Come on, seriously. Every website?

Yup, every website that runs WordPress. These are my recommended WordPress plugins for every website because they perform optimizations and tasks that benefit every type of website. From easy migration to SEO optimization, customizations and keeping plugins and your website’s health in check, I wholeheartedly recommend and use the plugins on this list more than any others.

The list presented here is not an exhaustive one of all the best plugins out there. These are ones I personally use on the regular and recommend to my clients every time. I highly recommend you read through the documentation—including managing the settings—for any plugin before you install and use it on your website.

WordPress plugins I recommend:

Plugin icon for Advanced Custom Fields

Advanced Custom Fields

While custom fields are a part of the WordPress Core, they are clunky in the Dashboard and not very user-friendly for website owners and editors. Advanced Custom Fields (known as “ACF” for short) addresses this by providing a user interface in your Dashboard and organization of fields into logical sections or Gutenberg blocks.

How this benefits you:

Both the classic editor and Gutenberg benefit from a more flexible editing experience without adding resource-heavy page builder plugins.

Why I recommend it:

ACF is both developer- and editor-friendly, allowing for pretty much any customization you need to be added directly in your website’s theme or child theme.

Fun fact: I carry a lifetime developer’s license for the Pro version, which means my clients immediately have access to all features without ever paying extra.

Related plugins I recommend if you use ACF:

Plugin icon for All-in-One WP Migration

All-in-One WP Migration

You are keeping up with your monthly website maintenance, right?

If you went all-in with a hosting package that includes a “one-click staging” (I’m looking at you, Siteground and WP Engine) then you can skip this one. For the rest of us, this plugin is a life-saver when it comes to moving your website back and forth from a staging location to perform your updates safely and the live website that your visitors see.

And did I mention that it all is done from the Dashboard? Easy peasy backups-are-a-breezy.

How this benefits you:

Enables non-technical editors to move a website between two locations, or create routine backups.

Why I recommend it:

If one-click staging is not a thing on your hosting subscription, this makes life so much easier than migrating a website manually every time you need to make and test an update.

Fun fact: I carry a lifetime license to the Unlimited Extension, which means my clients are not limited to a certain website size before needing to pay extra when moving files back and forth.

Plugin icon for Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7

Free contact forms with a wide variety of email marketing integrations. We all like free, right?

How this benefits you:

If you know HTML, or plan to work with a developer you definitely do not need to pay extra for the ease of a drag-and-drop form builder license. Plus, there’s a wide base of add-on plugins to integrate the forms with email marketing services. This means your forms feed into your mailing lists automatically. Boom.

Why I recommend it:

Website owners who work with a developer shouldn’t pay extra for a drag and drop form builder license. Reserve those for when you are truly DIY-ing your website and don’t know HTML.

Related plugins I recommend if you use Contact Form 7:

  • Contact Form 7 Google Analytics Integration—Adds the necessary event scripts to your website to allow your form submissions to be tracked as Goals in Google Analytics.
  • Honeypot for Contact Form 7—Combating spam form submissions shouldn’t be your website visitor’s burden when they try to contact you. This reduces spam messages without resorting to ugly and annoying CAPTCHAs.
Plugin icon for Health Check & Troubleshooting

Health Check & Troubleshooting

Maintaining a WordPress website means constantly keeping a variety of additional pieces and parts up-to-date. This plugin helps keep an eye on the compatibility of these pieces with your website’s database and enables an easy troubleshooting mode to test plugin combinations behind the scenes.

In addition, Site Health’s Status report catches often overlooked settings and recommendations that help your website remain healthy as it ages.

How this benefits you:

You have easy access to information that can help you, your developer or a plugin author troubleshoot a piece that is not working as expected. Best of all, you don’t need to move the website into staging, work in the middle of the night, or subject your visitors to a watered-down experience while you quickly test plugins in troubleshooting mode.

Why I recommend it:

Plugin management is a source of a lot of frustration for website owners, especially if your website relies on using a lot of them. Providing a quick and user-friendly way to check what plugin is not working might not fix the problem in itself, but it will save time in identifying what needs a closer look over checking everything.

Plugin icon for WP Fastest Cache

WP Fastest Cache

Website caching is a widely-recommended practice to make your website download faster for visitors. This plugin makes it easy to enable and manage your website’s cache directly in the Dashboard.

How this benefits you:

Websites that load faster encourage visitors to stick around.

Why I recommend it:

This plugin doesn’t have a complicated series of settings or confusing language. Sets up in minutes and flushes your cache with a single click. Caching doesn’t get any easier or more straightforward.

Plugin icon for Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO

Yoast has been known as THE SEO plugin for several years and unlocks beneficial optimizations for all users and advanced options for those who go pro.

How this benefits you:

WordPress does not have any optimization options available out of the box, and this plugin provides a true all-in-one solution to managing everything from your website’s search result appearance to enabling user-friendly breadcrumb links. Without it, your website is stuck with the defaults, which often are not as informative as setting custom information.

Why I recommend it:

Want to optimize your blog post for a specific keyword or phrase? Want to set your own search engine titles and descriptions? Social media previews? Enable breadcrumbs? Create sitemaps to submit to search engines? This plugin allows all that and more, and that’s before you even start paying for a Premium license!

Related plugins I recommend if you use Contact Form 7:

  • Yoast SEO Premium—Expands on your ability to optimize by including secondary keywords and phrases and allows you to preview your social media post previews. If you are truly working on your website’s SEO presence, the Premium plugin offers the most features and support to help you meet your goals.

That’s a wrap!

Hopefully you found this list helpful and have a few new tips and resources to implement on your own WordPress website. I plan to share more plugin recommendations in the future, focusing on specific needs. The goal of this list was to give us a good starting point of recommended WordPress plugins for every website.

Have any plugins you love to use? Connect with me on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #wordpresslove to share your recommendations!

Recommended WordPress plugins for every website. View the list