wordfence Security includes a free version with enough capabilities for small organisations, such as firewall blocks and brute force attack safeguards. You can also block countries that have recently been affected by data breaches if you upgrade to the commercial edition.
The Internet, like your website, can be full of surprises. Your website may occasionally go down totally due to a hacker or a simple coding error on your part. You should always keep a complete backup of your website on hand in case something goes wrong.
This backup can be done daily or monthly, but the important thing is that you have a backup in case something goes wrong. So, if something goes wrong with your website, you may restore it from the backup without losing any of its components. Obviously, doing a backup manually will be exhausting, so you can utilise UpdraftPlus, a backup plugin.
UpdraftPlus is a WordPress backup plugin that saves all of your website’s files in the database after downloading them. With a single click on the plugin dashboard, you can schedule daily or weekly automatic backups of your website, or manually backup any individual files.
Apart from local storage, Updraftplus offers a variety of cloud storage alternatives, including Google Drive, Dropbox, and Amazon S3. And UpdraftPlus comes in both free and paid versions, with the premium version allowing you to use the plugin’s other features like database encryption.
To stand out from the competition, website speed is critical, and simply optimising images isn’t enough. You should also cache the website, which is the process of saving a certain piece of data so that future requests can be promptly performed by obtaining the previously cached data. This occurs frequently on our browsers, where the cache for the websites we view on the Internet is saved.
When you return to a previously visited website, the cache results in a speedier loading time. As a result, you may help your WordPress website run faster by using a Cache plugin. By keeping your website’s information in their browser cache, caching plugins help returning users load your page faster. As a result, if someone visits your website again, it will load faster because the website content is already saved in the browser cache.
WP Super Caching, a popular WordPress cache plugin, can help you accomplish this. This plugin converts your website’s heavy PHP scripts to smaller HTML files, allowing it to load faster for returning visitors.
WP Super Cache is a free and open-source plugin that allows you to cache your website in three different ways, making it suited for both novices and pros.
It’s possible that you’ll need to move your website to a different server to accommodate greater traffic or even more space. The transfer of all your website files from the old server to the new one is part of the website migration process. Moving your website to a new server can offer a lot of value, but it’s also risky because you might lose some of your key assets.
In addition, faulty migrations might have an adverse effect on your website’s SEO, resulting in a decrease in traffic. With this in mind, the majority of users will not transfer their websites without the assistance of developers. But what if you can relocate the website without the assistance of others?
You can migrate your website with the All in One WP Migration WordPress plugin. This plugin aids in the error-free transfer of your website from an old server to a new one. In only a few clicks, you can migrate all of your files, themes, plugins, and even the website’s media.
All in One WP Migration is a free plugin, however paid extensions are available for more functionality such as cloud storage via Dropbox and Google Cloud storage.
When a website’s or even a web page’s URL changes, the previous URL becomes invalid. These links get broken and no longer give the information that the user is seeking for. This frequently occurs when you change your website’s domain, shorten the URL, or use SSL.
You must now redirect visitors to the new website link because they are on a broken link. However, manually locating and redirecting broken links is a time-consuming operation. Without any technical skills, you can easily set up redirects to your new URL with the WordPress Redirection plugin.
You can also set up conditional redirection based on IP address, Server address, and other factors. In addition, 301 redirects, SEO redirects, Rankmath, and Quick post/pages redirections can also be imported.
And the Redirection plugin is entirely free and includes all of the functionality you’ll need to effectively redirect a visitor to a new website link.
Essential WordPress Plugins in 2021 for Blogs
It only takes one feature to set your blog different from the competition, whether it’s a personalised comment section or a social sharing button. As a result, we’ve hand-picked seven WordPress plugins that will instantly improve your blogs and help you stand out.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, how about a gallery of pictures?
Yes, visuals have always helped to better communicate what you write. However, the simple gallery detracts from the overall work you put into your photographs. So, to display a responsive and tidy image gallery on your website, you can use the gallery plugin ‘Photo Gallery.’
The 10 web Photo Gallery plugin allows you to add high-quality images to your website and build gorgeous image galleries. They have a number of gallery templates to pick from, ranging from sliders to carousels, from which you can add photographs. The nicest aspect is that there is no limit to how many photographs may be posted to make a gallery.
Your website can also include mosaics, blog-style galleries, slideshows, and thumbnails. You can also improve your website’s SEO by adding meta descriptions and alt texts to help it rank higher in search engines. You may also allow your users to share the image galleries on social media sites if you upgrade to the pro version.
