6 Best Free WordPress Plugins Every New Website MUST Have
If you’re just starting out with wordpress and don’t know where to start with the thousands of plugins on the market, I’m going to show you the 6 best free wordpress plugins every new website should have.
1. W3 Total Cache – Best Free WordPress Plugins
W3 total cache is a great free caching plugin, which is used to speed up your site. It does tho ys by increasing server performance and reducing download times. With the caching plugin, new visitors only need to download a portion of your website because the majority of the files have been stored in cache. For many WordPress installs, WP Super Cache has been automatically installed. So, why shouldn’t you use this one? Although WP Super Cache is a great caching plugin, W3 Total Cache provides the opportunity to easily integrate content delivery networks (CDN), like maxCDN. CDNs help to speed up your site even more by delivering content based on geographic location. While you may not initially have a CDN, it’s always good to prepare for the future.
2. Floating Social Bar – Best Free WordPress Plugins
Every website needs a social sharing option. Floating Social Bar in my opinion is the best and cleanest looking social sharing plugin on the market today and plus, its free! The great thing about it is that as the reader scrolls down, the social sharing plugin follows and it’s exactly what we use for all our blog posts. You probably can see it following you in the header above as well. There’s plenty of options to show the social sharing options on different post types, pages, etc. so the flexibility is great. The only downside is that there are only sharing options for facebook, linked in, twitter, pinterest and google+. So, if you want buttons to share on digg, reddit, or stumbeupon, this plugin may not be the best for you. However, there are plenty of other social sharing plugins for you to choose from, just be sure to use one of them!
3. Ninja Forms – Best Free WordPress Plugins
Every website needs some sort of contact form. Putting your email isn’t the most professional look for your website, so adding a contact form is a good first start. However, chances are your theme won’t have an integrated form plugin already. Although we use Gravity Forms as our contact form, it does cost some money. Therefore, the best free option in my opinion is Ninja Forms. Ninja Forms is quite flexible and robust with A LOT of options. Plus, it is super simple to install and set up, so you can make a simple or complex contact form quickly and easily.
4. WordPress SEO by Yoast- Best Free WordPress Plugins
The WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast is definitely the best free SEO plugin for WordPress. With over 10 million downloads, this plugin is definitely one of the most popular plugins on the WordPress directory. The plugin helps to analyze your on page SEO and even gives you a score to determine how you’re doing. Whether you are just starting out or have been using WordPress for a while, it’s never too early or late to start using this plugin.
5. Akismet – Best Free WordPress Plugins
While you may not have too much spam starting off, eventually you will run into the spam that dwells on the internet. Akismet is the best free plugin that combats spam. Even though this plugin requires a signup, it is entirely free.
6. iThemes Security – Best Free WordPress Plugins
I think that it is never too early to start thinking about the security of your website. As much as you would like to think your website is secure, chances are it’s not. And while iThemes is not impenetrable it does provide a very good front line defense against hackers. I thought I was secure without any security plugin, until my main website, Mcatforme.com, was hacked back in early 2013. However, the problem was easily resolved with the help of the friendly Hostgator team. And after installing iThemes Security, I have not had any more problems. Additionally, for a free plugin, iThemes Security is very comprehensive. While the majority of these plugins are for backend security/functionality, you’ll find that there are many many more plugins that are extremely useful in improving the look or function of your site. Let us know in the comments below if there are plugins you think we missed!