After 2020, any doubt about the validity of digital presence is gone. Now everyone needs a site of their own. 2021 is here, and WordPress plugins are all the hype. But before you start your website, you are going to need to know which essential plugins are worth your time.
Keeping all this in mind, we have put together a list of the 10 best WordPress plugins that are a must in 2021 if you are to create or maintain a WordPress website. So without further ado, we’ll get to the list of essential WordPress plugins.
- Fluent Forms
- Ninja Tables
- Antispam Bee
- Wordfence Security – Firewall & Malware Scan
- Ahrefs SEO
An inseparable part of almost any website is a web form. A newsletter, contact form, donation form, etc., are some of the most notable webforms that dominate the web. However creating them can be a bit of a hassle sometimes, especially if you are new to this. But you need those forms. So what to do?
Cue Fluent Forms. It is the fastest and the most lightweight WordPress form builder plugin. The interface is so clean and comfortable that regardless you are a pro or a newbie, you are guaranteed to have a field day!
Fluent Forms is fully equipped with 45+ input fields, 70+ prebuilt form templates, 35+ integrations, drag, and drop form editor, conditional logic, partial form entries, user registration, multi-step form creation, calculated fields, webhooks, visual data reporting, form scheduling & restrictions, and many many more features which make Fluent Forms one of the most essential WordPress plugins.
Best WordPress PDF plugins, and where you can find them.
But if we had to mention some more key features of this must-have WordPress form builder plugin, the list would include:
- Multi-column form layout
- Conditional confirmation message
- 100% responsive and mobile-friendly
- Reusable templates
- Spam protection
- Placeholder customization
- AJAX submission
- Built-in data analysis
- SMS marketing
- Global styling
- Import/export form data
- PDF form submission
- Zapier integration
- Payment gateway
Data tables are an absolute must for a lot of sites like WooCommerce stores, online marketplaces, stock markets, sports sites, etc. Ninja Tables, a WordPress table plugin, provides easy table creation and customization for all of these sites, without any coding.
Moreover, data tables frequently take ages to load. But that is one less thing you have to worry about with Ninja Tables. The fast and dynamic tables don’t slow down your site either. This is a crucial feature among all essential WordPress plugins. The SEO-friendly table maker comes with the most advanced frontend table styles, unlimited table colors, and customization.
Besides, you can create and manage tables easily from the admin panel by choosing from 100+ table styles. You can also add pagination and sort and filter the tables as you wish. Some key features of Ninja Tables, the best WordPress table plugin, are listed below:
- CSS libraries
- Hover rows
- Table inverse
- RTL support
- Stackable table
- Bootstrap table styles
- Live connect with Google Sheets
- WP Posts/custom post type integration
- Conditional column formatting
- FrontEnd table export
- Custom SQL table and SQL query
When it comes to CRMs, there are way too many options that can make any user go crazy. Luckily, we are here to give you the best WordPress marketing solution. If you are looking to automate your email marketing and manage customers, it does not make any sense to pay someone else to host your CRM.
This is only one reason why FluentCRM is the best WordPress CRM plugin in the business. FluentCRM understands its users’ needs, maybe even before the user does. The simplest and the fastest WordPress CRM lets you build effortless email lists, manage customer relationships and email campaigns, build funnels so that you can generate higher profits and increase conversion.
But that’s not all. FluentCRM lets you in on detailed metrics, allowing you to better understand your users and design better funnels. And it is equipped with double opt-in forms that not only keep you GDPR compliant but also add quality leads to your list. Also, did we mention that FluentCRM offers unlimited contacts and emails? Additional key features of this WordPress CRM plugin include:
- Offline data storage
- Centralized user data
- Automatic contact import
- WooCommerce integration
- Contact segmentation through lists and tags
- LMS integration
- Exclude contacts from campaigns
- Block editor
- Dynamic content in emails
- EDD integration
- Scheduling emails
- Store all your email copies
- Dynamic smart codes
- Email sequencing
- Email automation
Having an email automation service is not enough. You need to make sure your emails reach their inbox and not get stuck in the spam. FluentSMTP can help you solve this problem. FluentSMTP does not only delivers your email but also does that in a super fast and secure way. This makes it one of the most essential WordPress plugins to have on your site.
This is your ultimate WP Mail plugin solution. FluentSMTP already connects to leading email service connections like Amazon SES, SendGrid, SendInBlue, MailGun, etc. Additionally, you can connect it to email service providers like Gmail, Zoho, Outlook, etc., via SMTP. You can also connect to the email service provider of your choice natively.
Moreover, FluentSMTP takes care of routing your emails, both transactional and marketing, so you don’t have to. It is a new plugin, but it’s growing rapidly due to its speed, reliability, and scalability. Some notable features of the fastest and the most advanced WordPress Mail SMTP, FluentSMTP, are:
- Real-time email delivery
- Automatic email routing
- Email logs
- Resend emails
- Detailed reporting
- Superfast UI
- Native API connections
- Data security
Even if your WordPress website is a day old, you should already hear about website builder Elementor. Here, you won’t face any restrictions in terms of design, so you have creative freedom over your site. Moreover, Elementor also delivers sophisticated page design and complex capabilities.
Elementor comes with an intuitive drag and drop editor that makes website creation an effortless process. The interface is straightforward and fun to work with. And the unique features include amazing overlays, hover effects, animations, box shadows, etc.
