Ultimate Guide To The Best WordPress Plugins 2019

Elementor Page builder

As recommended by Creative Ground.

How to find a good plugin for your WordPress Website.

In this article we discuss our ultimate guide for the best WordPress plugins for 2019. This is based on Creative Ground’s experience using WordPress plugins in both test and live environments. Using multiple WordPress themes, cross browser testing and very importantly speed performances. When using a plugin we look at a range of areas. In no particular order we’ll start with the design quality and flexibility of the plugin. Do we need to do any customisation to achieve our goals? Age of the plugin, if a plugin is fairly new then it can still be considered unstable, look at how many active installations the plugin has. Through wordpress.org you can get a lot of good information about a plugin, unless its a plugin not uploaded to WordPress repository, then I would recommend to a deeper search. We look at how well its supported by it’s developers. The last thing you want, is to build a website using a certain plugin that have been abandoned by its development team, then WordPress releases an update and your website becomes broken. So to avoid this we look at the plugins author ( The development team behind the plugin ). We look at the changelog, this gives us some good insight about the plugin and the level of support behind it. It tells us about new features that have been added, tweaks that have been performed and very importantly, bug fixes, nobody wants a buggy plugin on their website. A really good and clear example of a changelog is the Elementor Pro changelog.

Lastly, look at the reviews. People are very quick to post a bad review, so if the plugin doesn’t work, users have experienced bad support, that’s where they going to air them. Now I also recommend looking deeper into bad reviews. If there’s lots of them and generally saying the same thing, then it’s safe to say “move on”. However there are some bad reviews on the best plugins available for WordPress, this can easily be from other developers who have a competing plugin or from users who have set up the plugin incorrectly or the issue lies deeper within their WordPress Theme, could even be another plugin is conflicting. So look to see if there are responses from the team supporting the plugin.

What is WordPress?

WordPress is the worlds most powerful CMS ( Content Management System ) platform. WordPress is a free open source web software. Which means you can use it to create beautiful yet powerful websites, blogs, intranet or even an app. With the power of WooCommerce you can turn a WordPress website into a powerful online store. WooCommerce is the worlds most popular eCommerce platform. WooCommerce is a free plugin that extends WordPress to an online store developer and supported by the team behind WordPress.

What is a WordPress Plugin?

A plugin is an added bit of software for your website that helps to extend your website functionality and opens up new features specific to your requirements. An example of a WordPress plugin would be an SEO plugin. Let’s say you want to get ranked on Google. An SEO plugin would allow you to control your meta title tags, meta descriptions and more. Resulting in better rankings on search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo and so on, that’s if it is done correctly…

This section we will break into several elements. Our topics will be around WordPress Page Builders, SEO Plugins, Web Security, Improve website Performance Plugins, Forms Builders, eCommerce. and Backup plugins for your WordPress website.

Our Best Page Builder Plugins For WordPress 2019

A page builder makes the process of designing a website a lot easier and quicker. No coding skill needed.

1. Elementor Page Builder for WordPress

A powerful live page builder, with no limits on design. Elementor is a great page builder that delivers high-end page designs with advanced capabilities. Edit your WordPress website pages and simultaneously see exactly how it looks as you design. With Elementors front-end site builder you can creatively design websites faster. No coding skills needed. An impressive 2289 – 5 star rating on wordpress.org website. Still being fairly young Elementor page builder launched in 2016 and is fast growing in popularity. With over a million active installs. It has become our favorite page builder due to it’s clean, fast and light weight coding. Highly recommended by SEO’s, website designers, web developers, marketers and more. Creating stunning landing pages with ease.

Elementor Page Builder comes with an impressive free version and a feature rich pro version:

Free Version: Download Elementor Page Builder

Premium Version: Upgrade to Elementor Page Builder Pro

Get even more functionality with the Pro Version which offers 50+ Advanced Widgets, Industry Leading Theme Builder ( Web designers will love this ), Visual Form Builder + Popular Marketing Integrations, WooCommerce Builder + Over 15 Shop Widgets, Dynamic Content & Custom Fields Capabilities, 300+ Pro Templates, Custom Design 404 Pages, 24/7 Premium Support and more…

Creative Ground Rating:  A Solid 10/10

Elementor Mission Statement: Our mission is to empower web professionals to create powerful and beautiful websites using the most comprehensive all-in-one design solution.

WordPress Elementor Page Builder in action:

Video credits belong to Elementor.

