The Definitive List of Free WordPress Plugins
One of the reasons to use WordPress to manage your website is plugins. Plugins solve problems for you with a few clicks and are updated and maintained by someone else.
Yes, the people creating plugins aren’t doing it out of the kindness of their heart. They’re in it to make a profit and that means they have to charge.
The plugin marketplace is also extremely competitive. WordPress has a giant market share of websites and dominates the CMS space. This competition has led many developers to adopt a freemium model.
Long story short. This means we have a lot of free solutions available to solve our website problems.
Looking at only the free versions here’s my list of WordPress plugins I love and add a ton of value to any website.
This is my favorite plugin on the list. I’ve used Yoast and Yoast Premium in the past. Neither one stands up to RankMath.
The setup wizard is great and puts you in a great starting place to attack the “black box” that is SEO.
Having an SEO Score for each Page and Post with step by step tips/analysis to get you to 100/100 score is super useful.
SEO is a challenge for everyone and the rules are always changing. RankMath gives you a great starting point so it doesn’t take over your life.
Security should be a primary concern for any website. Even more so if you’re using WordPress and hosting outside of a WordPress.com plan where you get JetPack.
Wordfence’s free version gives your a firewall and scan for potential issues. I’ve used it to clear malware from multiple websites.
Emails and reports from them on preventing attacks at least makes me feel a little better.
Every website is going to have images. They can also be a big problem for speed. Smush is a great resource to add Lazy Loading, if you don’t already have it, as well as compression for your images.
Now you can and should optimize your images before adding them to your site. Smush makes it a lot easier to make sure and cuts down time. Especially great for a eCommerce site where you’re always adding new images. It will automatically compress new images once you have it installed.
A very close second to my favorite plugin. Google website tools are essential for any website. Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Google Search Console, AdSense, PageSpeed Insights, Optimize.
Google Site Kit makes the integration of all these services a breeze.
It’s a one stop shop for making sure everything is working how it’s supposed to. The Dashboard is great.
Once you set it up you may not think it’s so great. All it does is connect all Google’s services. They weren’t super challenging to connect before even. It’s a great timesaver and constant assurance that the best tools (free even) are at your disposal. Being indexed on Google is pretty neat too.