Free WordPress plugins to get you started
These are modules that can be installed on the site at any time, for example, to add new features. We know that many aspiring bloggers fall under the spell of these plugins and try to install as many of them as possible. Is it beneficial to have a large number of plugins?
As a general rule, you should avoid too many of them, because too many plugins can negatively affect the loading speed of the site. The security aspects of WordPress are also important.
So what free WordPress plugins should you install to use only those that are really useful and contribute to your site in some way? Below we have compiled a small subjective list of interesting plugins.
Free WordPress plugins to help you start blogging:
1. Yoast SEO.
The Yoast SEO plugin is undoubtedly one of the most popular add-ons. It didn't happen without a reason.
With Yoast SEO, you can, among other things:
- influence the appearance of subpages that make up your site in search results;
- creating a site map;
- take care of the appearance of links pointing to your site, which are shared on social networks;
- improve the SEO status of subpages.
Unfortunately, many people call Yoast SEO an "SEO plugin", which is complete nonsense. Simply installing a plugin and using it won't magically disappear your site's competitors.
Instead, it helps to improve the perception of your site not only by users, but also by search engine robots.
By the way, I recommend our post on how to create SEO friendly content yourself. The role of the mentioned plugin in this case is very important. Contact Form 7 place it anywhere on the site.
Contact Form 7 is especially popular due to its simplicity and intuitive use. Using this plugin, you can create a wide variety of forms - from the simplest to the most advanced.
What's more, the plugin also has integration with Google's reCAPTCHA system, which effectively facilitates the fight against spam.
3. Free tools to automate your website growth.
Under this long name, you will find the Sumo Toolkit. It includes, in particular, applications with which:
- create a pop-up window to attract new newsletter subscribers;
- add social sharing buttons to your website;
- make it easier for visitors to share images and text snippets on social networks;
- check which parts of your site get the most clicks using the heat map.
These are just some of the features you can use on your website with Sumo. This toolkit is mainly aimed at attracting new content recipients through various forms that you can use almost anywhere and in any form.
4.Smush Compress and optimize images.
The plugin, also known as WP Smush, primarily reduces the size of images on your site without any noticeable quality loss.
This is extremely important as many people don't really understand that it is possible to reduce the "weight" of a chart without any loss. This is especially felt by those users who access the Internet via data transfer, as it saves data transfer.
What's more, WP Smush will not only take care of previously added images, but also ensure that any newly added graphics are optimized on the fly.
You can also set maximum image sizes so that everything you upload to the site is scaled to the desired resolution.
5. Auto Optimization
If we're talking about free WordPress plugins, it's worth taking a look at one of these add-ons, which basically serve to compress the resources that make up your site. We mean Autoptimize.
With this plugin, with a few clicks you can, among other things:
- merge several CSS and JS files into one;
- enable the so-called cache;
- force scripts to load only after loading the content of the real page;
- Remove Default Emoji in WordPress.
Just remember to thoroughly test the performance of your site after making any changes with this plugin. Theoretically, it should work more smoothly, however this plugin interferes with quite important elements of the site, so some errors are possible. If this happens, you have nothing to worry about - all changes can be undone.
6. Responsive lightbox by dFactory.
This plugin allows you to improve and refine the way images are displayed on your site when they are enlarged.
Some WordPress themes are not equipped with the so-called lightbox effect, and it is this feature that the plugin in question adds.
With it, you can manage individual slides, combine individual images into galleries, change the appearance of arrows and navigation indicators, etc. and so on. The plethora of options is really huge as there are several different scripts available (including prettyPhoto, SwipeBox or Featherlight).
7. kk Star Ratings
A collection containing interesting and free WordPress plugins should include this plugin as well. You can see how it works almost at the very bottom of this post.
kk Star Ratings gives you the ability to rate blog posts. What's more, using the appropriate settings also introduces so-called schema tags, which - by the grace of Google's indexing bots - can add "stars" to your site's pages appearing in search results.
It's worth taking an interest in this plugin as it allows your site to stand out in the SERPs when used correctly.
8. Instagram Feed
Do you have an Instagram account in addition to your blog?
If yes, then the Instagram Feed plugin will allow you to display the latest photos directly from this service on your website.
The main advantages of this plugin include:
- full operability;
- simple configuration;
- display photos not only from one, but also from several Instagram accounts;
- affect the number of displayed photos, their size, margins and much, much more.
If you have an Instagram profile linked to your blog, this plugin will be an indispensable tool for you.
9. Broken Link Checker.
Sometimes a typo is allowed when adding a link to a subpage. We're only human, so mistakes just happen.
This is known as a 404 error, which indicates to users and search engine crawlers that the address does not contain the desired content.
Broken Link Checker gives you the ability to track the status of all the links that appear on your site. If a 404 error appears among them, the plugin will notify you immediately.
10. User Role Editor.
Is your blog (or WordPress business website) run by someone else besides you? Maybe you don't want some people to have too much power, allowing them to interfere too much with the content of your site?
If so, then take an interest in the User Role Editor plugin.
With it, you can easily manage absolutely all the elements of the administrative panel and determine which people can have access to certain parts of it.
This way you ensure that all users see only what they need.
And finally, a suggestion for a plugin from the Pole Marcin Pietrzak.
The so-called "orphan" is a typographical error that consists of leaving a single short word at the end of a line. Most often this applies to conjunctions and prepositions, such as "and" or "of".
This plugin does not interfere with the content in any way, but changes the appearance when the text is displayed.
For people who are especially sensitive to such errors even on the Internet, Orphan is a must-have supplement.
Are free WordPress plugins a good choice?
Of course you can!
The only thing you need to keep in mind is the rule that you should only use basic add-ons.
In fact, there is no point in installing them by force, since you usually have to pay for overloading with plugins with a drop in site performance. It might sound a bit rude, but essentially
it's the user experience that matters, not personal preference.
Can you recommend any other WordPress plugins that would be useful for beginners? If yes, we strongly encourage you to share your knowledge in the comments section.