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With thousands of free plugins, it’s really hard to filter out the noise and select the best ones, ones that are light weight and won’t slow down your site along with doing their job perfectly.

Keeping these in mind, I have compiled a list of 7 plugins you must use on your WordPress site regardless of what it is built for.

1. WPForms – Drag & Drop WordPress Forms Plugin 

WPForms was released not so long before and has quickly made its share of contact form plugins, It’s made by the team led by Syed Balkhi, the guys also behind WPBeginner.

It has a free version and also 4 paid versions starting from $39/year to $549 for a lifetime.

WPForms Backend

Features

  • Drag and Drop Functionality
  • Pre-Built Templates allowing you to set up a form within a minute.
  • Spam Protection Available – Smart Captcha & Honey Pot Method
  • Confirmation Message after the form is submitted.
  • Ability to Integrate with MailChimp, Aweber & Get Response Forms to create newsletters.
  • Accept donation through Paypal & Stripe Integrations.
  • Show and hide field according to user actions.
  • Allow user registrations.

I have to admit, WP Forms is the easiest to use contact form plugin you’ll ever use, simply drag and drop functionality allows you to set it up within 2-3 minutes.Here’s an example of a form I built using WP Forms.

2. Sucuri

It’s undoubtedly one of the best plugins to keep your site safe using its cutting-edge technology.It also has a free version and 3 paid versions available.

Sucuri WP Plugin

Features
  • Malware Scanner checking javascript, black hat SEO, and suspicious redirection.
  • Monitors your site’s blacklist status on different sites like Google, Yandex, ESET.
  • Allows you to make check for file integrity making sure no core files are modified by an intruder.
  • Send email alerts notifying you of failed & successful login attempts and any changes on the website.
  • Restrict editing of theme and plugin files.
  • Add a firewall to enhance protection.(Premium Feature)
  • DDoS Protection(Premium Feature)
  • SSL Certificate(Premium Feature)

3. Yoast SEO

We all need to optimize our sites to appear higher in search engines.Yoast is the most actively installed and widely used plugin in the WordPress world in terms of SEO.It has a free and paid version for $89/Year.

Yoast SEO Analysis Image

Features
  • Change Title, meta descriptions, keywords and URL for every page.
  • Allows you to assess the readability of your page and gives tips on improving it.
  • Preview how your post will appear when shared on Facebook and Twitter. – Premium Feature
  • Generates an XML Sitemap for your site.
  • Allows you to add meta values of search engines like Google , Bing, and Yandex.
  • Allows you to mark cornerstone content on your site.
  • Internal Linking Suggestions – Premium Feature

4. WP Spam Shield

If you have a blog alongside your site or collect leads, chances are that you will sooner be a victim of spamming receiving unsolicited emails and in such an awesome plugin will protect you.

This plugin is completely free.

spamshield

WP Spam Shield is a plugin I choose after testing a lot of other plugins, none managed to give me the satisfaction it gave with its wide variety of features all plugged in one place.

Features
  • Allows you to log all comments.
  • Enables Spam protection on the default WordPress registration as well.
  • Stops email harvesters and prevents your site from being scraped.
  • Ability to create a comment blacklist for common spam words.
  • Works with a wide variety of Contact Forms.
  • Allows you to disable trackbacks and pingbacks to prevent spam in some cases.
  • Fast and Optimized.

The best part is that it fights spam in the background through its advanced algorithms without enabling those annoying captchas, we all know how much we could hate them.

5. W3 Total Cache

Guess who likes slow websites? No one.Such a plugin is needed to speed up your site and make sure your users don’t have to wait for your site to load.

This plugin is free but they also offer premium services alongside.

W3 Total Cache

Features

  • Browser Caching
  • Page Caching
  • Fragment Caching
  • Database Caching
  • Object Caching
  • Minifying Code
  • Ability to integrated a CDN from a wide range of options.
  • Ability to enable reverse proxy caching.

GTMetrix Report

I used this plugin to get my site a 92% score on GT Metrix which I think you would also want for your site.Plus,speed is also a ranking factor in Google’s algorithm so along with user experience, you should also improve it for SEO.

6. Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights

Everyone wants to know the number of visitors their site has, right? Monster Insights is a plugin which aims to connect your site to Google Analytics and provide useful data about your site’s traffic.

It has a free version and 3 paid versions from $39 to $199.

Monster Insights Dashboard

Features

  • View analytics in your WordPress Dashboard apart from the Google Analytics App.
  • Shows page views along with a graph.
  • Top posts and pages with the number of views
  • Different traffic sources are shown
  • Displays Countries from where your traffic is coming
  • Track Downloads
  • E-Commerce Tracking – Premium Feature
  • Track Google Adsense Ads – Premium Feature
  • Track the most popular author on your site – Premium Feature
  • Affiliate Link Tracking – Premium Feature
  • Track Form Submissions – Premium Feature

This plugin is perfect for tracking your analytics without a headache.

7. Updraft Plus

WordPress like any CMS can be vulnerable to things such as server crashes, hacking, security flaws, bad plugin or theme updates and insecure web hosts. If anything happened to your website, it would cost you dearly in time, money and reputation. – Updraft Plus

It has a free version along with 3 paid versions from $70 to $145.

Updraft Plus Dashboard

There was a website I built for a school event quite a long time ago.I didn’t enable any security or automatic backups at that time as I was still learning and it wasn’t really my habit.

So after the event was over, after a few months the site was infected with malware and completely kind of taken down.

What could I have done in that case? Nothing.I had no backups and in such I want to tell you the importance of automated backups which you could enable using this plugin and you should for every reason.

Features

  • Automated Backups over a custom period of time.
  • Send backups automatically to Dropbox.
  • Ability to send backups to multiple remote locations rather than one – Premium Feature
  • Supports a wide range of remote destinations such as Dropbox, Google Cloud & Drive, Microsoft Azure, Amazon S3, etc.
  • Encrypt your database backups – Premium Feature
  • Email reports after each backup.
  • Calculate your site size.
  • Site Migration & Cloning – Premium Feature
  • Automatically backs up files before any updates take place. – Premium Feature

I hope you liked my list, I usually install these on every site regardless of what the site is for as they are essential for a good and secure website.

 

Which other plugins do you think should make it to the list? Let me know in the comments section below.

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