Some WordPress plugin popularity has been driven by personal or consumer-based installations. What about business? We’ve put together a list of our favorite WordPress plugins that we believe enable business users to capitalize on their content and drive results through search engines and social media, via mobile, tablet or desktop… and fully integrate their social and video strategies.
Having developed some popular WordPress plugins, I’m always enthusiastic about finding and sharing plugins that do an amazing job to enhance, optimize, and automate tasks within WordPress. WordPress plugins are both a blessing and a curse, though.
WordPress Plugin Issues
- Plugins sometimes leave security holes that hackers can take advantage of to push malware onto your site.
- Plugins often don’t fully utilize the WordPress coding standards, adding unnecessary code that can cause other issues.
- Plugins are often poorly developed, causing internal data or performance issues.
- Plugins are often not supported, leaving you with a dependence on code that may grow out of date and render your site useless.
- Plugins can leave tons of data in your database… even after you uninstall the plugin. Developers could fix this, but often don’t worry about it.
I believe WordPress has really stepped up, expiring old plugins from view in their plugin repository and then approving new plugins manually to ensure they’re not poorly written. Since self-hosted WordPress instances allow you to install any plugin, though, you have to do your homework or get a trusted resource to make recommendations.
Additionally, many of the Best WordPress Plugins Lists are tailored to the personal blogger and don’t actually focus on businesses and their unique efforts in designing and developing content strategies that help to promote their business. Also, we all know that best is a subjective term… so we’re going to go with favorite to differentiate our recommendations.
Below is a tried and true set of WordPress plugins for business that we believe are the best in the vast landscape of WordPress plugins.
Best WordPress Plugin for Site Backups and Migrations
- WP Migrate – There are quite a few really great plugins out there for doing easy backups and migrations, but when you need to really get granular on what files, themes, and plugins to backup or migrate, this plugin exceeds every expectation. As well, you can easily move sites between one another – even ratcheting down permissions on which sites can push or pull to one another.
Best WordPress Plugins to Engage and Convert Visitors
- Formidable Forms – Formidable Forms has all the features you need to build powerful WordPress forms and data-driven web applications – including calculators, event registrations, payment forms, digital signatures, and more.
- Highlight & Share – plugin for highlighting text and sharing it via Twitter and Facebook and other services including LinkedIn, Email, Xing, and WhatsApp. There’s also a built-in Gutenberg block that will allow your users to Click to Share.
- OptinMonster – Create attention-grabbing opt-in forms that turn visitors into subscribers and customers. Choose from popups, floating footer bars, slide-ins, and others to create your opt-in form in 60 seconds flat.
- Jetpack – Jetpack continues to improve with both free and paid versions that extend the capabilities of your WordPress site. Two key features I believe are the social sharing capabilities and subscribe via email enhancements. There are a ton of other features, though! Best of all, this plugin is developed by Automattic so you know it’s written and maintained to the highest standards.
- WooCommerce – the most popular eCommerce platform for building an online store. Woocommerce is fully supported with a ton of enhancements and plugins by the team at Automattic, the developers of WordPress.
Best WordPress Plugins to Enhance Your WordPress Administration
- Admin Slug Column – If you’re focused on optimizing your site, your post slugs help so seeing them visually is a great way to ensure you’ve not inadvertently missed optimizing it.
- Better Search Replace – there are times when you need to run a search/replace on the database for content, links, or other settings. This plugin is a great option for doing that.
- Dashboard To-Do List – A simple and elegant solution to keep notes on your WordPress dashboard so that anyone who logs in can see them.
- Disable Comments – Comments used to be of great benefit to both search rankings and to engage your site’s visitors; however, in recent years spamming comments has become almost unmanageable and the conversation has moved to social media channels. This plugin will disable all comment-related features and remove comment sections from being published on your site. You can also delete all published comments.
- Duplicate Post – if you ever need to duplicate your content, this plugin provides finite control over which roles can duplicate content, what elements are duplicated, and more.
- Post List Featured Image – adds the Featured Image column in admin posts and pages list. It lets administrators see which posts or pages have a featured image set.
- Quick Drafts Access – Are you managing a lot of drafts? If so, this plugin puts a great shortcut in your admin menu that will bring you directly to your drafts (as well as display a count).
- Site Kit by Google – the one-stop solution to deploy, manage, and get insights from critical Google tools to make the site successful on the web. It provides authoritative, up-to-date insights from multiple Google products directly on the WordPress dashboard for easy access, all for free. You can also integrate your Google Tag Manager, Google Search Console, and Google Analytics accounts into your WordPress instance.
- Temporary Login Without Password – there are times that you want to provide a theme or plugin developer with temporary access to your WordPress instance… but you can’t go through the process of having them register and get passwords via email. This plugin provides a direct, temporary link they can utilize to log into your site to assist you. You’re able to set the expiration time as well.
- WP All Import – An incredibly flexible collection of plugins for importing and exporting data from XML and CSV files into and out of WordPress and a number of popular plugins.
Best WordPress Plugins for Layout and Editing
- Advanced Rich Text Tools for Gutenberg – If you’re needing some additional styling in the default Gutenberg editor with WordPress, including code, subscript, superscript, inline text, and background color editing… this simple plugin provides all the capabilities.
