July 22, 2016

13 Must-Have WordPress Plugins for Entrepreneurs

There are over 45,000 plugins, according to WordPress.org, and more are churned out everyday. Plugins are essentially apps that add features and functionality to a website. Usually, very little to no coding knowledge is required to make a plugin work, so plugins are useful for non-developers and developers alike.

Because of its flexibility, the WordPress platform is a great option for entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to launch websites and stay on budget. With all the plugin choices available, however, you might not know where to start.

Here are 13 WordPress plugins we think are essential for any website:

iThemes Security

4.7 out of 5 stars
iThemes Security is the go-to security plugin for beginners and pros alike. It offers one-click configuration, doesn’t interfere with themes or other installed plugins, and boasts a variety of customizations that can be set by folks with a variety of technical skill levels. This makes it a perfect complement to other WordPress security tactics.


4.9 out of 5 stars
If your site is hacked, then your content may be lost and difficult to recover. UpdraftPlus protects your files and database from hackers, security flaws, bad plugins, server crashes and other errors. It’s easy to install and works seamlessly with remote storage apps like Dropbox, Amazon S3 and Google Drive.

W3 Total Cache

4.3 out of 5 stars
W3 Total Cache will earn your website an instant “A” in page load time. That means satisfied customers, more pageviews, improved conversion rates, and better Google rankings. This ultimate optimizer also improves web server performance to sustain your website during high traffic periods.


4.7 out of 5 stars
MashShare is a social media sharing plugin. It provides buttons that lets readers share your content on Facebook, Twitter and Subscribe. Plus, there are add-ons for YouTube, Sticky Share, Google Analytics and more. To top it all off, this nifty social media ecosystem is highly customizable and developer-friendly.

Visual Composer

4.5 out of 5 stars
Thanks to Visual Composer’s drag-and-drop page building capabilities, you don’t need advanced coding skills to create a website. This is a must-have for creative entrepreneurs needing custom layouts because it works with any theme and is intuitive. If prefer to code by hand, there’s also an option to edit from the backend as well. License pricing starts at $34.


4 out of 5 stars
Yoast is an essential SEO add-on that helps you optimize the more technical page attributes search engines use to determine where pages rank, such as meta tags and link elements. What’s more, Yoast motivates writers to create better content by letting them know if copy is hard to read, requiring a keyword, and reminding them to write a meta description.

Contact Form 7

4.5 out of 5 stars
Most of the time, contact forms don’t need a bunch of bells and whistles. Contact Form 7 is a plugin that provides simple, professional online forms, spam filtering, and multiple language options.

Gravity Forms

Rating unavailable
Gravity Forms is built for more advanced online form needs, such as checkout and lead capture forms, and more creative info-magnets like surveys and quizzes. The plugin requires no coding skills to use it, and there are other cool features too, including form scheduling, MailChimp integration, and conditional fields that change based on a visitor’s interactions with the site. Pricing starts at $35 per year.

Duplicate Post

4.9 out of 5 stars
When you want to make changes to one of your published pages, but are afraid you might mess things up, then Duplicate Post can help. The plugin lets you to create a clone of a post to test out changes without the risk of breaking styles on other pages. It’s such an essential tool we’re surprised it isn’t automatically implemented with WordPress themes.


4.2 out of 5 stars
In the world of SEO, links are gold for search engine rankings. Redirection is a handy plugin that keeps track of 404 errors and lets you keep all those hard-earned inbound links if you update URLs by redirecting users to the updated page. It’s especially helpful for website migrations.

Simple Custom Post Order

4.4 out of 5 stars
The Simple Custom Post Order plugin enhances WordPress’ post and page overviews, giving you the ability to order posts by dragging and dropping them into place. By default, WordPress sorts posts by publish date, but this plugin makes it possible to sort by other criteria, including post type or name.

Thrive Leads

Rating unavailable
Lead building is tricky business. That’s where the Thrive Leads plugin can help. With A/B testing tools, audience targeting capabilities and innovative features like SmartExit+ — which triggers exit-intent popups when certain conditions are met — this is a must-have tool for lead generation. Pricing starts at $67.

Search Exclude

5 out of 5 stars
With the Search Exclude plugin, you can exclude any page, blog post, or other content from search results. Use it when you have pages you don’t want indexed by search engines, such as downloadable PDFs intended for a specific audience. This plugin makes it easy to exclude and keep track of all the content you don’t want others to see.

We find ourselves using these 13 plugins time and again because they work. WordPress sites that use these are more secure, faster and rank better in search results than those that don’t. Plus, they save time on website development, which allows you to do more with less.

Proactive Maintenance takes care of security, performance and other important updates so you can run your website worry-free. For help with your WordPress site or plugins, get in touch with one of our WordPress pros.