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Best free WordPress plugins

13 Best Free WordPress Plugins to Build a Budget-Friendly Website 

Written By: author image Joella Dunn
author image Joella Dunn
Joella is a writer with years of experience in WordPress. At Duplicator, she specializes in site maintenance — from basic backups to large-scale migrations. Her ultimate goal is to make sure your WordPress website is safe and ready for growth.
     Reviewed By: John Turner
reviewer image John Turner
John Turner is the President of Duplicator. He has over 20+ years of business and development experience and his plugins have been downloaded over 25 million times.

Are you looking for the best free WordPress plugins?

WordPress is known for its flexibility, offering a wide range of free plugins to extend your site without any costs. However, it can be difficult to know which ones are necessary to make your website successful. 

In this post, we’ll show you the best free WordPress plugins to optimize your site at an affordable price!

Quick Summary of the Best Free WordPress Plugins

Here’s a quick rundown of the best free WordPress plugins. However, stay tuned for our full list of helpful (and affordable) tools for your website!

🥇 Duplicator
Duplicator is the best free WordPress plugin for routine site management. You can use it to back up your entire site or download specific data. Once you have a backup file, Duplicator can move your site anywhere!
🥈 WPForms
WPForms is one of the most popular free plugins for WordPress. With WPForms, you can build any type of online form.
🥉 AIOSEO
AIOSEO makes it easy to improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for free. It has everything that beginners need to start ranking higher in search results.

How We Test & Review WordPress Plugins

  • Real-World Use: Our team members actively use the plugin during the review process and for personal projects. This provides first-hand experience of the plugin in a practical setting.
  • Review Core Functionality: We thoroughly test the core functionalities advertised by the plugin. This ensures the plugin delivers what it promises.
  • Usability Tests: We evaluate how user-friendly the plugin is, including its interface design and overall user experience.
  • Identify the Target Audience: We consider the ideal website type or user that would benefit most from the plugin’s features.

13 Best Free WordPress Plugins

With thousands of free WordPress plugins available, it can be tough to know exactly which one is worth getting. Fortunately, we’ve put together a list of the best options for you!

PluginFree?Premium PricingBest For
Duplicator$49.50/yrWebsite backups and migrations
WPForms$49.50/yrCreating contact forms
AIOSEO$49.60/yrImproving SEO
MonsterInsights$99.60/yrViewing audience analytics
SeedProd$39.50/yrDesigning your website without code
Easy Digital Downloads$99.50/yrSelling digital products
WPCode$49/yrAdding code snippets to your website
WP Mail SMTP$49/yrImproving email deliverability
Smash Balloon$299 one timeIntegrating social media feeds into your site
EWWW Image Optimizer$7/moOptimizing your site’s images
Wordfence Security$119/yrImproving security
WP Super CacheFreeImproving speed with caching
WooCommerce$39+ for each paid extensionStarting an e-commerce store

1. Duplicator

Duplicator Lite

With over 30 million downloads, Duplicator is the best free WordPress plugin. This tool will help you back up, clone, and even migrate your entire website.

Even though these tasks might seem complicated and expensive, Duplicator can do them for free.

To back up your site, you’ll simply have to create a package. Duplicator Lite will automatically build a full backup and store it on your local server. This speeds up your workflow since you won’t have to manually export your files and database:

Duplicator Lite package

After building a package, Duplicator will give you an archive file, which is a full copy of your WordPress files, themes, plugins, media files, and database. You’ll also have an installer.php file that can unpack the archive in a new location.

Download Duplicator Lite package

This means you can use Duplicator to easily migrate your website anywhere. Upload the archive and installer files to the new server. Then, the Duplicator migration wizard will give you step-by-step instructions on how to import your original site files:

Duplicator Lite database connection

What We Liked

  • Migrate an entire website to a new host, domain name, or server
  • Create website clones for safe and independent testing
  • Full migration without import/export SQL scripts
  • Full WordPress backups
  • Create pre-configured sites for development

What We Didn’t Like

  • Requires some technical knowledge to upload a package to a server 

Why We Chose Duplicator

Duplicator is a flexible free tool that can function as a backup plugin and a migration plugin. It can perform large-scale migrations, as well as simple daily backups.

Alternatives: Jetpack and UpdraftPlus are two other backup and migration plugins. However, Jetpack doesn’t provide a free version. With UpdraftPlus, you’ll be able to backup, restore, and migrate your site, but many essential features are limited to the paid version (which is more expensive than similar competitors).

