Optimizing Your WordPress Site: Must-Have WordPress Plugins

By Bastien, on March 25, 2024 - 14 min read

What’s the secret to having a fast, secure website that ranks high on Google and has a smooth user experience? 

The answer – plugins.

WordPress plugins enhance a website’s performance and functionality. If you aren’t familiar with plugins, think of them as features you can add to your website to make it faster, more secure, and generally better without coding.

For example, Google estimates that approximately 20-30 % of all WordPress plugins are specifically designed for SEO. This means that there are many SEO plugins that WordPress site users can install to potentially make their website rank higher on search engine page results (SERPS). 

Improved SEO is just one of the many performance features your site can benefit from when you install the right WordPress plugin.

But with over 60,000 WordPress plugins available online, finding the ideal one tailored to your website’s needs can be incredibly challenging and time-consuming. 

For that reason, we’ve compiled 13 of the best WordPress plugins that are a must-have to optimize your site’s performance.

Must-Have WordPress Plugins

ShortPixel Image Optimizer – Optimize Images, Convert WebP & AVIF

Images give a different and engaging perspective to your content. They also improve the user experience, while conveying messages much quicker than a block of words. 

However, using huge and highly pixelated photos can be detrimental to your website. That’s because they slow your website down and cause it to feel unresponsive and slow. The last thing you want with your site is unresponsiveness because it leads to poor conversion rates and a horrible user experience. 

ShortPixel is a great plugin that identifies and compresses batches of photos that are uploaded directly to the WordPress media library via gallery plugins like NextGen and Modula.

But that’s not all this powerful plugin can do. ShortPixel Image Optimizer can also:

  • Compress images in JPEG, PNG, WebP, and GIF formats without quality loss
  • Automatically detect and compress bulk images in sliders and galleries
  • Convert PNG, JPG, and GIF images to WebP and AVIF for improved search rankings
  • Optimize all website images, including featured images and thumbnails
  • Automatically resize image uploads to fit website dimensions
  • Choose between lossy, lossless, and glossy compression based on file size and quality
  • View the full feature list here

Worried about pricing? ShortPixel has plans for everyone. Free version includes 100 credits/month. Pro version starts at $9.99/month, offering extra features.

Don’t let large images slow your site. Optimize with ShortPixel for faster speed, better SEO, and more conversions. 


Are you looking for ways to boost engagement with your audience? 

One of the best ways to increase your engagement rates is by having an interactive form builder feature on your site that allows users to interact with you and provide feedback – what we call engagement.

Forms are great for collecting contact information, conducting surveys, and even gathering simple feedback from your audience. That’s why a plugin like HelpGent comes in high-recommendation.

HelpGent is an all-in-one communication tool with a form builder in WordPress that comes jam-packed with a ton of features to help you optimize your overall communication system. This makes it more efficient and user-friendly.

The core features that make HelpGent a great communication plugin include the following:

  • A conversational multistep form feature that helps you create engaging forms
  • Video messaging features that are not restricted by time as you can communicate with anyone by sending personalized video, text, and voice messages
  • Screen recording through messaging made it easy – You can record your screen and share it with anyone, including your customers, to provide the best possible experience. 

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Visit HelpGent today to find out what this plugin can do for you.


Do you want to build an online directory of listings that look like those on Yelp, Tripadvisor, or Yellow Pages? 

Experts believe doing so can help your site improve SEO, increase traffic, establish your site as an authority, and open up more data and revenue collection opportunities. 

Although there are many plugins in the same niche, the Directorist Plugin stands out as one of the best. This plugin simplifies creating directories or classified websites to deliver powerful business directories.

Using the Directorist Business Directory plugin, you can create classifieds websites or listing directories that include;

  • An advanced directory builder
  • Multi directory
  • Custom Fields
  • 14 Directorist themes [this will be a single theme soon combined with 14 templates]
  • Integrated with HelpGent, Oxygen, BuddyBoss, and so on
  • A local business directory
  • Multiple ways to monetize a directory website
  • A land-selling directory
  • Review sites
  • Address Book
  • Car directory
  • Job portals
  • Staff directories, and many more.

This plugin has over 10,000 active installations. An overwhelming 98% of users who reviewed it gave it a 5-star rating. Check it out today and see how this plugin can create for you a business directory.  

CookieYes – Cookie Banner for Cookie Consent

Cookie compliance is tricky and fairly frustrating. The regulations are constantly changing, making it challenging to keep up. Not only that, but compliance issues can also lead to hefty GDPR and ePrivacy Regulation penalties.

