The 15 best WordPress plugins in 2023


Have you just built your website, or are you in the process of developing a new website? Excellent! One of the questions that probably bother you is the key features your website should have, and you are now looking for information about it. Then you’ve found the right article! This article will cover the 15 best WordPress plugins for each website.

WordPress and plugins

About forty percent of all websites worldwide are built on a CMS – a content management system – called WordPress. This system is free and was developed initially as a blog management system. Today, this CMS can manage very complex websites and is a complex and robust ecosystem around which an entire industry of plugins, templates, and website repositories specializing in WordPress and other systems has grown.

WordPress is constantly fixing bugs and adding various features and functionality, maintaining excellent backward compatibility. Therefore, if you have decided to create a website, whether a simple corporate website, an online shop, a portal or anything else, you should seriously consider WordPress as the tool for it.

Plugins are what enabled WordPress to conquer the world of CMS. A plugin is a piece of code (packaged in a zip file) that, once installed, extends the basic features of WordPress. Whether these advanced features make it easier to create websites, empower the CMS with advanced SEO capabilities, or make it easier to manage images and files – this is an essential feature of WordPress. As a result, developing plugins for WordPress is a vast industry, with tens of thousands of companies and freelancers worldwide.

Naturally, almost every plugin has an alternative, making it very difficult to choose in favor of one of them. Therefore, before we get to the article’s main topic, I want to advise you on which plugins you should avoid.

Which plugins should you never use?

Free plugins can usually be found at You can download them directly from the website, or, more conveniently, any plugin can be found and downloaded in a dedicated interface inside each WordPress installation.

Here are two essential questions we should ask ourselves when deciding to use a plugin:

  1. First, when was the last time the plugin was updated?
  2. Compatibility with which version of WordPress was tested?

Of course, the number of downloads and ratings can also be essential metrics, but they do not necessarily reflect the plugin’s quality so I will leave that question out of this article.

Why does it matter when the plugin was last updated?

Trust me, as someone who develops plugins and templates myself – if a plugin hasn’t been updated for a year or more (and that’s a long time) – there’s a good chance that the developer will no longer maintain it. The developer probably got bored, or he is unable to make the money he was counting on and is disappointed – either way, you might soon find yourself working with a plugin that does not fix its security issues and does not check compatibility with future versions of WordPress.

It can lead to severe issues for your website, from security vulnerabilities to its parts not functioning correctly or breaking design, which is not a nice thing to experience. So make sure you choose wisely and the developer supports the plugins, at least when you start using them.

Why is it important to check compatibility with the current version of WordPress?

As stated in the previous section, having the latest version in the compatibility field (as of this writing, it’s 6.1.1) is a positive sign that the plugin is supported and being tested, so there’s little chance it will cause you problems.

It also provides some confidence for the future because we usually don’t install a plugin for days or months; in many cases, the plugin will serve the website for as long as the latter exists. That’s why it’s essential to make good choices.

It’s important to note that sometimes you may see a plugin that has yet to be updated in several months, but the compatibility field shows the current version of WordPress. This plugin can be used; it simply means that the developer didn’t add any features and didn’t have any bugs to fix, but he did test the plugin on the new WordPress and hasn’t found any problems. So only the compatibility information is adapted. It usually happens in plugins with one specific task, and no need to add new features and functionality. In that case, the developer ensures the plugin serves its purpose as it should.

After this introduction, I assume we have a general idea of WordPress and its plugins, so it’s time to get to the point.


15 best WordPress plugins for every website in 2023

1. Elementor

This plugin is a visual editor that uses pre-made blocks to create a website quickly without any knowledge of web development. You can select a page element (e.g., a text widget, an image, a button, etc.) and drag and drop it to the desired location on your website page. Then repeat the operation with other blocks until you have the desired design. You can also import ready-made designs, so all you have to do is add your text and match colors to the logo you created, and visually the website is ready. This is what makes Elementor one of the best plugins for WordPress.

I recommend Elementor, although there are quite a few other options. The reason is that the free version offers an extensive set of capabilities. Elementor also has the largest ecosystem of all visual builders, with tons of third-party developers making free and premium extensions for Elementor.

Features of the plugin

  • Friendly and fast interface
  • Lots of ready-made elements to build visually appealing webpages
  • Ability to edit the header and footer of the website in the free version (using a third-party plugin)
  • Full-page designs
  • The massive ecosystem of plugins (many of them free) that extends Elementor’s capabilities.

