WordPress is one of the best tools to create a professional website. Especially if you are not a programmer. One main reason is its extensibility which allows you to add new features and functionalities using plugins as your website grows. On WordPress.org, you can find plugins from a wide range of categories — which you can download and install according to your needs.
Every WordPress website has different needs of plugins depending on the business type you run with it. If you run a membership business, for instance, you need a membership plugin to manage members, payments, content access, and so on. Want to run an e-commerce business? You can install a plugin like WooCommerce or Dokan to create your online store or marketplace.
WordPress is an open-source software that has an open ecosystem to allow any developer to develop plugins. That’s the main reason why there are so many WordPress plugins out there. If you are new to WordPress, you might be wondering, which plugins you should install on your website?
We have curated some useful WordPress plugins you can install on your WordPress site. You don’t need to install them all, of course. Only install the plugins that you really need.
Hand-Picked WordPress Plugins
Elementor — To Design Every Single Part of Your Website
If you want to start a new website project with WordPress, one of the plugins we recommend the most is Elementor. One main reason is that you can save your money a lot. With Elementor, you can add multiple features and functionalities at once to your website.
Elementor has a main function as a page builder plugin. However, thanks to its extensive features, you can also use it as a marketing plugin (to collect leads), a popup builder plugin, form builder plugin, and so on. For the latter function, Elementor supports integration with popular services like MailChimp, ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign, MailerLite, and so on. Elementor also comes with a theme builder feature which you can use to create a custom header, custom footer, custom templates for archive pages (categories, tags, authors, and so on). With Elementor, you can — literally — design every single part of your website.
Elementor also has a great responsive editing feature to allow you to create a fully responsive website. Here are the main features offered by Elementor:
- Page Builder
- Theme Builder
- Form Builder
- Popup Builder
- WooCommerce Builder
- Responsive Editing Capability
- Dynamic Content Support
Elementor itself is available in two versions: Free and Pro. You need to use the pro version to unlock all the features above (read: Elementor Free vs Pro). Before upgrading to the pro version, you can try the free version first. The free version of Elementor is available on WordPress.org.
CPT UI + ACF — To Create Custom Content
By default, there are two main post types you can create in WordPress: default post type and page. The default post type is dedicated to creating blog posts (articles) while the page post type is dedicated to creating the more static pages such as an about page, contact page, to homepage.
As your website grows, you might want to create post types other than blog posts and pages. For instance, at WP Pagebuilders, we have the following post types:
- Default post type (the one you are currently reading)
- Page (about page, contact page, homepage, and so on)
- Template item (to accommodate free templates we offer to our readers, example)
In WordPress, you can create custom post type to accommodate post types that are not available in WordPress (template item in our example above). With this concept, you can use WordPress to create any type of website without coding. For instance, if you want to create a property listing website, you can create a custom post type to accommodate the listing items.
Custom Post Type UI (CPT UI) is a WordPress plugin that you can use to create custom post types. While Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) is a plugin to create dynamic custom data types you want to add to your custom post type, such as description, link, rating, meta data, and so on. In WordPress, these custom data types are called custom fields.
CPT UI and ACF are two different plugins developed by two different developers as well. However, most WordPress users use them all together as they are completing each other. Both CPT UI and ACF can be used for free.
A question you might ask. How to display the content created with CPT UI and ACF?
You can use the theme builder feature of Elementor to create a custom template for your custom post type. Elementor is compatible with CPT UI, ACF and other dynamic content plugins, including JetEngine.
FlyingPress — To Speed Up Your Website
Do you want to speed up your website? There are several ways to do so. The simplest way is by installing FlyingPress.
FlyingPress is a WordPress plugin designed to speed up your website by offering features like caching, the ability to disable unneeded resources, lazy load, database optimization, CDN, and so on. Here are the features offered by FlyingPress:
- Page caching
- Cache preloading
- Remove unused CSS
- Preload links
- Delay script execution
- Defer scripts
- Database optimization
- Lazy load
- Google Fonts optimization
- Layout shifts reduction
- CDN (add-on)
One crucial thing to note. The use of optimization plugin like FlyingPress won’t affect much if you use inappropriate hosting service. The resources of hosting play the most important role in site performance. For a business-oriented website, we strongly recommend using a managed WordPress hosting service, VPN, or even a dedicated hosting.
FileBird — To Manage Your Files
In WordPress, you can add several file types to a post. From raster images (JPG, PNG, WebP), audio files, PDF documents, to ZIP files. All files you have uploaded can be managed from the built-in file manager feature by going to Media -> Library on your WordPress dashboard. However, the built-in features are limited. FileBird is a plugin designed to further manage your files on WordPress media library.
With FileBird, you can create folders to put together files according to certain parameters. Such as file type, user, and so on.
The use of FileBird will be pretty much useful if you have an e-commerce website. You can create folders to put together product images by parameters like brand, product category, and so on. FileBird is a freemium plugin. The free version is more than enough for basic use (you can create unlimited folders). With the pro version, you can access the files stored into a FileBird folder from Elementor (and other page builder plugins) and WooCommerce.
MailPoet — To Send Newsletters and New Content Notifications
If you are new to online business and want your business to last as long possible, the very first think you need to do is build a solid marketing channel. Instead of spending resources (money in particular) to gain social media followers, we strongly recommend you build email list.
Email marketing is way better than social media for a long-term as there is no algorithm change drama. In a very simple word, email marketing allows you to have a full control over your marketing channel.
MailPoet is one of the best email marketing plugins for WordPress. It allows you to run the whole email marketing process from your WordPress dashboard. From managing email list to sending campaigns. In general, MailPoet allows you to do the following things:
- Send email newsletters
- Automatically welcome new subscribers
- Send post updates
- Send product updates if you use WooCommerce
MailPoet supports integration with Elementor (via the Form widget) and most form builder plugins (it also has its own form builder). MailPoet is also released as a freemium plugin so that you can start from the free version. The pro version allows you to store more emails and access more advanced metrics on its built-in analytics feature.
Strive — To Boost Your Productivity
Strive is a useful plugin to boost your productivity in regard to content creation. The plugin allows you to schedule the content creation on your website in a visual way. It comes with a drag and drop functionality to manage the schedules.
Strive is especially a useful plugin to work with a team. You can use it to schedule a content creation and assign it to a certain user on your website. You can also create a checklist to make sure everything has been set before a content is published. Strive offers the following main features:
- Content Creation Scheduling
- Color-Coded Editorial Status
- Pipeline View
- Post Checklists
Wordfence — To Protect Your Website from Cybe-Attacks
Being the most popular website builder tool, WordPress is a subject to cyber-attacks. While most hosting services have done their best to protect your website from cyber-attacks, you can also take part by taking the following actions:
- Updating your plugins and theme as the latest version commonly include security patch
- Removing the unused themes and plugins
- Installing a security plugin
For the latter action, a plugin we recommend is Wordfence.
Wordfence is a popular security plugin that features like firewall, malware scanner, and login protection. You can use Wordfence for free for basic security protection.
The Bottom Line
WordPress is one of the best tools to create a professional website for non-coders. You can add new features and functionalities to your website with plugins. There are thousands of WordPress plugins out there, including the ones we mentioned above. We objectively recommend the above plugins as they are pretty much useful.
FileBird, for instance, is super useful to manage files on WordPress media library. Elementor is great to fulfill multiple needs at once, as we have described. As a result, you can save operational cost. Wordfence can provide extra security layer to your website. And so on and so forth.