Back in 2011-2013 I ran MineCraftier.net network which was a medium-sized network at the time. Although I have reopened it as a project of mine there are still some plugins that I used back then that I am still using now. Or I have found a similar plugin and I will recommend why those specific features helped run my community.
It is worth also mentioning that over time some plugins become discontinued and often a new fork will get created a classic example is Essentials which is a very common plugin that has been ported to a fork called EssentialsX which supports more modern MineCraft networks. So keep in mind that in the future you may want to search SpigotMC.org for recently updated plugins that may have a more up to date plugins.
Top Recommended Plugins for Spigot MineCraft Servers
These plugins are not listed in any particular order and some of these plugins wont be needed on all server types but they are very useful to be aware that these plugins exist.
Essentials / EssentialsX
Essentials became a mainstream plugin since it’s an early release and I have always used Essentials on every server I have loaded up. Simply because it supplies the basic warps, economy capabilities, private messaging and also offers a ton of features that integrate with thousands of other plugins.
CoreProtect is a plugin that I always load onto any server because it’s a free insurance policy on your server for if anything bad happens. Yes, you should always backup your servers properly but if you’re working an an Admin on a new building for your server and it doesn’t go to plan you can easily undo any actions you have done in a certain radius for a specific area for a time frame or by action, user events and server events meaning you can cancel those actions out.
You almost get a power trip blowing your spawn up with TNT and rolling it back to perfect normality within seconds of typing a command. All fun aside it is a useful plugin and I have used it for years and I find it to be a reliable plugin.
There is one point worth mentioning is that because it monitors block changes and records history of block changes by multiple users it does create large database files. You can set it up to automatically purge data every X period. For example, setting your purge to 30d means you could not rollback past 30 days as the block history data would be deleted. Although I don’t find the filesize intrusive this would be a large gigabyte range file on larger networks. But if you compress your backups and rotate them off-site you shouldn’t have any storage issues just check the database size every few months just to make sure it’s not too bloated.
LuckPerms (Spigot & Bungee)
As I came back into creating MineCraft servers in early 2020 I noticed PEX was not an actively used plugin anymore and discovered that LuckPerms was a popular mainstream permissions plugin. Although I have only used LuckPerms for a few months it is one of the best permission plugins I’ve used.
LuckPerms is supported on BungeeCord with cross-server support for Bungee networks, individual world permissions. On top of that LuckPerms have an inbuild web editor that allows you to edit permissions in a handy web GUI that allows you to sync changes using a sync command.
If your LuckPerms setup uses MySQL you will also have this data sync up with all connected instances in real time as well as saved to the database.