WordPress is a great platform right out of the box, but it’s real power comes from plugins. Plugins are addons that expand the functionality of your website. They can be something as simple as adding a new font and as complex as turning your site into a fully functioning online store. Below I’ve put together a list of 20 popular WordPress plugins to help you get your website up and running.

Security and Site Backups


Wordfence is an all-in-one WordPress security plugin that offers both free and paid versions.


UpdraftPlus is a very capable site backup solution with free and paid versions.


Clef allows you to log in to your website securely using your smartphone.



WooCommerce is the most popular e-commerce platform on the internet. It’s extremely capable, very customizable, and free. It can take a little more expertise for more advanced setups.


Shopify is a powerful e-commerce platform in it’s own right and recently they built a plugin to run your Shopify store housed in your WordPress website. It’s very easy to get started with Shopify and their entry level plans are very affordable.

Optimize Your Website

WP Smush

WP Smush is a free image optimizer and compressor. It reduces the file size of your images to help them load faster.

W3 Total Cache

Helps set up your website to take advantage of different tools to make it load faster. 


WP-Optimize helps keep your website database clean and helps you manage how many page and post revisions are stored.

Utilities and Tools

Shortcodes Ultimate

Shortcodes Ultimate is a handy free plugin that helps with things like columns, tabs, accordian links and buttons.

Regenerate Thumbnails

Sometimes when you change themes or page templates, image sizes need to be updates to fit the new layout. This free plugin recreates all the new image thumbnails.


Jetpack is like the Swiss army knife of plugins. It does a little bit of everything from creating contact forms to social sharing and site stats. Jetpack is a great place to start out.

Ninja Forms

Ninja forms is an excellent and easy to use free contact form plugin. You can create new forms quickly and there are lots of add on options available.

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO is literally the gold standard for SEO plugins. It helps you properly tag all your pages and posts and helps you create SEO friendly content.

Antispam Bee

Antispam Bee is the best free antispam plugin you can get for WordPress and it does a great job at keeping your site spam free.

Google Analytics by MonsterInsights

Google Analytics by MonsterInsights is one of the best Google Analytics plugins avaialable. It makes the setup process quick and simple.

TinyMCE Advanced

TinyMCE Advanced adds new options to the standard WordPress text editing tool.


TablePress makes it easy to add custom tables to posts and pages without having to code them.


WP Mail SMTP switches from the defaul WordPress email system to your custom email server using SMTP. This makes emails sent from WordPress much more reliable.


SumoMe provides a set of tools for your website to help you do things like collect email addresses and run heatmaps and analytics.

Duplicate Post

Duplicate Post allows you to quickly make copies of posts or pages so you can edit from an existing template or layout.