Apart from the occasional email interaction, how will your website users communicate with you or other members of the community? How will they elaborate on their ideas and incorporate community interaction into your website? A forum, on the other hand, is one of the most effective ways for a community to interact with your website, share ideas, and even get their questions answered.
As a result, including a forum on your website adds a lot of value to your business and its users. While making forums on a regular website might be difficult, using the bbPress plugin, you can easily create one on your WordPress site.
bbPress is a free forum plugin that lets you add forums to your website so that your visitors may interact with one another. You can use this plugin to create topics, subscriptions, and even favourites. You may also moderate comments and integrate with anti-spam plugins like Akismet to keep your forum free of spam.
How would you like to know what your visitors think about the information on your website, such as a blog post or an article? Well, there’s always email, but what if there was a speedier way for them to communicate their ideas?
We’re talking about Comments, of course!
They’re the best way to find out what your readers think about your blog post or article right after they’ve finished reading it. While comments are a terrific way to get people to interact, it’s difficult to avoid spam and affiliate links.
Hyvor Talk, a sophisticated and safe WordPress commenting plugin that adds comment sections to your blog posts and articles, can help with that. In the event of a spam overflow, Hyvor Talk features a built-in spam detector that detects spam comments and even bans IP addresses.
Hyvor Talk is popular because it allows users to customise their comments and include images and GIFs. Commenters are also notified through email if their comments are responded to. This commenting plugin is available in both free and premium editions, with a 14-day trial period.
Sharing your website’s content is the finest gift you can give it. People do share it when they enjoy it (except when it comes to food!). When more people share your content, whether it’s a blog or a product, your website receives more interaction and, as a result, more traffic.
But how will your content be shared? Will they simply copy the URL and pass it along to their friends? Isn’t that inefficient? What if you could share your material with hundreds of their friends at the same time? You know what I’m talking about…social media! Yeah!
Your work reaches hundreds of people at once when you share it on social media. You can use Sassy Social Share, a WordPress social sharing plugin, to allow your audience to share your posts on social networking. This plugin allows you to include social share buttons in your website’s content.
It comes with a range of social media buttons for various platforms that you may use on your blog. They also provide follow and like buttons for your material on social networking. So, if a visitor wants to share your content with the world, all they have to do is click on the appropriate social media button.
Sassy Social Share is also a free plugin that is mobile friendly and compatible with other WordPress plugins like as WooCommerce, bbPress, and BuddyPress.
Comment spamming is one of the worst things you can do to your website. It not only makes your website appear unprofessional, but it also makes responding to genuine comments difficult. Some spam comments may even contain a malicious link that may lead your visitors astray.
As a result, you’ll need a spam protection plugin to keep an eye on spam comments and eliminate them as quickly as possible. However, as your website expands, the number of spam comments increases daily. As a result, manually deleting each one is impractical, and you’ll require anti-spam software to do it.
Akismet Spam Protection is a WordPress plugin that identifies and removes spam comments from your site. This plugin scans all of the comments and separates the spam from the legitimate ones. It also includes a status history for each comment, making it simple to keep track of them. It also examines the URLs in the comments to see whether they are valid or not.
Although there are paid plans for corporations and commercial sites, the free version of Akismet Spam Protection is sufficient for personal websites.
What’s worse than not sending your subscribers emails?
Your emails are being misplaced in the spam folder!
Popular email clients such as Google and Yahoo examine the origin of emails and mark them as spam if there is no sufficient verification. As a result, your emails end up in spam folders rather than in the Inbox, where they can be seen by your subscribers.
When sending emails from your WordPress account, this frequently occurs. The WP Mail SMTP plugin fixes the problem by modifying the wp mail() function. As a result, you must ensure that your email is routed through SMTP servers to avoid ending up in spam folders. Then, without fail, your mail enters your consumers’ inboxes.
WP Mail SMTP plugin, like many other plugins, has a free version that can be upgraded to a commercial plan for additional capabilities like Microsoft and Amazon integrations.
The newly written content will readily gain a share of the traffic. But what about the older articles and posts? Who’s going to engage with your earlier content if they have to scroll all the way down? You can, of course, share previous posts just as much as you can share new stuff.
To keep the traffic coming, you can make effective use of your old posts/articles and distribute them across your social media platforms. You may also post frequent material on social media while driving traffic to your website in this manner.
