You have your content ready, the design looks great, and you got a domain name in place.
But for your business to compete effectively in the online marketplace, you need to do more: add search engine optimization (SEO), make it user-friendly, and ensure security.
How can you possibly add everything you need?
It’s easy if you’re using WordPress as your content management system (CMS).
As a website builder platform, WordPress’s appeal comes down to its extensive flexibility and customization. WordPress is open-source, empowering developers to create an endless supply of themes that style your website and plugins that add crucial functionality.
But with over 58,000 WordPress plugins (and counting) where do you even start?
If you have a WordPress website we’re here to give you the low down on the top WordPress plugins in 2021.
The top WordPress Plugins we’ve included are:
- All In One SEO
- Akismet Spam Protection
- XML Sitemaps
- Broken Link Checker
- Yoast SEO
- WP Rocket
- WP Super Cache
Why You Need Plugins for Your WordPress Website
A WordPress plugin is an application that adds custom features to your website. You can use plugins to add contact forms, enhance images, and increase SEO without a scrap of technical knowledge.
The top WordPress plugins for your new WordPress website can also:
- Boost website speed
- Enhance security
- Monitor your marketing strategies
- Ensure a better user experience
- Improve conversion rates
From the thousands of plugins available, we’ve listed 20 of the top WordPress plugins for your website in 2021.
Key Features of Jetpack:
- Enhances security
- Adds social sharing buttons
- Creates contact forms
- Offers CDN services
- Performs website backups
Top WordPress plugin for: New websites that need a variety of functionalities
Price: Free. Premium plans start at $4.77/month when billed annually
2. All In One SEO
A brand new WordPress website owner can easily feel disheartened about competing with established websites for the top spots on search engine results pages (SERPs).
But you don’t have to be an SEO expert to optimize your content.
All In One SEO (AIOSEO) is a beginner-friendly top WordPress plugin that gives you complete control over your website’s SEO. With over 2 million websites using the service, this is the most comprehensive WordPress SEO toolkit out there.
Key Features of AIOSEO:
- Integrates with Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram for improved social media marketing
- Generates XML sitemap
- Integrates with WooCommerce products to improve SEO
Top WordPress Plugin for: New websites that need a significant jumpstart on their SEO
Price: Basic plans start at $99/year when billed annually
3. Akismet Spam Protection
Few things will ruin the legitimacy of your website more than a comment section riddled with spam comments from bots advertising scams.
Serving over 5 million websites, Akismet is a superb solution to comment spam. It comes pre-installed with WordPress, so all you need to do is activate the plugin and connect to your Akismet account through an application programming interface (API) key.
Key Features of Akismet:
- Filters out spam
- Displays comment status history
- Removes hidden or misleading links
- Shows approved comments for each user
- Checks incoming comments and all contact form submissions before they are published
- Shows comments in the spam folder
Top WordPress plugin for: Websites in need of a strong comment spam blocker
Price: Free. Premium plans start at $10/month when billed annually
4. XML Sitemaps
If you want to give your website a chance to rank on the SERPs, you’ll need to generate a sitemap.
The XML Sitemaps plugin will create a sitemap for your WordPress website that will make it easier for search engines to crawl and index your website. The plugin also helps you to notify search engines about any changes to the structure of your website.
Key Features of XML Sitemaps:
- Adds sitemap entries to your robots.txt file
- Works with WooCommerce, bbPress, and BuddyPress
- Notifies search engines of new blog posts or updates on your website
- Defines what content to include in your sitemap
Top WordPress plugin for: Websites that want to improve SEO with a sitemap
5. Broken Link Checker
You can fix broken links manually — but it’s a tedious and time-consuming task. And, large websites tend to experience this problem more frequently. So, if you have lots of content and links Broken Link Checker is a crucial plugin.
Key Features of Broken Link Checker:
- Checks for broken links across your website
- Issues a notification so you can review and edit links
- Inspects your content and images for links that don’t work so you can fix them
Top WordPress plugin for: Established websites that want to improve SEO by checking for broken links
Cyber threats are a significant challenge for online business owners. Security is vital. You need to protect yours and your customer’s data, and you also need to ensure visitors feel safe. Most users will quickly abandon a website if it displays a security warning.
Sucuri is a WordPress security plugin and web application firewall that will keep your WordPress website safe.
