Over one-third of all websites use WordPress. Is your website part of that group? If so, you should know about the best free WordPress plugins.
Plugins allow you to customize your site and make it work for you in new ways. Best of all, you won’t have to use any code to make these updates!
Let’s start with one of the best free WordPress plugins for your entire site.
- 1 Elementor Page Builder
- 2 Search Engine Optimization Plugins
- 3 Website Analytics Plugins
- 4 Contact Plugins
- 5 eCommerce Plugins
- 6 Security and Site Health Plugins
- 7 Which of the Best Free WordPress Plugins Will You Use?
Elementor Page Builder
One of the best free WordPress plugins is the Elementor Page Builder. It can help you create web pages quickly and easily without needing to know how to code. You can create sections, widgets, and modules to create pages.
While the standard WordPress editor can work, it’s a back-end editor. However, Elementor is a front-end editor, meaning you can see your changes in real-time. The plugin comes with plenty of templates to save you time.
You can start with the free version to see if you like using Elementor. If you want more features, you can pay, but the free option has plenty of functions.
Search Engine Optimization Plugins
When looking for the best free WordPress plugins, you should consider search engine optimization (SEO). Here are a few excellent plugins to help optimize your site.
Yoast SEO is the perfect plugin to help you with your on-page SEO. You can input a keyword or phrase that you want to use for a page or post. Then, Yoast will provide a checklist you can follow to optimize the page.
It can also tell you how to improve the readability of your pages and posts. The plugin uses red, orange, and green lights to tell you how well you’ve optimized the content. Green lights are the best, and the plugin tells you what you can do to improve red or orange lights.
You can use the free version and access the most important features. However, you can upgrade to the paid version for even more help with SEO.
You never know when you may need to change the URL for a page or post. If that happens, you’ll need a free WordPress plugin, such as Redirection. The plugin lets you create and manage your 301 redirects.
If you don’t use a redirection, you could lose out on traffic. You never know who has shared a link somewhere and if they may end up with a 404 error.
Fortunately, the Redirection plugin comes from a developer at Automattic, the company behind WordPress. You can use the interface to make sure that you aren’t missing out on traffic.
Google XML Sitemaps
While Yoast can create sitemaps, you may want to use Google XML Sitemaps as well. A sitemap helps search engines, such as Google, index your website. The sitemap files allow search engines to determine when to show your website in search results.
Now, you can submit a sitemap to Google yourself. However, it can take a lot of time to create and submit one. If you write blog posts or update your site regularly, it will take even more time to keep everything up to date.
The Google XML Sitemaps plugin creates a sitemap for you, and it will keep it up to date. Then, you can use it with Google and other search engines.
Website Analytics Plugins
Tracking your website analytics can tell you what’s working and where you can improve. Consider a couple of the best WordPress plugins for this purpose.
Jetpack by WordPress
Jetpack by WordPress is an excellent plugin to use to track website stats. You can view how many people visit your site in a day, week, or month. It also tells you the top posts and pages for that day and the prior day.
The plugin covers your most popular referrers, such as search engines or social media. And it will tell you what links people click on the most. You can also use it to see what search terms people use to find your website.
If you’re willing to pay, you can get access to more features with one plugin. However, it offers plenty of basic features to make it one of the best free WordPress plugins.
Google Analytics Dashboard for WP
Google Analytics is the industry standard for tracking website statistics. The Google Analytics Dashboard for WP plugin (ExactMetrics) is a great option. You can use it to set up your Google Analytics without having to use code.
It also lets you view important analytics right in WordPress. That way, you don’t have to log into your Google Analytics dashboard.
You can use it to view the number of visits, bounce rate, and average session duration. It also tells you the breakdown of devices and new or returning visitors. The stats show you the most popular referrers, pages, and posts for the month.
Another plugin you can use to add Google Analytics to your site is MonsterInsights. It’s easy to add Google Analytics to your site with this plugin. Then, you can track basic statistics in your WordPress dashboard.
The plugin will also track internal links, outbound links, and downloads. If you’re willing to pay a bit, you can even track eCommerce activity on your site.
MonsterInsights is one of the most popular analytics free WordPress plugins. Not only is it easy to set up, but it’s easy to view stats, and you can view changes in real-time.
Whether you have a business website or a personal blog, you should allow people to contact you. The easiest way to do this is with a contact form or a live chat plugin. Here are some of the best free WordPress plugins in this category.
Ninja Forms is one of the best free WordPress plugins out there. You can use it to create custom contact forms so that people don’t have to send an email separately. The drag-and-drop design lets you move things around without having to code.
Then, you can publish the contact form on your website. However, you can make sure people answer any questions you may have for them.
One of the benefits of Ninja Forms is that people can submit the form without the page reloading. While not necessary, that can make it easier for people to use your website.
Contact Form 7
Another fantastic contact form plugin is Contact Form 7. It’s free and has many of the same features as Ninja Forms when it comes to customization. You can create multiple contact forms, so you can put different ones on various service or product pages.
It allows users to submit a form without the page reloading. The form also supports CAPTCHA and Akismet spam filtering.
That way, you can make sure you don’t receive a ton of spam messages to clutter your inbox. Instead, you can focus on messages from people who want to talk to you.
WPForms is another contact form plugin to consider. The free version is easy to use and has a drag-and-drop interface, making it easy to customize a contact form.
You can start with a template or create a contact form from scratch. After you finish designing a contact form, you can embed it at the top of the window or use shortcode to put the form elsewhere on the page.
