Looking for the best WordPress plugins to take your business to the next level in 2021?
There are over 58,000+ WordPress plugins that you can choose from. This makes it extremely overwhelming for new users to find the right plugin for their website.
We are often asked by readers for the best WordPress plugin suggestions for SEO, social media, backups, speed, etc.
Being the largest WordPress resource site, our experts test over a thousand best paid and free WordPress plugins every year, so we can make it easy for our users (you) to find the best solutions.
Having the right set of WordPress plugins and tools can help you grow your online business. In this article, we have shared our expert pick of the must-have WordPress plugins for business websites in 2021.
Note: these are the plugins that our team installs when we start a new blog or make a new website for our own businesses.
Every website needs a contact form because it makes it easy for your visitors to get in touch with you. WPForms is the most user-friendly contact form plugin for WordPress.
This drag & drop online form builder allows you to easily create contact forms, email subscription forms, online order forms, payment forms,
surveys, polls, and basically all other types of online forms with just a few clicks.
WPForms integrates with all popular marketing and payment platforms, so you can build powerful forms in less than 5 minutes.
It comes with powerful features that simply don’t exist in other form builders such as conversational forms, form landing pages, user journey tracking, form abandonment, geolocation tracking, GDPR friendly, custom WordPress user registration and login forms, etc.
We use WPForms on the WPBeginner website and all of our other websites. But we’re not alone. Over 4 million websites use WPForms, and they have consistently maintained a 4.9 out of 5-star rating average for over 4 years now.
There’s a free WPForms Lite version available for those who are looking for a simple solution.
If you are seriously looking to grow your business, then we recommend getting the Pro version because it comes with all the powerful features you need to boost your lead generation efforts. Use this WPForms coupon to get 50% off your purchase.
Alternative: Formidable Forms is an excellent alternative for creating advanced solution-focused WordPress forms.
MonsterInsights is the best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. It allows you to “properly” connect your website with Google Analytics, so you can see exactly how people find and use your website.
The best part is that it shows you all the important stats that matter right inside your WordPress dashboard.
You can then optimize your website accordingly to increase your traffic, subscribers, and revenue. We have detailed guides on how to install Google Analytics in WordPress, how to use Google Analytics to enable eCommerce tracking, and how to track user engagement.
MonsterInsights has a free version, but the true power of it only unlocks when you upgrade to the premium version.
You can use our MonsterInsights coupon to get 50% off your purchase.
MonsterInsights is used by over 2 million websites.
3. All in One SEO
SEO helps you get more visitors from search engines to your website. While WordPress is SEO-friendly out of the box, there is so much more you can do to increase your website traffic using SEO best practices.
All in One SEO (AIO SEO) is one of the most popular WordPress plugins of all time. It is used by over 2 million websites.
Out of all the WordPress SEO plugins, AIO SEO offers the most comprehensive solution with all the features and tools that you need to improve your on-page SEO.
It helps you add meta tags, generate sitemaps, connect your site to Google Search Console, optimize it for social media, and more.
Their team is continuing to innovate and add new SEO features to help you improve your SEO rankings.
For complete SEO setup on your website, follow our complete AIO SEO setup guide and then our ultimate WordPress SEO tutorial for beginners.
There’s also a free version of AIO SEO available. However, the pro version includes more powerful features like WooCommerce SEO, local SEO, smart schema, and much more.
To save 50% on the pro version, see our All in One SEO coupon.
Alternative: Yoast SEO is another good alternative for AIO SEO.
4. Constant Contact
Email is the most effective and most reliable marketing tool at your disposal as a business owner. It allows you to stay in touch with your users even after they leave your website. This is why we recommend every business owner start building an email list right away.
Constant Contact is one of the most popular email marketing service providers in the world.
Their platform allows you to build an email list and send beautiful email newsletters to your subscribers.
It offers a quick and easy setup for non-techy users. It also works well with popular lead generation plugins for WordPress like OptinMonster and WPForms.
Alternatives: SendinBlue and ConvertKit are good alternatives if you want something more advanced, but they are more pricey.
OptinMonster is the most popular conversion rate optimization software in the market. It allows you to convert abandoning website visitors into email subscribers and customers.
This WordPress plugin and application helps you get more email subscribers and sales, fast.
You can use their hundreds of high-converting templates to create WordPress popups, slide-ins, announcement bars, gamified spin a wheel, and full-screen welcome mats to capture user’s attention.
Each opt-in form or campaign template can be easily customized with their drag & drop builder.
OptinMonster’s powerful display targeting features allow you to personalize the campaigns for each user, so you can show the right message at the right time.
