Best WordPress Plugins & Themes

Must Have Plugins and Themes for any WordPress Website Add Security, Speed, and Functionality

best free wordpress plugins

Best Free WordPress Plugins We Recommended

So you’ve installed WordPress and you’re looking for the Best Free WordPress Plugins to get started with.

With  years of WordPress development experience, over 1,000 WordPress websites developed, custom themes and plugins we’ve been able to play with more plugins than you can shake a stick at. This question has come up time and time again, “What plugins do you recommend I install first?”.

Must Have Plugins:

W3 Total Cache – Recommended for speed enhancement and caching.

  • The Swiss Army knife of caching and performance plugins, W3 handles everything from page caching to Content Delivery Networks and file minification. If those terms mean nothing to you, don’t install this yet – read this primer on speeding up WordPress and configuring W3 Total Cache.

WordFence Security – Recommended for keeping your WordPress installation safe and secure.

  • Completely free WordPress security suite – firewall, malware scanning, strong password enforcement, plugin and theme repairs. If you’ve had problems in the past or aren’t confident of where your theme or plugins come from, it’s worth giving your site a thorough scan. In most cases though, as long as you keep WordPress and plugins up to date (WordPress updates itself automatically now anyway), you probably won’t need this.

WordPress SEO by Yoast – A must have for Search Engine Optimization

  • Industry standard and essential install for every website. Extensive feature set, including XML sitemap generation and indexing control of archives.

JetPack – Made by WordPress and includes Form Builder, Social Sharing and much more…

  • Lots of features from the team behind WordPress themselves, all rolled into a single handy plugin – includes stats, gravatar hovercards, grammar checker, recent tweets widget and much more. Opinions are divided on JetPack – some people love it, but it’s a big resource hog and will significantly slow down your site, so be sure to weigh up the actual value you’ll get from this.

Bulk Comments Management – The best way to remove and kill comments sitewide!

  • This plugin allows administrators to globally delete comments (spam, trash, unapproved comments), enable/disable comments on all posts.

Best Free WordPress Plugins:

Print Friendly and PDF Button – Easily make pages print friendly.

  • Not all themes are ideal for printing – install this plugin to automatically make PDF and printer friendly versions, utilizing the free PrintFriendly service.

Leaflet Maps – Great for resource maps

  • When working with small businesses, one of the most common requests is to add a map to the page – but there are lots of other ways a custom map can be useful, too. Leaflet Maps is simple, free, and works with any maps data source you can think of – not just Google. Define custom markers with photos or choose from a wide range of included icons.

Mailpoet Newsletters – Our #1 Recommended Newsletter WordPress Plugin.

  • Send newsletters, post notifications or autoresponders from WordPress easily, and beautifully.

EWWW Image Optimizer – For those of you who don’t compress your images, let EWWW take control.

  • The EWWW Image Optimizer is a WordPress plugin that will automatically and losslessly optimize your images as you upload them to your blog.

Google Analytics by Yoast – The easiest way to include your Google Analytics Code

  • This plugin makes it simple to add Google Analytics to your WordPress site, adding lots of features, e.g. error page, search result and automatic outgoing links and download tracking.

Our Favorite WordPress Themes

Divi by Elegant Themes

  • This has the Divi Builder built in, allows for some very dynamic layouts.
  • This is our go to theme as it’s the most flexible in layout design. We’ve built over a 1,000 sites using it.

Kadence Pro by Kadence Themes

Astra by Astra Themes

  • One of the highest rated themes out there, very flexible and very fast.
  • We haven’t used this theme much, but we have a handful of designers that use it on our servers and they like it.
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