In running a digital marketing agency, we researched hundreds of plugins and determined the best Wordpress plugins for 2016.

These are the same best WordPress plugins that we install on all of our client’s websites.

Obviously, some of our clients may need additional plugins based on their particular business. Of course, we do a little more in-depth ninja work with our clients. These should help you build a solid foundation.

Please note that these WordPress plugins may not be compatible with all themes. If some parts of your sites do not work after installation, please contact a WordPress expert. If you don’t have one, we can refer you to one. Simply go to our Contact page and fill out our form.

In some sections, multiple WordPress plugins options are given for compatibility reasons.

While most of these plugins are free, some offer a premium upgrade. We determined that even with these free options, they are still good enough to make the list for our Best WordPress Plugins for 2016.

You will also see how many active installs exist for each plugin, so you may better gage its popularity.

Best WordPress Plugins for 2016

Top WordPress Plugins for 2016 Click To Tweet

SEO 

Yoast SEO
Active Installs: 1+million

WordPress out of the box is already technically quite a good platform for SEO, this was true when Joost wrote his original WordPress SEO article in 2008 (and updated every few months) and it’s still true today, but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve it further!

WordPress SEO Comments Plugin
Active Installs: 4,000

WordPress blogs can generate thousands of user comments, but WordPress out the box does nothing SEO wise with comments. After activating the WordPress SEO Comments Plugin and setting up a WordPress template to output your new SEO comments pages, Google will have access to all your users comments and index them in their own right.

Broken Link Checker
Active Installs: 400,000+

This plugin will monitor your blog looking for broken links and let you know if any are found.

Cross-linker
Active Installs: 5,000+

A plugin that automatically hyperlinks selected words to defined URLs with multilingual support. As an addition, plugin offers in-depth settings such as management of ignored HTML tags and “divide by” strings as well as backup management.

Similar Posts
Active Installs: 80,000+

Similar Posts displays a list of posts that are similar or related to the current posts. The list can be customized in many ways. Similarity is judged according to a post’s title, content, and tags and you can adjust the balance of factors to fit your own blog.

This plugin requires the latest version of the Post-Plugin Library: download it now.

WordPress Popular Posts
Active Installs: 200,000+

WordPress Popular Posts is a highly customizable widget that displays the most popular posts on your blog.

Encyclopedia / Glossary / Wiki
Active Installs: 1,000+

Encyclopedia is the state of the art WordPress encyclopedia / lexicon / glossary / wiki / dictionary plugin which enables you to create, manage and present a knowledge base, completely fused in your WordPress and fully compatible with all the cool publishing tools you like. Really!

Enjoy the easy way to manage your contents with WordPress in combination with a whole bunch of smart features like automatically term linking in your websites contents. Additionally, an own glossary gives search engines more content which results in better rankings for you!

SEO Friendly Images
Active Installs: 200,000+

SEO Friendly Images is a WordPress SEO plugin which automatically updates all images with proper ALT and TITLE attributes for SEO purposes. If your images do not have ALT and TITLE already set, SEO Friendly Images will add them according the options you set. Additionally this makes the post W3C/xHTML valid as well. ALT attribute is important part of search engine optimization.

Permalinks Moved Permanently
Active Installs: 10,000+

If you just migrated your WordPress blog from one permalink structure to another, and you don’t want to lose PageRank or traffic that accesses your blog through the old permalinks, this is for you.

WP Auto Tagger
Active Installs: 9,000+

This plugin uses the Yahoo API to suggest tags based on the post content. You have the option to automatically tags posts on save or get tag suggestions with a single click. Auto Tagger will not replace your existing tags.

Verify Ownership
Active Installs: 4,000+

Verify Ownership is a lightweight plugin that allows you to easily add your meta tag verification codes to your site. It also adds statistics scripts (e.g. Google Analytics) to the footer of your site.

Add Meta Tags
Active installs: 100,000+

A Free yet feature rich metadata plugin that can optimize your web site for more efficient indexing and easier sharing of your content.

