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Best Free WordPress Plugins

As one of the most popular content management systems out there, WordPress is utilized by many people to handle everything website-wise. More than enough famous websites, from Time.com to the New York Observer, use WordPress, too.

But once you’ve decided what your website is going to look like, you’ve picked a theme, and you’ve even created a content calendar, you should install some plugins. Many are free WordPress plugins, but for others, you will have to pay. 

In today’s post, we’re looking at the best free WordPress plugins for blogs or websites. 

Must-have free WordPress plugins

  1. Jetpack

Jetpack is, without a doubt, one of the best free WordPress plugins out there. It’s been installed by more than four million users, after all. This tool comes with everything you might need from social sharing to statistics, and it helps you prevent any website attacks.

There are some features that you aren’t going to be able to benefit from if you decide to use just the free version. The paid one comes with daily backups, spam protection, as well as a variety of SEO tools. 

Best of all, Jetpack is made by WordPress and hosted on their server, so that’s one less thing to worry about in terms of your website functionality. 

  1. Akismet Anti-Spam

Akismet is another great option, especially if you are worried about receiving spam comments on your site. Also a part of the category of free plugins for WordPress, Akismet is reliable and effective, and it has been downloaded more than 35 million times. 

Furthermore, it is relatively easy to install, and once you’ve set it all up, you don’t virtually have to do anything. The plugin works all on its own, but we’d still advise you to check your comments once in a while just to be sure that none have been wrongly marked as spam (when they were actually genuine). 

  1. WPForms

Everyone needs a contact form, but how should you go about things when creating one? If you don’t want to deal with too much hassle, WPForms is the right plugin for you. It’s user-friendly and powerful, and it simply lets you create forms by dragging and dropping the sections you need. 

You can then save templates that you can use for your future forms. There is no specific limit as to how many forms you can make with this plugin, so that’s one less thing to worry about. 

Plus, it even has built-in spam prevention. Naturally, there is a premium version available, and it gives you access to a variety of additional features that range from file uploads to multi-page forms. 

  1. MonsterInsights

There are a variety of WordPress free plugins that you can use to consult data about your site or blog, but none of them are as useful as this one. 

MonsterInsights is a plugin that gives you all of the Google Analytics data in your WordPress dashboard, which means that you don’t have to go in a different tab, log into Google Analytics, and then make your way through all of the confusing settings. 

The plugin lets you see detailed reports on your traffic and the way your website visitors interact with your content. There is a paid plan available and it costs just under $100, but you can also use the free version to get a taste of the basic features. 

  1. Google XML Sitemaps

Every website needs to have a sitemap submitted to the search engines that it needs to rank on. If you don’t regularly upload one, your ranking can suffer significantly, and the info that search engines can show can be too old. 

But having to remember to upload your sitemap to the Google Search Console on a regular basis can, in all honesty, be a bit of a hassle. If you can’t be bothered with dealing with this, there’s one easy way of fixing the problem — the Google XML Sitemap plugin. 

The plugin automatically creates a sitemap for all of the most important search engines that people use — from Google and Bing to Yahoo. It also lets you select some features that can allow the plugin to notify the search engines about any updates that you have made to your website. Google XML Sitemap saves you both time and effort. 

  1. Yoast

Yoast can be used for optimizing your site specifically for search engines. There are loads of other choices out there, including All in One SEO, which we have reviewed in a different post, for example.

Yoast is easy to use, but it has had its share of problems in the past. However, their engineers are working hard on making sure that the plugin works great these days. 

  1. Elementor

If you’re also interested in creating sales and landing pages on your website, you will need a page builder that works and that’s as easy to use as possible. So that’s where Elementor comes in. 

It’s a user-friendly editor that enables you to create new pages merely by dragging new elements in and out of them. 

  1. Ninja Forms

With this plugin, you can build any type of custom form you want. You can also use them for contact, submissions, or registrations, so you can also integrate it into your newsletter routine. 

In a nutshell, you can take advantage of Ninja Forms by using its editor, which like the one on Elementor, allows you to drag sections and put them wherever you want them. 

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  1. WP Super Cache

Website speed has always been an important ranking factor, so you want your readers to be able to access your site and load your pages in a timely fashion. 

WP Super Cache, a plugin designed by Automattic, is capable of compressing the elements and code on your site so that everything loads much, much faster. 

Wordpress plugins

  1. Smush Image Compression and Optimization

If you are the owner of a beauty or food blog, for instance, you will have to add a lot of pictures to your posts in order to make them as visually appealing as possible.