To see these features in action, read our in-depth review of Duplicator.

2. WPForms

WPForms Lite

Whether you run a WordPress blog or an e-commerce store, you’ll probably need some type of form on your website. With WPForms, you can create and manage many types of online forms without breaking the bank. 

WPForms is a user-friendly drag-and-drop form builder. Even if you’re new to WordPress, this allows you to effortlessly create forms that suit your specific needs. Without needing to code, you can build contact forms, surveys, newsletter sign-ups, event registrations, and more!

WPForms Lite form builder

To make this even easier, WPForms provides pre-designed form templates. These immediately set up a variety of forms, allowing you to quickly engage your audience. You won’t need to spend hours manually creating each form from scratch.

WPForms Lite form templates

What We Liked

  • Intuitive drag-and-drop form builder for easy customization
  • Pre-designed form templates
  • Seamless integration with popular email marketing services like Mailchimp and AWeber
  • Mobile responsiveness ensures forms look great on all devices
  • Spam protection with re-CAPTCHA 
  • Unlimited forms, responses, and views
  • Notifications for new form entries
  • Insert forms on any post, page, or widget area

What We Didn’t Like

  • Some advanced features are available only in the premium version

Why We Chose WPForms

For beginners seeking a cost-effective yet powerful form plugin to get more user submissions, WPForms Lite stands as a clear winner.

3. All in One SEO

All in One SEO Lite

A powerful Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tool can be the difference between a hidden gem and a thriving online presence. All in One SEO is a free WordPress SEO plugin that drives organic traffic, enhances visibility, and elevates search engine rankings.

After you craft compelling content, you’ll need to optimize it for search engines. Fortunately, this is where AIOSEO Lite excels. AIOSEO analyzes your content in real-time, providing suggestions to enhance readability, keyword density, and overall SEO score.

AIOSEO page analysis

Plus, AIOSEO performs a full SEO audit for your entire website. You’ll see exactly which areas need improvement, so you can create a targeted SEO strategy.

AIOSEO site audit

What We Liked

  • Easy setup process to configure SEO meta titles, meta descriptions, keywords, and more
  • TruSEO on-page analysis
  • XML sitemaps
  • Advanced tools like the robots.txt editor and import/export options
  • Social media integration to encourage social sharing

What We Didn’t Like

  • You’ll need to upgrade to access a redirection manager, link assistant, and other SEO tools

Why We Chose AIOSEO

AIOSEO gives you the necessary tools to start your SEO journey without any steep learning curves or hidden costs. 

Alternative: Yoast SEO is another popular SEO plugin. However, we’d recommend All in One SEO because of its user access control, customizable sitemaps, and SEO audit checklist. And more importantly, AIOSEO Pro is much cheaper than the premium version of Yoast SEO.   

4. MonsterInsights

MonsterInsights Lite

MonsterInsights stands out as the best free WordPress plugin for connecting your site with Google Analytics. At its core, MonsterInsights is a data-driven solution designed to help you understand your audience, enhance user experience, and optimize content strategies.

With MonsterInsights, you’ll be able to view real-time data on user behavior, traffic sources, popular pages, and more. You’ll have an instant snapshot of your site’s performance and monitor changes as they happen.

MonsterInsights report

MonsterInsights also gives you page-level insights, helping you understand which content is resonating the most with your audience. This information is crucial for refining your content strategy and focusing on what works best.

What We Liked

  • Connects with Google Analytics in under 15 minutes
  • Integrates with GA4
  • Real-time stats
  • Customized reports
  • E-commerce tracking

What We Didn’t Like

  • While the plugin is user-friendly, beginners might need some time to explore its full potential.

Why We Chose MonsterInsights

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced website owner, MonsterInsights is a valuable tool for making data-driven decisions that benefit your WordPress site.

Need more information before making a decision? Be sure to read our full review of MonsterInsights!

5. SeedProd

SeedProd Lite

SeedProd is a versatile and user-friendly page builder plugin designed to help you create captivating web pages. Even in its free version, SeedProd offers a comprehensive set of features that make it a standout choice for WordPress users.

SeedProd’s user-friendly drag-and-drop builder allows you to craft visually appealing landing pages without any coding skills. With a wide variety of customizable elements, you can seamlessly design your site’s front end.

SeedProd page editor

The plugin has a collection of professionally designed templates for everything from product launches to event registrations. These layouts kick-start your landing page creation process.

