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Popular WordPress Plugins You Should Use (Free + Premium)

Without plugins, a WordPress website has very limited functionality. Officially, there are more than 55,000 plugins and about 50,000+ outside but you need only a few of them and useful plugins are listed here category wise.

Popular WordPress Plugins Category:

  • Security.
  • SEO.
  • Mailing List.
  • Social Media.
  • Cache.

You should avoid using unnecessary plugins because it may increase your blog loading speed and other security-related issues.

WordPress Security Plugins:

WordPress is an open-source CMS (Content Management System) and it is very likely to get attacked by hackers each day. Therefore, I have listed some of the best security WordPress plugins here.

1. Wordfence:Wordfence WordPress security plugin

Wordfence is one of the best WordPress security plugins which is free of cost for the basic features and also available in the paid version.

Cost: Free and Paid(1 site $99/year)

Features:

  • Free to use for as many sites as you need.
  • Monitors visits and hack attempts in real-time including origin, their IP address, the time of day, and time spent on your site.
  • Tracks and alerts you about breached password usage so you can create a new strong password immediately.
  • Protects from brute force attacks with limiting failed login attempts.
  • Runs on your server instead of being cloud-based so could slow your site.
2. iThemes Security PROiThemes Security Pro

iThemes have other products than security plugins PRO, such as themes, backup buddy, etc, and “iThemes Security PRO” is one of the best WordPress security plugins.

Cost: $80/year.

Features:

  • You can enable login limit features.
  • Lockout suspicious IP that scans your site for the loophole.
  • Auto sends an email for any new updates for security reasons.
  • Enforce you to create a powerful password.
  • Whole site scan and notify you if there any error.
  • Two-factor authentication for an extra layer of security
3. Jetpack Security:Jetpack Security Plugin

Jetpack is all in one solution for WordPress sites. It offers security, backup, CRM services, and security is a top-rated service.

Cost: Free and Paid ($9/month)

Features:

  • Easy backup and one-click restore option.
  • Organize site activity and dashboard.
  • Auto email alert when the site goes down or any other security issues.
  • Protects your site against brute force login attacks, spam, and harmful malware.
  • CRM tool that manages auto marketing tasks.
  • Secure authentication through WordPress account.
  • Comments filtering.
  • Auto-updates your WordPress plugins.
4. Sucuri:Sucuri WordPress Plugin

Sucuri offers a solid free security plugin for WordPress. It has a lot of great features, like the comprehensive scanning module, easy security hardening, and help for hacked websites. Along with its monitoring tools, the plugin makes keeping your site safe quite easy.

Cost: Free and Paid ($199.99/year).

Features:

  • Clean your website if any malware is there.
  • Scan for any malware.
  • Block malicious traffic and improve your site performance.
  • Protects your website against SQL injection, XSS, and all known attacks.
  • Create a log detail of each activity of your site.
  • Firewall protection helps you block brute force and malicious attacks from accessing your WordPress site.
5. Shield Security:WordPress Shield Security Plugin

it has the highest average rating for any WP Security plugin. Easy-to-setup, but powerful protection blocks attacks and suspicious activity, but won’t lock you out. The shield is the must-have, free Security Solution for all your WordPress sites.

Cost: Free and Paid ($29/year).

Features:

  • Beautiful, Easy-To-Use Guided Wizards – help you configure Shield and run scans like a Pro.
  • Limit Login Attempts / Block Automatic Brute-Force Bots – all automatically.
  • Powerful Core File Scanners – automatically detects malicious file changes and hacks you’d never see.
  • Automatic IP Black List – no need for you to manage IPs!.
  • 2-Factor Authentication – including Google Authenticator and Email.
  • Block 100% Automated Comments SPAM.
  • Audit Trail & User Activity Logging.
  • reCAPTCHA.
  • Firewall.
  • Security Admin Users.
  • Block REST API / XML-RPC.
  • HTTP Headers.
  • Automatic Updates Control.
6. All In One WP Security & Firewall:All In One WP Security & Firewall

It’s easy (and free) to use All In One WP Security & Firewall to apply most WordPress best practices for security to your small business website. But the tool is pretty basic and not as beginner-friendly as the more well-known solutions.

Cost: Free.

Features:

  • Scans for malicious patterns.
  • IP filtering to block specific people and geographical locations.
  • Login lockdowns after failed login attempts.
  • View a list of locked out users to unlock individuals in just a few clicks.
  • A password strength tool to allow you to generate appropriately strong passwords.
  • User account monitoring.
  • A website-level firewall (but does lack a DNS-level firewall).
  • Lets you manually blacklist suspicious IP addresses.
7. BulletProof Security:BulletProof Security Plugin

BulletProof Security Plugin’s interface is not good as others but its security features are good enough to keep your WordPress website safe and it is free of cost.

