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WordPress Rocks!

Over 55,000 plugins are currently available for WordPress websites (you can find them all on this page!).  With so many different plugins available, it can be difficult to know which ones offer the best features and functionality for your Business, so we’ve created this essential shortlist of plugins that no WordPress website should be without!

The WordPress Community.

The WordPress community isn’t shy when it comes to providing feedback about plugins. All of the plugins listed on WordPress.org have an average rating out of 5 stars (unless the plugin hasn’t been rated yet).  The WordPress website makes it easy to drill down into each respective star rating and read the constructive feedback left by members of the community. We strongly recommend taking time out to read the user reviews before installing any plugins on your website.

Install plugins with caution.

Installing a WordPress plugin is usually a straightforward process. However, not all WordPress plugins are created equal. Sometimes, a single plugin installation can break your entire website if it doesn’t play well with your existing website theme, WordPress version,  or if there is a conflict with another plugin that you’re already using.

Look.

It is good practice to take a backup of your entire website before activating any new plugins or updating any existing plugins. If your Website host is providing a website backup service, then make sure they have taken a recent backup of your site before attempting to install any plugins.  We also suggest backing up your websites SQL database.

Not sure if your website is being backed up?

If your Website isn’t being backed up, then there are a number of backup plugins available that can be used to take a manual or automated backup of your entire website. We’ve recommended a WordPress backup plugin in the our essentials plugin list below!

Install plugins at your own risk.

We provide no assurances that any of the below plugins will work with your WordPress website. You have been warned, and we’ve told you to take a backup aswell!

Here’s a list of essential WordPress plugins for Business website.

We are not affiliates for ANY of these plugins, We just wanted to create a helpful list for our readers 🙂 There are many alternative plugins out there, but feedback from the WordPress community suggests that the plugins on this list should be given serious consideration.

Best SEO app - Yoast.

1. Yoast SEO.

Average rating – 4.9 out of 5 stars. 

If you want your WordPress website to rank in Google (why wouldn’t you?) then Yoast SEO is the ESSENTIAL Search Engine Optimisation plugin. Here’s some examples of the SEO functionality that Yoast adds to your WordPress website:

  • Adds Meta title and description fields to all posts and pages (essential for ranking in Google)
  • XML sitemap creation – helping Google to crawl and index your site more efficiently
  • Readability analysis for every page – marking your content for reading ease, sentence and paragraph length, transition words and more (this section is quite fascinating!)
  • Social Media mark ups – add specific titles, descriptions and images for Facebook and Twitter

Plus MUCH more.

Yoast is a Fremium plugin, which means there is a free version and a premium (pro) version.

Checkout the official Yoast website to find out more about both versions of Yoast.

Check out the Yoast reviews on WordPress.org.

2. WPForms.

Average rating – 4.9 out of 5 stars. 

WpForms is one of the most user friendly and reliable contact form plugs available for WordPress. WPforms incorporates a user-friendly drag and drop online contact form builder that allows you to create a full range of contact forms that can be added to your posts and pages.

There are four different WPForms subscriptions available.  The basic version of WPForms costs $30.50 (£31.00) per year. This version includes the following features for a single website:

  • Unlimited forms – create as many different forms for your website as you wish
  • Unlimited form entries
  • Multiple form templates – create your own forms from scratch, or use one of many pre-built templates to save time
  • Conditional logic – create clever forms that adapt to user input
  • Form confirmations and notifications – send an automated confirmation to the recipient, get instant notifications when a new form is submitted
  • Spam protection – captcha and honeypot will reduce spam submissions
  • Multi-page forms
  • Advanced for fields
  • Free updates for 12 months

Checkout all 4 versions of WPForms on the official webpage.

Check out the WPForms reviews on WordPress.org

Best WordPress Apps 2019 - Jetpack3. Jetpack.

Average rating – 3.9 out of 5 stars. 

The Jetpack plugin contains a suite of powerful tools that backup and secure your WordPress website, in addition to a number of features that will help optimise your websites performance and increase your website traffic.

Jetpack includes VaultPress.

In our humble opinion, VaultPress is one of the best Backup plugins available for WordPress blogs and websites. In addition to providing one-click and automated backups of your website, VaultPress also provides an additional layer of internet security to protect your website from the latest threats and vulnerabilities.

