Are you looking for the best free WordPress plugins for your website? Don’t know how to find the right WordPress plugins?
If yes, then our favorite plugins may be the starting point for you!
Today, WordPress powers over 42% of the entire web. Many factors are there, but the availability of abundant free plugins is a key reason why WordPress is so popular. You’ll be stunned to know there are over 58,000+ free plugins on the WordPress.org repository!
First of all, plugins make WordPress site-building super easy! They let you add any feature to your WordPress site quickly without using any code. Second, you’ll get plenty of WordPress plugins (a handful of plugins for every purpose). On top of everything, you’ll get so many plugins for free!
However, choosing a set of plugins from such a huge collection is quite a tricky job!
But, you don’t have to worry! We’re here to assist you with a small set of the best free plugins for WordPress. These are the plugins we’ve been using on our websites and blogs, and we like them a lot.
How to Choose Best Free WordPress Plugins?
Now let’s first talk about the things that you might need to consider before choosing the best free WordPress plugins for your website.
You need to make sure that the plugin you choose meets at least the following requirements.
These points aren’t ‘just a set of suggestions’ to our audience, but what we ourselves follow! And yes, we prepared the list below considering the same factors above.
So without any further delay, let’s look at the best free WordPress plugins for 2021 – handpicked by Sunita Rai and the team!
17 Best Free WordPress Plugins with Top Alternatives (30+ Plugins Reviewed)
Once again, we’d like to assert that the best free WordPress plugins enlisted here are our personal favorites. We’ve used these plugins ourselves and really love them! So, this article is, in fact, a list of personal recommendations for WordPress plugins!
However, our choices may differ! So, we’ll only request you to have look at them, try using them, and decide which ones work best for you!
And, one more important thing about this list is, we’ve not just included the top WordPress plugins, but also their best alternatives! Hence, you’ll find more than one option for almost all purposes!
With that said, let’s begin our list!
1. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is the best WordPress SEO (Search Engine Optimization) plugin that will help your WordPress website rank higher in search results. It’s the most widely used plugin with over 5 million active installations. As per its mission ‘SEO for Everyone’, it consists of everything that you need to create great SEO content and manage your site’s overall SEO.
Key Features of Yoast SEO:
- Real-time SEO analysis of your content for a focus keyword.
- Consists of readability analysis to make sure humans and search engines can understand your content.
- Uses advanced XML (eXtensible Markup Language) sitemaps that ease Google to know your site structure.
- Title and meta description fields available to add better snippets in the search results.
- Create rich results through the use of an in-depth Scehma.org integration.
- A Google preview enables you to preview how your content will look in the search results.
Yoast is a freemium plugin available in both free and paid versions.
Do you want to try another free WordPress plugin for SEO? Rank Math SEO and All in One SEO are great alternatives to Yoast SEO. Let’s review them quickly!
Alternative SEO Plugin – Rank Math SEO
Rank Math SEO is a WordPress SEO plugin that provides SEO tools with a wide range of features. To start SEO optimization, you can use its smart ‘setup wizard’. It has the power of the entire SEO team, so you can complete the setup with just a few clicks. You can check out more of the features of its free and paid versions.
Key Differences: Unlike Yoast SEO (free version) which lets you use only one keyword per article, Rank Math free lets you analyze up to five keywords per article. Moreover, it uses lightweight code compared to other plugins that keep your website fast.
Alternative SEO Plugin – All in One SEO
All in One SEO is one of the first WordPress plugins for SEO. It provides a comprehensive set of features to improve your website’s SEO. Within 10 minutes, you’ll be able to set up all advanced SEO features. User experience being the top priority, it’s one of the most beginner-friendly free WordPress SEO plugins. You’ll be able to use both free and paid versions of this plugin.
Key Differences: It’s comparatively quick, easy to set up, and use this plugin. A smart WordPress SEO setup wizard in this plugin allows you to optimize your website’s SEO settings based on your needs.
Want to learn more on how to improve your site’s search engine rankings? Check this comprehensive SEO guide for beginners!
