The Best Free Plugins to Use on WordPress
WordPress has always been a major player in website creation, and we have the best free plugins to help grow your business.
How effective is your WordPress site? Are you using all the tools and plugins to rake in higher profits, better recognition, and grow your business?
As of 2016, there were more than 75 million websites built on WordPress. Not all of them are as successful as the heavy hitters like Bluelounge or Clickbank. A factor that sets apart the best from the rest is their selection of plugins.
The right plugins optimize your site, makes it easier to manage and gives better options for your visits. If you don’t know where to start or have the finances for expensive tools, here is a list of the best free plugins you begin with:
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the bread and butter of online success but the default SEO tools WordPress gives you aren’t up to the task. Some are great, sure, but things like keyword research are rudimentary at best.
The good news is that there is a free plugin called Yoast SEO and it has everything you need to optimize your site and its content. It’s not only one of the best free plugins for WordPress but also one of the most needed.
With this plugin, you can optimize elements like your page’s content, meta descriptions, titles, and images. You can use it to avoid URL duplicates, check readability, create proper breadcrumbs, and create an XML sitemap to help Google index your site.
Keep in mind that the free version doesn’t give you full access to all the SEO tools available. Many plugins offer a similar freemium package where you can use it for free but you get even more options with the paid version.
Over 28% of online stores, equating to 38 million downloads, use WooCommerce to power their shops. Automattic, the creators of WordPress, now own the plugin so you can expect it will get constant updates instead of getting left in the dust.
It is a freemium plugin but the free version already does a lot for your site. With the free version, you can already calculate shipping costs, inventory tracking, and integration to accept PayPal and credit card payments.
One of the best things about WooCommerce is that it has a lot of customization options. Your online store doesn’t have to look like everybody else’s. There are more than 30 themes you can begin with and you have the option to customize each aspect to your liking.
Want to make a beautiful WordPress website?
Smart coding and the best free plugins will help you achieve that goal but you also have to make good use of high-resolution images too.
The problem with that is that pretty pictures might make your site slow. With WP Smush, you don’t have to compromise the quality of your images but still decrease their file size. This ensures pages load fast but the images don’t lose their quality or visual integrity.
You can also compress multiple images at the same time. The current build allows you to compress up to 50 images at once, making the process quick and easy for beginners and WordPress experts alike.
Vulnerability assessment and management is crucial to weeding out hackers, malicious bots, and malware. The comments section is the most prone to these problems and it often has something to do with comment spamming.
You can eliminate spam comments and malicious engagement with this plugin. It’s one of the best free plugins not only because of its function but because of the talent behind it. Akismet comes from Automattic, the same team behind WordPress, so you can expect constant updates and new features.
Cleaning your database is another priority. Remember that each time you make a revision, WordPress will save that version and keep previous editions of the same post or page in the database. If your site has hundreds of pages, this can bog down the efficiency and speed of your site.
WP-Optimize also works on un-approved comments, spam comments, and old data no longer used by the site. This all works together to keep your WordPress site clean and fast.
Contact Form 7
Right from the start, you have to understand there are better contact form plugins on WordPress, like Gravity Forms. They aren’t free, though, and with that said your best free choice is Contact Form 7.
It’s quick to add to your site, you can create custom forms, track submissions with Google Analytics, and the option to redirect people to a different URL after a form submission.
Contact Form 7 also has an active community in its forum and the documentation of updates and features is easy to follow.
W3 Total Cache
Big companies like Mashable and AT&T rely on this, making it one of the most trusted plugins available. Its function is to help make a site load fast by storing temporary data in the cache. This means the browser won’t have to reload repeating data from scratch.
W3 Total Cache will store posts and pages in the cache as static HTML files. It also leads to 80% bandwidth savings. Because of the better user experience, you can expect a higher conversion rate and significant improvement in SERP rankings.
It is a freemium plugin so make sure to take the time to read what you get with the free version and what features you have to pay for. This will help you determine if you will need a separate free plugin to cover all your bases in case you won’t get the paid version of W3 Total Cache.
Learn More About the Best Free Plugins
Found some of the best free plugins for your WordPress site? There are more out there, like Jetpack and Google XML Sitemaps. Each one can aid you to maintain your site and achieve individual goals like higher conversions and better SEO.
Not sure where to begin with all these plugins or how each one works with your WordPress theme? Uncertain about the quality of freemium plugins and want to invest in a paid set of plugins instead?
You can send us a message anytime and we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.