WordPress plugins are the best way to add any kind functionality to your website with just a few clicks. In this article, I’ll share with you 15+ best free WordPress plugins that everyone should have on their website.
Essential 15+ Free WordPress Plugins
If you look into the WordPress’s plugin repository, you’ll find that there are more than 54,000 plugins available for you to use; some are free and for some, you have to shell some cash. Obviously, you don’t need all those plugins to make your website functional. In fact, the type of plugin you need totally depends on your niche i.e. what your website is about. For example, what benefit would you get by adding a shopping cart plugin if you don’t sell anything on your website? Doesn’t make any sense, right? However, there are some plugins which are universal; no matter what you do on your website, these plugins are a must-have to make it effective.
Let’s get started with the list and see how and why you should install them on your WordPress website.
You know that having lots of plugins installed can make your website slow. You don’t want that. Slow-loading websites mean unhappy users, and that’s never good. But, if you need multiple functions, you need multiple plugins, right? Wrong.
What if I tell you that there’s a plugin that offers multiple features in a single place? Well, that’s exactly what Jetpack does.
Think of Jetpack as an ultimate toolkit for your WordPress website as it lets you customize your website, prevent attacks, track statistics and improve social sharing. With just one plugin you get features like related post suggestions, sharing buttons, contact information, carousel photos, infinite scroll, proofreading, security scanning, search, and a lot more. Another cool thing about Jetpack is that it is hosted by WordPress. What this means for you is that WordPress takes the load off your server, hence your website can run smoothly even if lots of features are enabled.
SEO is the key to get organic traffic to your website. If you want to rank higher on search engines but don’t know the first thing about SEO, then Yoast SEO is a must-have plugin for you as it makes on-page SEO a breeze.
This powerful plugin lets you pick a keyword and optimize the whole page around it. You can customize everything related to on-page SEO like meta title, meta description, slugs, etc. Plus, by reading the content on the page, it gives you guidelines to make it SEO friendly.
If you want your website to grow and improve, it’s important to keep a track of what’s happening on it. The best way to do so is to use Google Analytics. MonsterInsights takes it one step further and integrates it with your WordPress website. With this, you can easily manage Analytics right from your WordPress dashboard.
By utilizing the tracking information supplied by MonsterInsights, you can optimize your website and the content on it to increase your traffic and engagement rate. This makes MonsterInsights one of the best free WordPress plugins for analytics and statistics.
Contact forms are the easiest option to create any kind of form to engage or communicate with your users. WPForms helps you create a user-friendly form with just a few clicks.
WPForms simple drag and drop mechanism allows you to create a variety of contact forms, email subscription forms, surveys, polls, payment forms, and much more. Not only allowing to create but you can checkout Form Abandonment using WPForms data to reduce it.
Once your website starts getting popular, expect your site to receive a lot of spam. There’s no way you can stop that from happening. The best you can do is filter them out so that your users never notice them and have a pleasant experience on your website.
Akismet is a spam filter plugin that checks every comment made on your website and filters out the ones that seem spammy. It’s the best free WordPress plugin when it comes to dealing with spam.
WP Super Cache
Remember when you visited a website that took forever to load and you left that page without even reading the content? Well, that happens to everybody. No one likes a slow loading website. If your website loads slowly, it’s going to hurt your brand image.
The first thing you need to know is that Cache is a place where data is stored temporarily. Every time you visit a web page, the browser stores some information in cache so that the next time you visit this page, it wouldn’t have to load it from scratch; reducing the loading speed.
The good news is you can use WP Super Cache to drastically reduce the loading time of your website. WP Super Cache creates static pages of your websites which are served when anyone visits the page instead of firing up the full PHP scripts. This, in turn, leads to faster page loading.
Elementor Page Builder
Unless you know how to code, building new pages for your website can prove to be a daunting task. Well, there are easier ways of creating professional web pages than learning to code; like Elementor Page Builder.
With drag and drop mechanism, Elementor Page Builder makes the process of building new pages on your website a breeze. It’s an easy to use and intuitive web page builder with multiple built-in templates.
Really Simple SSL
Did you know that a WordPress website is 25% more likely to be a target of a hack as compared to other websites on the internet? In 2019, migrating your website to HTTP/SSL is one of the best ways to make sure that it is secure for both you and your visitors.
