10 best (free) WordPress plugins for beginners

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I would not refuse to get free stuff, whatever it is, and when it comes to WordPress plugins, where there are many paid plugins to purchase when given the choice, we all go for the free alternatives.

In computing, a plug-in (or pluginadd-inaddinadd-on, or addon) is a software component that adds a specific feature to an existing computer program. When a program supports plug-ins, it enables customization.

Wikipedia

Plugins are developed to help us in different fields, from creating a contact form to optimizing our content, speeding up our site, increasing security levels, and many other functionalities.

Many WordPress plugins are paid, others are free to use, and others are free but upgradeable. If you have the choice not to pay a dime, I’m sure you will get some of the best free WordPress plugins that help you add more functionality to your blog.

There are more than 50,000 plugins on the internet, and choosing the best ones for you depends on the type of your site, your choice of plugins, and what you need to get from them.

I have compiled the top ten WordPress plugins that every beginner must have.

So, in this post, we’re going to cover the best WordPress plugins that you need in order to optimize and secure your website.

Before we start diving into them, you need to know that using unnecessary plugins may hurt your website because they occupy unnecessary space and use more resources, which may slow down your website and ruin your experience.

Another tip is that many plugins have common features, so make sure to delete or deactivate every unwanted plugin.

You may also like to browse: How to start a blog that generates money.

Updraft

The first thing to keep in mind when launching your WordPress website is people’s ability to attack it and hack your data.

What will you feel if you open your pages to see that they’re empty or changed?

No words can describe the feeling.

That’s why the first plugin to install must be something that protects your data by saving it in order to restore it later whenever something wrong happens.

Updraft is ranked in the top 30 out of more than 50,000 plugins.

It backs up everything on your WordPress, and these backups can be set to the hourly schedule of your choice.

updraft WordPress plugin

The destination folders of your backed-up files vary from Dropbox to email to Google Drive, which makes them easy to access and find on demand.

updraft back up WordPress plugin

Wordfence security

Now, after we made sure that our files would get a backup, we need to choose the anti-virus for our WordPress.

It is the most popular WordPress firewall and security scanner.

Wordfence identifies and blocks malicious traffic. It also blocks all requests from the most malicious IPs and protects against attacks by limiting login attempts.

This plugin highly protects your site even with the free version, and it provides many other features in the upgraded one.

Install it before you publish your work and keep your website safe from attacks.

Jetpack by WordPress

This plug-in has a free version which is upgradeable to paid plans, but we’re here to talk about the features we get from the free version.

This is a complete tool kit plug-in that offers a variety of features, from design to security and analytics.

The free version is enough to detect and block attacks as well.

Think of JetPack as many plugins in one. It is highly recommended to use it in order to speed up your website and make it load faster.

You can install this plugin and check all the features that you need to apply to your WordPress.

WPForms

If users want to contact the author or the owner of the website, they have many choices.

They may find his email address and send him an email, but the best way to keep in touch is to create a contact form so that your readers can contact you quickly without having to go through complicated steps.

WP-Forms is one of the easiest ways to contact people on your website.

Once you install the plug-in, you can create your form with the drag-and-drop tool, or you can simply choose a template such as the “simple contact form,” where you can also customize it.

Many other options are also provided with WP-Forms, like newsletters, donations, and billing forms.

Smush

Many website owners, especially newbies, don’t know the importance of page speed and its impact on ranking.

Google wants to provide the best experience for its clients, and that’s why websites with bad “user experience” are never allowed to rank.

Website page speed is one of Google’s algorithms, and one of the major reasons your website is slow is that you are using images without reformatting or compressing them.

It is easy to compress and change the format of an image before inserting it into your WordPress post by using online tools, but what if I tell you that there is an amazing WordPress plugin called Smush that works for you?

Once you install and activate the plugin, bulk smush all your images and set the plugin to automatic smushing.

It will also show you how many megabytes you have freed as well.

Install the Smush plug-in and start using images freely without worrying about space.