- Elementor Pro – The native editor for WordPress has a lot to be desired and can get pretty frustrating. Elementor has come of age with a fantastic WYSIWYG editor, forms, integrations, layouts, templates, and dozens of other options with several accompanying plugins to extend it. I’m not sure I will ever build a site without it!
Best WordPress Plugins to Power Up Your Content and Its Reach
- Advanced Custom Fields – Make it easy for administrators, authors, and editors to customize your website by simplifying its administration. ACF is simple to implement and highly customizable. Buy the additional licensed add-ons for some incredible features.
- ARVE Advanced Responsive Video Embedder – Embedded videos can be a nightmare for maintaining responsive layouts on your site. WordPress natively embeds dozens of platforms but doesn’t ensure they’re responsive.
- Easy Social Share Buttons – Enables you to share, monitor, and increase your social traffic with a slew of customization and analytics features.
- YaySMTP – Sending WordPress notifications, alerts, and automated emails from your hosting provider is asking for trouble. Using SMTP to send an email via your authorized service provider is far more secure and will have a higher probability of getting delivered. YaySMTP also provides a dashboard widget that informs you of the emails sent. We have articles showing how to set this up for Google or Microsoft.
- FeedPress – FeedPress automatically handles feed redirections and updates your feed in real-time each time you publish a new post.
- Push Monkey – mobile push, web push, email, and in-app messages. Notify subscribers through browsers and push notifications with every post published.
- Podcast Feed Player Widget – This is a widget that I personally developed that is quite popular. If you’re hosting your podcast elsewhere, you can enter the feed and insert your podcast in your sidebar or use a shortcode within a page or post. It utilizes WordPress’ native HTML audio player.
- GTranslate – Use this plugin and service to automatically translate your content and optimize your WordPress site for international search reach.
- Publish to Apple News – This enables your WordPress blog content to be published to your Apple News channel.
- Recently – Add a widget to your footer with your most recent content to provide some great internal links and engagement. This plugin has a ton of design customization options.
- WP LinkedIn Auto Publish – If you’re looking to publish your posts to both personal and company pages on LinkedIn, this plugin is a must. Most others have limitations to personal sharing.
- Revive Old Posts – Why just share your content once when you could be sharing great content repeatedly… driving engagement and realizing your content investment?
- WP PDF – Embed mobile-friendly PDFs easily in WordPress – and prevent your viewers from downloading or printing your original files.
- One User Avatar – WordPress currently only allows you to use custom avatars that are uploaded through Gravatar. This plugin enables you to use any photo uploaded into your Media Library as an avatar.
Best WordPress Plugins to Optimize Your WordPress Site
- Kraken Image Optimizer – Optimizes images and thumbnails on the fly, enabling you to lower image size and load times without losing quality.
- Lazy Load for Videos – Embedded videos can slow down your WordPress site quite a bit. Lazy loading only embeds the video when a user opens the page and scrolls to the video, saving page load times.
- StackPath CDN – Achieve faster page load times, better Google rankings, and more conversions with StackPath CDN. Setup is simple and only takes minutes.
- String Locator – This plugin enables you to search for code within your themes and plugins if you’re seeking to troubleshoot or optimize your code.
- Video Link Checker – If you’ve got a lot of videos embedded throughout your site, you’ll want to know if the videos were removed or made private. This plugin will automatically email you when there’s an issue.
- WordPress SEO – Rank Math is a lightweight SEO Plugin that includes on-page content analysis, XML sitemaps, rich snippets, redirections, 404 monitoring, and a ton more features. The pro version has incredible support for rich snippets, multi-location, and more. Best of all, the code is incredibly well-written and doesn’t slow down your site as much as other WordPress SEO plugins.
- WP Rocket – Make WordPress load fast in a few clicks. This is recognized as the most powerful caching plugin by WordPress Experts.
Best WordPress Plugin for Cookie and Data Compliance
As a business, you need to be compliant with the international, federal, and state regulations that govern how you track and keep your visitors’ data. I was utilizing the Jetpack widget for cookie permissions, but it often loaded more than once and had no customization options.
- GDPR Cookie Consent (CCPA Ready) – The GDPR Cookie Consent plugin will assist you in making your website GDPR (RGPD, DSVGO) compliant. In addition to compliance with this GDPR WordPress plugin also supports cookie compliance in accordance with the LGPD of Brazil and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) which is a state statute intended to enhance privacy rights and consumer protection for residents of California.
Best WordPress Plugins to Protect Your WordPress Site
- Akismet – WordPress’ most popular plugin, Akismet is possibly the best way in the world to protect your blog from comment and trackback spam. Don’t just install it, report those jerks!
- VaultPress – Protect your content, themes, plugins, and settings with real-time backup and automated security scanning.
- WP Activity Log – The most comprehensive WordPress activity log plugin to keep a record of user changes, ease troubleshooting, and identify suspicious behavior early to thwart malicious hacks. If you subscribe to Jetpack Security or Jetpack Professional you get a comprehensive Activity Log as well.
Need More Plugins?
There are some excellent, paid plugins that are fully supported on Themeforest that you won’t find elsewhere. The parent company, Envato, does a great job of ensuring plugins are supported and updated often.
Disclosure: I’m utilizing affiliate codes throughout this post, please support my publication by clicking through and buying them!