Content and Delivery

Editorial Calendar
Active Installs: 50,000+

Did you remember to write a post for next Tuesday? What about the Tuesday after that? WordPress doesn’t make it easy to see when your posts are scheduled. The editorial calendar gives you an overview of your blog and when each post will be published. You can drag and drop to move posts, edit posts right in the calendar, and manage your entire blog.

Disqus Comment System
Active Installs: 200,000

Pronounced “discuss”, Disqus is a service and tool for web comments and discussions. Disqus makes commenting easier and more interactive, while connecting websites and commenters across a thriving discussion community.

Facebook Comments
Active Installs: 100,000+

This Facebook comments plugin will help you display Facebook comments on your website.

WordPress Ping Optimizer
Active Installs: 100,000+

Save your WordPress blog from getting tagged as a ping spammer. This plugin is a fork of the cbnet Ping Optimizer plugin.

Security 

Akismet
Active Installs: 1+ million

Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet Web service to see if they look like spam or not and lets you review the spam it catches under your blog’s “Comments” admin screen. Normally included with all WordPress installations by default.

Bad Behavior
Active Installs: 60,000+

Bad Behavior prevents spammer from ever delivering their junk, and in many cases, from ever reading your site in the first place.

Wordfence Security
Active Installs: 1+million

Wordfence starts by checking if your site is already infected. We do a deep server-side scan of your source code comparing it to the Official WordPress repository for core, themes and plugins. Then Wordfence secures your site and makes it up to 50 times faster.

CloudFlare
Active Installs: 80,000+

The CloudFlare WordPress Plugin ensures your WordPress blog is running optimally on the CloudFlare platform.

SI CAPTCHA Anti-Spam
Active Installs: 300,000+

Adds CAPTCHA anti-spam methods to WordPress forms for comments, registration, lost password, login, or all. In order to post comments or register, users will have to type in the code shown on the image. This prevents spam from automated bots. Adds security. Works great with Akismet and is fully WP, WPMU, and BuddyPress compatible.

Remove XMLRPC Pingback Ping
Active Installs: 10,000+

Prevent your WordPress install from participating in pingback denial of service attacks.

Cache 

W3 Total Cache
Active Installs: 1+ million

The only WordPress Performance Optimization (WPO) framework; designed to improve user experience and page speed. W3 Total Cache improves the user experience of your site by increasing server performance, reducing the download times and providing transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration.

WP Super Cache
Active Installs: 1+ million

This plugin generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After a html file is generated your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.

Backup

WP Database Backup
Active Installs: 40,000+

WP Database Backup plugin helps you to create Database Backup and Restore Database Backup easily on single click. Manual or Automated Database Backups and also store database backup on safe place – Dropbox, FTP, Email

Dropbox Backup & Restore
Active Installs: 20,000+

Dropbox Backup & Restore Plugin to create Dropbox full backup (files + database) or restore, duplicate, clone, or migrate of your website.

UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration
Active Installs: 600,000+

UpdraftPlus simplifies backups (and restoration). Backup into the cloud (Amazon S3 (or compatible), Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace Cloud, DreamObjects, FTP, Openstack Swift, UpdraftPlus Vault and email) and restore with a single click. Backups of files and database can have separate schedules. The paid version also backs up to Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Azure, Copy.Com, Google Cloud Storage, SFTP, SCP, and WebDAV.

Analytics

Better Google Analytics
Active Installs: 20,000+

The Better Google Analytics plugin allows you to easily add Google Analytics code to your website and gives you the power to track virtually everything. Better Google Analytics includes heat maps, reports, charts, events and site issue tracking in your WordPress admin area without the need to log into your Google Analytics account.

In addition, Better Google Analytics makes A/B (split) testing a breeze (no code required) so you can find what variations work the best for your site by using Google Analytics Content Experiments.

Google Analyticator
Active Installs: 400,000+

Google Analyticator makes it super easy to view Google Analytics within your WordPress dashboard. This eliminates the need to edit your template code to begin logging. Google Analyticator also includes several widgets for displaying Analytics data in the admin and on your blog.

Google XML Sitemaps
Active Installs: 1+ million

This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap, which will help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your blog. With such a sitemap, it’s much easier for the crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently. The plugin supports all kinds of WordPress generated pages as well as custom URLs. Additionally, it notifies all major search engines every time you create a post about the new content.