2. WPBakery Page Builder for WordPress

Formally know as Visual Composer now WPBakery Page Builder is the number one selling WordPress Page Builder plugin on CodeCanyon. With a powerful frontend and backend website editing options, WPBakery is incredibly popular. With the power of the drag and drop website page builder you can design the layouts you’ve always wanted. No coding skills required! Used on over 2 million websites. WPBakery was first published on CodeCanyon 22nd May 2011. Because of it’s popularity and being the number one selling page builder on CodeCanyon. …And most WordPress Themes selling on ThemeForest come bundled with WPBakery Page Builder; there are heaps of free and premium Add-ons available. It comes with an impressive 4.65 out of 5 rating average based on 10390 star ratings.

Free Version: Not at present.

Premium Version: Get WPBakery Page Builder for WordPress

Creative Ground Rating: 8/10

Learn more about WPBakery Page Builder.

Video credits belong to WPBakery.

Our Best SEO Plugins For WordPress 2019

Using a SEO plugin on your WordPress website will help you rank better on search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. It is essential for every website to use a SEO plugin. Here is our recommendation…

1. SEOPress Plugin

SEOPress is a powerful WordPress SEO plugin. SEOPress optimises your website SEO to boost your online traffic and improve social sharing. Packed with features such as the ability to build custom HTML and XML Sitemaps, create optimised breadcrumbs, add schemas / Google Structured data types, manage redirections 301 and so much more. Edit your meta data ( Title meta and meta description with dynamic variables ), Meta robots rules for search engine indexing. Link your social media accounts to your website. SEOPress comes with a powerful free version and an impressive advanced affordable premium version.

Free Version: Download SEOPress

Premium Version: Upgrade to SEOPress Pro

Creative Ground Rating:  9/10

IMPROVE YOUR TRAFFIC NOW!
Simple, fast and powerful SEO plugin for WordPress

Introduction to SEOPress, free release, WordPress SEO plugin


Video credits belong to SEOPress.

2. Yoast SEO

Worth mentioning, Yoast SEO is the Number 1 SEO Plugin on WordPress with an amazing 5+ million active installs and over 135 million downloads ( This includes premium version ). Yoast SEO comes with the standard features you’d expect with any SEO plugin. Title meta and meta description editing, keyword optimisation – free only allows 1 keyword or keyphrase per page / post and premium optimised for keywords, keyphrases, synonyms, related keywords and all word forms of those keywords. Social media sharing previews. Full control over your websites breadcrumbs. Premium offers some advances features such as internal linking suggestions, content insights ( show you the 5 words or phrases you use the most on your web page ), a very handy redirect manager. They also have a helpful online SEO training academy where you can learn SEO. Online SEO Training: Yoast online SEO training courses teach you the vital SEO skills that you can apply to your website. Whether you’re a blogger, developer, online marketeer, or own a business, big or small: SEO is for everyone. Yoast Academy

Free Version: Download Yoast SEO for free

Premium Version: Get Yoast SEO Premium

Creative Ground Rating: 8/10

3. Schema Pro

Get better search engines results with a one time Schema setup. Schema Pro offers 13 types of schema’s, including recipe, book, article, job posting, reviews and a lot more. Select your Schema markup, choose your target pages and posts or implement it for your entire website. We highly recommend using Schema Pro along side Yoast SEO or SEOPress.

Free Version: Not at present.

Premium Version: Get Schema Pro

Creative Ground Rating: A Solid 10/10

Learn more about Schema at Schema.org Schema.org – Founded by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Yandex

Our Best Performance Cache Plugins For WordPress 2019

It is very important to note that your hosting environment, WordPress version, WordPress Theme, WordPress Plugins, Websites images and the PHP version plays an important roll in your websites performance. You can further improve your site’s performance by using a WordPress Cache plugin.
****It is very important to make sure you have access to your website files before adding any WordPress cache plugin. This is a services we provide if you need assistance?
A backup before adding any plugins is always recommended.

1. WP Rocket

Creative Ground have used many WordPress cache plugins over the years, to speed up slow WordPress websites and to speed up WooCommerce websites. I can honestly say that none is better than WP Rocket. creativeground.com.au uses WP Rocket to deliver our website quicker to your browser, along with our Premium WordPress Hosting on Google Cloud – find out more

With WP Rocket you can easily speed up your website in just a few clicks. It is recognized as the most powerful caching plugin by WordPress experts. Minimal configuration is needed, with immediate results. Beyond delivering your website pages quicker, WP Rocket also helps minify your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files, lazy loading feature for images and videos. Powerful preloading features. Optimise settings for your WordPress database with options to set up schedules to automatically run data optimisation. Some smaller tweaks, like removing query strings, disabling WordPress emojis, reducing or disabling the WordPress Heartbeat API’s, DNS prefetching, Google Fonts optimisation, mobile phone detection, improve browser caching for Google Analytics, improve browser caching for Facebook Pixel, CDN support and more. Get a faster website in a few clicks. No coding required. Over 627,000+ websites load blazing fast with the power of WP Rocket.