Wordfence Security is the most popular WordPress security plugin to provide an endpoint firewall and malware security scanner. Endpoint firewall helps to secure your site by blocking security threats right inside your WordPress application. Here, your site resources are not shared with other sites and therefore the firewall can’t be bypassed.
Also, integrated malware scanners scan your site for malware and remove it if found. It’s a freemium plugin available in free and premium versions.
Key Features of WordFence Security:
- Ability to limit the login attempts to protect against brute force attacks (submitting guess passwords by guessing).
- Checks for known or possible security vulnerabilities and alerts you if there’s an issue.
- Captcha at the login page keeps the bots from logging in.
- Two Factor Authentication to secure an unauthorized login.
- Checks your website’s content, themes, core files, and plugins safety, and reports changes.
Do you want to try another free WordPress plugin for security? Sucuri Security and iThemes Security are great alternatives to Wordfence Security.
Alternative Security Plugin – Sucuri Security
Sucuri Security is a well-known plugin that aims to provide WordPress website security free for its users. Security activity auditing is one of the major functions of this plugin. This function monitors all the events related to security within your WordPress. An event depicts any changes in the application.
However, some of the necessary features like a website firewall are present in its premium version only. For more features, you require a premium version of this plugin.
Key Differences: Unlike Wordfence, Sucuri provides a cloud-based web application firewall (WAF). In this type of firewall system, all the visitors trying to access your site are first examined by the cloud-based firewall servers. Hence, only legitimate visitors can enter your site.
The main advantage of a cloud firewall is protection from DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks. DDoS attacks operate by flooding your site with unusual traffic that over-exercises site resources and breaks your site down. The cloud servers stop such attacks by diverting an overflow of traffic.
Alternative Security Plugin – iThemes Security
iThemes Security is a security plugin that provides more than 30 ways to secure your WordPress website. It aims to repair common holes (possible insecure areas), prevent automated attacks and helps to improve user credentials for login pages.
Additionally, experienced users can also gain advanced features through WordPress hardening. WordPress hardening is a combination of a strong firewall and general security protocols.
Key Differences: It’s comparatively easy to use, set up, and less complex than other security plugins. It has a unique feature which is “Away” mode that blocks all access to the admin dashboard when you’re not around.
UpdraftPlus is the most top-rated WordPress backup and restoration plugin. It has over 3 million active installations. The backup plugin prevents you from losing any content or files on your site if there occurs any issue on your website. Using this, you can schedule automatic backups daily, weekly, or monthly and save them in any remote storage location like Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.
Key Features of UpdraftPlus:
- Set a schedule and then the plugin conducts automatic backups saving your time and work.
- Uses fewer server resources that lead the backup and restoration process to be fast.
- Can store backups directly to more cloud services such as Google Drive, Amazon S3, FTP, Dropbox, and many more.
- Provides advanced reporting with alerts and warnings.
- You can restore any content from the backup easily, with just a click.
Do you want to try another free WordPress plugin for backup? BackWPup is a great alternative to UpdraftPlus.
Alternative Backup Plugin – BackWPup
BackWPup is a WordPress backup plugin that allows you to save the backup of your WordPress website. You can save it in a remote location or/and on your local computer. You can store your site’s backup externally on Dropbox, Amazon S3, Azure, FTP, and many more locations.
Key Features: This plugin allows you to send your logs and backups by email. It even provides multi-site support to network admin.
WP Super Cache is a popular WordPress plugin for caching and enhancing the performance of your WordPress site. The caching process takes place by generating static HTML files from your dynamic web pages. This increases the page load speed as the web pages don’t have to process heavy PHP scripts. There are over 2 million active installations of this plugin and it’s 100% free.
This plugin serves cached files in 3 ways. They are Simple, WP-cache caching, and Expert. If you’re not familiar with PHP file editing, then you can use a simple model that is fast and easy to set up.
Key Features of WP Super Cache:
- Easy user interface for beginners.
- Supports CDN (Content Delivery Network) to minimize crashes and increase speed. CDN stores your website data in multiple locations and responds to the user requests from the nearest location.
