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.

Quality WordPress Themes

 

Quality WordPress Plugins

Contact Form Plugins

– Contact Form 7

– Best free contact form

– Doesn’t store local copies of emails sent

– No API

– No conditional forms

– No hooks, actions and filters support

 

– Gravity Forms

– Best paid contact form

– Stores a local copy of emails sent

– Full API to do really cool stuff

– Conditional forms

– Hooks, actions and filters support

– File uploads

– Multi page forms

– User registration

– Payment gateway integration

 

– Ninja Forms & WP Forms

– Free and paid versions

 

 

Security Plugins

– All in One WordPress Security and Firewall

– Free

 

– Word Fence

– Free and Paid

 

– 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

 

Backups

– iThemes BackupBuddy – Stored remotely

 

Speed Optimisation

– Accelerated Mobile Pages

– 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

 

Memberships

– WooCommerce Memberships

– Members

 

Hidden Website, i.e. During Development

– Registered Users Only

– Private Blog

 

Analytics and Tracking

– AMP Analytics

– Universal Google Analytics

– WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration

 

Ecommerce

– WooCommerce

 

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