WordPress, a free and online open-source content management system which is based on PHP and MySQL. It is indeed one of the easiest ways of creating innovative websites and blogs. Undoubtedly, WordPress is the most powerful Content Management System (CMS) today. It is a software which is designed for everyone! WordPress focuses on security, accessibility and ease to work.
There are about 45,000+ free and down loadable WordPress plugins available for you. You can download it from WordPress.org anytime!
What are Plugins
In order to extend and add advance functionalities to WordPress you might need WordPressPlugins. A plugin is nothing but a software that can add specific features to your Website. These small pieces of software contains functions. Plugins are written in PHP and runs on top of the WordPress software. This enables users to create dynamic websites easily. Since, there are many plugins available, you need to be careful while choosing one.
Make sure you select only those plugins which have tech support.
Plugins will help you customize your website the way you want it to be. Some people say that large number of plugins will slow down your website but let me tell you, only the bad plugins will slow down your website. So, it is very important to segregate wheat from the chaff! Here are the list of Top 10 free WordPress plugins you must have on your WordPress website.
Top 10 essentials must have WordPress Plugins
There are plenty of free and handy plugins available in WordPress repository. These plugins will make your life easy! Add, create, extend whatever functionality you want to make your website innovative. So, let’s get started.
1. Yoast SEO
This is one of my favorite WordPress plugin. Now, if you know about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), then you might know why this plugin is so important! The search engine needs keywords to understand what your web page is all about. And Yoast will help you out with it.
Yoast SEO plugin will provide you with all-in-one SEO solution. Plan your keyword, on-page SEO and much more! This plugin is chock full of mind-blowing features that are easy to use and helps to achieve higher page ranking.
And this is not the end. Yoast SEO gives you in-depth analysis of your webpage and how can you improve your SEO. It also shows you readability of the page and enables you to edit slug, keyword, edit snippet and much more! When you look at the analysis you can find suggestions and improvements and this will help you to boost your page ranking. A “Good” SEO and readability will help you achieve your goal!
Search engines loves dynamic websites. Static websites ranks lowers than a dynamic website. If your business is important to you, then frequently updating your website is must. Updating your website regularly demonstrate that your business is well organized and it creates a good impression on your clients. Updating your website will gain you new users and maintain your viewers.
Therefore, you need to update your WordPress frequently. But you must have noticed a pop up message about “backup”. Yes, backup is very important because if anything goes wrong while updating your website then you don’t want to lose your content. So, keeping a backup is a great idea and what else can be better than UpdraftPlus!
This is a super plugin that keeps your data safe even after disasters! UpdraftPlus can also backup your log files, database, images, etc automatically. You can schedule your backup anytime! So, no fear of losing your content.
Also Read: Best Free Web Hosting Sites in 2018
3. WP Optimize
No one likes junk files and spam messages. And if you are one of them then WP-Optimize plugin will save your life! This plugin will help you get rid of spam comments, optimize database tables, delete revised posts, etc. You can see in the figure below. Database, revised posts and comments are all optimized. This is how you can get most outs of this. You can set up to run it weekly.
4. Theme Check
This WordPress plugin is an easy way to examine your theme comparability. Theme Check plugin, as it says, checks your WordPress theme and ensures that it is up to the latest theme review standards. With over 1 lakh active installations, this theme makes it easy for you to test your theme according to latest WordPress standards.
Theme Plugin is a great tool that can ensure you that your theme can make it to WordPress.org. I am using a child theme over here so the results are based on the child theme. Child theme is basically an extension of your parent theme. You can add your own functionalities using child theme. The major advantage of using a child theme is that when your parent theme is updated there are chances that you might loose some of your customization! But when you use a child theme, you need not worry about theme updates!
This is another very important plugin for you.
Slow internet pisses us off and it definitely frustrates the user when it takes longer to load a web page. Page speed is one of the important aspects for users and for the search engine. Some figures and facts claim that ” 40% of the people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.” So, if you think page speed is not important, then you need to get back to basics.
WP Smush optimizes your image and indirectly helps you with page ranking. You can see the amount of images been optimized and compressed. The best thing about Smush is that you can also optimize images that aren’t located in upload folder.
6. Contact Form 7
Well most of the websites may require a contact form. And there are people who spend their time in creating and formatting a contact form using HTML and CSS. But we are smart people, right? We need to work in a smarter way.
Contact Form 7 is one of the easiest ways to create, customize, and build your form. A very simple yet flexible form that can allow you to interact with your visitors. Contact Form 7 supports following features:
- Ajax-powered submitting
- Akismet spam filtering and much more
This plugin is very easy to use and it does not require any coding knowledge at all.
7. Akismet Anti- Spam
This plugin is a spam filtering tool that protects millions of websities on WordPress. Akismet checks your comments against a huge database of spam to prevent your website. It makes sure that your comments are spam free so that it does not hamper your page/website ranking.
When a visitor comments on your blog, Akismet analyses the comment and decides whether the comment ia a ham or spam. Major features of this plugin includes:
- Automatically checks all comments and form submissions.
- Each comment has a status history which enables you to differentiate between spammed or unspammed comments.
- URLs are shown in the comment body. This will help to to figure out genuine links.
- Saves you disk space and speed up your site.
This plugin is the best plugin for e-commerce websites! You can customize and sell anything. WooCommerce is a free e-commerce plugin built to integrate seamlessly with WordPres. This is the most favorite plugin of e-commerce users because it gives complete control to the developer and to the store owners!
Following are the features of WooCommerce:
- Buy and sell anything anytime!
- Ship wherever you like irrespective of free shipping or flat rate shipping.
- Payment options: There are ample amounts of options. You can choose to pay through PayPal, credit card, COD, etc.
- You can have a complete control over it.
9. Google XML Sitemaps
One of the best plugin you can find in WordPress repository. We all know about SEO.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an analytical process which helps to improve website visibility on search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. SEO helps to generate organic traffic and rank your website. Google XML Sitemaps will help you to submit XML sitemaps to search engines like Google.
What is XML Sitemap
It is nothing but a roadmap to all the pages in your website. This roadmap will help search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc to crawl over web pages of site. This will help crawlers to analyze the complete structure of your website and retrieve the contents effectively.
It is rated as the Best WordPress Plugin and has over 1+ millions of active installations!
10. Wordfence Security
Last but not the least, Wordfence security plugin is a malware scanner which scan your core files, themes, plugins and much more. It also includes end point firewall which identifies and block malicious traffic.
- It gives you the most comprehensive security solution.
- Protects your core files, themes, plugins from malwares and malacious contents.
So, these were Top 10 free must have WordPress plugins. Install them and you would love to see how your website looks! This is one of the easiest ways in which you create innovative websites which search engines loves!
Tech-savvy and a passionate blogger. I have done software engineering from the University of Mumbai. Technology Specialist 2.0 in DOT NET. I also have my personal website http://glamourbytes.com/