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Top WordPress Plugins for 2020

Kalee Raisor
Kalee Raisor Wordpress

Wordpress is the most popular CMS on the internet, and it's no wonder when you consider how easy to use and extendible it is. With a little proper planning you can ensure you have a fast, reliable, and secure website packed with all the functionality you need.

Almost every WordPress site is going to be using plugins as the default package doesn't even contain a way for users to submit a form to email you if they need to get in touch. Accordingly I wanted to put together a list (in alphabetical order) of my top picks for WordPress plugins going into 2020.

Askimet Wordpress Plugin Icon

Akismet Anti-Spam

Akismet is a plugin from Automattic that checks contact form submissions and comments against a global database of spam. It's extremely simple to install and setup and helps mitigate many otherwise annoying issues.

If you have comments enabled or a contact form on your site, you are going to want to use this plugin. And speaking of comments, that brings me to the next plugin on my list...

Comments – Wpdiscuz Wordpress Plugin

Comments – wpDiscuz

Comments – wpDiscuz comes from the gVectors Team. This plugin is free and has paid addons available, the free version gives you all the features you would normally go to a third party such as Disqus for except packaged right into your site.

Comments – Wpdiscuz Wordpress Plugin Light

Wpdiscuz Demo

Some of the features are:

  • Comment Voting
  • Askimet Integration
  • Pinned Comments
  • Advanced Styling Options

The paid addons available can add more functionality such as myCred integration, user mentioning, emoticons, frontend moderation, and reporting and flagging.

Custom Post Type Permalinks Icon

Custom Post Type Permalinks

The Custom Post Type Permalinks plugin extends the default permalinks page to include Custom Post Types.

Custom Post Type Permalinks Settings

Custom Post Type Permalinks Settings

You can use the default WordPress tags, tags for custom taxonomies, and you can set it so that custom taxonomies will be prepended with the CPT slug.

Ewww Image Optimizer Icon

EWWW Image Optimizer

EWWW Image Optimizer is, in my opinion, the best available free image optimization plugin for WordPress. It will optimize images as they are uploaded, but you can also batch optimize them after the fact.

Ewww Image Optimizer Settings

Also available is the ability to use Lazy Load images, CDN integration, automatic image resizing and/or resize detection, and much more.

Permalinks Customizer Icon

Permalinks Customizer

Okay, so this one needs a bit of explaining as currently the last update was 6 months ago and fills a very specific need, otherwise it wouldn't be on this list.

This plugin is not as good for everyday use like the Custom Post Type Permalinks plugin is, instead this plugin fills a need that would otherwise require a significant amount of work.

Permalinks Customizer Tags

Permalinks Customizer Tags

Let's say that you want to remove the slug from a custom post type and you want your Posts to use multiple taxonomies in the URL as well. This plugin can do that very easily but can be a big buggy when it comes to the automatic redirects it creates. Whenever I've used it I delete all of the automatic redirects and just use the permalink functionality.

Redirection Wordpress Plugin Icon


Redirection is a really fantastic plugin from John Godley.

Redirection Wordpress Plugin

Redirection Wordpress Plugin

Need a plugin that will automatically create a 301 redirect if you change a permalink in a post or page? This plugin will do that. Need a plugin that has advanced regex capabilities? This plugin will do that too. Rebuilt your website and need to import your mapped redirects? Boom, got you covered.

Velvet Blues Update Urls Icon

Velvet Blues Update URLs

Did you move your site to a new domain? This plugin will help you update internal content and image links that are absolute links. Much easier and safer than trying to use a SQL query, especially if your WordPress site has a lot of complexity, custom fields, and so on.

Widget Context Wordpress Plugin Icon

Widget Context

Widget Context is a plugin that helps you set parameters when you want a widget to show or be hidden.

Widget Context Wordpress Plugin

Your selection can be based upon custom post types, custom taxonomies, posts, pages, archives, by word count, or you can target by URL. For example you can have widgets only display when the URL contains a certain word along with a wildcard.

Wp Featherlight – A Simple Jquery Lightbox Wordpress Plugin Icon

WP Featherlight

WP Featherlight is a lightbox plugin for WordPress that works very simply and, unlike a lot of other options, has minimal impact on speed and performance.

The End

And there you have my list of free plugins that I use regularly on almost every site. There are additional plugins that I either use a bit less frequently or are paid that I didn't add to the list, such as Really Simple SSL, SEOPress, Toolset Types, etc.