SeedProd Lite page templates

What We Liked

  • Intuitive and beginner-friendly interface
  • Impressive library of pre-designed templates
  • Theme builder
  • Seamless integration with email marketing platforms
  • Mobile-responsive design for optimal user experience
  • Comprehensive SEO features for improved search visibility
  • Versatile countdown timers to drive conversions
  • Custom CSS
  • Integrates with Google Fonts

What We Didn’t Like

  • Conversion tools are only available in the pro version

Why We Chose SeedProd

The drag-and-drop builder, pre-designed templates, and seamless email marketing integration offer an unparalleled advantage for crafting captivating landing pages. SeedProd ensures that your website not only looks stunning but also converts effectively. 

Alternative: Elementor is a popular page builder plugin, but SeedProd is more affordable. Plus, it allows you to activate maintenance mode or 404 pages with just one click. 

To explore more features, check out our review of SeedProd!

6. Easy Digital Downloads

Easy Digital Downloads Lite

Easy Digital Downloads revolutionizes how businesses sell digital products on their websites. Designed with simplicity and effectiveness in mind, Easy Digital Downloads empowers website owners to effortlessly distribute their digital goods in WordPress.

Using this ecommerce plugin, you can easily sell online items like art, ebooks, software, and more. You’ll simply have to add a new download and set a price for it.

Easy Digital Downloads product

With the free version, you can use Stripe, PayPal, and Amazon Pay. This gives your customers flexible options when it comes to payment. 

Easy Digital Downloads Lite payment

What We Liked

  • Versatile for various digital products
  • Extensive payment gateway support ensures smooth transactions
  • Reporting tools for tracking sales and revenue
  • Buy Now buttons
  • Customizable checkout
  • Discount codes
  • Compatible with any WordPress theme

What We Didn’t Like

  • The free version doesn’t support geolocation, free downloads, invoices, and other premium features.

Why We Chose Easy Digital Downloads

Its intuitive product management, reliable payment gateways, and insightful reporting have made Easy Digital Downloads an invaluable asset to online businesses. 

7. WPCode

WPCode Lite

WPCode is a free code snippets plugin that allows you to insert code snippets into your website without editing any theme files. Since this prevents any coding errors and speeds up the development process, WPCode is a very beginner-friendly tool.

As you’re using WPCode, it has a smart code snippet validation to check any code snippets for errors. You won’t have to ever worry about breaking your website after adding a header or footer script!

Plus, WPCode has an extensive library of code snippets developed by experts. You can simply find the functionality you need and hit Add Snippet.

WP Code snippets

What We Liked

  • Enhances website functionality without coding expertise
  • Code snippets library
  • Code generator
  • Safe error handling
  • Smart conditional logic
  • Manually insert PHP code snippets with shortcodes

What We Didn’t Like

  • Features like WooCommerce conditional logic and custom block snippets are limited to the premium version

Why We Chose WPCode

WPCode allows you to elevate your websites’ look and functionality without complex manual coding. 

8. WP Mail SMTP

WP Mail SMTP Lite

WP Mail SMTP guarantees that your important emails land in recipients’ inboxes without a hitch. It resolves the common email delivery challenges that website owners often encounter.

WP Mail SMTP Lite reconfigures the default WordPress email system to use a trusted SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) provider such as Gmail, SendGrid, or Mailgun. You’ll be able to track sent, failed, and successful emails to monitor your website’s communication performance.

What We Liked

  • Ensures reliable email delivery, reducing the chances of emails landing in spam folders.
  • User-friendly setup wizard for easy configuration.
  • Detailed email logs provide insights into email activity
  • Debugging tools facilitate effective troubleshooting
  • Integrates with SendLayer, SMTP.com, Sendinblue, SendGrid, Postmark, and other SMTPs

What We Didn’t Like

  • You’ll have to upgrade for email logging and tracking. 

Why We Chose WP Mail SMTP

This plugin resolves a longstanding challenge for bloggers and e-commerce business owners, ensuring that their messages reach their intended recipients. 

9. Smash Balloon

Smash Balloon Social Photo Feed

Smash Balloon is a WordPress plugin that allows you to integrate your social media presence into your WordPress website. Depending on your goals, it offers two different free versions to help you embed your Instagram and Facebook posts in your web pages.

The Smash Balloon Social Photo Feed plugin can showcase your Instagram photos with elegance. You’ll be able to display your latest Instagram posts in a stunning photo gallery. This can help you link your online accounts and increase engagement.

