WordPress is the best open source CMS system world has to offer at the moment. If you have installed or used WordPress for at least once, you have surely noticed it has thousands of plugins. These plugins offer various functionalities that make your website even more powerful. Eventually, you can turn your WordPress site into an application to perform tasks that were unthinkable before!
There are more than 40,000 (Forty Thousands) FREE WordPress Plugins in WP.org.
You may have thought about these awesome plugins and became confused wondering which plugins you should use?
Let's shake hands; you are not alone, my friend!
And the most common question pops up in our minds- What are the must have free WordPress Plugins in 2017?
There are many people asking the same question as it's impossible for a single person to test all those plugins out there. It becomes pretty challenging now and then while choosing.
What You Should Consider
To help you with this decision, we have come up with a list of plugins that a user must have for their website. However, you might have some favorite plugins just like me. But, we are not sharing our favorite ones instead we are focusing more on the top must have free WordPress plugins. Here we are going to provide you a compiled list of plugins that –
- Improves User Experience
- Speeds up your site
- Helps with Analytics
- Provides Security
- Make Backups
- Optimize for search engines
- Collects information
- Let's you design your blog
- Makes media compatible
- Manages your tasks
Here at weDevs, we get a lot of queries from thousands of our users about which plugins they should install. As we are a plugin development company and need to test a lot of plugins, we get the opportunity of researching the best plugins in the market. Thus, it becomes easy for us to find out the most usable and must have free WordPress plugins every year.
In our list, we have considered the most useful plugins that a website should have. So, whatever you are planning to do with your website, you will eventually require these free WordPress plugins or their alternatives.
Must Have Free WordPress Plugins You Should Use for Your Site
There is no perfect solution for a problem. You can always find alternatives. That is why there are so many plugins out there in WordPress.org. So, it's quite wrong to make a list of must have plugins or top plugins for WordPress. Instead of that, we decided to identify the usefulness and how they can help you to keep things simple and manage essential operations.
So, focusing on which ones are more useful, we have conducted our research and end up making the following list. But, don't worry – as we have said earlier, we are going to provide alternatives as well so that you can choose the best one for you. Let's find out then.
This is a must have plugin that helps you with a lot of things when you are using WordPress. It offers features including security, content tools, visitor engagement, social sharing, comments, spam protection, related post and also improves your site performance.
Apart from these, Jetpack offers an option for mobile themes which is very responsive and also lightweight. It is designed for tablets and phones.
WordPress.org Rating: 4.1
Another important thing for a website is its forms. Without a contact form, your users won't be able to communicate with you. weForms helps you to create contact forms easily and publish them on your site. It collects user information and lets you manage them easily. You can also create different types of contact forms and customize them as you want. Another amazing fact is that- it provides FREE Slack integration as well. For a Free plugin, it's amazing and lightweight, provides almost everything you need. However, it also has Pro packages with more powerful features and email marketing modules.
Contact Form Plugin Alternatives
Contact Form 7 is very basic and provides fewer features. On the other hand, both Ninja Forms and Caldera Forms are heavily customizable and has a lot feature along with many integrations. Although they have free versions, their paid version is more useful.
WordPress.org Rating: 5.0
One of the most popular SEO plugins, Yoast SEO offers a great set of tools that helps you to improve your position in the search engines. It allows you to add XML Sitemaps, OpenGraph data and also makes it easier to make your posts or pages SEO friendly. Besides that, it provides SEO score which is very handy.
It's Specials Features includes-
- Page analysis tools
- XML sitemap generator
- SEO score
- RSS Settings
- Import and export settings etc.
WordPress.org Rating: 4.8
SEO Plugin Alternatives- All in One SEO
It provides similar functionalities like Yoast, but it does not provide SEO score feature and has a lower rating.
If you are worried about your site's performance, then you can rest assure and you Analytify plugin. It provides a range of features including tracking user visits, site popularity, insights about visitors, page or post-performance, powerful analytics and much more.