But how can previous blogs and articles be shared? Is it okay if I just send the link? No, you can use the Revive Old Posts WordPress plugin. This plugin lets you share all of your old blog posts and articles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Tumblr.
You may also set up an automation option to share your blog entries and articles immediately after they’ve been published. You may also use the Google Analytics plugin to track the link’s analytics if you want to know how far your postings have gone.
The subscription edition of Revive Old Posts allows you to create a custom schedule and publish your material on more platforms than the free version.
Essential WordPress Plugins in 2021 for Businesses
We understand that plugins have the power to make or break a business website. You’ll need the correct plugins, and you’ll want to avoid overdoing it and slowing down your site. As a result, we analysed and selected only the most necessary 8 plugins for services such as live chat and website analytics.
Whether it’s a little business or a large corporation, an eCommerce website is more important than ever. An online store complements your physical store, resulting in increased foot traffic. Everyone wants to start an online business, but most people struggle with coding. What if you don’t need to code at all?
WooCommerce, arguably one of the most popular free WordPress plugins, allows you to quickly construct and transform any type of website into an eCommerce site. You may quickly and easily add your items to the store and begin selling them. You can even take it a step further by offering customers payment choices such as cash on delivery.
It also allows your customers to manage their accounts, including their personal order information, just like any other eCommerce store. WooCommerce is free, and with the endless extensions, you may customise your online store to your heart’s content.
Another fantastic benefit of utilising WooCommerce is the easy-to-follow step-by-step guidelines that will help you have your store up and running in no time.
How can you ensure that your website visitors read all of your information without becoming bored?
Sliders, on the other hand, can be used to replace the traditional method of delivering material. Sliders are useful when you want to present numerous items to consumers while also requiring them to read each one attentively. Sliders are slideshows that can consist of a collection of photographs, posts, or even videos. However, using free WordPress themes to integrate sliders to your website is inefficient.
So, to assist you with the process, you can utilise Smart Slider 3, a free WordPress plugin that allows you to add sliders to your WordPress website. You may use this plugin to share newly created content, present a variety of products, and even promote promotional offers using the sliders’ Call to Actions.
Smart Slider 3 comes with an extensive template library that allows you to construct any form of slider for your WordPress site. If you don’t want to start from scratch, you can use the drag and drop builder to design a slider from scratch.
You don’t have to worry about responsive design with Smart Slider 3, because you can customise the look for different screen sizes. Every slider is already SEO optimised and lightweight, ensuring that it has no negative impact on your website’s ranking or traffic. You can also upgrade to their Pro plan to gain access to additional features such as a built-in lightbox and a live animation timeline.
Initially, your website interaction is the only kind of communication your website visitors have with your company. What if you want to take it a step further, say with email marketing? You may get their contact information (mostly their email address) and send them newsletters and advertising emails. The opt-in forms can be used for this.
The idea is to use methods such as pop-up forms, landing sites, and widgets to entice casual visitors to sign up. Optin Forms is the plugin that can assist you in doing so. With Optin Forms, you can quickly design beautiful forms and popups for your website.
Optin Forms also features a library of pre-designed forms from which you may choose and customise. Shortcodes can also be used to display an opt-in form on any page of your website. Aside from that, you can use your website’s form to create time limitations or constraints. While there are a number of form plugins available, Optin Forms stands out since it is designed exclusively for marketers who want to create an email list.
Optin Forms has a free version that includes 5 pre-made styles and the ability to customise the colour and font to match your website.
The contact list gathered by Optin Forms is just one step in the process. Because, once you’ve started growing an email list, you’ll need an email tool to communicate with it. You might be able to get away with using Gmail at first. However, given the amount of emails, you’ll need an email solution in the long term to deliver targeted email campaigns to your contact list’s consumers.
Along with developing your customer’s email list, you should also pay attention to the types of emails you send and how many conversions your website generates. You may utilise the contact list you gathered with Optin Forms to create targeted email campaigns to enhance conversions.
Email Marketing is the major method for most organisations to increase their revenue. In general, email marketing entails sending newsletters and promotional emails to your subscribers in order to establish communication and eventually persuade them to make a purchase.
A conversion occurs when a subscriber completes an action you want them to take. It might be as straightforward as a signup form at the conclusion of the campaign. You can effortlessly send campaigns and nurture subscribers using the WordPress plugin MailChimp to increase conversions.
