Top Free Essential WordPress Plugins (2017 Edition)

By Jamie Duncan

formsteller_de / Pixabay

If you’re a small business owner looking for a cost effective solution to set up a web presence, you can’t do any better than WordPress. It’s the most widely used content management system in the world – it’s open source, has a huge support community and has some excellent free (and premium) themes which can be used straight out of the box. You can create a beautiful, functional, responsive website at a very low cost, with minimal knowledge of coding.

But the biggest reason I love WordPress is for the many thousands of fantastic, free plugins which can extend the functionality of your website. Everything from search engine optimization, marketing automation, image compression, security, spam protection, social media, marketing automation and much more.

I have a core selection of free WordPress plugins that I use for every web development project – they’re all free, and in my opinion are absolutely essential for getting the most out of your WordPress website. Here’s my full list of essential WordPress plugins (the 2017 version):

Yoast SEO

This plugin is an absolute must for on-site search engine optimization. Any business owner who is serious about ranking their website on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo, must make full use of this plugin. It allows you to very easily specify title tags and meta descriptions, but also analyse how well the pages on your site are optimised for your target keywords e.g. identifying the need for header tags, alt tags for images, keywords within the copy, as well as how well your copy reads and if there are enough words (minimum 300 per page is recommended). I addition to this, Yoast SEO automatically generates a sitemap which you can submit to Google Search Console to help index your website. It also allows you to easily associate your social media profiles with your site and set up Google Authorship.

WP Smush

Reducing the file size of your images is absolutely essential for improving your website’s speed. If your images are not compressed and the file sizes are too large, it can really slow down your page loading times and affect your user experience. WP Smush makes it very easy to compress your images – simply install the plugin and click to optimize all of the images in your media library in one go. The best part – it will automatically compress any new images you add to your website during the upload process, so you have absolutely nothing to worry about!

Page Builder by Site Origin

As a rule of thumb, I’m not a huge fan of Page Builders – many of them can be quite bloated and actually slow down your website. Page Builder by Site Origin is an exception – it’s lightweight, very user-friendly and allows users to easily add some advanced features to pages which can’t done with the standard WordPress WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor. For example columns, buttons, tables, accordions and Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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