Top 10 Must-Have FREE WordPress Plugins 2020
1. All In One SEO Pack
When installing an SEO plugin clients usually default to Yoast SEO as it is the most popular and has a simplistic design. What people don’t know is that the free version of All In One SEO can offer more than the free version of Yoast! You can type multiple keywords by separating them with a comma and easily edit your snippet that users will see on search engines. Since switching to All In One SEO we have noticed it has been easier to rank on google with the number of features the free version offers.
Here are some of the free features:
- Change titles, descriptions, and keywords all from the pages and posts section
- XML Sitemaps – So search engines can crawl your site
- Bad Bot Blocker
- Social Meta – Set different images and titles for when people share your post on social media
- File Editor – Change your .htaccess file without logging in to your C-Panel
All In One also offers a paid version for people wanting to optimize their site even further.
Here are some of the paid add-ons:
- Video Sitemap
- Local Business SEO – Increase click-through rate from your google business
- Image SEO – Rank your images on google by optimizing them
If you want to enhance your pages with search engine optimization we are confident that the All In One plugin can offer what you’re needing.
2. WordFence Security
Security on WordPress is a MUST when installing themes and plugins it can reduce the security of your site. The two main reasons this happens is when a plugin isn’t updated or installing paid plugins that have been cracked/nulled these create huge vulnerabilities as hackers have time to find a hole in the code to access your site.
Wordfence helps reduce people accessing your site for the wrong reasons by creating a firewall to stop people from brute-forcing your website. Wordfence also scans your site regularly to check for security issues that notifies you to fix.
Here are some of the free features wordfence offers:
- Malware, virus, and backdoor scanning.
- core file integrity and an option to repair.
- Brute force hacking protection.
- Alerts to your email if something is wrong like critical problems.
- A firewall that includes blocking fake Google crawlers, IP whitelisting, and IP blocking.
Wordfence is an excellent all-round security plugin, we mainly use this plugin to block IP’s that are trying to access the login portal.
3. UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin
Updraft is by far the best WordPress backing up plugin. The amount of features the plugin allows you to use on the free version shows they’re serious about keeping your website safe. Updraft will automatically back up your whole website to a remote storage option you have selected. We have selected google drive as we have unlimited storage and can easily access the folders on the move.
Updraft keeps a mirror copy of your backup on your site so if anything was to go wrong you can download your backup, select what you would like to restore and the plugin will do the rest! This plugin has been a lifesaver when installing a theme that changes the layout of your whole site then been unable to revert when switching back to the old theme.
Based on the space you have on your local or remote storage you can change the number of back-ups that updraft will keep before overwriting the oldest version first!
4.Google Site Kit
Google site kit is by far one of the best analytics plugin you can use on your WordPress site. Most analytics and tracking plugins usually use google analytics as a way to generate your website statistics, so why not use the plugin that it all comes from!
Here are some of the features the site kit will show you on the dashboard:
- All traffic – Split into a pie chart to show where your main visits are coming from
- Search Funnel – Showing impressions, website clicks, and unique visitors from searching your site.
- Most popular content – Shows pages and posts with the most website views (numbered)
- Most Popular Keywords – Shows how the viewers saw your post (numbered)
- Adsense data – Track how much you’re earning through advertisements on your site
- Page Speed – View Desktop and Mobile speed for each page and receive a rating
By tracking the following information you can see what your website is doing good and bad. The amount of information you receive from this plugin can really transform your site making more visitors want to visit it. This could be keyword related for example making another blog post similar to one that is doing well.
Most code on WordPress doesn’t need to load straight away like images further down the page which can slow your website down by a significant amount. A downside to this plugin is that it can break your site or it won’t load something from a theme you need.
You can optimize the following:
- CSS (cascading style sheets)
- Critical CSS – Code that is mainly used on your site.
6. Cookie Notice
The cookie notice plugin is an amazing way to make your website safe from the new rules on GDPR in the UK. By using this plugin you are notifying your viewers that you are using cookies to make the website load faster and they have the option to leave the website if they don’t want to be tracked.
What Cookie Notice lets you change:
- Create a custom cookie notice message for your site
- Change Button text
- Give the viewer an option to refuse third party cookies
The notice will display in a small box at the bottom where the user can use an accept button to hide the notification. The notice is small and out of the way of your main content making the users experience even better. Unlike other plugins that display a huge box in the middle of the screen, Cookie Notice doesn’t do this to make the users experience better so they return next time
7. Theme Editor
A theme editor plugin is always a good plugin to use when wanting to edit your website. Instead of editing the files in C-Panel that can become quite time-consuming logging into your hosting provider to find the files you need to change, You can do it through this plugin. We mainly use this plugin for adding small snippets of code into our header.php file such as google analytics and other search engine optimization tools that we would like to receive information from.
if you have multiple themes you can select the correct theme in the top, right dropdown menu. We recommend that you always download the file first then edit the child theme in case you change something by mistake and break your theme. This way you can restore the old, unchanged file and your website will work perfectly fine again.
8. Tawk.to Live Chat
Tawk.to is a free live chat plugin for WordPress we find this plugin very useful as people can ask questions and receive a speedy answer if you’re online at that present time. If for some reason you’re away the live chat will let the user leave a message with their email and sent it directly to the chosen email address. This is an amazing way to get back to a potential client by carrying the conversation via email with their answer.
Some features that tawk.to offers:
- Online dashboard
- Chat analytics
- automated messages if you’re offline
- an email notification that a user has left a message
When installed on your WordPress site it will display a small circular chat icon on the bottom, right page. You can customize the chat to automatically pop up however we like to keep it hidden to enhance the user’s experience on our site.
9. Attachment Pages Redirect
After a website has been hosting for a long amount of time they usually experience internal and external broken links. This is usually from editing and changing links on your site(internally) or a website you’ve linked to is no longer active. This impacts your page score and search rankings on google.
Attachment post redirects is an amazing tool that automatically updates links to working ones or redirects the clickable link to the home page to prevent people from hitting a broken link. This keeps your website ranking high and most importantly viewers still end up on your website.
- Automatically creates redirects
- You can manually create redirects
- Shows what redirect code e.g 404 is an unavailable page
- Date someone last accessed that URL
Our screenshot of the tool shows it redirecting pages to the correct URL after we have changed it.
You can download the free version of attachment post redirects from here
10. Contact Form 7
If you are looking for a plugin to create and manage multiple contact forms Contact Form 7 is the plugin for you! Simply create a new form and use either a prebuilt template or click the precoded boxes for what you are looking for. Contact Form 7 has the option to use reCaptcha verification making sure questions are only submitted by real people. After creating the perfect contact form you can then embed it onto the required pages and wait for people to use it.
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