Social

Social Media Feather
Active Installs: 100,000+

WordPress Social Media Feather is a super lightweight free social media WordPress plugin that allows you to quickly and painlessly adds social sharing and following features to all your posts, pages and custom post types.

Huspo Share Buttons for Twitter, Facebook, and Google+
Active Installs: 50,000+

Add simple social share buttons with counters to your articles. Your visitors will be able to easily share your content on the most popular social networks: Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, Bebo, Delicious, VKontakte and Email.

Shareaholic
Active Installs: 100,000+

Shareaholic is the world’s leading all-in-one Content Amplification Platform, which includes related content recommendations, social sharing, following, social analytics and site monetization apps such as promoted content, native ads and affiliate links. This module makes it a snap for any website — big or small — to engage and grow their traffic, market their content, gain insights, and monetize their audience, all from one powerful but easy-to-use dashboard. All our Apps are designed to work well together, on any website.

Earn money from Promoted Content.

AccessPress Social Share
Active Installs: 30,000+

Share your site URLs in most popular social media platforms and show share counts on your website with various designs.

Better Click To Tweet
Active Installs: 8,000+

Insert Click To Tweet boxes into your posts, simply and securely. This plugin is customizable, regularly updated, and future-proof.

Social Login
Active Installs: 30,000+

Social Login is a professionally developed and free WordPress (BuddyPress compatible) plugin that allows your visitors to comment, login and register with 30+ Social Networks like for example Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, PayPal, LiveJournal, Instagram, Вконтакте and Yahoo.

Marketing

WordPress Calls To Action
Active Installs: 10,000+

This plugin creates calls to action for your WordPress site. It gives site owners the ability to monitor and track conversion rates, run A/B or multivariate split tests on calls to action, and most importantly increase lead flow.

Marketing Optimizer
Active Installs: 200+

Easily the most complete A/B testing and conversion rate optimization software for WordPress.

Social Triggered Boxes
Active Installs: 10,000+

Scroll Triggered Boxes is a lightweight plugin for adding flexible call-to-actions to your WordPress site. Boxes can slide or fade in at any point and can contain whatever content you like.

WP Testimonials
Active Installs: 2,000+

A quick, easy way to add and display responsive, clean client’s testimonial on your website using a shortcode or widget

Easy Affiliate Links
Active Installs: 3,000+

Easily manage and cloak all your affiliate links.

Affiliates
Active Installs: 7,000+

The Affiliates system provides powerful tools to maintain an Affiliate Marketing Program.

Affiliates Manager
Active Installs: 3,000+

Running your WordPress site with an e-Commerce plugin or solution? WP Affiliate Manager can help you manage an affiliate marketing program to drive more traffic and more sales to your store.

Affiliate Marketing is the fastest growing advertising method and it is very cost effective. This plugin facilitates the affiliates recruitment, registration, login, and management process.

Affiliate Power
Active Installs: 700+

Affiliate Power tracks your affiliate income per post, so you can focus on things that pay!

Email Subscribers
Active Installs: 30,000+

Creates and send HTML newsletters to subscribers. Also has option to send notification email to subscribers when new posts are published.

Advertising

Advertising Manager
Active Installs: 10,000+

Easily place and rotate ads on inside your blog posts, templates, or sidebar widgets.

Ad Inserter
Active Installs: 20,000+

Ad Inserter is a simple yet powerful solution to insert any code into WordPress. Perfect for AdSense or contextual Amazon ads. Simply enter any HTML/Javascript/PHP code and select where and how you want to display it.

Simple Ads Manager
Active Installs: 20,000+

Advertisement rotation system with a flexible logic of displaying advertisements.

Forms

Contact Form 7
Active Installs: 1+ million

Contact Form 7 can manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and so on.

Fast Secure Contact Form
Active Installs: 400,000+

An easy and powerful form builder that lets your visitors send you email. Blocks all automated spammers.

Gravity Forms (Premium)
Active Installs: 1+ million

Gravity Forms is hands down the best contact form plugin for WordPress powered websites.

Let us know what you think of our best WordPress plugins for 2016.