WP Rocket is so confident in their WordPress plugin that they offer a 14 day 100% No-Risk Money Back Guarantee.

Free Version: Not at present.

Premium Version: WP Rocket for WordPress

Creative Ground Rating: A Solid 10/10

2. W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache is loaded with advance caching features. Caution needs to be taken when setting up W3 Total Cache plugin. It is an advanced cache plugin, one I would recommend leaving to the pros to configure. A website company, who have a proven track records for website optimisation. We have had numerous companies in the past who have paid website designers to speed up their website. They have tried to use W3 Total Cache and have broken their website. So why would we suggest this cache plugin? Well because it’s a very powerful cache plugin. If set up correctly you can achieve great results. It has over a 1 million active installs and 2805 5 star rating on WordPress. Upgrade to unlock more speed using Fragment caching.

Free Version: Download W3 Total Cache

Premium Version: To get a license go to your WordPress Dashboard, under W3 Total Cache Dashboard – hit the ‘Upgrade’ button.

Creative Ground Rating: 7/10

3. Autoptimize

Autoptimize is a user friendly WordPress cache Plugin. It is also used to compliment other cache plugins in areas they missing. It has 634 5 star ratings on wordpress.org and has over 800,000 active installs. Autoptimize concatenates all scripts and styles, minifies and compresses them, adds expires headers, caches them, and moves styles to the page header, and scripts or optionally to the footer. It also minifies the HTML code itself, making your page lightweight.

Free Version: Download Autoptimize

Premium Version: Not at present but do offer Autoptimize Pro Configuration

Creative Ground Rating: 7/10

Our Best Security Plugins For WordPress 2019

Website security is often over looked or ignored. In today’s day and age, every single website should have some form of security. No matter how small or large your website may be. It needs to be secure to keep the bad guys out!

Do remember that even though you may have security it doesn’t necessarily mean the bad guys can’t get it. It is like ensuring your home is secure with all the latest and greatest security features but if you leave the front door unlocked they can just walk in.

Make sure you have full access to your website files when loading a security plugin, as you can easily lock yourself out of your own website. A backup before adding any plugins is always recommended.

1. iThemes Security

iThemes Security ( formerly Better WP Security ) is the number 1 WordPress security plugin with over a million active installs and boasts an impressive 3,348 5 star rating on wordpress.org. With iThemes Security you have over 30 ways to secure and protect your WordPress website. Some of the main feature are that you can rename / change the default WordPress admin area login page ( /wp-admin ) to anything you like. Example /my-login-area this makes it harder for hackers to find your login page. Protects against Brute Force Attack, disables WordPress theme and plugin editors, ban users, whitelist your IP address, force SSL / https:// access only and more.

Free Version: Download iThemes Security

Premium Version: Upgrade to iThemes Security Pro

Creative Ground Rating: 9/10

2. Wordfence Security – Firewall & Malware Scan

The most popular WordPress firewall & security scanner. Over 2 million active installs and 3077 5 star rating. Wordfence includes an endpoint firewall and malware scanner that were built from the ground up to protect WordPress. Wordfence Security is very well supported and arms your website with the newest firewall rules, malware signatures and malicious IP addresses it needs to keep your website secure and safe. Wordfence is the most comprehensive WordPress security solution available. Wordfence Security includes a Web Application Firewall ( WAF ) that identifies and blocks malicious traffic. With country blocking feature available with their premium version, you can block countries engaging in malicious activity.

Free Version: Download Wordfence Security

Premium Version: Upgrade to Wordfence Security Pro

Creative Ground Rating: 9/10

3. Sucuri Security – Auditing, Malware Scanner and Security Hardening

Sucuri Security is a freemium wordpress plugin that offers a comprehensive approach to WordPress security. It is a security suite meant to complement your existing security. It offers security activity auditing, file integrity monitoring, remote malware scanning, blacklist monitoring, effective security file hardening and more. Their premium license offers an advance website firewall and CDN ( Content Distribution Network ) service, protecting your site by constantly scans it and mitigates possible attacks. They offer a 30 day refund guarantee if you are not satisfied. Sucuri researchers constantly innovate as cyber threats evolve. Security designed to keep your websites safe.

Free Version: Download Sucuri Security

Premium Version: Upgrade to premium

Creative Ground Rating: 8/10

Our Best Form Builder Plugin For WordPress 2019

Most websites need some form of form to fill out have it a simple contact form or an advance application form. Using a form builder you can achieve building your form fields faster and quicker.

1. Gravity Forms

Gravity forms is the easiest tool to create advance forms for your WordPress website. If what you need involves a form, there’s probably a way that Gravity Forms can do it. Our web designers at Creative Ground have been user Gravity Forms since 2013. There is nothing we haven’t be able to achieve using Gravity forms hence we only recommending one form builder. Gravity Forms allows you to quickly and easily integrate your forms with a wide variety of third party services such as MailChimp, PayPal, Dropbox, Slack, Trello, Zoho CRM, Freshbooks and that’s just to name a few.

Free Version: Not at present. However you can register for a demo Gravity Forms Demo

Premium Version: Gravity Forms

Creative Ground Rating: 10/10

Our Best eCommerce Plugin For WordPress 2019

Based on market share numbers, WordPress is the most popular way to build an eCommerce store. And when it comes to WordPress eCommerce, there’s only one eCommerce plugin we use and recommend.

1. WooCommerce

WooCommerce isn’t just a popular eCommerce WordPress plugin, it’s the most popular way to build an eCommerce store. Period. As of the date publishing this article it has had a jaw dropping 59,447,829 downloads. It’s the most popular eCommerce platform on the web! WooCommerce is owned by Automattic. Automattic Matt Mullenweg is the creator of WordPress. You can use WooCommerce to sell both physical and digital products. Beyond the core WooCommerce plugin, there’s a massive market place of official and third-party extensions that can help you add all sorts of additional functionality to your online store.

Free Version: Download WooCommerce

Premium Extensions: Extend WooCommerce

Creative Ground Rating: 10/10

Our Best Backup Plugins For WordPress 2019

It is very important to have a backup for your website. In the event of a breaking, or being hacked. Having a backup allows you to restore a safe and working version of your website quickly. It is worth investing in backups and keeping a retention, than the cost of a website rebuild if something goes wrong. Your WordPress backups are worth the entire investment you’ve made in your website. The day may come when you get hacked, when something goes wrong with an update, your server crashes or your hosting company goes bust – without good backups, you lose everything.

1. UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin

With over 2 million active installs UpdraftPlus is the hightest ranking and most popular WordPress backup plugin. Backup your website files and database safely. Backup into the cloud directly to Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3 ( or compatible ), UpdraftVault, Rackspace Cloud, FTP, DreamObjects, Openstack Swift, and email. Their premium version gives you a few more backup options to Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Storage, Backblaze B2, SFTP, SCP, and WebDAV. WordPress backups into the cloud and restore with a single click! With UpdraftPlus you can set up scheduling in automatic backups to save you time, work and hassle. The world’s most trusted WordPress backup plugin.

Free Version: Download UpdraftPlus

Premium Version: Upgrade to Premium

Creative Ground Rating: 9/10

2. BackupBuddy

From the creators of WordPress number 1 security plugin iThemes Security comes, BackupBuddy. With just a few clicks, BackupBuddy backs up your entire WordPress website from within your WordPress dashboard. Developed by iThemes, BackupBuddy makes the process of how to backup a WordPress site into five simple steps. BackupBuddy backs up your entire WordPress installation, making sure you have a copy of all your WordPress website files. Set up backup schedules to run automatically. Send and store your backup files off-site in a safe, secure location. Restore your WordPress website quickly & easily from a backup. Back up your entire WordPress website (database + all WP files).

Free Version: Not at present.

Premium Version: BackupBuddy

Creative Ground Rating: 9/10

Important notes:

Make sure to backup your website before adding plugins to your website. In the event of a plugin breaking your website, having a backup will allow you to easily restore your website. Also make sure you have access or available support encase anything goes wrong.

Please note the some of the above links may contain affiliate links. We are not recommending plugins based on affiliation but the fact that they are our best recommended plugins available for WordPress. We stand behind and utilise our recommended plugins. Creative Ground has been designing websites since 2007 we have a wide range of knowledge in the department that we are happy to share with our readers and clients.

Kevin Perrow

Article Author

This article was written by Kevin Perrow from Creative Ground.

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