WordPress plugins play a major role in extending WordPress functionality. They allow users to add new features and capabilities to their websites without having to write any code. Here are 6 of the best free WordPress plugins to add to your site.

Best free WordPress plugins

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What is a WordPress plugin?

A WordPress plugin is a software component that adds a specific functionality to your WordPress site. Plugins can add features that your theme may not have, such as contact forms, e-commerce, social media sharing buttons, and much more. They are easy to install and use and can be found in the WordPress plugin directory, which contains thousands of free and paid plugins.

The Best Free WordPress Plugins

Choosing the right plugins for your website can be a daunting task, as there are so many to choose from. However, there are a few must-have WordPress plugins that every WordPress website should have.

  1. Security Plugin – A security plugin is an essential tool that helps protect your website from malware, hacking attempts, and other security threats. Popular security plugins include Wordfence, Sucuri, and iThemes Security.
  2. Backup Plugin – A backup plugin is another essential tool that ensures that you can restore your website to its previous state in case of a disaster or any other unforeseen circumstances. Popular backup plugins include UpdraftPlus, BackupBuddy, and VaultPress.
  3. SEO Plugin – An SEO plugin helps you optimize your website for search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. It helps you improve your website's visibility and ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs). Popular SEO plugins include RankMath, Yoast SEO, and All in One SEO Pack.
  4. Caching Plugin – A caching plugin helps speed up your website by caching its content, reducing server load, and improving performance. Popular caching plugins include WP Rocket, W3 Total Cache, and WP Super Cache.
  5. Contact Form Plugin – A contact form plugin enables visitors to your website to easily contact you through a simple form. Popular contact form plugins include WPForms, Contact Form 7, and Gravity Forms.
  6. Accessibility Plugin – One Click Accessibility adds an icon to your site that allows users to enlarge the text and can add contrast to the site to help visually impaired people view your content.

Additional plugins for specific sites

Easy Digital Downloads: This plugin has a free version as well as a premium version with advanced features. Use this plugin if you have an online store that sells digital download products.

​WooCommerce: Use this plugin if you have an e-commerce store selling physical products.

ShortPixel is an image optimization plugin that can help to speed up your site. You get 100 free credits/month, and you can buy 10,000 credits for around $10. These credits are more than enough to optimize your website

Get my FREE Image Optimization with ShortPixel Workbook!

This 9 page workbook walks you through how to test your site speed and install and setup the ShortPixel plugin

While these are some of the essential plugins, it's important to note that the specific plugins you need will depend on your website's goals and requirements. It's also important to avoid installing too many plugins, as they can slow down your website's performance, site speed and affect its overall security. They should also be updated regularly as part of your monthly website maintenance.

How to install a WordPress plugin:

Log in to your WordPress dashboard: To install a plugin, you first need to log in to your WordPress dashboard. This can be accessed by adding “/wp-admin” to the end of your website's URL (e.g., www.yourwebsite.com/wp-admin).

  1. Navigate to the “Plugins” section: Once you're logged in, navigate to the “Plugins” section in the left-hand menu of your dashboard.
  2. Click on “Add New”: From the “Plugins” section, click on the “Add New” button at the top of the page.
  3. Search for a Plugin: You can search for a plugin by entering its name or a keyword related to its functionality in the search bar. Alternatively, you can browse through the featured, popular, and recommended plugins.
  4. Install the Plugin: Once you have found a plugin that you want to install, click on the “Install Now” button next to its name. WordPress will then download and install the plugin automatically.
  5. Activate the Plugin: After the plugin is installed, you will be prompted to activate it. Click on the “Activate” button to activate the plugin.
  6. Configure the Plugin Settings: Once the plugin is activated, you may need to configure its settings to suit your needs. The configuration settings for each plugin vary depending on its functionality.
  7. Be sure to keep your plugins updated!

If you have purchased a plugin, you can upload the zip file by going to plugins, add new, upload.

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