Key Features of Sucuri:
- Protects and warns you about cyberattacks, including malware threats, brute force attacks, and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS)
- Gets rid of any malicious code in a website’s file system and database
- Displays notifications when there are signs of compromise
- Detects and repairs SEO spam keywords and link injections
- Filters malicious traffic before it gets to your website
- Removes users from blacklists once their website is safe again
Top WordPress plugin to: Websites that want to prevent or remove malware and viruses
Price: Free. Premium plans start at $199.99/year
7. Yoast SEO
If you have a website, your goal should be to see it at the top of the SERPs whenever a potential customer is looking for what you offer. SEO can be complicated, but the right plugin can help you take control.
Yoast SEO is the top WordPress plugin for SEO, with the most comprehensive option to boost your search engine ranking.
Key Features of Yoast SEO:
- “Hides” specific posts and pages from search engines
- Optimizes your title, URL, and meta description
- Offers content insights
- Includes 24/7 support for premium users
- Integrates with social media platforms
- Helps you add page redirects
- Submits XML Sitemaps to Search Engines
Top WordPress plugin for: Websites looking to improve their on-page SEO
Price: Free. Premium plans start at $89
Images are important to your online marketing strategy. They increase customer engagement, help potential customers see your products better, and make decision-making easier.
But large files or too many images can slow page load times. Compressing and trimming images will empower you to use them without affecting your website’s speed.
Smush is a top WordPress plugin that automatically compresses large images without affecting their quality. And to save time, you can “smush” in bulk — up to 50 images or more with a premium plan.
Key Features of Smush:
- Optimizes images automatically
- Detects incorrect image sizes
- Works on multiple websites
- Includes lazy load functionality
- “Smushes” images in bulk
- Integrates with Gutenberg Blocks
- Processes all of your files
Top WordPress plugin for: Websites that use a lot of images, especial if they’re high-quality
9. WP Rocket
Large images aren’t the only things that can slow down your website. According to Google, the probability of a visitor leaving your website increases by 123% as page load time goes from 1 to 10 seconds on mobile phones.
What does this mean?
Slow loading pages can affect your SEO ranking and conversions.
Caching can speed up your website by storing copies of your data so it can be accessed more quickly. WPRocket is among the top caching plugins for your WordPress website and can instantly improve website speed and performance.
Key Features of WPRocket:
- Offers page caching
- Allows for version rollback
- Integrates with CDNs
- Enables lazy loading
- Optimizes your database
- Integrates with Google Analytics
Top WordPress plugin for: Websites looking to enhance their speed through caching
Price: Plans start at $39 for one website
10. WP Super Cache
WPRocket has a great user interface, but you can get a lot of the same caching functionality and other features with WP Super Cache. The Automattic created plugin is free — and everyone likes the sound of that.
Key Features of WP Super Cache:
- Offers 304 browser caching
- Compresses pages automatically
- Supports mobile devices
- Includes CDN support
Top WordPress plugin for: Websites that want to improve user experience and SEO with faster page load times
There are lots of reasons your website could be slow. WP-Optimize is a top WordPress plugin that can solve several speed problems at once. It compresses images, caches pages, and cleans your database.
With WP-Optimize, you can do a website cleanup by getting rid of spam comments, and other old files that are no longer useful to your website.
Key Features of WP-Optimize:
- Schedules automatic cleanups
- Does bulk compression
- Implements lazy load functionality
- Offers caching features
- Includes an image compression tool
- Removes all unnecessary dataRetains a set number of weeks’ data during clean-ups
- Carries out automatic weekly clean-ups
- Triggers automatic, pre-optimized backup
Top WordPress plugin for: Websites that need to clean up their database
Price: Free. Premium plans start at $39/year
Let’s say you’ve already designed and launched your new website. Do you know how your web pages are performing? Do you know which pages have the most traffic and conversions or your best traffic sources?
If you don’t know where you’re at, you can’t plan where you want to go.
Key Features of MonsterInsights:
- Displays real-time stats
- Adds Google Analytics to your WordPress dashboard
- Integrates seamlessly with popular plugins like WooCommerce, YoastSEO, and WPForms
- Conducts page-level analytics
- Tracks affiliate and advertising links
- Offers an easy-to-use interface
Top WordPress plugin for: Websites who want to improve sales and SEO through data tracking
Price: Free. Premium plans start at $199
According to Arkose Labs, there were about 445 million online attacks in just the first four months of 2020.
