These are our “go to” plugins — the ones that we install on every site, or simply find ourselves using again and again. Remember, when it comes to plugins, quality is more important than quantity — here’s more info on what to look for in a plugin.
Speed and Optimization
WP Rocket is our “go-to” caching and speed optimization plugin, with industry-leading techniques to help get “Good” for Core Web Vitals.
Our favorite image optimization plugin. It’s easy to use, can scale down large images, had an undo function, and — best of all — the image quality is great.
Cleans up database “bloat” to help keep your site running quickly. It’s especially helpful if your site’s been around for a while. Be sure to schedule it to run regularly.
Perfmatters is another tool we love for site speed optimization — especially their lazy loading options to help you get “Good” Core Web Vitals.
Security & Backups
One of the most popular backup plugins, and for good reason. It’s reliable, flexible, and even the free version will do a great job. (We use the premium version for all our clients.)
The Sucuri plugin includes a core integrity file scanner and audit logs. It works best in conjunction with the Sucuri Server-Side Scanner, which is included in all of our WordPress Support Plans.
Very handy for moving widgets from one WordPress site to another, or simply backing up your widgets before making changes. It’s especially useful because changing themes sometimes loses your widget settings. Remember to uninstall once you’re done.
Akismet is a popular choice for spam protection for your comments and forms. *Paid plan is required for revenue-generating sites.
Antispam Bee is a good, free alternative to Akismet to provide spam protection for your comments.
Login Lockdown helps prevent brute force attacks on your login page. It also tracks the IPs and timestamps of failed login attempts.
This security plugin allows you to add Two Factor Authentication for your WordPress users. Supports a variety of 2FA methods.
If you need a plugin to help manage your content updates, the Yoast Duplicate Post plugin can help you clone posts so that you can edit and update existing posts easily.
This plugin allows you to seamlessly replace an image or file in your Media Library by uploading a new file in it’s place. No more deleting, renaming, and re-uploading files!
Need to make a small tweak or fix to your content and don’t want the modified date to update when you publish your changes? This lightweight plugin can help you limit modified date changes.
Shop Page WP is the affiliate shop page plugin for your WordPress website that everyone can easily setup and use. It’s super easy to create a shop page and start adding products immediately.
This handy plugin allows you to easily create your own 404 error page and customize it with very little effort.
Find My Blocks plugin can help you track down where you’ve used blocks, including Reusable and Nested Blocks.
SEO and Social Media
If you care at all about being found in search engines, or making sure your site looks good when shared on social media platforms, this is the plugin to install.
This plugin logs hits to broken pages on your site. We especially like it because it shows you the “hit count” for each URL, so you can prioritize which links to fix. (Then, use the Redirection plugin to fix inbound links.)
BLC scans your site for broken outbound and internal links, and makes it easy to fix them. You can fix them from within the list of links rather than spending time to load each post or page in the editor, which helps speed the process.
Easily redirect broken inbound links with this plugin. It can also monitor for changes to existing pages (when you change the “slug” on a post or page), and automatically add a redirect.
Novashare is a lightweight social sharing plugin which includes features like share counts, click to Tweet blocks, Pinterest image hover pins, and more.
Get images in your RSS instantly and for free. Output blog Featured Images to RSS email campaigns for MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, Infusionsoft, Hubspot, Zoho, Feedburner, Bloglovin’, Feedly, and other services.
ConvertPro is our go-to optin form and popup plugin, particularly because it doesn’t slow down your site. It’s lightweight, but packed with all the features you need to build your mailing list.
Analytics & Tracking
Google Analytics is the gold standard of site tracking—and it’s free! Monster Insights makes it easy to set up the Google Analytics tracking code on your site.
This plugin adds the Facebook tracking pixel to your site easily, including event tracking. If you’re doing any Facebook advertising, this plugin is a must-have.
A lightweight plugin that allows you to connect your site to Google Analytics. Support for Universal Analytics (legacy) and GA4 included.
More Great Tools
If you need to make a site-wide change, such as your domain name, this plugin is a lifesaver! As always, be sure to do a database backup first, and remember to uninstall it when you’re done.
When you change themes, you might need other image thumbnail sizes available for your older images – that’s where this plugin saves the day. We especially like it because it is compatible with Shortpixel. (Once you regenerate thumbnails, be sure to uninstall the plugin.)
Actively developed and supported, WPRM makes it easy to include all the Recipe metadata that makes both Google and Pinterest happy.
We like to use this plugin in conjunction with Mailgun for sending transactional emails, such as new comment notifications and password reset emails. Together, they improve deliverability and tracking.
Manage all external & internal links on your site. Control icons, nofollow, noopener, ugc (User Generated Content), sponsored, and if links open in new window or new tab.