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There are literally hundreds of great free WordPress plugins that can help bloggers manage, enhance, and optimize their website.
But rather than give you a giant list of all of these free plugins, I’m going to share with you the best free WordPress plugins for bloggers that I personally use and recommend.
Best Free WordPress Plugins
1. Rank Math – Best SEO Plugin
In my experience, if you have a WordPress blog, the best SEO plugin to use is the Rank Math plugin.
Rank Math is my favorite plugin in my WordPress stack. It is super easy to set up and really helps structure your site for SEO best practices right out of the box.
The best part is it’s completely FREE!
2. Akismet – Best Spam Protection Plugin
Nothing is more annoying than having to moderate spam post comments every day.
Akismet is a free plugin that helps cut down on spammy comments.
In fact, Akismet reports that they block around 7.5 million pieces of spam per hour!
Setting up Akismet is one of the first things you should do after installing WordPress.
3. Sucuri Security – Best Site Security Plugin
The reality is that websites get hacked every day, and you are going to want to have protection from intruders.
Sucuri Security is a free plugin that will give you some basic protection against attacks.
There is a paid version of Sucuri as well, but the only time I suggest upgrading to the premium version is when your site starts making money because by default that means there are more eyes on you.
Remember to always protect your investments.
4. Really Simple SSL – Best SSL Plugin
Want to make sure you have the little lock next to your URL when someone visits your site?
Of course, you do!
First, you need to make sure that your site has a valid SSL certificate installed.
Thankfully most web hosting companies make it easy to install one for free.
Just install the Really Simple SSL plugin, and it will scan your settings and configure your entire site to run over HTTPS.
Now you will have a secure website (and the little lock).
5. W3 Total Cache – Best Caching Plugin
Making sure your page loads quickly is directly correlated to your page’s bounce rate (% of users who leave a page without taking an action), which is in turn correlated to the number of pageviews.
More pageviews = MORE MONEY!
There are many different caching plugins, but W3 Total Cache is free and does an amazing job of speeding up sites for most configurations.
Pairing W3 Total Cache with the next free plugin on this list will give you a website that is blazing fast!
6. Autoptimize – Best Optimization Plugin
Most bloggers aren’t advanced coders. We need a little help getting all of the under-the-hood styles and scripts loaded correctly for optimal performance.
Autoptimize is the best free plugin to optimize your site’s code for speed.
7. ShortPixel – Best Image Optimization Plugin
The #1 culprit of slow-loading sites is unoptimized images!
The good news is that there is an excellent free plugin that will optimize your images on the fly.
Shortpixel is free for up to 100 image optimizations per month which should be fine for most bloggers that are only publishing a handful of posts monthly.
WebP is a next-gen image format developed by Google that is smaller in size and will help your site load faster.
SEO is the art of making Google happy, so why not use their own image technology on your blog.
8. ThirstyAffiliates – Best Link Tracking Plugin
If you are planning to promote products as an affiliate marketer on your blog then ThirstyAffiliates is a must-install plugin.
ThirstyAffiliates is a free plugin that lets you insert, cloak and manage your affiliate links.
You can easily take a long ugly affiliate link like:
and convert it into a branded easy to read link such as:
If you need to make a change to your affiliate link, ThirstyAffiliates make it easy to manage your link in the WordPress backend and automatically updates them all at once instead of having to manually change every single instance.
9. Advanced Custom Fields – Best Custom Fields Plugin
Advanced Custom Fields is a WordPress plugin that allows you to add user-defined fields to any part of your site, including posts.
These custom fields let you store and display additional data on your website.
This type of functionality elevates your WordPress blog into a flexible content management system.
Not every blogger is going to need Advanced Custom Fields, but if you are finding that WordPress isn’t giving you enough control over your posts, give ACF a try.
10. UpdraftPlus – Best Site Backup Plugin
Wanna sleep better at night? Making sure your website is being frequently backed up will give you the ultimate peace of mind.
UpdraftPlus is a robust website backup solution, that sends a duplicate copy of your site to the cloud, so you never have to worry about losing all of your hard work in case of a disaster.
Don’t simply rely on your webhost to backup your creation. Make sure you have an updated copy of your site in your possession at all times.
11. WP Word Count – Best Word Count Plugin
How many words do you have published on your site?
If you ever find yourself asking that question, WP Word Count has the exact answer for you.
WP Word Count is a free plugin that provides you a full breakdown of the total word count of your blog.
WP Word Count is the perfect example of a free tool you never knew you needed, but won’t be able to live without.
As well as the plugins listed here, there are plenty of other great free options for WordPress users.
What are your favorite free WordPress plugins? Let us know in the comments below 👇