When you need to add new functionality to your site, using the best WordPress plugins makes sense. This is because you get the best feature sets, support, and development quality available. However, there are over 60,000 options within the WordPress Plugin Directory, and not all can be number one.

👉 For this post, we’ll look at some of the best WordPress plugins you can find. We’ll showcase free, freemium, and premium plugins here, in no particular order!

1. Yoast SEO

First on our list is an ‘S-tier’ plugin. It could be the one of the best WordPress plugins of all time. Installing Yoast SEO is almost a knee-jerk reaction for millions of WordPress site owners. In fact, it stands among the elite for active installations: five million plus at current writing.

It’s a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plugin that provides content analysis in two different areas using a ‘traffic light’ system:

  • SEO. This looks at technical considerations, such as keyphrase distribution, usage of internal and external links, and whether you have a meta description.
  • Readability. The plugin reports on writing-specific qualities, such as a passive voice check, paragraph length, and sentence variety.

The Readability Analysis is worth an installation alone, as it can make your writing better. Other SEO plugins don’t offer quite the same experience as Yoast SEO.

The free version of Yoast SEO is more than enough for the vast majority of users. However, the premium edition is $99 per year, and includes social media SEO integration, the ability to export focus keywords, suggestions for internal links, and much more.

2. Optimole

Image optimization is often an afterthought, but it can do wonders for your site’s loading speed and performance. Optimole rolls image storage, compression, and delivery into one.

This plugin is unique, in that it can serve as an all-in-one solution for your images. Here’s why:

  • It’s a ‘set-and-forget’ plugin. You can automate practically everything to do with the plugin’s workflow and let it handle your image optimization and delivery.
  • It stores and serves images from a global Content Delivery Network (CDN). This cuts down on loading time and makes your site super fast regardless of the visitor’s location.
  • The plugin also offers advanced functionality, such as lazy loading, and device-specific optimization.

We think you can achieve a lot with the free version of Optimole, but the premium version also lets you serve images from a CDN with greater power. What’s more, you can serve those images to at least 25,000 users per month. Plans begin from $19.08 per month based on annual billing.

3. Gravity Forms

The Gravity Forms logo.

Next is Gravity Forms. It often features on plugin roundups because it’s not only one of the best WordPress plugins available, but arguably the best form builder altogether.

The plugin uses a drag-and-drop builder within WordPress to help you build forms using a number of elements. However, it has two standout features we like for managing social media:

  • The Advanced Post Creation add-on lets you create posts on your WordPress site directly from submissions.
  • Gravity Forms offers a Webhooks add-on that enables you to integrate your forms with various third-party services, including social media platforms. This means you can link form submissions to your social media accounts to then further automate actions.

Gravity Forms offers three premium tiers: Basic ($59 per year), Pro ($159 per year), and Elite ($259 per year). Each tier scales the number of licenses you receive along with the functionality you get.

4. Wordfence

Here’s another S-tier plugin. Wordfence has installs on over four million WordPress websites, and it’s often a non-negotiable for many site owners. As far as security goes, Wordfence is definitely one of the best WordPress plugins around.

The plugin combines a number of crucial security tools into one package:

  • An application-level Web Application Firewall (WAF) that helps to protect your site from brute force attacks.
  • There’s a malware scanner that checks for many different types of code injections, SEO spam, malicious redirects, and more.
  • You also get some basic login security tools, such as Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) and CAPTCHA support for the login page.

As with Yoast SEO, the free version of Wordfence is likely all that most users will need. However, the premium version is $119 per year, and comes with real-time threat intelligence, a real-time IP blocklist, and much more.

5. UpdraftPlus

Backups can be like insurance, in that you don’t need it until you do. As such, a backup plugin that won’t let you down is a necessity. UpdraftPlus represents the pinnacle of backup plugins and has done so for sometime.

There’s a trend among many of the best WordPress plugins on this list in that the free version offers a lot. It’s the same with UpdraftPlus:

  • You have a wealth of backup location options, such as Google Drive, Dropbox, DreamObjects, Amazon S3 compatible storage, and more.
  • The time it takes to set up the plugin and run through your first backup is mere minutes, and the number of clicks you’ll need to make are minimal too.
  • If you need to restore a backup, you can do that from within the UpdraftPlus interface. It’s surprising that other backup plugins don’t always allow for this.

However, starting from $70 per year, the premium version includes valuable functionality, such as pre-update automatic backups, the ability to run backups at specific times, and saving backups to multiple locations.

