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!
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. These are similar to apps on your phone. Plugins can add functionality, improve user experience, and boost your site’s performance, all without costing you a dime.
If you’re new to the WordPress ecosystem and want to uncover the best free plugins, 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 by the countless options available.
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.
You can also access this directory from your WordPress admin dashboard. To do this simply log into your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Plugins, and click Add New:
Step 3: Review Plugin Details
It’s best attention to the ratings and reviews of each plugin. This feedback provides valuable insights into 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.
Plugins that are regularly updated are more likely to stay secure and compatible with other plugins and themes. Check the “Last Updated” date on the plugin page to gauge its maintenance.
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!
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!
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 processes 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:
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.
This means you can use Duplicator to easily migrate your website anywhere. To simplify the migration process, you can 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:
- 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
- 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. If you ever need more comprehensive features like cloud backup storage to Dropbox or Google Drive, Duplicator Pro is an affordable upgrade.
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).
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!
To make this even easier, WPForms provides pre-designed form templates. These immediately set up a broad variety of form types, allowing you to quickly engage your audience. You won’t need to spend hours manually creating each form from scratch.
- 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
- 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.
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 provides a variety of essential features that drive organic traffic, enhance visibility, and elevate 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 valuable insights and suggestions to enhance readability, keyword density, and overall SEO score.
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.
- 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
- You’ll need to upgrade to access a redirection manager, link assistant, and other SEO tools
Why we chose AIOSEO: AIOSEO’s comprehensive yet approachable toolkit equips beginners with the necessary tools to embark on their 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.
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 accurate and 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 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.
- Connects with Google Analytics in under 15 minutes
- Integrates with GA4
- Real-time stats
- Customized reports
- E-commerce tracking
- 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.
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.
The plugin comes equipped with a collection of professionally designed templates tailored to various purposes, from product launches to event registrations. These layouts offer a solid foundation to kick-start your landing page creation process.
- Intuitive and beginner-friendly interface
- Impressive library of pre-designed templates
- 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
- 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.
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 all within the familiar WordPress environment.
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.
With the free version, you can use Stripe, PayPal, and Amazon Pay. This gives your customers flexible options when it comes to payment.
- 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
- 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.
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 to use it.
- Enhances website functionality without coding expertise
- Code snippets library
- Code generator
- Safe error handling
- Smart conditional logic
- Manually insert PHP code snippets with shortcodes
- Features like WooCommerce conditional logic and custom block snippets are limited to the premium version
Why we chose WPCode: WPCode empowers users to elevate their websites’ aesthetic and functionality without the complexities of manual coding.
8. WP Mail SMTP
Designed to ensure impeccable email delivery, WP Mail SMTP guarantees that your important messages land in recipients’ inboxes without a hitch. This 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) service, such as Gmail, SendGrid, or Mailgun. You’ll be able to track sent, failed, and successful emails to monitor your website’s communication performance.
- 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
- 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.
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 effortlessly collect your latest Instagram posts into a stunning photo gallery with a customizable appearance. This can help you link your online accounts and increase engagement.
With the Social Post Feed plugin, Smash Balloon enables you to seamlessly integrate your Facebook content into your WordPress website. You can display your latest Facebook posts, maintaining a dynamic and updated online presence.
- 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
- 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.
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, eliminating the need for manual intervention.
- 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
- 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.
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 remains free from cyber attacks.
- 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
- 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
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.
- 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
- 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.
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.
- 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
- 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.
What Is the Best Free WordPress Plugin?
If you’re looking for a tool for website migration and backups, Duplicator is the ultimate free WordPress plugin. It takes the hassle out of transferring your website to another location or creating regular backups. With Duplicator, you gain unparalleled 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. For those who aim to create dynamic and interactive forms, WPForms steps up to the plate. As a top-tier free plugin, WPForms empowers you to effortlessly craft stunning forms, surveys, and subscription forms, enhancing user engagement and interaction 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.
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?
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.
What is the recommended number of plugins?
As long as you find high-quality plugins that are well-coded, there’s no limit to the number of plugins you can use. However, keep in mind that you should only install plugins that you actually plan on using. This prevents you from having to clean up your WordPress site later due to unexpected performance issues.
We hope this helped you find the best free WordPress plugins for your website!
Here are some more helpful WordPress guides for plugins search:
- Best Membership Plugins for WordPress
- Best Tools to Manage Multiple WordPress Sites
- Best Importer Plugins for WordPress
- Best WordPress Plugins For Any Type of Website
- Best Plugins to Clone a WordPress Site
- Best WordPress Migration Plugins
- Best WordPress Backup Plugins
Do you want to start protecting your website by backing it up regularly? Download Duplicator Pro and easily set up automatic backups!