 MonsterInsights 

Nobody works online without checking the analytics of their work.  We don’t work blindly in this area, which is full of important statistics and analytics.

Otherwise, how are we going to change our plans in order to get more traffic, more ranking, and more revenue?

We all go to Google Analytics and Google Search Console to check how our work is performing and what we really need to change.

MonsterInsights is a plug-in that brings statistics and analytics into your WordPress site so you can check them from inside.

Also, learn how to do technical SEO to fix errors you find in Google Search Console

MonsterInsights WordPress plugin

By using this plugin, we can customize Google Analytics and make tracking our website much easier.

You can also track your inbound and outbound links and see how your website performs.

The best feature of Monsterinsights is the Head Analyzer.

This feature will display an icon on your WordPress post page to help you choose the best title for your post.

It tells you how likely your title would be clicked based on “word balance,” which is using common words, uncommon words, power words, and emotional words.

monsterinsights head analyzer

I cannot imagine anything better than this.

You can do all this by using the free version, but you can also upgrade to get more features, especially those related to e-commerce.

Once you install this plug-in, authenticate with Google Analytics and start collecting data.

Yoast

When thinking about optimizing your posts to rank them on the SERPs, Yoast is one of the most amazing plugins.

There are a few plugins that do the same work as Yoast.

This plugin guides you to do step-by-step optimization while writing your post.

Learn how to do on-page optimization

It builds the whole post around your selected keywords, helping you to optimize them as well as many other guidelines about using images, linking, meta description and many others.

yoast plugin

Yoast takes great care of readability issues and leads you to check them one by one, from using passive voice, consecutive sentences, transition words, paragraph length, and others.

It also allows you to highlight the areas where you have to tweak and make changes.

Yoast readability report

This plug-in is a must in order to make sure that your on-page SEO is well-optimized and you’re ready to rank.

Akismet anti-spam

When it comes to spam comments, we all know that their presence on our posts will ruin the users’ experience, driving people to bounce out and making our traffic decrease miserably.

The Akismet anti-spam plugin was developed by Automatic, the mother company of WordPress. It is definitely a solid defense against spammers.

Installing and activating it is easy.

Go to plugins, add new, then search for Akismet.

Akismet wordpress plugin

Once you install it, activate it, then go to your settings, click on Akismet, and follow the set-up instructions.

Akismet protection enabled

If you really care about eliminating spam, it’s time to install Akismet.

Quick note

You can deactivate some plugins that are not in use to release some pressure on resources

WP Headers and Footers

With its simple interface, this plugin helps you to easily insert any code into your WordPress.

These codes are inevitable for use, such as Google Analytics, Bing Webmaster Tool Code, Facebook Pixel Code, and many other codes to implement.

You are also able to insert custom CSS as well as any HTML code.

You can simply insert your codes in the header, body, and footer sections of your blog.

To get this plugin to run on your WordPress, you just need to install and then activate it.

Sassy Social Share

There’s no discussion about your need to let users share your work on their social media accounts and profiles. What’s better than this?

The Sassy Social Share plugin is the simplest way to display social media icons on your pages or posts, with more than 100 platform icons ready to use.

The best part about this plugin is its endless customizable methods.

You can customize the size, position, way of presentation, and much more, like floating icons or the standard interface.

Just install and activate the plugin, click on settings, and start customizing your social icons the way you’d love to display them.

Quick note

When using plugins, some may conflict with others and behave badly

Final thought

Running a website recommends many tools to keep it safe and working smoothly.

These tools are plugins that are developed to help us maintain a secure and productive website.

Always start with a backup plugin to make sure your work is preserved in a secure place, then move to protect it with an effective anti-virus.

The next step is to choose plugins that help you optimize your website and speed it up by compressing images that use a lot of space.

Then we come to the writing process where you need to choose a plugin that helps with SEO. After that, publish your posts and let people help you in sharing your work by displaying social media icons for this purpose.

Some of the above plugins have features in common and this is the case with most plugins, but each one stands alone.

How many of these plugins were you aware of? What more plugins do you recommend? Let us know by commenting below.

Until next time


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