It’s a great solution for bloggers, business websites, and eCommerce websites. Basically, if you want to make more money from your website traffic, then you need OptinMonster.
It helps you recover abandoned cart sales, convert website visitors, and grow your email list. Read these case studies to see how much success other businesses are having by using OptinMonster.
We use OptinMonster on WPBeginner and our other websites.
There’s a free version of OptinMonster available if you signup from inside the WordPress plugin.
SeedProd is the best drag and drop page builder for WordPress. It allows you to easily customize your website design and create custom page layouts without writing any code.
Business owners love it because it lets them create completely custom landing pages within minutes without having to hire a developer.
You can choose from over 100+ beautifully designed templates, or create a completely custom layout from scratch with their easy-to-use drag & drop WordPress page builder (no coding needed).
There have pre-made templates for landing pages, sales pages, thank you pages, webinar registration pages, coming soon pages, maintenance mode pages, 404 pages, and more.
SeedProd comes with a smart design system, so you can save time by re-using elements instead of doing repetitive work. You can define color schemes, save font combinations, page templates, custom blocks, sections, and more.
It has all the blocks and features that you would expect from a powerful page builder such as opt-in forms, social profiles, countdown timers, contact forms, buttons, various content blocks, and more.
It also comes with built-in subscriber management and seamless integration with third-party email marketing services and CRM software.
Alternative: Beaver Builder and Divi page builder plugins are great alternatives with powerful features. You can also try CSS Hero for theme customization.
MemberPress allows you to build online courses, communities, and membership sites using WordPress. It is the best WordPress membership plugin in the market.
You can create subscriptions and restrict content access to users based on their subscription plans. It works with all popular payment solutions and plays nicely with online stores using WooCommerce as well.
MemberPress comes with many other powerful features including drip content, course management (LMS), group memberships, powerful access rules, automation features, and more.
For detailed instructions, see our guide on how to make a membership website in WordPress.
You can connect MemberPress with all email marketing platforms to communicate with your customers.
MemberPress helps creators generate over $500 million dollars in revenue each year.
UpdraftPlus is the most popular WordPress backup plugin on the market. It allows you to set up automatic backups and safely store them on a remote location like Google Drive, Dropbox, S3, Rackspace, FTP, email, and more.
It also makes it super easy to restore your website from a backup. Their base plugin is free, but they also have a paid plan with extra features and priority support.
Alternative: BackupBuddy and VaultPress (Jetpack Backups) are also excellent solutions, but they are paid only.
9. WP Rocket
WP Rocket is the best WordPress caching plugin on the market. It allows you to instantly improve your WordPress website speed and performance with no technical skills required.
It automatically turns on recommended WordPress caching settings like gzip compression, page cache, and cache pre-loading. You can also turn on optional features like lazy loading images, CDN support, DNS pre-fetching, minification, and more to further improve page load times.
Most importantly, WP Rocket doesn’t wait for someone to request a page to save it in the cache. It automatically crawls and builds your website cache which results in an instant performance boost.
WP Rocket also offers Imagify which is a free image optimization service to help you speed up your website even further.
This is by far the easiest and most beginner-friendly caching plugin. The only downside is that it’s paid only.
Alternative: WP Super Cache is free, but it’s not as powerful or easy.
Security should be a top priority for all online business owners. Sucuri offers a WordPress security plugin and web application firewall that is probably one of the best protection you can get for your site.
They monitor and protect your site from DDoS, malware threats, XSS attacks, brute force attacks, and basically every other type of attack. If you don’t have a firewall on your website, then you need to add one today.
To learn more on how to strengthen the security of your website and protect your business, see our ultimate WordPress security guide with step-by-step instructions for beginners.
Sucuri helps us block hundreds of thousands of attacks every month on WPBeginner.
RafflePress is the best WordPress giveaway plugin on the market. It allows you to instantly increase your website traffic, get more social media followers, and email subscribers with viral giveaways and contests.
RafflePress comes with an easy drag and drops giveaway builder along with proven giveaway templates that you can use to create a giveaway that attracts visitor’s attention.
To enter the giveaway, website visitors must use their email addresses. This helps you get more subscribers to your email newsletter.
RafflePress incentivizes users to follow your social profiles and share the giveaway with their friends to get more entries into the contest. This helps you increase social media engagement.
Word-of-mouth marketing helps you get more traffic, FASTER! This results in more followers, more sales, and more revenue!
You can easily connect your social profiles, WordPress form plugins, and all popular marketing platforms and CRMs.
RafflePress has a free version called RafflePress lite that you can get started with. If you want more powerful features to skyrocket your growth, then you need to use RafflePress Pro.
