10 Best Free WordPress Plugins You Cannot Miss19 min read

Enrich your WordPress experience by using these handy plugins

Most of us have been familiar with WordPress since school days, and you probably had your first website hosted on WordPress. If the answer is yes, then you know the ins and outs of WordPress.

In the current digital era, WordPress has risen as a potential solution to digital marketing and e-commerce challenges.

wordpress_plugins_synthseo

WordPress is a Content Management System that helps you manage the content of your website. Even if you don’t understand anything about:

  • HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language)
  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)
  • Java Script

WordPress is a software/tool that allows you to have complete authority over your website’s elements.

Using WordPress you can tweak even the minute details of your website as per your needs and preferences.

I am everything behind SynthSEO and novice at programming, yet I have custom site on WordPress. And you can have that too.

Before we discuss the best free plugins available for WordPress let’s understand what plugins are and whether they are beneficial to use or not.

What are WordPress plugins?

Plugins for WordPress are add-ons that enhance user experience and enrich utility and accessibility.

They are small programs that run on your site (as scripts) allowing you more controls and customisation.

Using plugins one can customise their website based on their requirements.

Plugins unlock new possibilities. Simply, plugins add new features to your website.

WordPress plugins are classified into different categories, some of which are:

  • SEO plugins like Yoast SEO
  • eCommerce plugins like JetPack
  • Builder plugins like Elementor
  • Caching plugins like W3 Total Cache
  • and others

Every WordPress plugin serves a specific purpose. And choosing the right one which fits your preferences is needful.

What are the benefits of using WordPress Plugins?

Using plugins allows numerous benefits however, there are possible drawbacks to it as well.

Plugins offer a more custom approach to building your site. Starting from a blank theme you can use different plugins to build up your site and maintain it.

For example, you can use Elementor (WordPress theme builder plugin) to develop your site from scratch.

But, there are major trade-offs to using plugins.

  • Using a lot of plugins can ramp down your site
  • It can also reduce your site’s performance and speed
  • Some plugins can compromise your website’s security
  • Plugin conflicts have been reported as a major issue among WordPress users

All of these have been reasoned out as plugins make extra HTTP requests, database queries and background processes on the server.

Pro tip: Limit the number of WordPress plugins you use. Deactivate those that you currently don’t use.

How many plugins are there in WordPress?

The WordPress market rose to $1 billion in 2020, showcasing website owners’ increased usage of plugins.

There are around 55,000 plugins on WordPress and the number keeps on increasing. WordPress’s database is flooded daily with new plugins, making website building easy and convenient.

These plugins range from serving as building blocks to your site, offering tailored customisations to complementary services. WordPress plugins allow users versatility and a platform to relive their online vision.

Jetpack is notably one of the most installed and used plugins out there.

So, how many plugins you should be using?

I use 19 plugins, 13 being active.

Experts say that you should have plugins between 20 to 30. But I prefer the less the better.

You can’t stop yourself from using plugins, especially if you have hosted your website on WordPress.

Are WordPress plugins free?

WordPress plugins are also categorised based on fee.

  1. Free plugins (forever free)
  2. Paid plugins (you must pay to use)
  3. Freemium plugins (initially free then charged)

Most of the plugins on WordPress are available for free use and you shouldn’t be having any issues using them.

Most of the free WordPress plugins come with some restrictions such as RankMath SEO where you need to pay for certain features such as adding more focus keywords.

Depending on your needs, you might need to purchase some plugins while upgrading others.

For example, plugins like WP Rocket only have a paid version.

How to choose the best plugins?

Choosing the best plugging for your WordPress site can have a lot of positive impact on the site’s performance and the user experience.

There’s no hard and fast rule on picking the best plugins out there, even though WordPress recommends some plugins when you first build your site.

Still, you can look out for some information indicating whether the plugin is good or bad.

Here’s some:

  1. Date and time the plugin was last updated
  2. Reviews and ratings
  3. Number of downloads or active installations
  4. Compatibility

10 Best Free WordPress Plugins

Choosing the best free WordPress plugins for your website can sometimes be confusing. Especially, if you are new to WordPress or any other CMS.

The below WordPress plugins list includes the most popular ones.

It includes different categories of plugins such as WordPress SEO plugins that are unduly paramount to optimise your site for search engines.

The list includes free, paid as well as freemium plugins.

Let’s discuss each plugin.

#1: Yoast SEO

If you are wondering “What is the best free SEO plugin for WordPress?” then your quest has come to an end.

