20 Free WordPress Plugins Your Site Needs To Try

by Emily E. Steck

20 Free WordPress Plugins Your Site Needs To Try

The virtual world runs on WordPress. There’s simply no better and no more powerful content management system out there for brands, publishers and writers to customize their websites and publications. Thanks to a plethora of advanced WordPress plugins, you can power your site to do just about anything. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Below, I’ve highlighted a list of WordPress plugins I recommend every kind of website should try out. Some, like the security and performance ones, are must-haves. Others, like email capture and multiple authorship plugins depend upon your publication. These are some of the best, highly rated free WordPress plugins that come to mind. Did we mention free? Enjoy.

20 Free WordPress Plugins Your Site Needs (To Try)

By Emily E. Steck

Free and ready to download, these WordPress plugins are at the very least must-tries for your WordPress site. Spanning from performance to social to security features, your site can always use improvement. 

  • Hello Bar

    By Emily E. Steck

    A perfect way to welcome anyone to your site, Hello Bar is a free tool for A/B testing CTAs to encourage your readers to stay connected. Use the tool to capture emails, grow your social media audience and drive traffic to specific URLs. 

  • SumoMe

    By Emily E. Steck

    A suite of free tools that can be used to grow your website's traffic via email captures, floating sharing icons, image sharers and heat maps to see where people click on your site. Upgrade to premium to customize the features. 

  • CoAuthor

    By Emily E. Steck

    Assign multiple bylines to posts and pages without creating WordPress accounts. Thanks to CoAuthor, it's incredibly simple to manage and create guest contributors, too. Pro tip: download the [Co-Author template tags](http://http//vip.wordpress.com/documentation/incorporate-co-authors-plus-template-tags-into-your-theme/) to show up on the frontend. 

  • WordPress SEO by Yoast

    By Emily E. Steck

    The industry's standard for SE), WordPress SEO by Yoast offers impressive tools to help optimize SEO by customizing keywords, titles, descriptions and metadata. 

  • CoSchedule's Click to Tweet

    By Emily E. Steck

    If you want to encourage readers to Tweet specific passages from your site, you'll want to check out CoSchedule's Click to Tweet. The free plugin makes it easy to share your content and grow your audience.

  • Disqus

    By Emily E. Steck

    To manage a thriving comment section, you'll want to employ Disqus, a free and powerful online comments section. Simple to setup, it's easy to filter spam and monitor the online community on your site.

  • Shortcodes

    By Emily E. Steck

    Add CTA icons to your site via Shortcodes. Create tabs, buttons, sliders, responsive videos and more to grab attention. 

  • Editorial Calendar

    By Emily E. Steck

    A free way to manage your editorial content right in WordPress. See the big picture easily by dragging and dropping drafts, schedules and posts.  

  • Redirection

    By Emily E. Steck

    Manage your 301 redirections, keep track of 404 errors and tidy up your site with the 100% free Redirection plugin. Bonus points for ease of use.

  • Ajax Load More

    By Emily E. Steck

    Build solutions to complex WordPress queries by using Ajax Load More, where it's easy to create templates, shortcodes and queries for the price of free.

  • iThemes Security

    By Emily E. Steck

    Keep your site secure from hackers and attacks with the best security plugin on WordPress to detect threats and protect them. The free version is more than enough for smaller to mid-sized sites, but you can always go [Pro](https://ithemes.com/security/).

  • Google XML Sitemaps

    By Emily E. Steck

    Make it easy for search engines to find your website by using Google XML Sitemaps. It creates a special XML sitemap to better index your site for the special price of free.

  • W3 Total Cache

    By Emily E. Steck

    The Swiss army knife of performance plugins (and created by Quietly adviser [Frederich Townes](https://twitter.com/w3edge)!), easily improve your site's user experience, server performance and download times by downloading this handy, free plugin. It reduces page loading speed and saves tons of bandwidth space.

  • WordPress Popular Posts

    By Emily E. Steck

    Do you want to show off your site's most popular posts? Download and install this highly customizable plugin to control the time frame of the posts, which thumbnails we see and where it is laid out on the site. 

  • WP Smush

    By Emily E. Steck

    Media files can take up tons of space, but by using WP Smush, you can strip the bulky information from media files without sacrificing the image quality. Speeding up your site, the plugin is free. 

  • upPrev

    By Emily E. Steck

    Encourage your audience to keep reading with this NY Times-inspired pop-up feature, which displays an animated box with related content.

  • Digg Digg

    By Emily E. Steck

    From the engineers at Buffer comes, Digg Digg—your all-in-one share buttons designed for free to maximize your reach. Choose the best place for your sharing buttons—either floating on the side or at the top or bottom of an article.

  • Edit Flow

    By Emily E. Steck

    Rethink your editorial workflow in WordPress by downloading this free plugin. It's easy to view your editorial calendar, receive timely updates on drafts and manage your editorial team. 

  • WPtouch Mobile

    By Emily E. Steck

    Mobile is the future. If you can't afford a major overhaul to prepare for the future, this simple plugin will let you create a customizable site optimized for mobile.

  • Quietly

    By Emily E. Steck

    Quickly and easily embed your favourite Quietly content into WordPress. With an improved workflow process, add, customize and edit your Quietly content without ever having to leave WordPress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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