25 Best FREE WordPress Plugins of 2021 (and when to use them)

With over 50,000 WordPress plugins available, there are a lot to sort through! We’ve done a lot of digging, and have found the cream of the crop for you. We already gave you our list of top most essential WordPress plugins. Now here is our list of of the Best WordPress plugins, which we install on our sites most often, and all of these are FREE!

We’ve done our best to find the plugins which have the best feature, with the most functionality for free. Some of them are freemium (offer a “pro” version), but many of them are completely free and open source.

  1. Autoptimize
    • Minify and combine your JS and CSS files.
  2. Cache Enabler
  3. WP Force SSL & HTTPS Redirect
    • Along with an SSL certificate, this plugin will ensure all traffic to your site stays secure.
    • A great thing about this plugin is that it can enable HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) – HSTS is a web security policy mechanism that helps to protect your site against protocol downgrade attacks and cookie hijacking. This is a feature that other SSL plugins charge a premium fee for.
    • Another interesting fact is that Google will boost the search ranking of sites with HTTPS.
    • Secure your site a secure certificate! Please note, all of AccelerHosting’s plans come with FREE SSL Certificates.
  4. Rank Math
    • We like this over other popular options (such as Yoast) because it offers more for free, such as tracking multiple keywords for search optimization.
  5. Loginizer
    • Protect your site from brute force attacks.
  6. WP Broken Link Status Checker
    • To check for external broken links.
  7. Redirection
    • Helps you look for and automatically redirect so you do not end up with internal broken links (though Rank Math can help with this too).
  8. Safe SVG
    • Great if you want to use Scalable Vector Graphics, which we highly recommend.
  9. Brizy
  10. WooCommerce
  11. HurryTimer
    • Best free evergreen countdown timer.
  12. WP Scraper
    • Great for moving content from your old site.
  13. Post Type Switcher
    • Switch from Post to Page types easily.
  14. Ninja Tables
    • To make your tables look beautiful.
    • Or another Tables plugin like TablePress
  15. Instant Images (Unsplash) 
    • For free, Royalty free images.
  16. Feedzy RSS Aggregator 
    • Aggregate RSS feeds from other sites onto your site.
  17. Custom Codes
    • Add global Javascript, CSS or PHP to your website with a professional looking code editor, that even has a dark mode! We admit we’re suckers for code editors withdark mode.
  18. Pods – Custom Content Types and Fields
    • Advanced custom post/content types with custom fields and relational content that is bi-directional.
    • This one is VERY powerful, and completely free open source, with a big community behind it!
  19. The Event Calendar
  20. BuddyForms
    • Easy form builder (like another alternative Caldera Forms).
    • Add on available for Pods.
    • Alternatively: Forminator.
      • Forminator has a lot of form building functionality for free that other plugins charge money for. It even allows you to accept payments!
  21. Paid Memberships Pro
  22. Content Views – Post Grid & Filter for WordPress
  23. Themify Popup
    • Make custom popups, including exit intent.
  24. Structured Content
    • Easily make FAQ Snippets.
  25. Easy Table of Contents
    • Quickly make a table of contents for you post that will anchor link to it’s different sections.

Bonus WordPress Plugins:

  • WOOF
    • WooCommerce Products Filtering
  • TableOn
    • WordPress posts in a table, with filters!
  • Dark Mode
    • Ok, we couldn’t resist trowing in a bonus: If the WordPress admin panel is too bright for you, try Dark Mode!
  • WebP Converter for Media
    • Great for image optimization
  • Code Snippets
    • Override code from you theme, in some cases negating the need for a child-theme.
  • Child Theme Configurator
    • If you end up really needing to customize your theme with a child theme, this tool will help you do it in the easiest way.
  • Featured Image in RSS
    • Strangely, the featured image of a post doesn’t show up by default in your RSS feed. If you find yourself wanting to have the featured image in your RSS feed, this plugin is your ticket!
  • Super Socializer
    • This plugin is great for adding social share buttons to your posts, and also allowing users to login with their social network of choice.
    • Note that some themes such as Blocksy have the sharing part already built in.
  • WPide
    • Turns WordPress into a code editor, even a full IDE (Integrated Development Environment) with revision history!
  • Display Posts Shortcode
    • Very handy if you want to display a list of your posts in a custom way.

Your Favorite WordPress Plugins?

Find some other WordPress plugins you like, that you think we’re missing in our list? Please drop us a comment blow, and we’ll try to add it. Thanks!

person waiting near laptop

Low Quality Plugins Can Slow Your Site

Keep in mind that activating too many plugins on your WordPress site can slow it down, especially of they are low quality or poorly written plugins. The plugins above were carefully selected, and are among the more performant plugins you can find, but keep in mind that the more plugins you have installed, the more code your site needs to run.

Faster Web Hosting

If your existing web host is not running fast enough, you may want to consider looking at some faster web hosts that are optimized for WordPress, such as AccelerHosting. In fact, some third party testing indicates that AccelerHosting ranks #1 among all of the top web hosts.

If you’re interested in finding more free WordPress Plugins you might also like to check out this video from Darryl. We find we quite often agree with him:

2 thoughts on “25 Best FREE WordPress Plugins of 2021 (and when to use them)”

  1. Hi,
    Good Collection of plugins here.
    I would like to suggest you one WordPress plugin which is Blog Designer. This plugin allows you to modify your blog layout and design. It has features such as Multiple Post Category Selection, Multilingual Translation Ready, Show/Hide Feature, Fully Responsive, etc.

    Reply

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