The Mailchimp plugin allows you to create automated email sequences that allow you to send emails without having to put in a lot of effort. You can also send welcome emails to visitors who have signed up for your newsletter. You may also develop and send tailored emails to your subscribers, which will help you get more conversions.
Mailchimp is available in a free and paid edition, with the free version limited to lists of up to 2000 subscribers. It also comes with a number of pre-built email templates that simplify the process and allow you to produce nice emails without having to worry about coding.
A well-run firm is familiar with its clients. Customer service is critical for any business, and live chat is one of the most convenient ways to communicate with clients. Rather than waiting for an email and becoming frustrated, they are able to get their questions answered quickly. This lends credibility to your website and business.
Adding a live chat feature to your WordPress website has never been easier than with Crisp Live Chat. Customers can engage with you by embedding a free live chat module on your website. Crisp lets you create distinct live chat options for customer service, sales, and marketing.
You can also start audio and video chats with your consumers without relying on a third-party service. For the most popular inquiries, you can add a chatbot option or a resources section. It also works nicely with a variety of social media platforms, including Twitter, Slack, Twilio, and Facebook Messenger.
Crisp Live Chat plugin’s free basic plan works well for personal websites, with Pro and Unlimited plans available.
One of the most typical ways for hackers to break into your website is to try a variety of login and password combinations, sometimes known as a brute force assault. They keep trying until they obtain access, and occasionally their guessing game pays off, and they acquire access to your website. As an administrator, you can avoid this by limiting the number of times they attempt to connect to your website.
WP Limit Login Attempts is a WordPress plugin designed to solve this problem. You can use this plugin to limit the number of login attempts from a specific IP address. If a hacker launches a brute force assault on your WordPress site, you can either temporarily or permanently restrict the IP address from accessing it.
You may also whitelist or ban specific IP addresses and even usernames with the WP Limit Login Attempts plugin. As a result, this completely free limit login plugin was built not just for websites that contain important information, but also for non-sensitive websites and blogs that do not want unauthorised access.
The first step in protecting your website from hackers is to limit the number of login attempts. Hackers may be able to get around the login limit feature and still gain access to your website. As a result, as an administrator, you must go above and beyond to secure your website by implementing Two Factor Authentication. You’ll be adding an extra degree of login security by doing so.
You can use the Google Authenticator plugin by mini Orange to employ two-factor authentication as your login security. You can use an additional method of authentication in addition to the standard username and password with this plugin. Scanning QR codes, sending push notifications, using an OTP, or asking security questions are all examples of authentication methods.
By using two-factor authentication, you can improve the security of your website by adding a second layer of authentication that only you know about. So, when you sign up, you’ll have to submit your credentials, such as a phone number or an email address, which only you will have access to. Passcodes for two-factor authentication will be sent to the specified phone number or email address in this manner.
You can also utilise offline authentication methods like a soft token if your device can’t connect to the internet. This plugin works well with a variety of websites, including forums, e-commerce sites, and even learning management systems. Aside from the free plan, Google Authenticator is a useful tool.
Your website analytics tool may provide you virtually anything in numbers, but numbers are numbers at the end of the day. What if you want to know why a consumer on your website acted in a certain way? What if you want to figure out why clients aren’t using a certain feature or clicking that CTA?
It’s not like you get a live recording of your website users’ interactions. Wait, what if you did? Smartlook is an intelligent website visitor recording tool that records user activity on your website and saves it as recordings to help you understand things from the perspective of the user.
Smartlook Visitor Recording plugin includes features such as Heatmaps, which allow you to see which parts of your website receive the most activity, as well as the user’s whole clicks and scrolling. Additionally, features like as events and funnels show the overall trend in user behaviour.
Smartlook is a free plugin that shows you how visitors interact with your WordPress site.
So there you have it: a list of the top 25 essential WordPress plugins in 2021. You could be thinking,
‘If I install the specific set of plugins, am I good to go with my website?’
There are thousands of plugins to choose from, and you shouldn’t instal any that you won’t use in the long run. That’s why we’ve hand-picked and compiled a list of the absolute necessities. Because even a single additional plugin can cause your website’s speed to suffer.
We recognise that each website has unique requirements, which is why we’ve divided the list of top 25 essential WordPress plugins in 2021 into the most common categories.
Please let us know if there are any plugins that we overlooked in the comments. So, tell us about a plugin that you think should be on our list.