Cost: Free.

Features:

  • A somewhat easy-to-use setup wizard.
  • Malware scanning and firewalls.
  • Database backups.
  • Login protection.
  • Email notifications with security logs when a user gets locked out from failed login attempts.
  • Idle session logouts.

These are the most popular and trustworthy WordPress security plugins and you can go with any of them to keep your website safe.

WordPress SEO Plugins:

It’s very hard to rank in SERP without optimizing at current scenario due to high competition almost in all the niches.

It doesn’t mean Plugins are the only option that helps you in ranking your content in SERP, but it helps you in many aspects and, you need only one, not a dozen plugins.

WAIT!

What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?

SEO is the process to improve the quality of your article/content to get into SERP without paying

Check out some of the best WordPress SEO plugins listed below.

1. Yoast SEO:WordPress Yoast SEO Plugins

Personally I really love Yoast SEO and I’m using it in this blog. It gives you an all in one SEO solution. You can add a custom excerpt/summary of your article, add a focus keyword, etc.

Yoast SEO automatically creates an XML sitemap that helps any search engine to crawl very easily.

Cost: Free and Paid ($89/year).

Features:

  • Automatically generate XML sitemaps and sync to Google Search Console.
  • Optimize meta titles and descriptions on pages and blog posts.
  • Apply meta robots tags (e.g. no-index, no-follow) to selected pages.
  • Customize canonicalization settings and redirect URLs.
  • Generate Open Graph data for sharing posts on social media.
2. All in One SEO Pack:WordPress All In SEO Pack Plugins

With more than two million downloads, “All In SEO Pack” is one of the best SEO plugins and the amazing part is, you no need to pay for its basic features.

It can also automatically generate and submit sitemaps to Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yandex, and other popular search engines, maximizing your presence on the web.

Cost: Free and Paid ($57/year).

Features:

  • XML Sitemap and Google Analytics support.
  • Automatic optimization of titles for all search engines.
  • Automatic generation of META tags.
  • Helps you avoid duplicate content, which can have a negative impact on search engine rankings.
  • Ability to override any setting.
3. Rank Math:WordPress Rank Math SEO Plugin

Rank Math is the best alternative to Yoast SEO. After installation, set up with the help of the setup wizard.

it contains Google Schema Rich Snippets Integration, Local SEO, Automated Image SEO, Keyword Ranking, Internal Linking Suggestions, and more.

The best part is that this plugin has been optimized for speed, making it fast so that your site’s speed isn’t affected. It also offers additional SEO features such as redirections, 404 monitoring, and SEO for WooCommerce sites.

Cost: Free and Paid(from Q3, 2020).

Here, I have listed the most popular WordPress SEO plugins only. There’s more in the market but believe me, you no need any other than listed here.

WordPress Mailing List Building Plugins:

The proactive approach is the best way to retain your customer and this mail list will help you with email marketing.

Start email list building from the very first day as it’s not an overnight job.

Today we will discuss some of the popular email list building WordPress plugins that help you to reach more audiences.

What is the Mail list building?

Mail list building is the practice of collecting email addresses who sign up from contact form.

A mailing list building should have the following features:

All mail list building plugins cannot be the same. They may have different price, features, design, etc. Therefore, it’s better to have at least essential features.

  1. Analytics: After collecting the user’s data, the plugin should have better analytical features to extract useful information for email marketing.
  2. Ease of use: Interface should be simple and easy to navigate all the available features. No one likes complex UI that causes to affect your productivity.
  3. Integration: Mail list building plugin should not be limited to building an email list only but it should able to integrate with all the major email service providers.
  4. Customization: Personally, I always like my own made template and there should be an option to create your own custom mail list building template.
  5. Advanced Functionality: Advanced functionality such as retargeting, exit intent, popup forms, and other triggers are great for getting people to sign up at the last second.
  6. Support: Support is an essential feature to look for before deciding which solution is right for you. 24/7 support over multiple channels such as email, phone, and live chat is ideal.

Best WordPress Mailing List Plugins

Check out some of the most popular WordPress mail list building plugins. Out of these many, use only one plugin for building an email list.

1. Optin Monster:WordPress OptinMonster Plugin

Optinmonster comes with the complete mail list building solution. It’s a very popular plugin with more than one million downloads.

Cost: Paid ($9/month).

Features:

  • 2-Step Optins Convert any link or image into an optin form.
  • Geo-location targeting.
  • Custom success message.
  • Drag and drop custom template builder.
  • 26+ attention-grabbing animation and sound effects.
  • Mobile-Friendly Popups for smartphones and tablets.
2. Thrives Leads:WordPress Thrive Leads Plugin

Thrive leads top when it comes to WordPress mail list building plugins. It’s a visual editor interface, so you no need to be a coder/developer to configure your template.

