10 Free & Must-have WordPress Plugins for Your Website in 2021

Are you looking for the absolute best WordPress Plugins for your blog?

If yes, then this post is for you.

In this post, I’m sharing the top 10 free and must-have WordPress plugins that every blogger needs to skyrocket their blog's success.

Firstly, let me briefly explain about plugins. 

Plugins are just like apps for your WordPress Site. They extend WordPress functionality and add certain features to your site like contact form, improve SEO, social media icons, etc.

With the right set of plugins, you can optimize your site for search engines, protect it against spammers and make it more user-friendly without adding any code.

Before discussing the list of must-have WordPress plugins, let me take an opportunity to explain:

Let’s get started!


There are thousands of WordPress plugins available, but you don’t need them all. You only need a few according to your requirement.

But the question is, how do you choose the best plugin from such a wide range of options?

So, Here is the checklist of features you need to look at before choosing a plugin:

  • List out Important Features Start with listing out the features according to your requirement. Choose the plugin that suits your need.
  • Check Ratings and Reviews  To identify a plugin’s quality, look at its reviews and ratings. Always choose a plugin with better ratings.
  • Inspect for Regular Updates & Compatability – Always choose the plugins that are updated and compatable with the current version of WordPress.
  • Review the Support Options – Make sure the plugin you pick offers good support.

Try to keep your plugin list minimal as plugins can slow down your site.

So, make sure you only install the essential plugins that you absolutely need on your website. (keep them between 10-15)

Note: If you can do something without a plugin, try to do it manually.


How To Install WordPress Plugins?

Installing a WordPress plugin is very easy.

Let me quickly explain how to install a WordPress plugin step-by-step. If you already know how, feel free to jump to the list of plugins.

There are two easy ways: installing a plugin using WordPress search and manually uploading a WordPress plugin.

1. Install a Plugin using WordPress Search

This is the easiest method to install WordPress plugins, but its only limitation is that it must be available in WordPress Directory, which comprises only free plugins.

On your WordPress dashboard,> go to Plugins » Add New > search for the plugin you want to install.

INSTALL A WORDPRESS PLUG
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For example, here I'm looking for Akismet Spam Protection so I'll search for it.

Select the plugin you want to install and Click 'Install Now'

INSTALL WORDPRESS PLUGIN
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Wait a few seconds, then Click 'Activate'

That's all you have successfully installed your plugin.

2. Install a Plugin using Manual Upload Method

Premium or Paid plugins are not available in the WordPress directory, so you need manually download and upload them using this method.

Go to Plugins » Add New » Upload Plugin

Choose the zip file you have downloaded in your system and Click 'Install Now'

UPLOADING A WORDPRESS PLUGIN
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Once installed, click on 'Activate plugin'

And you're done.


10 Must-have WordPress Plugins For Your Blog

Alright. Now that we have covered how to choose plugins and install them let's discuss the list of must-have plugins for your blog.

I personally use these plugins on my website, and trust me, these are the top-rated WordPress plugins in terms of features, updates, and reviews.

All these plugins are available for free, but you can go with their premium plans only if you need extra features.

I haven't paid for any of the plugins other than number 6, which is worth an investment and brings a lot of traffic to my blog.

Let them check out.


YOAST SEO WORDPRESS PLUGIN
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Every blogger wants their website to rank higher on search engines and drive organic traffic from google.

To rank higher and beat the competition, you need to SEO-optimized your site.

SEO is quite complicated, and doing it manually by following on-page SEO checklists is a time-consuming and tedious task. Isn’t it?

Thankfully, Yoast SEO plugin is all you need to SEO- optimize your website.

Yoast SEO guides you step by step to optimize the post and notify you if any corrections are required with focus keyword, keyword density, interlinks or grammar, etc.

  • Yoast is by far the #1 SEO plugin and is highly recommended for every blogger to enhance their SEO game.
  • Free Version of Yoast SEO is more than enough to start with.

AKISMET-SPAM-PROTECTION-WORDPRESS-PLUGIN
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Receiving comments and feedback from your readers is great until they start to get spammy and they often do!

What’s terrible is that many of these spam comments look genuine.

Spammers drop their links in the comments. These spam comments not only affects your reader’s experience but also ruin your website's credibility.

Luckily, there are some effective and free plugins that help you tackle spam on your blog.

Bye-bye, spam comments and malicious attacks!

Akismet Spam Protection is the highly recommended anti-spam plugin to protect your blog from spam comments.

Once activated, it automatically scans all the comments on your website to filters out the spam comments and makes sure they don’t get published. 

It is a must-have plugin for every website to keep spammers at bay and maintain its integrity.


UpdraftPlus WordPress Plugin
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The most frustrating thing for a blogger is losing all the content they have worked hard on.

It can be caused by many reasons like compatibility issue, theme or plugin update failure, accidental deletion of data or a malicious attack.

If this happens to you, would you like to start from scratch?

No, right? This is where the UpdraftPlus backup plugin comes to your rescue you.