- Conducts garbage collection for regularly deleting old files from your cache directory.
Do you want to try another free WordPress plugin for caching? LiteSpeed Cache is a great alternative to WP Super Cache.
Alternative Cache Plugin – LiteSpeed Cache
LiteSpeed Cache is an all-in-one WordPress plugin based on providing server-level cache and optimization features to enhance websites. Server-level caching means temporarily saving content on the server. It doesn’t require the involvement of the end-user or browser for handling.
This plugin supports multi-site and is also compatible with other popular plugins such as Yoast SEO and WooCommerce. It’s a freemium plugin available in both free and premium versions.
Key Features: It also provides other optimization features like image optimization, CSS/JS optimization, etc. to better website performance.
5. Antispam Bee
Antispam Bee is a 100% free spam protection WordPress plugin to block spam comments on WordPress websites. Spam comments create unwanted interruptions to the flow of the dialogue in the comment section. They not only annoy your real audience but also can include malicious links that harm your site as well as your visitors.
So, this plugin provides security against spam comments. It’s ad-free and works even without the use of a Captcha. Also, this plugin is 100% GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliant.
Key Features of Antispam Bee:
- Performs validation to the IP addresses of commenters.
- Notifies admin about occurring spam comments through email.
- The dashboard shows spam statistics such as daily updates and total blocked spam comments.
- Can search for commenters marked as spammers in the local spam database.
- Deletes existing spam after a certain number of days.
- Can allow/block commenters from specific countries.
Do you want to try another free WordPress plugin for spam protection? Akismet Spam Protection is a great alternative to Antispam Bee.
Alternative Spam Protection Plugin – Akismet Spam Protection
Akismet Spam Protection is a spam protection WordPress plugin that checks your comments and contact form messages.
Key Differences: Akismet Spam Protection works with Jetpack. There’s a discard feature in this plugin that blocks out the worst spam for saving your disk space and increasing the website speed. The plugin is free only for personal sites; you need to buy a paid version for a commercial site.
6. WPForms Lite
WPForms Lite is an easy-to-use, powerful and free WordPress plugin for building contact forms and other types of online forms. User experience being its top priority, it offers a drag-and-drop interface for making forms. Additionally, it includes a variety of pre-made form templates that let you build advanced forms with just a few clicks.
Key Features of Contact Form by WPForms Lite:
- Generates 100% mobile responsive contact forms for all devices.
- Long forms can be divided into multiple pages using a progress bar.
- The instant form notification system allows you to quickly respond to incoming inquiries.
- The smart form confirmation feature enables displaying a custom success message or redirecting users to a custom thank you page.
- Provides smart anti-spam protection to all forms by default.
- Can create surveys or polls and analyze collected data with interactive reports.
Do you want to try another free WordPress plugin for the contact form? Contact Form 7 is a great alternative to WPForms Lite.
Alternative Contact Form Plugin – Contact Form 7
Contact Form 7 is one of the first and highly popular WordPress plugins on the market. As the name, it’s a contact form plugin that allows you to create contact forms in WordPress.
It’s an entirely free plugin and there’s no premium version available. However, there are lots of third-party extensions that you can install to add additional functionality.
Key Features: It also supports Captcha, Akismet spam filtering, and many more plugins.
Imagify is the most advanced WordPress image optimizer plugin. With a single click, large images can automatically be resized or optimized without losing the image quality. Also, you can use modern image formats like WebP for your images. This highly reduces image size and increases your website speed. It has free and premium versions available.
The compression level in this plugin is divided into Normal, Aggressive, and Ultra-levels. Here, the Normal level provides lossless compression (results in no loss of image quality). Aggressive and Ultra-levels provide stronger and strongest lossy compression (results in an unrecognized amount of quality degradation) respectively.
Key Features of Imagify:
- Choose your preferred level for image compression.
- Bulk optimizer to easily optimize existing images in your website.
- Compatible with animated or non-animated image formats like JPG, PNG, PDF, and GIF.
- Compatible with WooCommerce and NextGen media gallery tools.
- Backup option to restore original images or change the optimization level.
