Free Essential Plugins for WordPress

By Responsive DAD     |

Plugins are what makes WordPress CMS very unique. There is a plugin that extends every possible functionality that you can think of. Whether it be Security, SEO, Indexing, forms you name it. As a web development firm and having specialized in WordPress we have been constantly involved with client’s custom needs and plugins they might be familiar or easy to work with. In our 10+ years of working with clients we have witnessed evolution and flexibility of plugins used in WordPress and WordPress core itself making it easy to develop plugins.

Below we list down some of the best free plugins available in the market that we have treasured and why we think they are the best. Not in any order of prominence (links to the plugins are in the title of each) we have:

1) AddThis

Share your posts, content types and media to the world and bring in some site traffic and appreciation. This is gold, you will not only love this easy plugin but it will work for you in sharing to almost all social media sites providing some live traffic to your site. We use it on client blogs because it is easy to work with and has short codes to help place social icon widgets at custom locations on the template files.
Why we think it’s good:

  • Easy installation and idiot proof usage.
  • Resizing widgets to all resolutions(Responsive).
2) Broken Link Checker

This plugin gives you all the broken links of your website, very handy. As you know that the SEO is effected by broken links and the time taken to manually search and find 404 linking errors is exponential (when you consider a blog with 10,000 posts its impossible.)

This plugin does the hard work for you, it reports in a timely span of all links that are broken and redirects. Additionally you can add custom css to broken to let know the readers, ahead, that the links are broken. Why we think it’s good:

  • Very easy to use, brings all information into tables and can navigate through the listed links easily.
  • Provides bulk action to unlink or relink when you don’t care about the broken links.
  • SEO friendly, because you need SEO for site traffic (who doesn’t?)
3) Contact Form 7

Whether it be a simple enquiry form or it be so complex that you need many fields, compatibility with security measures, auto generated mails etc.. There’s one fine plugin that fits the bill (even though its free, get it?) – Its CF7. From time immemorial it’s been the first choice of form plugin that has all the required features and still hold the custom themes.
Why we think it’s good:

  • Responsive and easy validation.
  • 5+ million active installs (because that’s a huge market)
  • Customization and compatibility.

This one is from the team, it comes a treasure-trove of functionality for a novice to mid-range blogger/Web developer. Very easy to understand and use; they come packaged in most WordPress servers.
Why we think it’s good:

  • Site stats and analytics
  • Automatic sharing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Reddit, and WhatsApp
  • Related posts


  • Brute force attack protection
  • Downtime and uptime monitoring
  • Secured logins and two-factor authentication


  • A high-speed CDN for your images
  • Carousels, slideshows, and tiled galleries
  • Simple embeds from YouTube, Google Documents, Spotify and more
  • Sidebar customization including Facebook, Twitter, and RSS feeds
  • Extra sidebar widgets including blog stats, calendar, and author widgets
  • Email subscriptions
  • Comment login with Facebook, Twitter, and Google
  • Fully-customizable contact forms
  • Infinite scroll for your posts
5) Pods

Custom content types and custom fields are a nightmare and pain in the rear to handle for most developers. Either they use custom functions to generate some or use a paid plugin. Pods is a no-money answer to this. It is very likely the best at what it does, ie, create custom types and fields to any of available types.

When working with pods, you do it in forms and hence very ease. You can manage locations of viewing or get pods template that works in sync with pods core to create amazing website with fraction of time.
Why we think it’s good:

  • Fast prototypes of the website
  • Small learning curve
  • Compatibility and Customization is huge
6) Relevanssi

Has the default search stopped working or you are not able to custom define where you want and don’t want your visitors to search, well relevanssi has your search issues cleared. Get searches on large databases quickly and added functionalities like fuzzy search, suggetions etc.
Why we think it’s good:

  • As above plugins this plugin is easy to setup, because WordPress is being generous at that.
  • Custom searching your website with excerpt generation and short codes.
  • An easy documentation and fix to almost all issues you may hit.
7) W3 Total Cache

Speed of website is proportional to conversion rates. This is because your SEO and networking guides your prospects to the landing page, and if that loads slower than …(some idiom here) the visitors won’t be happy. So a quick and easy cut towards speed is what W3 total cash provides. It provides many techniques to speed up your website., especially that awesome landing page with those heavy media that you painstakingly created to impress.

What we like is the install and forget about it way this plugin works, it’s so synced to WordPress; and once in a while a scan is required.

What we like Why we think it’s good:

  • Innumerate and advanced technique used to speed that awesome site.
  • Compatibility and works well with other plugins
8) Yoast SEO

Are you suffering from poor SEO scores? Are you trashed down by that super site that gets paid backlinks? Do you love cats? Then look no further Yoast and his incredible plugin is at your aid. You get high end tools that will top your SEO and Client generation like no other. Like W3 total cache it is a plugin that requires some to no tending. It is very good as it takes all measures that the prominent google analytics algorithm analyses to improve your traffic.
Why we think it’s good:

  • Very in depth study of your website and suggest improvements
  • Easy editing of sitemap and robot.txt files. And keyword generation
  • When you want quick and dirty method to solve low SEO grades. This is just what you need.

If nothing works or if you got problems or suggestions visit our team of experts at: