Top 29 Free WordPress Plugins for Every Website
There is no such thing as a free lunch, according to an old proverb. Even while I adore Heinlein, there is in the WordPress universe.
You can easily locate a tonne of fantastic free WordPress plugins that give your WordPress site a variety of useful capabilities. Such plugins can assist you in producing better content, marketing your website more successfully, and ensuring that it loads quickly and runs properly. All of this is provided without cost to you.
We’ve compiled the top free WordPress plugins of all time based on our own usage as well as user reviews and their popularity at WordPress.org as a tribute to the kind developers who created these plugins and to assist you in finding some amazing free WordPress plugins for your site.
These plugins will be divided into four main groups. Plugins that are beneficial for
- creating content of all types (everything from a basic form to eCommerce functionality)
- marketing and SEO
- performance, security, and maintenance
- advanced users who like tinkering.
On this list, you should be able to find several excellent free solutions regardless of whether you’re a casual user or someone who enjoys experimenting with custom fields and post types.
Let’s get started…
1. NINJA FORMS
Every website requires a contact page, and Ninja Forms is one of the best free solutions available for creating contact forms (or other types of forms). It is possibly active on more than a million websites because of this.
It has an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface and supports AJAX form submission so users may submit forms without refreshing the page.
Additionally, Ninja Forms has a sizable library of premium extensions if you ever feel constrained by the (generous) free core version.
Depending on the interface you like, WPForms is yet another excellent free alternative for forms. I decided to highlight Ninja Forms since I find its user interface to be a little bit better.
A front-end drag-and-drop page builder is called Elementor. This entails that you may create pages that appear complex without knowing a single line of code.
In essence, it opens up web design to everyone.
Elementor was first introduced in 2016, but it has since developed to the point where it is now active on more than five million websites and has a 4.8-star rating across more than 5,780 reviews.
WooCommerce is the solution if you want to use WordPress to build an online store. WooCommerce is the way to go if you want to construct an eCommerce store in general. BuiltWith estimates that this open-source plugin, which is even more popular than Shopify, powers more than 28% of all online retailers.
It is present on more than five million websites, has received over 3,700 reviews with an average rating of 4.5 stars, and most importantly, it just works.
One of the best reviews I’ve ever read for a WordPress plugin is for TablePress:
On WordPress.org, it has received more than 4,114 votes and a perfect 5-star rating.
And after using this plugin quite a bit, I can confirm that it merits each and every one of those 5-star ratings.
TablePress can handle displaying any kind of table on your WordPress website.
It provides you with an easy-to-use interface similar to Excel right in your WordPress dashboard. You may use any type of media in your table, import data from Excel or Google Sheets, and extend it with a wide range of free add-ons.
5. ENVIRA GALLERY
A gallery is necessary if you wish to display many photographs at once. WordPress’s core provides some basic gallery capability, but it’s not particularly versatile and the result looks quite plain.
Envira Gallery alters that by providing you with an intuitive interface to build gorgeous galleries. Due to this, it has received between 4 and 8 stars in over 1,380 reviews.
6. SMART SLIDER 3
Slider plugins offer you yet another practical option to show media content on your site, similar to galleries. And Smart Slider 3 is one of the greatest free slider plugins you’ll find, earning it a 4.9-star rating from over 930 reviews on WordPress.org.
You can get started with Smart Slider 3‘s gorgeous templates and user-friendly live slide editor. You’ll think you’re using a premium plugin even while you’re using the free version.
WordPress’s best free plugins for marketing and SEO
These free wordpress plugins can aid in your marketing efforts, whether you’re promoting your website through SERP ranking or building an email list.
7. YOAST SEO
Yoast SEO, which is used by more than five million websites, is the default SEO plugin for the majority of WordPress websites, including WinningWP. It has received an astounding 4.8 stars from more than 27,000 reviews.
This free plugin can take care of all the critical elements of your site’s on-page SEO, from managing your titles and meta descriptions to creating XML sitemaps. You can use it to help you analyse your material for readability and SEO optimization.
