When you create a website or a blog on the WordPress.org platform, you have the opportunity to use a massive amount of plugins and tools. Some of them are free, while others cost some money.
As of May 1, 2020, there are over 56,000 WordPress plugins in the WordPress repository.
Some time ago, LoveUMarketing published the list of more than 60 most essential tools for bloggers and online entrepreneurs.
And when it comes to WordPress plugins, below, you will find an alphabetically sorted list of the best WordPress plugins used on AliveBetter blog in 2020.
I called this list AliveBetter’s List Of Plugins.
45+ Best WordPress Plugins (2020)
Akismet Anti-Spam is one of the most popular and the most useful plugins in the world for blocking spam in comments. It’s a free plugin that is also available in a paid version. The free version is good enough to solve the problem with spam.
Contrary to appearances, spam comments on the blog start appearing very quickly (even before it reaches any popularity), and also, as its popularity increases, this number can grow exponentially.
Automattic’s Akismet Anti-Spam will help you solve the problem quickly and effectively.
This plugin does not work as an anti-spam system for WordPress contact form (it’s for comments only).
If you scroll down this page, you will find two free and useful plugins that were released to protect WordPress contact forms from spammers. 🙂
This plugin was released to allow bloggers to create tweetable quotes like the one on the screenshot above.
So how to use this plugin?
After you install and activate the plugin, go to its settings.
Enter or paste your Twitter handle (without the ‘@’ symbol), check the “Use Short URL?” option, and click “Save Changes.”
In order to create a tweetable quote, you need to select and copy a block of text you are interested in. Then you should click the blue Twitter icon, which is available on the bar located above the text window.
Then you need to paste that short block of text into the field shown below.
There’s also one checkbox that you should check.
The second field should contain your Twitter handle (username).
As you can see, it’s not so difficult to use, and it will surely help you drive more traffic to your website from this popular social media platform.
Block Bad Queries is an excellent plugin for blocking requests that may be associated with attempted attacks on your website. It prevents, among other things, the SQL injection attack.
The plugin is available in the free and paid version. In conjunction with other plugins presented in this article and other recommendations that you can find on my blog, all you need is a free version of this plugin.
Even if you have any plugin for preventing brute force attacks, SQL injection, and other scenarios (you’ll find the best plugins for this purpose in this article), it’s highly recommended to make sure that you use a service that allows you to store a backup of your site outside of your web server.
Both services have been created by the same company. The difference between them is that BlogVault, in the cheapest package, offers only backup and migration services. MalCare, in the basic package, offers firewall and virus detection only.
Interestingly, I chose the cheapest version of BlogVault which was available in the plan for 5 websites,
and yet I have all the functions active (even real-time backup – creating copies in real time) as if it was the most expensive subscription!
If you consider all these facts, you will surely know why this is the best WordPress backup solution and why you should start using this plugin. ?
Classic Editor is a plugin designed to restore the classic WordPress editor that had been used for many years in many versions of the platform.
This plugin is mandatory for those who are not able to get used to the Gutenberg editor introduced with the 5.0 version of WordPress.
Companion Auto Update is a fantastic WordPress plugin that will help you keep your site updated since it updates WordPress plugins, themes, and the WordPress platform automatically.
Obsolete plugins, themes, and an outdated version of WordPress can contribute to potential attacks on your site.
In the settings of the plugin, you can change the frequency of searching for available updates. Personally, I use the hourly option, and I recommend setting it to anyone who manages any WordPress website.
In the bottom part of the screen above, you can see information about the probable incompatibility with the iThemes Security plugin (formerly known as Better WP Security).
In my case, the automatic update of plugins, themes, and WordPress runs smoothly.
With this amazing plugin, you don’t need to log into your WordPress dashboard every few hours and check for updates on and on. You can be sure that the last updated versions of your themes and plugins are the newest available.
This useful and amazing WordPress plugin doesn’t work by default with SiteGround hosting.
In order to make it work, you should click WP File Manager in the menu on the left (you will need to install and activate it first if you haven’t done that yet), right-click the wp-config.php file, choose Code Editor from the menu, and add the following line of code:
define( ‘AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED’, false);
to the file (just make sure to add it outside of any existing blocks of code).
When you click ‘Save & Close’ and refresh your WordPress dashboard, the plugin will start working as it should.
And if you’d like to choose another best hosting provider for your WordPress website, I can recommend you just one company – Kinsta.
This plugin adds an area with related posts at the bottom of every article.
There’s a chance that this feature could slightly improve user experience on your site, but bear in mind that this feature can be incompatible with some WordPress themes.
Disable Comments is a handy and popular plugin used to block the ability to write comments on WordPress-based sites.
At the beginning of May 2020, this plugin had over 1 million active installations and hundreds of reviews with an average score of 4.9/5.0.
This amazing free plugin displays the PHP version currently used on your server.
