One of the best things about building a WordPress site is the 60,000+ plugins you can choose from. Plugins are simple software installations that have several functionalities.
For example, plugins can protect your website from malware, improve your site’s search engine optimization (SEO), allow visitors to contact you via submission forms, let buyers purchase things from your online store, or speed up your website’s load time.
With so many options, we understand the analysis paralysis that might come with selecting a plugin that fits your needs.
But don’t worry. We’ll help you narrow down your options by listing some of the best free WordPress plugins in today’s market and the functionalities that make them stand out.
Let’s dive in.
Best SEO Plugins
1. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is a popular free SEO plugin. It’s currently active on over 5 million WordPress websites.
Yoast SEO helps with the ranking and visibility of your website on search engines.
This SEO plugin is user-friendly. Yoast comes pre-configured and gives users suggestions on SEO-recommended target keywords, page titles, meta descriptions, and other website optimization elements.
The Yoast SEO plugin also features tools to improve content readability and address technical SEO needs. The tools suggest approaches and grade your content in real-time to help you achieve the best results possible.
If you’re unsure about how to get the most out of Yoast, check the tutorials at the Yoast Academy.
Best for: Yoast SEO is the best free WordPress plugin for first-time WordPress site owners and online stores because it’s user-friendly and pre-configured.
SEOPress is one of the best free WordPress plugins. It helps optimize your website by letting you manage redirections, analyze content based on keywords, build custom XML sitemaps, achieve image optimization, among others.
Moreover, SEOPress has a built-in content analysis feature that helps with keyword optimization and crafting higher-quality posts on your WordPress blog.
These features come packed into several SEO tools and an intuitive setup wizard. What’s more, SEOPress is fully integrated with Google Analytics, making it easier for you to track the performance of your SEO efforts.
Advanced users can customize the SEO plugin according to their needs. You can also access premium plugins containing advanced features like integration with OpenAI to generate SEO metadata, insights from Google Search Console, and more.
Best for: SEOPress is the best free WordPress plugin for bloggers, website developers, and marketers looking to improve their site’s search engine performance without much know-how about Google Analytics.
MonsterInsights is the most popular Google Analytics plugin for WordPress, and it doesn’t require coding knowledge.
The beauty of this analytics plugin is that it helps you easily understand things like how your website is performing, how visitors interact with your website, the number of new versus returning visitors, and which marketing strategies are effective.
With the MonsterInsights analytics plugin, you don’t need any prior knowledge of Google Analytics. All you need to do is install this analytics plugin, and you can track your site’s performance on your WordPress dashboard.
Best for: MonsterInsights is the best free WordPress plugin for beginner and advanced WordPress users and e-commerce store owners who want to easily track their website traffic and marketing results.
Best Multipurpose Plugins
Jetpack stands out among other multipurpose plugins. It offers multiple free tools, including a CDN to speed up your site, a downtime monitoring tool to ensure your site is online, and social media tools to grow your brand.
Jetpack offers additional features depending on the plan you choose. These functionalities include real-time backups with 10 GB or more storage, Akismet anti-spam protection, real-time scan, a 30-day (or more) archive of activity logs, and more.
The best part about these plans is that you can tailor them — Jetpack lets you choose premium features individually to match your needs.
Best for: Jetpack is the best free WordPress plugin for startups, e-commerce stores, bloggers, and developers looking for a convenient, user-friendly, and multifunctional plugin. It streamlines website management while letting you add on newer functionalities over time.
Thinking of opening an online store? The WooCommerce plugin is exactly what you need.
WooCommerce empowers you with a complete package that covers all your e-commerce store needs.
WooCommerce lets you sell as much as you want while giving buyers the freedom to pay through popular payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe.
And if you don’t have any technical skills, don’t worry. WooCommerce takes care of the backend so you can focus on growing your business.
- Free version.
- Pro version: Paid elements come in the form of extensions and themes. The Gizmo block theme is the cheapest at $79/year. It lets you quickly build an e-commerce store for technology products. Other block themes and individual e-commerce plugins are available for purchase in the WooCommerce store.
Best for: WooCommerce is the best free WordPress plugin for anyone starting a user-friendly e-commerce store on WordPress.org.
Best Security and Data Plugins
Wordfence is one of the best free WordPress security plugins for your website or online store. This security plugin is user-friendly as it works on autopilot.
The WordFence Firewall prevents your website from a host of attacks. The WordFence Malware Scanner gets rid of malware.
The free version is ideal for beginners who need basic security. The paid versions are ideal for websites that need more protection from real-time threats, busy online stores, and mission-critical websites that need 24/7/365 support.