But like we noted above, images can take a toll on your website loading speed. Smush is completely free and it effectively reduces the size of every image that you upload on your site, and all that, without affecting its quality (too much). 

Read more: Fastbase Google Analytics Tracking Add-On

  1. Pretty Links

Are you running an affiliate site and you’re sick and tired of seeing all of those long and boring affiliate links? If that’s the case, Pretty Links can give you a hand and enable you to shorten the links so that your domain name ends up in them, too. 

sucuri security

  1. Sucuri

Security is extremely important if you do not want to lose all of your data and even your website ownership. There are lots of hackers out there that will try a number of methods to take your site down. 

Sucuri is a free and powerful plugin that comes with anything from malware scanning to brute force protection. 

  1. WooCommerce

This Automattic-designed plugin is another that we have to recommend since it’s very easy to use. It’s effectively used for e-commerce sites and it allows you to list products or digital services up for sale on your site. 

The best thing about WooCommerce is that it naturally integrates with WordPress, so it won’t cause you any technical issues. With this tool, you will be able to create an eye-catching online shop in no time. 

Read more: Woorank Review

  1. Shortcodes Ultimate

Also in terms of boosting your site design, Shortcodes Ultimate can help you add anything from boxes and buttons to lightbox popups on your site. But what really makes this plugin shine is the fact that everything is done with a shortcode — for each and every element. 

Coming Soon Page by SeedProd

  1. Coming Soon Page by SeedProd

If you’re working on something and you don’t want your visitors to end up on a sad, static page, you can use this plugin to let them know that you’re working on your site’s maintenance or that a specific feature will soon be available. 

The free version enables you to customize the messages, but for more options, you will have to get the paid one. 

  1. TablePress

This is one of the easiest to use, basic, and at the same time, effective table plugins that currently exist. It has excellent ratings and it’s been around for a while. You can use it to display any type of table on your site. 

Envira Gallery

  1. Envira Gallery

While WordPress does have a basic gallery functionality, you might find it less visually appealing, and also less flexible than other plugins. 

Envira Gallery allows you to create visually appealing galleries, and it also takes the cake when it comes to its user-friendly interface. 

Read more: The best SEO tools

  1. Smart Slider

Slider plugins are another way of displaying a lot of images on your website. This one is free and it has excellent ratings on WordPress.or. It’s also user-friendly and it comes with heaps of templates, even in the free version. 

Redirection by John Godley

  1. Redirection by John Godley

Sooner or later, you will have to make some changes on your URLs either because the posts and pages you’ve created in the past are no longer of any use or because they’re not getting ranked and you want to save your crawling budget. 

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Redirection comes with a graphical interface that makes it easy for you to manage your 301 redirects without putting in too much effort into the whole process. 

  1. AddToAny Share Buttons

As one of the most popular social media share plugins out there, AddToAny buttons are now active on more than half a million websites out there. It comes with several different social media networks (around 100), it’s free, and the buttons look pretty cool, too. So why not give it a shot?

WordPress free plugins – Honorable mentions

It would be unfair to mention just 5 free WordPress plugins and leave it at that. There are lots of others, in different categories, and that can help you achieve a variety of things. 

Here are several examples:

  • Elementor
  • WooCommerce
  • TablePress
  • Envira Gallery
  • Broken Link Checker
  • MailChimp for WordPress
  • Autoptimize
  • Smush Image Compression and Optimization

FAQs

How can I get free WordPress Plugins?

If you have your own hosting and you’ve installed WordPress, you can get the best WordPress plugins for free by downloading them right from their WP page. You then have to install them on your site, which is usually very easy. 

We suggest having a look at the star rating of that WordPress plugin, and also the technical problems that have been solved in the past. 

Are WordPress plugins free?

Not every plugin out there is a free WordPress plugin. Most of the premium ones have better ratings, are updated more frequently, and they are typically easier to use, too. 

What plugins do I need for WordPress?

There is no such thing as the best WordPress plugin for everyone, both in terms of features and functionality. Your needs might be different from another website owner’s needs. 

Generally, you will need a cache plugin, one for your newsletter or email, at least a basic SEO one that allows you to create customized meta titles and meta descriptions, a table one if you have an affiliate site, an image one for keeping your images compressed, and the Google sitemap one we’ve noted above, too. 

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Craig Campbell

I am a Glasgow based SEO expert who has been doing SEO for 18 years.

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