Every now and then I dig out old blog posts and give them a thorough makeover. The text "WordPress plugins" has also been updated. I encourage you to be similarly active, not only because certain topics become obsolete after a period of time, but also for the sake of SEO optimization. The original content of this article was written in 2014, so a few springs ago. So let's take a look at what has changed about the topic. Which ones I could list today in my opinion best plugins WordPress available from the free repository.

WordPress plugins

WordPress is the foundation on which you build your website. However, it doesn't offer much on its own in its basic version. Fortunately, one of its great advantages and also a factor that has determined the huge popularity of this CMS is scalability.

In practice, this means that you can create virtually anything you want on its basis. From a blog, simple company website, to an online shop, classifieds directory, etc... You just need to find the right plugins, install and configure them according to your needs. If you don't know how to install plugins take a look at the article "How to install the plug-in“.

Free WordPress pluginsIt is one of the lures increasing the number of WordPress enthusiasts. It's not only a tool focused on a specific form of business, but also, or maybe first of all, add-ons affecting the comfort of your work, increasing security, optimizing site performance and speed, allowing you to more effectively implement marketing strategies, and much more.

Two versions of WordPress

However, it is important to remember that WordPress is two platforms. I recently had a nice lady call me asking for help installing the Astra theme. She followed my video on my YouTube channel but could not find the option to allow her to add this theme. It quickly became apparent that she was using the free version of the WordPress.com platform, where many of the features of open-source WordPress simply aren't there or are heavily truncated.

So if you want to take advantage of this system in 100%, to be able to install any themes and plugins you should be interested in the OpenSource version of WordPress available at https://pl.wordpress.org.

The best WordPress plugins - free

In this article we focus on free plugins for WordPress. And although some of them also have their commercial counterparts, the free versions are in most cases completely sufficient.

This is a list of plugins that I have personally tested many times both on my own sites and on clients' sites. I can confidently write that this choice will not disappoint you. 

We will divide this section into several groups so that you can more easily find plugins for specific applications. We'll start with security.

SECURITY

We all know that WordPress is a secure software. However, it is also true that WordPress is a favourite target of hackers, which is simply due to its huge popularity. Already Every third website you see on the web is based on WordPress! 

It is important that we do everything we can to keep our website secure. In most cases, this simply means keeping track of major and minor software updates and implementing them regularly, which is extremely easy. Additionally, it is important to only install high-quality themes and plugins.

WordFence

Free WordPress plugins - WordFence

With over two million downloads, Wordfence Security is currently the most popular free WordPress plugin for keeping your WordPress site secure. It supports multisite and secures your site in multiple ways.

The WordFence firewall blocks malicious traffic to your website. This means that all fake Googlebots, known hackers and botnets cannot access your site. Aggressive crawlers and scrapers are also kept away from your site.

The plugin improves login security by enforcing strong passwords and blocks bruteforce attacks.
Regularly scans all core WordPress files, themes and plugins comparing them to the version available in the WordPress repository for integrity. It also scans for multiple backdoors, trojans, suspicious code, malware and phishing.

Wordfence also monitors site traffic, including 404 errors, in real time. It detects unauthorised DNS changes and helps detect DDoS attacks.

BACKUPS

Imagine for a moment what would happen if for some reason you couldn't access your site. A plugin failure, a hack, a malware infection, etc. Copies and yes you will find them on your hosting account. Sometimes you have direct access to them, as in the accounts I wrote about above, sometimes you have to write to the provider to make the files available to you (there are some who make them available for a fee).

No matter how great your hosting provider is, the iron rule is having its own independent copy of the website.

Many WordPress plugins, when installed, can automatically back up your entire site. Some can also help you restore your site to the same server or a completely new location. For this reason, these plugins can serve a dual role as backup plugins and site migration or cloning plugins.

WPvivid

Free WordPress plugins - wpVivid

WPvivid is a free WordPress plugin, rich in features to backup and migrate WordPress-based sites. Well-known competitors of this extension include Duplicator, BackupBuddy or VaultPress.

This is one of those plug-ins that can be used for both backup and migration. For example, if you are working on your website locally, using this plugin you can quickly transfer it to a production server. You can see how this process looks in the video below.

Backing up with WPvivid is no problem. You can manually or automatically create backups locally or on external servers (FTP, SFTP, Dropbox, Amazon, etc...), and if necessary restore the entire site from such a copy with a single click.

Other features of this free plugin include the ability to customise the contents of your backup, the ability to filter large files, logs, split backups and lock backups, among others, to make your backups more secure.

OPTIMISATION AND EFFICIENCY

Slow websites are a big problem. If your website doesn't load within a few seconds for site visitors, they will simply move on to your competitor's site. Speed is also one of the most important factors on which Google judges your site, which also affects its ranking in search results.

Improving the speed of your website and optimising it for maximum performance can be achieved by carrying out a number of measures. These include caching, image optimisation, database optimisation, use of CDNs and much more.

LiteSpeed Cache

Free WordPress plugins - LiteSpeed Cache

Completely free WordPress plugin, a harvester for optimising your website in many different areas. With the help of this extension you will not only activate caching mechanisms (including object-oriented e.g. Redis), but you will also optimize (slim down) the source code of your website's files, such as JS files, CSS files, as well as HTML code.

The plug-in also allows you to optimisation of photos and other graphics on your website, including the possibility of converting them to WebP format - which Google likes very much. You can easily take care of the health of the database and virtually all other areas relevant to site optimisation.

However, you will only use the full potential of this plugin if your hosting is running in a LiteSpeed server environment. The hosting accounts I wrote about above offer this environment. In a situation when you do not have such a service you can use other extensions.