Smash Balloon Instagram feed

With the Social Post Feed plugin, Smash Balloon enables you to seamlessly integrate your Facebook content into your WordPress website. You can show your latest Facebook posts, maintaining a dynamic and updated online presence. 

Smash Balloon Facebook feed

What We Liked

  • Increases social engagement
  • Provides engaging visual content to captivate website visitors
  • Responsive design ensures optimal user experience on all devices
  • Customizable social media feeds to match your web design
  • Less than 1-minute setup

What We Didn’t Like

  • You’ll need to install separate free plugins to embed feeds from different social media platforms.

Why We Chose Smash Balloon

Smash Balloon seamlessly integrates social feeds of both Instagram and Facebook, and provides extensive customization options. This allows you to create visually captivating displays that resonate with your brand. 

10. EWWW Image Optimizer

EWWW Image Optimizer plugin

If you want to boost user experience (UX) on your website, it’s best to decrease its load time. One of the best ways to do this is to optimize your images. With EWWW Image Optimizer, you can quickly compress your media files, instantly increasing your web performance.

EWWW Image Optimizer can optimize your entire image library in one go, saving you time and ensuring a consistently optimized website. After installation, every image you upload to your website is automatically compressed.

What We Liked

  • Automatic image compression
  • Bulk image optimization
  • Optimizes all media including theme images, BuddyPress avatars, and more
  • Compatible with hundreds of WordPress plugins
  • Unlimited file sizes

What We Didn’t Like

  • Runs on your server, so it could slow down loading speed or cause crashes
  • Some web hosts might not allow EWWW Image Optimizer to edit your wp-content folder
  • No lossy compression in the free version

Why We Chose EWWW Image Optimizer

The convenience of bulk optimization and automatic compression prioritizes efficiency and productivity.

Alternative: Smush is a free plugin that will optimize images with compression and lazy loading. 

11. Wordfence Security

Wordfence Security plugin

To make sure your website is safe from hacks and other security threats, you’ll need to improve your WordPress security precautions. Often, the best way to do this is to install a security plugin like Wordfence Security

Wordfence Security’s dynamic malware scanner inspects your website for malicious code and vulnerabilities. Backed by an intelligent firewall, it instantly blocks suspicious traffic, ensuring your site is safe from cyber attacks.

What We Liked

  • Web Application Firewall (WAF)
  • Malware scanner for core WordPress files, themes, plugins, SEO spam, malicious redirects, and more
  • Limits login attempts to prevent brute force attacks

What We Didn’t Like

  • It’s a resource-heavy plugin, so it may put more strain on your server.
  • With the free version, you’ll have to wait 30 days for security updates. 

Why We Chose Wordfence Security

Wordfence Security offers a free way to defend your site against threats by including two-factor authentication, dynamic malware scanning, and an intelligent firewall.

Alternative: Sucuri Security is another popular WordPress security plugin. 

12. WP Super Cache

WP Super Cache plugin

Developed by the same company behind WordPress, WP Super Cache is one of the best caching plugins you can find. This free tool can transform your website’s speed and responsiveness, ensuring an optimal user experience.

WP Super Cache uses caching techniques that transform your dynamic WordPress content into static HTML files. This accelerates your website’s loading time, allowing people to access your content from around the world.

What We Liked

  • 3 different ways to serve cached files
  • Generate cached files for your site’s posts, categories, and tags
  • Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  • Delete old cached files

What We Didn’t Like

  • No premium version to extend the plugin

Why We Chose WP Super Cache

WP Super Cache is ideal if you want to provide a lightning-fast and seamless browsing experience to your visitors. It’s particularly well-suited for those seeking to optimize their website’s performance without delving into complex technical configurations. 

Alternative: WP Rocket is a premium plugin that automatically applies page and browser caching and GZIP compression. However, there’s no free version available. 

13. WooCommerce

WooCommerce free plugin

If you want to turn your WordPress site into an online store, consider using WooCommerce. This free e-commerce plugin allows you to set up, manage, and expand your digital storefront with ease.

With the WooCommerce plugin, you can showcase an extensive range of products with detailed descriptions, images, and customizable attributes. From credit cards to PayPal, you can offer a variety of payment options.

Plus, WooCommerce is easy to customize. Along with the basic free plugin, there are themes and add-ons to help you make your store unique. 

What We Liked

  • Versatile product management
  • Secure payment gateways ensure safe transactions
  • Efficient inventory and order management tools
  • Customizable themes and extensions for tailored store experiences
  • Built-in SEO features enhance online visibility
  • Integrates with the WordPress Block Editor to provide e-commerce blocks

What We Didn’t Like

  • You may need to purchase premium extensions to add more functionality to your business website. 

