Recommended Free WordPress Plugins

Free WordPress Plugins Recommended by Range

There are a lot of paid and free WordPress plugins out there on the internet. Just for you, Range is listing a sampling of free plugins that we trust and recommend. We hope that you find this list useful in navigating all the plugin options.

WordPress Plugins for Functionality:


Gravity Forms - Recommended WordPress Plugins

Gravity Forms

There are lots of great form plugins out there, but this one is our go-to.  It can handle just about anything you can imagine doing with a form, and a bunch of stuff that probably never occurred to you.  Yet it still has a friendly user interface that is easy for everyone to use.


Relevanssi - Recommended WordPress Plugins

Relevanssi

WordPress’s built-in search functionality is fine if you don’t have much content on your site, and you are only searching blog posts.  But if you want to search custom post types or other content, and if you want search results to be weighted by relevance, then Relevanssi can help.  You can use it right out of the box, or fine tune the settings to make your search functionality much more useful.

Marketing / SEO:


Yoast SEO - Recommended WordPress Plugin

Yoast SEO

WordPress out of the box is already technically quite a good platform for SEO but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve it further. YoastSEO is a great tool that helps you optimize your content, keywords, titles, etc for best SEO practices.

Admin UI & Functionality:


Black Studio TinyMCE - Recommended WordPress Plugins

Black Studio TinyMCE Widget

Don’t let the clunky name fool you – this is a very simple and very useful plugin.  It adds a WYSIWG widget, which is much easier to use than the built-in text widget.


Menu Humility
menu humility - recommended WordPress Plugins

Some plugins put top level nav menus in the first menu group, right under “Dashboard.” These items are less important than your posts, pages, comments, etc. This simple plugin puts these menus to the bottom of the admin UI, where they belong.

Development:


theme check - recommended free WordPress plugins

Theme Check

The theme check plugin is an easy way to test your theme and make sure it’s up to spec with the latest theme review standards. With it, you can run all the same automated testing tools on your theme that WordPress.org uses for theme submissions.

safe redirect Manager - Recommended free WordPress Plugins
Safe Redirect Manager

Safe Redirect Manager is a HTTP redirect manager for WordPress. An easy-to-use UI allows you to redirect locations to new URL’s with the HTTP status codes of your choosing.

Backups:


BackWPup - Recommended Free WordPress Plugins

BackWPup

An easy-to-use and fully-featured backup plugin.  You can schedule recurring backups, choose how much of your site to back up, and save your backups to DropBox, AWS, or other offsite locations.

Security & Spam:


WordFence - Recommended Free WordPress Plugins

WordFence

This is a very robust security plugin.  You can just install it and forget it – the default settings are just fine for most sites.  Or you can customize firewalls, blacklists, whitelists, notifications, and a whole host of other options to keep your site safe from hackers.


Akismet - Recommended Free WordPress Plugins

Akismet

One of the most used spam blocking plugins out there – Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet Web service to see if they look like spam or not and lets you review the spam it catches under your blog’s “Comments” admin screen. Free for personal blogs; paid subscriptions are available for businesses and commercial sites.

Wangguard - Recommended Free WordPress Plugins
Wangguard

If you allow anyone to register on your site, Wangguard is a great way to protect your site from spam registrations.  All you have to do is enter your API key, and Wangguard will block bots and spammers from registering on your site.

Cookies For Comments - Recommended Free WordPress Plugins

Cookies for Comments

Akismet is good enough for most sites, but if your site gets a lot of comments and spam is still getting through, Cookies for Comments is a slim and reliable way to stop spam.

Paid Plugins:


We couldn’t leave here without giving a shout out to one paid plugin from one of our Rangers!

WPStagecoach - Recommended Free WordPress Plugins

WPStagecoach

Any time you need to make changes on a site, whether it’s a small change like updating a plugin or a huge change like designing a new theme, it’s a good idea to test your changes on a staging site.  Creating a copy of a WordPress site can be a major hassle, but with WP Stagecoach you can have a staging site up and running with just one click.  When you’re done testing your changes, you can copy them back to the live site with one click.


Thank you for stopping by and checking out this list of WordPress Plugins – If you need professional help with your site –  Contact Range Here!

Authored By

Managing Partner / Creative Director

Sara loves design, typography, user experience, and art. She gives talks around the globe on web design, user experience, typography, and more. A seasoned designer, Sara has done work for clients such as Disney Publishing and Flickr. She loves open source, her pets, traveling, and WordPress.

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