10 must-have free WordPress Plugins for your blog

by | Sep 1, 2019 | Blogging tips | 2 comments

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You want to build a website or start a blog, but you have no idea how to write a single line of code.

Guess what? WordPress solves that problem for you.

Originally started a blogging tool, WordPress pretty much runs nearly 33% of the internet today.

It has transformed into a robust website builder and content management system (CMS).

It is not only free (except you need a domain name & hosting), but It’s also easy to use + customize, SEO-friendly and secure.

Building a website or blog requires you to install a theme. While there are lots of free WordPress themes out there, I’d suggest you go with a paid one.

They are more secure, highly customizable and more SEO-friendly.

My website is powered by the Divi theme.

Also read: Divi theme review

Along with themes, you can also install plugins (free + paid) to add features to your blog or website.

Plugins are sort-of apps that can be used to literally anything on your website.

Adding too many plugins can not only slow down your site by increasing the load on the web server, but it can also make your site more vulnerable if you install any wrong plugin.

So, here’s a list of 10 must-have free WordPress plugins for your blog that I use and recommend.

1. Antispam Bee

Antispam Bee prevents your WordPress blog or website from spam comment & trackbacks.

It is totally free, ad-free, 100% GDPR compliant and does not send any data to any third parties.

Here are a few of the features of Antispam –

  • Trust approved commenters.
  • Trust commenters with a Gravatar.
  • Consider the comment time.
  • Allow comments only in a certain language.
  • Block or allow commenters from certain countries.
  • Validate the IP address of commenters.
  • Notify admins by e-mail about incoming spam.
  • Delete existing spam after n days.
  • Limit approval to comments/pings (will delete other comment types).

2. Cookie notice by dFactory

GDPR requires you to notify your website visitors if your site uses cookies.

Cookie notice by dFactory allows you to do the same in an elegant way by showing a simple message as soon as someone visits your website or blog.

Here are a few features –

  • Customizable cookie message
  • Redirects users to a specified page for more cookie information
  • Multiple cookie expiry options
  • Link to Privacy Policy page
  • Select the position of the cookie message box
  • SEO friendly

3. Easy table of contents

This plugin adds a user-friendly table of contents into your posts, pages, and custom post types.

It is highly customizable and automatically adds a table of contents to all your posts and pages once you activate it.

Adding a table of contents to your blog posts can be really good for SEO.

Here are a few features of this plugin –

  • Optionally enable for pages and/or posts.
  • Optionally auto-insert the table of contents into the page, selectable by enabled post type.
  • Provides many easy to understand options to configure when and where to insert the table of contents.
  • User can optionally hide the table of contents. You have full control of this feature. It can be disabled and you can choose to have it hidden by default.

4. Shortlinks by Pretty links

Pretty Links enables you to shorten links using your own domain name and it also tracks each hit on your URL and provides a full, detailed report of where the hit came from, the browser, os, and host.

Pretty Links is a killer plugin for people who want to clean up their affiliate links and track clicks from emails.

Here are a few features –

  • Gives you the ability to create clean, simple URLs on your website that redirect to any other URL (allows for 301, 302, and 307 redirects only)
  • Generates random 3-4 character slugs for your URL or allows you to name a custom slug for your URL
  • Tracks the Number of Clicks per link
  • Provides a reporting interface where you can see a configurable chart of clicks per day. This report can be filtered by the specific link clicked, date range, and/or unique clicks.
  • View click details including IP address, remote host, browser (including browser version), operating system, and referring site
  • Exclude IP Addresses from Stats
  • Create nofollow/noindex links

5. Sassy social share

Getting your blog posts shared on social media is a great way to build authority and get a decent amount of traffic.

Sassy Social Share is a simple and smooth social sharing plugin that enables your visitors to share your posts and pages over Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, Whatsapp, Tumblr, Pinterest, Reddit and over 100 more social sharing and bookmarking services.

Here are a few of the features of this plugin –

  • GDPR Compliant
  • Compatible with Gutenberg editor
  • Around 100 Social Sharing/Bookmarking services
  • Social Media follow icons (Redirect website visitors to your Social Media pages)
  • Share counts are supported for Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Buffer, Reddit, Pinterest
  • FREE Icon Customization options
  • Options to specify sharing icon shape – Square, Round and Rectangular

6. UpdraftPlus

WordPress can be vulnerable to things such as server crashes, hacking, security flaws, bad plugin or theme updates and insecure web hosts.

If anything like that happens to your website, it would cost you dearly in time, money and reputation.

Whilst other security measures are essential, backups should never be neglected.

UpdraftPlus simplifies backups and restoration. It is the most popular scheduled backup plugin, with over two million currently-active installs.

