Any blogger knows that WordPress plugins are crucial to the success of their site.
There are thousands of free WordPress plugins out there, but only a handful are really needed to make your website flourish.
A mistake that new bloggers often make, is installing as many WordPress plugins on their site as possible…this only results in making your website slower and also clogs up your web server’s allocated resources.
In actuality, a successful WordPress site needs no more than 10 essential plugins.
WordPress has over 60,000 plugins, this top ten list narrows them down to the most essential plugins that your website needs, in order to run efficiently, and they’re all FREE!
These 10 free WordPress plugins will add all sorts of useful functionality to your WordPress site…
They’ll help increase your website security, backup your data, improve site speed and optimization, as well as gather useful analytics and help your website with search engine optimization (SEO).
NOTE: There might come a time when you need additional plugins, but most of them won’t be needed indefinitely, so you can simply deactivate the plugin after the desired effect or task has been completed, in order to save CPU resources.
WP Smush — (FREE)
The WP Smush plugin helps improve your website’s performance by compressing and resizing the images (JPEG, GIF and PNG) you upload.
It does this process automatically and since it uses lossless compression – your images won’t lose any of their quality.
Large images slow down your site and also takes up a lot of space, so WP Smush will not only save you some storage space, but it’ll also make your web-pages load faster.
The WP Smush plugin has a rating of 4.8 stars based on 3,800 reviews, and it’s active on more than a million WordPress websites.
WP-Optimize — (FREE)
WP-Optimize is one of the best WordPress plugins for optimizing your database. It automatically removes unnecessary clutter from your database.
There’s a lot of useless data in WordPress databases that slow down your site, such as spammy unapproved comments, trackbacks, pingbacks and trash posts.
WP-Optimize will optimize your database by cleaning up all stale data and improves your database’s performance.
This free plugin will reduce the strain on your server and help increase your website speed.
Lazy Load by WP Rocket — (FREE)
The Lazy Load plugin is also known as the WP Rocket plugin, and it’s one of the best WordPress plugins that helps your pages or posts load faster.
It works by replacing your images with placeholders and only loads the content as it gets close to entering the browser screen, pure genius!
This makes your website load faster and also saves bandwidth, by making your images load only when they become visible to site visitors.
The WP Rocket plugin does not only work with images…it also works with embedded videos, text widgets and iframes.
All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets — (FREE)
This plugin beautifies the appearance of your pages and posts in search results, and helps you increase your click-through rates.
It adds extra pieces of information called rich snippets to the search results of your pages or posts – such as images, review numbers and star ratings.
This ultimately helps your website rank better in search results.
Broken Link Checker — (FREE)
The Broken Link Checker plugin does exactly what its name suggests…it checks your website for internal and external broken links.
The free plugin will search all your pages, posts, comments and other content for any broken links…if any are found, it will instantly notify you.
It also checks for missing images and has the option to prevent search engines from following broken links on your website.
You can get notifications via email or through your WordPress dashboard.
Disable the plugin when its not in use to avoid putting strain on your web server.
Really Simple SSL — (FREE)
This plugin is crucial in securing your website’s data, especially if you’re an eCommerce site that collects payments from customers on your website.
Really Simple SSL is a one-click solution to help you safely migrate your site to HTTPS/SSL, and thus makes your site more secure.
There are plenty of free SSL certificates available on the internet and most web hosting companies also provide them for free, so you have no excuse not to migrate your WordPress site to HTTPS.
Really Simple SSL is one of the best WordPress plugins that updates and redirects all your old URLs to reflect the change to HTTPS/SSL.
It has a 4.8 star rating based on 375 reviews, and more than a million WordPress sites use it.
Google Analytics for WordPress — (FREE)
Google analytics by MonsterInsights is one of the best WordPress plugins for your analytical needs.
It connects your WordPress site to your Google Analytics account, enabling you to view all your Google Analytics stats from your WordPress dashboard.
You can track outbound links, download numbers, and you can also link to your Google Adsense account, if you want to track your ad performance as well.
W3 Total Cache — (FREE)
W3 Total Cache is the best WP cache plugin on the internet and it’s absolutely free to use!
It improves your website speed by temporarily storing your website data in the cache, in order to make your web-page load faster the next time a user opens the same page.
W3 Total Cache saves you bandwidth, reduces the load on your server and increases overall site speed by caching your posts and pages as static HTML files, which are then served to your website visitors.
UpdraftPlus — (FREE)
UpdraftPlus is an essential free WordPress plugin that you can’t go without.
This plugin creates an automatic backup of your website’s files and database. You have the added benefit of scheduling backups and storing them on the Cloud.
Not backing up your data in any circumstance can be a painful and expensive ordeal if anything were to go wrong…so if you don’t have this plugin active on your site, then you only have yourself to blame…UpdraftPlus is one of the best free WordPress plugins for all your backup needs.
If the worse were to happen and your site gets wiped out by a server crash or a hacker, this plugin allows you to restore your website in one click.
UpdraftPlus has a 4.8 star rating based on 2,800 reviews and its active on more than a million websites.
Yoast SEO — (FREE)
A website without any search engine optimization (SEO), will likely never receive any traffic from search engines, which is the best kind of traffic by the way.
Yoast SEO is the the best free SEO plugin on the internet and it helps guide you to create better content and improve your website ranking on search results.
This WordPress plugin provides you with a snippet preview of how your posts and pages look like on search results. It also automatically creates XML sitemaps for your website.
Yoast SEO comes with a lot of useful features that will help increase your page rank in no time. It has a 4.9 star rating based on more than 21,000 reviews and it’s active on more than 5 million websites!
And there you have it folks…if you’re serious about blogging and want to make your WordPress website a huge success, these free WordPress plugins should be part of your arsenal.
If you found our post informative, please share our post and feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.