Top 20 WordPress Plugins I Use to Increase my ROI and CRO

Top 20 WordPress Plugins

I don’t write a lot of list posts but I do get people occasionally asking me what WordPress plugins I recommend using. So I thought I would write up a post with my top 20 WordPress Plugins. These are in alphabetical order and a mix of free and premium plugins. I use these to grow the traffic on my blog, build my email list, and increase my ROI/CRO. In fact some most of them I have full reviews on so you can read more about them before trying. I’m sure there are some below you haven’t tried!

I never use a plugin without a specific purpose and so I have assigned the following categories to each plugin:

  • Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Social Media Marketing (SMM)
  • Speed
  • Essentials
  • Navigation

I also let you know if it is a free or premium plugin and the source of the download.

1 – BugMeBar


Conversation Rate Optimization / Premium / Code Canyon
BugMeBar is a great cheap Hello Bar alternative for a notification bar at the top of your site. I like it is because it is a lot more customizable, loads fast, and is also responsive. Make sure to check out my review on BugMeBar.

Download BugMeBar

2 – Disqus Conditional Load

disqus conditional load

Speed / Free & Premium / WordPress Repository

I am a huge fan of the Disqus Conditional Load (DCL) plugin. The default version of Disqus usually creates a minimum of 10 HTTP requests upon loading. Which is crazy! I still love using Disqus because I don’t have to worry about spam. The DCL plugin fixes this problem by allowing you to setup Disqus either with a lazy load option or with a click to load option, both which work great. Also make sure to check out my review on disqus conditional load.

Download Disqus Conditional Load

3 – Widget Options

Widget Options
Widget Options

Conversation Rate Optimization / Free & Premium /  WordPress Repository

Widget Options is just a downright awesome plugin! I use it on all of my sites. You can change your sidebar content for different pages, categories, custom taxonomies, and WPML languages. Avoid creating multiple sidebars and duplicating widgets by adding check boxes to each widget in the admin which will either show or hide the widgets on every site page. Great for avoiding extra coding and keeping your sidebars clean.

There is both a free and premium version. Make sure to check out how I use Widget Options to hide WordPress widgets on specific pages or posts.

Download Display Widgets

4 – perfmatters

WordPress perfmatters plugin
WordPress perfmatters plugin

Speed / Premium /  forgemedia LLC

perfmatters is a lightweight WordPress performance plugin. My brother and I actually develop this ourselves. You can now have all of our crazy performance hacks with one simple click. And it works alongside your caching plugins. You can do things such as disable emojis, remove query strings, limit or disable WordPress post revisions, and even disable scripts on a per page/post basis. And there is so much more!

Download perfmatters

5 – Gravity Forms

gravity forms

Conversation Rate Optimization / Premium /  Rocketgenius

If you work with any types of forms than I highly recommend purchasing Gravity Forms. It makes configuring forms easy. Also with a special configuration I have been able to remove all my captchas and I don’t receive a single piece of spam! With no captchas my conversion rate for web form submissions has skyrocketed. Check out my article on how I did it: Get Rid of That Captcha! Increase Your Conversions. Just because of this one little trick the plugin pays for itself within a matter of hours.

Download Gravity Forms

6 – Heartbeat Control

heartbeat control

Speed / Free /  WordPress Repository

If you are obsessed with the speed of your WordPress site like me then you have probably noticed delays with admin-ajax.php. Well there is now an easy way to fix this problem, and that is with the free Heartbeat control plugin. Check out my article on how to Diagnose admin-ajax.php Causing Slow Load Times in WordPress.

Download Heartbeat Control

7 – Social Warfare

social warfare

Social Media Marketing / Premium /  Warfare Plugins

We all love a good social media sharing plugin and trust me I have used my fair share. When Warfare Plugins released the Social Warfare plugin I was blown away by the options available and I loved the UI and look! It loads quicker than most competitors plugins and I can easily make it match the rest of my site’s color scheme in a matter of seconds. Their developer Nick is the most proactive developer I have ever seen. He will fix bugs within hours, not even joking.

