9 Best Free WordPress Plugins Must Have

Looking for the best free WordPress plugins to enhance your site?

One of the things that makes WordPress so powerful is its huge library of third-party plugins. While there are certainly plenty of premium plugins, you can also find tons of great free options offered by generous developers.

In fact, if you browse the official list of free plugins directly on WordPress.org, you'll find over 58,000 free WordPress plugins.

But that poses another problem: with tens of thousands of options to choose from, how do you choose the best free WordPress plugins for your site?

9 Best Free WordPress Plugins Must Have

Every business has different needs, but there are certain plugins that every WordPress site must have, regardless of industry.

Here are 9 viral WordPress plugins must have so you can start using them today. 

Table of Contents

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1. Jetpack WordPress

9 Best Free WordPress Plugins Must Have

Okay, there are over 53,000 plugins available, but you don't want to download more than you need. If you do, you risk slowing down the loading of your website and users won't be happy.

What if there was a plugin that offered multiple features in one place?

Fortunately, there is. It's called Jetpack.

What is Jetpack WordPress Plugin?

Jetpack is the ultimate toolkit for WordPress. It gives you everything you need to secure, speed up and grow your site in one place.

With Jetpack, you can:

Get a more secure and robust site via secure connections and protection against brute force attacks.

Load pages faster and keep your visitors happy with our lightning-fast CDN.

. Increase your traffic with automatic social sharing, related content, site search, and 


Jetpack has over four million active installations, but many WordPress users still don't understand what it does or how they can use it to improve their website.

Think of Jetpack as the ultimate toolkit for your WordPress website. It has tools to help you design your site, track statistics, improve social sharing and prevent attacks.

All these basic features are also free. You also have the option to add advanced features like spam protection, daily backups, and SEO tools with one of their simple and affordable plans.

Another key benefit of Jetpack is that WordPress.com hosts all of its features.

Is Jetpack good for WordPress?

Yes, Jetpack is good for WordPress sites, especially for users who are not too technical. Jetpack can perform many popular and necessary functions in addition to the basic installation. Since the service is owned by Automattic, it will still offer great benefits to a multitude of users.   

Does Jetpack slow down WordPress?

Generally speaking, no. Jetpack does not slow down a WordPress site. That's a bit of a myth actually. However, Jetpack can either slow down a website or speed it up and more. It all depends on how you use it.

2. Yoast SEO 

9 Best Free WordPress Plugins Must Have

Everyone wants their website to rank higher in search engines. But SEO is horribly complex, right?

Well, it can certainly feel that way sometimes. But with the Yoast SEO plugin, on-page SEO efforts become a breeze.

This powerful tool allows you to select a keyword, and then optimize your page based on it.

What is Yoast SEO?

Yoast SEO is a WordPress plugin that improves your website's search engine rankings by helping you optimize your site's content and keywords. Much of what Yoast SEO does is automated, but still requires your input and some planning.

Does Yoast SEO Really Work?

Yes, Yoast SEO really works! Yoast SEO has been the most popular SEO plugin on WordPress for 11 years now. In fact, it has been downloaded over 11 million times and has a 5-star rating! You don't stay in the game that long if you don't have something to show for it. And it has a lot to offer. It helps you write great content, gives your site a technical boost, and makes it easy for search engines to find and display your content.

Is Yoast SEO free for WordPress?

This leaves you free to perfect your articles and pages with the help of our SEO and readability analytics. While the free version of Yoast SEO gives you many tools to help you rank well in search results, Yoast SEO Premium automates many of the SEO tasks, making your workload much easier.  

3. Akismet Anti-Spam  

9 Best Free WordPress Plugins Must Have

Everyone hates spam, but unfortunately, it is a part of life. As soon as your WordPress website goes live, you can expect spam comments to start appearing. What's worse is that many of these spam comments look authentic.

Either way, comment spam clutters your site and ruins the experience for your readers. And if it's not handled properly, you risk losing readers and damaging your brand.

Fortunately, there's a reliable and effective plugin that can handle it for you. Akismet is the official anti-spam plugin created by Automattic, the parent company of WordPress. It has been downloaded more than 35 million times, which makes it the most popular plugin of all time. There is a reason why it is so popular, and if you are not already using it, you should. 

Do I need Akismet anti-spam?

Akismet is necessary if you want to avoid a lot of common spam on your WordPress blog or website. However, if you disable comments on your WordPress blog or website, then the general consensus is that Akismet and other anti-spam commenting plugins are not necessary.  

Does Akismet anti-spam work?

If a spam message comes across and a user marks it as spam, the comment is added to the database, so the pool of unwanted comments grows, making Akismet more and more effective over time.

Is Akismet still free? 