CookieYes is your trusted website partner that simplifies compliance by shielding it from hefty fines and legal hassles. It does this by seamlessly integrating a cookie banner into your site.

Recognizing the global nature of online businesses, CookieYes doesn’t stop at just one set of regulations. Instead, it offers compliance solutions tailored to the specific requirements of different countries and territories. Whether you’re operating in Europe, North America, Asia, or elsewhere, CookieYes has you covered, allowing you to concentrate on what truly matters – growing your business with peace of mind.

Its key features include:

  • Customizable cookie consent banner with granular preference controls
  • Automatic cookie scanning, categorization, and non-essential cookie blocking
  • Policy page generators
  • Auto-translation to 30+ languages
  • Supports Google Consent Mode integration
  • Compatible with WPML, Polylang, caching servers, and plugins

With CookieYes web app integration, you will get additional features that include:

  • Revisit consent button to recall the cookie banner
  • Consent logging to record user consent
  • Cookie list management
  • Geo-targeted cookie banner
  • Scheduled cookie scanning
  • Advanced banner personalization

Cookie Script

Website cookies are small data used and stored by a given website when a person visits the same. They are used to optimize and personalize a user’s experience. 

However, in recent times, the handling of web cookies has raised privacy concerns, prompting the implementation of strict regulations and laws. This means that websites must comply with these laws; otherwise, they face legal issues, including fines and site suspension.

As a site owner, you need a reliable method to obtain and manage cookie user consent. This is why we recommend Cookie Script. 

Cookie Script is a powerful tool that helps websites comply with cookie laws. It has a powerful consent management feature that records and stores website users’ cookie consents. 

Image courtesy of WordPress

Cookie Script also: 

  • Supports 34 languages – catering to a global audience
  • Supports user consent recordings – allowing you to record and store consent given by users on your website
  • Offers third-party cookie blocking – allowing you to block both first and third-party cookies based on user preferences
  • Supports geo-targeting – allowing for the customization of content based on the user’s geographical location
  • Offers self-hosted code – which gives you the option to host the cookie consent banner code on to your own servers
  • Supports Google consent mode – which supports integration with Google Consent Mode 

Cookie Script has much to offer, so check it out to see what it can do for you. 

WP Dark Mode

Dark mode is a popular choice for viewing computers, smartphones, some TVs, and tablets. According to one source, up to 81% of smartphone users use dark mode when using their devices.

This means that you’ll need to optimize your site to offer a dark mode feature. Fortunately, there’s a plugin that can help you achieve all this without coding.

WP Dark Mode is a plugin designed to improve accessibility by offering a dark theme, a night mode, and social sharing. 

Other features that make this a must-have WordPress plugin include:

  • Frontend dark mode that comes with a floating dark mode switch
  • Automatic light or dark-themed feature to allow automatic switching based on the user’s default device setting
  • The admin panel/ dashboard dark mode to enable dark mode on your site’s dashboard
  • Low image/video brightness settings
  • Social share, which allows your site’s visitors to share content with ease

Ready to embrace the popular dark theme for your site? Head over to the WP Dark Mode plugin page and see how you can optimize your website today.

Affiliates for WooCommerce 

What is the number one way to boost sales and improve online store visibility? An affiliate marketing program.

If you have an online store and would like to set up an affiliate marketing program, you’ll need an efficient and powerful tool to help you do so. 

Affiliates for WooCommerce program allows you to promote your store while earning money when customers buy through your referral links. This program is a win-win for all parties as it rewards your affiliates for bringing in customers while you get to boost your sales.

And what is a WooCommerce-powered website? It’s an open-source plugin that allows website owners to turn their WordPress sites into fully functional online stores. WooCommerce stores also run on the WordPress platform, meaning plugins designed for WordPress can work on WooCommerce stores. 

Here are a couple of top features that make Affiliates for WooCommerce a top WordPress plugin:

  • Seamless integration with other ecommerce platforms
  • A user-friendly experience without complex setups
  • Real-time tracking analytics
  • Customizable commission structures
  • Regular updates

DevDiggers, the brains and development behind this plugin, joined the market a couple of years back, and since then, they’ve dealt with over 2,000 businesses. Most of their products have received a 5-star rating from their users, prompting a vast community.

Feel free to check this plugin and more of their products here

WP Fastest Cache 

Every website online maintains its cache on the user’s device. Caching helps in speeding up site loading times. That’s because the browser can quickly retrieve files from its cache instead of downloading them again from the server.