It works with CAPTCHA and reCAPTCHA, and you can create as many forms as you want. You can even customize the confirmation messages to keep them on-brand with the rest of your site.
MC4WP (Mailchimp for WordPress)
While not a contact form, MC4WP is a great plugin for building your email list. Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing programs, so it makes sense that they would have a free WordPress plugin.
You can use the plugin to create various forms to add to your website. Then, you can collect emails more easily from your visitors.
When you’re ready to sell something or simply share an update, you can use your email list. The people on there already like and trust you, so it will be easier to get more conversions.
Tawk.To Live Chat
If you want to offer live chat for your customers and visitors, consider a plugin like Tawk.To Live Chat. It’s a free app that you can use on any device to communicate with people.
You can use the plugin to answer questions and concerns, and it’s quicker than using email. It’s a great tool if you sell stuff on your website or offer services. By setting up the plugin, you’ll be able to chat with people as they browse your website.
That way, you can relieve any fears or objections. If you can do that, you may be able to increase conversions and sales.
Tidio Live Chat
Tidio Live Chat is another fantastic plugin to chat live with your customers. The plugin is specifically for WordPress sites; you can be sure it will work well. It uses four different channels that allow you to message people.
You can also set up a chatbot to help answer basic questions for you. The chatbot templates let you outline responses to common questions. Then, you don’t have to answer each chat manually.
Tidio even offers email marketing tools to help you capture leads. That way, you can reach customers later on with a new offer or sale.
Being able to sell products or services on your website is a great way to make money. Consider a few of the best WordPress plugins for eCommerce businesses.
The WooCommerce plugin is fantastic for all kinds of online stores. It’s specific to WordPress, and it comes with tons of functions to customize your shop. You can sell physical and digital products, and you can use different payment gateways.
It also allows you to sell subscriptions and book services. Even if you don’t sell different types of things now, you never know what you might want in the future. WooCommerce can grow with you and your business.
You can integrate the plugin with Facebook, Mailchimp, and more. Moreover, you can expand your store with various free and paid extensions.
Easy Digital Downloads
If you know you want to focus on selling digital products, consider using Easy Digital Downloads. The free plugin comes with everything you need to sell downloads, such as eBooks, guides, and workbooks.
You’ll get access to a shopping cart, different payment options, customer management, and reports with the free version. You can also protect your product files and offer discounts.
If you want to grow your store, you can use free or paid extensions. Then, you can integrate your store with your email marketing software to help sell more products.
Security and Site Health Plugins
You need to make sure that your website is secure and usable at all times. Consider the following plugins to help you.
When making drastic changes to your website, you should use a backup plugin, like UpdraftPlus. The plugin lets you backup your website and store the files in the cloud, such as with Google Drive.
If you ever need to revert to an old version, you can select the backup you want. Then, you can get your site back to how it was before a change or problem.
UpdraftPlus allows for manual and automatic backups so that you always have a recent version. When you need to use a backup, you only need to make one click to do so.
Wordfence is the most popular security plugin for WordPress. It gives your website a firewall and can scan for malware on your site. You can update the malware and firewall rules after 30 days.
The plugin will send you email alerts when something is wrong with your site. Then, you can know when to update a plugin or make a bigger change.
If you want to access more features or change malware and firewall rules immediately, you can upgrade to a paid version. However, the free plugin is great for most people.
Akismet Anti-Spam comes from Automattic, the developers behind WordPress. The plugin will analyze comments that people leave on your website, and it can check for spam. It can keep spam from getting into your list of comments to moderate.
Then, you can save time on moderation, but some comments may still get through. However, it’s a useful tool for detecting spam.
WordPress is one of the most popular website building tools, so it can be vulnerable to spam. But you can use a plugin like Akismet to protect your site.
WP Super Cache
If your website takes forever to load, you can lose visitors. But a caching plugin, like WP Super Cache, can help speed up your site for you and others.
The plugin can store your website in someone’s cache to help load pages more quickly. That way, returning visitors won’t have to wait as long for the website to load.
While it may not do much for new visitors, it can help a bit. Turning on WP Super Cache will cut down on the time it takes to load images and other files, which can help your website run faster.
Health Check & Troubleshooting
The Health Check & Troubleshooting plugin is useful for when you have any bugs or other issues with your site. You can run a check with the plugin to find the problem.
Whether you recently installed an incompatible plugin or you made some editing error, the plugin can catch it. Then, you can know what to do to fix the problem and get your site back to normal.
Hopefully, you won’t need to use this plugin often. But it’s useful to have when you do encounter an issue when working on your website.
Broken Link Checker
Whether you update a link or link to another site that changes links, you need Broken Link Checker. This plugin can scan your website for internal and external links that no longer work properly.
That way, you’ll know which links to update so that you can send visitors to the right places. You can use the plugin regularly to check for problems.
However, you may want to disable the plugin when you aren’t using it. That way, you can keep from weighing down your website.
Smush Image Compression and Optimization
If you use a lot of images on your website, Smush Image Compression and Optimization will be a game-changer. It will compress and resize images for you to reduce the file size.
The plugin uses lossless compression, so it won’t lower the quality of your photos. You can use it to optimize as many images as you want. However, each image can’t be larger than 5 MB.
Even if you don’t have many images, the plugin can still help. That way, you don’t have to worry about anything slowing down your website.
Which of the Best Free WordPress Plugins Will You Use?
WordPress has tons of available plugins, but some are much better than others. When looking to improve your website, you should start with the best free WordPress plugins.
Then, you can make sure the plugins will do what you want them to. Plus, you can keep from overloading your site with random plugins that may or may not work.
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