WPBeginner users can use our RafflePress coupon code: wpbeginner20 to get an additional 20% off.
PushEngage is the best web push notification plugin for WordPress. It allows you to send targeted messages and announcements to your website visitors using the browser push notification technology.
We use push notifications alongside our email newsletter to increase our customer engagement and website traffic.
Push notifications are consistently a top 5 traffic source for WPBeginner.
PushEngage comes with all the powerful features like drip campaigns, a/b testing, dynamic user segmentation, opt-in reminders, powerful analytics, goal tracking, and more.
For eCommerce websites, it can automatically trigger cart abandonment notifications, price drop alerts, inventory alert notifications, and more.
For bloggers & publishers, it can automatically send out new blog post notifications to all of your subscribers.
PushEngage works seamlessly on all website builder platforms including WordPress, Shopify, Bigcommerce, and more.
They have a PushEngage WordPress plugin that makes it easy to enable web push notifications on your website.
The best part about PushEngage is that they DO NOT sell your data unlike every other provider in that space.
Alternative: OneSignal is another popular alternative, but they sell your data on free plans.
13. Uncanny Automator
Uncanny Automator is the best WordPress automation plugin. It allows you to connect your existing WordPress plugins to work together without writing any code, so you can automate routine admin tasks and save time/money.
It seamlessly integrates with the most popular WordPress plugins and third-party platforms, so you can easily build automation recipes without hiring a developer.
You simply choose from over 90 triggers and actions to create “if this then that” style recipes on your WordPress site (no code needed).
In plain English, it helps your WordPress plugins talk to each other, so they work better together. Think of it like Zapier, but for WordPress.
What’s even better is that you can even connect two separate WordPress sites to work together without writing any code. This is very useful for online stores and membership sites.
Some example use-cases include:
- Have 2 WordPress sites talk to each other – sell products on one while creating users & setup access on another.
- Create buttons that can automatically create user accounts and perform other actions in WordPress.
- Add custom user attributes to user profiles based on user actions.
- Trigger automation recipes in one plugin from the action taken by another plugin (for example, submission of WPForms can be used to create an order in WooCommerce).
- Connect your WordPress site with 1000+ external services using a single Zapier integration.
- … and so much more
LearnDash is the best WordPress LMS plugin to create and sell online courses from your WordPress website. It has a drag and drops course builder that allows you to quickly add lessons, quizzes, and assignments to build your course.
For detailed step-by-step instructions, see our guide on how to create online courses in WordPress using LearnDash.
Alternative: MemberPress now offers a robust course creator as part of their membership plugin.
15. Google Workspace (formerly G Suite)
Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) is a suite of web applications like email, docs, spreadsheets, etc. Created by Google, this powerful set of office applications is cheaper, easy to deploy, and hassle-free.
It allows you to save costs on software licenses, hardware, hiring IT staff, managing backups, and more. Most importantly it allows you to use professional email addresses with your own business domain name right inside Gmail.
Alternative: You can also get a free business email from your WordPress hosting provider or use Microsoft Office365.
SEMRush is an all-in-one marketing toolkit for digital marketing professionals and business owners. It comes with powerful tools to help you improve your SEO, paid traffic strategy, social media, and content & PR strategy.
It also helps you gather competitive intelligence on your competitors, so you can outrank them and dominate your industry.
We use their tool to do keyword research, backlink audit, track brand mentions, spy on competitors, discover best-performing posts and pages on social media, ad strategy analysis, keyword rank tracking, and more.
These short paragraphs are not enough to describe the true power of SEMRush. It’s a must-have tool on our list for serious business owners.
LiveChat Inc is the best live chat support software for businesses and e-commerce websites. It is super easy to use and allows you to quickly add live chat on your WordPress website.
It has tons of customization options, and it comes with a mobile app, so you can provide real-time support.
It integrates with your existing support software, CRM, email marketing, and other tools. Most importantly, it loads fast and offers a great user experience.
The team behind LiveChat also created ChatBot.com which is the best AI-powered chatbot software. You can use it in combination with LiveChat to ensure your users always get the fastest response with the help of AI + human.
Alternative: Sendinblue Chat is another popular service that lets you connect to chat, CRM, SMS, Facebook, and email in one platform.
18. Pretty Links Pro
Pretty Links Pro is one of the best link management plugins for WordPress. It allows you to easily manage affiliate links while making it easy to make your affiliate links short and memorable for sharing.
It is the perfect tool for affiliate marketers, podcasters, business owners, and others who want to easily create short URLs in WordPress.
Alternative: ThirstyAffiliates is an excellent alternative for affiliate marketers with lots of powerful features.
