Recommended WordPress Plugins and Themes

A note on the recommendations on this page. This content has been sourced by the BeeWUG group based on the decades of combined experience at the group. There are tens of thousands of WordPress Themes and almost 50,000 Plugins in the WordPress repository alone. We clearly cannot recommend everything for every specific needs, below are the leading Themes and Plugins for common needs. We have excluded all Themes and Plugins for popular Theme/Plugin market places due to their lack of quality control, regardless if there are actually any good ones on there. There are unfortunately too many poorly developed Themes and Plugins on those platforms to be included in a recommendations list.

Note to self…. add these into this page…

Quality WordPress Themes


Quality WordPress Plugins

Contact Form Plugins

– Contact Form 7

– Gravity Forms –

– Ninja Forms & WP Forms


Security Plugins

– All in One WordPress Security and Firewall

– Word Fence


– No Security Plugin

– Security by obscurity in some of the security plugins isn’t actually any more secure

– Do not believe “I have installed this security plugin, so I am secure…”

– WordPress level security is only one part of the security ecosystem


– iThemes Security & Backups

– Backups to be stored off-site


– Limit Login Attempts

– Block brute force attacks


– Sucuri or Cloud Flare

– Web based firewall


– Two Factor Authentication

– On WordPress Login

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

– WordPress SEO / Yoast SEO –

– All in One SEO Pack


Advanced Customisation

– Advanced Custom Fields


Spam Protection

– Akismet



– iThemes BackupBuddy – Stored remotely –


Speed Optimisation

– Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) –

– AMP Analytics (adding Google Analytics to Accelerated Mobile Pages pages)

– WP Total Cache

– WP Super Cache –

– Better WordPress Minify (all these types of plugins often break things when used in conjunction with other caching plugins due to duplicate caching)

– Pay more for web hosting, upgrade your systems is by far the most efficient way of boosting performance

– Use a Content Delivery Network such as Cloud Flare


Event Calendars

– The Events Calendar by Modern Tribe


Bookings and Appointments

– WPMUDEV Appointments+

– WooCommerce Bookings



– WooCommerce Memberships

– Members


User Access Control

– Information on default user roles within WordPress –

– User Role Editor –


Learning Management Systems (LMS)

– Moodle – (Non WordPress)

– WPMUDEV CoursePress –

– Lifter LMS –

– WooCommerce Sensei –

– LearnDash –

– LearnPress –


Visual Page Builders

– Divi Builder (Plugin, or Divi Theme)

– Beaver Builder –

– Elementor –

– WordPress Gutenberg plugin –


Hidden Website, i.e. During Development

– Registered Users Only

– Private Blog


Analytics and Tracking

– AMP Analytics

– Universal Google Analytics

– WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration



– WooCommerce


WordPress Migrations

– Default WordPress importer and exporter –

– WordPress Importer plugin –


Things Not to Use WordPress For

– Email Marketing, use email marketing platforms such as MailChimp or MailGun or Send Grid or Amazon SES (Simple Email Service) for transactional emails


WordPress Development

– WordPress Template Hierarchy –

– Query Monitor plugin – Will show you which Template within the Template Hierarchy a page is using –

– Header and Footer Scripts Plugin – Easily add custom code to headers and footers, i.e. for Google Analytics tracking code Javascript-

– WordPress Coding Standards –

– Enforce WordPress Coding Standards when developing –

– Local WordPress Development on Windows – XAMPP –

– Local WordPress Development on Mac – MAMP –


Web Server Monitoring

– AWS Cloudwatch (if you are using AWS…) –

– Munin –

– Linux Commands – top, atop, htop


Server Level Caching

– Redis –

– Memcached –