These are the free WordPress plugins must have in 2023.
- 1. Backup your Website
- 2. WordPress Security
- 3. Search Engine Optimization
- 4. WordPress Optimization
- 5. Audience Engagement
- 6. e-commerce – Sell Online
1. Backup your Website
Speak to your hosting company. A good hosting company will backup your website every 24 hours.
2. WordPress Security
There might be hacking attempts on your website and plugins can also have issues. You want your website to be as safe as possible.
Wordfence Security – Anti-virus, Firewall and Malware Scan. There is a free version as well as a pro version. Wordfence by Wordfence
3. Search Engine Optimization
You want to make sure that people find your website and therefore one needs to have to have some type of SEO tool(s) installed.
3.1 Yoast SEO
The first true all-in-one SEO solution for WordPress, including on-page content analysis, XML sitemaps and much more. There is a free version as well as a pro version. Yoast SEO
3.2 CDN – Content Delivery Network
CDN is a secure, scalable system of servers that store (cache) website content closer to end users.
CDN acts as a temporary house for your website’s content. When a customer visits your domain, CDN:
- Compresses your web files to improve load times.
- Locates the nearest available server, delivering cached content to your end user, directly at the edge.
Talk to the company that hosts your website. I use the CDN provided by Xneelo, the company I host my websites with.
4. WordPress Optimization
Make sure your website is optimized and as fast loading as possible.
Google prioritises fast websites. Google uses PageSpeed as a ranking factor.
4.1 Seraphinite Accelerator (Extended, limited)
Turns on site high speed to be attractive for people and search engines. By Seraphinite Solutions
4.2 Image Optimization – Image optimisation service by Optimole
Complete handling of your website images. By Optimole
4.3 Image Optimization – FREE Online Tools
These are not plugins. These are FREE online tools for you to optimize your images before uploading them to your website.
5. Audience Engagement
5.1 Web Push Notifications
It allows you to communicate with your customers after they leave your website using browser push notification technology. For example when you post a new Blog or a new product visitors subscribed to the web push notifications on your website will be notified of your new product, new blog post, etc…
Webpushr Push Notifications by Webpushr Web Push Notifications.
5.2 Email Marketing
Content marketing helps build your brand, drive customer engagement and increase revenue. The MailChimp Free Plan includes up to 500 contacts.
Embed a MailChimp ‘Subscribe’ widget on your website.
5.3 Search – SearchWP
By default, WordPress doesn’t make all your content searchable. That’s frustrating, because it leaves your visitors unable to find what they are looking for!
SearchWP Ajax Search indexes everything including posts, text files, PDF files and custom tables. By SearchWP, LLC. 1 minute setup and super easy!
Get more traffic!
- Downtime monitoring – Get alerts if your site goes offline. Jetpack will let you know when it’s back up, too (excellent!)
- Protect your website from spam with ‘Akismet’ (Akismet forms part of Jetpack) (cannot do without it!). Akismet by Automattic
- Allow users to log in to your site using WordPress.com accounts
- Enable the option to copy entire posts and pages, including tags and settings (very handy!)
- Very useful Gutenberg Blocks such as Contact Form, RSVP, Registration, Feedback and other Forms (excellent)
- Make extra widgets available for use on your site including subscription forms and Twitter streams
- Enable widget visibility controls to display widgets only on particular posts or pages
- Automatically share your posts to social networks
- Add sharing buttons to your posts and pages (excellent!)
- Add Like buttons to your posts and pages
- Let visitors use a WordPress.com, Twitter, or Facebook account to comment (save your visitors’ time)
- Enable pop-up business cards over commenters’ Gravatars (excellent!)
- Let visitors subscribe to new posts and comments via email
- Enable the “subscribe to site” option on your comment form
- Enable the “subscribe to comments” option on your comment form
- Sitemaps – generate XML sitemaps (Yoast SEO is better)
- Related posts – show related content after posts (excellent!)
- Jetpack Stats (excellent!)
5.5 Spectra – WordPress Gutenberg Blocks
The Spectra extends the Gutenberg functionality with several unique and feature-rich blocks that help build websites faster. By Brainstorm Force.
6. e-commerce – Sell Online
WooCommerce is the most popular ecommerce plugin for WordPress by Automattic.
WooCommerce PayFast Gateway
Receive payments using the South African PayFast payments provider.