WP Fastest Cache is one of the best plugins that enhances your Google PageSpeed, Core Web Vitals, GTmetrix, and Pingdom score. Furthermore, this plugin also:

  • Optimize your site for SEO – allowing you to score highly on SERPs
  • Reduces website page clutter by removing unnecessary spaces, line breaks, and characters

With over 1 million downloads, WP Fastest Cache is your trusted plugin for optimized site speeds and performance. Visit the official WP Cache page to download this plugin and afford your visitors blazing-fast site speeds. 


Are you in the market for a WooCommerce multi-vendor WordPress solution? 

In case you are here and here and aren’t sure what that means, a WooCommerce multi-vendor plugin allows multiple vendors to sell their products or services on a single WooCommerce-powered website.

That’s exactly what you get with the MultiVendorX plugin. It allows you to showcase your products and services, allowing your site to run as a marketplace. This plugin has over 6,000 active installations, with most of those who reviewed the app (over 99%) giving it a 5-star rating.

So, what will you get with this plugin?:

  • A tool for creating online marketplaces
  • Customer support
  • Free software that requires no coding when you start
  • Regular updates

MultiVendorX caters to a diverse clientele ranging from individual entrepreneurs to established businesses seeking to expand their online presence and sales channels.

ELEX WooCommerce Catalog Mode, Wholesale & Role-Based Pricing 

Do you want to turn your WooCommerce store into a catalog with a cart and product prices, among other related features?

ELEXtensions is your best solution for turning your WooCommerce-powered store into a catalog. The best part is that all customization features in catalog mode are entirely free.

Here are some other features of this powerful plugin:

  • Catalog Mode.
  • Add-to-Cart button.
  • Replace the Add-to-Cart button with a Custom Button.
  • Conceal your product prices.
  • Redirect customers to third-party or affiliate sites by using an anchor link with a custom URL for products on the shop page.

For more information about ELEXtensions, visit their site.


As an online store or website that sells services, how do you incentivize repeat business and customer engagement? 

By offering a customer loyalty reward program. 

If you’ve been looking for a way to add that feature to your website efficiently, you should consider installing the WPLoyalty plugin. 

WPLoyalty plugin is one of the best customer loyalty reward programs that allows you to develop a reward and points system. It allows you to create different types of customizable loyalty campaigns depending on your business goals.

But why should you consider this plugin? Because they’ve helped over 3000 customers achieve a 90% retention rate, and they want to help you to. 

A live demo version of the WPLoyalty program. Image courtesy of WPLoyalty 

Some of the top features that your site stands to benefit from include:

  • Rewarding customers with points for purchase, which they can later redeem for items
  • You’ll get a customizable reward page 
  • Email notifications
  • Multi-lingual support
  • Create awareness, including a campaign for various customer actions such as purchases, referrals, account sign-ups, and daily logins.

WPLoyalty is an easy-to-install and use plugin that will optimize your WordPress-hosted online WooCommerce store. 

Their Starter package, suitable for business with one site, starts at $99 a year. The Agency package, suitable for organizations running up to 10 sites, starts at $199 a year.

Read more about this plugin’s features and pricing here.


Are you considering building a membership site but want to avoid the complexity of mastering a plugin? Look no further than WP-Members Membership Plugin. This original membership plugin simplifies the process of creating a membership site while offering a range of powerful features.

WP-Members Membership Plugin offers:

  • Content Restriction: Hide content for registered users only.
  • Menu Control: Manage visible menu items for logged-in users.
  • User Integration: Seamlessly integrate login, registration, and profiles.
  • Custom Fields: Tailor forms to collect specific user data.
  • Admin Control: Receive notifications and approve registrations.
  • Teaser Generation: Automatically create post teasers.
  • Shortcodes: Use shortcodes for customization.
  • Extensibility: Customize with API functions.

WP-Members Membership Plugin empowers you to create a membership site that is both user-friendly and feature-rich. With its simplicity of installation and configuration coupled with its scalability and customizability, WP-Members Membership Plugin is the ideal solution for those seeking to establish a thriving membership community.

Oliver POS – Points and Rewards

Oliver POS is another points and rewards program you should consider installing as a plugin for your point of sale (POS) needs. It’s easily one of the best plugins built on top of the WooCommerce Points and Rewards software infrastructure.

