20 Must-Have WordPress Plugins for 2018

A guide to must-have WordPress plugins which you must use on your WordPress blog to make it even better regarding more user experience and SEO friendly.

A newbie WordPress user can easily get confused about which plugin to use on their site because there are more than 37,400 plugins in the WordPress Plugin Repository and the premium WordPress plugins which you get in marketplaces like codecanyon and various other platforms.

You may get carried away with the number of options available for you and face a problem of plenty, but we are here to guide you about the mandatory WordPress plugins which you need to use on your WordPress site.

Can You Do Without Plugins?

Probably not, because plugins are the building blocks of your WordPress site. They bring in the important functionality to your WordPress site. In fact, plugins are the charm of WordPress, the huge repository of WordPress plugin makes the platform rich in a real sense.

Getting started

Once you make up your mind to create your blog on WordPress platform, select a good quality WordPress hosting provider who provides easy WordPress installation option.

After WordPress is set on your site, install a quality WordPress theme which is close to your requirement regarding quality and features.

Now, many modern WordPress themes come with their set of recommended plugins which you must install because they bring in the required features to the theme and are part of the theme package as a whole.

However, we are not going to talk about theme-specific plugins but for all general WordPress websites.

Important WordPress Plugins for Every Blog

Before we proceed one thing which you must understand is to keep the number of plugins to a minimum as every additional plugin will slow down your site to a certain extent. So, make sure that you use only the important and good quality plugins.

Let's check out the must have WordPress plugins which you must have on your site.


If you don't know how to code, then you don't have the skills to build an attractive website from scratch. Hiring a professional web designer to do it for you is expensive, though.

DragDropr is the perfect solution to this problem. With this plugin, you can create pages for your site by simply dragging and dropping the elements you want on each page (there are over 200 pre-designed and fully editable content blocks to choose from). It allows anyone to create a great-looking website, at a fraction of the cost of hiring a designer.

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WordPress SEO by Yoast

One of the most popular and widely used WordPress plugins. WordPress SEO by Yoast brings in all the important SEO related features to your WordPress site. I like the on page SEO feature by this plugin; it's useful for any WordPress user as it provides you a glimpse of how well your blog post is optimized.

Also, it creates the XML sitemap for your site, and you don't need to use any other WordPress plugin for creating the sitemap for you.

Recommended Alternative: All in One SEO Pack

Yoast SEO

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W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache is one of the most popular caching plugins for WordPress.I use this plugin for all my sites, and it does make a different regarding loading time of the site. This plugin offers some options to optimize your site, and if it is configured properly, you will see a difference regarding performance.

Newbie user may find the settings a little complicated initially. However, there is number of amazing tutorial about how to set up W3 Total Cache, check this tutorial by wpbeginner

Recommended Alternative: WP Super Cache

W3 Total Cache

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Jetpack is a collection of amazing features which supercharges your site with a number of really useful functionality.

Jetpack is a combination of many plugins in one, Starting from site security, optimization to user engagement it provides you all the important features.

With Jetpack, you can have social sharing feature, contact form, CDN service, email subscription form and number of other services.

Recommended Alternative: Jetpack Lite (Unofficial Alternative of the Jetpack plugin with limited functionality)

Must have WordPress Plugins

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Monarch from ElegantThemes is one of the best social sharing plugins for WordPress. This plugin provides you completely modern options to show social sharing buttons on your site and increase the share count of your post dramatically.

This is one of the most comprehensive social plugins which offers you tons of options regarding design and placement of share buttons.

This plugin will bring in visually appealing buttons which you can place strategically to increase the number of social shares which will help you to get traffic from social sites and get better ranking for your blog posts in the search engine like Google because they use the social signal as one of the ranking factors.

Recommended Alternative: Easy Social Share Buttons


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Google XML Sitemaps

Sitemaps make it easier for search engine crawlers to find the important pages and posts of your WordPress site retrieve it more efficiently. Google XML Sitemaps supports all kinds of WordPress generated pages and custom URLs.