You can add mail form anywhere in the article whether at the center, bottom of the article.

Cost: Paid ($19/month).

Features:

  • A/B test elements that help you to choose the right template.
  • Create a popup lightbox, sticky header ribbon, in-line form within your content, content lock, screen filler, scroll mat, or slide-in form.
  • Easy to use dashboard for managing entries and analytics.
  • Enable 2-step opt-in functionality to reduce spam
    Customize colors, images, backgrounds, layouts, fonts, and fields.
  • Integration with popular email providers like MailChimp, ConvertKit, and Drip.
  • Use Smart Analytics to compare opt-in forms, learn where leads come from, discover the content that produces the most leads, and much more.
3. Optin Forms:WordPress Optin Forms Plugin

Optin Forms is a free mail list building plugin by fancythemes and it’s a very effective one.

It’s a very simple and easy to configure the plugin, withing 5 minutes, you can create a beautiful template.

Optin Forms supports seven email marketing services: AWeber, iContact, GetResponse, Interspire, MailChimp, ConvertKit, and MadMimi.

Cost: Free.

4. Ninjaforms:WordPress Ninjaforms plugin

Another popular mail list building plugin by WP ninjas. With over 1 million downloads, it is one of the most used plugins updates that come on a regular basis.

Cost: Paid ($49/year with 50% discount).

WordPress Social Media Plugins:

Believe it or not, social media is a core part of your business/blogging or any other profession now. It has great potential to reach masses.

Most of the readers are connected to at least one social media and enabling sharing option, your audience can share quickly as a result, you’ll reach to more users.

Also, don’t mess by adding unnecessary social media button, add only essential ones. Below are the most used social media plugins.

1. Social Snap:WordPress Social Snap Plugins

Social snap has more than 30 popular social networks and the user experience is awesome. You can place it anywhere in your post. Social snap lets you put shortcode as well.

You can also edit your social media metadata to control how your content looks when it’s shared and view in-dashboard analytics to see how often your content is being shared and your best-performing content.

Cost: Free and Paid ($27, 30% discount).

Features:

  • Social Snap offers several design styles for Click to Tweet boxes to help match your site’s design.
  • It Suggests Accounts to Follow.
  • Track real-time user sharing data to analyze it in depth.
  • Track top-performing posts.
2. Sassy Social Share:Sassy Social Share

Sassy Social Share is a simple yet powerful plugin that is totally free of cost.

It comes with many social networks and you can add anywhere in the post, even use as a sticky floating menu. As for icon styles, the plugin comes with three basic styles: rounded, square, or rectangle buttons.

Cost: Free.

Features:

  • Share counts are supported for Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Buffer, Reddit, Pinterest, Odnoklassniki, Fintel, and Vkontakte.
  • FREE Icon Customization options.
  • Options to specify sharing icon shape – Square, Round and Rectangular.
  • Options to specify sharing icon size – minimum 16 pixels, no upper limit.
  • Options to specify sharing icon background color and logo color.
  • Share counter customization options.
3. Social Warfare:Social Warfare plugin

Social Warfare is another popular social media plugin that comes in both the version, free and paid.

Social Warfare adds beautiful, lightning-fast social share buttons to your website or blog.

Cost: Free and Paid ($29/year).

Features:

  • Social share buttons that just plain look good.
  • Support for all the big social networks (more in the pro version).
  • Multiple placement options, including floating share buttons.
  • Share counts.
  • Add the ‘Pin It’ button to all images of your blog.
  • Has added support for the WhatsApp button.
4. Easy Social Sharing:Easy Social Sharing

Easy Social Sharing launched in 2013 and continuously improved over time. It supports more than 50 social media networks.

It allows you to display sharing buttons automatically in more than 30 positions.

Developer packed the plugin with some very handy features like social count, multiple layouts, multiple designs, custom colors, and more.

Cost: Free and Paid ($22).

Features:

  • Simple, Clean, and Beautiful Buttons.
  • Responsive Design.
  • Backend Live Preview.
  • Caching for an instant load.
  • Multiple Button Designs.
  • 18 Popular Social Network Buttons.
  • Social Share Count.
  • Ajax count update.
  • Floating Social Buttons.
  • Inline Social Buttons.
  • 7 Design Layouts.
  • 4 Icons Layouts.
  • Easy Dashboard Settings.

If possible, try to install limited critical plugins only.

More plugins, more load time.

The above-explained plugins are more than enough to make an effective blog. You can even search for other plugins similar to these and do let me know which one is better for you.

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