Yoast SEO is your destination for the best free SEO plugin on WordPress.

The add-on comes with an endless number of features especially for the on-page SEO such as readability analysis, use of inclusive language, presence of alt-attribute and much more.

There’s this SEO analysis feature that identifies SEO-related issues, areas of improvement and good SEO practices applied to the post.

Yoast SEO is incredibly helpful for beginners. It can help new writers and bloggers comprehend how to optimise posts to rank higher on the search engines from the basics.

All you need is to add your focus keyword into Yoast SEO and it will automatically start giving you suggestions. This structures your write-up with a focus on ranking higher.

You can blindly rely on Yoast SEO for search engine optimisation needs.

PriceDownloadsUpdatesRating
Free/paid5+ MillionEvery 2 weeks⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

#2: RankMath SEO

RankMath has always been mentioned among the best free WordPress SEO plugins. Because RankMath has an interface that none of the WordPress SEO plugins can beat.

The plugin offers features similar to Yoast SEO.

But what sets it apart from others is its SEO score feature, which is extremely intuitive to understand whether your post will be a hit or flop on the search engines.

RankMath SEO lets you dive deeper into your on-page SEO serving as a base to enhance your overall SEO strategy.

PriceDownloadsUpdatesRating
Free/paid2+ MillionEvery 2 weeks⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

#3: Google Site Kit

Google Site Kit is essentially essential for your website.

Without Site Kit you are in the middle of nowhere. Site Kit is your North Star guiding and preserving you from being overshadowed by your competitors on the web.

Site Kit a WordPress plugin from Google allows seamless tracking and monitoring of a website’s performance.

If you are hosting your site on WordPress, then you might be juggling between Google Search Console and Google Analytics to understand traffic and content performance.

Site Kit ends this hustle and bustle for you. This is done by combining both Google Search Console and Google Analytics into WordPress.

The plugin is officially developed by Google so there’s no need to worry about privacy and cyber threats.

The plugins help you evaluate how website content is performing.

It offers insights such as:

  • Number of new visitors to your website
  • Number of returning visitors (showing user retention, extremely essential in SEO)
  • Number of impressions
  • Number of clicks
  • New visitors
  • Conversions and much more

Google Site Kit is surely a plugin you cannot miss. It improves reachability by letting you know how your content performs on the web.

PriceDownloadsUpdatesRating
Free4+ MillionFrequent⭐⭐⭐⭐

#4: Blocksy

If there had been a Swiss army knife of WordPress theme plugins, then Blocksy should have earned the title without any debate.

Blocksy is an all-in-one suite for having a website that is responsive, elegant and modern.

The plugin comes with a handful of customisation options and sub-plugins allowing you to express yourself on the web by adjusting even the minute elements.

You will surely drool over pre-built started sites as you start using Blocksy.

Want to start from scratch? You can still use Blocksy for that.

SynthSEO is purely built on Blocksy having no compromises in performance and customisation by striking a beautiful balance between the two.

PriceDownloadsUpdatesRating
Free/paid200,000+Frequent⭐⭐⭐⭐

#5: Lucky WP Table of Contents

Having a table of contents for all blog posts on your site helps readers navigate fluidly.

A table of contents adds to user experience, assisting readers discover exactly what they want.

If your blog posts are lengthy (just like mine), then there’s no way you should neglect a table of contents plugin. And Lucky WP’s TOC plugin has got everyone’s attention inside the WordPress realm.

Lucky WP TOC is simple yet packed with hefty features. You can customise the plugin as per your website’s theme allowing a seamless undergo.

There are options to include and exclude d as well as depth of headings. A toggle key to reveal and hide the table and much more.

Your users will surely love a table of contents on your page built using Lucky WP Table of Contents.

PriceDownloadsUpdatesRating
Free/paid100,000+2 years ago⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

#6: Jetpack

You must have already heard of Jetpack. It exactly does what its name exudes.

Jetpack helps you boost your website speed and performance. Ensuring users and readers are having quality time while reading your stuff, you need your site to be sensitive and receptive.

Jetpack begins with performance monitoring and ends with features that can be neat for your site.

With Jetpack you cannot just monitor performance but optimise spatial elements of your page such as images.

Track your site’s performance on different screens, and accelerate your site’s responsiveness by compressing images and videos.

The real environment where we thrive consists life threatening elements and the same is true in the virtual world too.

The internet is not an angelic abode. There are also entities that inflict harm.

You must not compromise when it comes to protecting and preserving your website against digital offences.

