15 Must-Have WordPress Plugins in 2021

15 Must-Have WordPress Plugins for 2021Are you thinking of building and managing a great WordPress website? Here is the list of 15 Must-Have WordPress Plugins in 2021.

Content management systems (CMS) are quickly evolving as a crucial aspect of the marketing ecosystem. A CMS allows you to easily add and manage the content of your website. It is thus an essential element of your business plan template to grow your company. WordPress is undoubtedly the most popular CMS platform. It is easy to use and requires less technical knowledge. However, the basic features of this platform are not sufficient for producing a high-quality website.  To customize and enhance your site, you must utilize a variety of WordPress plugins.

The WordPress ecosystem has numerous plugins that span aspects such as security, SEO, social sharing and design. Most of them are easy to install and require no technical knowledge.  Selecting the right tools is crucial for your website and overall marketing efforts. Before choosing a specific plugin, you should see if there is a free trial to test it out and also check out the Word Press reviews.

Below, we will explore the Must-Have WordPress Plugins for your website.

15 Must-Have Plugins for Your WordPress Site

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO - Must-Have WordPress Plugin

Yoast SEO is undoubtedly the most popular SEO plugin in the WordPress universe. More than 5 million WordPress sites actively use this plug-in. Using Yoast SEO, WordPress developers can optimize their pages for maximum traffic. It offers a gamut of features that can improve the search rankings of your page.

The Yoast SEO plugin suggests search-friendly titles and meta descriptions in line with search engine optimization best practices. The plugin automatically analyzes your content and helps in crafting high-quality content. With these power-packed features, Yoast SEO is a must-have plugin for your WordPress site. It offers a basic free plan and for additional features, you can purchase their premium version. It is one of the Must-Have WordPress Plugins. 

Akismet Spam Protection

Akismet Assests - Must-Have WordPress Plugin

Your WordPress site should be buzzing with activity. High-quality content with the right SEO practices drives reader’s engagement through comments and inquiries. But spam comments are a big headache for most content developers. Akismet is a popular spam protection plugin available for WordPress. Once you install this plugin, every comment in your blog is automatically run through this. It identifies and blocks spam in comments, form submission, etc. 

The daily spam clearance by Akismet helps keep your site clean. Beyond automatic spam blocking, it offers a manual review system. Here you can review individual comments and block/unblock them manually. The plugin adds a lot of value to your WordPress by protecting it from malicious content. This open-source plugin supports more than 72 languages and is free of cost.

Woo Commerce

WooCommerce - Must-Have WordPress Plugin

Every content marketing endeavor aims at selling more products and services. How about integrating your online marketplace into your WordPress site? Woo Commerce transforms your WordPress into an e-commerce platform. With numerous features, it is a one-stop solution for building an e-commerce site from scratch. Woo Commerce is an open-source platform and the basic plan is free for use. This provides customization options for online store themes, product galleries, etc. You can also integrate multiple payment gateways and shipping services with this application. 

The Woo Commerce plugin is compatible with both desktop and mobile versions, allowing better control of your site. It provides data privacy and facilitates seamless migration to other hosting platforms. Apart from the basic version, there are multiple add-on features available within the woo commerce ecosystem. You can upgrade your version to integrate additional marketing and analytical features.


Jetpack - Must-Have WordPress Plugin

Jetpack is the leader among all WordPress plugins. You can’t miss out on this plugin if you are looking for the maximum performance from a WordPress site. It is a multi-purpose plugin that ensures the security, speed, and performance of your site. The main features offered by jetpack are:

  • Enhance performance: It provides CDN (content delivery network) and lazy load images for faster loading of images. It also supports easy playback for videos.
  • Security features: It automatically scans your site for any malware. The system also provides backup and easy restore options.
  • Design support: Jetpack offers multiple themes and customization options for your WordPress site.
  • Growth tools: This plugin integrates site statistics, social media sharing, and SEO features.