Recommended Alternative: WordPress SEO by Yoast Sitemap

Google XML Sitemaps

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iThemes Security

Security of your WordPress site is of paramount importance, and you should never ignore that. iThemes Security plugin is one of the most effective WordPress plugins for securing your WordPress setup. It gives you over 30+ ways to secure and protect your WordPress site. This plugin comes with pro version also which provides you, even more, features to secure your site.

Recommended Alternative: BulletProof Security


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A very important WordPress plugin for any site. It's an extensive WordPress database cleanup and optimization tool. It doesn't require PhpMyAdmin to clean and optimize your database tables. It cleans up all unnecessary elements such as auto drafts, stale unapproved and spam comments and all other things which are occupying the database without adding any value to your site.

This plugin is very easy to use, you can remove all unnecessary things and clean up your database with the click of a button.

Recommended Alternative: WP-DBManager

Mandatory WordPress Plugins

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Contact Form 7

The most popular and free contact form plugin for WordPress. Contact from 7 is undoubtedly one of the most important and must have WordPress plugins. This plugin is very easy to use and provides you all the important features which you need on your contact page.

Recommended Alternative: Usernoise


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WP Smush.it

It's really important for any site to optimizes images files to help improve site speed. And doing it manually for every image can be a real task, WP Smush.it is a plugin which comes to your rescue as it automatically runs the images through optimization process behind the scene.

Recommended Alternative: EWWW Image Optimizer


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Bloom email opt-in plugin is one of the best mailing list busing plugins for WordPress, and it offers tons of options regarding design and templates.

It comes with more than 100 ready to use email subscription templates which you can use on your site, or you can customize them as per your requirement.

Not only design but Bloom offers you some options for placement of the form as well; you can show a nice looking attractive popup which you can trigger depending on many factors, you can page sidebar widget or place it below each post as per your requirement.

Recommended Alternative: Thrive Leads


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WP Notification Bar Pro

We always promote this plugin wherever possible because we believe this as one of the most useful plugins for WordPress, and we use this plugin in SourceWP to showcase special offers whenever we have any.

A notification bar plugin is very important for any WordPress blog or even the business site because a nicely designed notification bar is the best way to capture the attention of your visitors. A quality notification bar plugin like this can do a lot more than just capturing the attention.

With this bar plugin you can create text link, button link, countdown to show any special offer and the timing of the offer, you can use this plugin to show the social share and follow links to encourage your users to follow your site, you can also use this bar plugin as an opt-in email form.

The plugin is extremely easy to use, once you activate it; you will get the option to set up the bar in the WordPress admin called notification bar. It works like a custom post type; you can set all the details of your bar and choose the type of bar from a variety of options such as text, button, email subscription, countdown timer, social media button, popup video, search form and a lot more.

Recommended Alternative: Hellobar

WP Notification Bar Plugin

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BJ Lazy Load

Lazy loading makes your site load faster and saves bandwidth by making the images load lazily. Uses jQuery and degrade gracefully for non-js users. It automatically serves scaled down images in responsive designs.

Recommended Alternative: Advanced lazy load


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Broken Link Checker

Broken links can affect your site negatively as far as SEO is concerned. This is the best WordPress plugin to check the broken links on your site so that you can fix those. The SEO agencies will charge you hundreds of dollars to fix the SEO related issues like finding the broken links and fixing theme, and here is a top quality free plugin which will do that job for you.

Broken Link Checker

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My WP Backup Pro

My WP Backup Pro is a very strong backup plugin for WordPress which is created by MyThemeShop; I am a huge fan of the MyThemeShop products be it the themes or the plugin. In all their products, they bring in a user-friendly interface so that even a complete newbie can make the best use of it and they maintain a high standard regarding quality.

This backup plugin will help you to keep your WordPress blog safe in any circumstances. This WordPress backup plugin offers you all the features which you may expect in a high-quality backup plugin.

With this plugin, you can schedule automated backup of your WordPress site data and files to any email of your choice; you can also take the backup manually if you want to. The restoration process is also quick and easy.