- Optimize 20MB image size free for every month.
Do you want to try another free WordPress plugin for image optimization? Smush is a great alternative to Imagify.
Alternative Image Optimizer Plugin – Smush
Smush is a WordPress image optimization plugin that optimizes, compresses, and resizes images. You’re able to optimize all your images (up to 5 MB-size) and in JPEG, GIF, and PNG format using this.
Moreover, it also can perform incorrect image size detection that locates images which may slow your website. The lazy load feature enables loading images only when you need them.
Key Differences: You can prefer this plugin over Imagify if you want unlimited free image optimizations per month. It’s 100% free but there’s also a premium version available.
Kadence Blocks is one of the best free WordPress plugins for adding custom blocks and options to extend the editing functionalities of Gutenberg. Gutenberg (or block editor) is the new WordPress editor that provides a new way of editing content using blocks.
This plugin provides a toolkit to make your WordPress block editor work like popular page builder plugins. Hence, you can generate custom layouts easily and quickly. You can look for more features in its premium version.
Key Features of Kadence Blocks:
- The Row Layout block can have 1-6 columns and any number of blocks inside columns.
- Advanced Gallery block allows you to add photo galleries in multiple ways like in a grid, carousel masonry, fluid-width carousel, or slider style.
- Advanced Heading block allows you to have full control of your headings.
- Icon block allows you to add an SVG icon from over 1500 icons available.
- Info Box block consists of an icon or image with options to add a title, description, and ‘learn more’ text.
Do you want to try another free WordPress plugin for block editor? Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg is a great alternative to Kadence Blocks.
Alternative Block Plugin – Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg
Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg is an advanced and powerful free block editor plugin that provides a comprehensive set of extra blocks for your WordPress Gutenberg editor.
Key Differences: Certain features are not available in Kadence Blocks but are available in this plugin. A review schema is present that allows you to add a review of a product/service with star ratings. Additionally, you can add a social share and progress bar to your website.
Elementor is the most popular free WordPress page builder plugin with more than 5 million active installations. You can easily design pixel-perfect websites with this intuitive drag-and-drop editor.
You’ll get limitless design options that serve high-end page designs and advanced functionalities that were never seen on WordPress before.
Key Features of Elementor:
- It’s free and open source. Premium version is also available to get services like theme and WooCommerce builder.
- Consists of over 100 beautiful full-page WordPress templates which are easily customizable.
- Powerful mobile website builder with an exclusive toolset that allows you to create highly responsive websites.
- Offers more than 40 most useful widgets for your top design websites.
- Multi-language support.
Do you want to try another free WordPress plugin for a website builder? Beaver Builder is a great alternative to Elementor.
Alternative Website Builder Plugin – Beaver Builder
Beaver Builder is another popular WordPress page builder plugin with a more beginner-friendly drag-and-drop editor. It helps you to build beautiful and professional WordPress websites.
Key Differences: If you like something simple yet powerful, then Beaver Builder is the best to choose. Beaver Builder is easier to use and also you can get better customer support.
SeedProd is a WordPress coming soon plugin useful for creating coming soon pages and maintenance mode pages. But that’s not all, you can also use it to make stunning landing pages, custom 404 pages, and more.
This plugin is useful if you want to keep your audience updated when you’re still developing your website. A coming soon page develops visitor’s interest to revisit your website or gain certain information about your work in progress.
Key Features SeedProd:
- Works well with any WordPress Themes.
- It’s a drag-and-drop page builder plugin for coming soon pages.
- Makes your pages responsive for any mobile device.
- Provides multisite support.
- Can customize your page with various options like headline block, image block, and many more.
- Easily add your custom CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and HTML (HyperText Markup Language).
Do you want to try another free WordPress plugin for coming soon pages? CMP is a great alternative to SeedProd.
Alternative Coming Soon Page Plugin – CMP
CMP (Coming Soon and Maintenance Plugin) is a user-friendly and simple WordPress plugin. You can create maintenance, coming soon, and landing pages with a single click. You can easily customize your pages with available CMP Themes, custom logos, forms, SEO, colors, and many more options. It’s free to use and ad-free.
