10 essential free WordPress plugins

Estimated reading time: 14 minutes

Today I bring you the best 10 free WordPress plugins that you will need to make your project work perfectly this year in 2021.

When you are creating a website, getting the most out of the design and configuration of a website is achieved by choosing a series of plugins that are essential for the CMS to work perfectly.

WordPress can boast of its plugins and with them, you can do everything, so I bring you 10 essential plugins for you to choose among them what you like and need for your website.

As I have told you before, plugins are very personal and what works for one person for their blog does not have to work for you.

There are millions of plugins for a blog, it is you as a blogger who has to go testing to find the best plugins that best suit your project, so I make it easy for you to choose from this list of plugins that you need.

But what is a plugin Mihai?

What are WordPress plugins?

You need to know that if you are going to create a profitable and revenue-generating professional website you need to do it with the WordPress CMS.

From here you will need to choose a domain name and choose the best hosting in the UK and from here start installing plugins which are what will give functionality to the website.

A WordPress plugin is an additional program that allows you to customise the design and configuration of your website by including forms, images or products, giving you the option to do almost anything you want.

As its elaborations are through PHP code, they even offer you the possibility of having a programmer or web designer design one for you if you are not able to get what you are looking for, making WordPress the most powerful and versatile platform.

The best thing about plugins is that there are many to choose from and almost all are free, which generates a big doubt, and knowing which plugins to install in WordPress is complicated, but this has a solution because this article is about that, to show you the best plugins so you do not have to look any more if you are going to create a website or a blog.

The possibility to choose from a multitude of free or paid WordPress themes and the possibility to treat each template with an infinite number of plugins make this CMS an impressive platform far ahead of others such as Joomla or PrestaShop.

You may be interested in:

WordPress, blogger or Wix?

Should you install these 10 essential free WordPress plugins for your WordPress blog?

If you are going to create a blog the answer is NO, you should not install all the plugins I show you.

You have to take into account that according to studies, it is not recommended to install more than 10 or 12 plugins, but this is not entirely true.

It is partly true, the overload on the web will depend on the resources consumed by each plugin installed and that is what you should study.

Installing WordPress plugins is not an easy task, there is a lot of diversity and you can download almost any type of plugin for free which can make you hesitate.

It is normal to find plugins that, when installed on your wordpress, take up three times what another one would take, and there are even some that are so light that you don’t even notice them.

There are some so light that they could give you the possibility to install thirty of them if you wanted to on your blog.

In some of my customer’s website I have had 18 or more than 20 plugins and the website speed has been optimal.

For example:

Plugins for sharing on social networks can slow down your website, others (such as Anti-spam) take up very little space, as they are only active to regulate comments, then they stop working.

Am I telling you not to install social media plugins? No, I’m not saying that.

It is necessary nowadays to insert social buttons.

Social networks are essential to achieve visibility and even more so when you are starting out, you must install wordpress plugins of this type.

Other WordPress plugins that tend to slow down the web quite a lot apart from social networks are those for images, sliders or Seo plugins.

I am not saying that you should not use them, as they are necessary, but you should use them wisely.

What is a Slider? A slider is a graphic and dynamic display of images.

Personally, I would discard in any case the use of slider plugins because of the slowdown, because it is not very advisable for a web positioning and because they decrease the CTR (usually not more than 10%), also on mobiles they are not seen correctly sometimes and this is not good for the user, otherwise, I recommend you to use quality images.

CTR means (click-through rate): Frequency with which the user ends up clicking on a certain part of your page.

How to choose the best plugins for WordPress?

Each person should see which plugin is really essential and which one he or she can do without.

If you have doubts about whether a plugin is necessary, you can check whether it is too heavy and resource-intensive. This will help you to decide whether to discard it or continue with it.

Ok, but which plugins should I install then?

In the wordpress plugin directory you can find millions of reliable and totally free plugins.