Prevent the risk of losing data by backing up your site.

UpdraftPlus is the most popular and easy to use backup plugin that allows you to schedule automatic backups of your website and store them remotely on Google Drive, Dropbox, e-mail etc.

If anything goes wrong with your site, you can easily restore your site from backups.


SMUSH WORDPRESS PLUGIN
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Images are important to keep your audience engaged with the content. 

But large high-quality images can slow down your site and affect your SEO.

To tackle this problem, image optimization is the best way possible. 

Manual compression and optimization of each image before uploading is a very time-taking process. This is where the Smush plugin comes in to save your day.

Smush is an incredible tool for boosting the site speed.

Smush improves your site speed and makes it load faster by automatically optimize, compress and resize all of the images without losing their quality. It saves a lot of storage space on your server.


INSERT HEADERS AND FOOTERS WORDPRESS PLUGIN
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Insert Headers and Footers is a convenient plugin that allows you to add code snippets like Google Analytics, Meta verification, custom CSS and Search console verification, etc, to the header and footer of your site.

It has a simple interface that makes it easy for you to add any code to your site without editing your site's actual theme files. 

I personally use Insert Headers and Footers plugin to add google analytics and Adsense code to my website.


SOCIAL WARFARE WORDPRESS PLUGIN
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Now let’s talk about social media.

According to a study for most websites, over 30% of traffic is driven via social media.

That points us to add social media sharing buttons on our site.

When it comes to the best and lightweight social media sharing plugins, the Social Warfare plugin tops my list. It beats all the other plugins in quality and performance.

Social Warfare is the best plugin that allows you to add lightweight social media sharing buttons on your site and made it convenient for your readers to share your content.

Social Warfare expands your content’s reach, thus resulting in driving more page views and unique visitors via social media.

Here are few features of Social Warfare that make it stand out:

  • Hidden Multiple Pinterest Pins and their descriptions + Pin it Buttons
  • Over 30 Most Popular Social Networks + Custom Social Share Buttons
  • Top Performing Posts Widget
  • Social Followers Widget
  • Auto Share on Social Media + Click to Tweet Feature

Social Warfare is affordable and a must-have plugin for your blog.


WPForms WORDPRESS PLUGIN
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The best and easiest way for people to contact you on your website is via a contact form. 

You might wonder why?

Many people don't want to put effort into copy and pasting your e-mail address to send you an e-mail. 

That's why you need the WPForms plugin to add a contact form on your website. 

Make it easier for your readers to get in touch with you.

WPForms is a feature-rich contact form plugin. It is highly optimized and 100% mobile-friendly. 

Its drag and drop form builder helps you to easily create contact forms, feedback forms, e-mail subscription forms, etc., without using a single line of code.


Jetpack WORDPRESS PLUGIN
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If you install an individual plugin for each feature, then chances are they might slow down your site. 

You don't want that at any cost, right?

Here comes the Jetpack plugin. 

  Jetpack is the ultimate toolkit for your site.

This plugin has over 5 million active installations and is a must-have for every blogger.

As the name indicates, Jetpack is a pack of incredible features that power your site with many functionalities. 

Jetpack provides you features like real-time site stats, related posts, spam filtering, protection from brutal attacks, social media sharing, and notifies you via email when your site goes down. 


BROKEN LINK CHECKER WORDPRESS PLUGIN
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Did you ever click on a link, and it says 404 error or page not found? 

That's an example of a broken link. When a user clicks on a link but instead of opening up a source page, it shows an error.

Broken links can badly affect your google rankings and the user experience of your site. So make sure to check and fix them.

It can take hours to manually go through each post and page to locate where a link is broken. 

But no one has time for that. Right?

Instead, install the Broken Link Checker plugin and let it do the job for you.

The broken link checker plugin automatically inspects and detects all the broken internal and external links on your website and notifies you instantly to fix them.


 REDIRECTION WORDPRESS PLUGIN
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Redirection is a way for your website to send a quick message to your reader’s browser and search engines to tell them that a page has been permanently relocated to a new URL.

Sounds confusing? Let me put it in simple words. 

Suppose you delete an old post or change the URL of a post. If you don't redirect the URL, when the users click on the link, they will find a 404 error.

It also affects your Google rankings. You can lose traffic 

Redirection is the appropriate plugin to manage all the redirects on your site. It allows you to point the users to a new post or page.


Final Words

I really hope you found this list of 10 must-have WordPress plugins for your blog to be helpful.

Now Over to you.

What plugins are you using on your blog? And if you know of any must-have WordPress plugins that should be on this list, don't hesitate to let us know in the comments below.

It means a lot if you’d share this post with anyone who’d benefit from it. Thanks in advance. 

Your blog is ready to rock. Keep Blogging!

10 FREE & MUST-HAVE PLUGINS FOR YOUR WEBSITE
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Hi! I’m Rupi Dhindsa, the founder and author of Here She Blogs. My aim is to provide authentic information about various topics related to Blogging, Pinterest Marketing & Technology, etc.

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