It’s a bright day full of merriment here but I have to write this to answer a question penned to me few days ago which I know will help a lot of readers asking for the same questions. I specifically write this article for those looking or had been surfing the internet for the “best free WordPress plugins” you need as a blogger or new webmaster on WordPress.
If you don’t know about how to create WordPress website, click here to read complete guide on how to do so.
So let now agree that you have already launched a new website on WordPress CMS platform or have just migrated from Google BlogSpot to WordPress and the next thing is to start setting up and customizing your website to make it attractive.
Importance of Paid or Free WordPress Plugins
Before we go to the list, you might have been asking yourself why plugins are so important to WordPress right?
To be frank, Plugin makes wordpress to be very easy for any newbie once you know what you are doing or what to do, just search for the keyword online and, you will find a related plugin.
For example, If a client need “countdown” on his cryto or ico wordpress website, I will just go to Google, I will search for this keywords “Countdown WordPress Plugin”.
Tons of related plugins will appear but check for the plugins with good reviews and rating.
Tip: only trust plugins you see on WordPress official website – wordpress.org. There are thousands of free WordPress plugins in the which has been verified to be save for all WP users.
How to Install Your Premium or Free WordPress Plugins
After getting your premium or free plugins, click on “Install”, after installing, click on “activate” and the plugin will start working straight away.
But, after activating the plugin, go to your dashboard >> Plugin >> click the activated plugin and edit its settings to meet your or buyer’s taste.
Let me tell you that you can get plugin in two ways as namely below:
– 1. Downloading to your laptop and uploading to your wordpress website
- – 2. Installing directly from your wordpress website.
1. Downloading to your laptop: like I said before, you searched for your preferred plugin on google (like “Contact Form WordPress plugin”). After searching for it, some options will appear but check thoroughly before you choose.
If you see the type of plugin you are looking for, click to download it to your computer.
Note: I recommend downloading free wordpress plugins from wordpress.org official website or you download paid plugins from wordpress plugins’ sellers. And you should check the reviews and rating before downloading.
After downloading, login to your wordpress and go to dashboard >> plugin >> add new >> upload.
Then upload your plugin and wait till it finish loading.
2. Installing directly from wordpress: This is easiest. Just go to dashboard >> plugin >> add new >> you will see a search box in this page, search for the type of plugins you need and wordpress will bring many options out. Choose the one that convince you to be the best and install.
So, you know how to get plugins and install either they are free or paid?
Remember plugin is the most powerful tool in wordpress. Without it, wordpress will be like a house without roof, no windows, no doors, no tiled floor etc…. But, if you know php and html, you can code your wordpress from scratch without plugin.
But, plugin is there to help you since everybody can’t be a programmer.
So, knowing the plugins and theme your buyer’s reference wordpress website is using is very important.
Now, how to know the plugins’ name?
(•) Enter the website URL and make sure you are at the website homepage and source code it by pressing *Ctrl + U* and some html codes will appear and press *Ctrl + F* and a small box or text area will appear. Now search for *wp-plugin*.
The list and names of all the website plugins will appear.
Having made those points cleared to you, what are the best free wordpress plugins you must have as a WP user? I will align them for you below
Top 10 Best Free WordPress Plugins You Must Have In 2018 and Beyond
1. Akismet: This is normally free and automatically added to all wordpress websites. Akismet blocks spammed comments or any suspicious attempts on your WP website.
Why blocking spam comments is important?
Spam comments are so powerful to destroy a website ranking on search engines or it will decrease such website SEO level.
The ranking algorithms and bots hate seeing such comments appearing on your website.
Let me give examples of spam comments:
– A comment with naked links
– One person commenting more than one time at a particular time on a particular webpage
– Comment that’s not related to the content on the webpage
– Very short comment etc…
So, Akismet understands this spams and it will help you block them straight away but, you can approve or unspam any comment you will like to have live on your website.
2. Insert Header & Footer: This is another best free wordpress plugin you need to have on your wordpress website especially if you know nothing about coding.
On WordPress, you will need to input some code either to the header, footer or body of the website. For instance, you will need to add meta tags in your website header for SEO sake. Normally, most people alter their wordpress header.php but it’s not advisable because, a single mistake or error might crash your website and get you confused.
Another reason why insert header and footer wordpress plugin is very important is that, in most cases, it’s not possible to alter your header.php or footer.php. I had the experience on one of my wordpress website which tells me to use FTP whenever I want to put something in my website header or footer. Imagine the stress of login in to my cpanel, download the file I want to update on my website and using apps like filezilla to update it and upload back to the cpanel.
The stress is too much for me especially when I’m not sure if the code will work or not. So to save any trouble for myself and website, I prefer using Insert Header and Footer Plugin.
3. Quick AdSense: I think you know about Google AdSense right? Google AdSense is the largest ads network for both publishers and advertisers in the world.
Let talk about the publisher side. As a publisher of Google AdSense, you will be monetizing your website’s traffic with Google AdSense in order to earn some bucks but before then, you need to place some Ads codes in some stipulated areas on your website or blog.
In one of my blogs created with BlogSpot or Google Blogger, their is no feature as using of plugins. So, I will have to edit the codes in website template (in XML) and put my Adsense codes where I want the Adsense to appear.
But you know what? If I suddenly change my blog template on blogspot, then Adsense will stop displaying in my website because I add the code to the template not website. That’s why hosted website like WordPress is better because, if you change themes, nothing much will be lost in as much as the plugins used on your website is still and always active.
Quick AdSense plugin is my highly recommended plugin out of many others. You just need to add your publisher-ID and Ads code slots and that’s all. The ads will start displaying withing 3 – 5 minutes on your wordpress website.
So, if you are thinking of monetizing your website with Google AdSense, choose and install Insert Header and Footer plugin.
