The most effective WordPress plugins: An overview for companies


WordPress is used by 31.9% of active websites, according to a W3Techs survey. If your business uses this content management system (CMS), you might be overwhelmed when trying to decide which WordPress plugins to use because there are more than 56,000 options; this list of highly rated WordPress plugins for site optimization, SEO, security, site design, backups, and media tools helps take some of the guesswork out of that process.

Note: The plugins’ user ratings and active installation stats are from the WordPress site.

SEE: Hiring kit: User experience specialist (Tech Pro Research)

Site optimization

WP-Optimize

  • Key features: This WordPress plugin cleans up site databases by removing unnecessary data, defragments MySQL tables, performs weekly cleanups, automatically performs optimizations, and more.
  • Pricing: $0-$179/year
  • User rating: 5 out of 5 stars
  • Active installations: 800,000+

W3 Total Cache

  • Key features: This WordPress plugin utilizes features like content delivery network integration to reduce page load times for site visitors; it also improves SEO.
  • Pricing: Free
  • User rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Active installations: 1+ million

Jetpack

  • Key features: This WordPress plugin is a general optimization booster that features services for design, marketing, and security, as well as providing expert support via their support forum or a “global team of Happiness Engineers.”
  • Pricing: $0-$299/year
  • User rating: 4 out of 5 stars
  • Active installations: 5+ million

MonsterInsights

  • Key features: This WordPress plugin is designed to connect your site toGoogle Analytics so you can easily see statistics about how your website is being found and used by visitors.
  • Pricing: $0-$499/year
  • User rating: 4 out of 5 stars
  • Active installations: 2+ million

Broken Link Checker

  • Key features: This WordPress plugin identifies broken links on your site and prevents visitors from accessing them.
  • Pricing: Free
  • User rating: 4 out of 5 stars
  • Active installations: 600,000+

SEE: 15 ways to ruin your website (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

SEO

Yoast SEO

  • Key features: This WordPress plugin has an advanced XML sitemaps function, the ability to set canonical URLs (which avoids duplicating content), and better branding in search results via title and meta description templating.
  • Pricing: $0-$890 (pricing is based on the number of sites)
  • User rating: 5 out of 5 stars
  • Active installations: 5+ million

Google XML Sitemaps

  • Key features: This WordPress plugin improves SEO by helping the major search engines (e.g., Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Ask.com) index your site. It automatically notifies search engines every time something is published to your site, additionally improving SEO.
  • Pricing: Free (donation option)
  • User rating: 5 out of 5 stars
  • Active installations: 2+ million

All in One SEO Pack

  • Key features: This WordPress plugin offers XML sitemap support, Google AMP and Analytics support, and advanced canonical URLs. Also, it automatically notifies search engines (e.g., Google and Bing) about updates to your site.
  • Pricing: $0-$1,118/year
  • User rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Active installations: 2+ million

Site design

Beaver Builder

  • Key features: This WordPress plugin is a drag-and-drop page builder and offers a lot of design options. It’s easy to use for beginners and also has advanced features for professional developers.
  • Pricing: $0-$399
  • User rating: 5 out of 5 stars
  • Active installations: 500,000+

SiteOrigin CSS

  • Key features: This WordPress plugin allows the design changes to the site to be edited in real-time and can be used by beginners and expert users.
  • Pricing: $0-$99/year or $38-$128 for a single-year license
  • User rating: 5 out of 5 stars
  • Active installations: 200,000+

TablePress

  • Key features: This WordPress plugin creates and manages tables of information on your site without using any coding. Also, extensions are available.
  • Pricing: Free (donation option)
  • User rating: 5 out of 5 stars
  • Active installations: 700,000+

Media tools

WP Smush

  • Key features: This WordPress plugin compresses, optimizes, and resizes images, which helps your site load more quickly.
  • Pricing: Free
  • User rating: 5 out of 5 stars
  • Active installations: 1+ million

Envira Gallery

  • Key features: This WordPress plugin creates responsive image galleries, albums, slideshows, etc., using a drag-and-drop method.
  • Pricing: $0-$299/year
  • User rating: 5 out of 5 stars
  • Active installations: 100,000+

Soliloquy

  • Key features: This WordPress plugin drag-and-drop image slider is capable of creating video or image sliders, carousels, thumbnails, Instagram or PDF slides, and so on for your website quickly and easily.
  • Pricing: $0-$249/year
  • User rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Active installations: 80,000+

Security

Wordfence Security

  • Key features: This WordPress plugin identifies and blocks malicious traffic, blocks requests that include malicious code/content, and enforces the use of strong passwords and other login security measures. The plugin is designed and maintained specifically for WordPress.
  • Pricing: $0-$99/year (pricing is based on the number of licenses)
  • User rating: 5 out of 5 stars
  • Active installations: 2+ million

Sucuri Security

  • Key features: This plugin audits, monitors, and scans your site, and it is specially designed to work for WordPress.
  • Pricing: Free
  • User rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Active installations: 400,000+

Akismet Anti-Spam

  • Key features: This WordPress plugin works by automatically checking comments and contact form submissions against a spam database to prevent malicious content from being published on your site.
  • Pricing: $0-$50/month
  • User rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Active installations: 5+ million

iThemes Security

  • Key features: This plugin is created by WordPress security experts and offers more than 30 ways to protect your site.
  • Pricing: $0-$197/year
  • User rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Active installations: 900,000+

Site backup

UpdraftPlus

  • Key features: This WordPress plugin backs up your files and database into a cloud storage system and can restore your site with one click.
  • Pricing: $0-$195/year
  • User rating: 5 out of 5 stars
  • Active installations: 1+ million

VaultPress

  • Key features: Powered by Jetpack, VaultPress has a built-in security scanner that backs up your website’s information, including posts, comments, media files, revisions, and dashboard settings.
  • Pricing: $99-$299/year
  • User rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Active installations: 70,000+

BlogVault

  • Key features: This WordPress plugin uses “smart incremental database and file backups,” which are stored via cloud on BlogVault and Amazon S3 servers.
  • Pricing: $89-$989/year (for backup option only)
  • User rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Active installations: 30,000+

What’s your favorite WordPress plugin?

If there are WordPress plugins that you would recommend to your peers, please share your suggestions in the article discussion.

Also see

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Image: Automattic / WordPress.com

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