Key Features: It provides a whitelist/blacklist function with which you can enable CMP landing pages on certain pages only. Furthermore, you can add full-screen background media like videos, images, colors, or patterns. You can also configure the countdown action for your site launch.
WooCommerce is the most popular WordPress eCommerce plugin with over 5 million active installations. . It helps you build a fully functional eCommerce store through the WordPress system. It’s free and open-source which means you can have full ownership of your store’s content and data.
Key Features of WooCommerce:
- Easily create and customize your online store with beautiful WooCommerce themes available in WordPress.
- Variety of payment options available such as mobile wallets, bank transfers, cash, and cards with over 100 payment gateways like PayPal, Square, and Stripe.
- Configure your shipping options from your dashboard like scheduling.
- Several solutions for delivery, inventory, and fulfillment available for you to choose from.
- WooCommerce Tax and other similar integrated services available to simplify sales tax by automatic calculations.
Do you want to try another free WordPress plugin for eCommerce? Easy Digital Downloads is a great alternative to WooCommerce.
Alternative eCommerce Plugin – Easy Digital Downloads
Easy Digital Downloads is another eCommerce solution for WordPress websites. It provides complete services to sell your digital products, such as software, document, or any media files.
Key Differences: It’s better to use Easy Digital Downloads when selling digital products. WooCommerce can be used for selling both physical products and digital products. But this plugin is built only for digital products, so it has better-specialized features for digital products. Plus, it’s lightweight
MonsterInsights is a popular Google Analytics WordPress plugin with over 3 million active installations. Google Analytics is a web analytics service provided by Google. It provides you with important statistics about your website audience and their interaction on your site.
Using this plugin, you can get advanced Google Analytics tracking features with few clicks by yourself. It’s an easy and powerful plugin available in free and premium versions.
Key Features of MonsterInsights:
- The audience report shows detailed insights into visitors’ demographics. Using the data, you can enhance your website’s content and design.
- Ecommerce reports show stats of like total revenue, average order, etc.
- Form report shows conversion stats about your contact forms, survey forms, etc.
- Search Console report shows your site’s visibility and ranking on Google, keywords, etc.
- Site Speed report shows loading times of your website for speed improvement.
Do you want to try another free WordPress plugin for Google Analytics? Site Kit is a great alternative to MonsterInsights.
Alternative Google Analytics Plugin – Site Kit
Site Kit is the official plugin from Google for integrating Google Analytics, Search Console, and other marketing tools with WordPress. Similar to MonsterInsights, it lets you connect your site with your Google Analytics account easily and view stats on how people find and use your website.
Key Differences: Site Kit by Google is an all-in-one integration plugin Google’s six useful marketing tools – Google Analytics, Search Console, AdSense, PageSpeed Insights, Tag Manager, and Optimize. If you want all these tools on your WordPress site, it’s the official free plugin you can use!
MC4WP: Mailchimp for WordPress is one of the most widely used email marketing WordPress plugin with over 2 million active installations. In simple words, email marketing is sending emails with an aim of marketing. And, this plugin lets you easily connect with Mailchimp, make email sign-up forms on your site, and send marketing emails to your contacts.
Mailchimp has a free plan for lists up to 2000 subscribers. So, small businesses can combine this free plugin with free Mailchimp and start an email campaign!
Key Features of MC4WP: Mailchimp for WordPress:
- Make responsive, user-friendly, and attractive forms or integrate forms on your website components easily.
- Connect with your Mailchimp account in a few seconds.
- Easy integration with plugins like Contact Form 7, WooCommerce, WPForms, default WordPress Comment Form, default WordPress Registration Form, and many more.
- Numerous add-on plugins available and can integrate more add-on plugins.
- Can customize the plugin with various provided filters and action hooks to modify or extend default behavior.
Do you want to try another free WordPress plugin for email marketing? MailPoet is a great alternative to MC4WP: Mailchimp for WordPress.
