WordPress plugins can be separated into different categories:

  1. Security
  2. SEO
  3. Backup
  4. Forms
  5. Caching
  6. Anti-Spam
  7. E-Commerce
  8. Site Migration
  9. Maps
  10. Utility

Which WordPress plugins?

1. The best WordPress security plugins

By far the best security plugin is Wordfence. It contains a WordPress Firewall, WordPress Security Scanner, and many more features. It has 3185 5-star reviews on WordPress.org as of 2nd Dec 2019.

In second place is iThemes Security. It lacks a firewall, which is why I’ve placed it 2nd.

Both plugins come with paid Pro versions which contain added features, but the free version of Wordfence is enough.

2. The best WordPress SEO plugins

The most popular WordPress SEO plugin is Yoast SEO. It allows you to override the page title of any webpage on your website, as well as set a meta description and meta keywords.

In second place is All in One SEO.

3. The best WordPress backup plugins

It’s a good idea to maintain backups of your website in case your site gets hacked.

In first place is Updraft Plus – Backup/Restore. It allows you to save your backups to a variety of cloud locations that you own.

In second place is BackUpWordPress which is similar but more simple, saving backups to your wp-content folder.

4. The best WordPress form plugins

The two best form plugins are a free and a commercial plugin.

In first place for its diverse range of extensions is the free Contact Form 7.

In 2nd place purely because it is a paid plugin is Gravity Forms, which features an excellent drag and drop form builder, and powerful options and extensions.

5. The best WordPress caching plugins

The very best caching plugin can only be used on LiteSpeed Server web hosting. It is LiteSpeed Cache.

The best caching plugins for all other web hosting are:

I suggest you try each in turn, and then test your home page speed @ WebPageTest and record/compare your First Byte Time and Fully Loaded Time.

6. The best WordPress anti-spam plugin

The best anti-spam plugin comes pre-installed with WordPress and should definitely be activated and configured with an API key if you allow comments to be made on your posts.

This plugin is called Akismet.

7. The best WordPress e-commerce plugin

By far the best and most widely used, supported and extended e-commerce plugin for WordPress is WooCommerce.

Many many extensions for WooCommerce can be found @ WooCommerce.com & CodeCanyon.

8. The best WordPress website migration plugins

Duplicator

All-In-One WordPress Migration

BackupBuddy

WP Migrate DB

9. The best WordPress maps plugin

WP Google Maps

10. The best WordPress utility plugin

Better Search Replace – this plugin allows you to search your WordPress website’s database and replace any text or code. This is highly useful if you want to search for URLs and replace them with new URLs.

How much is Yoast SEO Premium?