6. WooCommerce

What would a list of best WordPress plugins be without the number one e-commerce plugin for the platform? WooCommerce is practically the only option you’ll want to consider setting up a store on your WordPress website.

Here’s why many love WooCommerce:

  • You get almost first-party integration with WordPress, given its maintenance in part by de facto lead developers Automattic.
  • It comes with payment gateway options out of the box, although you can add more using extensions.
  • There’s all the core functionality you need to take orders, collect payment, ship items, and manage any after-sales care.

Best of all, the core WooCommerce plugin is completely free. To bolster its functionality, you can purchase one of hundreds of extensions. The WooCommerce Marketplace is to the e-commerce platform as the WordPress Plugin Directory is to the Content Management System (CMS). As such, you can tailor your store to your own unique needs.

7. Antispam Bee

Depending on how you install WordPress, you might see a pre-install of the Akismet anti-spam plugin. This is a fine ‘hands-off’ way to halt comment spam on your site, but there’s a much better plugin available. Antispam Bee gives you progressive comment spam tools, right from the WordPress dashboard.

From our research, Antispam Bee has the most active installs of any spam plugin for WordPress apart from Akismet. There are a few reasons for this:

  • Most of the functionality is a genuine help for defeating comment spam. For instance, the algorithm takes the comment’s time into account, which can stop ‘false positives’ and keep engagement high.
  • There’s plenty of ways to manage comments, such as multiple trust markers, engagement limiting, and dashboard-visible statistics on your on-site spam rates.
  • The plugin works off of a global database of known spammers. This means you can cut off malicious commenters before they get a chance to hit your site.

For all of this, you’d expect to pay a pretty penny. However, Antispam Bee has no cost and no premium upgrade path. The full functionality is available without restriction.

8. Otter Blocks

The WordPress Block Editor is now an excellent way to create post and page content for your site. However, the default collection of Blocks has scope for greater functionality.

Enter Otter Blocks. This builds onto the default Block Editor with further ways to design your pages:

  • You have a selection of Block Template patterns. These let you create sections on your pages that offer full customization after the fact.
  • There are plenty of extra Blocks to help enhance your content. For instance, you can insert advanced headings, Lottie animations, and pricing sections. With the premium version (more on that shortly), you even have advanced Blocks for business applications.
  • The plugin gives you a cache of visibility options for specific Blocks, along with the ability to add custom CSS to your site, and animate specific Blocks, too.

We have a full review of Otter Blocks on CodeinWP. It’s essential reading if you want to enhance what the Block Editor can do.

The free version of Otter Blocks provides a lot of functionality, but a premium plan can give you more. From $49 per year, you can access a WooCommerce Product Builder, an Enhanced Popup Builder, and much more.

9. Revive Old Posts

We have bias, but Revive Old Posts is definitely one of the best WordPress plugins for social media use. It gives your marketing a double attack: new promotion for your on-site blog and content for your social media channels.

Any plugin that can help automate cross-promotion has value, and Revive Old Posts is arguably the best for it. It offers a few different ways to bolster your blog:

  • You can automate posts to your social media channels once you update your blog. This includes full control over what you share, such as titles, custom text, shortened links, and more.
  • It also lets you specify a rotation schedule for your content. This is golden to keep older posts relevant once engagement drops.
  • You can add variations for your social media posts as well, to keep things fresh and relevant.

In fact, there’s plenty more you can achieve with Revive Old Posts. Our review gives you some insight into what it does.

As for price, we have a free version, but the premium version is where the value really lies. Plans start from $75 per year for a single-site license.

10. Burst Statistics

Capturing what your visitors do on-site is vital for optimization. However, this can often come with some privacy concerns. Burst Statistics is one of the best WordPress plugins you can find, as it focuses on user privacy first and foremost.

Here’s what the plugin gives you:

  • You can view all of the essential metrics you need from the WordPress dashboard. This includes page views, visitors, sessions, and more.
  • You’re able to collect data without the need for cookies. What’s more, you host the analytics data locally, and all data is anonymous.
  • The metrics have a degree of flexibility in that you can customize how you measure them.

Burst Statistics is one plugin that you don’t realize can be so important to your site. Even better, it’s completely free to use and offers no premium version.

11. WP User Manager

The WP User Manager header banner from the WordPress Plugin Directory.

Most WordPress sites that take on users will need a plugin like this next one. WP User Manager gives you that degree of functionality and much more besides.

