You aren’t a website developer. So, why spend your productive hours filtering through 50,000 WordPress plugins and testing dozens to find the best ones?
In this guide, I’ll share the only ten free WordPress plugins you need to add to your website.
And I didn’t just feature random plugins on this list.
The free WordPress plugins on this list are the ones you’ll need to:
- Rank top in Google
- Optimize your website speed
- Shield your website from hackers
- Perform automatic backups
Sounds like something you might be interested in?
Let’s dive right in.
10 Best Free WordPress Plugins
1. Yoast SEO
If you care about on-page SEO, you should have Yoast SEO on your WordPress website.
Yoast SEO is one of the most beginner-friendly SEO tools available for WordPress.
After installing the plugin, it takes less than a minute to set things up.
Simply put, you can perform all the necessary one-time SEO configurations and even create a sitemap in under 60 seconds.
Yoast SEO helps non-techies (like me) do SEO the right way. The tool integrates with the WordPress post/page text editor and provides suggestions on ways to optimize your content for humans and search engines.
One of my favorite Yoast SEO features is the SERP snippet display.
The plugin lets you see exactly how your piece will show up on the SERPs so that you can make any necessary tweaks to your title, permalink, or meta description.
Yoast SEO plugin is a must-have tool for WordPress users looking for a free, beginner-friendly SEO tool. More importantly, it saves people time.
Assuming we try doing things manually, we’ll need at least four plugins:
- A SERP display preview tool
- A sitemap generator
- A keyword analysis tool
- An editing tool (for readability checks and other grammar assistance)
Yoast SEO is indeed a time-saver—isn’t it?
2. WP Reset
Let’s be truthful here.
We all fall for the temptation to fix some WordPress tech issues ourselves.
Unfortunately, more often than not, things don’t go as planned.
This is where WP Reset comes in.
WP Reset is the tech support assistant you can always call upon after ruining your WordPress website.
With the tool, you can restore your website to its original state with a single click. You can either delete everything on your website or perform individual actions (like resetting your theme and deleting all your WP media files).
If you decide to choose an alternative route, here’s what it takes to clean up your WordPress database:
- First, you’ll have to access your cPanel, delete your existing database, and create a new one.
- Second, you’ll need to log in to an FTP server and get rid of all old files one by one—the uploads, themes, and plugins folders.
- Finally, you’ll need to run the WordPress installation script and set everything up again—your language, login details, etc.
However, WP Reset does the heavy lifting in under 10 seconds.
3. W3 Total Cache
Everyone hates slow websites—both humans and Google bots.
The consequences of overlooking your website speed are severe:
- Your SEO will suffer
- New visitors won’t return to your website
- Your website traffic will sink
That’s why you need W3 Total Cache (W3TC).
W3TC speeds up websites.
Although it might take a few minutes to set things up initially, you only have to go through the process once.
Bad things happen sometimes.
Here are some examples:
- Hackers could gain access to your website
- You may record an unsuccessful theme or plugin update
- Your web host might run into a major impromptu technical issue
All these unforeseen events are reasons you need a reliable backup plugin, like UpdraftPlus.
UpdraftPlus is a free WordPress plugin with lots of premium features.
For example, the plugin allows WordPress users easily back up their files to their favorite cloud storage destination.
And you don’t have to do the backups manually—that consumes time!
With UpdraftPlus, you can set your website backup process on autopilot and focus on your important business tasks.
JetPack is a one-size-fits-all free WordPress plugin.
It provides security and shields your website against brute-force attacks.
It also monitors your website’s health 24/7 and sends an email notification when things go wrong.
The tool also handles image optimization. It can help compress your image files to speed up your website.
There are plugins that handle each of these tasks. However, JetPack takes care of everything, saving you time.
6. MonsterInsights Lite
Why open Google Analytics when you can view your website stats within WordPress?
MonsterInsight Lite is an analytics tool that helps you track key metrics like pageviews, traffic sources, and popular pages/posts from your WordPress dashboard.
It takes only a few minutes to set up the plugin.
And stats would display not long after you link the tool to your Google Analytics account.
7. Contact Form 7
I’ve tried dozens of contact forms over the years.
And as a minimalist, I find Contact Form 7 superior to other options available.
The free WordPress plugin comes with fewer customization options. So, you won’t waste time beautifying a form that already looks simple and clean.
It takes about a minute to create a form using Contact Form 7. And once you set things up, you’ll get a shortcode that you can copy/paste wherever you want the form to appear.
8. Insert Headers and Footers
Insert Headers and Footers is a free WordPress plugin that allows you to add code snippets to your website’s header, body, or footer section without messing with the source code.
The plugin comes in handy when you want to add code snippets like social media tracking code and PPC ads display code.
With the Insert Headers and Footers plugin, you need not learn how to edit source code via the WordPress theme editor. You just have to copy/paste your code snippet into the box provided—and the tool will handle the rest.
9. Broken Link Checker
Broken links (or dead links) can ruin your website’s SEO.
As much as you need to watch for broken links pointing to your website URL, you also need to ensure there aren’t dead links sprinkled around your site—in posts, pages, or even comments.
With the Broken Links Checker plugin for WordPress, you’ll be able to run frequent checks on your website and see if you’re linking to pages/posts/images that have been moved or deleted.
The plugin doesn’t only scan links over anchor texts. With the plugin, you can also scan embedded videos on your website to find ones that aren’t on the web anymore.
Once the tool detects a broken link, you’ll have an option to replace the links on the plugin’s dashboard—without opening the affected posts/pages.
The Maintenance tool allows you to set up a maintenance mode or coming soon page on your website. With the tool installed, you’ll be able to prevent visitors from seeing changes you’re making to your website on the backend.
The free WordPress plugin also allows you to disable SEO indexing while making changes to your website.
This setting prevents search engines from crawling your website while in maintenance mode.
Set Things Up Today (Once and for All)
The exciting thing about the free WordPress plugins I just shared is that many of them work on autopilot. You only have to set them up once.
Want to focus on productive tasks only (and spend less time on WordPress)?
Log in to your WordPress dashboard now and install the plugins.
Once you’re done, leave a comment below telling me the tool you found most helpful.