With My WP Backup Pro plugin, you can backup your site to any FTP, backup to email, backup to Google Drive, Dropbox, you can also backup your site to Amazon S3 and Amazon Glacier as per your requirement, with this plugin you will never fall short of options.

You have some amazing paid alternatives like Vaultpress and BackupBuddy which will offer you quality service for backing up your WordPress site.

Recommended Alternative: BackupBuddy

My WP Backup Pro

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WordPress Subscribe Pro

An email subscription plugin is one of the must have WordPress plugins for any site because your email list can be a great source of traffic over the time. WordPress Subscribe Pro is a great plugin which is not as costlier as other similar plugins, and it offers you some option to optimize your subscription form.

We are using this plugin in SourceWP, and it works, this plugin offers you some options regarding the placement of the email subscription widget. You can also set fully customized popup to capture emails of your users which the complete control over the trigger timing.

Recommended Alternative: OptinMonster


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Above mentioned WordPress plugins are some of the most important and must have WordPress plugins to start with your WordPress site. However, you can add more plugin to bring in more features to your site.

Some additional important WordPress plugins mentioned below which can take your site to the next level by adding some important features to WordPress


If you want to create community site on WordPress platform, you will have to use this plugin. BuddyPress is also an open source software like WordPress, and I think the most effective and easiest tool to create a social networking site.

However, BuddyPress doesn't work with all the WordPress themes; you will have to install a WordPress theme which supports BuddyPress.

We have already listed out the best BuddyPress themes; you can select any of these themes and get started with your community site.


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PubSubHubbub plugin is a simple way to let people know in real-time when your blog is updated. PubSubHubbub is widely adopted and is used by Google Reader, Google Alerts, and many other services.


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Redirection is a WordPress plugin to manage 301 redirections, keep track of 404 errors, and tidy up any loose ends your site may have. This is particularly useful if you are migrating pages from an old website or are changing the directory of your WordPress installation.


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P3 Profiler

Once you install all the required and must have WordPress plugins, you will need this plugin to keep track of the resource used by each plugin and how it is affecting your site. This plugin creates a profile of your WordPress site's plugins' performance by measuring their impact on your site's load time.


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There are some amazing WordPress plugins which are not listed in this list. Above mentioned plugins are the must have WordPress plugins to get started with and enough to run your site effectively unless you want to bring in some specific functionality to your site.

Do share your point of view and your favorite WordPress sites using the comment section below.

20 Must-Have WordPress Plugins for 2018
3.8 (76.3%) 27 votes
  • siddaiah thiruptai

    Hi Dhiraj,
    Your Website Theme is more appealing and colorful, coming to this article all your mentioned plugins i am using except BJ Lazyload, i didnt heard about this plugin, now i will try this plugin, thanks for sharing, your images are dominating text to read kindly take care, go ahead.

  • Thanks Siddaiah

  • Paddy lock

    Great article.

    highly recommend you to see this plugins

  • I have used some of them and i found them very useful.

  • When you start a blog, use plug-ins that are essential for getting traffic to your site. Also, it is important to use plug-ins that will protect your website against common security threats.

  • Amica Catherine


  • I don’t know what I’d do without Vaultpress. I had a scare a little while back when my blog went down and I thought I got hacked and was so scared I was going to lose everything. After that, I was happy to pay the $5 a month so I could rest easy at night. I haven’t tried Optin Monster yet, but have heard such great things about it and plan on purchasing it in a month or so. What a great list

  • Broken Link Checker it’s a good plugin to have an idea how your links are doing. It’s quite important to have a real grasp of what is happening with your site at all times. And it’s these things that you don’t actually notice that can drag your site down.

  • Thanks for stopping by

  • Kabuto Ajime

    i using plugins messenger facebook,and i am very satisfied with this plugins. it helped me find and contact potential customer,
    it will help you directy clinet support.

  • Michael Amaral

    Your mentioned plugins are good.
    Specially PubSubHubBub is interesting one.
    Try out Horizontal Blog Template plugin which is also good.