7 free WordPress plugins (must-have) for your website

WordPress is justifiably the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world. One reason for this: It is a free software. This list therefore provides you with seven free plugins that should not be missing on any WordPress site.

WordPress is free to download, install, use and customize. That’s part of the reason why the content management system is the basis for 30 percent of all websites and gathers a huge community behind it. Thanks to countless themes and plugins, no two sites are alike. But with currently over 58,000 plugins (in the official WordPress plugin repository alone), it’s hard to keep track.

You should be aware of what your website can do, should be able to do, and what features are absolutely necessary. After all, your website is your flagship and a great marketing channel that should offer your visitors a great experience. There tends to be far too many plugins installed on WordPress sites, which can have a negative impact on both website speed and security. Often, all it takes is a small snippet of code to solve a problem or address a requirement from a different perspective. However, the following seven WordPress plugins should not be missing from any website.

The top 7 WordPress plugins that any website should have

To make the decision between the countless plugins easier, you can expect in this blog post seven free plugins that should not be missing on a WordPress site. We will start with one of the most important aspects that should not be neglected on any website – security.

WordFence (Sicherheit)

The high popularity of WordPress makes the content management system one of the most attractive targets on the Internet for hackers and malware. After all, about a third of all websites run with the CMS. A security plugin is therefore mandatory. WordFence is the Swiss army knife among security solutions. The virus scanner scans your webspace for suspicious files, compares the version of the installed plugins with the WordPress server and blocks harmful access to your site with the integrated web application firewall. WordFence notifies you immediately if even the most minimal suspicious changes are made to files and reminds you to update outdated plugins. Most sites are well served by the free version, but those who want to monitor their site in real time often rely on the premium version of the plugin.

UpdraftPlus (Backup)

UpdraftPlus is one of the most popular plugins to make a backup of WordPress sites. Strangely enough, many people only deal with the topic of backups when their website has been hacked or all content and data is gone due to an error! The free plugin manually and automatically backs up your website. So you can rest assured that in case of a data loss the original state will be restored with a few clicks, moreover you can also use the backups to move your site to another web hosting provider. This saves time and nerves!

RankMath (SEO)

In order for your WordPress site to be found by Google (and other search engines), an SEO plugin is essential. A newcomer in this area is RankMath, a plugin that has picked up momentum quite quickly. It is not fundamentally different from Yoast SEO, which is also very popular, but in the meantime RankMath has taken the lead. It offers more features in the free version, feels faster, supports you with an intuitive setup wizard and gives you tips to help your website get found even better. In addition, the plugin also offers redirects, schema options, automatically creates XML sitemaps and lets you easily import all settings from Yoast SEO. A real must have!

RSS Chimp (RSS Feed)

RSS-Feeds sind mit der Einstellung des Google Reader und dem Aufkommen von Social Media ein wenig in den Hintergrund gerückt. Du solltest Deinen Feed dennoch nicht stiefmütterlich behandeln, denn noch immer schwören viele User darauf, um stets die neuesten Beiträge einer Webseite zu verfolgen. Mit RSS Chimp kannst Du Deinen RSS-Feed optimieren und automatisch das Titelbild Deiner WordPress-Beiträge einfügen. Was viele nicht Wissen: Du kannst Deinen Feed auch dazu verwenden, Deine Blogposts samt Bild automatisch als Newsletter zu verschicken oder direkt in den sozialen Medien zu posten. RSS Chimp bietet auch in der kostenlosen Version viele Möglichkeiten, um Deine Blogbeiträge samt Beitragsbild automatisch an Tools wie Feedly, Innoreader, Google News oder Flipboard auszuliefern und so mehr Besucherinnen und Besucher auf deine Webseite zu locken.

Contact Form 7 (Forms)

The Contact Form 7 plugin is used by over 5 million websites. With it, you can manage numerous contact forms, customize them with markups and even integrate a checkbox for terms and conditions or data protection. In addition, the plugin is GDPR compliant, does not use cookies, send data via external servers or track your users. CF7 can also be configured even better to your needs with many (mostly free) addons. The only downside is that the user interface is very spartan, which may discourage you at first and is not as intuitive as the competition. However, you have nothing to lose by trying it out, because Contact Form 7 is completely free and can be used on an infinite number of sites.

W3 Total Cache (Caching)

With the free plugin W3 Total Cache you can reduce the loading time of your website, provide a better user experience and even be ranked higher in Google. The plugin is open source and offers all important functions already in the free basic version. The backend offers so many settings that it can be a bit cluttered and can be daunting for beginners.

Compress JPEG & PNG images (Image compression)

When it comes to loading times, the image size is crucial. The plugin Compress JPEG & PNG images automatically compresses images during upload, in the background and if necessary also all existing images on your WordPress site. The images are compressed in the cloud, which does not burden your server and the performance of your site unnecessarily. Therefore you have to register once, after that you have 500 compressions per month for free. The plugin also supports WooCommerce and can automatically scale unnecessarily large images to save disk space.