Easy Digital Downloads is a perfect WordPress plugin that allows you to sell digital products such as ebooks in PDF format and online courses.
On the other hand, if you’d like to sell physical products, you should create an online store using WooCommerce plugin.
This plugin creates a table of contents similar to the one on the screen above.
Elementor is recognized as one of the best and the most popular page builder plugins for WordPress.
At the end of March 2020, it had more than 4 million active installations.
This plugin has a lot of features such as drag & drop, which makes it easy to use for everyone and allows you to get started quickly.
Elementor works with almost every WordPress theme.
If you need another great WordPress page builder, you can try Beaver Builder.
13. Envato Market
This plugin helps to receive updates of the themes purchased on ThemeForest.
This is a great Google Analytics plugin that allows you to connect Google Analytics to a blog or a website easily.
Allows you to add entries to the <head></head> and <body></body> sections of the site code.
16. iQ Block Country
This plugin blocks visitors from the countries of your choice to access your website.
17. iThemes Security
iThemes Security is one of the most effective and most popular plugins that enhance the security of the WordPress platform. This plugin is available in both free and paid versions. The free version offers, in my opinion, an appropriate number of available options.
If you use this plugin, you should add Google robots’ IP addresses to the whitelist for more accessible and more efficient indexing of your site.
You can find that list in Global Settings -> Lockout White List.
The list of Google search engine IP addresses is available below. Just copy, paste, and save changes.
18. Ivory Search
As you might have noticed, some WordPress themes have a search box implemented by default. If your theme is not offering that option, you can add the box to your theme using Ivory Search plugin.
19. kk Star Ratings
This is a plugin created for implementing the reader rating mechanism. These ratings can be displayed in Google search results in the form of stars.
There is also another type of stars displayed in Google’s results. These are ratings of services or products assigned to them by the authors of the posts.
You can still use it if you want to, but your ratings will be visible only for those who visit your site. It won’t be visible in Google search results anymore. 😕
20. Migrate Guru
Migrate Guru is the best free plugin for WordPress site migration. It is very easy to use, and it allows you to transfer your site to almost every hosting provider.
What’s interesting, it is based on a perfect WordPress backup solution called BlogVault.
This plugin allows you to easily create a widget that increases the reach and popularity of your blog.
As you can see in the picture above, the widget includes a link to the fan page on Facebook and allows you to like it instantly using the included button.
Below is the information about the number of friends who have already liked the fan-page. In case if nobody from your friends has liked it before, it shows a sentence like: “Be the first person among your friends to like this fan page.”
Furthermore, this widget has the option of displaying the fan-page timeline, thanks to which your visitors can quickly review entries, like them, comment on them and share them on their own profiles.
Many websites have similar plugins. Nowhere, however, have I encountered the option of browsing posts from the fan-page directly in the widget on the site. After long hours of testing many different plugins for WordPress and attempting to customize the method given in Facebook support, I finally came across the Mongoose Page Plugin. In my case, this is the only plugin of this kind that really works!
22. My Simple Space
It’s a very interesting plugin that displays information about the current version of PHP and the amount of space used on the server’s disk by particular components – plugins, themes, photos, databases, etc.
OptinMonster is probably the best WordPress plugin to grow your email list.
These days, almost each WordPress website has an email list. Mine doesn’t have one because I decided not to create it.
Email lists usually require their prospective email subscribers to put in things like their first name, email address, and sometimes the last name. There are also many lists where your email address is all the needed information.
24. Rank Math SEO
Rank Math SEO is by far the best free WordPress plugin for SEO – it is not available in a premium version.
I discovered it after more than three years of blogging. Previously, I had been using Yoast SEO (which is also on this list).
Rank Math has a great handful of features that should satisfy every blogger and webmaster.
It allows you to: add your social media URLs to your website, set and check previews for two most prominent social media networks (Facebook and Twitter), create amazing XML sitemaps, find broken links, and much more.
With this plugin, you won’t connect your Google Analytics account to your site, but it’s not necessary.
There’s another great, free WordPress plugin for connecting Google Analytics on this list.
However, Rank Math is by far the best free SEO plugin, which will quickly help you bring more website visitors from search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckGo, etc.
Redirection is an excellent plugin that allows you to create redirects from one URL to another one easily. This option is useful if you change the URL of one of your articles or delete an old article (with some backlinks), and you want to create a redirect to another article or to the homepage to avoid a 404 error and pass some link juice to it.
It’s not a secret that nowadays there are a few very popular social media platforms on the market.
This plugin allows you to add social icons (with the links to your social media profiles) to your website.
Obviously, it’s not supposed to work as social proof of your site, but it’s good to let your visitors click and check your social media profiles.
Adds schema.org markups to the webpage. This is one of the quite important elements of SEO.
However, if you use Rank Math SEO, you don’t need any other plugin for this purpose.
