Plugins are an essential part of every WordPress website. However, when looking at the plugins page you might feel a little overwhelmed. It offers a nearly unlimited selection of free or paid plugins, but which ones do you actually need?
In this article we’ll show you ten of our favorite (and completely free) plugins that you should consider installing when creating your online web page. If you’re looking at starting off a site of your own, check out our hosting offerings here!
Now let’s get this show on the road, starting with our first article. And remember that these aren’t in any order and we aren’t affiliated to any of the plugins shown here.
Table of Contents
SEO is the single most important thing about your site to get right if you want people to find your site on search engines like Google. You can find hundreds if not thousands of articles and tips on how you should best arrange your site for the best SEO results. This however can go into the details and be near impossible to get right without proper knowledge.
Rank Math SEO is a tool that gives you a small checklist to get as right as possible with every post and page you make, to ensure that your post has the best SEO possible. Apart from this it also comes with a sitemap generator and several other useful features.
Get it here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/seo-by-rank-math/
If you’re making a site, there’s a good chance you’re trying to sell something. If this happens to be a product or service, WooCommerce will help you out. It allows you to set up a store with a crazy amount of customization and options. All of this to allow you to sell anything from gym classes to luxury cars, while making it look sleek.
It included options for taxes, shipping costs, payment options and will allow you to sell virtually anything. If many options scare you, no worries! It comes with a optional guided tour that will get you set up in no-time. And remember, if you have any questions don’t be afraid to ask us!
Get it here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/woocommerce/
If you’re creating a site for a social company, like gym or dancing school, there’s a good chance you want some kind of way to let people communicate. In this case BuddyPress is the thing you need, allowing you to make your very own social media platform.
With this plugin you can allow members to register, create user profiles, have private conversations, making connections, interact in groups and so much more. All while having complete control over all your members and the content within your very own social media network.
Get it here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/buddypress/
One of the things that will undoubtedly slow your site down most, is media. Loading many large images can be extremely taxing on a slow connection, annoying your users and possibly resulting in a lower retention rate. To avoid this you can resize and optimize your images, as well as lazy load them.
Smush allows you to do just that and way more. Your images get compressed without affecting image quality and images further down pages don’t get loaded until users scroll to them. All of the things they offer combined means that you site will load much faster, which means more satisfied customers.
Get it here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-smushit/
Every site needs a way for visits to contact you. This way they can ask any possible questions they have, and reach out for more info. Since you probably have a need for an advanced support ticket system as the one we have, a contact form is the best way.
Contact Form 7 allows you to easily set up a good looking contact form, while supporting CAPTCHA and Akismet spam filtering to stop your inbox from getting cluttered with span. You can create and managed multiple contact forms, customize them and the email contents within. You can also setup automated responses, allowing you to send confirmation emails about a customers question being received.
Get it here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/contact-form-7/
If you’re making anything but a blog, there’s a good chance you don’t have a need for comments. In fact, you might find that comments are cluttering your page and largely consist of spam to begin with. In this case you might look at disabling comments, which would have to be done on a per post and page basis.
Disable Comments allows you to do just that; disabling posts from one global setting. It allows you to either completely turn them off, or do so for specific types (posts, pages etc.).
Get it here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/disable-comments/
If you’re showing off a product on your page, or maybe showcasing your portfolio, you’ll want a gallery. This allows you to organize your photos in a neat matter, and have them look good no matter the device. Trying to accomplish this simply with the whatever site builder you’re using can be a real pain, or even impossible to make look good.
Envira Gallery allows any user to create a great looking gallery with a drag & drop system. It’s optimized for web and server performance and perfect for photographers, designers and more. All of this while also supporting social media integration and the aforementioned WooCommerce store.
Get it here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/envira-gallery-lite/
Giveaways are one of the best ways to promote traffic, as well as getting more users in your emails lists. Any promise of being able to win something simply by signing up to your email list or otherwise is something that will get your customers to engage more with you. WordPress however doesn’t offer any way to do this out of the box.
RafflePress is a very powerful and user-friendly WordPress giveaway plugin. It allows you to capture your visitor’s attention with a giveaway popup which asks them to sign up to your mail list. All raffles are easy to make with their drag & drop system, and are completely mobile friendly.
Get it here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/rafflepress/
A regular WordPress site can usually be made many many times faster than how they are by default. It’s obvious that making sure your site is speedy is critical in keeping your customers on your site, as nobody wants to wait for sites to load. Previously in this list we mentioned Smash, which can optimize your images. Another thing that can be done is caching your files, allowing for much faster loading for all your visitors.
WP Super Cache is one of the best caching plugins out there. It will create and server static html files to your visitors, vastly improving performance. You can either not touch any settings and be comforted knowing that your site will be much faster, or dive into the settings with expert mode and make your site as fast as possible.
Get it here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-super-cache/
10. Ad Inserter
If you’re looking to make some extra money from your site, ads can be an excellent way of doing so. Obtrusive ads can however easily deter your visitors, making them leave and possibly never come back. This is why it’s critical that you find your ideal placement of ads, in combination with a good balance in quantity.
Ad Inserter allows you to insert ads virtually anywhere on a page, allowing for maximum flexibility and minimum intrusion to your visitors. It’s up to you to decide how many and where you want your visitors to see them. It integrates with Google AdSense and allows you to preview your placements.
Get it here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/ad-inserter/
You made it all the way through our list! While this is just a small selection of the countless plugins out there, there’s a good chance that at least one or two of these will prove useful to you. Don’t be afraid however to go looking yourself, and possibly find the perfect plugin for you.
Do you have any plugins that you think should be featured on a future list like this one? Be sure to let us know!