Overall, there’s a reason Yoast SEO is one of the most popular WordPress plugins.
You’ll most likely wish to modify the URL of a post or page at some time while managing your website. To everyone of us, it occurs.
You’ll need a mechanism to reroute traffic from the old post to the new one if that happens.
Redirection accomplishes this.
Instead of having to delve into your.htaccess file each time you want to add a new redirect, it provides you with a graphical interface where you can simply manage all of your site’s 301 redirects.
Additionally, you may be inventive with your redirects by, for example, conditionally rerouting visitors based on whether or not they are logged in. All of this is offered for free by a responsive developer who works for your company.
9. PRETTY LINKS
You are aware of how unsightly affiliate links may be if you employ affiliate marketing on your WordPress website.
By using your own domain to mask affiliate links, Pretty Links enables you to change that.
For instance, any affiliate links on WinningWP that follow the syntax “winningwp.com/ref/product name” do so because of cloaking.
You may even keep track of how many times each link is clicked if you like.
10. BROKEN LINK CHECKER
Your website will inevitably accumulate broken links as it gets older. Broken links are either internal or external links that no longer lead to their intended destinations.
By scanning all of your internal or external links, Broken Link Checker can assist you in automatically identifying problematic problems. To guarantee that your visitors have a positive experience, you can then quickly fix all of the broken links.
A well-known developer, WPMU DEV, has acquired this plugin, giving it fresh life, thus it should be useful well into the year 2021 and beyond.
*While Broken Link Checker is a fantastic plugin, I advise disabling it when not in use to prevent speed degradation.
11. SHARED COUNTS
It’s challenging to pick just one of the many excellent social network share button plugins available. However, Shared Counts is the only free option I would suggest. Although it doesn’t have the greatest features, it does integrate all the prominent networks and has one significant benefit: performance. I’ve found it to be the most portable free social sharing plugin.
Furthermore, even if it’s not as well-known as other plugins, it was created by two reputable and well-known WordPress developers, Bill Erickson and Jared Atchison. On its 22+ reviews, it likewise gets an almost perfect 4.9-star rating.
Consider using a plugin like AddToAny if you require access to more social sharing networks; however, this option won’t be as performance-friendly.
12. MC4WP (MAILCHIMP FOR WORDPRESS)
There are several excellent email marketing platforms available if you want to establish an email list, but Mailchimp is one of the most well-known and provides a generous free plan.
Use the hugely popular MC4WP (Mailchimp for WordPress) plugin to aid in the development of your Mailchimp list on WordPress. The creation of attractive opt-in forms for your Mailchimp newsletter is made simple by this plugin, which is used on more than two million websites and has an amazing 4.8-star rating across more than 1,300 reviews.
In our comprehensive guide on how to set up a newsletter for your WordPress site, you can find instructions on how to utilise this plugin as well as Mailchimp in general.
After enhancing your site’s SEO and social media with the aforementioned plugins, you’ll need a way to truly evaluate the success of all of your marketing initiatives.
MonsterInsights can help with it. You may examine Google Analytics statistics without leaving your WordPress dashboard by installing the Google Analytics tracking code on your WordPress website.
It can also assist you in tracking the actions of your visitors, such as the most popular buttons and links.
Although back-end site maintenance isn’t glamorous, the free plugins in this category might be the most crucial ones on the entire list. They’ll assist you in securing your website, enhancing its speed, and generally keeping things running smoothly.
14. REALLY SIMPLE SSL
A wonderful approach to increase the security of your WordPress site for both you and your visitors is to switch it over to HTTPS/SSL. This will also help you avoid the annoying Not Secure warnings that Google is introducing to Chrome for ALL non-HTTPS sites.
You just need a technique to securely migrate your WordPress site to HTTPS, and it won’t even cost you anything thanks to the accessibility of free SSL certificates.
Really Simple SSL accomplishes this.
