Plugins add extra features to your WordPress blog. Some are helpful to make your site load faster, some for SEO, some to make your work easier & so on. Each plugin has it’s specific use & some plugins are too essential to run a blog.
Let me point out some plugins which are too essential to run a blog on WordPress. You can download these plugins and install to your WordPress blog.
- 1 25 Must-Have Free WordPress Plugins For Your Blog
- 1.1 1. Yeast SEO
- 1.2 2. Jetpack
- 1.3 3. WP Fastest Cache
- 1.4 4. Akismet
- 1.5 5. One Signals
- 1.6 6. Backup WordPress
- 1.7 7.WP Smush
- 1.8 8. Social Warfare
- 1.9 9. Easy Affiliate Links
- 1.10 10.WP Advanced Ads
- 1.11 11. AMP ( Accelerated Mobile Pages )
- 1.12 12. No Self Pings
- 1.13 13.Cloudflare
- 1.14 14.WPforms
- 1.15 15.TablePress
- 1.16 16.Broken link checker
- 1.17 17. Redirection
- 1.18 18.User Registration
- 1.19 19.WP-author Bio
- 1.20 20. TinyMCE Advanced
- 1.21 21.Table of contents Plus
- 1.22 22.Relevanssi
- 1.23 23. HummingBird PageSpeed Optimization
- 1.24 24. SEO – Friendly Images
- 1.25 25.Wordfence
25 Must-Have Free WordPress Plugins For Your Blog
1. Yeast SEO
When I decided to list out the best plugins to run a WordPress blog, Yeast SEO is on my mind in very next second. Having an SEO plugin is too essential for your Blog to get to rank higher on Search Engines. & no other SEO plugin comes closer comparing to Yeast SEO.
With this one plugin, you can cover all your on-site & on-page SEO.
It has many features covering
- helps to maintain good readability article on your site.
- Feature to upload Robots.txt file and meta robot tags
- Helps to structure articles following SEO rules.
- Internal links & out-Bound links
- Create a sitemap
- Focus Keyword ( Which I do not prefer to use )
All in One SEO plugin is the best alternative you could go, but Yeast SEO is the far better in terms of features and performance.
Jetpack is a plugin that is directly developed by the WordPress team. It is not just for any particular feature, it is for a bunch of useful features combined.
You can replace N number of plugins by just using this one plugin which as all such features.
Some features which are presented by Jetpack:-
- Insert Recommended posts section
- Use social share buttons
- Create a sitemap ( Yeast SEO does a better job in creating sitemap than jetpack )
- Create Contact form
- Track page views & analytics for your site.
- daily backup for your WordPress blog using Vaultpress.
- Subscription options
- Auto-Publish your Blog Post on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus right after you published new content.
- Prevent hackers to log-in to your site
There are many other features Jetpack presents. You may deactivate many of your plugins after you installed it.
3. WP Fastest Cache
Using one Cache plugin is must & should for a WordPress blog. It helps to maintain a fast loading website because it reduces the server load time by using the cache.
There are definitely many cache plugins. But from all of them, 3 plugins come out of the competition.
- WP Super Cache
- WP Total Cache
- WP Fastest Cache
All 3 are great and everyone has his/her own opinion and their favorite cache plugin.
But in all the 3 of them, WP Fastest Plugin is something I prefer & use for my website.
Won’t you get spam comments to your website?
If so, Akismet is the best solution you can ever get?
It combines with a jetpack and performs even better. These days, spamming became more and even first comment on a new website could be a spam comment for 90 percent.
As your site grow big & big, the number increases and it’s too hard to approve all the comments manually. Akismet is one the plugin that I recommend each and every blogger should install.
5. One Signals
To Increase your traffic, You go with SEO, Email marketing and social media etc. But they all require a lot of continuous back work, but this plugin will help you to get traffic by just installing it.
when anyone visited your blog, they get a browser notification asking them to show notifications similarly like this.
When any of your visitor clicks allow, then they can get a notification every time you published a blog post. It’s like retargeting your old visitors. Isn’t this method easy and also useful?
6. Backup WordPress
It is one such plugin which is not used for everyday use, but when something happens to your date out of control, it is only the hope you can expect. It creates a daily backup to your WordPress Blog, even though you messed up your data and your months or years of work is gone, you can get that back in just some clicks.
Just imagine, you lost your data without installing this plugin. That’s more than Horrible right.
There are better alternatives to this plugin like VaultPress, but they are paid. This is the best plugin you could get for free.
Images are the topmost reason for slow loading websites as the size of Images will be huge. So you need to compress images and reduce their size to make your website load even faster.
But it is something hard to compress every image when you upload them. Some plugins make your work easier and reduce the size of the image automatically when you upload them.
But you need to take care of 3 things when selecting Image compression plugin.
- Clarity of the image should be clear enough.
- The size of the image should be compressed to even 10%
- Could change the compression level anytime for any image.
reSmush.it and ShortPixel Image Optimization are in competition with WP Smush.
But keeping the Image quality in mind, I prefer using WP Smush. You can check out the comparison between those reSumsuh.it, WP Smush, ShortPixel Image Optimization and decide which plugin is suitable for you.
8. Social Warfare
Having Social Sharing buttons for your blog post is a must & should. There are N number of plugins available on the Internet. Everyone has their own decision to select one among them.
Social Warfare is one plugin with a high rating and a good number of downloads. I personally use this plugin on student companion due to its clean look and other features.
