10 Essential WordPress Plugins For Your Website/Blog (Free)

Whether you run a high-maintenance website with a vast daily readership, or a personal blog amassing 100 unique visits per month, incorporating the right plugins are essential to your digital success.

The best plugins:

  • increase your work efficiency
  • optimize your website for seamless integration with other web platforms
  • improve the experiences of your site-goers (which does wonders for retention + organic traffic)

Here are 10 free WordPress plugins that will help you, and your following, get the most out of your domain (in no particular order):

1. Favicon by RealFaviconGenerator 

This favicon plugin helps you generate one uniform, high quality favicon that is compatible across various platforms: desktop browsers, iPhone/iPad, Android devices, Windows 8 tablets and more. 

2. Sidekick

Think of this tool as your personal Siri for the WP platform. Sidekick provides interactive, real-time, narrated guides through WordPress: giving you a guide to using new features, tutorials (step-by-step) to assist you in completing tasks, and useful, on-screen reminders + functions.

3. Broken Link Checker 

Have you ever clicked a link on your favorite website, only to face disappointment when a “404 Error” image graces your screen? This plugin helps prevent this from happening to your readers, by looking for broken links and letting you know if any are found. The plugin notifies you via WP dashboard or email and allows you to edit links directly from the plugin page. Pretty helpful!

4. Akismet 

This is an advanced, hosted anti-spam service that efficiently “processes and analyzes masses of data” from your site + it’s community, and serves as protection from annoying comment/trackback spam.

5. Easy Facebook Like Box

Wish to gate your website to increase your pages’ Facebook like count? Look no further than Easy Facebook Like Box to fulfill your needs.

6. Shareaholic 

This plugin is an “all-in-one content amplification and monetization platform”. It allows for related content recommendations, promoted content, social sharing, following, affiliate linking, and social analytics. These features make growing your site traffic, marketing content, gaining insights, and monetizing traffic incredibly easy.

7. W3 Total Cache

W3 is the only WordPress Performance Optimization (WPO) framework plugin available. In english, it’s designed to improve your user’s experience by increasing server performance + reducing the download time (i.e – load time/page speed). This will certainly help your viewer/reader retention times.

8. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP

From the WordPress Plugin Directory:  “Google Analytics Dashboard displays detailed analytics info and statistics about: number of visits, number of visitors, bounce rates, organic searches, pages per visit directly on your WordPress Dashboard”.

9. Google XML Sitemaps

By generating a special XML sitemap, this plugin helps your site perform better (blog index-wise) on search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com.

10. Disqus (“discuss”)

This plug-in integrates with WordPress’ traditional commenting system and creates a more interactive web discussion experience. As a comment “moderator” you are given the chance to approve or reject comments via email.


Bonus: Edit Flow

This plugin makes collaboration with your editorial team extremely efficient, within the WordPress platform. It integrates “minimum word counts”, allows for the creation of editorial calendars, provides statuses to update colleagues of work progression, and gives you free reign to assign writers/editors particular stories.