It can feel like we’ve hit the jackpot when we find a free WordPress Plugin that is easy and clear to understand and use, and do what we need it to (a plugin is a piece of software that can add functionality or features to your WordPress site – without you needing to know how to code!). These are the plugins that we use (often on more than one of our websites) and recommend to others enthusiastically. Finding a plugin that gets the job done will save you time and money when customizing your website.
THE INSTAGRAM FEED This plugin lets you easily display your Instagram pictures on your website. The Instagram Feed displays your feed in a way that’s clean, customizable, and (super importantly) mobile responsive.
SOLILOQUY LITE This plugin is great for building a beautiful image slider for your website. All you have to do is drag and drop the images (and videos!) that you want to include.
IMAGE WIDGET Adding an image to your website should be easy… and this plugin makes that so, letting you add images anywhere on your site.
ALL IN ONE FAVICON Customize your Favicon (the little square icon that appears on your open tab, next to your website name) with ease.
WOOCOMMERCE This free eCommerce plugin is one of our favourites for turning your website into an online store. It integrates easily with WordPress and many WordPress extensions for added flexibility too.
AKISMET Gone are the days of spammy comments on your posts. Akismet monitors comments on your website and flags the ones that look like spam.
NINJA FORMS You can use Ninja Forms to create contact forms, email subscription forms, order forms, etc. all by dragging and dropping the fields you want to include.
YOAST Trying to understand SEO can be confusing, but this plugin makes it easy for anyone to optimize their site. Yoast will tell you exactly how to improve your WordPress SEO every time you create a new post or page.
WORDFENCE It’s always important to backup your website in case something takes it down, but a security plugin can help protect your site from hacks and malware. This plugin secures your website using a firewall, malware scans, live traffic, login security, and more.
SUCURI Another great option for website security, this plugin includes security integrity monitoring, malware detection, audit logging and security hardening.
FRIZZLY On pages, posts, and images, Frizzly lets you include share buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and more. One feature we love is the ability to add share icons when you hover over images.
GOOGLE XML SITEMAPS This plugin helps search engines (including Google, Bing, and Yahoo) better index your website by generating a special XML sitemap that search engine “crawlers” use understand your website better and help you come up in related searches.
Plugins we recommend if you’re on the Genesis platform:
GENESIS RESPONSIVE SLIDER Use this plugin to create responsive sliders so your slider images will display well (the right size) on any device.
GENESIS eNEWS EXTENDED This plugin integrates with mailing list services like MailChimp, FeedBurner, AWeber, and FeedBlitzreates so people can sign up to your newsletter.
GENESIS SIMPLE EDITS This plugin lets you easily edit post-info, post-meta, and the footer area of your site.
SIMPLE SOCIAL ICONS Don’t forget to link your website to your social media profiles! This plugin lets you easily add your socials, and customize the colour and size of your icons.