Plugins transform your WordPress site into the ultimate representation of your dream by offering custom functions and features. Each user can tailor their site by extending and adding to the functionality that already exists in WordPress to their specific needs. Honestly speaking, plugins are to WordPress what ice cream is to a sundae 🙂 So we at WPEka are bringing you 15 best free WordPress plugins of 2016 trusted by users across the globe for various niches and websites powered by WordPress.
We are pretty sure that you might already be using some of the plugins below. If you do not, join the elite group of experts using these plugins today!
15 best free WordPress plugins of 2016
Contact forms are a crucial aspect of any WordPress site no matter what the niche. Contact Form 7 has a clean and user-friendly interface. Even users with no programming experience can create a contact form in minutes. What makes Contact Form 7 incredibly flexible are the hundreds of free & premium plugins to enhance, improve and extend the plugin’s functionality. A must-have plugin for your WordPress site’s contact page.
WordFence Security is a security plugin for WordPress that works out of the box. It is a complete anti-virus and firewall solution for your WordPress sites. WordFence Security keeps your site off Google’s SEO blacklist, protects it from many possible attacks, and even helps repair a hacked files (even if you don’t have backups). Some noteworthy features include hiding your WordPress version number, login brute force protection, blocking fake Google crawlers, and many other security enhancements.
Simple Share Buttons Adder is an easy (and free) solution for adding social sharing buttons without any fuss. Choose whether you want your social share buttons to show up after your content or before (or even both). Customize the text that is displayed, change styling of the buttons, and much more. The plugin has a premium version (starting at $10/yr) to unlock premium features such as custom colors, custom button sizes, and button positioning.
The de facto SEO plugin for WordPress – WordPress SEO by Yoast. The Yoast team promises to improve your WordPress site’s SEO on all needed aspects the most important being content. The plugin helps you write SEO friendly posts/pages by providing on-page analysis right from the Yoast SEO box on the backend. That’s not all, it contains optimization for meta & link elements, XML sitemaps, RSS and much more. WordPress SEO by Yoast has your back and is easy to get a hang of for novice & expert bloggers alike.
W3 Total Cache – A caching plugin for WordPress with over 6,270,078+ downloads and 1+ million active installs. The plugin is intended to improve your site’s performance and it works like a charm. It has no impact on your site’s loading time. Though the various options of the plugin might not be a breeze to setup but there are a number of amazing tutorials available online to help you get started.
Sitemaps help search engines to index your blog better and are vital for your site’s SEO. Google XML Sitemaps helps you to quickly create a Google, Bing, Ask.com, and Yahoo compatible dynamic sitemap of your WordPress site. The plugin supports all kinds of WordPress generated pages and custom URLs. Remember that WordPress SEO by Yoast also provides a sitemap feature, you can use it if you don’t want to use a separate plugin for sitemaps on your WordPress site.
A free drag & drop slider plugin for WordPress – Crelly Slider. It has an easy user interface so you can add sliders without any prior coding knowledge. The plugin offers a bunch of transition and animation effects, backgrounds, and more which can be used to add text, image, and video elements. Create unlimited 100% responsive sliders with fixed or a full-width layout for your WordPress site.
With over 5,923,444 downloads and 800,000+ active installs, UpdraftPlus is an amazing backup solution for your WordPress site. You can choose to backup your site manually or automatically via a schedule. UpdraftPlus allows you to backup directly to a number of services such as the UpdraftPlus Vault, Dropbox, Amazon S3, Rackspace Cloud Files, Google Cloud Storage, Google Drive, DreamHost DreamObjects, OpenStack (Swift), and FTP. Features of UpdraftPlus include website duplication, quick website restores, and part or full backups.The premium version unlocks many interesting backup locations along with support for WordPress multisite and website cloning for $70.
Page Builder is a useful yet simple drag & drop design plugin for WordPress. It enables you to construct layouts in a live editor or in your post editor. Easily add columns and rows to pages. There are also a bunch of great widgets from Site Origin that you can use to compliment your existing WordPress widgets. Want to clone pages/posts? Just export/import the layouts. There’s even a layouts directory which you can use to get that professional look for your site.
Reduce the file size of your images drastically with Ewww Image Optimizer. The image optimization plugin not only works just with PNG, GIF, and JPEG images but it reduces the file size of PDF files too. Optimize images individually or save time with bulk actions. This smart plugin notes the unoptimized images so they are not edited again. Ewww Image Optimizer has full support for the WordPress media library & the popular WordPress gallery plugins such as NextGEN, FooGallery, and GRAND FlAGallery.
11. Optin Forms
Insert a newsletter signup box at various locations on your content area with Optin Forms. Choose to add the newsletter signup box after the first or second paragraph or under after the first or second paragraph or underneath the content area. The plugin is compatible with various email marketing services. Offers five beautiful form designs that can be tailored to your requirements. Using Optin Forms is pretty simple, you don’t have to get into any coding to have a great looking newsletter signup form on your WordPress site.
If you want a plugin for keeping an eye on the analytics and stats of your WordPress site then Jetpack is a must-have easy-to-use plugin for you. The plugin is packed with some nifty features that supercharge your site. Few amazing features include social sharing options, CDN service, site security, contact form, email subscription form and much more. The Jetpack plugin is created by the same team which gave us WordPress.
Get a detailed report of which plugins are impacting the loading time of your WordPress site with P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler). The plugin uses the canvas element for drawing charts. Compatible with Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Safari, or IE9 or later. After installing all the must-have plugins on your site, it is a smart decision to get P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler) for a quick performance analysis. It’ll definitely help you narrow down the important plugins you require without sacrificing your site’s loading time. As they say – users will not stay on a site for longer if it takes too much time to load.
Powered by the most complete algorithms to find related posts,Yet Another Related Post plugin (YARPP) is one of the best post related WordPress plugin. The plugin can be used to displays posts, pages, and custom post types related to the current content. Available in two versions – YARPP Basic and YARPP Pro; use one or mix them both for the best results. Display sponsored content and earn extra revenue from you WordPress site too.
A mega pack of shortcodes, Shortcodes Ultimate, is a must have plugin if you want to create buttons, tabs, different sliders, boxes, responsive videos and much, much more with a click of a button without any prior knowledge of coding. The plugin offers 50+ shortcodes for anything you can imagine. Take our word for it – It is worth trying out.
SumoMe is not your average WordPress plugin. It packs a punch of various plugins into one in the form of numerous tools which you can choose to add depending on your website needs. The plugin will help you in growing your subscribers’ email list, also, lets you add social sharing options to promote content sharing on multiple social platforms to boost your site’s traffic. Some free tools of the plugin include a List Builder compatible with over a dozen email marketing services, Heat Maps to track user clicks, Scroll Box to display an optin form trigger on scroll action, Smart Bar to display a floating bar at the top/bottom of your site, Image Sharer, Highlighter and much more. Do take it for a spin.