Google Analytics Dashboard Plugin for WordPress by Analytify connects your site with Google Analytics and generates a handy dashboard on your site. This is one of the great tools to make your site stand out in the crowd.
WordPress.org Rating: 4.9
Alternatives of Google Analytics Plugin
Who doesn't want his website to become faster? If it loads quickly, visitors will be satisfied while navigating the site. W3 Total Cache helps you to increase the speed of your WordPress site. As a result, it improves the experience of your visitors with faster page loading.
W3 Total Cache improves server performance, reduces page load time and download times. It dramatically helps to improve your rank in search engines.
WordPress.org Rating: 4.3
Caching Plugin Alternatives – WP Rocket
It is another powerful solution for making your site load faster. However, it is a premium plugin and it provides some unique features.
Security is one of the most important things to consider when it comes to a website. Thus, it is a must to reduce online threats and keep your website safe from security issues. Sucuri is a great tool that provides a firewall to your site and it effectively protects your site from external threats.
You can get rid of DDos, XSS attacks, malware threats, brute force etc. If you thought, you don't need a firewall plugin for your site, think again!
WordPress.org Rating: 4.6
WordPress Security Plugin Alternative
Backup is a great solution when something unusual happens to your website. UpdraftPlus is a great WordPress backup Plugin and it provides amazing features. You can backup your entire site into the cloud including Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, FTP and also email. You can also restore it with just a single click.
The paid version offers more functionalities like back up to Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Storage, SFTP and many more.
WordPress.org Rating: 4.8
WordPress Backup Plugin Alternatives
They are also popular plugins that provide you similar features with paid versions.
Imagify helps you to manage your media storage. It makes your images lighter and most importantly without losing their quality. This greatly helps you to speed up your website and have a better management of your media files.
Besides that, it provides support to thumbnails and Retina images. You don't need to worry about image size anymore, thanks to Imagify.
WordPress.org Rating: 4.7
Image Compression Plugin Alternatives
However, imagify is a better choice for its useful features.
Want to build your pages easily without coding? Elementor is the best solution you will find for WordPress. It provides live page building with a lot of features. It's comparatively faster than other solutions. It has a template library that can be used anytime. Besides that, it supports mobile editing. You can even revert to the previous version with revision history.
WordPress.org Rating: 4.8
Page Builder Plugin Alternatives
They also provide page building functionalities, but not faster.
Managing projects or tasks is very important. You need project management tool for everything. Suppose, you are planning to publish a blog. If you have a proper task management tool and working with a team, things become easier with WP Project Manager.
It has features like task management, to-do lists, milestone, discussion, file sharing and much more. These often become handy for website users and also bloggers. Although it has a free version. There is a pro version with advanced features as well.
I have already discussed the most useful plugins that you will need for your WordPress site. Now, I am adding some more honorable mentions which provide some special purpose functionalities.
- WooCommerce: Helps you to build an eCommerce store quickly. You get almost everything for FREE.
- Google XML Sitemaps: Generates special XML sitemap to index your site better on search engines.
- Accelerated Mobile Pages: Adds AMP aka Accelerated Mobile Page (makes your website faster for mobile visitors) functionality to your WordPress site.
- Autoptimize: Optimizes your site easily with minify and cache scripts and styles.
- ManageWP: Helps you to manage your WordPress site better with automated workflow, bulk actions, reports and improves performance.
So, this article provided you a list of most useful and must have free WordPress plugins in 2018 for your website. We have considered most of the applications that you will need for your website when you first install WordPress on your site. This is why we have added the most useful ones and also FREE. This will surely help you out to make the best use of your WordPress installation.
If you are still not satisfied, we have honorable mention list with special purpose plugins. You should check them out.
Also, don't forget to share your opinion and mention your favorite plugins as well. We will list them out if they seem to be helpful for a general WordPress site.