In short, it is a powerful plugin that is key for a high-performing site. An upgraded, paid version includes additional features such as real-time data backup and website monetization.

WP Forms

WPForms - Must-Have WordPress Plugin

WP Forms is a popular user engagement plugin for your WordPress site. Most website owners find it difficult to create various forms using codes. The WP Form plugin allows for the creation of user-friendly forms without any codes. It is a drag and drop tool that requires very little technical knowledge. There are numerous templates for forms regarding feedback, online surveys, customer contact, etc. The WP forms plugin is very responsive and works well with mobile devices also. This makes your user engagement quick and easy. It is also optimized for translation and works seamlessly with such plugins.

You can integrate WP forms with payment options and marketing tools. More than 4 million websites are actively using WP Forms. The WP Forms lite version is free and offers numerous features. However, for more smart features, the pricing starts at $39.50/year.

Monster Insights

MonsterInsights - Must-Have WordPress Plugin

Data analytics is becoming inevitable for business growth. Monster Insights is the best analytics plugin available. It helps in tracking real-time website stats by linking your site with Google Analytics. The task of manual integration of Google Analytics with WordPress is often complicated. Monster insights take away these complexities and provide an easy alternative. The plugin offers features such as:

  • Google Analytics dashboard real-time stats
  • Analytics for e-commerce tracking
  • GDPR compliance for Google Analytics
  • Google AdSense tracking.

Beyond traditional analytics, it provides in-depth insights regarding audience behavior and engagement modes. It is a must-use plugin for anybody who wants to grow their business. Even though the lite version is free to use, you can try out their pro plans starting from $99.50/year.

Updraft Plus

Updraft Plus - Must-Have WordPress Plugin 

Even with multiple security systems, your website is still prone to malware attacks. Having an up-to-date backup system is very crucial for your website. Apart from malware attacks, server crashes and similar technical failures can lead to content loss. Performing manual backups is a time-consuming process. Along with proper backup, capabilities for instant restoration are also crucial. Updraft is an easy-to-install plugin that takes care of your WordPress site backup. Using this plugin, you can set up a schedule for automatic backup. It offers seamless integration with numerous cloud storage platforms such as Google Drive, Updraft Vault, and Dropbox.

Unlike other plugins in this category, Updraft plus provides easy restoration. This makes it a favorite choice for more than 3 million WordPress sites. Most features are available in the free version, but buying a premium version is advisable for big businesses. Starting from $42, the upgraded version has attractive features such as database encryption.

Elementor Website Builder

Elementor Website Builder - Must-Have WordPress Plugin 

Beyond content quality, website design is a key element that drives traffic. For a content marketer, Elementor website builder is a handy tool that helps in designing attractive web pages. It provides much more creative freedom compared to the basic website builder tools available in WordPress. The Elementor plugin offers numerous themes, design elements,  effects and forms for making your page look professional. This drag-and-drop application has more than 100 templates that are ready to use. The plugin interface responds very fast helping you with real-time feedback while editing.  

The Elementor Website Builder features 40+ widgets useful for designing every aspect of your page. It also integrates well with other WordPress plugins, especially language translation applications. The pro version of Elementor starts at $ 9 per year.


WP Optimize - Must-Have WordPress Plugin

As your website grows, a lot of information is stored in the memory. This hinders the smooth functioning of your site. The accumulation of unnecessary data makes your web pages less responsive. WP optimize is a one-stop solution that clears unnecessary files from your databases. You can also set automatic cleaning schedules with the click of a button. It also has a cache feature that helps in the faster loading of pages. The WP optimize also compresses images while loading pages. It has a special minify feature that minimizes the number of requests to your server. In short, this plugin is crucial in speeding up your website by clearing all of the clutter.

The pro version offers numerous features that are useful for your website. It has features like multi-site support and provides more flexibility in scheduling your site optimization.