Free alternatives

  • WebsiteOrigin
  • Beaver Builder
  • Brizy

Premium alternatives

  • Elementor Pro (of course)
  • WP Bakery
  • DIVI Builder

For more information, check out my blog post about WordPress’s top 7 website builders (coming soon).

2. Rank Math

If you plan to focus on the organic promotion of your website, you should have an SEO plugin. Of the many options out there, Rank Math is one of the best WordPress SEO plugins, in ,y opinion – the best and most feature-reach one. It presents its abundance of features already in the basic version; it is easy to use and will allow you to perform advanced SEO optimization of your website.

Characteristics of the plugin

  • Simple installation wizard
  • Manage title and description meta tags
  • Create a website map
  • Canonical tag
  • Support for Google Schema markup
  • Optimization for social networks
  • Optimization of images (meaning SEO attributes, not image sizes)
  • Integration with many WordPress builders for easy editing of tags right on the page
  • Redirect management module
  • Management of robots.txt and htaccess files from the WordPress admin interface
  • Built-in integration with Google Analytics and Google Search Console
  • Support for indexing new or edited content in Yandex, Bing, and with an extension – in Google as well
  • For those already using another plugin – all settings are imported in one click.

Rank Math has many more features, but I’ll write a separate article about that. For now, this is one of the plugins that I recommend, and if you’re serious about SEO, I recommend you use its premium version.

Free alternatives

  • Yoast SEO
  • All-in-one SEO
  • SEOPress

Premium alternatives

  • Rank Math Business
  • Yoast SEO Premium

3. UpdraftPlus

This is an essential plugin for backups. Hosting companies offer backups today, which is excellent. But not all offer them at no extra cost, and not all have backups activated automatically. I like to have everything under control – backups and their frequency, the ability to restore them when needed, and controlling the quantities and frequency of backups. The Updraft Plus plugin gives you just that. It allows you to back up your entire website and database in one click and comes with out-of-the-box integrations with various cloud services.

What does this mean? It means you can (and should!) store your backups not on the server where your website is hosted but in places like Amazon’s cloud, any external server via FTP, or even Google Drive or Dropbox! Because if your hosting experiences a severe failure (and these things happen), you might lose your website with no ability to restore it.

With this plugin, you can safely store backups in different locations and be sure that if your website gets hacked, deleted, or damaged for any reason, you will always have backups. And then, in a few minutes, your website will be up and running again as if nothing had happened.

Characteristics of the plugin

  • Local or external backups for various cloud services, Dropbox, Google Drive, FTP
  • Automatic backups
  • Ability to define the frequency and quantity of backups to be saved generated. For example, I usually work with 14 daily backups.
  • Clever use of server resources – the plugin does not require a lot of server resources to function.
  • Not only does it back up, but it also restores with a click of a button!
  • The plugin receives frequent updates, and user satisfaction with its use is the highest among all competing plugins.

Free alternatives

  • BackWPup
  • WordPress backup and migrate plugin
  • WP Staging

Premium alternatives

  • UpdraftPlus Premium
  • WP Staging Premium

4. Ivory Search

Not all websites need to have a search function. For small corporate websites, it would be enough to have a convenient menu that can efficiently help the visitor find the information he needs. But if the website is a blog, news website, or any other online resource with a lot of content, it needs a search function. Such a feature allows visitors to find what they are looking for conveniently and quickly.

Naturally, WordPress comes with built-in search capabilities. But this functionality is minimal. It searches posts and pages, but its ability to search for WooCommerce products, user comments, customizable posts, and their categories has a lot of room for improvement. But then again, what do we have plugins for? Among other things, to fix something that doesn’t work well enough in WordPress itself!

I was going to recommend two plugins to address this issue, but I had to choose one – Ivory Search. You’ll find the second one in “free alternatives.”

Characteristics of the plugin

  • Faster search thanks to the creation of a content index
  • Product Search
  • Search for files and images
  • Search field design management
  • AJAX support
  • Search Analytics
  • Ability to create different search fields with different settings, if necessary
  • Multiple languages support
  • Ability to define which parts of posts will be used for searches (e.g., search only for post titles, only content, or both).
  • The ability to control what types of content participate in searches and can make up search results.

And many other features.

