Best WordPress Plugins in 2019

May 14, 2019

Choosing the Best WordPress Plugins

There are countless WordPress plugins available for free and for purchase. When deciding whether or not to try a plugin, I look at the usefulness, license, and price, in that order. In an age where plugins require expensive yearly fees, I try to spend more upfront for a lifetime / unlimited site license whenever possible. As a result, I have an impressive collection of plugins that can be used on many projects, both personal and commercial. My Best WordPress Plugins for 2019 list is in no particular order.

I will also list compatibility issues with Oxygen

#1 ) QuadMenu

A great menu plugin with many options, animations, and more.
$0 - 60

The default Oxygen menu template is uninspired and bland, although, it is incredibly simple to setup. QuadMenu is a feature-rich menu plugin with an available lifetime license on unlimited websites. I consider this one of the best ways to spend $60 as I can implement the menu on as many or as few of my personal and client websites as I wish. At the date of my purchase, the plugin was 50% off the regular developer price of $120, which would still be a great value and is easily one of my favorites on my Best WordPress Plugins list.

Compatibility Issues with Oxygen


Since Oxygen doesn't use themes, there are no menu locations, it is up to you to create them. Typically, the easiest way to add QuadMenu to your Oxygen WordPress website is to add it as a widget to your header builder. If you want to use the traditional menu locations however, you will need to add them through a custom WordPress plugin or a code block.

To Register a New Menu:
The PHP Code below will register a new header-menu location.

function register_menus() {
      'header-menu' => __( 'Header Menu' )
add_action( 'init', 'register_menus' );

PHP Code Block
Place this PHP code where you want this menu to appear. Don't forget to assign a menu to this location in your WordPress dashboard (Appearance/Menus).

wp_nav_menu( array( 'theme_location' => 'header-menu' ) );

#2 ) Monarch Social Media Sharing

A creative social sharing plugin that looks great and is simple to use.
$89/yr - 249

From the creators of Divi comes one of the top, most attractive, social media sharing plugins available. Monarch has a high sticker price, but it is easy to include social sharing on unlimited websites for a one-time fee of $249. This price also includes all of their themes, Divi, and an email opt-in plugin, but I can't say I'll ever use them. I'll knock off one star for value, but the plugin is the best I've used.

Compatibility Issues with Oxygen

Warning: strpos(): Empty needle in functions.php on line 589
Since Oxygen doesn't use a WordPress template (and disables it completely), Monarch fails at get_template_directory() on line 587 and causes the error on line 589. Comment out the following lines to get rid of this warning:

// if ( 0 === strpos( $core_path, $theme_dir ) ) {
	// $url = get_template_directory_uri() . '/core/';
// } else {
		$url = plugin_dir_url( __FILE__ );
// }

#3 ) QuForm 2

A form builder with an amazing interface and loads of features.

This is one of the few plugins that is a single use license that I find myself buying over and over again. I have a license on a half dozen of my personal websites and on several client sites. I first tried this plugin when doing a website for a real estate client and needed a quick way for their office staff to fill out a form and update a database of property listings that is then populated on the website. I could have used a custom type plugin, such as ACF, but this was much more simple for the end user.

My favorite features include saving to a custom database, conditional logic, complete visual customization, columns, pagination, and more. Although I've moved on from QuForm 2 and now use NinjaForms, it deserves a spot in my Best WordPress Plugins list and worth a look if you need a fantastic form builder.

#4 ) ACF Pro

A custom type plugin that opens a world of possibilities for WordPress sites.
$17 - 70

The ability to use custom fields allows WordPress to transcend from a simple blogging platform to operate complex business app needs. In a practical example, I recently had a local government website who wanted to lock their staff out from specific sections of the website and allow them to update files based on their department. I created custom user roles that allowed the staff to access department specific documents that they could update links or files. Need a business permit? Upload the link to the business permit custom field and it is updated across the entire site, accomplishing our goal.

Create real estate listings, appointments, events, and more with ACF. The pro developer license is a one time fee for unlimited websites for $100 AUD (about $70 USD) and unlocks many useful features making it an easy decision to take the plunge. This is one tool that makes nearly every Best WordPress Plugins list on the internet.

#5 ) Relevanssi Premium

An advanced search plugin for WordPress.

The most expensive plugin on this list, Relevanssi Premium is $299 for unlimited sites and a lifetime license. Sometimes a great search plugin isn't necessary, however, on my sites with many Word Documents or PDF's, I can index the file content and show the files directly in the search results. In addition, Relevanssi adds the ability to search custom post types, shortcode content, comments, and more (unlike the default WordPress search). Premium features include search results by weight, excluding post types, and conditional searching. If you are looking for a great search plugin, without expensive yearly fees, look no further.


Hopefully there are a few plugins on this list that you are interested in trying, or at the very least, learning more about. There are many great plugins out there that should be on this list, however, I utilize these tools on nearly every project. My Best WordPress plugins save time and money, while providing critical functions to my clients. Let me know a few of your favorite plugins in the comments below.

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May 14, 2019
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