As I’ve been through that and I know that with so many WordPress plugins you can spend hours searching and testing, I help you with that heavy work and I’ll show you the best 10 essential plugins for WordPress and that is free that I consider essential and that many I use.

This way you will be able to test which ones are the best for your website.

If I have to recommend the best plugins for WordPress, I would choose the following.

Top 10 free WordPress plugins

I give you a 👍 on the plugins that I consider essential or the ones that work really well for me.

Best WordPress Security and Spam Cleanup Plugins

Security in WordPress as you know is a must, you have to count with some plugins that you have to assign for this kind of use.

1. Anti-Spam Plugin (SPAM) 👍

Wordpress-anti-spam-plugin

The anti-spam plugin is one of the best WordPress plugins to prevent unwanted comments.

Some plugins like Akismet come by default in Google and work well because they protect, but the antispam plugin is essential for your blog because it works in a different way, this plugin does not send to the unwanted folder what it finds as does the rest, anti-spam directly prohibits the entry to robots and not even enter the comments in such a folder.

It is also very light.

With this free plugin you will be more than protected.

2. Duplicator Plugin (Backups) 👍

wordpress-duplicator-plugin-backups

This is a basic wordpress plugin to make backups.

I’m not going to tell you again how necessary it is to make backups almost every day.

This WordPress plugin is simple, practical, fast and reliable.

In a couple of clicks you will have the backup saved on your hard drive.

It is also very useful to make complete clones of a website in order to make a redesign and then replace it with the old one.

3. Ithemes Security (Better WP Security)

ithemes-security-plugin-for-Wordpress

Plugin to protect wordpress from attacks, malwares etc.

This is an essential plugin for WordPress if you want to have peace of mind and unless your hosting service guarantees complete security (as is my case), it is necessary that you install it.

4. Plugin Wp optimize: (Database cleaning)

wp-optimize-database-cleaning-wordpress

This plugin is needed to optimise and clean the database, remove spam, comments in drafts, unapproved comments, pingbaks and trackbacks if you have them enabled.

The possibility of always having it deactivated so that it does not take up memory and only activating it when you want to carry out the cleaning process makes it very useful.

WordPress Plugins for Seo and Analytics

Notifying Google, using optimised content and linking your account with Google Analytics is essential.

To this end, having SEO and analytics plugins installed is another point to consider.

5. WordPress Yoast Seo (Search Engine Optimisation) 👍

yoast-by-seo-wordpress

Yoast is among the best WordPress plugins today without a doubt, it is an essential plugin for Seo.

Rare is the one who doesn’t have this plugin or a similar seo plugin installed.

Yoast Seo is a perfect wordpress plugin to familiarise yourself with seo techniques when you are starting out.

Although it is a bit resource-intensive, the features it provides are fantastic and it makes things much easier if configured correctly.

Mainly this plugin performs a real-time Seo study of each post you write. Its function is to correct everything that the post lacks to be properly optimized: keywords, title, meta description, paragraph length…

This is just one of the main functions, but there are many more.

If you want to learn how to set it up quickly access the tutorial on Yoast Seo settings.

  • Setup time: 15 minutes
  • Download link: Yoast Seo

6. Google Analytics wordpress ( Web Analytics )

google-analytics-plugin-for-Wordpress

Google analytics is a necessary plugin to monitor the statistics of your website.

It automatically synchronises your wordpress account with Google Analytics.

Basically what it does is to include a tracking code on your website, so that once done, it will allow you to make a study of the visits you receive, the pages with more audience, the best positioned keywords and many more options.

The use of Google Analytics is necessary to follow our strategy and is a tool of daily use to analyze the statistics of your wordpress.

If you want to save yourself in other lessons I will explain how to dispense with its installation by inserting the code directly without plugin.

This will save you resources if you choose to do this manually.

Analytics is fundamental, other plugins such as Finteza will allow you many more possibilities for traffic analysis, audience behaviour or conversion funnel creation.

Plugins to optimise the loading speed of your website

The loading speed is as you know very necessary for your website to be liked by the reader and Google robots. For this you must do everything possible to make your website load as fast as possible.