There’s no point in relying on built-in search; don’t wait – install and configure this great plugin immediately if you care about the user experience of your website’s search.

Free alternatives

  • Relevanssi
  • Ajax Search Lite

Premium alternatives

  • IvorySearch Pro / Premium
  • Relevanssi Premium

5. WP-Rocket

One notable drawback of WordPress (in fact, any CMS) is the vast amounts of code, scripts, and files that must be downloaded into your visitor’s browser for your website to display. A website written from scratch can be pretty heavy, but the amount of code increases drastically when you use builders like Elementor and other plugins. Add the plugins you have installed that affect website visibility into the equation, and we have a real problem – more code, more designs, and more images. Your website starts to run slowly, and what’s the result? Lower rankings, high bounces, fewer leads, and sales. It would be best if you didn’t let that happen.

But even if the visitor was patient enough and waited for your website to load, you still need to provide him with a good and engaging experience. If you can’t, I doubt he’ll come back again.

So, what are we doing? We use optimization plugins like WP-Rocket.

I’ve long hesitated to recommend this plugin. Why? Because it’s a premium one. It doesn’t have a free version, so you’ll have to pay dozens of dollars a year to use it. But in the end, I recommend it because, from my point of view, it has no equal in optimization. You can check out the Free Alternatives section to find reasonable alternatives for free.

Characteristics of the plugin

  • It caches the pages of your website. It means that each page of your website is saved as an HTML file. When a visitor (or Google bot) reads the page, the page loads without reference to the database, significantly speeding up browsing.
  • Reduce CSS and JS files. As I’ve written before, to create a beautiful, interactive page on your website in a visitor’s browser, that browser needs to load many JavaScript and CSS files of the builder, plugins, and WordPress. One way to reduce the size of the files is to remove all sorts of texts that aren’t required for the page-building process to work — for example, developer notes and even spaces. Again, WP-Rocket knows how to do this.
  • Combining the CSS and JS files. WP-Rocket also knows how to combine different plugin files into a single file containing all the necessary code. Why is this a good thing? Because instead of having to contact the server five times for all the CSS files and another seven times for all the JS files, the browser will only contact twice – once to get all the JS files and once more to get all the CSS files. It will take much less time and speed up page loading.
  • Delayed loading of JS files. The central role of JS is to create page interactivity. WP-Rocket can delay loading JS files until there is a need for interactivity. This feature is essential for Core Web Vitals (read more in a separate article) and doesn’t hurt the user experience.
  • “Lazy loading” – images and iframes are not loaded while still in an area that is not currently visible on the screen. An important feature that speeds up the initial loading of the page.
  • Database management tool – cleans up junk that can slow down the website.
  • Preload – if you clear the website’s cache, the plugin will automatically create a new cache.
  • Another super helpful and efficient feature of the plugin is the ability to check the website code, examine the CSS files, and clear any CSS instructions that are not required for the website to work! As a result, only the required CSS code is loaded, dramatically increasing the website speed!

Other options can be discussed, but the picture is clear. Great plugin, reasonably priced, and is an excellent value for money.

Free alternatives

  • W3 Total Cache – careful, only for experienced users
  • WP Super Cache – one-click optimization
  • Hummingbird
  • WP-optimize

Premium Alternatives

  • WP Fastest Cache
  • WPMU DEV Hummingbird

6. WPForms.

Whether you want to attract potential customers through your website, or you’ve built your website for affiliate marketing, or maybe this is just a simple blog – you need to provide an easy way for visitors to contact you. So you have an email address on your website? That’s great, but the more reliable and user-friendly to gather visitors’ information is to have a contact form on the website.

This plugin will allow you to create contact forms using an easy drag-and-drop interface. You would probably not need any contact form plugin if you’re using Elementor Pro because it includes a very advanced contact form widget. But if you stick with the free tools, this plugin will suffice.

Features of the plugin

  • 100% optimized for mobile devices
  • Works great with all popular builders
  • Well optimized – the size of the code used to display the form is insignificant
  • Supports all forms – inquiries, feedback, surveys, and more.
  • Drag and drop interface

Free alternatives

  • Contact Form 7 – great, but for advanced users.
  • Fluent Forms
  • Forminator

Premium Alternatives

  • WPForms Basic – and above.
  • Elementor Pro for its ability to create excellent forms

7. WP Mail SMTP by WPForms

Contact forms send emails. It is a significant part of what they do. First, a visitor fills out their information, and then there are two things you can do with it – store it in the website database and/or send the information to any recipient of your choice. But how exactly does a form send an email?

