21 Best WordPress Plugins You Must Have in 2018

The ultimate handpicked list of the best WordPress plugins in 2018 .

Best WordPress Plugins 2018

If you want the best WordPress plugins for blogs, you have come to just the right place. We are covering the best free WordPress plugins. WordPress has the highest market share among CMSs around the globe. WordPress has been beating competitors like Wix and Squarespace for the last several years.

WordPress is equally loved by both developers and users alike. The growth rate of WordPress is phenomenal in the last few years. It has also become hard to secure WordPress without a proper WordPress Security Guide as hackers are always targeting WordPress.

WordPress User Stats

Best WordPress Plugins for WordPress

If you haven’t known about WordPress plugins, STOP! Read why WordPress plugins are essential for WordPress ecosystem and how to add some new plugins. When WordPress launched back in 2004, things were not as smooth as right now. It was not until 2004 when Matt Mullenweg and his team added support for plugins in WordPress. Since then, it has been a smash hit, and WordPress plugins opened up the whole new opportunity for developers. Currently, WordPress is going through some major changes with Gutenberg, although there’s controversy about its reception to a wide audience.

Choosing the best WordPress plugins from 45000 plugins was not an easy task as the preference for plugins varies from users to user.

How WP Hive Chose The Best WordPress Plugins

We have been using WordPress since last six years in various cases. We also have a local, specialized WordPress hosting company where we have hosted more than 200+ websites. We have analyzed, used hundreds of different plugins for different types of users. We have chosen the must-have WordPress plugins list by asking us these two questions

1. Is it absolutely necessary?
2. Does it add essential features which will benefit users?

We asked these questions to ourselves; then we handpicked the most helpful WordPress plugins in various categories including caching, performance, SEO, Stats, Project Manager, Accounting, Optimization, Security and more.

best free wordpress plugins

Best WordPress Caching Plugins

  1. WP Super Cache
  2. Cometcache
  3. WP Rocket
#1 WP Super Cache

WP Super Cache

When it comes to caching, our most favorite plugins will be Automattic’s WP Super Cache. Whether it is PHP caching or Apache’s mod_rewrite, WP Super Cache handles it all.

#2 Cometcache (formerly known as Quick Cache)

Comet Cache

Comet Cache has been around for a long time. It was known as Quick Cache initially, then it was renamed as Zen Cache and now it is known as Comet Cache. Over the years, the plugin has matured a lot and performs like a champ. If you are looking for PHP Caching, then Comet Cache will be our best bet.

#3 WP Rocket

WP Rocket is famous for all around capability. It is a full optimization/caching plugin. It offers many features as it is a paid plugin. WP Rocket can be the best option if you are looking for a Premium plugin regarding caching.

Best WordPress SEO Plugins

If it were before 2017, we would have happily rank Yoast SEO as #1 as the best WordPress SEO plugin. However, Yoast provided many bad updates in 2017, resulting from ranking drops for its users, so our champion for SEO would be All in One SEO Pack

  1. All in One SEO Pack

All in One SEO Pack

2. Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO

As we said, Yoast comes second.

3. SEO Framework (This new kid on the block has a lot under its sleeves)

The SEO Framework

SEO Framework keeps things simple and also have tons of SEO goodness. If you like simplicity, then you will certainly like SEO Framework.

Top WordPress Comments Plugins

The default WordPress plugins do not support a lot of customization and do not have the ability to login with social media websites such as Facebook or Twitter. Our #1 pick as the best WordPress Comment plugin would be Disqus

1. Disqus Comment Plugin – Speedy loading, great UX, works as expected

Disqus Comment System

2. Jetpack Comments

Jetpack by WordPress.com

Jetpack has a lot of features under one plugin. It is backed by Automattic and also packs a useful comments feature.

3. Facebook Comments (Consider increased loading time)

Lazy FB Comments

If you want to integrate Facebook Comments, Lazy FB Comments can be a good option. The official Facebook comments can slow down your website and can have bad impact on page load, but this one will not slow down your facebook commenting system.

Best WordPress Plugins for Spam Blocking

Our top spam blocking plugin recommendations would be Akisment and Anti-Spam.

  1. Akismet – Akismet is the most used WordPress plugin for spam blocking. It comes by default for every new WordPress installation. It works remarkably well for blocking spam.

Akismet Anti-Spam

2. Anti-Spam – Anti-Spam also works surprisingly well for blocking spam on your website. This plugin has more 200K installs and more than 5-star reviews

Anti-spam

Best WordPress Optimization Plugin

There are some plugins that do on the fly performance optimizations such as minifying CSS, JS for WordPress. Our #1 pick in this regard would Autoptimize.

  1. Autoptimize – Works remarkably well for a vast number of themes. Has great customizing options, just as you want them.

Autoptimize

Autoptimize does its job so well that we did not bother looking for runners up in this case.

Top WordPress Backup Plugin

During our coverage of WordPress Security Guide, we mentioned that backing up is one of the crucial ways to avoid unplanned data loss and data risks. There are many great plugins for backing up as well. Our top list for backing up is,

  1. WordPress Backup Buddy – WordPress Backup Buddy has long been a great friend for WordPress devs. It is a very useful plugin to take staging sites from localhost to live hosting. However, the plugin is not free

Best Free Plugins for WordPress Backup

Our pick for the best free WordPress backup plugin would be Duplication.

1. Duplicator – Duplicator works remarkably well f0r backing up and restore. Moreover, it also provides the option to change site name while restoring. So if you are changing hosting, or domain name, this can be a great help for a complete migration.