Here are a few features of UpdraftPlus –

  • Restores, as well as backing up
  • Backs up to more cloud options than any others
  • Allows you to set up automatic backup schedules
  • Is faster, using up fewer server resources
  • Has been tested on over 1 million sites

7. W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache improves the SEO and user experience of your site by increasing website performance, reducing load times via features like content delivery network (CDN) integration and the latest best practices.

In short, it boosts your site speed which can be good for SEO.

Here are a few features –

  • Improvements in search engine result page rankings, especially for mobile-friendly websites and sites that use SSL
  • At least 10x improvement in overall site performance when fully configured
  • “Instant” repeat page views: browser caching
  • Optimized progressive render: pages start rendering quickly and can be interacted with more quickly
  • Reduced page load time: increased visitor time on site; visitors view more pages
  • Improved web server performance; sustain high traffic periods
  • Up to 80% bandwidth savings via minify and HTTP compression of HTML, CSS, JavaScript and feeds

8. Wordfence Security

Wordfence is a WordPress security + firewall scanner plugin with over 3+ million active installations.

Here are a few features included in the free version:

  • With one-click security, you can set what security level you want for your site. For example, WordPress blog owners who are under heavy attack can set their one-click security level to “Critical”.
  • Here you can set your notification options. I usually set it for a few scenarios like “Alert on a critical problem”, “Alert on warnings”, and “Alert when an admin user signs in”.
  • WordFence scanner will scan all of your existing files for any malicious code. Also, it will enable the monitoring of any newly added file.
  • This is useful if wish to control the access of bots on your site.
  • If you use any login security plugin, you can get rid of it! WordFence can be configured to send you notifications for any user who logs into your WordPress dashboard and can issue lock-outs from logging in after (x) failed login attempts. Another useful feature here is it won’t reveal valid usernames in the login error.
  • There are a few more things to do to make your WordPress blog secure. With WordFence, you can hide the WordPress version, scan comments for malicious URLs, and check password strength for your users.
  • With WordFence, you can rest assured that your blog is safe from hackers as it also prevents DDoS attacks.

9. WP-Optimize

WP-Optimize is an all-in-one plugin that cleans your database, compresses your images and caches your site.

Built around the world’s fastest caching engine, this simple, popular and highly effective tool has everything you need to keep your website clean, fast and thoroughly optimized.

Here are a few features of this plugin –

  • Removes all unnecessary data (e.g. trashed/unapproved/spam comments, stale data) plus pingbacks, trackbacks and expired transient options
  • Detailed control of which optimizations you wish to carry out
  • Carries out automatic weekly (or otherwise) clean-ups
  • Auto-compress function, which automatically compresses images as they’re added to the site.
  • EXIF Data-Keeping means image information is retained even once the image is compressed.
  • ‘Compress Big Files function’ allowing you to compress images up to 64MB- much higher than any other plugin.
  • Cache preloading to ensure the cache is always ready and loaded:
  • Gzip compression of HTML, JavaScript, and CSS to reduce site load time.
  • Device-Specific cache to ensure the optimized page version is always served.

10. Yoast SEO

If you’re here for the long run then you can’t afford to forget optimizing your blog posts for search engines.

Yoast SEO does everything in its power to please both visitors and search engine spiders.

Here are a few features –

  • Yoast SEO tunes the engine of your site so you can work on creating great content.
  • Our cornerstone content and internal linking features help you optimize your site structure in a breeze.
  • Content & SEO analysis: Invaluable tools to write SEO-friendly texts.
    The snippet preview shows you how your post or page will look in the search results – even on mobile. Yoast SEO Premium even has social media previews!
  • The most advanced XML Sitemaps functionality at the push of a button.
  • Full control over site breadcrumbs: add a piece of code and you’re good to go.
  • Set canonical URLs to avoid duplicate content. Never have to worry about Google penalties again.
  • Title and meta description templating for better branding and consistent snippets in the search results.
  • And much much more…

Final Words

Mentioned above are the must-have free WordPress plugins for your blog.

These plugins help with SEO, security, speed and enhance your website. So, adding these plugins to your websites will definitely increase your user-experience.

Also read – 8 important things to do after starting your blog

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10 must have free WordPress plugins on your blog

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Hey there! My name is Rahul Choudhary and I am OBSESSED with helping online entrepreneurs and bloggers in making their passions profitable and popular! I like to think of myself as your online buddy cum mentor. I enjoy solitude but I also like to work with like-minded people like you.

2 Comments

  1. Navneet Srivastava

    Pretty Awesome! You have touched the basics of the blogging world. I would love to learn from you and improve my blogging skills. I see you on the tubbr and impressed with your work. May I get a do-follow backlink from you.

    Reply
    • Rahul Choudhary

      Thankyou very much! And sorry but I don’t give or trade backlinks with anyone just like that and I’d suggest that you shouldn’t do it as well. It’s not healthy.

      Reply

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