The WordPress core is awesome. It’s a great template for blogging and has everything you need to get started. But it’s only the beginning. If you want to add functionality, increase security, increase web presence and make your site unique – plugins can help. Plugins allow you to customize your WordPress website any way you choose. This can help you market your site and grow your business.
There is no shortage of plugins available for WordPress. Although premium plugins are often affordable and worth the price – there are many free plugins that are well-written and serve their purpose. In fact, there are some free plugins that are actually better than some of the premium ones I bought that carry out the same functions.
Some plugins are free with limited functionality. This means that if you want to upgrade to an extended version of the plugin, you can. These are great too because you can try before you buy. Developers that do this are usually confident enough that you’ll like the product enough that you will want to buy the enhanced version.
It’s best to do some research first before you start adding all the free plugins you can find otherwise you might end up having problems. We have handpicked some of the best FREE plugins for WordPress that can help you develop your blog or website. Every plugin on this list is freshly updated. Some of them are hot new plugins and some are oldies but goodies.
This is a handy plugin that can help you get more visibility on search engines. Google XML Sitemaps generates an XML sitemap you can submit to Google, Bing, Yahoo or Ask.com. This is good way to help you search engines index your blog, which helps people find you more easily through search.
Each time you create a new post the plugin will notify all the biggest search engines in the business about your fresh content. This plugin has been on top for quite a while. It’s lightweight and works as it should. Google XML sitemaps doesn’t do anything fancy, just what it’s supposed do, and that’s why people love it.Learn More
Flow-Flow allows you to build a social hub to give users who visit your site a great experience. Add slick looking social stream to your site with this plugin. Stream photos, news stories, videos and more all in one place. Share content from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram. Flow-Flow is great for marketing, aggregating your favorite content or centralizing all your social media profiles in one place.
Flow-Flow is responsive, easy to use and fast. The documentation is easy to follow and walks you through the setup step-by-step. The free version is great and may be all you need. If you’d like to upgrade to the pro version you’ll get access to 14 more social sites, developer support and a lot more functionality including more design options. It’s a great alternative to more expensive options like TwineSocial and Tint.Learn More
This is another solid plugin that doesn’t do anything fancy, but performs well. Contact Form 7 can help you manage multiple contact forms with ease. You can add your own custom fields, buttons and more. If you want to take things further you can add your own custom CSS to change the look of the form.
Contact Form 7 is very simple, yet flexible. It has everything you need to build basic contact forms. There have been over 1 million+ downloads of this plugin. This means that it won’t be hard to find lots of tutorials and how to’s online when it comes to using it.Learn More
This is one of the first things I wanted to do when I used WordPress. You can clone a post or edit as a new draft. This is useful for a number of reasons. With one-click you can clone or build templates for new pages.
This is a lightweight, time saving plugin that has some useful functions. You can choose which options you want to clone including original post/page date, post status and custom fields.Learn More
Testimonials are a cost effective way to market by letting clients or customers brag about your services. Excited! Testimonials Showcase is a very easy to use plugin that can help you build attractive testimonials on your website.
This plugin gives you tons of possibilities for layout and design.
There are a wide range of settings you can configure to customize your showcase. Build a classic template for your testimonials or something new and funky. It’s easy to use out of the box, with drag and drop functionality. You have the option to upgrade to the pro version which includes many more features such as rich snippets, Visual Composer support and developer support.Learn More
Creating a backup is a great way to protect the time and money you’ve invested in to your WordPress site. This plugin has proven itself to be a reliable backup tool for many users. You can manually create complete backups or schedule them. Backup files to your Dropbox, Google Drive, FTP, SFTP, Rackspace, email and more. Restore your site with a single click.
You can create different schedules for backups of files and database if you wish. There is also a premium version of this plugin available that offers extended functionality. With the paid version you can backup to more sources and get more options.Learn More
Akismet is an essential WordPress plugin that has over 1 million+ installs to date. Use it to protect your blog or website3 from spam comments. This plugin checks your comments and filters out spam. You can moderate the comments from your admin screen.
Akismet automatically checks all comments to filter out the spam. You have the option to receive email notifications each time there is a comment so you can moderate it if you’d like. This plugin is free for personal use and paid subscriptions can be purchased if you want to use it for business or commercial websites.Learn More
Want to find a way to check your theme and make sure it’s up to speed with current theme review standards? Theme Check does just that. You can run tests on your theme to find out if it follows WordPress.org best practice standards.
You can run tests through the admin panel and see results quickly. This is helpful for developers or anyone that wants to ensure that the active theme they are using falls in line with the latest WordPress theme standards and practices.Learn More
WP Fastest Cache is a simple cache system for WordPress. This is a straightforward plugin that can help you optimize your loading times. Sometimes loading dynamic websites takes a long time in browsers. If PHP and MySQL are used, the system will have to use up RAM and CPU power.
If logs of visitors are accessing your site, the pages will load slowly. If this is happening, you can use a cache system to render the page once for fast loading. This plugin creates static HTML files to load pages quickly, so the more visitors there are, the faster your page will load.Learn More
Yoast SEO is a great way to help draw in more traffic. Improve SEO by writing better content and optimizing your site to rank higher on SERPs. WordPress is flexible and good for SEO on its own, but you can take things to another level with Yoast SEO.
This plugin takes all aspects of SEO into account, allowing you to focus on creating content that will get noticed by search engines. Yoast helps you monitor you content that is search engine friendly. This plugin is a great way to help curate your site.Learn More
WordFence Security can help you find out if your site is infected with a virus or malware. You can use this plugin to scan the source code on your server by comparing it to the WordPress respository for core, themes and plugins.
There are many features including real-time blocking, login protection, security scanning, a firewall, caching and monitoring. They also offer premium support with extended functionality.
Every plugin on this list is great for enhancing your WordPress website. Some of these have paid versions that give you more power, but the free versions are fully functional. There are some essential plugins on this list like Contact Form 7 and Akismet as well as some handy plugins for extending functionality like Flow-Flow, Excited! Testimonials and Yoast SEO. Let us know what you think of the list and if you have any favorite free plugins for WordPress.