WordPress without plugins is almost unthinkable. After all, the little helpers offer endless possibilities to extend your own WordPress website and the blog to feel any functionality. In the official WordPress plugin repository alone, there are over 55,000 of these small systems. In addition, there are countless other plugins, which are usually offered for a fee on the product pages or other marketplaces. There is the question of which ones are using and why?
In this post, I would like to introduce you to 10 tips for free plugins for WordPress that can be used on many sites. This list is a mixture of my absolute favorites and useful extensions that will make work easier as a digital marketing agency. I have added important tips for using the corresponding plugins.
Tip for you: before you want to install any of the plugins mentioned here, check your previously installed plugins. Maybe you have already activated one that offers exactly this functionality. Two plugins for the same application you should definitely avoid!
A WordPress plugin that i personally can’t miss on any page: Antispam Bee. This in my opinion is the best plugin to keep annoying spam out of the blog. The “Akismet” supplied by standard with WordPress is unfortunately not compliant with data protection. Hence the recommendation: Delete Akismet immediately, install and activate Antispam Bee. The default settings work wonderfully. If you like, you can still activate the dashboard widget and a spam counter under “Other”. These then show over time how much spam has been blocked by the plugin.
💡 tip! Unfortunately, Antispam Bee does not work with Jetpack or Disqus. Unfortunately, both services are not data protection compliant and do not technically allow Antispam Bee to block spam comments. Therefore, use it best with the default comment feature in WordPress.
Let’s stick to the topic of data protection: The functionality of the gravatars is also not data protection compliant – this is the display of the user image in the backend in the upper right corner or in the comments. As a user, you can upload your own profile picture in WordPress using the plugin. People commenting on your blog can agree that their profile picture will be uploaded once by Gravatar. This will then be cached on your page to prevent further requests to Gravatar.
💡 tip! The settings for your own user avatar can be found under User -> Your profile.
The use case for this plugin probably doesn’t happen too often, but if so, then it’s a real work facilitation. With Customizer Export/Import, as the name suggests, you can fully export and re-import the settings from the Customizer. This can be helpful, for example.B, if you want to create a child theme for a theme that has been in use for a long time. Especially with many Customizer settings, it is really tedious to transfer the settings. Of course, the export file can also be used on another installation.
💡 tip! The plugin only works if the theme from which to export is currently activated. If you have already changed the theme, you have to go back to the previous theme.
There is also a plugin on the topic of data protection in the list: Embed Privacy. If you like to add a tweet, a YouTube video or other so-called embeds in your own blog, you should make sure that data is not immediately sent to the social networks when you access the page. With the embed privacy plugin, this can be easily solved. The plugin comes without any further settings and is immediately ready for use. If you are fit in CSS, you can also customize the overlay to your own needs with a few CSS properties.
💡 tip! If you already use plugins like Borlabs Cookie or WP Rocket, you may not need this plugin. Both plugins also offer the functionality to block embeds in their settings. Other plugins can also cover this feature. If you prefer a lean solution, you can drive correctly with Embed Privacy.
Limit Login Attempts Reloaded
It is the pluginthat must not be missing from any installation. It limits the number of possible login attempts and blocks further requests for a period of time. This makes so-called brute force attacks more difficult. If you think “oh, this doesn’t happen on my blog anyway”: install the plugin and let it run for some time. You’ll be amazed at how often bots try to log in to your WordPress installation.
💡 tip! It is also widely used to rename the backend access via /wp-admin and the /wp-login.php using an additional plugin. This can initially prevent access, but at the latest when the bots have recognized the new name, it is as safe as without renaming.
What happens if a post or page is deleted? Then the most well-known error message of the Internet appears: “404 – Not Found”. By default, WordPress does not offer a “redirect” from a previous URL to a new one. This can be solved super with the Redirection plugin. It offers various options and status codes for redirection.
💡 tip! If you use e.B. Yoast SEO Premium, a redirection feature is already integrated. Then this plugin would not be necessary.
I recently became aware of this plugin. Plugin Report provides a clear but detailed table of all installed plugins. For each plugin, it is displayed for example.B, when it was last updated and the corresponding ratings. However, it only works with plugins from the WordPress repository. If a plugin is not found, a hint is displayed.
The plugin is great for checking from time to time which plugins have not been updated for a while. That doesn’t mean they don’t work anymore. But maybe there is a better maintained alternative that can replace an outdated plugin.
💡 tip! Even if paid plugins are not recognized, you should also check them regularly for up-to-dateness.
ShortPixel Image Optimizer
“Pictures say more than a thousand words,” one often says. On the web, however, images often contain many times more data than a thousand words. This is quickly noticeable with many pictures on one page and a poor internet connection.
Although the pre-editing of images is also important, you can save even more data by using an image optimization plugin. I have been using the ShortPixel Image Optimizer plugin for several years. It offers many features and is even free for 100 images a month. There is no size limitation and the optimization process starts automatically when uploading images, but can also be triggered manually.
In the settings, you can also exclude certain image sizes under “Advanced” at the very end. ShortPixel not only calculates a credit for the original image, but also for each image size. If you have .B nine additional image sizes, ten credits will be used for this.
💡 tip! If the free 100 credits per month are not enough for you, I recommend buying a One Time plan. You get a fixed number of credits that you can use. These can also be used on several WordPress installations!
ProTip: You can always find updated image sizes at Allfacebook.de. Currently in the post “All image sizes from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest 2020”.
Simple Image Sizes
If you’re wondering now where you can actually see all the image sizes registered in WordPress: not at all by default. Image sizes can be defined by the theme and plugins. Don’t worry, you don’t have to read the entire source code of all plugins to find out the image sizes. With the plugin Simple Image Sizes you can easily view them. If you have activated the plugin, the list of all registered image sizes will appear under Settings -> Media.
💡 tip! The plugin offers other functions, such as adding and deleting existing image sizes. Deleting it can lead to unintended side effects. Therefore, you should only do this if you are absolutely sure.
My personal favorite among the form plugins is Torro Forms. This makes it easy to drag and drop the form fields. It offers e..B. multi-page forms, e-mail notifications, redirects for thank you pages, for example, or the export of the data as Excel and CSV. Many other features make the plugin a real all-rounder.
💡 tip! By default, when you create a new form, the selected title appears above the form. If you don’t want to see it, scroll down to the “Form Settings” section in the form’s settings and take out the “Show page title?” checkmark.