It’s essentially a one-click process for handling all you need to do to securely convert your site to HTTPS, including setting up redirects, updating your old URLs, and handling other tasks.
Since then, more than 6,900 people have given Really Simple SSL a perfect 5-star rating on WordPress.org, and it is now being used on more than five million websites.
15. WORDFENCE SECURITY
The most widely used WordPress security plugin, Wordfence is active on more than four million websites. Most significant WordPress security hardening may be implemented with this all-in-one solution, including:
- a firewall
- malware scans
- login hardening.
Wordfence has a 4.7-star rating based on more than 3,600 reviews, despite the fact that there is a premium version that is still a fantastic alternative for the majority of websites.
The key distinction between the free and commercial versions is that the former requires you to wait 30 days before updating the firewall threat rules and malware definitions, while the latter receives real-time updates.
It’s imperative that you backup your WordPress site so that, in the unlikely event of a problem, you have a functioning copy on hand.
UpdraftPlus is the best free backup plugin, even if there are other excellent paid backup providers like VaultPress.
More than 4,900 evaluations give this free plugin a 4.8-star rating, and it is used on more than three million websites.
With a single click, you can back up your website manually or automatically. You can even use UpdraftPlus to automatically store your backup on cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive, or Amazon S3.
Whenever you need to restore your site, UpdraftPlus makes it simple to do so.
You might need to relocate your WordPress site at some point for a variety of reasons. If you wish to:
- move WordPress to a new host
- upload your site from a local development site to your live host
- create your own hosted staging site.
Whatever your motivation, the free Duplicator plugin can be of assistance. This practical plugin exports your complete WordPress website into two straightforward files. Simply upload those files to the new place, launch the automated installer, and you’re done moving your website.
Due to its simplicity of use, Duplicator has received a 4.9-star rating from 3,177 users on WordPress.org.
Note: I believe Duplicator’s free version is excellent for transferring tiny WordPress sites. However, I believe Migrate Guru is a better free alternative for converting really large WordPress sites.
- minification — it removes unnecessary characters from your site’s code (such as white space)
- concatenation — it combines multiple separate files into one.
19. SMUSH IMAGE COMPRESSION AND OPTIMIZATION
Another free plugin, Smush, can boost the efficiency of your website by automatically resizing and compressing any photos you add to your WordPress blog.
Your photographs won’t lose any quality thanks to Smush’s lossless compression; instead, they’ll only be reduced in file size.
With a 5 MB file size limit per image and the ability to optimise an unlimited number of images for free, it is very user-friendly and has a 4.8-star rating across more than 5,500 reviews. It is also active on more than a million websites.
20. LOGIN LOCKDOWN
One of the greatest strategies to protect your login page against brute force assaults, in addition to utilising a strong username and password combination, is to restrict the amount of login attempts a user is permitted to make.
The reason why you typically lock out of your online banking account after three erroneous tries at login in is because of this.
You can add such capability with Login Lockdown to your WordPress website, and you can even choose the exact parameters for how many attempts a user is allowed to make and how long they are locked out for.
21. TWO FACTOR AUTHENTICATION
By adding two-factor authentication using the tried-and-true TOTP + HOTP protocols, the free Two Factor Authentication plugin enables you to further secure your login page. You may use authenticator apps like Google Authenticator, Authy, and other apps that support these protocols.
It is cost-free for an unlimited number of users and extremely simple to use.
This is a wonderful choice if you want complete security from brute force attacks.
22. ENABLE MEDIA REPLACE
One issue is effectively resolved by Enable Media Replace:
It enables you to upload a new file in its place to replace any file in your WordPress Media Library. There is no longer a requirement to delete a file, find a new file with the exact same name, and upload it.
Overall, a straightforward plugin that is quite useful for managing your website and upgrading outdated images.
23. AKISMET ANTI-SPAM
Due to its popularity, WordPress has the undesirable side effect of drawing a lot of comment spam to its websites.
By automatically scanning all of your incoming comments for spam, Akismet Anti-Spam aids in your effort to eradicate this.