Download Social Warfare

8 – NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster


Social Media Marketing / Free & Premium /  WordPress Repository

I have used Social Networks Auto-Poster (SNAP) for years now on all of my client’s sites. I highly recommend purchasing the PRO version. We don’t all have time to post to every social network and so I set this plugin up to automatically post to what I call “less important networks” like StumbleUpon, Delicious, Linkedin, etc… I have even grown a Facebook page from 0 to 500 likes all from automation with SNAP and no effort from myself. Pretty great! Check out my article on how to Take Advantage of Free StumbleUpon Referral Traffic with SNAP.

Download SNAP

9 – Pretty Link Lite

pretty link lite

Search Engine Optimization / Free /  WordPress Repository

I have used Pretty Link Lite for years now on a lot of sites. This is an awesome plugin for affiliate marketers. The reporting is amazing and you can easily setup your affiliate links to be “nofollow” so you don’t get in trouble with Google. Make sure to check out my tutorial on how to Mask Affiliate Links in WordPress with Pretty Link Plugin.

Download Pretty Link Lite

10 – Q2W3 Fixed Widget

q2w3 fixed widget

Conversation Rate Optimization / Free /  WordPress Repository

The Q2W3 Fixed Widget is a plugin I just started using recently and now I use it on every single site. It allows you to quickly mark any widget as “fixed,” which means the widget will always be in sight whether you scroll up or down. This has dramatically increased the CTR and conversion rate on some of my affiliate ads. Take advantage of all that white space on your longer posts! This can be great for Ads, CTAs, and even web forms.

Download Q2W3 Fixed Widget

11 – Scroll to Top Button

scroll to top

Navigation / Free /  WordPress Repository

The scroll to top button plugin is stupid simple and does exactly what it is supposed to. It allows you to add a small button so that the user can easily go back up to the top when scrolling down. The code is super clean and very easy to customize with CSS.

Download Scroll To Top

12 – Simple 301 Redirects

simple 301 redirects

Search Engine Optimization / Free /  WordPress Repository

The simple 301 redirects plugin is a “must have” plugin in my opinion. If you ever do anything with SEO than you will need this plugin. Ever need to change a slug or page name? Well then you will need to redirect the old slug to keep the traffic and backlinks intact. This can be very useful for SSL migrations and variety of other things such as setting up short URLs for different campaigns that redirect.

Download Simple 301 Redirects

13 – Social Metrics Tracker

social metrics tracker

Social Media Marketing / Free /  WordPress Repository

Ever wonder which posts are doing well on your blog? And I’m not just referring to traffic, but which social media networks they are doing well on. Well the Social Metrics Tracker gives you beautiful reports on which you can configure a social score. Use social shares, comments, and traffic combined to see what posts you should be re-sharing and focusing your effort on. This has been a very important plugin to help me with growing my evergreen content.

Download Social Metrics Tracker

14 – VaultPress


Essentials / Premium /  WordPress Repository

I don’t care who your web hosting company is, you should always have a 3rd party external backup in case of a disaster. I would never recommend putting all your eggs in one basket. That is why I use VaultPress on all of my important sites so I can sleep at night knowing I have multiple backups. This plugin is also awesome if you accidentally update something and need to revert to a previous file. The cheapest plans are $5 per month and definitely worth every penny! Make sure to check out Kevin’s tutorial on How To Backup Your WordPress Website Using VaultPress.

Download VaultPress

15 – W4 Post List

w4 post list

Navigation / Free /  WordPress Repository

The W4 Post List is a great plugin for creating all sorts of different lists on your WordPress site. Basically it makes queries into shortcodes so you can compile lists of anything you want. I recreated my Archives page with this plugin to show when the post was originally published, how many comments it has, and also when it was last updated. Kevin has a great review on W4 Post list on his blog.

Download W4 List Post

16 – WordPress SEO

wordpress seo by yoast

Search Engine Optimization / Free /  WordPress Repository

If you do anything with SEO than you need to be using this plugin. From making sure you have well optimized title tags, good meta descriptions to increase your CTR, and more advanced features like whether or not the post/page should be indexed or not; this plugin does it all! I also use this plugin to create my sitemap files which I submit to Google, Bing, and Yandex. You can also do other things with this plugin such as setting up your Twitter cards and preventing Google from indexing your WP image attachment pages.

