Snug Site

Recommended Backend WordPress Plugins: Enhance Admin Functionality & Performance


When considering a WordPress plugin for backend functionalities, the choices are vast and sometimes daunting. Delving into, and deciphering the best from the multitude can often eat up hours of your valuable time.

To save you from this labyrinth, we’ve methodically put together an essential list of backend plugins, with a special emphasis for those harnessing the capabilities of Elementor Pro. At Snug Site, we champion the cause of efficiency, website health, and cost-effectiveness. This often means maximizing what Elementor Page Builder offers, enabling us to sidestep the need for numerous plugins. A minimalist approach often spells optimum site health.

The plugins enumerated below are Snug Site’s top picks for backend utilities, each recognized for their stellar quality and purpose-driven functionalities. It’s vital to remember that while plugins may vary in features and approach, our list provides a sturdy launching pad. If you sense an omission of a pivotal backend plugin, trust that it might be under our rigorous evaluation lens.

Note: We feature the ‘Paid’ variant only when it outshines the ‘Free’ one or is from a distinct developer.

Below are the backend powerhouses that keep your site smoothly running behind the scenes.

Note: You are currently viewing the “Backend” plugins list for plugins that a visitor doesn’t need to know are humming along in the background.

There are seperate Articles available for:

Recommended WordPress Frontend Plugins: Which are plugins that are primarily designed to add things that a visitor will see and interactive with.

Recommended WooCommerce Plugins: To add extra functionality to your WordPress online store.

Recommend WordPress Backend Plugins


We’d like to give a special mention to a plugin called ‘Admin and Site Enhancements‘ which offers a suite of options that replaces the need for multiple plugins. This is a modular system, and appears to run quite lean.

301 Redirection

Free: Rank Math
You could use a stand-alone Redirect plugin, but why not just activate the Redirection Module in Rank Math? You are using Rank Math right?!


Free: AutomatorWP 

(A bit light on features, but pretty good for Free option)

Paid: AutomatorWP

Once you integrate this with things like FluentCRM, the sky is the limit.


Free: UpdraftPlus
The ability to send backups to Google Drive, and easy set up, and nice range of features makes this a winner, winner, chicken dinner.

Broken Link Checker

Free: Broken Link Checker
Obvious – but worth a mention. 


Free: WP Fastest Cache

We’ve done lots of testing in this area, and get consistently good results with this, and the settings are rather simple to understand.

Free (If Site on a Litespeed servers: LiteSpeed Cache
No “ifs”, no “buts”, use this plugin if you are on a “LightSpeed Server”.

We used to use…

Note, we used to use: Free: Autoptimize with Cache Enabler  and Redis Object Cache but have stopped using Autoptimize since using other plugins to minify and combine CSS JS, disable emojis etc. (using Admin and Site Enhancements, see above)

Comment Spam

Free: Forget Spam Comment
This is a sweet plugin, just does exactly what we expect of it.

CRM (Self-Hosted)

Paid: fluentCRM

Well worth a look if you don’t want ot use a theird party tool like Keap or GetResponse etc. And it just integrates into your site better doing it this way. Lots of integrations, a focus on performance and features.

Note: Their is a Free Version, but it’s missing so many features, I wouldn’t recommend it over a different CRM provider. See:

Cross Domain Copy/Paste

Free: Doubly
We use this sometimes, it’s a real time-saver, and improves work-flow significantly.

Database Explorer

Free: SQL Buddy

Deactivate Plugins per Page, Post,  Product

Free: Freesoul Deactivate Plugins – Plugin manager and cleanup

…enhances website performance and solves plugin conflicts by allowing selective deactivation of plugins on various pages, reducing HTTP requests and database queries, and providing features like problem-solving JavaScript deactivation, plugin management via custom URLs, and the ability to preview pages with specific plugins activated.

Duplicate Posts

Free: Duplicate Page
This plugin just always seems to get it right, never had an issue with this one.

Exclude Posts from Search

Free: Search Exclude
When you really need to prevent people finding a post on your site through the WordPress Search function. Adds a simple checkbox on each Post Type.

Geolocation CSS

Free: Geolocation IP Detection
We love this plugin. Such a lean way to create dynamic visibility based on location for your website as it injects CSS classes based on detected visitor location in the header (think about it :)

Google Analytics Intetgration

Free: CAOS
You can just paste your Code Snippet into Elementor ‘s Custom Code section, but if you are trying to eke out as much site speed optimisation as possible, use this plugin to host the Google JS locally.

Header and Footer Code

Free: Head, Footer and Post Injections
Our go-to Header and Footer code injector is actually Elementor Pro’s built-in method, but if you really must use a plugin for this.. then go ahead and use our preferred one above.

Headers Security Advanced & HSTS

Free: Headers Security Advanced & HSTS WP

Wow. This is a brilliant Security Header Plugin and HSTS plugin that pretty much every website should have installed.

Image Optimisation

Free: EWWW Image Optimizer
Love, Love, Love, this plugin, buy these people a coffee! It has image resizing, selective image version creation and optimisation, CDN enhancements, and much more built in.

Mail Logging

Free: WP Mail Logging
There’s only a few of these to choose from, but having used them all, this is the one we keep coming back to.

Maintenance Mode

Free: Maintenance

This one is not overly complex and will do everything you need for free.

Media Library Management

Free: Folders – Unlimited Folders to Organize Media Library Folder, Pages, Posts, File Manager
This is a great option as it also provides Page and Post Categories which can be disabled and enabled. It includes Media Replace too! This plugin makes us happy. When comparing to other similar offering, it’s in a league of it’s own in terms of usability and design.

Migration Tool

Free: Migrate Guru: Migrate & Clone WordPress Free

We love how it works with larger sites, and has a painless process.


(also added to frontend wordpress plugin recommendations list as it’s quite customer facing)

Free/Paid: FluentCRM

Fluent is kicking goals lately, they just appeared on the WordPress plugin scene out of nowhere with well-craft and generous plugins – like some kind of tech-centric “industry plant” This plugin has a great balance of free and Premium features, the latter being something you will happily pay for if you need them. 

Performance Profiler

Free: Code Profiler
Not much in offer in this category of plugin, but here you go… the best one to use folks.

Password Protected Post Tokens

Free: Post Password Token
Not a popular feature request, but a hard to find out-of-the-box solution, so, we found it, don’t really bother looking further, jsut grab that one,.

Preload Pages

Free: Flying Pages
Gives the illusion of subsequent pages loading faster, by attempting to load them before someone even clicks on them. There’s a couple of plugins like this, but this one seems to run the smoothest for us.

Restrict Access based on Purchase

Free: Page Restrict for WooCommerce
Great little plugin for restricting page and post access based on past purchases. 

Rich Snippets / Structured Data

Free: Scheme & Structued Data for WP & AMP
Very useful when your SEO Plugin of choice fails to output Meta Data / Rich Data.

Schedule Content Changes

Free: PublishPress Revisions
Another rare requirement for site Admins, but the coolest we found that allows you to makes changes to a site some time in the future.

Search Exclude

Free: Search Exlcude
Not for hiding from Google, but prevents pages and posts etc. from coming up in your own websites search box.


Free: Rank Math
We could argue for hours about which SEO plugin is best, and the answer usually depends on the technical know-how of the end user *this isn’t our favourite SEO plugin* – but Rank Math ticks so many boxes, and the feedback from layman users are that this is awesome stuff.

Note: Special Mention to  SEOPress, which might be aour new favourite SEO Plugin, but testing is ongoing.


Free: Wordfence
This is a hard one… such a close contest, honestly we could lean either way between this and it’s biggest competitor, but  – There can be only one!

Shopping Cart (Digital Products)

Free: Studiocart

There is also a Paid versino that rocks! This is great for anyone that wants to sell ad-hoc things (like courses, or ebooks), without the need for shipping etc. And then have that purchase trigger some other plugin to do something (like add someone to fluentCRM, or grant them membership in an LMS etc.)

SMTP Mailer

Free: Post SMTP Mailer
We flip-flop between our preferred SMTP mailer plugin, but at this current moment in time – this is the one we install gleefully.

Note! For Outlook / Office365 use fluentSMTP – it’s free.


Free: Really Simple SSL
Paid: Really Simple SSL

Really simple isn’t really simple…  but it’s really simple to implement SSL Features using this plugin. It’s a shame the free version is missing a lot that the paid version offers though.

User Switching

Free: User Switching
Such a handy tool, and I love the simplicity in features and function on display here.

Table of Contents

Share this article...


Related Articles...