Top 10 Best WordPress Plugins 2020 | Plugins You Must Have

There are thousands of WordPress plugins out there but, seeing as too many plugins slow down your website, here’s a list of the 10 best plugins you must have on your website to be successful.

Best WordPress Plugins

If you like you can watch the video tutorial, or if you’re more of a reader than a watcher then carry on and check out the top 10 plugins + the bonus award for best page builder.

SEO

Rank Math

rankmath seo wordpress plugin

Active Installs: 500,000+
Price: Free (Pro version coming soon)

Yoast SEO used to be the king of SEO for WordPress but it’s now lost its crown. RankMath has blazed onto the seen making optimising your site for search engines like Google incredibly easy.  With smart recommendations and animations it allows you to boost up your content with little time & effort from you.

It works with most of the main page builders, including an inbuilt feature with Elementor where you can see and edit your SEO on your front-end page whilst your editing with the drag and drop builder.

RankMath takes features that used to cost a premium and give them to you for free.  They do have a Pro version coming out that’s going to unlock even more potential, but the free version is going to get you way ahead of the competition.

IMAGE OPTIMIZATION

Optimole

optimole plugin

Active Installs: 60,000+
Price: Free (premium plans available)

Optimole is the all-in-one solution to all of your image optimization needs. With full automation and a range of evolutionary features, Optimole optimizes your images in real-time with a cloud-based system to speed up your website and deliver high-quality images perfectly sized for every device.  It actually resizes them so that you have the perfect image for mobile, tablet, laptop and desktop.

It’s easy to set up and has probably the most user-friendly interface of all image optimisation plugins.  It gives you lots of features like lazy loading and even comes with a CDN to serve up images around the world more quickly.

Their free plan allows you up to 5,000 visitors per month which is great for newer sites.  When you grow beyond this there is a range of affordable plans starting at about £19 / $24 per month.

If you only have a few images for your website then instead I recommend Google Squoosh – you can check out my Squoosh tutorial on how to use that free tool.

SPEED

SiteGround SG Optimizer

Active Installs: 1 Million +
Price: Free with SiteGround Hosting

SG Optimizer is a caching and optimisation plugin that comes for free with all but the most basic plan on SiteGround’s managed WordPress hosting. It drastically speeds up your website, solves the most common speed problems like minifying CSS and JavaScript, optimises images and so much more.

If you’re not using SiteGround for your hosting then you need to switch today, they are repeatedly found to be the best WordPress host by polls all over the internet, and give you great speed, security and customer service all wrapped up with an easy-to-use interface.

You can watch my SG Optimizer tutorial on how to get the most from this amazing plugin.

WP Rocket

wp rocket plugin

Active Installs: 1 Million +
Price: From $49 for a Single Site Licence

Recognised as the most powerful caching plugin by many WordPress experts, WP Rocket is also the only caching plugin that works in conjunction with SiteGround and their own SG Optimizer.

This amazing plugin allows you to solve all the speed issues you find on reports like GT Metrix with just a couple of clicks. It also integrates with Content Delivery Networks and is amazingly simple to use.

In short, if you want a website that pleases search engines and is faster than your competition, then you need WP Rocket.

SECURITY

iThemes Security Pro

iThemes security pro plugin

Active Installs: 1 million +
Price: From $80 OR part of the $299 plugin suite

At the time of writing, it is officially cybersecurity month.  Whether you have a personal blog or a business you need to keep secure.  WordPress comes under a lot of attacks from hackers, spammers and worse – this isn’t surprising when you consider that WordPress powers over 30% of all internet websites, and is the largest CMS in the world.

Keeping your data – and your customers data – secure is vital. iThemes Security Pro gives you an easy to use dashboard and host of powerful features to make sure you keep the bad guys out.  It integrates with other systems to protect you from known hackers, and puts a lot of protection in place to keep you safe from the unknown dangers lurking in the shadows… dramatic stuff! But it works.

Security really is one of the most important things you need to make sure you do right, and while there are some free options out there they just don’t do the job well enough. Invest in this and you’ll be grateful you did.

BACKUPS

BackupBuddy

backup buddy plugin

Active Installs: 1 million +
Price: From $80 OR part of the $299 plugin suite

Ever had a site you’re spent days, weeks – even months – of your life designing just to find that it breaks or disappears and all your work is lost?  It’s all too easy and is especially dangerous if you’re running a business.

Keeping your website backed up no longer needs to be difficult.  BackupBuddy is another plugin from iThemes.  It can be picked up from $80 or as part of the same plugin suite that comes with iThemes Security Pro.

This comes with a stash that you can send your backups to, and also allows you to send them to other 3rd party destinations or simply download to your computer.

Whilst SiteGround’s amazing web hosting also comes with auto and manual backups, you can never be too careful and having a properly dedicated plugin for this is another must.  The question isn’t whether you need this, it’s when will you need this; because there will come a time that you need to restore things fast and this is what you need.

