Since WordPress is one of the powerful CMS, I would like to share with you some of the top FREE WordPress plugins that I used along the way of my WordPress development experience.
First thing first, before you know about plugins, you should know that your website performance heavily depends on your hosting. I would recommend to check SiteGround. Not only these have best customer service, they also have very affordable plans for startups. On the top of that you will get built in cache, CDN, SSL, backups and many top notch features.
Coming back on plugins, once you have best hosting & themes installed, now it is perfect time to focus on plugins to fully optimize your website performance. In following section, I’ll be discussing some of the top notch FREE plugins you should consider installing:
1. Yoast WordPress SEO
SEO is an important factor for your WordPress website success. This is a must have for any web developer, content marketer, and website owner. If you has not setup your SEO strategy properly, you are probably losing tons of search engine traffic. With Yoast WordPress SEO, you can optimize your website SEO with precision. It is one of the all time best SEO plugin for WordPress. Check it out here.
WordPress resources like HTML, JS, and CSS optimization is very critical for page load times. Resources optimization is one of the tough job considering the number of resources WordPress websites mostly use.
Autoptimize does a magic for you! It brings your website page load times to the next level. It concatenates all scripts and styles, minifies and compresses theme, add expires headers, caches them, and move styles to the page header and can move scripts to the footer.
By default, it also minifies the HTML source code by removing extra lines, comments, and compressing it o make your website really lightweight. There are advanced options and an API available for further optimization.
I strongly recommend installing this plugins. Check it out more.
3. WP Smush
WP Smush is all about your pictures optimization to speed up your website by making it lightweight. I recommend first resize your image, use compressor.io to compress the image and finally use WP Smush to give final bit of compression that is needed. We published a complete guide article on this – Why to optimize images for your WordPress blog. It is a must read article if you’re facing slow page load issues.
4. BulletProof Security
WordPress security is critical. You can be exposed to vulnerabilities easily if you’re not paying proper attention on this. BulletProof Security provides rock solid security protection in terms of firewall security, login security, database security, idle session auto logout, and many more features. You must consider installing this plugin.
Use WP-Optimize to clean up the database on regular basis. It will help to optimize your database performance. It also cleans up post revisions, spam comments, optimize database table and much more. I recommend this plugin. We are using this at WPPaid to regularly cleaning up database what we don’t need anymore.
6. Google Webfont Optimizer
As name applies, Google Webfont Optimizer is best suited to optimize Google Fonts delivery for your website usage. It finds every Google Fonts request, bulks them all together so your website only asks once for Fonts to Google instead of multiple requests.
It is an important factor for your website speed and for search engine ranking. You should install this plugin for sure.
7. W3 Total Cache
Last but not least must have plugins is caching plugin. W3 Total Cache is one of the best and very flexible FREE plugin which optimize your WordPress website performance by cache page or article requests. The supported caching methods so far are: browser, page, object, database, minify and support content delivery network.
W3 Total Cache boots the user experience of your website by increasing server performance, reducing the download time, and providing transparent content delivery network (CDN) .
There are so many awesome free and premium WordPress plugins which makes it really difficult to decide what one should use. It would be biased if I say above are the all time best FREE must have WordPress plugins.
I just tried to collect few of the best FREE WordPress plugins. Above analysis is totally based on our own experience playing with different WordPress plugins.
I hope you find this article useful for your WordPress website. You may also want to see our collection of 13 Best drag and drop WordPress page builder plugins.