Duplicator – WordPress Migration Plugin

2. WP DB Manager – WP DB Manager works great to backup your databases. As you probably know database security is very important as we mentioned in our WordPress Security Guide. WP DB Manager can backup your database and email it to you weekly, daily or on monthly basis. You can save those backup directly to Cloud Storage services like Dropbox or Amazon AWS

WP-DBManager

Top Pick for WordPress Stats Plugin

Stats are vital for any websites. When working on a website, you need to know how is your traffic every day, and what are the referring websites. Sure, you can always use Google Analytics for that purpose. However, our top pick for Stats would be Jetpack Stats.

Best WordPress Stats Plugin: Jetpack

Jetpack by WordPress.com

Jetpack is a plugin made by Automattic, the mother company of WordPress itself. Jetpack has numerous useful features including Stats, CDN (Photon), Sign in security, Auto posting to Social Media and more.

Runners Up WordPress Stats Plugin: Google Analytics Dashboard for WP

Google Analytics Dashboard for WP by ExactMetrics (formerly GADWP)

The plugin connects Google Analytics directly to your WordPress Dashboard. You can take the full advantage of Analytics, right from your WordPress dashboard. Google Analytics Dashboard is an excellent plugin for Google Analytics lovers as you make the best usage of both WordPress and Analytics from your Dashboard.

Best WordPress Social Sharing Plugin

There are many social sharing plugins out there. Social Warfare, Add to Any, Monarch are some of the heavyweight players. In this case, after playing around with countless social sharing plugins, we have settled with one of the most basic, lightweight social sharing plugins.

Our #1 pick for best social sharing plugin for WordPress is Juiz Social Post Sharer

Juiz Social Post Sharer

You can add smartly designed buttons after/before your posts to allow visitors sharing your content (includes no JavaScript mode & counters). Hence, it loads wicked fast. Buttons are Retina/HDPI-ready, translation-ready and come with useful options and hooks. This plugin makes the perfect balance between speed, customization and simplicity.

#2 WP Social Sharing

Our second pick in the social sharing category is WP Social Sharing.

WP Social Sharing

WP Social Sharing is very lightweight. If you do not want tinker much with the settings, then WP Social Sharing will get you going as fast as possible.

Best WordPress eCommerce Plugins

Well, for eCommerce, we guess there’s no denying that WooCommerce is the ultimate champion

  1. WooCommerce – The best WordPress eCommerce Plugin Ever

WooCommerce

WooCommerce, the leading eCommerce plugin for WordPress, powers 14% of all the eCommerce sites on the whole Internet according to BuiltWith. That’s a massive number.

2. Dokan Multivendor 

Dokan Multivendor Marketplace

Dokan is a plugin from weDevs, which you can use to transform your website to multivendor, eBay like shops in just a few clicks. Dokan is simply the best front end multi-vendor marketplace on WordPress. Product uploading, editing, publishing – all can be done from the frontend. If you are planning to create a multi-vendor shop, then there’s no denying that Dokan is the undisputed champion regarding this.

3. Easy Digital Downloads

Easy Digital Downloads

Easy Digital Downloads is a very popular plugin among WordPress users to sell digital products on WordPress Whether it is software, documents, photos, ebooks, songs, graphics, or any other type of media file, Easy Digital Downloads provides a complete end to end solution so that you can sell products effortlessly.

Best WordPress Forms Plugin

Our first pick for Forms category is weForms. You might be wondering why I am leaving big players like Contact Form 7 and WP Forms?

weForms has better performance and coding standard than other plugins

weForms– Amazing Form Builder Plugin

weForms – Best Contact Form Plugin for WordPress

After carefully inspecting other plugins for forms, we think weForms is the best all-around form builder plugin for WordPress. You can drag and drop your elements to make new forms, and it’s easy to use them in posts and pages. You can read our blog on How to create custom forms using WordPress to learn more on about creating forms and using them.

Security Plugins for WordPress

You can always use our comprehensive WordPress Security Guide to protect your site from attacks and vulnerabilities.

[2018] WordPress Security 101: The Definitive WordPress Security Guide

However, if you indeed want to use a plugin for that, we would recommend using WordFence.

Wordfence Security – Firewall & Malware Scan

Wordfence provides malware scan, firewall, login security. However, this plugin is not free for most of the parts. So we would still recommend using our WordPress Security Guideline to make sure you are protected.

Best Project Manager Plugins

Many use WordPress to be more productive. Whether you are managing a company, organization, maintaining a team, club or just want to assign somebody a task – WP Project Manager has been our favorite. This is the first of its kind which helps to manage projects using WordPress.

#1 WP Project Manager

WP Project Manager

Best Accounting/HRM/CRM Plugins

When finding the best Accounting or HRM plugins, we did not have to look much further. The WP ERP plugin looked the most strong contender in this regard.

#1 WP ERP

WP ERP – HRM, CRM & Accounting Solution For WordPress

WP ERP is a combined HRM, CRM and Accounting solution for WordPress. The free version provides most of the basic features for free, however, the premium version has more than 20 different add-ons, covering all your needs.

Wrapping Up on Best WordPress Plugins

WordPress is growing every day. There are more than 45000 plugins already on the WordPress Plugins repository. If we missed covering an essential plugin, do let us know via comments.

If you do not want to test these plugins on a live site, consider installing WordPress on a separate server, or on localhost using WAMP or XAMP.

Follow our WordPress Tutorials for more beginner friendly tutorials

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