Since you are in this page, I believe that you know about WordPress or you might running a WordPress blog. However it’s my duty to introduce about WordPress. What is WordPress? WordPress is the powerful and standard web software used to create and manage website, blog or app according to the user need. There is the lot of Plugins available to extend the feature of WordPress. From that, here I listed the Top 16 Best Free Essential WordPress Plugins.
Protection is the top-level concern then all. WordPress itself is highly protected software which fixes all upcoming vulnerabilities in frequent releases. However still there is some loop-hole for hacking and inserting malware. To avoid this, every WordPress Admin must install Wordfence Security or iThemes Security to fully protect the blog from all hackers. Both Wordfence Security and iThemes Security has 2K+ 5 start ratings.
#2 Yoast SEO
It optimizes your blog to make it search engine friendly. It provides features like Page Analysis, XML Sitemaps, breadcrumbs, RSS optimization, multisite compatibility and much more. It is the only SEO plugin with more than 1K 5 star ratings and one million active installs.
It increases the blog performance and page loading speed. It is the only CACHE plug-in with more than 1.5K 5 star ratings and one million active installs. Most of the top companies like makeuseof and mashable using this plugin.
It filters the spam comments posted on your blog. It finds the comments which looks like spam and prevent your blog from spammers. It is the only SPAM FILTER plugin featured in wordpress.org
Even though Yoast SEO plugin provides in-built XML sitemap feature, Google XML Sitemap is the most popular plugin with additional sitemap features by which you can have complete control on your sitemap.
Normal WordPress only contains standard formatting features for visual editor. If you don’t have enough knowledge in HTML, then you can create only plain text post. TinyMCE Advanced or Black Studio TinyMCE Widget are the top most TinyMCE plugins which helps to add rich text, added in visual editor for formatting the content.
It used to create simple customized contact form for the blog. It filters spam submission by CAPTCHA and Akismet. More than one million users actively using contact form 7.
It has a lot of inbuilt plugins which is already part of WordPress.com. Photon is one of the inbuilt plugin which increases performance by hosting images photon CDN. It also provides mobile friendly theme, single sign on and user visit stats, etc.
Note: Activate inbuilt plugins only which you actually required. Activating lot of plugins might impact site performance. More than one million users actively using Jetpack by WordPress.com plugin.
If you don’t have a mobile friendly theme, WPTouch Mobile Plugin optimizes your blog to increase performance in the mobile related products.
#10 WP Smush
It increases performance by reducing all the uploaded image’s size in the media page. In the media page, you have option to smush image size of your existing uploaded images and also contains option to do bulk smush.
#11 Display Widgets
Show or hide widgets in custom pages, posts, homepage, 404 page, search page and so on. For example, Login form widget will be customized to display only in the forum page.
Differentiate your article and code (programs) by using “Crayon Syntax Highlighter” plugin. It will highlight the code as specified in all programming languages.
Broken links might affect your website SEO rankings and also users will un trust your site if it has lot of broekn links. This plugin scans the entire website and displays all broken links in your website.
This is an optional plugin because it will useful only if you want to run a sales website. It will convert your site like flipkart, snapdeal, ebay, etc. It provides option to sell and ship the product.
Use this plugin only if you want to run website like facebook and twitter. It helps to engage audience to post status, follow, like, etc. It also contains bbPress forum plugin to add forum in the blog.
bbPress is a forum plugin which helps to run a bulletin board or support forum in the website. Without activating BuddyPress, bbPress can be installed separately.
Conclusion: Top 16 Best Free Essential WordPress Plugins
Even though all the above plugins are mentioned as essential plugins, choose only which you have actually required. Please read the plugin compatibility version, description, ratings and reviews before installing the plugins.