At the time of writing, there are 3 x different Jetpack plans available that start from just £33.00 per year. There is a personal plan for hobbyists and premium/professional plans for Business users. There is also a free version of Jetpack available for website owners on a budget, but this doesn’t include Vaultpress backup and security (which is essential!)

Checkout all four versions of Jetpack on the official website.

Checkout Jetpack reviews on WordPress.org

WP Rocket - Best WordPress Performance App

4. WP Rocket.

There are many excellent performance plugins available for WordPress, but few of them can match WP Rocket, which is why it has been installed on over 700,000 WordPress websites across the world. Here’s a small taster of the many tweaks that WP Rocket makes in the background to speed up your WordPress website:

  • Page caching – Page caching greatly increases your page loading speeds by serving pre-loaded ‘cached’ versions of your web pages that don’t need to access all of the page information from the database, thus speeding up page loading times.
  • Database optimisation – WP Rocket will reduce the size of your database and keep it running efficiently by removing any unnecessary entries.
  • LazyLoad – Lazy loading is a technique that’s designed to improve your page speed loading times by loading the images on demand as you scroll down the page.
  • GZIP compression – This is an essential rendering technique reduces the size of your web pages by up to 70%, greatly increasing your page loading speeds.

The plugin automatically starts caching your website pages once it has been activated.

There are three versions of  WP Rocket available to purchase from the official website. The cost for WP Rocket starts from £38.00 ($49) for the single website version, rising to £193.00 ($249) for the unlimited website version. This cost includes a 12-month subscription , plus ongoing support and updates.

Checkout the latest WP Rocket testimonials on WordPress.org.

Compare all three versions of WP Rocket on this webpage.

5. Insert Headers and Footers.

Average rating – 4.2 out of 5 stars. 

The Insert Headers and Footers plugin from WPBeginner is ideal for WordPress website owners that need to add tracking and verification code snippets to their website, but don’t feel comfortable editing the website files (or you don’t have access to them!)

With the Insert Headers and Footers plugin, you simply add your codes snippets to the website via two header and footer script fields that are added to the WordPress CMS dashboard once the plugin is installed. To add your code, simply complete the following:

  • Add code that needs to appear in the website header to the “scripts in header” field
  • Add code that needs to appear in the website footer to the “scripts in footer” field

Click save and the code will be immediately added to your website!

Checkout Insert Headers and Footers reviews on WordPress.org

Smush Pro - Best WordPress image compression app

6. Smush image compression and optimisation.

Average rating – 4.8 out of 5 stars. 

Smush is an award-winning plugin that speeds up your page loading times by compressing and resizing all of the images that are uploaded to your website.  Smush uses a clever technique called ‘lossless compression’ that reduces the size of your images without reducing the quality.  Here’s a small taste of Smush’s many other features:

  • Lazy Loader – similar to WP rocket, lazy loader loads images as users scroll down the site, accelerating your page loading speeds
  • Bulk Smash your images – up to 50 images can be compressed at one time
  • Automated compression and optimisation – images get smushed on upload
  • Multiple filetype compatibility – optimise Jpegs, PNG files and GIFs

Smush is completely free of charge for compressing images up to 1MB in size.  You’re welcome!

Checkout Smush on WordPress.org.

Shared Counts - Best WordPress Social Media plugin

7. Shared Counts.

Average rating – 5 out of 5 stars. 

There is NO shortage of Social Media sharing plugins for WordPress, but Shared Counts deserves to be singled out for praise because it’s so user-friendly. It also has a 100% 5-star rating on WordPress.org (at the time of writing).

Encouraging your website visitors to Share your latest content on Social Media is essential, especially new products on eCommerce sites, or your latest Blog posts.  The Shared Counts plugin allows you to seamlessly add Social Sharing buttons for all of the popular Social Media platforms on your WordPress website, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Other features include:

  • Shared counts – As the name suggests, this plugin also adds the shared count functionality, which allows you to show everyone just how popular your Blog is!
  • Retain shared counts after switching from http:// to https://
  • Shortcode insert – insert your social sharing buttons anywhere on your pages by inserting the [shared_counts] shortcode.
  • Dashboard widget – Shared Counts includes a fantastic dashboard widget that lists your 20 most popular posts by priority. The widget also tells you how many shares each post has. This is great for identifying content that isn’t performing well and requires improvements.