All in One WP Security and Firewall

All in One WordPress Security and Firewall - Must-Have WordPress Plugin

An extra security layer is always useful for your WordPress website. The All in One Word Press security plugin is a highly recommended add-on for your website. It is easy to install and very user-friendly. There are three security level classifications in this plugin-basic, intermediate and advanced modes. You can activate these modes based on your page functionalities. The plugin offers a security dashboard that helps in monitoring the security strength of various elements on your site. 

The various security features in this plugin are:

  • Users account security
  • Secure login
  • User registration security
  • Firewall protection
  • Spam prevention

This plugin is available for free and can be a real asset to your website.

Sassy Social Share

Sassy Social Share - Must-Have WordPress Plugin

Social media integration is very crucial for sharing your content with a large audience. With the advent of multiple social media platforms, sharing your content manually on these platforms is a daunting task. Sassy social share is a trendy WordPress plugin for easy access to social sharing. It supports more than 100 social platforms. You can customize your icons to make them attractive. With this plugin, you can redirect page visitors to your social media handles. The plugin follows a light code making it easy to load and never hampers the smooth functioning of your website.

Sassy social share integrates well with other relevant plugins such as Woo Commerce and BuddyPress. This highly mobile-friendly plugin is free.

Loco Translate

Loco Translate - Must-Have WordPress Plugin

At times, you might operate WordPress sites in multiple languages. Loco Translate is a great tool for integrating translation services into your WordPress site. It supports more than 36 languages and is a favorite localization tool for more than 1 million websites. It easily integrates with other translation APIs such as Yandex and DeepL. Using this plugin, you can create language files in your existing WordPress theme. For developers, it is a critical tool for extracting strings from the code. Loco translate features a built-in translation editor that works on your WordPress admin panel. 

You can start with a free plan that offers limited translators. Multiple paid subscriptions are also available for agencies and businesses. The Pro plan starts at $ 5.95/month.

XML Sitemaps

XML Sitemap - Must-Have WordPress Plugin

You need to power your WordPress sites with plugins that make them search engine friendly. This is very crucial for increasing the visibility of your site. The XML sitemap plugin helps increase SEO by creating sitemaps that are easily accessible to popular search engines. The creation of these sitemaps makes it easy for crawlers to discover your pages. This works well with leading search engines such a Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. 

With more than 2 million active installations, it is a the most popular sitemap generator plugin for WordPress. The plug-in is easy to load and doesn’t slow down your page. The XML sitemap is open-source software and is free for WordPress websites.

MC4WP: Mail Chimp for WordPress

MC4WP - Mail Chimp for WordPress - Must-Have WordPress Plugin

Mail chimp is a premier email campaign service for sending out newsletters to your subscribers. The MC4WP helps in hassle-free integration of your WordPress site with Mail Chimp. Using this plugin, you can easily grow your subscriber base through simple automation. The plugin is easy to install and provides numerous options for conducting high-quality mail chimp campaigns such as sign-up forms for engaging more visitors on your site. 

The MC4WP plugin works well with other productivity plugins such as Woo Commerce, Contact Form 7, BuddyPress, etc. But many of the functionalities are not available with a free plan. You can subscribe to a premium service that offers numerous add-ons and functionalities.

WP Subscribe

WP Subscribe - Must-Have WordPress Plugin

Building a strong subscriber base is important for the growth of your word press site and overall business. It helps in driving organic traffic to your websites. This helps in monetizing your content very easily. The WP subscribe plugin helps in building a subscriber email list. An email list is a key tool for engaging your visitors. Through this, you can push information about new content, promotions and other relevant items. It works well with email marketing services such as Feed Burner, Mail Chimp, and Aweber. You can easily customize this and it integrates easily with SEO plugins. The plugin is lightweight and easy to load. The WP subscribe is available free of cost. 

Author Bio

Dave Lavinsky is the president and co-founder of Growthink. For over 20 years, Growthink has provided business plan consulting services to thousands of companies looking to grow.

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