What is the best WordPress plugin?

I get this question daily…everybody wants to know “what is the best WordPress plugin out there.”  My answer is always the same…”It depends on what you want to do.”

rocket fuelPlugins are an interesting animal, in a class all by themselves.  I like to think of them as the rocket fuel for your website.  The right plugins can propel your website further than you could ever imagine.

The wrong can spell disaster very quickly.  First, let’s define what a plugin really is…It’s essentially software that helps your website perform better.  In short, it extends the capabilities far beyond your chosen theme.

A good rule of thumb is to keep the number of plugins you use to about 5 -7 plugins.  If you use too many, you risk slowing down the load times for your site.  This translates into a poor customer experience.  WordPress literally has thousands of plugins to choose from.  I am going to cover what I have found to be some of the

I am going to cover what I have found to be some of the best free plugins

Let’s jump right in…

 All in One SEO Pack  / Yoast SEO   (it’s a tie!)

All in One SEO          Yoast SEO

  • They both do a fine job at automatically optimizing your content for the search engines.
  • I personally like All in One SEO slightly more, but that’s just a matter of personal preference.
  • Both are very intuitive and easy to use.  They are also updated very frequently, which is big in my book.
    • All in One SEO Average Review Score:  4.5 / 5.0
    • Number of Active Plugins Installed:  1 million +
    • Yoast SEO Average Review Score: 4.0 / 5.0
    • Number of Active Plugins Installed:  1 million +

Google XML Sitemaps

Google XML Sitemaps

  • This plugin helps you easily create an XML sitemap that the search engines use to index your content.
  • In spite of the name Google, this plugin also creates sitemaps for Bing and Yahoo.
  • Very user-friendly
    • Average Review Score: 5.0 / 5.0
    • Number of Active Plugins Installed:  1 million +


WP SpamShield

WP Spam Shield

  • Simply the best anti-spam protection out there for all types of spam.
  • This is an essential plugin.
    • Average Review Score: 5.0 / 5.0
    • Number of Active Plugins Installed:  100,000 +

Contact Form 7

contact form 7 plugin

  • This is my go to plugin to create a contact form to increase engagement on my websites.
  • Incredibly simple to use and very effective.
    • Average Review Score: 4.5 / 5.0
    • Number of Active Plugins Installed:  1 million +

Pretty Link Lite

Pretty Link Lite Plugin

  • This plugin is a shortener for links.
  • It takes long unattractive links and simplifies them.
  • It’s also especially useful to an Affiliate Marketer because it doesn’t appear to be an affiliate link.
    • Average Review Score: 4.2 / 5.0
    • Number of Active Plugins Installed:  100,000+

GM Block Bots

GM Block Bot Plugin

  • This plugin keeps spam referrers from ever reaching your website and Google Analytics.
  • Once loaded, it automatically works in the background protecting your site.
  • I installed this when I noticed that my stats in Google Analytics were spiking in a strange pattern…it worked like a charm!
    • Average Review Score: 4.5 / 5.0
    • Number of Active Plugins Installed:  7,000+

Floating Social Media Icon

Floating Social Media Icon Plugin

  • This plugin makes sharing your content on social media very easy.
  • It offers 20 different social media platforms that you can customize to your needs.
    • Average Review Score: 5.0 / 5.0
    • Number of Active Plugins Installed:  60,000+

Editorial Calendar

editorial calendar plugin

  • This is a great plugin to keep you organized and keep your content flowing
  • I like the ease of use combined with the power to edit posts within the calendar and drag and drop to different dates.
    • Average Review Score: 5.0 / 5.0
    • Number of Active Plugins Installed:  50,000+

Optimize Database after Deleting Revisions

Optimize Database After Revisions plugin

  • If you are like me, you have many versions of content.  This plugin is for cleaning up your WP database.
  • You choose how many revisions that you would like to keep and this plugin removes the extra revisions weighing down you WP database.
  • First time I used it, my database shrunk by 50% and has been running great ever since.  I set it up to run a monthly check.
    • Average Review Score: 5.0 / 5.0
    • Number of Active Plugins Installed:  50,000+

I admit that I really love plugins because there are so many great ones out there.  Although it was difficult to narrow things down to my ultimate 10, this exercise was well worth it!  One more that I would also add to the list is the ever popular SumoMe.

Thanks again for stopping by…Out of curiosity, what plugins made it onto your top 10 list?

Ruth (4)

Related Blog Posts:

How to Deliver an Optimal User Experience: The 5 Golden Rules

Wealthy Affiliate University – My #1 Recommendation

Ruth’s Top Free WordPress Plugins: Your Rocket Fuel

4 thoughts on “Ruth’s Top Free WordPress Plugins: Your Rocket Fuel

  • March 20, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    I am very lucky to come across this article, i have been thinking all day and researching on the plugins i need for my website. I have almost 30 and i think most of them are just slowing my website down. Thanks for informing me on most essential plugins, I will add optimize database and gm block bots, i never had them

    • March 20, 2016 at 10:34 pm

      30 plugins are way too many…that said, think about what you are trying to accomplish so you don’t end up with redundant plugins. Best of luck to you & thanks for your comments!


  • November 20, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Out of all the options you have up here I have to say that the Google XML Sitemaps plugin is by far the most important to all 5 of my sites – it’s the first plugin I reach for and activate!
    Sitemaps are so important for Webmaster tools and letting Google know you are changing and updating your website.
    I’ve heard too many plugins is a problem for a website’s speed – what are your thoughts on this?

    • November 20, 2016 at 7:30 pm

      Although I keep hearing that the magic number is between 5-7 plugins, my point of view is that more are fine as long as the customer user experience is enhanced.

      Thanks for stopping by!



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