At Oliver POS, they understand the importance of having a POS system that adapts to your unique business needs. That’s why they offer a customizable POS solution to integrate your online store with your physical storefront seamlessly. 

Some of the top features that make Oliver POS stand out as a points and rewards plugin include:

  • Support for customers in the form of Live Chat, Support Tickets, and Oliver POS’ expanding Help Center
  • It allows you to reward your shoppers with discounts through the redeemable points collected with every purchase on your POS.

With this, you have the freedom to tailor your point of sale to perfectly align with your business objectives, ensuring a smooth and efficient operation. 

Whether you aim to enhance your customer’s in-store experience or streamline your sales process, Oliver’s customizable POS is here to support your success at every turn.

AWS Cookies Popup

AddWeb Solution stands as a prominent figure in the IT development, consulting, and outsourcing domain, with a rich history spanning over 11+ years. Throughout its journey, AddWeb Solution has forged valuable alliances with esteemed IT and digital companies, further solidifying its position as a leader in the industry. Committed to delivering top-tier web development services, AddWeb Solution continues to be a trusted partner for businesses seeking innovative IT solutions.

In line with AddWeb Solution’s commitment to excellence, the AWS Cookies Popup Plugin emerges as a user-centric solution designed to address the complexities of cookie compliance on WordPress sites. With its intuitive interface and customizable features, this plugin simplifies the process of displaying cookie notification popups, ensuring regulatory compliance while enhancing user experience. Through seamless integration and options for theme customization, including color schemes and positioning adjustments, AWS Cookies Popup Plugin empowers website owners to manage cookies transparently, fostering user trust and loyalty.


Are you a Shopify or WordPress store looking for an affiliate marketing solution?

GoAffPro is your affiliate and influencer marketing solution that lets you set up a custom-branded affiliate portal in a few minutes.

Here are some of the best features of this plugin: 

  • Affiliate portal: empower customers to become affiliates, advocating for your products.
  • You can also monitor earnings, manage payments, and generate referral links
  • Android and iOS compatibility
  • Real-time updates
  • Payment options
  • Easy link sharing
  • Multilingual support

GoAffPro caters to small and medium-sized e-commerce businesses seeking to expand their reach and sales through strategic affiliate partnerships. Visit GoAffPro’s website to find out more about their services.

Zakeke (Interactive Product Designer for WooCommerce)

Shopping is evolving. Even though people are increasingly shopping online today than ever before, they still want to try out those products before buying them.

We’ve seen TV companies offer fitting options on their sites, and top apparel companies like Nike use sophisticated technology that allows shoppers to try on their apparel before buying them.

With Zakeke, an interactive product design plugin for WooCommerce stores, you too can allow your customers to personalize any product and visualize how they’ll look before they check out. 

Founded in 2017, Zakeke is an advanced B2B Visual Commerce platform designed to empower merchants to enhance and innovate the Shopping Experience through innovative visual technologies. 

With Zakeke’s comprehensive suite of tools, merchants can improve their customers’ experience by offering real-time product personalization (with unlimited customization options), advanced 3D visualization, immersive AR experiences, and innovative Virtual Try-On tools.

Some of Zakeke’s top features that make it one of the best WordPress optimization plugins include:

  • Text customization – a feature that allows your customers to add words or text to a product. They can also change their size, color, and orientation. 
  • Clipart and images – this feature allows you to add a catalog of images for clients that serve as customizable templates that can be redesigned. 
  • Premium photos – speaking of photos, your customers can access up to 140 million high-quality images created by talented professionals worldwide. 
  • Realtime 3D view – this feature lets your clients see 3D models of their customized products. They can build their own versions by choosing various elements and materials.

Zakeke helps merchants across all kinds of industries create engaging and personalized experiences that exceed customer expectations and boost sales, all while streamlining operational loads for sellers and reducing unnecessary costs through efficient automation.

You can read more about Zakeke and how you can use this plugin to personalize product visualization here.


Metrics involving the number of visitors, the pages they visit, how long they stay on each page, and where they come from are crucial for any website.

That’s because such information helps you, as a website owner, understand your audience and tailor your content or services to improve user experience. This is why we recommend checking out plugins like Capturly.

Capturly isn’t your average analytics tool – it’s a visitor mind reader for your website. With the help of this plugin, you can understand what visitors are actually doing (or not doing!). This gives you the intel you need to turn things around for the better.