Jetpack saves your day by offering a shield for your site against brute force attacks and DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks.

Having a backup of your site is salient for recovery against server migration-related issues and cyberattacks.

A backup is extremely essential if your site is vanished from the web or suffers from serious technical issues and Jetpack covers this responsibility too.

Finally, the downtime monitoring feature is a revivalist. I use it all the time.

Every time my site goes down I get alerts on email. It just saves my day.

PriceDownloadsUpdatesRating
Free/paid5+ millionFrequent⭐⭐⭐⭐

#7: Elementor

Elementor is a diamond inside a coal mine. Elementor has been the most celebrated theme builder plugin offering absolute control on the page for customisation.

Crave a custom landing page? Elementor has it.

A pre-built blog page? Elementor has covered you.

As you begin documenting your post using WordPress Editor, hit the “Edit with Elementor” button to unlock a new era of blogging.

Add a container and place elements on top of them to crave out a page your readers can’t take their eyes off.

Customise your page as you preview it.

Elementor not just stop here. It also integrates RankMath SEO into the sidebar permitting accessibility while designing a page.

So, you don’t need to hop back and forth between “Elementor Editor” and “WordPress Editor” while customising and scribing.

PriceDownloadsUpdatesRating
Free/paid5+ millionFrequent⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

#8: DarkLooks

Too much screen time is not just harmful for your kids but also for you. Yeah, we all lecture and get lectured for having 7+ hours of screen time.

Gone are the days when reading on the internet was inferior to books. Caring for your eyes is also done by reducing brightness and contrast.

Reading a sun on your phone can cause strain, install and activate DarkLooks to transform that scorching sun into a beautiful moon soothing to your eyes.

There are different themes for switches available, you can use the most suitable one. Before switching to DarkLooks my website had WP Dark Mode as the default plugin.

Even though the plugin excelled in almost all the requirements for installing a dark theme on the website, the floating buttons did not comply with the theme which was an absolute mess for me.

Also, some elements were excluded from the dark mode hinting me to look out for other options.

PriceDownloadsUpdatesRating
Free/paid1,000+8 months ago⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

#9: W3 Total Cache

Caching your website makes it quickly accessible. Caching is a process through which a website’s data is stored (downloaded) in a device (temporarily) allowing quick access to the data.

Have you ever wondered why websites you visit frequently on your device load quicker as compared to other sites your visit for the very first time?

This is because when you visit a page some elements on the page gets downloaded. When you revisit, the browser doesn’t have to reload them saving you seconds, making the page faster.

That’s why caching is important for your page as it is essential for a pleasing user experience.

Experts say pages having a loading time of more than 3 seconds have a higher bounce rate (the rate at which users exit a page without exploring it further).

This can harm your online reputation and sales too which you don’t want at any cost.

W3 Total Cache dominates the realm of caching plugins. The plugin offers features you cannot settle for not having on your site.

Some of the notable features of the free version of W3 Total Cache include:

  • Browser cache
  • Database cache
  • Object cache
  • Minification
  • CDN or Content Delivery Network

You can pay a fee and unlock exclusive features such as:

  • Preview mode (useful before making any changes to cache settings)
  • Opcode cache
  • Statistics
  • Fragment cache (cache elements selectively)
  • Debug mode
  • And much more.
PriceDownloadsUpdatesRating
Free/paid1+ MillionEvery month⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

#10: Worth The Read

Everybody’s time is precious, none wants to spend their valuable time on vague things. People want to know whether your piece is worth reading or not.

Letting users know how much time they are going to spend reading a post improves user experience.

Worth The Read is a fundamental plugin that mentions the total time to read the article or post.

It bags numerous features where you can highlight read time on different areas of your site including posts, pages and home page.

Worth The Read has a progress bar feature too. This feature truly helps the readers understand how much of the article they have read and how much remains.

You can customise the colours of the progress bar and place it on any side of your website. Still, having a progress bar on the top of the page header improves usability.

PriceDownloadsUpdatesRating
Free/paid5,000+2 months ago⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Conclusion

So, these are the major free WordPress plugins you can rely on without hesitation.

These plugins are the base of your site, making it more functional and accessible to a wider audience. Activate these plugins to harness the full potential of WordPress.

Hope this listicle has helped you unearth valuable plugins for your WordPress site.

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Shahzeb Arshad
Shahzeb Arshad

Curiosity is my fuel. I have an immense love for technology, which makes me leave no stone unturned behind. Apart from being a blogger and writer, I demystify technical stuff for others clearly and engagingly.

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