We need plugins to effectively run a WordPress website. They simplify our work, add extra functionalities and deliver the contents with professional touch but without hiring a developer or agency.
No WordPress website can survive without using the plugins. WordPress is the most popular blogging platform where you will get thousands of plugins which are suitable for any purpose. From planning to writing, search engine optimization to marketing, e-commerce to monetization- their scope is unlimited.
There are three types of plugins- free, freemium and premium. Free plugins can be used without spending even a single penny whereas freemium plugins impose restrictions on the free usage and ask you to pay to unlock the features. Premium plugins won’t have the free version and you need to buy them for start using.
In this article, we’ll show you the 10 best free WordPress plugins which are essential for every website.
UpdraftPlus is a popular yet free plugin to backup WordPress. It will backup your files and database to the cloud at scheduled intervals & lets you restore them with a single click. The plugin is simple and easy to use.
UpdraftPlus safeguard your business against online vulnerabilities, hacking and other threats that may affect your website. It supports leading cloud storage services including Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3, Rackspace, FTP, and email.
Jetpack is a free all-rounder plugin for WordPress websites. It contains several services like search engine optimization, backup, security, email subscription, comment forms, social sharing buttons and others.
Jetpack tracks your visitors and provides valuable insights on the traffic which is useful to create a good connection with the audience. It comes with a beautiful interface where you can enable/disable the required features of the plugin.
Every WordPress installation comes with an Akismet plugin. It is a powerful tool to detect spam, malicious comments which you receive through the contact and comment forms.
Akismet will automatically check the comments against their global database to read the message history. It will also let you know how other moderators handled this user and how many approved comments he has.
4. Yoast SEO
We covered Yoast SEO related posts several times. It is one of the best free SEO plugins to optimize your blog for search engines and social media. It connects WordPress with leading webmaster tools and automatically updates the sitemap as soon as you published a new post.
All in One SEO Pack is a great alternative to Yoast for SEO. It too easy to use and optimizes the titles, posts, meta to improve your organic as well as social traffic.
5. Shortcodes Ultimate
Shortcodes Ultimate is an all-in-one plugin to decorate your posts and pages in WordPress. It consists of more than 50 shortcodes to create responsive videos, sliders, buttons, animations, tabs and much more.
You can also create galleries, lightbox, pricing table, lists and schedule certain parts of a blog post using the plugin. It is highly customizable, responsive and compatible with any theme.
6. TinyMCE Advanced
WordPress post editor has limited options to customize the texts. TinyMCE Advanced is a free light-weight plugin to add extra features on your editing screen. It will insert font family, font size, underline, color, find and replace, emoticons and various other buttons to better manage your contents.
7. Quick Adsense
Monetization is an indefinite part of blogging. Quick Adsense is a free WordPress plugin to show ads anywhere on the blog. Just copy/paste your AdSense code into the ad box and choose where to display them. The plugin offers unlimited customization options to potentially monetize your contents.
It allows you to show a particular ad on a certain part of the post or disable ads for individual posts- using a shortcode. You can also manage their appearance by page types and hide ads if the user is logged into WordPress.
AddToAny is one of the best free WordPress plugins for social sharing. It features icons from over 100 social media and bookmarking sites including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Email etc.
It is optimized for easy loading in both desktop and mobile platforms. AddToAny is a tremendous plugin to engage your readers and improve social media traffic.
Disqus is a popular comment system plugin for WordPress. It has a beautiful interface and design which will give professional quality to your blog.
Disqus allows readers to join the conversation with their Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google accounts or as a guest. The user profile and history help you to quickly analyze the behavior of the commenter. Disqus will showcase most commented posts in your site on the bottom of the form and encourage visitors to read them. Thus it will reduce your bounce rate and increase the traffic.
10. Contact Form 7
Our list of best free WordPress plugins won’t complete without mentioning Contact Form 7. Readers may contact you for inquiries, suggestions, and feedback. You will find several contact form plugins to embed simple, attractive feedback forms in WordPress. Contact Form 7 is popular among them with more than 5 million downloads till the date.
Create unlimited contact forms for various needs, customize the fields and display them anywhere in the website through a shortcode. It supports CAPTCHA, Akismet filtering to prevent spam or bot comments.