Every WordPress Plugin I Use in 2021 and Why

By Nate McCallister


"Man is a tool-using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all."  

An Overly Dramatic But Relevant Quote for This Post by Thomas Carlyle

The "resource" part of my domain name should hint to the fact that I am obsessed with finding all the possible resources I can to do better in business. 

When it comes to building websites with WordPress, there is no shortage of resources. These come in the form of plugins. I've gone through (and I shit you not) hundreds of different ones over the years. 

Some work great, others destroyed my site and cost me a lot of time and money.

Here are the plugins that I am actually still using on this domain (a domain that earns over $70,000/month no less).

Also, I use most of these plugins on all the other sites I create for myself and my few by lovely clients.

Content Creation Plugins

Quick Note: A Theme isn't a plugin, but the Theme I use is included with the Thrive Themes Product Manager plugin. 

Thrive Architect Logo Transparent

Thrive Architect (Part Of Theme Themes Suite)

This is my bread and butter. It's like the paint brush for a painter. Thrive Architect frees me from the default vanilla editor that comes with WordPress. 

Smart slider pro

Smart Slider 3 Pro

This is far from as necessary as the Thrive Architect, but if you like creating highly visual content with slideshows, you'll enjoy this. 

Thrive Apprentice Logo

Thrive Apprentice

Another plugin that comes included with the Thrive Themes suite of software. Thrive Apprentice lets me build courses inside of WordPress. These are gorgeous looking and forced my hand in leaving Thinkific as my exclusive course hosting software. 

Lead Generation Plugins

Thrive Leads Logo

Thrive Leads (Part Of Theme Themes Suite)

If you've seen any pop-ups or opt-in forms on this site, those were displayed via Thrive Leads. The template forms are rock solid but you also have limitless freedom in customizing them to your liking. 

Social Locker

One Press Social Locker

Boost social shares by hiding content behind "share walls." When users share content on various social media channels, you reward them.  I don't use this a ton but it works when I do. 

Spam Defense Plugins

Akismet Logo

Akismet AntiSpam

No matter how big or small your blog is, you'l be flooded with spammers the second you turn on comments. Akismet crushes all of them. 

Speed Boosting Plugins

WP Rocket

WP Rocket

A powerful caching tool that keeps my website lean and fast. 

SEO Plugins

Yoast SEO Logo

Yoast SEO (Premium)

There are literally hundreds of SEO related WordPress plugins. Yoast is the gold standard for them. That is assuming that you invest in the premium version (the free version is fine but not enough). 

Schema Pro

Schema Pro

Look at the top pages in Google for some of the most competitive search terms and you'll notice they have something in common: schema! Easily add ratings, FAQs or more.

WP Sheet Editor

WP Sheet Editor (Trio Of Plugins) 

There are literally hundreds of SEO related WordPress plugins. Yoast is the gold standard for them. That is assuming that you invest in the premium version (the free version is fine but not enough). 

Link Whisper Icon

LinkWhisper

Internal linking isn't sexy, but LinkWhisper makes it easy. You can quickly fix years of poor internal linking in less than an hour.  Seriously. It's that powerful.

Image Attributes Pro

Auto Image Attributes Pro (2x Plugins) 

Much like how LinkWhisper can fix years of bad internal linking, Auto Image Attributes Pro can fix years of poor image tagging. 

Export All URLs

Export All URLs

This plugin is super simple but I've found so many cool uses for it. All it does is export your content into CSV files. I've used this to create content update worksheets in Excel. 

Sales Boosting Plugins

Thrive Optimize

Thrive Optimize allows me to create A/B tests of any sales or lead generation page. Powerful (if you remember to use it).

WP Coupons and Deals Plugin

WP Coupons And Deals

Easily add clippable coupons to your pages that offer discounts or promos. These work really, really well. 

Pretty-Links Logo

Pretty Links

Pretty Links turns ugly urls into shorter, more professional looking ones. I put it here with the sales boosting plugins because I think having proper links boosts sales. 

Contact Plugins

Contact Form 7 Logo

Contact Form 7

Nothing fancy here. Free and the standard choice (over 5.1 million installations) for basic contact pages on your site. 

tracking and Analytics

Site Kit by Google

Site Kit By Google

All of the Google insights you need (Analytics, Search Console, and Adsense) directly inside of WordPress. This is also Google's official plugin, so it's about as legit as it can be. 

Header and Footer Post injections

Head, Footer And Post Injections

Nothing fancy here. Free and the standard choice (over 5.1 million installations) for basic contact pages on your site. 

About the author

Nate is the founder and main contributor of EntreResource.com. He is a lifestyle entrepreneur who spends his time building businesses and raising his four kids Sawyer, Brooks, Van and Lua with his beautiful wife Emily. His main interests include copywriting, economics and piano.

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  1. Hi Nate, it seems like we use a lot of the same plugins. Are you like Thrive leads? That's one I have yet to try out. Thank you. I'd love to know more about that one.

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