Checkout Shared Counts on WordPress.org

Click here to read the developers notes

8. TablePress

Average rating – 5 out of 5 stars. 

If you need to add tables to your website, then the TablePress plugin is a must!  TablePress allows you to create a series of data tables that can be embedded in to your posts, pages and widgets. At the time of writing, over 3000 people have given TablePress a 5-star rating on WordPress.org.

TablePress contains enough out of the box features for most. However, if you are looking for additional custom features, then you’ll find a list additional TablePress extensions on this page. You can also import your existing tables from Excel into TablePress.

Best of all, TablePress is completely free of charge!

Checkout TablePress on WordPress.org.

Checkout this TablePress tutorial video on You Tube.

WooCommerce - Best ecommerce wordpress plugin

9. WooCommerce. 

Average rating – 4.6 out of 5 stars. 

According to Builtwith, WooCommerce is currently the most popular Ecommerce platform on the web. WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that transforms your WordPress brochure site into a fully functional online store for selling both physical and digital products.

In addition to a HUGE selection of fully customisable themes, there is also an endless selection of Free and paid WooCommerce extensions available that will greatly enhance your online store, from PayPal checkout buttons to online booking forms. You’ll find all of the WooCommerce extensions currently available on the official marketplace page.

Here’s some nice examples of websites that use the WooCommerce plugin:

WooCommerce has a large online community that is always on-hand to provide ongoing support and advice.  However, if you don’t feel comfortable with the idea of creating your own WooCommerce site, then you’ll find plenty of experienced WooCommerce developers online that provide fully managed design and implementation services.

Checkout WooCommerce on Wordpres.org

Visit the official WooCommerce website.

Login Lockdown - best admin page protection app

10. Login Lockdown.

Average rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

Login Lockdown is a plugin that protects your WordPress website login page from brute force login attacks. This is achieved by limiting the number of login attempts that come from a single IP address.

With Login Lockdown, you can choose how many login attempts an end-user makes before they are completely locked out. If an end-user has genuinely locked themselves out of the website, then you can release their account manually via the Login Lockdown panel in the WordPress dashboard.

If you are looking for a highly effective way of stopping brute force password discovery attacks, then this plugin comes highly recommended.

Checkout login lockdown on WordPress.org

Disable Comments - Best WordPress Comment Plugin

11. Disable Comments.

Average rating – 4.9 out of 5 stars. 

Not every Business wants to receive comments on their posts and pages.  WordPress already allows you to disable comments on individual posts, but if you’re looking to disable ALL of the comments for specific post-types, or your ENTIRE website (including posts, pages and attachments) then Disable Comments is your go-to plugin.

In addition, Disable Comments also allows you to remove all comment-related items from your WordPress dashboard, including the main menu, the admin bar and your Widgets. Use this plugin if you want a full-on comment lock down!

Checkout Disable Comments on WordPress.org.

Redirection - best WordPress redirect plugin

12. Redirection.

Average rating – 4.3 out of 5 stars. 

If you change the URL of a post or page on your website, then it’s important to create a redirect from the original URL to the new one. If you don’t, then people will land on a dead page that contains a 404 ‘Page not found’ error if they click on a historical URL.

If you’re comfortable directly editing your WordPress website files, then you can setup temporary or permanent URL redirects in your .htaccess file (DON’T attempt to do this unless you are comfortable editing your website files, and back everything up!)  If you’re not comfortable doing this, then the Redirection plugin by John Godley is the perfect solution.

This clever little plugin automatically creates a 301 redirection from your old URL to the new one. In addition, you can also create permanent and temporarily redirects manually from within your WordPress dashboard.

The plugin also features a number of additional conditional redirect rules that can be implemented. You’ll find them all on this page.

The Redirection plugin is completely gratis. Thank you very much Mr. Godley!

Checkout Redirection on WordPress.org.

Checkout the official Redirection website.

13. LiveChat.

Average rating – 4.3 out of 5 stars. 

There is no shortage of Live Chat plugins for WordPress, but its fair to say that LiveChat is considered to be one of the most feature rich chat plugins available, although it comes at a cost.

Why use a Live Chat plugin?

Live Chat allows you to provide a better customer service experience by giving your clients instant access to your support team, or customer service advisers. You can also increase your sales opportunities by providing a swift response to any pre-sales questions from potential customers.