4. AddThis: To increase your website social media signals, you need people to share your website contents on social media platforms with their friends and it’s very important because, it increases engagement, website value and tell search engines how people are so much interested in the valuable information you shared on your website and, this will also be part of your SEO ranking factor!
So in essence, you need to add Social Media sharing buttons to your website to help you achieve this. Although, there are many of these social media sharing buttons you can use such as ShareThis, AddToAny etc. But, I strongly recommend AddThis plugin because it’s has more tools than just sharing articles on social media sites.
Such tools that makes AddThis plugin to be great for every wordpress website are:
– The Full Engagement analytics. Which tells you which and how many times you contents are shared and also tell you where the content is shared.
– Other tools for marketing are available on AddThis plugin such as ‘Follow Me’ buttons, Form page for getting visitors email addresses, Related Post tool and so on
– You can invite your website contributors or Admins to be managing the the social media marketing tool account for you.
– It’s free with other important benefits.
So, try AddThis today but you need to register an account with them first.
5. AMP for WP: I don’t know if you have heard about a faster version of wordpress website but let me honestly tell you if you haven’t heard of this, then you are loosing big time!
AMP is an abbreviation for “Accelerated Mobile Page”. This is a very important and useful (although not compulsory) feature of wordpress website. It will make it possible for your website to load more faster than your normal website because it’s going to bring it out in a new version which is very important for SEO.
Normally, your website loading speed should be 3 – 4 seconds but unfortunately because of excess plugins, big files or server, some website loads very slow and this make such website to loose more traffic (and money) and this will increase bounce rate on your website (high bounce rate is very bad for your website).
To make your website loads faster, you need to have AMP version of your website. Different plugins has been made for wordpress pertaining to AMP but so far, AMP for WP plugin is the chosen one out of them.
AMP for WP plugin is basically free but to unleash some other functionality like adding of AdSense code, you need to opt for the premium package.
Note that this plugin will only work for your website if you have SSL Certificate (HTTPS) installed in your server.
6. Mailmunch Plugin: In order to help you catch more email lists or addresses which you can use for marketing sake, mailmunch plugin will help you with different things you need based on getting your users information.
The plugin is made specially for mailchimp. Mailchimp is an email marketing software with different tools which you can use for email marketing or campaign, running facebook ads or Instagram ads.
If you know the importance of getting real and converting leads and using it for email marketing or campaign, then this plugin will be among the best you will install on your website.
7. Monster Insight Plugin: This is an important wordpress plugin you need to have also. Monster Insight plugin will be connected to your Google analytics account and gives you the real pageviews on each contents and the whole website as a whole.
The keywords, clicks, impressions and other engagement on your website will be displayed by Monster Insight plugin once you have connected it with your Google analytics account.
And, knowing your how your website is performing is important in the sense that you will be able to create contents based on the type of traffic your visitors love reading and engaging with.
8. Yoast SEO Plugin: This plugin should be listed in my first 3 because its usefulness is what all webmaster and bloggers want.
Yoast SEO as one of the free wordpress plugins will help you all through the process of increasing your business visibility with onpage SEO.
Yoast plugin will help you write a good contents that ranks, help you basic SEO setup like meta tags, meta description, keywords focusing, and other SEO ideas needed to help your new or existing wordpress website.
9. Contact Form 7: This is totally free wordpress plugin and one of the most important you must have in your website. Many wordpress users are using this plugin as a means of contact between them and their web visitors.
This plugins is more than being a contact form as the name implies. It has different features like radio buttons etc. If you are tech savvy, you can customize (because it’s simple HTML) as much as you like. For instance, I customize the plugin to meet the type of services I render and it has made it easy for me to know about those contacting me.
You can use it to make a survey or poll. Just get the plugin and see what I’m trying to say.
10. OneSignal Plugin: Have you ever visit a website before and a notification pop up asking you maybe you will like to receive notifications from the website and, it will then tell you to click on either “Allow” or “Deny” right?
It mostly appears on mobile phones (especially smartphone) and some also work on web views or on laptops.
That’s what is called “push notification”. It will help you gain more returning traffic or visitors to your website. Because, once they clicked on “Allow” the first time they visited your website, they will always be notified whenever you update contents or blog posts in your website.
There are different plugins for this and I will recommend OneSignal plugin for it. Try it out and see yourself.
11. Woocommerce Plugin: If you need an e-commerce or an online shopping page on your WordPress website, then Woocommerce is the best as at now. Even, Woocommerce is the most trusted and official plugin for online shop or e-commerce free plugin made for WordPress and it ranks among the best in the world.
Another impressive thing about this plugin is that you can be using woocommerce alone for your online shop or e-commerce website. To say the fact, Shopify and Woocomerce are battling on who is the best when their pros and cons are compared.
One of the pros of woocommerce is that it’s cheaper than Shopify and not too technical to understand. You can use the plugin with any wordpress website but Shopify can’t.
So, if you are trying to have a shopping page maybe to sell your e-books or products, woocommerce plugins is highly recommended.
Although premium version of this plugin is better and recommended but it’s also of the best free wordpress plugins we are still enjoying.
If you need a website where people will be able to create their store, upload their products and see it on his website. You can use wordpress for it with the help of a professional plugin known as Dokan.
Dokan Plugin is powerful and different from Woocommerce. In Woocomerce, only the owner of the website can post products for sale but in dokan, hundreds of people can be posting their products for sale on the same website.
That’s my 11 Best Free WordPress Plugins as at now. I hope you found this useful and you will be able to tell your clients the right plugins he/she needed for a particular thing.
Ask me any questions pertaining to this or wordpress and don’t forget to share this with your friends by simply clicking on the social media sharing button in this page.
Thanks for reading and happy blogging!!!