My favorite WordPress plugins (and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by experienced WordPress developers). All of these plugins are neatly coded, super-fast, and the best in their class. I’ve also added my opinions on plugins that I don’t like … just to give you a little more clarity.
- GenerateBlocks – my favorite for simple blocks
- Qubely – probably my favorite for fancy blocks.
- Stackable – nice too, but I’ve heard of bugs and coding issues.
- Kioken – looks nice
- WP Show Posts – allows you to show posts anywhere. You can use filters to decide which posts are displayed and then also determine how they are displayed. Very slim and great when combined with other plugins.
- Lightweight Grid Columns – allows you to create as many columns as you want, whatever the size. So you can move your page layout around without having to use a page builder! Brilliant!
- Smart Content Filter – great way for users to filter posts on pages.
- SWIFT Performance – the lite version is the best free cache plug-in, the paid version is the fastest full-featured cache plug-in available.
- LiteSpeed Cache – incredible free cache plugin with lots of features but only works on LiteSpeed servers. This is actually the best cache plugin when you have thousands of pages or a lot of MANY visits (millions).
- WP Rocket – another fast (premium) cache plugin. Easy to use, not recommended for NGINX.
- WP Performance – great free cache plugin. Solid, reliable, lots of features, amazing user interface and super easy way to granularly exclude / disable optimizations.
- Simple Cache – fastest plugin for my VPS with activated REDIS object cache. This is recommended after you’ve done all possible manual tweaks.
- Breeze or Cache Enabler – highly recommended for NGINX servers.
- “Comet Cache” is fast and good, but SWIFT (free) and WP Rocket (paid) are better.Borlabs Cache or WP Speed of Light – other good premium cache plugins.
- WP Fastest Cache – is nice too, but not the fastest in my tests. But many like it.
- W3TC – I hate it. Much too bloated and too technical. Incompatible with many plugins and not the fastest even if it works!
- WP Super Cache or WPMU Hummingbird – absolute rubbish. Bloated and slow.
- Autoptimize – helpful but not necessary if your theme and plugins are already optimized. (This is like a band-aid.)
- WP Gonzalez – amazing, useful, costs money.
- Load filter plugin – asset organizer plugin, but still easy to use.
- Plugin Organizer – full-fledged asset organizer plugin, but the user interface can get cluttered.
- WordPress Asset CleanUp – similar to WP Gonzalez, but free. I like this solution.
- PerfMatters – nice program by Brian Jackson.
- ShortPixel – ShortPixel has the best compression and its GLOSSY format is top.
- LiteSpeed Cache – can handle tons of images, FREE! Great for huge sites and when you don’t want to pay anything.
- WP Compress – another great compression service, perfect for sharp details. Lower price than SP.
- Imagify – is number 3 for me (in terms of quality). But I wouldn’t use that.
- Swift Performance PRO – this paid cache plugin has an image compression function in it.
- TinyPNG / JPG – can be good sometimes, but ShortPixel is definitely better!
- WP Smush – terrible compression quality / file size ratio.
Pictures, gallery, slideshow
- Quick Featured Images – the best plugin for managing / automating your Featured Images. The Pro version is so very worth the price!
- Enable Media Replace – Replaces media files without having to dig through FTP folders.
- reGenerate Thumbnails advanced – mMn. best, easy to use with great filter options.
- Metaslider (free / paid) or Smart Slider 3 (free / paid) – are the best. Metaslider is good for super simple minimal sliders. SS can do more unusual things like dynamic height or showing different sliders on the phone, and it has more functions (embed video, change button images, etc.). Used to be great / lightweight but has now been surpassed. Whatever you do, avoid Slider Revolution (REV Slider) .
- WP Featherlight – simple jquery for lightbox. I use this (and ONLY THIS) along with the Gutenberg standard for building picture galleries.
- WP Featherlight Disabled – even lighter fork of the original WP Featherlight. (Only loads feather-light CSS / JS on pages you allow).
- Meow Gallery – if you want a fully functional gallery use this instead of the bloated NextGEN, FooGallery, Envira, etc.
- WP Offload Media – beautiful plugin from the respected Delicious Brains. Loads your media files elsewhere so that you can save space on your web server.
Database tools & optimization
- Advanced Database Cleaner – great for cleaning up your DB. (I like this a lot better than WP Optimize.)
- Editor – great for editing your database from WordPress instead of through cPanel / phpmyadmin (CAUTION!)
- WP Migrate DB – the easiest way to move databases and also perform string rewrites. The Pro version has more useful development functions.
- Better Search Replace – (formerly) my favorite database editor from Delicious Brains. Has a great “test run” function. I use it to fix urls for migration or https purposes. I love that you can specify which tables are for. But now I do all of this with the new Migrate DB.
- BackWPup – awesome free plugin that does FULL backups and even remote on S3! Yes, it’s FREE! (my favorite)
- WPVivid – another great FREE full-featured backup plugin. Has extra convenient cloning / staging functions that BackWPup doesn’t have, but can be buggy on larger sites.