Here’s a few reasons why LiveChat is one of the best chat plugins available:

  • Track visitors – See the location of your customers that are using LiveChat and see what webpage they are on
  • Feedback surveys – Create a survey that can be added to the end of each chat session
  • Create triggers – Apply certain rules to initiate a conversation with the website visitor
  • Create message tickets – When Livechat is offline, any messages sent will be logged as tickets that you can respond to when you are back online
  • Chat via mobile app – Chat to your customers and potential clients ‘on the move’ from a dedicated mobile app.

Plus MUCH more!

Checkout Livechat on WordPress.org

Checkout the official LiveChat website.

Lightbox - Best WordPress image gallery plugin

14. Responsive Lightbox & Gallery.

Average rating – 4.3 out of 5 stars. 

1317 users on WordPress.org have given this plugin a 5-star rating.  Fully optimised for mobile devices, the responsive Lightbox and Gallery plugin from Digital Factory allows you to create image galleries on your WordPress website. It also allows you to view large versions of your images and videos in a lightbox.

The Responsive Lightbox & Gallery plugin is free, but there are also a number of premium extensions available directly from the Digital Factory website. Prices start from £11.00 ($14.00).

There is a LONG list of features on the WordPress website, so we’ve shortlisted a few of them here:

  • 3 x gallery templates included with the basic version, plus 8 responsive lightboxes
  • User friendly drag and drop gallery image ordering
  • Add your gallery to a post/page via short code
  • WooCommerce product gallery support

Checkout the live demo of Responsive Lightbox & Gallery.

Checkout Responsive Lightbox & Gallery on WordPress.org.

Popup Maker - Best WordPress popup plugin

15. Popup Maker.

Average rating – 4.9 out of 5 stars. 

Website Popups are an essential marketing tool for any Business website. Just make sure that you resist the temptation of serving a popup to the same user on every web page, otherwise you will severely damage your conversion rates by annoying everyone!

With over 2500 5-star ratings on WordPress.org, Popup Maker is one of the best popup plugins available.  Here’s a small taster of what this plugin is capable of:

  • Different popup variations – Including slide out popups, floating sticky popups, opt-in form popups
  • Support for most form plugins – Including gravity forms, Ninja Forms and Contact Form 7
  • Click triggers – Trigger a popup when a user clicks on selected content on your website

Popup Maker is a Freemium plugin. The Free version includes unlimited popups, triggers and cookies and targeting conditions. There are two other subscription versions available that include additional extensions, exit intent popups, analytics and MUCH more.

Checkout Popup maker on WordPress.org.

Checkout the official Popup Maker website.

Events calender pro - Best WordPress calendar plugin

16. The Events Calendar.

Average rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

The Events Calendar plugin by modern Tribe is currently active on over 700,000 WordPress sites. As the name suggests, this user-friendly plugin allows you create, display and manage Event calendars on your WordPress website.

Want to see the events calendar in action?

Check it out on this demo page – https://wpshindig.com/

Events Calendar is a Freemium plugin. The free version provides the functionality needed to create a basic events calendar for your website that includes day, month and list views, an events list widget and a responsive design.

The Pro versions include free updates and 24/48-hour support response for 12 months, in addition to a larger selection of additional features. These features include the ability to create recurring events, additional fields, location search, advanced widgets and different views, including week views, photo and map views.

Check out the different features of the Pro version in action on the official events Calendar website below.

Checkout the events calendar plugin on WordPress.org

Checkout the official Events Calendar website

17. Give – Donation Plugin and Fundraising Platform.

Average rating – 4.8 out of 5 stars. 

According to WordPress.org, Give is the highest rated and most downloaded donation plugin for WordPress websites.  Give provides a highly efficient way to accept online donations directly through your WordPress website, without bouncing the donor to a 3rd Party site to complete their transaction.

The Give plugin is Free of charge, but you’ll need to invest in one or more of the Paid Add-ons available to greatly improve the end-user experience (some of these add-ons are essential). The selection of Add-ons available for Give include PDF receipts, Google Analytics, Payment Gateways, recurring donations and MUCH more. You’ll find a full list of Give Add-ons on this page.

It is also worth mentioning that there is no commission charge for using Give. The only cost that you’ll have to pay is for any Add-ons you choose to purchase.

Checkout Give on WordPress.org

Checkout the official Give website

WP Rollback - best wordPress plugin rollback plugin

18. WP Rollback.

Average rating – 5 out of 5 stars. 

