The Best WordPress Plugins We’re Using in 2024

The WordPress platform is undoubtedly the best content management system out there, mostly thanks to its open-source nature and the many, many plugins available. We find that these plugins are the most surefire way to deliver responsive, fast, secure, and highly custom WordPress websites to our clients. The best part is that many of these popular plugins are either open-source or offer comprehensive free tiers. Here are our picks for the best WordPress plugins in 2024 and how they can help improve your site’s performance, security, and user experience:


Wordfence is a comprehensive WordPress security plugin. It offers a wide range of features designed to protect your site from threats and a user-friendly interface. The dashboard gives an overview of your site’s security, including notifications of potential security issues and recommended actions, so you can have more peace of mind and control of your website’s security. In our opinion, this is one of the most essential plugins to install. Security is always paramount!

Some consider Sucuri to be a great option as well, but we prefer WordFence for its user interface and functionality. We love that it’s suitable for both beginners and advanced users, and even the free plan provides extensive security features while remaining easy to set up and configure.

Key features of Wordfence include:

  • Scheduled security scans 
  • Intrusion alerts
  • Login security with two-factor authentication and captchas 
  • Industry-leading firewall protection
  • Malware scanner

The free version of WordFence includes all the features above. The paid version, starting at $119 annually, includes a higher level of customer support, security audits, and 24/7 industry response. However, we find the free version of the plugin more than adequate for most websites.


RankMath is a relatively new WordPress SEO plugin that competes with Yoast SEO. Yoast SEO is a much older SEO plugin for WordPress that has recently removed features and functionalities and moved them to premium or paid tiers. On the other hand, RankMath still offers many features and functionalities on its free tier. It’s packed with user-friendly features that make optimising your content straightforward, with an intuitive interface that guides you through the process of improving your SEO and ensuring your website follows SEO best practices. This level of guidance and clarity makes RankMath an excellent choice for both SEO beginners and seasoned marketers looking to streamline their workflow.

Key features of RankMath include:

  • Advanced SEO analysis tool
  • Bulk edit titles and descriptions
  • Content analysis
  • 404 monitoring
  • Automatic site maps
  • Integration with Google Analytics 4

Both the free and paid versions give you access to all those features. Upgrading to the paid version gives you the ability to run the plugin on 100 paid websites, track 10,000 keywords, and use their AI writing features. Plans run between $7.99 and $59.88 per month. We find that the free version is still great as you grow your business. Unless you run a large-scale SEO agency, the $59.99-a-month version definitely isn’t necessary.


Imsanity is a great option for automatically reducing image file sizes when uploading. Imsanity is short for ‘Image Sanity Limit’, meaning image sizes are automatically reduced whenever an editor tries to upload an image to the site that’s an ‘insane size’. This makes it ideal for websites with lots of editors where it’s hard to control the size of images that people upload. This can quickly get out of hand and lead to slower site speed. Imsanity is the perfect solution to that. The best part is that it requires no action on your part once the plugin is set up with your preferences.

  • Automatic resizing according to chosen max dimensions
  • Ability to retroactively resize existing images in your media library in bulk
  • Optionally converts BMP and PNG files to JPG 
  • Easy-to-navigate settings page where you can define maximum height, width, and quality for your images

The best part of all is that Imsanity is open source, meaning it’s a completely free WordPress plugin.

Site Kit by Google

Site Kit is Google’s official WordPress plugin. We love it because it serves as a one-stop solution for website owners looking to leverage Google’s tools to gain insights into their site’s performance. You can easily integrate and manage key Google services, such as Analytics, Search Console, AdSense, and PageSpeed Insights, all within your WordPress dashboard. Being able to see a comprehensive overview of your site’s traffic, performance, website visitor demographics, and monetisation all in one place is invaluable. Aside from saving time by integrating seamlessly with WordPress, it also gives you as broad a look as possible at your website analytics.

Site Kit, like Google’s other tools, is completely free and always will be.


WP-Optimize is the best WordPress plugin if you want to speed up your site with as little hassle as possible. It merges three performance optimisation features into a single, user-friendly plugin that cleans up your WordPress database, compresses your images, and caches your site. This multifunctional approach ensures your website operates smoothly, loads quicker, and delivers a better user experience.

Key features of WP-Optimize include:

  • Automatic database cleaning
  • Image compression
  • Page caching
  • Minifying code to reduce bloat

WP-Optimize provides both free and premium versions. The free plugin addresses the basic optimisation needs, while the premium version offers extra features such as lazy loading for images, advanced caching options, and more flexible cleanup schedules, providing even greater control over your site’s performance. The premium WordPress plugin starts at $49 a year. This is one of our must-have plugins, even if it’s just the free version.

Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7 is a contact form plugin for WordPress that allows you to create and manage multiple contact forms on your site. Its simplicity and flexibility make it a favourite among WordPress users seeking an effective solution for their communication needs. With Contact Form 7, you can customise form fields, appearance, and mail contents using simple markup directly from your WordPress dashboard. 

Key features of Contact Form 7 include:

  • Customisable
  • CAPTCHA and Akismet spam filtering
  • Shortcode Integration
  • Email Notifications

Like Imsanity, Contact Form 7 is open source and, therefore, entirely free. It’s reliable, highly useful, and straightforward like all the best plugins should be. If you need a WordPress form plugin, this is definitely the way to go.


Flamingo is another free WordPress plugin designed to work in conjunction with Contact Form 7. It addresses one of the few limitations of most form plugins: the ability to store submitted messages. Developed by the same team behind Contact Form 7, Flamingo acts as a message storage system, ensuring that no submitted forms are lost, even if email notifications fail to send. This plugin is a must-have for website owners who use Contact Form 7 and want to keep a reliable record of all interactions made through their site’s contact forms.