Some of Capturly’s main features that make it a great analytics tool include:

  • Session Recordings: Witness real user interactions on your website through comprehensive session recordings. 
  • Heatmaps: Leverage the power of visual representation with heatmaps. 
  • Conversion Funnel Tracking: Isolate bottlenecks within your sales funnel with conversion funnel tracking. 
  • Targeted In-Email Surveys: Gather valuable visitor feedback directly through strategically placed surveys within emails. 

Ready to optimize your site into a conversion powerhouse? Visit Capturly’s plugin page to explore their comprehensive suite of website analytics tools. 

Postal Address Autocomplete for WooCommerce

Are you experiencing challenges in the form of abandoned carts? Or lengthy and erroneous checkout processes?

Postal Address Autocomplete for WooCommerce can help you solve these problems and boost your conversion rates. This powerful plugin is designed to integrate seamlessly with your WooCommerce store, utilizing the trusted Google Places API to suggest accurate addresses as customers type.

With this Postal Address Autocomplete Plugin, you can supercharge your checkouts as it offers: 

  • Reduced errors: It eliminates typos and incomplete addresses that affect your checkout speeds
  • Faster transactions with effortless address entry
  • Improved customer experience owing to a smooth checkout 
  • Integrates with other forms such as WooCommerce checkout

This innovative plugin leverages the Google Places API to provide real-time address suggestions as customers enter their information. 

Want to learn more? Head over to the Postal Address Autocomplete for Woocommerce plugin page and see firsthand how to improve your conversion rates.

Ragic Shortcode

Ragic is a no-code database builder that allows its users to build their own system according to their workflow with a spreadsheet-like interface, capable of building small contact management to fully-fledged ERP systems. 

Ragic Shortcode is a handy plugin that allows you to embed Ragic forms seamlessly into your WordPress site. This plugin follows the Ragic standard format, ensuring compatibility and ease of use. Simply grab the shortcode from Ragic’s Web Embed feature and insert it into your WordPress pages or posts to enable users to interact with Ragic forms directly on your site.

With Ragic Shortcode, managing and updating forms becomes a straightforward task within the familiar WordPress interface, further streamlining the workflow for website management.

By providing a user-friendly solution that prioritizes compatibility, ease of use, and efficiency, this plugin opens up a world of possibilities for website owners, empowering them to create engaging and interactive experiences for their audience while simplifying the management of complex data workflows.

Wrapping Up: Top Recommendations For Must-Have WordPress Plugins

These are the top WordPress plugins that are a must-have for anyone with a WordPress site or a WooCommerce online store. 

For quick reference, here’s a brief breakdown of the article above:

  • The use of images and site speed are some of the most important factors that influence web optimization. ShortPixel is one of the most popular image optimization plugins you should consider for your site.
  • For website cookie management and compliance with authorities, consider Cookie Script’s user-friendly plugin.
  • For a top form-building plugin that comes with streamlined communication, HelpGent’s your best option.
  • For compliance with GDPR and ePrivacy Regulation, CookieYes is one of the best and most popular WordPress plugins to consider.
  • Are you thinking of building an online directory on your site? The Directorist plugin is a great option as it allows you to create powerful business directories and classified websites.
  • With over 1 million downloads, WP Fastest Cache is your trusted cache management plugin for optimized site speeds and performance. 
  • ELEXtensions allows you to convert your WooCommerce store into a product catalog, while WPLoyalty and Oliver POS can help you develop optimized customer loyalty reward programs.
  • GoAffPro is a top plugin designed for Shopify stores that are looking for affiliate marketing solutions.
  • Zakeke allows WooCommerce store owners to give their customers and shoppers a chance to experience product visualization for a more engaging shopping experience.
  • Postal Address Autocomplete for WooCommerce is great for WordPress sites that suggest accurate customer locations when filling out checkout information for a faster store checkout experience. 
  • Don’t forget to streamline form embedding with Ragic Shortcode for seamless integration of Ragic forms into your WordPress site.
  • Seamlessly ensure cookie compliance on WordPress sites while enhancing user experience through customizable notification popups with the AWS Cookies Popup Plugin.
  • WP-Members Membership Plugin is designed for seamless content restriction, user management, and customization options for creating exclusive membership experiences on WordPress sites.
  • Finally, WP Dark Mode is one of the best plugins that optimizes your site’s visuals to allow for automatic theme changes based on user preferences. 

Remember, choosing the right plugins will depend on your site’s specific needs. Consider each plugin’s features and functionalities to settle for one that will help you create a fully optimized WordPress site or WooCommerce store.