We have covered Choosing a right theme for your WordPress website in our previous article. In this article, we will cover common and best free WordPress plugins that every WordPress website should install.
Though more plugins slowing down our WordPress website this are the must have common and best free WordPress plugins that everyone requires in their website.
WordPress works great in terms of SEO because it’s built with SEO in mind. Though we have to play with other SEO factors like on page SEO, Meta titles, meta keywords, descriptions, etc…
Yoast SEO really works great with this scenario. It plays very well with SEO title and keywords. We can easily set Meta titles and keywords that user will see when doing Google search.
It has downloaded 1+ Million times and has 4.8 rating on wordpress.org plugin directory. I personally recommend this plugin as I have great results with my site. I just have to set proper title and keywords and other SEO factors are handled easily by Yoast SEO.
One of the greatest features this plugin has is a “meter”. While setting up the SEO for specific post or page, Yoast SEO shows us how powerful our SEO title and keywords is.
Everyone requires inquiry form on their website and almost every site has inquiry form for their users and customers.
Though almost every WordPress themes provide their own contact form widget or shortcode, we need more customization to contact form for our needs or we need a different contact form for different purposes. For example, we need one contact form for pre-sales inquiry and another for customer support.
Contact Form 7 works smoothly when we have requirements like this. We just need to configure it properly through the admin panel. We can set our own message subject and message body as well.
It’s also downloaded 1+ million times and keeps increasing its download stats and has 4.6 ratings out of 5 on wordpress.org.
One of the most important features we have with this plugin is auto respond. While creating a contact form, we have an option for 2nd email. In this section, we can set users’ email address as To recipient and our email address in from field then set auto respond message in message body section that’s it.
Every website requires images to show with their content. Content without images looks dead and possibly results in losing visitors.
Images work like a heart of website content but lots of images with high resolution turns your site down in terms of loading.
To eliminate this issue, we have to use WP Smush plugin which automatically compress images into the lowest possible size with high resolution.
WP Smush has 300,000+ active installations and has 4.7 ratings.
We just need to install this plugin and everything will be handled automatically when you upload any new images.
Social sharing is the main thing that plays very well in increasing our website traffic.
I have used many social sharing plugins personally but didn’t satisfy with any of them. Then I came to this plugin and found some really great features which come with free of cost. It has different layouts that we can use based on our theme styling.
AccessPress plugin downloaded 30,000+ times. Users gave 4.8 stars to this plugin and it’s still increasing.
W3 total cache is a caching plugin that stores our website pages to users browser as a temporary static page and loads fast compared to normal page load.
As I said above, more plugins slow down WordPress website but this is the fact that we must have to use plugins to get additional functionalities which our theme doesn’t have.
If we use W3 total Cache plugin our number of the request will surprisingly decrease as it minify all CSS and js and merged them into one so only two requests will be sent to a server.
It running on over 1+ million sites and has 4.3-star ratings.
Security is most important for every website because web scam is increasing day by day and we can’t do anything if we are getting scammed.
For website security wordfence provides enterprise level security free of cost. It scans your WordPress as well as your whole hosting server and alerts you if any malware detected.
If anyone trying to access your admin panel with hacking purpose then you have option to manually block them with wordfence.
It is the most downloaded security WordPress plugin has downloaded 1+ million times with 4.9 ratings.
To protect your website with spam comments and spam registration, we need captcha plugin to prevent robot comments and registration and recaptcha by Google plays well in this category.
You just have to install the plugin and requires unique recaptcha key to work with your site seamlessly then set the options where you would like captcha to work and your website spam protection will increase from 0 to 100.
It has 3,000+ active installations with 4.4 ratings.
Duplicator will clone your website without any issue if your website is < 1GB. It will create a package of your website and generates 2 files one is installer.php and another one is the zip file of your WordPress root directory and database.
If you want to clone your site then you have to run the installer.php file and set your database details and it will clone your website.
It will take maximum 2 hours to clone your website. You can use this plugin for backup purpose. I am personally using this plugin and took my site back up every month so that I can easily restore it whenever required.
Duplicator provides pro version features for free but it has pro version as well that provides more features and controls with this plugin.
It’s running on over 600,000+ sites. It has 4.9 stars with 933, 5 stars and only 10 bad ratings.
Broken link breaks our site from indexing to Google and we may lose visitors so we must need to fix it ASAP.