This email-sending capability comes from WordPress. WordPress uses a PHP command (the programming language with which WordPress is developed) called mail(), and that’s how email is sent by the server on which the website is stored. And that’s not always a reliable way to send notifications.

The reason is that the email is sent from an email address you specify but not through its SMTP server. WordPress is only mimicking and pretending to send through this email, which is often a problem. Still, such an email has a high chance of getting into the spam folder or even not reaching the addressee but being blocked by the anti-spam system of the recipient’s email service provider. I will not go into this issue because we want to leave some topics for other articles.

Of course, it’s essential for us to avoid this situation because not only do we want to receive information sent to us by website visitors, but we also want to send, for example, a confirmation email to a customer who has filled out a contact form and many other notifications. So there can be a problem with that as well.

So, how do you solve this problem? You use a plugin like WP Mail SMTP, which allows you to connect to an external SMTP server and send all website emails. For example, you can register a real mailbox on Gmail and send website emails through its SMTP servers. Or any other email service. It is a safe, professional, and effective solution. I recommend it.

Characteristics of the plugin

  • Sending mail through any SMTP of your choice
  • Integration with professional SMTP email-sending protocols such as Mailgun, Sendgrid
  • Integration with Gmail (free and business versions)

Free alternatives

  • Post-SMTP Mailer / Email log
  • Fluent SMTP

Premium alternatives

  • Premium version of WP Mail SMTP

8. Insert Headers and Footers

When we need to install Google Analytics, confirm website ownership in the Google search console, or add a Facebook pixel to our website, we need to add a piece of code to all website pages. If we understand the WordPress file structure and are no strangers to some HTML and PHP, this is a relatively easy task (a little more complicated if we’re using a child template, but about that in a separate article).

This plugin will be handy if you don’t know how to code or don’t want to get into it. After installing it, we get access to 3 fields – one allows you to add scripts in the header, the second in the body, and the third in the website’s footer. Everything is simple: copy, paste and save. I highly recommend it.

Free alternatives

  • Woody code snippets
  • Header Footer Code Manager

Premium alternatives

Any premium builder, such as Elementor Pro or DIVI, allows you to enter code in these fields.

9. Wordfence Security – Firewall & Malware Scan

WordPress is known to suffer from all sorts of security problems. Every time a new version comes out, it closes all loopholes, but new ones are revealed. It is a neverending cycle. It is the price you have to pay for being an open-source system with such a large ecosystem. You have to pay it to provide powerful capabilities to third-party developers.

So, how do you ensure that you are always protected? You install a security plugin. Then, even in the free version, we get excellent protection, which is very important.

Characteristics of the plugin

  • Firewall – protection against malicious traffic
  • File scanning to detect changes made by hackers and viruses
  • Ability to remove malicious files or only infected code fragments
  • 2FA
  • Blocking hacking attempts through the login screen

Free alternatives

  • All-in-one WP Security & Firewall
  • WP Cerber Security

Premium Alternatives

  • Sucuri Security
  • Wordfence Premium

10. Tinypng

As part of a website’s content, we always use images. And if not, it’s worth doing – pictures enrich the visitor’s experience and add to our score in the eyes of visitors and search engines. But there’s a downside – images are usually quite heavy, leading to the opposite of the desired result – they slow down website loading and harm the user experience.

The solution? Optimize the size of images. There are methods to reduce their weight by dozens of percent; often, you can make an image shed even 90 percent of its weight.

The Tinypng plugin does just that. Once you install it on your website, you can easily and quickly compress images and thus significantly speed up the loading of website pages. Each new photo you upload to the website will also be automatically shrunk.

Characteristics of the plugin

  • Image optimization in the background – you don’t need to leave your browser window open
  • Ability to optimize your entire photo library with one click
  • Support for multilingual websites.

It should be noted that all image-optimizing plugins limit the number of images you can optimize for free. For example, in the case of Tinypng, you can optimize about 100 images per month for free. You must purchase a subscription or “compression points” to optimize more images.

Free alternatives

  • EWWW Image Optimizer.
  • ShortPixel Image Optimizer.

Premium alternatives

Imagify is a winning combination of price and quality, especially if you have multiple websites.