Key features of Flamingo include:

  • Automatic message storage
  • Straightforward interface to view, search, and manage saved message
  • Integration with Contact Form 7’s spam protection features
  • Stores contact information of those who have submitted forms, enabling you to build a contact list

Flamingo valuable functionality to Contact Form 7 to your site without adding complexity, enhancing the overall utility of Contact Form 7 by ensuring no message is ever missed due to email issues.


UpdraftPlus is a highly regarded WordPress backup plugin that can give you peace of mind by securing your website data through reliable backup and restoration capabilities. It stands out for its ease of use and flexibility, allowing both novices and professionals to efficiently safeguard their site’s content, themes, plugins, and databases. UpdraftPlus simplifies the process of scheduling regular backups of your WordPress site and storing them in various remote locations such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3, and more, ensuring that your website can be restored quickly in case of any mishap.

Key features of UpdraftPlus include:

  • Automated backup schedules
  • Straightforward process for restoring your website from a backup
  • Extensive options for remote storage
  • Incremental backups, saving storage space

UpdraftPlus is available in both free and premium versions. The free version covers the essential needs for backups and restoration, making it suitable for personal blogs and small websites. The premium version extends the functionality with features like automatic backups before updates, more control over backup schedules and storage, as well as multisite compatibility. The paid version starts at $70, which allows you to install the plugin on up to 2 sites.

WP Super Cache

WP Super Cache is one of the best free WordPress plugins for speeding up your site. It works by creating static HTML files from your dynamic site. When visitors come to your site, WP Super Cache serves them these lighter HTML files instead of processing the heavier WordPress PHP scripts. This can significantly reduce your site’s loading time.

Key Features of WP Super Cache:

  • Simplified caching process
  • Customisable cache settings
  • Content Delivery Network (CDN) support
  • Advanced cache preloading

This is an invaluable plugin for us. Adding WP Super Cache to your WordPress site can immediately improve its speed, which means a better visitor experience and higher SEO rankings.


Duplicator is a powerful WordPress plugin that allows you to easily back up, copy, or move websites from one location to another. Our developers use it to migrate sites to a new host or domain and create backups for data protection purposes. However, Duplicator isn’t just for developers – it’s pretty easy to use and goes a long way to reduce the complexity of managing, moving, or backing up WordPress sites.

Key Features:

  • Easy site migration
  • Full site backups 
  • Quick site setups

This popular WordPress plugin is available in both free and premium versions. The free version covers basic migration and backup needs, while the premium version offers additional features such as scheduled backups, cloud storage integration, and email notifications. The premium plans start at $49.50 a year for the ‘basic’ version that gives you access to unlimited backups and migrations for up to 2 sites.


WooCommerce has long been considered one of the best WordPress plugins for eCommerce, and this is unlikely to change anytime soon. It’s a comprehensive eCommerce plugin that transforms WordPress websites so you can create custom storefronts, product pages, and optimised shopping carts. You can also track eCommerce performance metrics directly within the WooCommerce dashboard. All these features make it a one-stop shop for your online shop! Try saying that ten times over. 

What makes WooCommerce the best eCommerce plugin is its vast ecosystem of themes and extensions, which allow for extensive customisation of store design and functionality. There’s a huge community centred around WooCommerce and WordPress as a whole, meaning these WordPress themes and plugins are evolving constantly. Whether you need additional payment gateways, subscription management, or advanced product filtering, there’s likely a native extension available to meet your needs.

WooCommerce features include:

  • Easy product management
  • Supports multiple payment gateways 
  • Shipping configuration based on locations, weights, and pricing.
  • Allows customers to register, log in, and track their orders.
  • Built-in analytics tools
  • Easy SEO marketing tool integration

Woocommerce is an open-source plugin owned by Automattic, the owners of, so it’s free by nature. However, installing adjacent WooCommerce plugins and extensions for added functions and customisation often comes with a cost. 

How Many WordPress Plugins Are Too Many?

The question of how many WordPress plugins are too many doesn’t have a straightforward answer because there are lots of different factors involved. It largely depends on factors like your hosting capability, the quality of the plugins, and the complexity of your website. A key principle is to ensure that every plugin you use is well-coded and up-to-date. While adding plugins can extend your site’s functionality, each one potentially slows down your site, introduces security risks, and could lead to compatibility issues. 

High-quality web hosting and maintenance can mitigate some of these concerns by better handling the demands of multiple plugins, but it’s still important to prioritise plugin quality over quantity. Regularly reviewing your plugins to assess their impact on performance and security and considering custom development for specific needs can help maintain an optimal balance between functionality and website performance.

Updating plugins regularly is vital as well—otherwise, they can cause your site to break. This means the more plugins for WordPress you have installed, the more attention you have to pay to your website’s maintenance.  However, we strongly believe that the value of these plugins well outweighs the downsides. Some plugins, like WordFence, are absolutely essential to maintaining a healthy and secure site for example. If you’re running a simple site, there’s no need to invest in most premium WordPress plugins either – the free versions will more than often do. This makes plugins a cost-effective solution to so many problems. Well worth the extra maintenance!

Which Plugins Are You Using in 2024?

As of 2024, there are over 60,000 plugins on the WordPress Plugin Directory and that number is constantly growing. It’s an innovative space, and developers in the community are always finding new ways we can manage our website better. Staying informed and doing regular reviews of your plugin stack can help you ensure you’re website is functioning at its best whether it’s by improving SEO, site security, or optimising images. Let us know the plugins you find yourself relying on time and time again, or the ones you’ll be phasing out completely!

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  • Futuretheory combines data with design to launch solutions that help clients realise their growth potential. We are committed to growth and transformation for clients across industries, stages of business and geographies.
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