WordPress has what seems to be an unlimited amount of plugins to do everything imaginable on your website. No matter what you’re looking for, WordPress likely has several, free plugins that can get the job done. But not all free plugins are created equal and installing a bad plugin could have bad consequences.
Before installing a plugin to your site, always make sure to check ratings, reviews and that the plugin is compatible with your version of WordPress. The higher the rating, the better. Below are a few free plugins that we recommend and use.
1. Wordfence Security
Wordfence continuously patrols your site and prevents hackers from trying to access it. It scans your site regularly for any common threats and alerts you via email if you need to update a plugin, a theme file, or if someone attempted to gain access to your admin panel. It also includes a great caching plugin that makes your site load faster.
2. WP Spam Shield
WP Spam Shield helps eliminate comment, trackback and form spam on your site without the use of captchas. It supports almost every type of WordPress form and plugin and works silently in the background of your site. No more sifting through spam comments.
Jetpack is a great plugin because it does a variety of different things so you don’t have to install multiple plugins. Our favorite features are the ones for visitor engagement and social interactions. Jetpack makes it easy to share your blog posts on social networks, include your twitter feed on your site or share your posts via email.
4. Contact Form 7
Contact Form 7 is the best free contact form for WordPress out there. This plugin makes it super easy to build, customize and add forms to your site and works well with several other popular plugins.
5. WP Mail SMPT
Hosting providers configure their settings differently and sometimes emails sent from contact forms on your site don’t go through. WP Mail SMPT fixes this problem by configuring the wp_mail() function to use SMTP instead of mail(). It’s easy to configure and will make sure you receive all of your messages.