Really Simple SSL make this process super easy by providing a one-click solution to update your old URLs and redirecting all incoming traffic to HTTPS. In short, it converts & redirects all the HTTP links to HTTPS automatically.
What will you do if you lose all your data and content due to a faulty update? All your hard work, gone down the drain. That’s a terrifying thought, right?
UpdraftPlus makes sure that nothing like that ever happens to you. When it comes to taking a complete backup of your website for free, UpdraftPlus is the best option available. It lets you set up automatic backups and store them on third-party online drives like Dropbox and Google drive. And, if something goes wrong, you can easily restore your website with a single click.
Just because of the fact that UpdraftPlus offers such a crucial feature without charging anything, it makes it one of the best free WordPress plugins on the internet.
The latest WordPress update introduced the Gutenberg editor that replaces the classic editor which everyone is accustomed to. This changes the way WordPress works. This new editor brought with it the block system to make sure that the content you post on your website looks good. To use this new system, you need plugins specifically designed for this task. This is where Ultimate Blocks comes in.
Ultimate blocks gives you more than 18 blocks to use; like a table of contents, call to action, progress bar, star rating, call to action, etc. Earlier, you would require different plugins to accomplish these tasks. But with Ultimate blocks, all of these actions can be performed from one place.
Smush Image Compression & Optimization
Images are an important part of a website. They make the web pages look lively and engaging. But they also take up a lot of space. And if you use lots of images on your website on a regular basis, this could lead to a slow loading website.
Fear not though, as there’s a simple solution to this issue – Smush image compression and optimization. Smush uses advanced compression algorithm to compress images and reduce their size without compromising their quality. And, it does all that automatically when you upload an image on WordPress.
AddToAny Share Button
Getting your content shared by the users is a vital part of creating a good brand image. This gives you social proof that users find your content informative and engaging and want others to read them. But your content can’t be shared if there are no share buttons on your website. AddToAny solves this exact problem.
By using AddToAny, you can add share buttons to many popular websites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and a lot more. The buttons are responsive, of high quality, and highly customizable. Moreover, you can integrate them with your Google Analytics dashboard.
WP Mail SMTP
WP Mail SMTP is the plugin that you need for you WordPress so that every email you send reaches to the inbox! It is very user-friendly & easy to use plugin. Features include; integration with Amazon SES, You get email logs, integration with G Suite, Office 365, Outlook and all SMTP service providers
Install the plug and set it up with you mail SMTP provider. It helps you reach to each and every person’s inbox while you send the mail.
One of the most common ways of hacking into a WordPress account is via Brute Force. In this, a computer program automatically runs millions of username and password combination to try and enter the website.
Login Lockdown protects you against brute force attacks by limiting login attempts. By default, if it recognizes 3 faulty login attempts within 5 minutes, it blocks that IP for the next 60 minutes; minimizing the chances of a successful brute force attack, making it one of the best free WordPress plugins for security out there.
If you are into affiliate marketing, you know how tedious it is to manage all those affiliate links. Going through all your web pages to find the perfect place to post your links is even worse.
Pretty Links places all your links to related content by intelligently reading through your website automatically. It’s a perfect tool for any affiliate marketer or anyone in general who deals with shortening the URLs and link cloaking.
Head, Footer and Post Injection
While running a WordPress website, it’s common to run into situations in which you will need to enter certain codes in the header or footer of the WordPress code page. You may want to add a code to integrate Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel or a retargeting script to your website.
Head, Footer and Post Injection makes this complicated task easier, in case you have no knowledge on how to edit your websites code. That’s why it’s one of the best free WordPress plugins out there.
Simple Author Box
Authors are the lives of any website. They create content that brings people to your website. If you are a publishing house, you need this plugin, it will automatically add an author box to all the posts.
Simple Author Box is easy to use a plugin that lets you add a responsive author box at the end of a post. This box may include the author’s name, bio, gravatar, and links to a few social accounts.
Making a website and turning it into a functional business is not an easy task. But plugins make the process easier. If you are not sure where to start or don’t want to add all the plugins mentioned above, I’d recommend you to begin by implementing some essential plugins on your websites like Jetpack, Yoast SEO, Akismet, WP Super Cache, and Smush Image Compression and Optimizer. Once you get a hang of playing with plugins, you can add more according to your needs.