10 Essential WordPress Plugins

10 Essential WordPress plugins

These WordPress plugins are the ones I have found invaluable over the last 5 years. They may not be the best in each category, but I use them every day and have found them to be useful. I first wrote a draft of this post about a year ago and had to swap out 3 of the 10. That shows you how things can change. My advice is to always re-evaluate your plugins and what they do for you.


Used by millions, Akismet is quite possibly the best way in the world to protect your blog from spam. It keeps your site protected even while you sleep. If you allow comments anywhere on you WordPress site, this is the first plugin to enable and configure. It is so good, you may find it installed out of the box. https://en-gb.wordpress.org/plugins/akismet/

Cookie Consent

If your website will be viewed in the EU, this is a must. The legislation on cookie consent must be followed. I have found this the simplest, most flexible plugin for cookie consent. If it’s working, you should have seen it in action already! https://en-gb.wordpress.org/plugins/uk-cookie-consent/

Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights

Displays Google Analytics Reports and Real-Time Statistics in your Dashboard. Automatically inserts the tracking code in every page of your website. The most useful part of this plugin is the ability to keep up with Google’s changes to tracking code. Just keep the plugin up to date and follow the instructions. https://wordpress.org/plugins/google-analytics-for-wordpress/


Any site that exists, let alone gets attention will be a target for brute force password attacks. You can mitigate this by setting a strong password and changing it regularly. However, if the hackers have unlimited tries at guessing you may get hacked. Loginizer allows you to block IP addresses from trying after a certain amount of attempts. Used by over half a million WordPress sites, this is essential, real-time security. https://en-gb.wordpress.org/plugins/loginizer/

Sucuri Security – Auditing, Malware Scanner and Hardening

The Sucuri plugin gives you with the best Activity Auditing, Remote Malware Scanning, Security Hardening and Post-Hack features. SiteCheck will check for malware, spam, blacklisting and other security issues like .htaccess redirects, hidden evaluation code, etc. The best thing about it is it’s completely free. https://en-gb.wordpress.org/plugins/sucuri-scanner/

UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore

Backup and restore: take backups locally, or backup to Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, RackSpace, (S)FTP, WebDAV & email, on automatic schedules. The most comprehensive and feature rich WordPress backup plugin I have found. https://en-gb.wordpress.org/plugins/updraftplus/

Mammoth .docx converter

If, like me, you like to use word to write you blog posts, this plugin is essential. It will convert a .docx file to a WordPress post. It will map styles in word to HTML style (e.g. Heading 1, Heading 2, Normal, etc.). https://en-gb.wordpress.org/plugins/mammoth-docx-converter/

WordPress Importer

Import posts, pages, comments, custom fields, categories, tags and more from a WordPress export file. https://en-gb.wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-importer/

Yoast SEO

This is the first true all-in-one SEO solution for WordPress, including on-page content analysis, XML sitemaps and much more.


I’ve been using this as a sign up tool for a website with a members only section. If all you want is member sign up and integration with the Word Press users module, this is the plugin for you. https://en-gb.wordpress.org/plugins/wp-members/