There may be a feature or experience you want to add to your website, but you don’t have the coding chops to build it yourself. A website plugin can help.
So what are website plug-ins? Plugins are extensions that expand the functionality of your website. All you have to do is hit “install.”
In this post, you’ll learn the benefits of using website plugins. You’ll also see 17 website plugins that you can add to your site.
What is a website plugin?
Website plugins are individual services that extend the functionality of your site. You might use a website plugin to change visual elements, add extra information or content, and offer smoother integrations between your site and a favored tool. Plugins can also add a completely new function to your web property.
The beauty of website plugins is in their simplicity. All you have to do is download and install — or plug in the plugin!
How to Assess if a Plugin Is the Right Solution for You
When you don’t know how to choose, here are some general rules to find the best plugin for your needs.
1. Understand your website platform.
Plugins are developed for specific content management systems. When picking between plugins, make sure your options are compatible with your website.
For example. if you’re running your website on Shopify, then a WordPress plugin isn’t going to work. In that case, you’d want to look into Shopify apps.
2. Identify your website’s goal.
What are you trying to achieve?
Get specific and outline the issues people are facing on your site. Find out what actions you can take to fix the problem.
For example, “The messaging on the site is too general. If we personalize the messaging, we should see conversions increase by X% within [timeframe].”
3. Conduct research.
Once you’ve narrowed down your goal, conduct research to find a solution best that’s for your specific problem. For example, you may decide a permanent plugin isn’t what you need at all.
A good starting point is to assess your website’s current performance. Website Grader, a free tool by HubSpot, can help with this audit. Website Grader will show you exactly what your domain’s strengths and weaknesses are. Once you’ve eliminated what’s not a problem, you can start shopping for a solution that solves your actual challenges.
Ideally, you’ll want a plugin that has good reviews, is compatible with your site’s platform, and offers the actual features that can help you achieve your goal.
Additionally, check how often the plugin is updated. Old or outdated plugins may pose a security risk for your website. Active plugins that are frequently updated by their developers are always a safer choice.
Once you’ve found a good option, it’s time to get it onto your site for your first test.
Having trouble finding the best plugins? We’ve conducted some of the research for you. Keep reading to learn about our 17 favorite website plugins for the year.
The Best Website Plugins of 2022
- HubSpot: Lead Generation WordPress Plugin
- Proof: Social Proof Plugin for Websites
- Proof Factor: Social Proof Plugin
- All in One SEO: Search Engine Optimization Plugin
- WP Rocket: Caching Plugin for WordPress
- Optimole: Image Optimization Plugin
- RightMessage: Conversion Rate Optimization Plugin for Websites
- LimeSpot: Ecommerce Personalization
- Qualaroo: User Feedback Collection Plugin
- Jumper.ai: Conversation Checkout Plugin
- Intercom: Live Website Chat Plugin
- OptinMonster: Lead Generation Website Plugin
- Yoast SEO: Website Plugin for SEO
- WooCommerce: Ecommerce Plugin for WordPress
- Drift: Conversational Marketing Platform
- VWO: A/B Testing Plugin
HubSpot’s WordPress plugin is an all-in-one marketing and lead generation tool. This plugin can help you collect leads, create pop-up forms, and live chat with visitors. All that data you gather will then be sent to a free CRM to use for campaigns.
The HubSpot platform offers many other growth tools. Many of these tools are free. Premium options can help you accelerate your marketing, sales, and service operations.
Use case: Lead generation and customer relationship management.
Social proof is the idea that consumers will adapt their behavior based on what other people are doing. Testimonials or data about how many people use your product are all social proof.
For example, if a customer sees a million people on your website, they’ll understand that your service is popular and helpful. This increases the likelihood that they will remain a visitor.
Good social proof elements can be the difference between a user committing to buy or exiting your site.
Proof allows you to add social proof in different forms across your site, including current live visitor numbers, notifications of current purchases, and reports of how many people have recently signed up.
Use case: Social proof to boost conversion on landing pages.
Proof Factor is another plugin geared toward social proof elements. This plugin can show who recently bought a product and live visitor counts. This allows new visitors to quickly visualize the popularity of your products or services.
Best of all, Proof Factor also offers gamified pop-ups to add another lead generation element to your site and further engage new prospects.
Use case: Display social proof for increased conversion.
All in One SEO (AIOSEO) is a WordPress plugin for managing your website’s SEO. It’s perfect for website owners looking to quickly analyze their site’s organic performance.
With this plugin, there’s a smart website wizard that lets you quickly optimize your settings based on your site’s profile. There’s also added functionality for local SEO and WooCommerce SEO.
Use case: Improving website traffic with SEO.
If you care about traffic, user experience, and conversions, you shouldn’t overlook your website speed.
WP Rocket is one of the most powerful caching plugins for WordPress. This plugin helps you make your site faster in just a few clicks. Right upon activation, the plugin applies 80% of web performance best practices — simple as that.
