Must-Have WordPress Plugins

a web designer's office, focusing on wordpress plugins

Setting up your WordPress website is akin to making your morning coffee – do it right, and you’re set for success; do it wrong, and it’s a long day ahead.

As you embark on your WordPress installation, it’s crucial to pick plugins that boost your websites performance, secure your digital presence, and make Google Analytics your best friend. Getting these things right from the start is like enjoying that first cup of morning coffee – essential!

Our goal in this article is not to sprinkle random WordPress plugins onto your site; instead, we’re crafting a custom WordPress setup that’s as finely flavored as your favorite espresso! We’ve selected the ten best WordPress plugins —tools that all WordPress users can benefit from, especially when installing a new WordPress website.

So, let’s whip up a WordPress plugins toolkit that’s a perfect blend of speed, SEO, security, and user engagement — right from the first click! 🙂

WordPress Plugins. The Secret Recipe for Success!

Welcome to the WordPress kitchen! Where we’ll be blending ten awesome plugins into a wonderful WordPress website. 

Each plugin will add a unique flavor and function, creating a delectable digital dish! We’ll use a mix of free and premium plugins to create the perfect WordPress installation in just a few clicks.

Let’s get cooking!

Must Have WordPress Plugins – The Ingriedients

  1. WPForms – The Appetizer: First impressions count, and WPForms ensures every interaction starts on the right note.
  2. All-in-One SEO (AIOSEO) – The Main Course: A robust SEO tool for making your site visible and engaging.
  3. SeedProd – The Side Dish: Complements your site with its easy-to-use page builder and diverse templates.
  4. MonsterInsights – The Seasoning: Adds depth to your site with easy Google Analytics integration and important stats inside your WordPress dashboard.
  5. OptinMonster – The Dessert: Turns visitors into subscribers, sweetening your site’s appeal.
  6. MemberPress – The Beverage: Hydrates your site with monetization through memberships and subscriptions.
  7. Constant Contact – The Palate Cleanser: Keeps conversations flowing with effective email marketing.
  8. Pretty Links Pro – The Garnish: Beautifies your links, adding a professional touch.
  9. WP Rocket – The Chef’s Secret: Secretly boosts your site’s performance with caching and optimization.
  10. SearchWP – The Mystery Ingredient: Enhances your site’s search capabilities, ensuring users always find what they need.

Now, let’s examine our ingredients in greater detail to see how they can help.

The Top Ten Plugins For a Perfect WordPress Website Setup


wpforms homepage screenshot

Transform your WordPress site with WPForms, a user-friendly plugin that enhances your website’s functionality and user engagement. This plugin simplifies form creation, making it accessible even to those without coding expertise.

Key Features:

  • Drag & Drop Builder: Easily craft forms, perfect for streamlining your site’s interactivity.
  • Smart Conditional Logic: Create engaging, interactive forms that respond to user inputs.
  • Instant Notifications: Never miss updates on new leads or feedback, which is key for maintaining site performance.
  • Entry Management: Organize and access all form submissions in one place, enhancing site efficiency.

WPForms stands out as a premium plugin essential for any WordPress website. With its lite version suitable for basic forms and a full upgrade for advanced functionalities, it’s a versatile tool for any WordPress user.

All in One SEO

AIOSEO homepage screenshot

AIOSEO is a premier WordPress plugin that ensures your WordPress site is primed for search engines. With a robust free version and an enhanced premium version, it’s a pivotal tool for your WordPress installation, aligning with the best practices for SEO.

  • TruSEO On-Page Analysis: Enhance on-page SEO with intuitive tools for title tags, meta descriptions, and keywords.
  • Rich Snippets Schema & Local SEO: Boost your site’s search presence with comprehensive schema markup.
  • Smart XML Sitemaps & Video SEO: Automatically generate XML and video sitemaps, which are crucial for improving site indexing and video content visibility in search results.
  • Link Assistant & Social Media Integration: Use innovative internal linking suggestions and robust social media content control for enhanced user engagement and SEO.
  • AIOSEO is available as a free WordPress plugin. The lite version includes site audits, search appearance editing, social media integration, and creating XML, HTML, and RSS sitemaps. The premium plugin is a comprehensive SEO tool that ensures your site is perfectly optimized for search engines, making it a must-have plugin for enhancing your WordPress website’s performance.


SeedProd homepage screenshot

SeedProd excels in blending advanced design features with user-friendly functionality effortlessly, making it a key player in our WordPress toolkit. Its role is to streamline the creation of visually appealing themes and layouts, enhancing the overall aesthetic of your WordPress site.

Key Features:

  • Drag & Drop Page Builder: Facilitates easy creation of themes and layouts without coding​​.
  • Live Previews & Mobile Device Preview: Ensures pages look great in any state or device​​​​.
  • 300+ Landing Page Templates: Offers a wide variety of ready-to-use templates​​.
  • Responsive and Mobile Ready Pages:  Guarantee pages look great on all devices​​.
  • Free Version: SeedProd is a free plugin in a ‘lite version.’ It offers a drag-and-drop page builder for creating landing pages and enables Coming Soon and Maintenance Mode.

Incorporating SeedProd is like adding a versatile ingredient to your website, effortlessly enhancing its functionality and aesthetic appeal.


MonsterInsights homepage screenshot

MonsterInsights, the seasoning of your WordPress toolkit, offers deep insights into website performance and user interaction. It’s crucial for understanding and enhancing how visitors engage with your site.

Key Features:

  • Google Analytics Tracking: Simplifies comprehensive website tracking.
  • eCommerce Tracking: Integrates with platforms like WooCommerce for sales insights.
  • EU Compliance: Ensures GDPR and privacy regulation compliance.
  • Outbound & Affiliate Link Tracking: Tracks outbound and affiliate link clicks, offering valuable insights into external engagement and partnerships​​​​.