FORMS

WP Forms

wp forms plugin

Active Installs: 3 million +
Price: Free & Premium

One thing all websites need is a contact form.  Add to this the option to have polls, conversational forms, sales funnel forms, multi-step and payment forms with conditional logic and much, much more… you need WP Forms!

There are many forms plugins on the market but WP Forms really are the powerhouse behind easy of usability and getting results.  It’s easy to drag-and-drop build good looking forms that integrate easily into your site without causing it to slow down. It’s also 100% mobile responsive, meaning that – unlike so many of the other form plugins you can go for – you don’t have to do anything to make it adjust to different screen sizes.

The Lite version you can download for free is a great place to start, but for just a small payment you can upgrade to a plan that unlocks way more options and a lot more potential.  This is going to get you more enquiries, leads, subscribers and customers.  Make sure to download the free version first so you can automatically get 50% off an upgraded plan.

ANALYTICS

MonsterInsights

monster insights plugin

Active Installations: 2 million +
Price: Free & Premium

Everyone knows that Google Analytics is the best way to finds out how your website is performing, where people are visiting from, what pages are doing best, what your bounce rate is and all the other things that can help you to tweak your site to get the best results… but let’s be honest, Google Analytics is not friendly to use.

It’s complicated dashboard and fiddly integrations make tracking the info you want far more difficult than it should be.  Introducing MonsterInsights.  This is the #1 plugin for WordPress to link up with Google Analytics and give you in-depth reports that are easy to use and understand.

monster insights analytics

The Lite version gives you a clear overview with important features like what countries your traffic comes from, what times of day, what’s brought them there – like organic search or social media – and much more.  However, the true power of MonsterInsights (and it is incredible how much comes with this) is unlocked with their premium plans.

I recommend starting with the free version, as you should get 50%-60% off a paid plan upgrade automatically; pricing starts at $80-$100 a year so it’s not cheap but once you’ve got website traffic coming your way it’s a great value-for-money investment that will save you a lot of time and help you make the changes you need to get better results.

SUBSCRIBER OPT-IN

Bloom

Bloom optin plugin

Active Installs: 700,000+
Price: Part of Elegant Themes Membership

Bloom is an amazing plugin that allows you to easily create beautiful looking option popups and inline subscriber forms.  Popups, fly-ins, in-line, below content, unlockable content… you name it you can pretty much do it (and it is pretty, coming from the makers of Divi you know that it’s going to look good).

You can set different triggers and conditions to activate your popups and gain many more subscribers to your email lists, it also integrates with all the major email marketing providers like MailChimp and Constant Contact.

This plugin is such amazing value for money that the only way you can beat it is by going very seriously up the money scale and paying top dollar for the premium OptinMonster solution. So unless you’re getting hundreds of thousands of website visitors, you want to be using Bloom.

This plugin comes as part of Elegant Themes membership, meaning that you also get access to the world’s #1 premium WordPress theme: Divi + other plugins.

You can get yearly access to the full Elegant Theme range, including Bloom, for $89 or do the smart thing and get lifetime access – including all future updates, themes, templates and plugins – for $249.  And if you use my Elegant Themes affiliate link then you can get 10% off.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Monarch

monarch plugin

Active Installs: 700,000+
Price: Part of Elegant Themes Membership

Also part of Elegant Themes Membership is the last must-have plugin on this list: Monarch.  This super little plugin allows you to easily design beautiful looking social media icons and links to your website which you have have in hover bars or embedded around the site.  You can also get it to popup and fly-in with set triggers, and many more options as well.

Not only does this look great, it helps to boost your following across social media platforms and get your content shared, allowing your website to grow a lot more quickly.

Of course, grabbing this as part of Elegant Themes membership unlocks Divi and the Divi Builder which didn’t make it onto this list only because it’s really a theme and plugin rolled into one.

BONUS: Elementor

That wraps up the list and it was very difficult to choose just 10, there were some other very close contenders, but I wanted to cover off the based for the main things every site needs.  I’ll be doing another video and post covering plugins for eCommerce, including physical products and digital downloads.

For a bonus plugin now, however, number 11 spot has to go to the best free and premium page builder for WordPress: Elementor.  If you’ve seen my channel before you know I have a lot of videos on how to use this amazing drag-and-drop builder that lets you create beautiful and responsive websites really quickly.

elementor plugin

If you would like to see tutorials on how each of these plugins works and how to get the most out of them, then make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and have notifications on so that you don’t miss the videos.

So you know, some of the links on this page are affiliate links, meaning that if you buy through them you don’t pay extra – in fact with some you get an additional discount – and I get a small commission which helps to make free tutorials, so thank you for your support. I am pleased to say though that I only recommend the best products and, having used all of these myself, I can recommend the results.

As ever,

Jack

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