It does a fantastic job, as seen by the 4.7-star rating it has received from more than 900 users. Additionally, it is created by Automattic, so you can depend on its durability and high quality.
24. COOKIE NOTICE & COMPLIANCE FOR GDPR / CCPA
A different form of “security” is made possible with the aid of Cookie Notice & Compliance for GDPR / CCPA: the “security” of adhering to crucial rules and regulations. specifically, privacy laws like the CCPA in California and the GDPR in Europe.
With the aid of this free plugin, you can include a cookie consent notice and restrict cookie usage on your website based on user preferences.
With a near-perfect 4.9-star rating across more than 2,900 reviews, it has swiftly become active on more than a million websites because it addresses such a significant pain issue (legal compliance).
25. YOAST DUPLICATE POST
Yoast Duplicate Post is a very useful plugin for managing the material that already exists on your site. It accomplishes what its name implies by enabling you to quickly clone any post, page, or custom post type.
Additionally, it has a cool “merge” function that is excellent for updating content. When you’re ready to publish a post, you can clone it, update the content there, and then automatically overwrite the live version.
Its popularity on over three million websites and 4.8-star rating across more than 480 reviews can be attributed to its utility.
Using TranslatePress will make it simple to make the content of your website available in many languages. Increasing your website’s traffic and conversions by going multilingual has been shown to have substantial advantages.
Directly from the front-end, you can translate any piece of content on a website using TranslatePress’ visual translation interface. You can activate the integrated automatic translation feature to expedite the process (using machine translation services like Google Translate or DeepL).
The plugin is compatible out of the box with any theme or plugin, including page builders like Elementor and e-commerce plugins like WooCommerce, thanks to its translation strategy.
Over 200.000 websites use this free WordPress translation plugin, which is continually expanding.
Top Free WordPress Plugins For Expert Users Who Enjoy Tinkering
These plugins will simplify your life without costing you a dime if adding code snippets and custom post kinds is your idea of a fun Saturday night (or if you’re just an advanced user).
27. ADVANCED CUSTOM FIELDS
The flexibility of your WordPress site is greatly increased by Advanced Custom Fields. It accomplishes that by making it simple for you to add a range of custom fields to your WordPress site, as the name implies.
These customised fields can be used for… Well, almost everything, actually! Because of this, the plugin has a huge developer following and a 4.9-star rating across more than 1,100 reviews on WordPress.org.
You can utilise Advanced Custom Fields to create a more personalised editor with fields that make your life simpler and increase your productivity if you’ve ever been constrained by the default WordPress Editor.
To use the plugin effectively, you will need some technical knowledge, but you don’t have to be a developer. Though I’m not, I still adore it!
28. CODE SNIPPETS
The functions.php file for your theme is probably already familiar to you if you like to fiddle about with your WordPress website.
Using functions.php code snippets is significantly streamlined by Code Snippets in two ways:
- It lets you add each code snippet separately using a custom title. You can also activate/deactivate individual snippets as needed, making it a lot easier to stay organized.
- Your code snippets will stay with your site even if you switch themes.
Due to these advantages, it has a 4.7-star rating on WordPress.org and is used on more than 400,000 websites.
29. HEAD, FOOTER AND POST INJECTIONS
Code Snippets and Head, Footer, and Post Injections both work on a similar basis, however Head, Footer, and Post Injections assist you in adding code snippets to your:
- post content.
Makes sense given the name, right?
This functionality actually opens up a lot of benefits. You can:
- inject ads or other content above or below your post content.
The plugin even enables you to conditionally inject code based on a visitor’s device type (desktop or mobile).
These attributes all contribute to Head, Footer and Post Injections’ flawless 5-star rating across more than 600 reviews on WordPress.org and its use on more than 300,000 websites.
Which Are Your Favorite Free WordPress Plugins?
There you have it, then! These are 29 of the most beneficial and top-rated free WordPress plugins, as determined by both personal experience and the many reviewers at WordPress.org.