By seasoning your site with MonsterInsights’ data-driven insights, you gain a clearer understanding of audience behavior, akin to how the right seasoning enhances a dish’s flavor.


optinmonster homepage screenshot

OptinMonster sweetens your WordPress site’s functionality by offering delightful ways to convert visitors into subscribers and customers. Its blend of creative campaign templates, intuitive building tools, and advanced targeting rules make it a must-have in any WordPress plugin collection.

Key Features:

  • 50+ Pre-Made Templates: Ready-to-use templates for quick campaign launches.
  • Drag and Drop Builder: Facilitate efficient campaign creation without coding.
  • Advanced Targeting Rules: Personalize engagement with exit-intent, geo-location, and more.
  • A/B Testing & Actionable Insights: Provides performance analysis and optimization tools, guiding better marketing decisions​​.

OptinMonster is not just a tool; it’s a delightful finishing touch to your WordPress site, enhancing your ability to engage and convert visitors most effectively.


memberpress homepage screenshot

MemberPress hydrates your WordPress site like a refreshing beverage, offering a robust suite of membership and subscription management tools. 

It’s vital in our collection of essential WordPress plugins, seamlessly integrating monetization, community building, and learning management systems (LMS) capabilities.

Key Features:

  • Build & Sell Courses: Integrate powerful LMS features for online courses.
  • Powerful Access Rules: Control content access based on memberships.
  • Automated Billing & Email Integrations: Smooth subscription management and communication.
  • Customizable Coupons & Pricing Pages: Run promotions and beautifully presented membership products​​​​.

MemberPress isn’t just another WordPress plugin; it’s a comprehensive solution for creating a dynamic and engaging membership platform.

Constant Contact

Constant Contact homepage screenshot

Constant Contact is a palate cleanser in your WordPress setup, providing clean and efficient email marketing tools to keep your audience engaged.

Key Features:

  • Pre-Made Email Templates: Vast library of customizable templates.
  • Visual Drag-and-Drop Email Builder: Customize emails with ease.
  • Visual Automation Builder: Advanced email sequences and marketing strategies.

Constant Contact keeps your audience engaged and provides insights and tools to refine your email marketing strategies, making it an indispensable asset in your WordPress toolkit.

prettylinks homepage screenshot

Pretty Links Pro adds the final touch to your site, streamlining link management and making it presentable and professional – like the perfect garnish.

Key Features:

  • Create Short, Branded Links: Simplify the shortening and rebranding links to match your domain, making them more appealing to click on​​.
  • Product Displays: Convert affiliate links into attractive product displays, boosting user engagement and sales potential​​.
  • Customize Redirects: Use dynamic redirect capabilities based on user location, device type, and time of day​​.
  • Organize Links into Categories: Enable efficient organization of links into custom categories, facilitating easier management and access​​.
  • Automatic Link Replacement: Save time by automatically replacing keywords with affiliate links throughout your site​​.
  • Link Health Check: Monitors your website for broken links and provides reports to maintain site integrity​​.

Pretty Links is an essential WordPress plugin for managing and optimizing your affiliate links, ensuring your WordPress site’s links are functional and visually appealing.

WP Rocket

WP Rocket homepage screenshot

WP Rocket dramatically improves your WordPress website’s performance, optimizing speed and efficiency, making it a must-have in our WordPress toolkit. This WordPress plugin seamlessly infuses advanced caching and optimization techniques into your website, creating an impressively smooth user experience.

Key Features:

  • Page Caching: Instantly cache your WordPress website, significantly boosting its loading speed and SEO performance​​.
  • Cache Preloading: Automatically preload the cache upon any website changes, ensuring visitors always experience the fastest version of your site​​.
  • Browser Caching: Store frequently accessed resources like images and CSS files in local memory, speeding up site access on repeat visits​​.
  • GZIP Compression: Compress web pages on the server and decompress them in the browser, reducing file sizes for quicker content delivery​​.
  • eCommerce Optimization: Tailor caching to eCommerce needs, ensuring fast, smooth performance without interfering with the shopping process​​.

WP Rocket has no free plugin; it prefers a 14-day money-back guarantee. However, with a 4.8 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot and nearly 3000 reviews, it’s clear that WPRocket lives up to its promise to improve your WordPress site’s speed and performance.


SearchWP homepage screenshot

SearchWP acts as the mystery ingredient in your WordPress site, subtly enhancing its search capabilities. It’s pivotal for unlocking the full potential of your website’s content.

Key Features:

  • Comprehensive Content Indexing: Incorporates PDF, Office documents, and more into search results.
  • Seamless WordPress Integration: Works effortlessly with native WordPress search settings.
  • Customizable Search Engines: Allows unique configurations for diverse search requirements.
  • Enhanced Search Logic: Utilizes keyword stemming for more relevant search results.
  • WooCommerce Compatibility: Optimizes product search for eCommerce sites.

SearchWP transforms your site’s search function into a powerful, comprehensive tool, like a secret ingredient that enriches the overall flavor.


As we wrap up our journey through the essential WordPress plugins, remember that each one is a vital ingredient in the recipe for a successful website. 

Like a well-prepared dish, your site needs the right blend of functionality, aesthetics, user engagement, and optimization. 

From WPForms’ engaging appetizers to SearchWP’s mystery ingredient, each plugin adds a unique flavor, creating a harmonious blend as delightful as your favorite cup of coffee. So, brew your digital presence with these ten key plugins, and savor the taste of a perfectly blended WordPress website!

Peter Selmeczy

Written by Peter Selmeczy

As the Head of Growth at AutoSEO I love everything about content, SEO, and AI. Hope you like my musings and would love to talk to you in the comments.