Since WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world, cyber criminals tend to look for weaknesses in websites built on the platform most often. So WordPress website owners are constantly at risk of cyber attacks that can crash your website, cause data loss, and ultimately hurt your business.
Key Features of UpDraftPlus:
- Completes backups manually, automatically, or as scheduled
- Includes cloning and migration
- Backs up limitless non-WordPress files and external databases
- Works across multiple websites
- Supports WordPress command-line interface (WP-CLI)
- Offers incremental backups
Top WordPress plugin for: Websites that don’t want to lose all their data.
Price: Free. Premium plans start at $42/year
Landing pages are an excellent tool for turning your website visitors into customers. But it can be time consuming to create a new landing page every time you launch a new products.
SeedProd is a helpful drag-and-drop landing page builder that will empower you to create beautiful, effective landing pages your WordPress website.
Key Features of SeedProd:
- Makes mobile-responsive landing pages
- Helps you craft landing pages with an easy drag-and-drop interface
- Creates maintenance mode pages
- Includes templates to get you started
- Protects against spam
- Integrates with email marketing platforms
Top WordPress plugin for: Websites that launch new products and want to sell more with well-crafted landing pages
Price: Free. Premium plans start at $79/year
If you’re looking to launch an online business to sell your products and services, you can get started quickly.
WooCommerce is an e-commerce plugin that integrates easily with your WordPress website to help you sell anything online — digital or physical. It allows you to convert your WordPress website into a fully functional online store, thanks to its unlimited customization options.
Bluehost offers a WooCommerce hosting plan that give your everything you need to build and launch your e-commerce business fast and easy.
Key Features of WooCommerce:
- Works on mobile
- Creates invoices
- Handles taxes
- Offers secure payments
- Includes themes for WooCommerce stores
- Manages inventory and shipping
Top WordPress Plugin for: Websites that sell products through e-commerce
Sometimes the reason customers abandon shopping carts is because they have unanswered questions. But live chat support puts you in the position to answer questions and convert them into sales.
LiveChat is a chat support software for websites geared toward e-commerce businesses.
The developers are the same team behind ChatBot — an AI-powered chatbot software for websites. LiveChat and ChatBot are a perfect combination to ensure your customers get fast responses every time.
You can download the LiveChat plugin for free, but you’ll need a premium subscription to use it after the free trial period.
Key Features of LiveChat:
- Includes customizable chat windows
- Offers beautiful dashboards and a user-friendly interface
- Displays chat history
- Comes with a mobile app to chat with customers on the go
Top WordPress plugin for: Websites that need to engage directly with their customers
Price: 14-day free trial for new users. Premium plans start at $16/month
PushEngage is a web push notification plugin for your WordPress website. It empowers you to send specific messages to your audience using push notification technology.
Push notifications help deliver relevant information to customers at the right time, even if they are browsing elsewhere and not active on the app or website.
Key Features of PushEngage:
- Lets you conduct A/B Testing
- Complies with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
- Integrates with multiple browsers
- Markets with automatic drip campaigns
- E-commerce integrations
- Offers dynamic segmentation capability
- Pushed cart abandonment reminders
- Sends out auto-triggered and offline notifications
Top WordPress plugin for: Websites that want to engage new visitors and turn them into customers
Price: Free. Premium plans start at $25/month
If everything goes well, your business grows. And sometimes that means you need to move your WordPress website to a new server. It can be challenging and risky, but a good migration plugin can make the process safe and streamlined.
With more than 20 million downloads, Duplicator allows you to confidently move, migrate or clone your website from one location to another. Transfer your WordPress website between hosts or domains with zero downtime.
Key Features of Duplicator:
- Offers hassle-free drag-and-drop installs
- Supports managed hosting
- Includes cloud storage
- Conducts backups on a scheduled plan
- Gives customers professional support
Top WordPress plugin for: Websites that need to be moved, migrated, or cloned
Price: Free. Premium plans start at $69/year
Final Thoughts: The Top WordPress Plugins In 2021
Plugins can be a fantastic piece of software to extend the functionality of your WordPress website. The top WordPress plugins on our list can help you add essential functions, like speed optimization, live chats, and automatic backups.
The right plugin can ensure your website is user-friendly, fast, and secure.
But security and speed also come down to the right host for your website. Bluehost has a variety of hosting plans built to boost your WordPress website’s performance. Get started with a Bluehost hosting package today.