WordPress has a great plugin called Broken Link Checker that scan through our website and shows us list of broken links as a result. We can then fix it or redirect it to its equivalent links.
It’s downloaded 400,000+ times and has 4.1-star ratings.
With display widget, we can display different widgets on different pages.
Display widget provides us the way to create different sidebars per page so that we can easily display different data page wise.
For example, you are running your website for 2 different cities and want to display different data for both cities then Display Widget will help you to achieve this.
It has downloaded 200,000+ times with 4.8 ratings. It has only three one star and one two star ratings.
Every site has main aim of collecting more and more visitors so that they may be converting into sales. Suppose, we are running a website for selling battery backup products and someone contacted us to inquire about it and didn’t purchase any product and gone then what we can do?
Same thing happened for almost hundreds of users but didn’t purchase anything.
Now you have a discount on your products and wanted to notify all of those who didn’t purchase than Contact Form DB plugin plays well.
With Contact Form DB plugin, visitors data will be automatically saved in our database and we can then use it for email marketing purposes to increase our sales.
It has downloaded almost 300,000+ times. It has 4.9 ratings and has only 2 bad ratings.
If you want your site to be better indexed in Google, yahoo, Bing and ask me search engines than you need to upload XML sitemap of your all pages and posts to your server so that search engine crawl all of the posts and pages of your website.
We have Google XML Sitemaps plugin that plays well with a sitemap. It automatically generates an xml sitemap for our blog or website.
You just need to install it properly and it will work like plug and play 🙂 isn’t it easy?
Google XML Sitemap has downloaded 1+ million times with 4.9-star ratings and has only 23 bad ratings.
Duplicate Post plugin lets you duplicate your page or post or any custom post.
If you created a long post of 3k words with the special layout and wants the same layout for another post but don’t have much time to design the same layout then duplicate post plugin will help you to duplicate that post and you can then easily edit its contents as per your needs.
Duplicate post plugin will generate a link called “Clone” besides edit, quick edit, and trash and view links. You just have to click on the clone link and plugin will automatically clone it and make it as draft posts.
It has downloaded 900,000+ times with 4.9 ratings and has only 5 bad ratings.
Page builder by SiteOrigin is the best free drag and drop page builder. It lets you create any post or page with the layout of your choice.
There are a number of prebuilt elements to create any kind of page with simple drag and drop.
The main benefit of using this plugin is you don’t have to hire any designer or developer to design page for you. You can do this yourself as well.
The pages you design with site origin page builder will automatically set to responsive view.
Once you download and install this plugin, it will add a page builder tab in WordPress post and page edit screen beside View and Text tabs and you can simply build your page with that.
This plugin is recommended by almost all WordPress users and reviewers. It’s downloaded almost 700,000+ times with 4.7 ratings.
As the name says this plugin can be used to redirect any page or post to the link you configure in plugin setting.
It’s very useful when you changed your URL or replace the page with new one and old page returns 404 error. You simply set old URL to new one in plugin setting and you never get 404 error.
The main benefit of this plugin is that it has the feature that helps us improve our indexing in search engines. If your site returns 404 page then search engine will not crawl your all pages.
If you don’t want to bother with manually setting all 404 pages to its equivalent, you have to set only one option in plugin settings and everything will be done by the plugin itself.
This plugin is used by almost all websites. It has 100,000+ downloads with 4.4 ratings.
Everyone knows about great MailChimp service. MailChimp provides bulk email newsletter service with existing or custom templates free of cost up to 2k subscribers. They have cheap monthly plans for subscribers > 2k.
Everyone who owns a website wants to increase their subscribers so that they can send news updates to their emails and convert them to regular visitors.
I personally use MailChimp as my newsletter service provider. I can easily create my own campaign and custom templates without any issues or confusions.
It’s downloaded 400,000+ times with 4.9 ratings.
WP User Avatar plugin helps us to set up our custom profile photo. We can use any photo to set it as an avatar. We don’t need to sign up at gravatar.com to display our profile photo.
Avatar helps others to know who we are and how we look like 😉 Currently, we are only able to display our avatar from gravatar.com but WP User Avatar lets us display custom avatar by uploading it to WordPress default media library.
It lets our visitors set their own avatar photo. It also provides a shortcode to display front end avatar uploader with this shortcode.
It has downloaded 200,000+ times and has 4.5-star ratings.