There are several mandatory speed plugins, one of them is Wp Rocket.

8. Plugin Wp Rocket (Loading speed) 👍

wp-rocket-speed-plugin

I used to use the free Wp Super cache plugin until I discovered Wp Rocket (paid), it’s amazing how good it is and how easy it is to set up! If you contract your WordPress website design or the WooCommerce web design I will give for FREE this plugin ( installed and configured per your website needs ). You will SAVE $49

If your website is very slow, you need WP Rocket. There are many free plugins to optimize the loading speed but none like Rocket.

But Wp Rocket is paid Mihai and you’re talking about free plugins? True, I include it in the list because but I guarantee that when you buy this tool and see all that it achieves with it will seem free. Remember: If you contract with me my web design services you will get the plugin for FREE for life!

As I said, this is a premium tool, but if I always recommend using everything that is free whenever possible, in this case, it is worth investing in this inexpensive tool that will make your website go at lightning speed.

This is a cache program with very easy to configure options. In a few minutes all the loading errors of your website will be solved.

The cache is the static compilation of your pages. That is to say, when a user enters your website they will see a cached version to avoid WordPress having to load all the resources, thus speeding up your page.

Wp Rocket is currently the best cache plugin that exists, well configured is above any.

A poorly configured cache plugin can give more harm than good and not all sites give the same performance.

Wp Rocket works very well and reduces the loading times of the web not only because of its caching system, but also because of its minification and file compression functions.

The configuration of Wp Rocket is very simple and well done gives impressive speed results.

  • Setup time: 10 minutes
  • Download link: Wp Rocket

9. Elementor (Web Builder) 👍 – Free & Paid Version

elementor-plugin-website-builder

Elementor can’t be missing in this list of essential plugins. If you have bought a WordPress template and your idea is to start building your website only with its options forget it, you need a layout plugin designer.

Elementor Page Builder is a plugin with which you will be able to create the pages of your website easily, quickly and with spectacular professional results. With a drag and drop system (Drag & Drop) you will be able to do absolutely everything you can think of.

In fusion with a template like Generatepress the design result is spectacular.

Forms, buttons, backgrounds, sliders, galleries, effects, gradients… Have you seen a web design that you love and would like to replicate? With this layout plugin, you are going to get it.

It has a free version with which you can achieve results that you will hardly get with the template unless you use CSS code. The premium version is spectacular.

The best WordPress plugins for social media

Social media is the order of the day. Whether you are just starting out or already have some visibility, you are going to have to use them.

For this you need to have social icons to link your articles and your users can contact you through them.

This is the best WordPress plugin for social networks i recommend to you:

Using a plugin to share your articles on social networks is essential.

10. Access Press Social Share ( Social Media)

plugin-accesspress-social

Access press social share is a free WordPress plugin designed to allow your readers to share an article from your blog on social networks.

Simple and visual, it allows you to share your articles easily.

As I have already mentioned, choose the plugins that you think are most convenient.

You will adapt each plugin to your taste, some will interest you and others will not, but I assure you that here are the vast majority of the ones that are essential, so to speak.

Conclusion

  • Always keep your plugins up to date and make sure they are the latest version when you download them.
  • Don’t leave plugins deactivated because some of them will consume memory. If you don’t like it, delete it.
  • Look at the loading speed with the p3 plugin performance plugin and discard the ones that are not essential plugins.

Nothing more for the moment. These have been the best WordPress plugins of 2021 i recommend for you to have installed on your WordPress website.

There are many more and I will tell you about them as I try them out. I will update this article with the new ones. If you want to find more blog articles about WordPress click here: WordPress Blog

What about you, do you use any other, which one would you add to the list? Tell me in a comment

MIHAI DOBRE

Hey there! This is Mihai Dobre. I’m a freelance web designer and developer that operates in the UK and Spain, I can also work remotely, servicing worldwide. If you have an upcoming project you’d like to discuss then please get in touch.

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