In this article I will share my best top 10 free WordPress plugins. The first 5 plugins are a must for any website, as well as Akismet, which is installed together with WordPress. Of course, there are plenty more other plugins which are great, but these are so called ‘general’, as you can use them in any website.
Jetpack is the most popular and powerful plugin. It has everything a website needs – custom content types (testimonials and portfolio). It has tons of features and it is very easy and simple to you.
- Social Media Sharing
- Website Icon (favicon)
- Google Verification
- Gallery Layouts
- Site Stats
- Related Posts
It is a must to have it on your website. Moreover, it is included in the free WordPress hosted websites.
Let’s jump to the security on our website. Wordfence is a very powerful plugin and the most downloaded security plugin. It is 100% free and open source. It constantly e-mails you if your website is out-of-date or if a newer version of your current plugins drops. It can even automatically update your WordPress to the latest version. It also WordPress Multi-Site (or WordPress MU in the older parlance) compatible.
You can find the documentation here
WP Super Cache
WP Super Cache improves your website speed. It generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After a html file is generated your web server will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.
Yoast SEO is the best SEO plugin that exists for WordPress. It has tons of free features such as breadcrumbs; Google, Bing, Yandex and Alexa verification, Generate XML Sitemaps, edit Taxonomies, Pages, Posts and everything you can think of. It has mass-edit option for your posts and pages. It is probably the most updated plugin I have ever used. You can link your social accounts super easy (Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Instagram, LinkedIn and more).
Contact Form 7
Contact Form 7 is preferred contact form than the one in Jetpack. Personally, I go for CF7 because it is easy to use, customize and constantly updated. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and so on. If you enjoy it, feel free to make any donations to the author of the plugin.
Find the documentation here
Really Simple CAPTCHA
Really Simple CAPTCHA goes with Contact Form 7. It is very easy and simple to use as it name says. It adds a bit more security to your contact form. However, if you need something more powerful, then this is NOT your CAPTCHA.
Page Builder by Site Origin
Page Builder is very simple and easy to use. It is probably the best free builder. Combined with SiteOrigin Widgets Bundle is it extremely powerful. You do not need to know any coding skills to make your page or post as you want. Just drag & drop whatever you need. You can add rows and columns, change their width and most importantly – it is mobile friendly.
Black Studio TinyMCE Widget
Black Studio TinyMCE Widget is a must in order to use properly the Page Builder. It simply adds the visual editor to the Page Builder.
SiteOrigin Widgets Bundle
As I mentioned above, the bundle is very powerful if you combine it with the builder. It has:
- Google Maps
MetaSlider is the most powerful free slider. You have 3 options to choose from – Nivo Slider, Flex Slider, Coin Slider. They are totally responsive, SEO and optimized. You can place the slider wherever you want in your website – at the front page, as well as in any other pages or posts with a simple shortcode. You can use it with a fixed with, full-stretched width, choose different transitions. Just play with it.
In contrast, Revolution Slider (Rev Slider) is the most powerful slider.
Shortcodes Ultimate are probably the best shortcodes I have ever used. In my opinion, they are better than Bootstrap shortcodes, even though I am fan of Bootstrap. It features 50+ amazing shortcodes:
- Google Maps
The premium adds 15 more – pricing table, skill bars, splash screen, parallax, testimonials and more.
Advanced Custom Fields
Advanced Custom Fields very powerful plugin. You just need a bit of understanding how to implement the code, but as soon as you do, you will realize the true power. It saves you tons of time. Example of use could be when you have a custom content type (taxonomies) such as books or movies and you want to add a field for author, storyline, characters and so on. Here are some of the fields:
- File Upload
Here is the documentation.
These 10 plugins are more than enough for a decent website. You do not need to overload your PHP memory with useless stuff. Personally, I prefer clean and simple website with few plugins but if you need an extra or two feel free to add them. As I mentioned in the beginning, the first five are a must, the others makes your life easier.
Remember, if you do not use a plugin, just remove it.
- WooCommerce – the best plugin for e-Commmerce WordPress websites
- BuddyPress – the best plugin for running any social media in your WordPress website
- bbPress – adds a forum to your website
- Rating-Widget: Star Review System – adds ratings to your pages, posts, ecommerce products, as many as you want
- NextGen Gallery – a bit controversial gallery but in my opinion the best free WordPress gallery
- WP-PageNavi – adds better pagination to your posts or pages.
- UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration – as it name says, it backup and restore your website
Check also the Top 20 Popular WordPress Plugins with an amazing infographic.