Best for: WordFence is the best free WordPress plugin for users who wish to keep their websites free from security threats, malware, brute force attacks, and hacking attempts. WordFence is user-friendly and good for beginner users, busy e-commerce stores, and mission-critical WordPress sites.
A must-have for any website, Really Simple SSL is an excellent security plugin. It helps integrate your SSL certificate into your WordPress website.
SSL certificates help protect the data exchange between your WordPress site and visitors so that hackers don’t access sensitive information like passwords and credit card numbers.
You don’t need to do anything besides install and click the plugin to keep your WordPress blog or online store safe.
Best for: Really Simple SSL is the best free WordPress plugin for online stores dealing with sensitive user data, bloggers who want to improve their search engine visibility (as encrypted websites are trusted more by search engines and users), and non-technical users who want to secure their WordPress website without much hassle.
UpdraftPlus lets you back up your WordPress site to a remote location like Dropbox or Google Drive. You can schedule backups at your preferred intervals.
What sets UpdraftPlus apart from other WordPress backup plugins is that it restores your data as easily as it backs it up.
If you have more than one website, don’t worry. The UpdraftPlus backup plugin lets you back up and restore multiple websites from a single dashboard.
Best for: UpdraftPlus is the best free WordPress plugin for bloggers and e-commerce sellers who frequently update their content, non-technical WordPress users who need an easy backup option, and developers running multiple websites.
Best Performance Plugins
Don’t ever lose another site visitor because of slow loading times again. NitroPack is a complete performance optimization plugin recognized by 180K+ site owners for its powerful features and superb results.
Backed by an enterprise-level infrastructure, the NitroPack plugin doesn’t bloat your tech stack and takes only 3 minutes to install. All 35+ advanced optimizations start working automatically to elevate user experience, slash loading times, and help you pass Core Web Vitals consistently.
NitroPack stands out with:
- Lightning-fast caching mechanism
- Effortless setup and intuitive web app
- Complete image optimization
- Built-in CDN
- Unique features like font subsetting, page preload, adaptive image sizing
- 24/7/365 expert support
Caching makes your website load time faster for visitors. The faster your website loads, the more chances a visitor will enjoy the user experience and stay on your website.
WP Fastest Cache is one of the best caching plugins to make your WordPress site or e-commerce store load effortlessly for visitors.
This cache plugin is user-friendly and needs minimal configuration to set up. It stores website files (e.g., images) so that pages load quickly when someone visits your website more than once.
The cache plugin also helps with image optimization and content delivery network (CDN) integration.
Best for: WP Fastest Cache is the best free WordPress plugin for WordPress users looking to improve website speed. Newbie bloggers and online store owners can easily use it as it needs minimal configuration. It’s also good for large e-commerce sites that receive heavy traffic.
Note: An even better alternative for the WP Fastest Cache plugin is WP Rocket. However, WP Rocket is a premium plugin with no free versions.
Best Content Plugins
Elementor is an excellent plugin that offers myriad page builder functionalities. It works with all WordPress themes and is currently used by 8% of all websites worldwide.
Need a beautiful and impactful layout for a landing page but don’t know how to code? Elementor is your answer.
With its simple drag-and-drop builder and user-friendly interface, the Elementor page builder plugin is easy to use for your WordPress blog and online store, even without technical knowledge.
Best for: Elementor is the best free WordPress plugin for web designers, bloggers, e-commerce store owners, and content marketers looking for a user-friendly page builder plugin to build customized and sophisticated-looking WordPress sites with advanced features.
WPForms is one of the best free WordPress plugins for contact forms. Contact forms help readers and prospects reach you through your website.
If all you need is a simple and functional contact form, then WPForms is the perfect contact form builder for your WordPress site.
But the beauty of WPForms doesn’t end here. Its advanced features will help you create high-quality opt-in forms for your email marketing list and pop-up forms for your site.
A form builder created with beginners in mind, the WPForms plugin offers a simple drag-and-drop builder with several pre-built templates and layouts. Moreover, this contact form plugin integrates easily with popular email and payment platforms.
Best for: WPForms is the best free WordPress plugin for online store owners, bloggers, and non-technical users looking for a user-friendly, drag-and-drop form builder to create simple contact forms, surveys, and more.
To Sum Up: The Best Free WordPress Plugins of 2023
Now that you know of an array of useful and free WordPress plugins, selecting the ones you need for your website should be easy.
Remember that less is more when it comes to plugins for your WordPress website. Overloading your site with unnecessary plugins will only slow down its performance, turning away visitors.
That’s why it’s important to consider the functionalities of the best free WordPress plugins and select them wisely. We hope you can now opt for the plugins you need and build the WordPress website or e-commerce store of your dreams.