19. Shared Counts
Shared Counts is the best WordPress social media plugin that allows you to easily add beautiful social sharing buttons on your website.
It also shows share counts, which helps you add social proof to your website.
While there are many paid solutions available, this free plugin beats them all in code quality and performance.
We use SharedCount on a lot of our websites because it offers an easy out-of-the-box solution for both beginners and developers.
If you want to display more social proof by automatically showing your latest Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube content on our site, then take a look at Smash Balloon plugins. They’re used by 1.4 million websites, and it’s the top social media feed plugin in WordPress.
20. WP Mail SMTP
By default, WordPress uses the PHP mail function to send emails. The problem is that either WordPress hosting companies don’t have this feature set up properly, or they block it to prevent abuse.
This basically means that you and your users may not receive important email notifications from your WordPress site.
WP Mail SMTP solves this problem by sending WordPress emails using a proper SMTP mail server. To learn more, see our article on how to fix the WordPress not sending email issue.
Pro tip: The paid version called WP Mail SMTP Pro comes with a white-glove setup and more features. Basically, their support staff will set it up and connect it to use your SMTP service provider.
21. Insert Headers and Footers
While managing your WordPress site, you may sometimes need to add code snippets to your WordPress header or footer for verification, inserting ad retargeting scripts, etc.
Insert Headers and Footer allows you to easily add code snippets to your WordPress site without editing your theme files. Take a look at our tutorial on how to add header and footer code in WordPress.
This free plugin is extremely handy for business owners.
By default, WordPress does not allow you to easily create a multilingual website. This is a challenge for businesses that cater to a multilingual customer base in different geographic locations.
This is where you’ll need WPML. It is a WordPress multilingual plugin that allows you to easily create multi-lingual websites with WordPress.
It is very easy to use, SEO friendly, and helps you easily create content in different languages.
Alternative: TranslatePress is an excellent alternative that’s growing fast.
WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress used by over 5 million websites.
It comes with all the powerful features that you need to create an online store.
Over the last few years, WooCommerce has established itself as the most dominant eCommerce plugin for WordPress. There’s even a WooCommerce ecosystem now with dedicated WooCommerce hosting, WooCommerce themes, and WooCommerce plugins available.
Pro Tip: If you’re looking to start an eCommerce store with WooCommerce, then try Bluehost’s new eCommerce plan. It comes with over $1000+ premium WooCommerce extensions for free such as subscriptions, bookings, and more.
Companion plugin: TrustPulse helps you instantly win customer trust with social proof and FOMO.
Alternative: BigCommerce is a fully-hosted headless eCommerce platform for WordPress. It offers high scalability and low maintenance for serious store owners.
Nextiva is the best business phone service in terms of features and ease of use. They allow you to get a business phone number for your website which comes with advanced call routing, unlimited free domestic calling, voicemail to email or text, online faxing, and more.
The best part is that you can receive calls from your business phone number straight to your cell phone which is excellent for small businesses. You can also set business hours, so you are not getting disturbed during holidays or non-work hours.
Their platform also offers CRM, live chat, online surveys, and other communication features. You can manage it all in a simple web-based admin panel which makes it easy for small business owners to easily manage everything like a pro.
We use Nextiva VOIP for our business because it’s one of the most affordable and most reliable business phone services that grow with your business.
Alternative: RingCentral is another highly recommended phone service and business VoIP provider.
Aside from the top 24 WordPress plugins and tools that we mentioned above, we also use and recommend the following tools to better manage our WordPress sites:
- Grammarly – excellent grammar checking tool that comes with plagiarism detector, vocabulary enhancement, and more.
- PublishPress – this plugin makes it easy for us to manage our editorial workflow in WordPress.
- Antispam Bee – An excellent plugin to improve the comments section with reduced spam on your website. It works particularly well when used alongside Akismet.
- Smash Balloon – it’s the #1 social feeds plugin for WordPress used by 1.4 million websites. You can use it to easily display custom Instagram feeds, Facebook feed, Twitter feed, YouTube feed, and even a full social wall. You can also try the free version of Smash Balloon plugins.
- Adobe Photoshop – this makes it easy for us to create blog thumbnails and other images for our articles.
- MaxCDN – this helps us speed up our website by geographically spreading our content to multiple servers (see: what is a CDN)
- Envira Gallery – we use this plugin to help us create better galleries with albums.
- Codeable – a platform that helps you work with vetted WordPress developers to troubleshoot problems and make customizations.
This concludes our list of the best WordPress plugins for business websites.
Depending on your business, you may not need to use all the WordPress plugins and tools mentioned in our list, but it’s pretty common for our readers to end up using at least 15 to 18 solutions that we have mentioned.