Top 25 Best Free WordPress Plugins for Every Website. You’ve probably heard the old adage ‘there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch‘. But, as much as I love Heinlein, in the world of WordPress, there actually is!
Best Free WordPress Plugins for Marketing and SEO
Whether you’re marketing by ranking your site in the SERPs or growing an email list, these free plugins can help to move the needle on your marketing efforts.
7. YOAST SEO
Active on more than five million sites, and with an impressive 4.8-star rating on more than 27,000 reviews, Yoast SEO is the de facto SEO plugin for most WordPress sites — WinningWP included.
This free plugin can handle all of the important aspects of your site’s on-page SEO — from controlling your titles and meta descriptions to creating XML sitemaps — and it can even help you to analyze your content for SEO optimization and readability.
All in all, there’s a reason why Yoast SEO is one of the most popular WordPress plugins in existence.
At some point while you’re running your site, you’re probably going to want to change the URL of a post or page. It happens to all of us.
When that happens, you’ll need a way to redirect traffic from the old post to the new post.
That’s what Redirection does.
It gives you a graphical interface where you can easily manage all of your site’s 301 redirects — which is a lot more user-friendly than trying to dig into your .htaccess file every time you want to add a new redirect.
You can also get creative with your redirects — such as conditionally redirecting someone based on whether or not they’re logged in — and all of this is available for free from a responsive developer who works at Automattic.
9. PRETTY LINKS
If you use affiliate marketing on your WordPress site, you know how ugly affiliate links can be.
Pretty Links lets you change that by cloaking affiliate links using your own domain.
For example, cloaking is why any affiliate links you see here at WinningWP use the format ‘winningwp.com/ref/product_name‘.
If you want, you can even track how many clicks each link receives.
10. BROKEN LINK CHECKER
As your site ages, it’s invariably going to pick up broken links. By broken links, I mean either internal links or external links that no longer go where they’re supposed to.
Broken Link Checker can help you to automatically catch these links by scanning all of your internal or external links. Then, you can easily update all of the broken links to ensure your visitors have a great experience.
This plugin recently picked up new life thanks to an acquisition by an established developer, WPMU DEV, which means it should be set for continued usefulness in 2021 and beyond.
*While Broken Link Checker is a great plugin, I recommend that you leave it disabled when not in use to avoid any performance hits.
11. SHARED COUNTS
There are a lot of great social media share button plugins, so it’s hard to choose just one. But if I had to recommend one free option, it would be Shared Counts. It’s not the most feature-rich sharing plugin, but it includes all the popular networks and it has one big advantage — performance. It’s the most lightweight free social sharing plugin that I’ve found.
Additionally, while it’s not quite as popular as other plugins, it comes from two established and well-respected WordPress developers — Bill Erickson and Jared Atchison. It also has a near-perfect 4.9-star rating on its 22+ reviews.
If you need access to more social share networks, you can consider a plugin such as AddToAny — the downside is that it won’t be as lightweight from a performance perspective.
12. MC4WP (MAILCHIMP FOR WORDPRESS)
If you want to build an email list, you can find a lot of great email marketing services, but one of the biggest names — and one that also offers a generous free plan — is Mailchimp.
To help you to build your Mailchimp list on WordPress, you can use the massively popular MC4WP (Mailchimp for WordPress) plugin. This plugin is active on more than two million sites, has an impressive 4.8-star rating on over 1,300 reviews, and makes it easy to create great-looking opt-in forms for your Mailchimp newsletter.
You can learn how to use this plugin, as well as Mailchimp in general, in our big guide on how to set up a newsletter for your WordPress site.
After you’ve used the above plugins to boost your site’s SEO and social media, you’ll want a way to actually analyze how all of your marketing efforts are doing.
That’s where MonsterInsights comes in. It helps you to not only install the Google Analytics tracking code on your WordPress site, but also to view data from Google Analytics without leaving your WordPress dashboard.
And, if you want, it can even help you to track your visitors’ actions — such as which buttons and links they click the most.