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10 of the best free WordPress plugins

best free wordpress plugins

This article is a great resource with some of the best WordPress plugins you can implement in your website. I’ve already tested many of them personally and others are recommended by colleagues.

You probably will not have enough time to look at everything at once, so it might be a good idea to save the article or bookmark it, so that you can come again later when you need free wordpress plugins.

We will start with my favorite plugins and finish with a few security plugins that are vital for any WordPress website.

w3 total cache

#1 – W3 Total Cache – one of my favorite wordpress plugins. If you ask me, every WordPress site must use caching. There are many plugins created with this purpose, but I recommend you to use this one.

W3 Total Cache is an intelligent tool for increasing your site speed, by providing countless configuration options. It improves the user experience of your site by increasing server performance, reducing the download times and providing transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration.

The plugin can generate too much inodes and might exceed your hosting limits. It may cause problems with your hosting provider who will want you to go upgrade your plan.

#2 Comments Evolved – great comments plugin. You can add Google plus, facebook, disqus, wordpress and other comments at once with ease. Users chose which comments platform to use by clicking on the relevant icon.

comments evolved wordpress

#3 OnePress Social Locker – this is a very effective plugin to increase your website traffic. If you offer valuable content to your website visitors, this plugin is a perfect option. It makes users to “pay” with like or share for the value of the content they read.

social locker

Many times I have been tempted to use this plugin, because I think that my articles deserve to be more shared. The thing that stops me is that I want to leave this optional, not to oblige someone pay for the content they read.

What this plugin does is to lock part of the article and only after you share it, like it, +1 or tweet it, you can read the rest of that article. You can also hide a video or a download link for example.

I recently wrote a tutorial about how to create a facebook Like to Show Content, by using the facebook PHP or javascript SDK. With some imagination you can create similar plugin on your own.

wp-socializer wordpress

#4 WP Socializer – have you noticed the moving like, tweet and +1 buttons on the left. That is achieved thanks to this plugin.

With WP Socializer you can insert all kinds of social buttons in posts and pages. You can also use shortcodes for all buttons. Try it.

#5 Public Post Preview – this is extremely useful plugin that let’s you to give a link to specific users for public preview of a post before it is published.

Honestly, I was looking for such plugin a few weeks ago and I couldn’t find. Luckily I found this one accidentally before writing this article.

Briefly it gives you a special link to your article draft, which you can send to someone to review the article before you publish it. This person shouldn’t even be a registered user in your website. He just opens the unique link and reads the article before it is being officially published.

#6 Aesop Story Engine – this plugin is a suite of open-sourced tools and components that empower developers and writers to build feature-rich, interactive, long-form storytelling themes for WordPress. It adds a button above your visual editor and is pretty simple to use. The plugin works soft and can add to your content some very effective stuff.

aesop story engine

As you can see in the above picture, you can enrich your article with image plus attached to it popup function, quote, super easy video upload with a description below. You can even embed a PDF with option for direct reading. Not to forget the option for creating the modern parallax effect.

Parallax gravity landing page builder

#7 Parallax Gravity – this plugin offers you the opportunity to create unlimited parallax landing pages. With Parallax Gravity you can add a few different content sections in one single page. For each section you can create different background, add different content and etc. The plugin works with shortcodes.

dw question and answer

#8 DW Question & Answer – with this plugin your website will have a full-featured Question & Answer section like Stack Overflow, Quora or Yahoo Answers. Your users will be able to ask questions, search by filter, and get answers from other users. They will be also able to vote, comment and find the best answer for their questions.

This is one of the best question and answer type plugins. It’s even better than the paid alternatives. You can also watch the intro video:

#9 WP-DBManager – another amazing plugin that allows me to optimize database, repair database, backup database, restore database, delete backup database , drop/empty tables and run selected queries. Supports automatic scheduling of backing up, optimizing and repairing of database.

Have you noticed that every time you click on update post, it is saved as a revision in your mySQL. If your database is not optimised, this can slow down your WordPress site.

Let’s first delete the old versions of your articles – install the plugin wp-dbmanager, go to the MySQL section and type the following command:

DELETE FROM wp_posts WHERE post_type = "revision"; 

In that way you will quickly delete all additional tables, without having to PhpMyAdmin.

#10 Social Metrics – with this plugin you can easily monitor the number of social shares of your articles. You can quickly find out which of your articles perform best in the social channels and in that way understand which content is most valued by the readers.

social metrics wordpress

Of course there are much more incredible wordpress plugins that are worth to write about. Don’t forget to mention in the comments below your favorite plugins that you use in your websites. It would be really interesting to find out about your personal experience.

Expect soon a new article with the Best WordPress Security Plugins.

This article is a great resource with some of the best WordPress plugins you can implement in your website. I've already tested many of them personally and others are recommended by colleagues. You probably will not have enough time to look at everything at once, so it…

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About Georgi Dyulgerov

Georgi Dyulgerov

Founder of fTutorials.com - the website aiming to keep you in touch with the latest technologies in the brand. Also a Freelance web developer.

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