Download WordPress SEO

17 – WordPress Cache Enabler

wordpress cache enabler

Speed / Premium /  WordPress Cache Enabler

If you want a fast website then ditch W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache and get the best free WordPress caching plugin on the market! The best bloggers in the business have all been switching over to this plugin, and for a good reason. It is the first plugin of its kind to also support WebP images and a pure focus on the new HTTP/2 protocol. Check out my review on of WordPress Cache Enabler.

And don’t just take my word for it, check out the clash of the caching plugins from WPHostingSpot.

Download WordPress Cache Enabler

18 – Optimus WordPress Compression

optimus wordpress compression plugin

Speed Premium /  WordPress Repository

If you want a fast site, then you need to be optimizing your images. I never publish an image that is over 120kb on my site. That is one of the reason’s why my sites always load super fast. If you don’t want to bother or don’t have time to compress your images every time you upload them then I highly recommend getting the Optimus WordPress compression plugin. They offer cheap yearly plans and there are no limits on the amount of images you can compress. Every time you upload an image it quickly connects to the Optimus server and compresses it. Optimus beats the socks off when it comes to the quality of compression. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed!

Download Optimus

19 – WP Subscribe Pro

wp subscribe

Conversation Rate Optimization / Free /  MyThemeShop

When it comes to your site you need to have a good way to capture leads and build your email list. Ever since switching to WP Subscribe my conversation rate has gone way up! I have tried Sumome and many other 3rd party plugins. WP Subscribe allows you to easily setup signup forms in widgets, at the beginning and end of your posts, and  also has a popup option. The design and UI are beautiful and easily customizable. Everyone knows that MyThemeShop is know for their clean and super fast code, and they have another winner with WP Subscribe Pro.

Download WP Subscribe Pro

20 – ZigWidgetClass


Conversation Rate Optimization – Speed / Free /  WordPress Repository

ZigWidgetClass plugin allows me to add classes to my widgets in WordPress so that I can hide them on different screen resolutions. For example, maybe you have a horizontal adsense ad. Well that probably isn’t going to scale down on a mobile device so this plugin allows you to hide it. By doing this you can increase the CTR on what is really important for mobile devices and what scales correctly. Check out my tutorial on How to Hide WordPress Widgets on Mobile Devices.

Download ZigWidgetClass

I will make sure to keep this post up to date as new and better plugins come out. Hopefully you found a couple that maybe you haven’t tried or heard of! As always feel free to leave your comments below.

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23 thoughts on “Top 20 WordPress Plugins I Use to Increase my ROI and CRO”

  1. Hey Biran,

    This is a crazy list man. I use a few of them on the list and right this moment, I’m going to try out Q2W3 Fixed Widget which I think looks great

    Thanks for the shout out too ;) I had to take down w3 total cache in favor of wp rocket which still remains a great addition to my blog.

    Hope you had a wonderful weekend Brian

    • Haha, thanks Enstine! Ya I bet you will like Q2W3 widget. It is a great way to have an affiliate ad scroll with the user on the right hand side.

      And yes WP Rocket is dominating the caching space. Thanks for stopping by.

    • No problem Jules! Glad you found something useful in it. I highly recommend WP Rocket and it is what I have running on all of my client’s sites.

  2. Hi Brian, Simple 301 Redirects is a winner….but I guess you knew that. :) Thanks for making my life so much easier.

  3. Brian, thank you for this article! I’ve referred to it at least a dozen times, and found a few new favs (sticky widget is great!)

  4. Hey buddy. Nice list, I`m going to use the Wp Subscribe Pro plugin. It has some nice features and the price is a bargain.

    Off topic, what made you switch back to regular WordPress comments, instead of Disqus?


    • Hey Madalin. Yes, I have used the WP Subscribe Pro plugin for years and still love it. I use it now with MailerLite and it works great.

      As far as comments… I discovered that with the Lazy Load Disqus plugin, with caching support turned on, Google bot wasn’t crawling my comments. Disabling caching support has other issues with the plugin. So I went back to native comments for SEO purposes. And actually, my engagement has shot through the roof! I get 4x the amount of comments now. And I am referring to quality comments, as I have everything on manual approval.

  5. Just came across the link via Twitter! Nice list! I hope you can update the list and add Widget Options instead of Display Widgets which is now unavailable for download. Cheers!

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