Furthermore, with Elementor, you don’t have to work on the backend and keep wondering or hitting the preview button to find out what the frontend looks like. Now you can make live designs and instantly see on the page the changes you have made. Some highlights of Elementor include:
- 300+ blocks
- 100+ full page WordPress templates
- 40+ free widgets
- Responsive live editing
- Motion effects
- Custom CSS
- WooCommerce builder
- Global widgets
When you go live with your website, one thing you need to be prepared for is comment spams, lots and lots of comment spam. Whether it’s a person trying to market their brand, or a bot messaging you with absurd content, comment spams are an indispensable part of the digital experience.
There are WordPress solutions for this. One such solution is Antispam Bee. It is an entirely free plugin that you can use on as many sites as you want. It blocks trackbacks and spam comments without the use of captchas which makes it one of the most essential WordPress plugins.
Moreover, your personal data is also safe with Antispam Bee as it is absolutely GDPR compliant. You can also block or approve comments geographically. Antispam Bee further validates Gravatars of commenters. Elaborate feature list consists of:
- Language-specific comment approval/rejection
- Country-specific comment approval/rejection
- IP address validation
- Comment time consideration
- BBCodes are spams
- Search local spam database
- Auto delete existing spams after a certain time
- Limit comments/pings
- Optional exclusion
Wordfence Security – Firewall & Malware Scan
Firewall and security measures are a must if you are running a WordPress site. To safeguard your site against cyberthreats, download and install Wordfence Security – Firewall & Malware Scan.
This WordPress security plugin is armed with the newest firewall rules, malware signatures, and even ill-natured IP addresses. It is essentially divided into some segments like – WordPress firewall, WordPress security scanner, Login security, Wordfence central, and Security tools.
All these segments work comprehensively to ensure your site’s cybersecurity ranging from real-time firewall rules to live traffics to two-factor authentication (2FA). Some of the key features of the WordPress security plugin include:
- Malicious traffic block
- Real-time IP blocklist
- Endpoint site protection
- Does not break encryption
- No data leakage
- Brute force protection
- Core files, themes, plugin check for defective URLs, backdoors, redirects, SEO spams
- File repair
- Assess security status
- Monitors hack attempts, monitor visits, etc.
A vital aspect of running a website includes monitoring the traffic. Tracking events, eCommerce reports, custom dimensions, form conversion, and affiliate links, etc., are of paramount importance as a lot depends on it.
The ExactMetrics Google Analytics for WordPress (previously known as Google Analytics Dashboard WordPress) can help you in this regard. This WordPress plugin lets you keep up with the spikes, surges, and consistency in traffic and provides you with actionable insights, so you get detailed reports and make informed decisions.
Having the best team management tools ultimately leads to better teams and higher outcomes.
ExactMetrics operates in real-time and does not require you to log into the Google Analytics website. It is also GDPR compliant and also respects other privacy regulations like the CCPA. This is a crucial feature since you’ll essentially be dealing with people’s data.
Some key features include:
- Real-time stats
- Affiliate link tracking, ad tracking, file download tracking, author tracking, referral tracking
- Scroll depth tracking, popular post tracking, page-level tracking, custom events tracking
- Performance add-on, Google Optimize add-on
- Overview report, publisher report, search console report
- Customizable Google Analytics dashboard widget
- Email summaries, PDF exports
If you are thinking of eCommerce, you cannot do that without WooCommerce. It is by far the most popular WordPress eCommerce plugin. WooCommerce is free, flexible, and it is continually being contributed to by a global community.
And if you have doubts about the ownership of your data, you can rest assured. Since it is an open-source WordPress plugin, all the data and content of your site remain with you. It doesn’t matter whether your business is 100% online or a physical shop with a geographical location; WooCommerce is one of such essential WordPress plugins that everyone can be benefitted from.
Make impressive storefronts with awesome themes that play well with your business. WooCommerce blends your site’s contents perfectly with commerce, so you don’t have to worry about your reach. Some key features of WordPress eCommerce plugin WooCommerce are:
- Modular product blocks
- Bookings, memberships, subscriptions extensions
- Setup wizard
- 100+ payments gateways
- WooCommerce shipping
- Google Ads integration
- WooCommerce tax
- Facebook integration
- WooCommerce admin
- In-dashboard marketing hub
- Mobile app
- Hooks and filters
- Rest API
- WooCommerce GitHub Repository
Now that all is said and done, you need to manage content properly if you are to rank on search engines. And that calls for search engine optimization. Ahrefs SEO is a great lightweight WordPress plugin that will expertly guide you through all things SEO.
This plugin audits content, which helps you get a more significant share of organic traffic. You will be able to publish detailed content regularly that works well with both your target audience and the search engine.
Ahrefs is a big name among other SEO tools, and now a plugin has been molded out of it so WordPress users can reap its fruits. If you are already using an SEO plugin, don’t worry. Ahrefs compliments other SEO plugins eloquently. It is one of the most essential WordPress plugins and in summarizing the critical features of Ahrefs, we have:
- Backlink index
- Auto-update in every 15-30 minutes
- Google Analytics Integration
- Traffic and conversion data analysis
- Google search console integration
- Content audit
Essential WordPress plugins in a nutshell
Now that you have read about the top ten WordPress plugins you need for 2021, get right to it. The links to all the plugins’ free versions are provided, so you can go to the link and try some of the best free WordPress plugins out there.
While you are at it, learning a thing or two about user engagement strategies will also do well for your business.
All the tools listed above are fantastic in their own right. Check them out and if you have any questions about these essential WordPress plugins, feel free to ask us through our social media channels.