Alternative Email Marketing Plugin – MailPoet
MailPoet is an email marketing plugin for WordPress which is an easy-to-use newsletter builder. It allows your website visitors to sign up as newsletter subscribers and build your mailing list. You can easily create beautiful emails using available responsive templates and schedule them to be sent automatically.
Key Differences: This plugin provides unlimited mailing lists that were limited for Mailchimp. However, the free plan is for up to 1000 subscribers only.
Want to learn more? Check out this detailed email marketing guide!
ThirstyAffiliates is a link management WordPress plugin that lets you manage all your affiliate links in one place. Also, it works as a link shortener or link cloaker. Using this plugin, you can convert long affiliate links to short and attractive links.
Affiliate marketing is performance-based marketing in which affiliate marketers are rewarded for each customer they lead to the merchant’s site.
The process involves 3 steps: 1) Affiliate recommends a product to users 2) The users purchase recommended product 3) Merchants pay a certain percent commission to the affiliates for referring users to their store.
Key Features of ThirstyAffiliates:
- Easy to set up and use the plugin.
- Easily make groups of your affiliate links into hierarchical categories.
- You can keep 301 (default), 302, or 307 safe link redirects to protect against malware in your visitor’s browser.
- Consists of proper custom post types to avoid link clashes that may occur.
- Can track clicks and generates reports to know stats like the popular links on your website.
Do you want to try another free WordPress plugin for link management? Pretty Links is a great alternative to ThirstyAffiliates.
Alternative Link Management Plugin – Pretty Links
Pretty Links is yet another affiliate marketing WordPress plugin that makes it easier for you to manage your website links. It creates links as per your requirement including your own domain name. Additionally, it eases you to shrink, track, manage and share URLs on or off of your website. It’s a freemium plugin available in free and premium versions.
Key Features: This plugin lets you generate and use 3-4 character slugs for your website URLs. You can also name a custom slug for it.
Tawk. To Live Chat is one of the most popular and best free WordPress plugins for chat applications on websites. It enables you and your agents to chat with the visitors on your website from a single dashboard interface. Hence, it’s a convenient way for you to provide better customer support and promote engagement.
Key Features of Tawk. To Live Chat:
- It’s a 100% free plugin that is free of spam and ads.
- Can connect with your customers from your mobile or computer and from anywhere.
- Can log in through any modern browsers because of its compatibility.
- A free application is available for iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac OSX.
User Registration is a free WordPress user registration plugin. Using this plugin, you can create advanced user registration forms with unlimited fields and register users on your site. Also, it has seamless integration with WooCommerce allowing you to register customers.
The default registration feature in core WordPress as well as in the WooCommerce plugin is limited. There isn’t even a password field. That’s when the User Registration plugin comes in handy!
Key Features of User Registration:
- Create 100% responsive user registration forms.
- Consists of multiple premade form template designs.
- Allows you to send an email for registration confirmation (which is customizable) and get email notifications.
- Has the option for the admin to approve the registration.
- Can enable or disable strong passwords.
- Export of user data can be done in CSV format.
GiveWP is a free and popular WordPress donation plugin that helps you collect donations and run fundraising campaigns. There are over 100,000 active installations in this plugin and many of them are non-profit organizations.
Key Features of GiveWP:
- Display donation forms on your website using a shortcode, widget, or a separate webpage.
- Powerful donation forms can be built by admin using multi-step donation form templates or integration of your theme styles.
- Full-featured reporting to receive a complete overview, measure performance and control your donation activity.
- Complete donor management to see the complete history of donor activity, generate tax-deductible receipts, and integrate third-party services through GiveWP API.
That’s it! We’ve come to the end of our list for the 17 best free WordPress plugins for your website in 2021. We hope this article helped you to learn about the best free WordPress plugins and why they are best to use.
Even though the best free WordPress plugins are provided based upon the certain features that they offer, choosing the plugin for your website totally depends on your requirements. Still, we assure you that this list will provide a great reference for what plugins you can use.
If you’re using any of these above-mentioned plugins, then you are free to share your experience in the comments section below. Please, share this on your social channel if you liked it!
Moreover, if you have any more queries, then feel free to ask us via our contact page!