WordPress plugins

10 essential plugins you should consider for your WordPress website

One of the big benefits of WordPress is it's huge library of plugins available to install on your website. There are currently over 55,000 available for free from the WordPress Plugin Directory, with tons more premium plugins available from third-party websites.

With such an overwhelming number of options available, it can be tricky to know which plugins you need & which ones you can trust.

We know how important it is for your website to have the right set of tools to function & perform properly, so we have recommended our top 10 plugins that we think you should consider for your website.

1. Yoast SEO

Whilst WordPress is very SEO friendly ‘out of the box’, Yoast SEO really is a must-have if you are at all interested in improving your on-page SEO. With over 5 million websites currently using it, it’s by far the most popular SEO plugin out there.

Below are just a few of the features that come with the Yoast plugin:

  • Analysis tool to help you optimise your content & meta tags
  • Generate XML sitemaps
  • Optimisation for social media platforms
  • Redirect feature
  • Connect to your Google Search Console account

2. Smush image compression

Award-winning plugin Smush is another must-have if you are looking to improve your website performance. Once set up, Smush automatically resizes & compresses all images that are uploaded to the media gallery to help speed up your site.

3. iThemes security

When it comes to security, there are plenty of highly recommended plugins available. However we recommend iThemes security, and with almost 1 million websites using it, it’s currently the most popular security plugin out there.

WordPress websites can sometimes to be an easy target for attacks due to outdated plugins or poorly developed themes, so ensuring your website is secure is very important.

iThemes provides over 30 ways to secure & protect your website, including:

  • Prevent brute force attacks by blocking hosts & users
  • Hiding the WordPress admin login page
  • Website files scanner
  • Strengthening server security
  • Password strength enforcer
  • Forcing SSL

Check out our post on WordPress security here for more information.

4. Gravity Forms

Gravity Forms allows you to create powerful forms for your website using their easy to use tools. Unlike some of the other popular form plugins out there, Gravity Forms offers a high level of customisation & functionality meaning it is a favourite amongst most developers.

Some of the plugin features include:

  • Payments integration
  • Surveys
  • Quizes
  • Calculations

If you are wanting a free alternative to Gravity Forms, we would recommend Ninja Forms who offer a free plugin to help you build your forms.

5. WooCommerce

If you are looking to sell products through your website, WooCommerce really is the only plugin you should be looking at. Back in 2015, they reported that WooCommerce powers over 30% of all online stores, and with the current install count at +5 million, it’s likely that statistic is still valid.

Once installed, WooCommerce guides you through some simple steps to get your online store set up. This includes:

  • Product, cart, checkout and account pages
  • Payment gateways
  • Delivery options
  • VAT and other configurable settings


By default, WordPress can only support one language at a time. But what if your business is multilingual & you want to use multiple languages to cater for a larger audience? Well that’s where WPML comes in.

WPML allows support for multiple languages and offers a great user interface for managing your translations. Some of the features include:

  • No limit on languages
  • Powerful translation management
  • Option to manually translate or use the automated translation tool
  • Multilingual eCommerce
  • SEO friendly

7. Download Monitor

Download Monitor is great if you are wanting to display downloadable files on your website for your visitors to download or purchase. The plugin provides a great user interface for you to easily upload & organise your files.

A couple of use cases for this plugin might be:

  • A list of your policy documents that customers can download
  • Selling books, magazines, audio or video files
  • An internal documents library for your business
  • A list of the latest newsletters or press releases

8. Jetpack

Whilst we don’t think that Jetpack is ideal for all websites, it does boast a huge amount of useful features that are well worth looking into. A few example of the features included are:

  • Newsletter subscription
  • Brute force protection
  • Lazy loading images
  • Backups
  • Secure login
  • Elasticsearch
  • Social integration

9. MonsterInsights

MonsterInsights provides all the tools to properly connect your website to your Google Analytics account in order to track your website visitors. Other features include:

  • Analytics reporting from within the WordPress dashboard
  • Enable eCommerce tracking
  • EU Compliance (GDPR friendly)
  • Form conversion tracking

Why not check out our article on what you should be tracking in Google Analytics.

10. WP Mail SMTP

When sending mail from your website, WordPress uses the PHP mail function which can often be very unreliable and lead to deliverability issues.
Instead we recommend using a third-party SMTP service such as Mailgun or Mandrill to send your emails, which should massively improve the deliverability of your emails.

Using the WP Mail SMTP plugin, you can easily change how your emails are sent using the service of your choice.

Interested in working together?

Get in touch today to chat about how we can collaborate on your next website project.

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