Akismet offers both free and premium pricing plans. If your site is not intended for commercial purposes, for example, if it does not display advertisements, you can choose the Personal plan. Otherwise, you should choose one of the commercial plans

4. WP Super Cache

9 Best Free WordPress Plugins Must Have

You wait painfully for a web page to load, your cursor hovering over the "back" button for when your patience evaporates. A slow site can frustrate visitors and, in turn, hurt conversions. That's why you need the WP Super Cache plugin.

Online, a cache is a place that temporarily stores data. It takes time to load an entire web page from scratch. So your browser stores file from web pages you've already visited in its cache.

This means it doesn't need to receive as much "fresh" information from the site, which translates into faster loading times. WP Super Cache creates static pages on your site. These pages are then served instead of processing full PHP scripts.

In turn, this reduces the page's service time. Without caching your page, your load times will increase significantly. WP Super Cache also provides caching for visitors using a mobile device.  

What does WP Super cache do?

WP Super Cache is a static caching plugin for WordPress. It generates HTML files that are served directly by Apache without handling comparatively heavy PHP scripts. By using this plugin, you will speed up your WordPress blog significantly.

Be sure to install this plugin to optimize your site and avoid frustrating your visitors.

5. Google XML Sitemaps

9 Best Free WordPress Plugins Must Have

You need search engines to index your site. And to do that effectively, search engines need a sitemap. A sitemap file helps search engines crawl and index your site properly. If you don't have one, your ranking will suffer and the information displayed by search engines may become outdated.

So submitting a sitemap to search engines is essential to your SEO efforts. But doing it manually sucks. That's why you need to install the Google XML Sitemaps plugin.

This plugin creates a dynamic sitemap of your WordPress site, which is compatible with Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Google XML Sitemaps allows you to notify search engines of changes to your sitemap. And when you update your website or publish new blog posts, the plugin automatically notifies search engines.

Pretty cool, right?

Seriously, this plugin is a huge time-saver and a must-have feature for every WordPress website. Be sure to install it to boost your site's search engine ranking.  

6. Smush Image Compression and Optimization

9 Best Free WordPress Plugins Must Have

Images are essential. Without them, content can become dry and unengaging. About 37% of marketers said visual marketing was the most important form of content for their business, just behind blogs (38%).

But high-quality images tend to be large files that are slow to load. So you're faced with a dilemma. If you skimp on images, you risk boring your visitors. But if you use too many, you risk frustrating your visitors with pages that load slowly.

You can always manually compress each image before uploading it to your website, but who has the time to do that? That's why you need the Smush plugin.

This plugin compresses and optimizes your images automatically. With it, you can use a lot of images on your pages and posts, while keeping your loading times fast.  

After installing the plugin, follow the instructions to merge all your images. Next, make sure that the "Automatic smushing is enabled" option is displayed in the upper right corner of the window.

Smush also shows you how many megabytes you have saved on the right side of the window. You also have the option to upgrade to the WP Smush Pro plugin. The pro version offers better compression and removes bulk compression limits.

Is Smush plugin good?

WP Smush is truly a revolutionary cloud-based image resizing, optimization, and compression WordPress plugin. It uses the powerful WPMUDEV servers in the background to remove bulky elements from your images. Each image is squashed by removing all unnecessary data without compromising the image quality.

Install the Smush plugin so you can continue to publish visual content while preserving your page load times. 

7. WPForms   

9 Best Free WordPress Plugins Must Have

What is WPForms for?

WPForms is an easy-to-use online form builder for WordPress websites. It is known as the most beginner-friendly contact form plugin, as you can create smart forms in minutes without writing code or hiring a developer.

A contact form is one of the easiest ways for people to contact you on your website. No one wants to copy and paste an email address so they can email you, especially on a mobile device.

Install WPForms instead. This plugin is incredibly user-friendly, yet powerful in functionality.

Here's what WPForms' drag and drop build looks like when you use it to create a contact form.

9 Best Free WordPress Plugins Must Have

First, you can save time by choosing from the most commonly created form templates.

Second, you can customize the form by dragging and dropping the fields you need.

9 Best Free WordPress Plugins Must Have

For example, you can add a field for the phone number or remove the subject field from the message.

Once you're done, you can click the embed button at the top of the window and paste the shortcode into the page where you want it to appear.

The forms have a simple style that fits your theme. They are also responsive and mobile-friendly by default.  

Here is an example of what they might look like.  

9 Best Free WordPress Plugins Must Have

You can also create as many forms as you want with WPForms.

It has built-in automatic spam prevention, and you can prevent bots by adding CAPTCHA, reCAPTCHA, or even Google's new invisible reCAPTCHA so you don't frustrate your visitors.