WP Fastest Cache

Free WordPress plugins - WP Fastest Cache

The plugin has a free version as well as an extended paid version. In the free version you activate caching and basic optimisation of static files. You can also activate LazyLoad function (loading graphics as soon as they appear in the browser window view).

The plug-in is characterised by maximum simplicity, but at the same time the way it caches data and optimises static files very often produces sensational results.

SEO OPTIMIZATION

When creating content, it is not enough to care about the readers themselves. You also need to think about how the text will be received by a search engine. That's why all the content on your site should be optimised for SEO, so that it has a chance to climb up the search engine rankings. Many SEO plugins for WordPress can help you in this area. A higher ranking can increase traffic to your site and, consequently, the number of readers and customers. There is a lot to fight for.

Rank Math

WordPress Rank Math plugin

If you have licked the subject a little, this is probably where I surprised you. Perhaps you were expecting to see a headline here Yoast SEOwhich is ranked first in nearly 100% rankings. True, the Yoast SEO plugin has developed over the years a very strong and stable leadership position in the field of SEO optimization, but it is not the only one. A relatively young project, which is Rank Math is a worthy competitor for your attention.

What sets this plugin apart is that it offers you, free of charge, many options related to SEO optimisation that you won't find in the free version of Yoast SEO.

Rank Math also includes several other tools such as a redirection module, 404 error monitoring and extensive support for micro formats. You can read more about it in the article "Rank Math the number 1 alternative to Yoast SEO“.

CONTACT FORMS

Contact forms are still one of the most convenient ways for users of your website to contact you. Many users prefer to use a contact form when and where it is convenient for them, rather than using chat or telephone. Contact forms have the advantage of allowing users to communicate directly with the relevant department of your business and can also be used as a tool to collect leads.

Contact Form 7

WordPress Contact Form 7 plugins

It's the most popular free WordPress plugin for forms. It allows you to create an unlimited number of forms, customise them and place them anywhere on your website using shortcodes or widgets.

Transmission is handled by Ajax, and SPAM is filtered using CAPTCHA and the Akismet plugin.

You can create basically any form, autoresponder and email modification you want. The extension is compatible with most other WordPress plugins.

WORKING COMFORT AND FLEXIBILITY

WordPress allows you to install any theme you want both from its repository and from outside. Often, however, beginners who have no experience and adequate knowledge about how to customize a website have great difficulty implementing their own ideas about the layout of the content, e.g. homepage, subpages, blog articles, etc. In the end, everything remains in the form imposed by the theme, although fortunately since WordPress version 5 this has changed with the new Gutenberg editor. However, you can use other tools that give you even more possibilities.

Elementor

Elementor plug-in

By installing this free plugin from the WordPress repository, in an instant you can transform it into an extremely convenient website builder. Working with the content of any page or article is based on the use of special widgets, which you arrange on the page according to your needs, and each of them has independent properties and the possibility of styling.

The comfort of working with this extension is incomparable to what you get in the standard. Thanks to Elementor it will be much easier to create attractively looking subpages and blog articles. You don't have to involve a computer scientist or a graphic designer, because you can literally click on everything.

If you are lacking ideas for interesting arrangements you can always use the templates library which is built in Elementor, and if that is not enough you have other sources where you can import such templates. Here I refer you to the article "2000+ free templates for Elementor“.

MULTILINGUALISM

If your website or blog has readers all over the world, you may need to implement multilingualism. When you add the right plugin to achieve this goal, translating your site becomes much easier.

These plugins work in two different ways. In the first method, plugins access some online tool or service that automatically translates content. However, I strongly advise you against using such extensions. The quality of the text that is generated in this way is far from perfect. In the second method, you will have to translate the content on your site yourself, and the plugins will simply help users to switch between the different language versions that you will develop.

Polylang

Polylang plug-in for multilingual websites

Polylang is an easy to use plugin that allows you to add additional language versions to your site. You can choose from nearly a hundred languages. You then specify how you want the language selection to be presented on the page, you can add the appropriate flags and you're done. Of course, this is not an automatic translation plugin. You will have to translate all the content yourself, or outsource this task to translators.

Each language is identified by a two-letter code, and this code forms part of the unique URL for each translated version. Using the widget, users can switch conveniently from one language to another.

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11 Comments

  1. Hello, I am looking for an offer preview plugin. What I mean exactly is pulling up offers from a given category and displaying on the main page for example: 2-3 offers with a photo and price.

    1. I don't know what kind of kit you have on board, but if you have Elementor, you might be interested in expanding it to PRO version or any other add-on that enhances it with an entry list widget. You will then be able to specify the type of content or taxonomy from which entries should appear at one point or another on the page.
      See also additions to Gutenberg, e.g: https://wordpress.org/plugins/atomic-blocks/

    1. Krzysztof Wojteczko says:

      For paid extensions, the form builder in Elementor Pro is also an interesting alternative. The only thing I find missing from it is conditions.

  2. mateusz hauer says:

    I would add to the list : backWP and firewall which will change database name or add captcha to login and generally increase security level of wp itself.

  3. Interesting and very helpful post, as for me it was very useful and as I am a beginner every new information is valuable.
    Greetings

  4. Thank you so much for this post. I have found it very useful 🙂 🙂 I have found it very useful.
    Greetings 🙂 I'd like to thank you.

  5. Martin Kjellman says:

    I recently came across a cool quote in my marketing group: "I uninstalled jetpack 2-3 days ago, and it was the best decision I made in terms of improving wordpress speed in a long time" 😉
    I used it once. I was not dissatisfied but today I consider it unnecessary at most, too big. The statistics are inaccurate, apart from that...
    Greetings

    1. I use it and see no difference in the performance of the site with or without it. It gives me a few options that I would have to doinowaywać from other sources.

  6. And do you perhaps know what plugin can be used to achieve coloured tags like on this site? infobobas.co.uk

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