The plugin offers a lot of flexibility, and it can adapt to a multitude of situations:

  • If you need a straightforward user management system, you’ll have it. It offers a registration form builder, conditional logic for its fields, a user role editor, and much more.
  • There’s content restriction functionality, along with the ability for users to specify their own role upon registration.
  • You can make your site as secure as possible with regard to data through 2FA, content locking, and full-featured user management tools.

When it comes to price, there are four tiers to choose from. Pricing starts at $149 per year and gives you a single-site license.

12. LearnDash

The LearnDash logo.

A Learning Management System (LMS) isn’t for every type of site, but if you want to sell courses, it’s essential. LearnDash is the best in our opinion because it comes with such a wealth of functionality.

The plugin is a boon for both teachers and learners:

  • You can build courses using a drag-and-drop builder interface. You won’t need coding to create lessons, either.
  • Students have a number of built-in ways to excel. There’s a focus mode to eliminate distractions, badges and certification, a choice of learning paths, and more.
  • Assignment management is also top-notch and comes with vital functionality to help you mark and comment on submissions.

A single-site license for the LearnDash WordPress plugin is $199 per year. However, there are other tiers available that offer LearnDash as part of the cloud, and add-ons for the core platform.

13. Visualizer

Best WordPress plugins: The Visualizer header banner from the WordPress Plugin Directory.

You may think tables are old and not relevant, but they still have vital applications for modern websites. Visualizer lets you create both tables and charts in one plugin.

The development team have packed in lots of functionality:

  • You can add data manually, or from a variety of different sources, such as from your database, remote URLs, and more.
  • There are 15 different chart types to choose from, and each one has plenty of customization options.
  • You’ll edit your tables and charts using an Excel-like editor. This will give you some familiarity if you use Microsoft’s spreadsheet app.

For $99 per year, you can have a single-site Visualizer license. However, higher tiers give you a greater number of licenses and slightly more functionality.

14. iubenda

The iubenda header banner from the WordPress Plugin Directory.

Our penultimate entry on this list of best WordPress plugins is the cookie and privacy solution by iubenda. When it comes to rock-solid cookie and privacy policies, it’s par excellence.

This all-in-one compliance solution gives you so much, we can’t cover it all here. However, here’s what it does best:

  • You can piece together privacy and cookie policies using an intuitive wizard. You’ll check boxes for solutions and services your site connects to. From there, the plugin generates a unique privacy policy.
  • While you can host a privacy policy on your site, you can also embed a dynamic version that updates based on updates to each individual service you feature.
  • There’s also functionality to generate cookie notices and banners, along with other advanced features.

When it comes to pricing, you can get on board for just $5.99 per month, per site on the Essentials plan.

15. WP Rocket

Best WordPress plugins: The WP Rocket logo.

The last on our list of best WordPress plugins is WP Rocket. It’s a premium only caching plugin that routinely beats out the entire field.

Here’s why thousands of users consider WP Rocket as their go-to for site caching:

  • Once you install the plugin, you have 80 percent of its functionality activated. This includes page caching, GZIP compression, and browser caching (among others).
  • The plugin uses a cache pre-loading system to make your site super speedy for both new and returning visitors.
  • You have full control over every aspect of the plugin. Of course, the other 20 percent of features are at your disposal too, which includes database optimization, a CDN, and more.

Regardless of the tier you choose, you get the full functionality of WP Rocket. A single-site license starts from $59 per year.

Conclusion on the best WordPress plugins of 2023 🧐

The best WordPress plugins all have one thing in common: they make the process of running a WordPress website smoother. For instance, Wordfence, Antispam Bee, and UpdraftPlus are a triple whammy for your site’s security, and you can use iubenda to protect your visitors’ information.

When it comes to speed and performance, Optimole and WP Rocket are your go-to plugins. In fact, for every niche, there’s always a gold-standard plugin to choose from.

Want to improve your marketing? Use Yoast SEO and Revive Old Posts, plus Burst Statistics for high-quality analytics.

And, if you want to expand the functionality of your site, you have a few great options: Visualizer and Otter Blocks to add new content types to your posts and pages, WooCommerce for creating an online store, Gravity Forms for allowing users to contact you, WP User Manager for handling large numbers of users, and LearnDash for adding courses to your site.

Which entry on our list of best WordPress plugins floats your boat? Let us know in the comments section below, along with why you love it!

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