28. Search & Replace
It is a handy and valuable plugin that allows you to solve quite often occurring mixed content problem.
You don’t need this plugin if your site is hosted at Kinsta since they have implemented their own, similar to this plugin, but even a much better solution.
29. SG Optimizer
ShortPixel Image Optimizer is the best WordPress plugin created to compress images uploaded to your site.
Although it’s not a search engine optimization plugin per se, it can improve your site speed and attract the attention of search engines to your website.
If you scroll down to the end of this post (or any other on this blog), you will surely notice an interesting author bio box at the bottom of my article.
If you’d like to create a similar box on your blog, I can recommend you using Simple Author Box plugin.
32. Simple Lightbox
This plugin allows you to create an effect of zooming in images when clicked. You can observe such an effect in many articles on this blog when images are not big enough to be “readable” but can be enlarged when you click them.
33. SiteOrigin CSS
This plugin allows you to modify the appearance of some elements of the site by adding the appropriate custom CSS code. It’s possible not only with the built-in code editor but also in visual mode.
34. Social Warfare
As the user of the Internet, you have noticed social sharing buttons on some sites at least a few times in your life. There’s nothing strange – social media activity is quite an essential ingredient of any blogger’s success.
Social Warfare is an excellent plugin (available in free and paid version), which allows you to place social sharing buttons on your blog.
With this functionality, your visitors will be able to share your content easily, and your blog has a chance to become more popular on each social media platform. And I’m sure you know that the number of social shares is a great social proof for your business.
It’s a great plugin that allows you to create tables similar to the one in the article about creating WordPress sites.
ThirstyAffiliates is a perfect plugin for managing affiliate links.
Its best and the most popular alternative is called Pretty Links.
37. Top 10
Some WordPress themes have the option of displaying the most popular posts. If your theme doesn’t, you can add this functionality to your site using Top 10 WordPress plugin.
This is the second one of the best WordPress security plugins in 2020. You can use it together with iThemes Security exactly as I do.
40. WP File Manager
It’s a file manager with options of copying, moving, deleting, renaming, editing files, and extracting archives.
This free plugin is not necessary in case of hosting offering server management via cPanel. On the other hand, it is mandatory for customers of majority hosting providers, such as Cloudways, Kinsta, or SiteGround.
With this plugin, you can temporarily display a screen informing readers of maintenance work. It’s useful, for example, if you change your site’s theme. Access to the website can be restored at any time once you feel everything is working correctly.
42. WP Rocket
For more information about this phenomenal WordPress caching plugin, go to this article.
If you want to find the best contact form plugin for WordPress, you should definitely give WPForms a try.
From my point of view, this is a way better solution than Contact Form 7, which is also one of the best free WordPress plugins of this type. However, Contact Form 7 needs a separate plugin (Contact Form 7 Honeypot) to filter out incoming spam messages.
WPForms works in a visual mode and is very user-friendly.
What’s interesting, it has a built-in effective anti-spam filter that works even better than that from CF7 Honeypot.
Furthermore, WPForms is an easy to use plugin, which makes it easy to create any contact form using its fantastic drag and drop feature!
If you are interested in creating contact forms for your websites, this is the contact form plugin you should be happy with the most.
44. WPS Hide Login
In the age of the internet, there may be occasional attempts to hack websites. One of such massive attacks took place in 2017. Sometimes the reasons are software vulnerabilities; other times, it may be a lack of knowledge or ignorance of the site administrator.
WordPress has a default login path to the admin panel. This path follows the format of domainname.extension/wp-admin or domainname.extension/wp-login.php. Often, this path is the main target of attacks. If the administrator of the website/blog additionally has a password that is relatively easy to guess, there is a quite high risk that the site will get hacked.
The WPS Hide Login plugin changes the default login path to the WordPress admin panel to an individual path defined by the site administrator, which should quite effectively hinder attempts to hack the site.
45. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO can help you get more website visitors from search engines like Google.
This plugin has a few useful features such as Google Analytics verification tool, integration of your social media profiles, XML sitemaps, etc.
If you want this plugin to find 404 errors on your website automatically, you have to use its premium version.
Best WordPress Plugins – Quick Summary
Most of the plugins mentioned above belong to the completely free category. A small part of them has both a free and paid version.
If you install and activate the majority of these plugins, WordPress will become much faster and more secure than before.
Besides, I recommend everyone to use the excellent BlogVault service to create real-time incremental backups and to protect WordPress sites against viruses and hackers.
This plugin also proves to be one of the best if you need to transfer your website from one hosting company to another one.
Rafał Alitojć is a graduate of two universities (PWSZ in Zamość and PJATK in Warsaw).
Besides, he is the founder & owner of AliveBetter blog, where you will find some cool information about blogging, SEO, marketing, and the techniques of making money online on your blog.