You can also customize the confirmation messages visitors will see when they interact with your form.

Click on the "Settings" tab, then "Confirmation" to change them.

9 Best Free WordPress Plugins Must Have

You can use WPForms to ensure that you have an efficient and user-friendly way for visitors to connect.

With the premium version, you can unlock more powerful features like smart conditional logic, customizable email notifications, file uploads, multi-page forms, post submissions, and more.  

Is WPForms free?

WPForms is the best form builder plugin for WordPress. The free version, WPForms Lite, is 100% free forever. It allows you to build different types of WordPress forms quickly and easily using a drag and drop interface.

Can you use WPForms with Elementor?

You can easily use the WPForms Elementor widget to add forms to your pages and modify them to look the way you want. Even better, you can do all this directly from the Elementor page builder.

8. Elementor Page Builder 

9 Best Free WordPress Plugins Must Have

The WordPress page editor is pretty basic. So unless you know how to code (and are happy to spend the extra time doing it), you'll need a page builder so you can quickly create the designs you want.

What is page builder Elementor?

Elementor is a visual WordPress website builder that replaces the basic WordPress editor with a live front-end editor, so you can create complex layouts visually and design your website live, without having to switch between the editor and the preview mode.

It's a plugin that allows you to build your pages with sections, modules, and widgets. There are hundreds of them out there, but most of them are either expensive or lack the features you need. There are also two types of page builders: back-end and front-end.

You use a back-end editor within the WordPress editor. Every time you make a change, you have to click "Preview" and refresh the page live to see what your changes look like.

But front-end editors allow you to edit the actual page so you can see what you're doing while you're doing it. That's where Elementor comes in.

Elementor is a simple and intuitive front-end editor that is packed with features. This plugin gives you detailed control over every element on your page. And the best part is that it's free.

Building a page from scratch can waste valuable time, but Elementor comes with a bunch of ready-to-use templates. You can also save your custom layouts to reuse on other pages.  

Elementor can take some getting used to, as it offers a lot of control over the design of each module.

Although Elementor has a Pro version with some additional features, they have stated that the free version will retain all of its existing functionality. It offers great options for responsive settings and has recently launched the mobile edition.

Is Elementor good for SEO?

Since the introduction of page builders in general, people have been asking questions like "Is Elementor bad for SEO? The truth is, in short, no. It isn't.

Why should I use Elementor?

Elementor helps you add advanced styling, layout, and design elements to your WordPress content without you needing to know any code. In the new Elementor Pro version, you can even design your entire WordPress theme without needing to know any code.

Does Elementor slow down your site?

Elementor does not slow down your site. The platform's features, which can help any WordPress user easily produce unique and original sites, do not negatively affect your site's speed. You won't have to sacrifice your site's performance for advanced editing features if you use Elementor.

Install the Elementor page builder plugin to create amazing and user-friendly designs on your WordPress website.

9. MonsterInsights

9 Best Free WordPress Plugins Must Have

Tracking data is essential to the continued growth and improvement of your website. Without the facts, you're left guessing.

A tool like Google Analytics can help you improve your website, its content, and user experience. It lets you know which online campaigns are bringing you the most traffic and conversions, and how each web page is performing.

With the MonsterInsights plugin, you can easily add, customize and manage Google Analytics site tracking services. You can do all this from your WordPress dashboard. This makes tracking your website with Google Analytics much easier.

Formerly named Google Analytics for WordPress, MonsterInsights was originally developed by Yoast. The plugin allows you to view all the basic statistics like sessions and bounce rate.

Additionally, you can use it to set up tracking of outbound links, internal links, and downloads. If you choose to pay for the premium version, you'll get additional features, such as e-commerce tracking via apps. This includes WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads. Once you install the app, you'll need to link it to your Google account to start using the features.

Install MonsterInsights to start collecting critical data on how you can improve your website.   


Designing and maintaining a website involves a lot of things. And whether you need to optimize your site for search engines, or improve the user experience, WordPress plugins are essential.

Start with Jetpack to get website tracking features and more. Next, make sure your SEO is up to snuff with Yoast. And don't forget Google XML Sitemaps to help you rank. Then, block spammers with Akismet. Because nobody likes a robot's opinion.

Use WP Super Cache and Smush Image Compression and Optimization to make sure your pages load fast. Then, kick it into high gear and create great-looking pages with Elementor Page Builder. Finally, track all your work with MonsterInsights right in your WordPress dashboard.

If you had to do all the necessary tasks manually, it would be very time-consuming. And if you hired a web developer to do them for you, it would cost you a considerable amount of money.

Plugins perform these complicated tasks, so you don't have to.

And by installing these fundamental plugins, you'll be well on your way to getting a better-performing website for your business.

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