Enable the advanced performance features to give your site an added boost. You can easily remove JS and CSS render-blocking resources, minify CSS and JS files, lazy load your images, and more. You’ll save time and optimize your loading time, Core Web Vitals, and PageSpeed Insights score.
Use case: Make your website load fast.
Nothing slows a site down like large image files. Optimole processes your images and reduces their weight without sacrificing quality. This plugin will automatically take your images and process them in real time with lazy loading.
With Optimole, your images automatically get adjusted to the right image size for your visitor’s browser and device. If they’re on a low-quality internet connection, Optimole will downgrade the image quality accordingly so your user experience won’t be affected.
Use case: Reduce image weight without sacrificing quality.
RightMessage helps you serve your customers through personalized content.
You’re able to segment users based on slide-in questionnaires, acquisition sources, or tags from your email service provider or CRM. Then, based on those segments, you can dynamically change messaging and CTAs to better appeal to that segment and increase conversion rates.
Additionally, the plugin integrates with a ton of site platforms including HubSpot, WordPress, and Squarespace.
Use case: Personalize calls to action to boost conversion.
LimeSpot is an e-commerce-specific plugin that’s available through the Shopify app directory.
It runs on powerful AI that analyzes user behavior as both an individual, and as part of a cohort to build out their user profile.
Once the AI’s analysis is complete, it makes dynamic product recommendations that are specific to each user. This massively increases relevancy and conversions.
Use case: Conversion optimization for e-commerce.
Knowing how your users are interacting with your site is key to identifying UX issues and design problems.
Hotjar’s heat maps provide you with an overview of user engagement. It can help highlight which CTAs and links are too vague, as well as where you’re losing people in long-form content. Hotjar even allows session recordings for real-time analysis.
As a bonus, Hotjar offers feedback polls for more explicit data collection.
Use case: Behavior monitoring to improve user experience.
Qualaroo takes the feedback element of Hotjar to the next level.
With Qualaroo you’re given a suite of features that automatically collect user data through more advanced targeting. You also have the option of including elements, like decision trees, to dig deeper into your questions.
Use case: Collect user feedback to improve products and experience.
Jumper.ai is best known as a social commerce tool, allowing brands to sell directly through their social media channels. However, Jumper.ai also offers a plugin that can help you make sales on your website.
This plugin takes Jumper.ai’s checkout bot and allows you to run it directly on your site. With Jumper, you can add this conversational checkout bot directly to your product or service landing pages.
For instance, here’s how it would look on a blog post.
Use case: Chatbot to help you increase conversions and improve your site’s user experience.
Intercom allows you to install a small widget in the bottom right corner of your site to engage users with a live chat.
With Intercom, you can set up an automated chatbot and connect customers with live operators. Additionally, you can use the tool to offer in-app support if you’re running a SaaS solution.
Best of all, Intercom also comes with an email marketing solution to further meet your business needs.
Use case: Set up automated chatbots and live chats to walk users through challenges.
OptinMonster is a lead generation service that gives you the ability to target offers to specific user segments.
With OptinMonster, you can set offers to appear only after a visitor has been on your site for a set period, displays exit intent, or has visited certain pages. Ideally, this will help you guarantee your offers are reaching people once they’re eager to learn more.
Use case: Capture leads with exit intent pop-ups and other time-sensitive methods.
SEO is a complex discipline to master. Yoast can help your team follow best practices.
Yoast’s SEO plugin isn’t a perfect solution. However, this plugin works well for SEO beginners who need a good overview of their actions. Yoast’s plugin can help keep your website on track and ensure you’re truly optimizing your site for search.
For instance, the tool can amend meta descriptions for you. This ensures you’re only showing key information in search results and social shares. When you’re busy or don’t have the resources to dedicate to SEO, Yoast can help you level up.
Use case: Beginner-friendly tool to add meta tags without code.
WooCommerce is one of the bigger e-commerce solutions out there. It extends WordPress sites into online stores.
It’s a perfect addition for WordPress users who want to start selling their own products.
Use case: Sell products on your WordPress site.
Drift has taken the concept of conversational marketing to the next level, and is a great addition to other marketing tools in your arsenal.
Drift offers chatbot services that can help make product suggestions or answer common questions. This plugin also allows you to segment messages based on your users’ accounts, creating a more personalized user experience.
Use case: Personalize marketing to boost conversions.
Testing different elements of your site, from headlines and images to CTAs and messaging, is key to improving your marketing results. However, running individual A/B tests can be time-consuming and difficult.
Fortunately, the VWO A/B testing tool is an all-in-one solution that automatically runs A/B tests on your pages. The results can help you improve the overall optimization of your website.
Use case: A/B testing to diagnose issues and increase conversions.
What website plugin will work for you?
There are countless website plugins out there, and each one aims to solve a unique website problem.
If your goal is to minimize friction in the purchase or sign-up journey for your users, for example, a behavior monitoring tool like Hotjar will help. Figure out your goal, then find a plugin that helps you achieve it.
And if you’re looking for a free website plugin that’ll help you generate more qualified leads, check out HubSpot’s free solution below.