Looking for the best WordPress plugins for your website or blog? In this article, we take you through 13 free must-have and best free WordPress plugins to enable you to set up your website at maximum optimization
But, what is a WordPress plugin?
A plugin is a piece of code that can be an add-on to a WordPress website and extends its functionality or adds new features to the blogging software.
With over 54000 WordPress plugins on the WordPress website, it can be extremely hard to decide which ones to use. While plugins can be of really great help in optimizing your website, they can be the reason why your website is loading slowly or even crushing occasionally.
Many new bloggers try to solve every problem using a plugin. The result is, of course, ridiculously too many plugins installed on their websites.
The rule is to always install only those plugins that you really need. Keep them to a minimum.
Best Free WordPress Plugins
Depending on your particular needs, you may actually need only 75% of the plugins below:
1: Elementor Theme Builder
This is the best plugin you ever need. With Elementor, you can build any website starting from any free WordPress theme. Elementor allows you to customize almost every element of your theme, thus giving you the flexibility that you need to have.
Elementor Pro takes building your own website to a whole new level. With templates, you now have control of how your single and archive pages look. You can build single-page templates for your posts, pages, custom post types, dashboard, etc.
Business owners, bloggers, and agencies love Elementor because it allows them to set up completely custom landing pages without having to hire developers.
With the new version, you can add custom, smart and responsive popups to collect email addresses and build your email list without the need for a separate list building plugin.
Elementor is free but if you want all the above flexibilities, then you need to grab Elementor Pro for $59 only
2: Yoast SEO.
Yoast Seo is one of the most popular WordPress plugins of all time. It helps you optimize your website and blog posts so that they can be found by search engines’ users. SEO done right can increase your website visitors as long as you stick to SEO best practices
Of all the WordPress SEO plugins, Yoast SEO offers the most comprehensive solutions when it comes to WordPress SEO optimization. It enables you to update your site metadata, to see your keywords density as you write your posts, optimize for social media, connect to Google search console, generate and update sitemaps, etc.
A major issue with SEO is broken links. Yoast helps you do 301 redirections to missing links. When your posts’ URLs change, the plugin auto-detects this and automatically create redirection, thus reducing the number of 404 errors on your website.
3: Social Warfare Plugin
This is my best go-to plugin for social sharing. The share buttons are neatly and beautifully designed with great options to customize them.
SumoMe is one of the best list building plugins. You can integrate with your mailing platform so that readers are added to your list automatically. This may require an upgrade though to a paid plan.
If your web hosting does not provide an easy way to backup and restore your website, then you need a plan B. Siteground hosting auto backups your website every day and so you can restore your site in one click.
UpdraftPlus is one of the best WordPress plugin available in the marketplace. Like most plugins in this list, UpdraftPlus is free to use. However, there is a premium version if you need more features and options.
It allows you to set-up automatic backups and stores them remotely in Google Drive, Dropbox, S3 or even email. This way you can restore them anytime you need to.
Woocommerce powers the majority of the eCommerce sales. eCommerce business, a $29 trillion industry, is only getting bigger.
WooCommerce is the most popular WordPress eCommerce plugin used by over 4 million websites globally. This is because it contains all the features that you need to build an online store and have it running in hours. Combining the power of Elementor and Woocommerce has seen non-techies build very beautiful stores.
Being an industry in itself, Woocommerce now has a variety of sprouting services such as Woocommerce themes, WoocomWooCommerce
merce hosting, and Woocommerce plugins. Most theme builders are integrating with Woocommerce to ensure that customizing your online store is nothing more than a breeze
6: Google Analytics Dashboard for WP
Install Google Analytics from day one. This way you can obtain great stats for your website, measure performance and even use them to get sponsorship opportunities for your blog.
Google Analytics Dashboard is a powerful WordPress plugin that helps you analyze your users so that you can be more of a help to them.
This plugin helps you bring the power of WordPress.com into your self-hosted websites. WordPress.com users can follow your blog either via the follow button or email. At The Penny Matters, Jetpack is mainly used to showcase the Related Posts section below each post as well as monitoring website stats
Spams are annoying. Akismet blocks millions of spam comments every day. This plugin is usually preinstalled, just make sure you activate it after installing WordPress on your website. You will need a free Akismet account to have the plugin working
9: Pretty Link Lite.
This plugin is great for affiliate links. It helps you create a memorable URL that redirects to your complicated affiliate link, and hence easily remembered.
For instance, I promote Hostgator web hosting company and my affiliate link is: https://www.hostgator.com/promo/hosting?irgwc=1&clickid=3GvzHi1vTWzb33KRATUrTw8BUkj1mS15vWEaRA0&affpat=1
Now I created an affiliate link using pretty link lite plugin that redirects to the link above https://thepennymatters.com/go/hostgator
10: FMTC Affiliate Disclosure
Ethical affiliate marketing in the blogging world requires that you disclose to your readers that some links in your posts could be referral links and that you earn a commission if they purchase from you. This is usually a short paragraph. FMTC Affiliate Disclosure helps you to automatically add a disclosure to the top of your blog posts and hence saves you lots of time.
11: Editorial Calendar.
Blogging can be complicated, but having a right blogging calendar can keep you in check and ensures you do not lag behind.
12: Code Snippets
This is a very useful plugin when adding custom PHP code on your WordPress without having to mess up the code.
Code Snippets allows you to add new code as code snippets easily. The code becomes active on your website fast and you have the ability to export and import your snippets when moving to different servers.