- UpDraft – very popular, should be bought for its offsite backup functionality. I hate the free version, but the pro version is nicer and more extensive.
- BackUpWordPress – my favorite free backup plugin for local backups. Works well, clean / calm surface.
- BackupBuddy – other people like it. I think it’s really annoying.
- Fluent Forms – the number 1 form plugin, for both FREE and PAID. Easier to use in some ways, nicer design and additional features.
- Gravity Forms, Happy Forms, Piotnet Forms – all great premium form plugins. Mostly the same functions, but different workflows, UI and prices.
- Caldera – my previous standard. Free and works great. Not bloated. I hate that it’s spamming a lot. But unfortunately the project was abandoned because the team is concentrating on its main commercial offering, Ninja Forms.
- Contact Form 7 – I hate how it loads on every page.
Use these plugins for moving websites or building from live to staging and vice versa.
- All-in-One WP Migration – my favorite, popular and works. The free version has a 500MB limit and does not export / import from remote destinations (S3 / Gdrive / etc). TIP: You can work around the size limit by excluding “wp-content” from the export; just compress and extract it manually using the cPanel’s “file manager”.
- Duplicator – great for website migration / cloning but also works for backups. Popular with developers. Can feel too technical for newbies.
- Migrate Guru – easy to use and free … can move large sites and do URL rewrite for you. The only problem is that it misses non-WP directories and doesn’t always work. If you’re not a pro and need something that is ALWAYS 100% reliable, stick with AIO Migration or do things manually.
WordPress SEO plugins
- SEO Framework – my favorite. Clean and free of ballast. Easiest and not trying to do anything for your website. SEO only!
- ALL-IN-ONE SEO (Pro version) – my second favorite. High quality, and fast.
- Yoast SEO – they responded to complaints and improved the user interface, faster, cleaner and less bloated. Still annoying nag screens and I still prefer the others.
WordPress Redirection Plugins
- Htaccess – not a plugin, but the most recommended method!
- Safe Redirect Manager – the best! Enterprise-grade, high-quality code, super-fast redirects with the least amount of speed influence.
- Redirection – the hell no! It drives me crazy that so many people are using this. It will slow down your website by 1-3 seconds. You are better off just copying the redirects into your htaccess!
- SEO redirect function – also a “no” for me.
WordPress membership plugins
- MemberPress – the best membership plugin out there. I’ve tried many and this one has all the features I needed, easy and fun to use. Also great prices that don’t overwhelm you for necessary add-ons.
- Restrict Content Pro (RCP) – also a good membership plugin, depending on your use case. See my review.
- WooMemberships / WooSubscriptions – great if you want to integrate it with WooCommerce. Overkill if that’s not what you want.
- Easy Digital Downloads – great plugin and very easy to use (industry standard for selling digital products) but a little expensive. Many of the basic features are add-ons that cost money.
- MemberMouse – I hate it. Expensive and difficult to use (design & coding), also loads a lot of scripts and slows down your page.
- DigitalAccessPass (DAP) – out of date in many ways.
- Shopify – works great, looks great. Totally worth the monthly price so you don’t spend thousands developing on WordPress / WooCommerce. The cheapest plan is $ 9, or $ 15 if you want to use it with WordPress.
- FluentSMTP – new email plugin that has more features and works well. Another miracle job from the WPManageNinja team!
- WP Mail SMTP – my favorite email plugin. It works better than my previous favorite “Post SMTP Mailer”.
Email lead generation & pop-up
- MailOptin – lean, simple, fast. Limited design options but still my favorite.
- OptinMonster – the gold standard, but expensive! Loads of options.
- Convert Pro – popular alternative to OM, cheaper, but not as many functions.
- Thrive Leads – I hate being bloated and slow as hell when you have lots of pages and lots of traffic.
- Shared Counts – great for placing the number of shared content on your pages on social networks.
- Social Warfare – takes care of shared counts and also controls how shared content is displayed.
- Social Pug – same as Social Warfare and good reviews, but I haven’t tried it yet.
- Scriptless Social Share – simple, clean method, but loads faster because it doesn’t do any counts.
- Novashare – new share plugin from the well-respected Brian Jackson.
- DoLogin – provides a simple WP-admin login link for additional contractors and support staff.
- Adminimize – control what different users can see once logged in.
- User Role Editor – edit what different user roles can do once logged in.
- PHP Compatibility Checker – great for knowing if your WordPress themes and plugins are ready for a higher (faster) version of php.
- WP Server Stats – Server statistics plugin with nice information.
- AffiliateWP – is the best! Don’t use anything else.
- AffiliateRoyale – no! Don’t use it. It is no longer being developed. I’ve built an AffiliateRoyale to AffiliateWP migration script in case you want to use it.
- Relevannsi – I’ve had it forever and love it.
- SearchWP – probabilmente il plugin di ricerca più “ufficiale” per WP.
- Algolia – good if you want something more robust and scalable for huge pages.