11. Antispam Bee

WordPress is a blog. The blog consists of articles and comments. These comments are often “bombarded” by spammers. Spammers use special software to leave comments with links and advertisements. Even if you have disabled comments on a particular page, it is still possible to bypass the ban and bombard you with spam.

The good news is that this is fixable. There is an option to disable comments on the entire website. Efficient step but a drastic one, and there is an option to protect the website and just to prevent spammers from leaving spam comments. Antispam Bee is designed to do just that and is free with no time or condition restrictions, whether you run a personal or a business project. Free forever, hallelujah!

Plugin Features

  • Automatic filtering of spam comments.
  • Support for advanced response filtering options that the user can set.
  • Restriction of comments in specific languages or from certain countries.
  • Automatic removal of spam comments after a specified number of days and many other features.

Free alternatives

  • Stop Spammers Security.
  • Stop WP Comment Spam
  • Akismet (if your project is non-commercial)

Premium Alternatives

  • CleanTalk
  • Stop WP Comment Spam Pro.

12. Shortcodes Ultimate

Freedom. The freedom to design the website as you wish. The freedom to use different designed components that support whatever template or builder you choose to build your website. That’s precisely what you get with this plugin.

How does it work? You click the button, select the element you want to add to the page (e.g., table, image carousel, lightbox, accordion, etc.), define its properties, click “Save,” and it appears on the page.


Plugin Features

  • Over 50 shortcodes (components) you can add.
  • Adapted to Gutenberg
  • Adapted to mobile devices

Free alternatives

They exist, but they aren’t really an alternative.

Premium Alternatives

Shortcodes Ultimate with Premium Ad-ons.

13. YARPP – Yet Another Related Posts Plugin

A classic plugin that has been used for years by bloggers in every niche and every language. What does it do? It’s straightforward. It knows how to show posts that are similar to the one being displayed. Are you probably familiar with “is this also something you might be interested in?” That’s exactly it. You can customize this plugin almost any way you want – it’s one of the best WordPress plugins for blogs.

Characteristics of the plugin

  • Finds relevant posts and pages anywhere on your website and displays them, thereby keeping the visitor browsing your website.
  • You can customize how the plugin displays posts
  • Supports all languages
  • Supports WooCommerce

Free alternatives

  • Contextual Related Posts
  • Custom Related Posts

Premium alternatives

  • Jetpack related posts
  • Monster Insights

14. Social Sharing Plugin – Sassy Social Share

Want to give your visitors an easy way to share what you offer? Or share your services and the texts you write on various topics? Then this plugin is for you. Sharing has never been easier, this plugin is among the best WordPress social media plugins.

Plugin Characteristics

  • Supports more than 100 social networks and sharing options
  • Ability to create icons that lead to your business’s social media pages.
  • Ability to edit icons
  • Floating or fixed icons on the website page
  • Support for mobile devices
  • Display the number of shares

Free alternatives

  • AddThis
  • AddToAny
  • Social Warfare

Premium alternatives

  • Monarch
  • Novashare

15. Popup Builder

We can use the popup in a variety of scenarios. For example, we can collect visitors’ email addresses to write to them later, display a contact form to attract potential customers, display a countdown to create a sense of urgency and push for a purchase, and much more. This plugin allows us to implement all of the above scenarios.

Characteristics of the plugin

  • Ease of use.
  • You can install an image, HTML, Facebook, and registration popups in the free version.
  • The popup is easy to edit
  • Integrates with other plugins
  • Adapted to mobile devices

Free alternatives

  • Popup Maker – Popup window for subscriptions, lead generation, etc.
  • Hustle – Email marketing, lead generation, opt-ins, popups.

Premium Alternatives

  • Popup Builder Starter
  • Optinmonster


I’ve made this list of plugins as general as possible. And most of the plugins are among the best free WordPress plugins, although some listed are paid. Any business can use any of the above plugins to improve its website. Of course, there are types of websites whose needs I haven’t touched on (e.g., best WordPress eCommerce plugins article is coming) – I have a blog post about that (coming soon).

I hope that this list of plugins was helpful to each of you. Sign up for the newsletter and find out when we publish new and exciting content on our website!

See you in the following article.


Die 15 besten WordPress-Plugins im Jahr 2023

Read more

15 лучших плагинов WordPress в 2023 году

Read more