Why We Chose WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a good choice for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and established brands looking to establish an online storefront. Its versatility caters to a wide range of industries, from retail and fashion to digital products and services. 

If you decide to use WooCommerce, here are extra plugins that can improve your online store!

What Is the Best Free WordPress Plugin?

If you’re looking for a tool for website migration and backups, Duplicator is the best free WordPress plugin. It takes the hassle out of transferring your website to another location or creating regular backups. With Duplicator, you gain full control over your website’s data, ensuring smooth transitions, easy cloning, and secure backups without breaking a sweat.

However, the world of WordPress plugins isn’t limited to just one gem. If you want to create dynamic and interactive forms, WPForms steps up to the plate. As a top-tier free plugin, WPForms effortlessly crafts stunning forms, enhancing user engagement on your website.

If you’re focused on optimizing your website’s search engine visibility and performance, All in One SEO is a prime contender. This free plugin equips you with the tools needed to fine-tune your SEO strategy.

How to Find the Best Free WordPress Plugins

When it comes to enhancing your WordPress website without breaking the bank, free plugins can be a game-changer.

I like to compare plugins to apps on your phone. They can add more functionality to WordPress, improve user experience, and boost your site’s performance, all without costing you a dime. 

If you’re new to WordPress, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate this treasure trove!

Step 1: Set Clear Goals

Before you start hunting for plugins, outline your website’s needs. Are you aiming to improve SEO, enhance security, or integrate your social media posts? Knowing your objectives will guide your search and prevent you from getting overwhelmed.

Step 2: Search For Plugins

Your first stop should be the official WordPress Plugin Directory on WordPress.org. This is a trusted source where you can find an extensive collection of free plugins.

You can simply search for your specific goal and find plugins with that functionality. 

WordPress Plugin Directory

You can also access this directory from your WordPress admin dashboard. Simply log into your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Plugins, and click Add New.

Add new WordPress plugins

Search for the specific plugin or functionality you’re looking for. For example, if you need to block spam comments, you might search for an anti-spam tool like Akismet.

Step 3: Review Plugin Details

Pay attention to the ratings and reviews of each plugin. This tells you how well a plugin performs and whether it’s user-friendly. Aim for plugins with high ratings and positive reviews to make sure you have a good experience.

You may also want to find a free plugin with a high number of active installs. This indicates popularity and ongoing development. Also, ensure that the plugin is compatible with your version of WordPress to avoid compatibility issues.

WordPress plugin details

Be sure to check the Last Updated date. Plugins that are regularly updated are more likely to stay secure and compatible with other plugins and themes.

Step 4: Test New Plugins on a Staging Site

Once you find the right free WordPress plugin, we’d recommend testing it on a staging site first. This way, you can thoroughly check for incompatibility issues with other plugins or themes on your website.

After installing a plugin on a staging site, test its functionality. Make sure it works as expected and doesn’t negatively impact your site’s performance or user experience. Then, you can install it on your live site!

FAQs About Free WordPress Plugins

What is the most used plugin in WordPress?

Some of the most used WordPress plugins are Akismet, Contact Form 7, WooCommerce, and WPForms. These all have over 5 million active installations each.

What plugins should I install on WordPress?

As a WordPress site owner, here are some free plugins we’d recommend installing:

Alternatives: There are many useful free plugins that we’ve left out to help you avoid choice paralysis. Other options include Slider by Soliloquy, TrustPulse, PushEngage, Sugar Calendar, WP Charitable, Really Simple SSL, and many more.

Once you find the right plugins, you’ll need to install them. To do this, check out this helpful tutorial on how to install WordPress plugins

How do I get good plugins for free?

You can get good WordPress plugins for free by browsing what’s available on WordPress.org. Once you find a plugin that meets your functional needs, check out the reviews, ratings, compatibility, and software updates. This ensures you get a free plugin that’s high quality. 

Conclusion

We hope this helped you find the best free WordPress plugins for your website!

Here are some more helpful WordPress guides for plugins search:

Do you want to start protecting your website by backing it up regularly? Download Duplicator Pro and easily set up automatic backups!

author avatar
Joella Dunn Content Writer
Joella is a writer with years of experience in WordPress. At Duplicator, she specializes in site maintenance — from basic backups to large-scale migrations. Her ultimate goal is to make sure your WordPress website is safe and ready for growth.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. We only recommend products that we believe will add value to our readers.