With that said when we sat down to compile this “best of list” we decided to focus on the apps we would call game changing first and then add a few notable shout outs that are more niche. So without further adieu let's take a look at what we consider the 10 best plugins for WordPress.
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Elementor which is available in both a highly capable free version and more feature-rich Pro version deserves to be at the top of this list. It has made the most significant change to our own website design and functioning especially when combined with extension packs and Advanced Custom Fields plugin.
To call Elementor a page builder is a gross understatement as it's more akin to a web platform that can build pretty much anything you can dream of on WordPress.
Due to the sheer magnitude of what it can do, you will need to keep an eye on your page load times as some people have experienced significant speed degradation issues. However in all honesty this is more likely a case of poor website hosting and options like WPX Hosting or Nestify should still ensure a sub-2-second load time.
Elementor Extension packs
As great as Elementor is you may find yourself looking for more templates and widgets to use in your website design and thankfully there are a number of excellent options from third-party developers.
Notable mentions include Dynamic Content for Elementor for more advanced developer focused features and the excellent JetElements and Happy Addons which are more designer focused by including page templates and user friendly design widgets.
Advanced Custom Fields
ACF is useful for creating custom user experiences for your website by capturing unique information that you can then use Elementor to dynamically show on certain pages.
As an example when someone signs up as a member on your website you can create a custom field for their name so whenever they are logged in they see an Elementor designed members page that greets them personally. You could even create pop-ups using that custom field again addressing them directly which is sure to improve conversion rates.
Now you might correctly be thinking that this is something you could always do on WordPress for a while now but you would have needed a dedicated membership plugin like Wishlist to achieve it in the past and even then it would have been tricky to connect it to an Elementor popup for example.
We use ACF all over Bootstrapps to save a huge amount of time through dynamic content insertion so that our staff can focus on more important tasks like updating live deals. You can try it out for yourself by downloading the free version of the plugin.
Fluent Forms makes this list for its ease of use to create advanced form types whilst also still having a lifetime deal running.
This is something that users of the similar WPForms wish they had taken advantage of when it was first released and in many ways, you will be pleasantly surprised to see how Fluent Forms may be a superior option for your workflow at a vastly superior price.
CartFlows only makes this list for websites using WooCommerce however the difference it makes to increasing your revenue per buyer means it deserves to be on this shortlist.
The ability to add e-commerce sales funnels with up-sell, cross-sell, down-sell and cart abandonment features all built into one plugin make this a top pick and an almost necessary next step if you use WooCommerce.
If you are wanting to manage your affiliate programme within WordPress there is only one choice in AffiliateWP.
Easy to use and quick to setup to get your affiliate marketing strategy up and running in no time. Also has advanced reporting features to get a better idea of how your affiliates are promoting you which any affiliate manager will appreciate.
Yoast has been the gold standard for improving SEO rankings on WordPress for years now and the premium version comes with useful features to enable multiple keyword rankings for all your content amongst other things.
The free version is a great introduction if you are not ready to buy the paid version.
If you are wanting to add membership functions to WordPress and don't want to be overwhelmed with all the settings (here's looking at you Wishlist Member) then Ultimate Member is the plugin for you.
It makes this list as the core plugin is free to use and when you want to add specific features you can pick and choose the premium functions you need instead of having to buy a whole range of features you may never use.
AMP for WP
Mobile browsing of your website is as important a factor and deserves the same attention as the desktop version and ignoring it is at your own peril.
At worst it may even risk your search engine rankings with the level of importance Google is now giving mobile website speed in its latest algorithm.
Needless to say, AMP for WP is a welcome solution that ensures the website experience is enjoyable for your mobile visitors which is always the ultimate goal.
Google Analytics is a must have on any website but having to manually login to their website and click about 5 links deep just to get a simple report is a real time waster.
Thankfully this plugin solves this problem. In fact, the analytify homepage guarantees you will save 5 minutes every day using it so the question is, “What is that worth to you?”
But the real value with this plugin is finding out key points about your website that you never would have seen before because of how cumbersome the Google Analytics interface is. This is worth its weight in gold.
Other Notable Mentions
Some of the options listed below are alternatives to the top 10 listed above.