There are thousands of WordPress plugins, but what are the best Free WordPress Plugins to use?
First of all, why do you need a plugin for your WordPress site?
WordPress is the most used Open Source platform for blogging. But, did you know that you can add functionality to your WordPress site by installing a Plugin?
On the WordPress official website, the Plugin Repository is the place to start, when you are looking for Free WordPress plugins to add to your current website or to develop a website for a client.
Here are a few examples of what you can achieve with WordPress, and free Plugins:
- Create a discussion forum for your club, event, blog, or community.
- Create an eCommerce website, selling physical, digital, or services online.
- Use as a CRM, building your customer relationship base inside your WordPress site.
- Create and manage invoices for your clients
- build your social community
- and of course, create a Blog!
There are thousands of plugins available, but what are the best free plugins around?
The first place to look into is the Free WordPress Plugins Repository, where you can view their rating, see what they do, and also get free support from the community. Or, from your WordPress admin, you can search for available plugins, and install and activate them with one click.
You may also find free WordPress plugins on different sites, and GitHub repositories, be careful where you get your Plugins! and do not use Nulled WordPress Plugins.
You don’t want stuff that is not tested, or is full of malicious scripts! don’t blame your developer because you installed something and everything messed up! (taking care of dev around ;))
Many plugins exist for different needs, from plugins to extend the WordPress Block Editor (aka Gutenberg) to plugins for Forum, to add a GDPR cookie banner, to create a protected area, and many more! you can extend your WordPress blog with different plugins based on your needs.
In this article, I will list (and update if needed) the free WordPress plugins I use on most of the websites I build.
Best WordPress Free Plugin list
Not in any specific order, here is the list of WordPress Free Plugins around.
The WordPress Classic Editor Plugin is very handful when you are managing a quite old website with a lot of content using the Classic Editor. When installed and activated, you have two options, one is to allow a switch between Classic Editor and Block Editor, or to force Classic Editor everywhere.
Similar to Classic Editor, the WordPress Classic Widgets restore the Classic widget view. If you have a lot of legacy sidebars, this is a handful to keep the old way to manage Widgets in WordPress.
Site Kit by Google – Analytics, Search Console, AdSense, Speed
The Site Kit By Google plugin provides integration with Universal Analytics, Google Analytics 4, Search Console, and Google Adsense. easy to configure, and you also have some metrics in your WordPress Dashboard.
Pods – Custom Content Types and Fields
The Pods – Custom Content Types and Fields plugin is very useful when you need to manage custom post types, taxonomies, or custom fields in your WordPress website.
I have been using it for a long time now. It (still) lacks a repeater field, but it offers a solid option to manage Custom Post Types and Taxonomies, together with many custom fields, and do not forget that you can use also custom tables.
EWWW Image Optimizers
Images optimizations for WordPress are a crucial aspect to consider for Seo Ranking and speed optimization. EWWW Image Optimizer plugin optimizes your images, serves in WebP, lazy load, works well, and saves you a lot of time, instead of optimizing images manually, you can use this plugin to automatically optimize your WordPress images.
When you need 301 redirects, or you want to track 404 errors, WordPress Redirection plugin is the best plugin to manage redirections. You may find a similar solution integrated into your SEO plugin, but I prefer to keep this separate. For a fresh/new site, you don’t need a redirect plugin, by the way, you should keep the content clean and avoid any 404 pages.
Use WordPress Password Protected plugin If you need to simply restrict your site with a simple frontend Password, this free WordPress plugin work right away! You can also combine it with other plugins and change the login logo, colors, or layout of the frontend login page.
Useful when you are developing a new site for a client, and you want that to be viewable from the outside, or to create a simple one-password restricted website.
Fluent SMTP WordPress Plugin is a great plugin to configure a lot of SMTP services like SendGrid, Mailgun, Amazon SES, Sendinblue, and many more. When your Blog or Ecommerce needs a reliable transactional email service, this plugin helps you configure any type of SMTP service right away, also it provides a mail log section, useful if you have problems with email delivery and you need to debut that.
WooCommerce is the best eCommerce solution for WordPress. You can set up a store easily out of the box, with support for Stripe, Paypal, and other merchants. You can Extend WooCommerce with many plugins to expand the default functionality, create bundled products, customize products, add swatches, or connect your data with external CRM. There are a lot of integration, and if you need to manage a lot of products, you may need to have good server resources, if you want to have a smooth website both for frontend and backend.
Query Monitor is a WordPress developer tools plugin. You can debug Ajax calls, PHP errors, hooks and actions, enqueued scripts and stylesheets, and more. you can see data visually, and debug any error or call easily.
Visual Portfolio, Photo Gallery & Post Grid
Visual Portfolio, Photo Gallery & Post Grid is great for creating Photo Gallery, and (for me) more important, Post Grid. you can easily create your Post grid (or custom post type) with Masonry or Grid layout, with different options.
WORDPRESS PLUGINS TIPS
Don’t use too many Plugins! Most of the WP users think that they can add 100 plugins, without any performance issues, or compatibility issues (especially with WooCommerce). Some Plugins slow down your site if you do not have the proper Server Infrastructure, so be aware, if your WordPress site is slow, check how many plugins you have installed!
That’s it! Please Share if you found this article about Free WordPress Plugins, and if you have any suggestions, post them in the comments section below.