To add a tweetable code in the article, many people use another plugin for it like click to tweet. But with this Social Warfare, you can get that feature as well included in it and works flawlessly.
But social warfare only supports a few social media site sharing buttons like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, Linked In. For remaining you need to go for the paid version. If those social media sites are good for you, you can go with Social Warfare.
Add to Any is another plugin which offers many sharing buttons more than your Imagination.
9. Easy Affiliate Links
Affiliate marketing is one most used ways by bloggers to earn money. To make your work easier, there is a plugin called Easy Affiliate Links which is free.
This plugins organizes all your affiliate links, make them short by masking an awkward looking URL.
Using this plugin in the combination of SEO smart URLs plugin enhances features and gives you more flexibility in Affiliate link URLs.
10.WP Advanced Ads
To make money via Ads, you need to manage them. This plugin is the perfect solution to for everything you need relating to ads.
Features of WP Advanced ads:-
- Create and display unlimited Ads
- Schedule ads and set expiry date
- Inject ads into posts and pages without coding
- Sell ads on your website automatically with selling ads add-on
The free version is good and amazing, you can even get paid versions for more add-ons.
11. AMP ( Accelerated Mobile Pages )
Usage of Mobile phones increased day by day and now we have more mobile users than System users.
So accelerating mobile pages using AMP is worth to make your website load faster on the mobile devices. AMP provides a different interface for the mobile users which loads fast.
You can have an adjustment of what to have and what not to have on your AMP interface.
12. No Self Pings
This is one plugin which is not seen recommended by many but pretty much useful.
This is totally a plugin which you will not care about from the next sec you installed it, but works on the back & saves a lot of time for you. When you link to any post from any other post, that sends a pingback to the linked post. You don’t need such pingbacks and you will manually remove them. By installing this one plugin, it will stop all such internal pingbacks.
Cloudflare is a free service for security and CDN ( Content Delivery Network ).
Content Delivery Network is most useful when you want to run a website and target audience internationally. Finding a free & good service for CDN is tough and limited. Cloudflare is one among such services.
The most favorite part of Cloudflare is it can block useless bots & spam traffic at DNS level and saves a lot of bandwidth provided by your server.
When you want to add any kind of form on your website like contact form, registration form etc, WPforms is the perfect solution for you. It has an online form builder with many templates, spam protection & support for MailChimp, Aweber & even supports payment forms with PayPal, stripe.
When you can add forms on to your website with wpforms, then there should be a best & free solution for adding tables. & that is what TablePress offers.
TablePress also has many free add-ons to add which increases more features for the tables on your site.
Broken links are definitely not appreciated by search engines and even audiences. So clearing them every time is good. There are many software and websites to check broken links for your website. But you need to check now and then manually.
But how it’s getting a notification when there is any broken link. You can clear the broken link fastly and you even don’t need to check manually.
When you change the URL of any page or post, then the old URL shows that this page is not existing, which is not good because all your traffic will be lost and there is a high risk of increasing your bounce rate.
Instead, you can solve such condition by simple installing Redirection plugin.
This plugin will redirect users to new URL when they visited old URL. So that all your traffic can reach for their info, which also decreases your bounce rate.
User Registration plugin creates a form to add new users automatically.
You can use this plugin when you need to enable guest posts on your website. So that who want to submit a guest post on your site can create an account using that form automatically.
Once they are added as a contributor to your site, they can upload their blog post and you can accept or reject it.
After writing the entire blog post, the author of that post expects some recognization, so you need to add one author bio section at the bottom of the post.
Moreover, when anyone writes a guest post on your blog, they need an author bio section to express about themselves & their website. It’s not optional, that’s mandatory.
Among all the author bio plugin, WP author bio has more features and also a good look.
20. TinyMCE Advanced
This plugin is something every blogger need.
This plugin will let you add and remove features on the visual editor toolbar. You can configure up to 4 rows of buttons. As a bonus, you can set font family & font size which gives you the full experience and tools of advanced editor toolbar.
21.Table of contents Plus
Table of contents plus offers you to add tables at the top as an Index for your blog post. When you write to big content, then definitely Table of Contents Plus is something you should try out.
Here is an example of the table:-
You can even customize the table and select the placement of the table.
The search function available in the default WordPress is not so much efficient and feature packed. In fact, it is too dumb that it can’t even find out the search when we search with a spelling mistake.
There comes this plugin, to replace that old search function and adds cool features. The search function available with Relevanssi is smart enough to respond perfectly to the searches.
23. HummingBird PageSpeed Optimization
Page Speed is also one of the ranking factors for Google. And most importantly people generally don’t like slow loading websites. This plugin shows multiple ways for your website to increase the speed.
& the best thing is it gives a detailed explanation and process to make your website faster.
24. SEO – Friendly Images
There is a theory that you need to place your focus keyword in Image alt tags for all the Images you upload in your post. But did you feel that placing image alt tags for every image manually is a lot of work?
If so, use this plugin which will edit all the image alt tags at once, so there is no need of manual work to place image alt tags for every image of your blog post. Anyhow, present Google doesn’t depend on placing keywords to rank higher, but it is something we could not leave. when we have an option to do it simply by using this plugin, why to leave that.
After all the hard work, you need to make sure that your WordPress is secured. There are many plugins to do so & Wordfence is one of them. In fact, it is one of the best plugins available to secure your Wordfence blog for free.
The final day, you can feel free that your blog is away from hackers. Wordfence updates now and then frequently for the updated techniques used by hackers.