We’re big fans of WordPress plugins and Themes (especially the free ones!)  In general, most plugins and themes will update to the latest versions without a hitch. But sometimes, updating a plugin to the latest version can stop it from working, or completely break your website (although that’s a worse-case scenario).

If you’re comfortable editing your website files, then you can quickly restore a plugin by replacing the update with the previous plugin version (that you obviously backed up first!) However, if you’d rather not do this, then WP Rollback is the plugin for you!

WP Rollback allows you to rollback any plugin or theme to a previous or new version from within the WordPress dashboard, removing the need to update/downgrade your Plugins via FTP, or via your Cpanel.

The plugin doesn’t have a stand-alone control panel within WordPress. Instead, you simply click the ‘Rollback’ link next to your plugin and then choose what version you’d like to rollback/update. Check out the screenshots below.

The WP Rollback Plugin is free of charge.

Checkout WP Rollback on WordPress.org

Checkout the developer’s official website

Instagram feed - Best Instagram WordPress plugin

19. Instagram feed.

Average rating – 4.9 out of 5 stars. 

A visual approach to marketing should never overlooked. According to this 2018 Social Media Marketing report, 32% of marketers say visual images are the most important form of content for their Business, with Blogging coming in second (27%).  Simply put, people engage better with images than written text.

If your Business uses Instagram (which it should do) then you can use the Instagram feed plugin to increase social engagement by displaying the latest posts from your Instagram account(s) in a single feed, or break them up into multiple feeds on your WordPress website.

Instagram Feed is a Freemium plugin. The free version includes more than enough features for most website owners, but if you’re looking for an advance level of functionality, then you should consider purchasing the Pro version, which allows you to do the following:

  • Display specific Hashtag feeds
  • View photos and videos from your Instagram feed in a popup lightbox on your site
  • View post comments and display the number of like and comments
  • Create carousels
  • Display captions

Plus MUCH more.

The Pro version of Instagram feed is available from £30.00 ($39.00)

Checkout Instagram Feed in WordPress.org.

Check out the official developer’s webpage.

Google Maps - Best WordPress Map plugin

20. WP Google Maps.

Average rating – 4.7 out of 5 stars. 

No website contact form should be without a location map. If your existing WordPress website theme doesn’t already have an integrated Google Map on the contact page, then using this plugin is a no-brainer.  It can also be used on other web pages that would benefit from using a map (a regional service landing pages for example).

WP Google Maps is a Freemium plugin. The Lite (free) version is feature-rich, but it only allows you to create a single Google map, whereas the pro version allows you to create multiple Google maps.

The feature list for both plugin versions is HUGE (too much to list here!) So here’s a small taster of some of the many features:

Lite edition.

  • Create multiple map markers on a single map
  • Drag and Drop markers to a specific location
  • All maps are responsive
  • Choose from 9 x map themes
  • 9 popular map themes to choose from
  • Streetview is supported
  • Choose your maps width, height and zoom level
  • Right click to add a marker to your map
  • No advertising or links

Professional edition.

  • Create multiple maps on your site
  • Visitors can get directions to your markers
  • Add content to your map markers (including links, text and descriptions)
  • Add your own bespoke marker icons
  • Show the website visitor’s location on the Map

Checkout WP Google Maps on WordPress.org.

Checkout the official WP Google Maps website. 

Thank you for reading this article.

We hope that some of the many plugins listed on this page will help improve your WordPress website and make it easier to manage and maintain your content, in addition to improving your websites security.

Can you recommend another WordPress plugin?

With over 55,000 plugins to choose from, it is highly likely that you’ve used many plugins that are not featured on our list. If you’ve used another plugin that you’d highly recommend, then why not tell other readers about it in the comments section below?

Got a WordPress website that needs managing?

Ohso Technical is a Professional IT Services Organisation that is located in Highams Park, London. We provide our clients with a comprehensive range of Fully Managed IT Support Services and Technology solutions, including WordPress website Hosting and ongoing maintenance for start-up’s and Small Businesses. Find out more on our Website Hosting page, or contact us to request a WordPress Support and Maintenance procure.

Please keep us honest!

If you spot anything in this article that you believe to be inaccurate then we’d really appreciate you giving us a heads-up! Simply drop us a comment below and we’ll pay you back with our eternal

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