Top 5 Free Plugins To Use
Going on Google and looking up top plugins would be anyone’s knee jerk reaction, but since we have the advantage of first-hand experience we decided to share with you our go-to plugins when creating a website!
As many of you know Search engine optimization, or SEO, is, in short, the process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website or a web page to users of a search engine.
In other words – good SEO optimization gets you noticed on Google.
This said, SEO optimization can be either surprisingly rewarding or very confusing. Not even experts can tell you exactly how you can make your website rank higher on search engines because their algorithms remain a mystery (or they change too often).
Indeed, there is no ultimate SEO guide that can ensure you get the best results but from our experience, Yoast SEO does offer the easiest and quickest way to optimize your website.
These are the steps you need to follow in order to set-up this plugin:
*Pro-tip – while you’re still working on your website and before setting up the plugin go to your WP admin panel -> Settings -> Reading, and see if ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this site’ is checked so that Google doesn’t index your site before it’s completed. Make sure to uncheck it when you’re ready to publish.
- Register website property on Google Search Console website – for more information follow this link.
- Setup the Yoast SEO configuration wizard – mostly check step 2 (site type), step 4 (name of organization or person that your website represents), and step 6 (website name and title separator).
- Check which pages will be indexed on search engines by looking at the XML sitemap (see more). If needed, manually remove certain pages, posts or others from being shown in search results by going to your WP admin panel -> SEO -> Search Appearance -> Content Types.
- Finally, do SEO optimization for each page, post, and portfolio you have by adding a focus keyphrase, title, description, and attaching a featured image. Keep in mind that you can fill them out differently for Facebook and Twitter.
Yoast SEO has a color-based system (red meaning ‘bad’, and green meaning ‘good’) which can serve as a baseline assessment of the content you fill in all those fields. By clicking ‘SEO analysis’ you can see a more detailed explanation about how it can be improved.
Here is a more comprehensive video tutorial for those of you that are interested: click
Setting up Yoast SEO is a must for us and we do it for every website we create. It’s important and representative of our work, this is why we do it free of charge for each of the websites we create 🙂 (True for many of these plugins here, but this one is a true must, some of the others depend on the needs of the client and the project and they may vary.)
Seeing as GDPR and privacy have become major issues every website creator has to tackle, inevitably we have come across many plugins with similar features.
We believe that the Cookie notice plugin is simultaneously the most user-friendly and GDPR compliant free plugin out there, plus it’s updated regularly. It is important to mention that they do not state that your website will be fully GDPR compliant with this plugin, neither do we, they actually say “helps you comply with the EU GDPR cookie law and CCPA regulations”. There are other paid plugins that state this, but this is for another article 🙂
Some of its features include:
- Customizable message and button text & design*
- Multiple cookie expiry options
- Option to refuse the consent
- WPML and Polylang compatible (translatable)
*Keep in mind though that you can only choose from 3 button styles and change the text and bar background color. For further customization, you will need to use some code.
Again – we set up this plugin for every website we create, free of charge, since we consider it a “below the line” tool you just need to have.
The Easy Coming Soon plugin allows you to create and launch a Coming soon page in just minutes!
This plugin is one of the first we install – it comes in handy for the period during which you’re still working on your website, while making some major changes or experiencing technical difficulties and you don’t want outside visitors to see your website’s content.
It’s easy to set up and works with any WordPress theme, allowing logged-in users to have access to the website and work undisturbed behind the scenes.
After extensive research and testing regarding backup plugins, this free plugin came out the winner.
UpdraftPlus is the world’s highest-ranking and most popular scheduled backup & restoration plugin. It allows you to backup your files and database into the cloud and restore with a single click! You can backup directly to Dropbox, Google Drive, email, etc.
It’s key features are:
- restores and backs up content
- direct back up to more cloud options than any others
- allows you to set up automatic backup schedules
- available separate backup downloads for database, plugins, themes, uploads, and others
- has been tested on over 1 million sites
One of the best free plugins for caching you can find!
The reason you might need this plugin is because it can significantly improve your website speed.
To put it simply, a cache is a hardware or software component that stores data so that future requests for that data can be served faster. A cache hit occurs when the requested data can be found in a cache, while a cache miss occurs when it cannot. Cache hits are served by reading data from the cache, which is faster than recomputing a result or reading from a slower data store; thus, the more requests that can be served from the cache, the faster the system performs.
A website’s speed is also used in Google’s search ranking algorithm so cache plugins that can improve your page load time will also improve your SEO ranking.
Some of its most useful features are:
- All cache files are deleted when a post or page is published
- Admin can delete all cached files from the options page
- Admin can delete minified css and js files from the options page
- Block cache for specific page or post with Short Code
- Enable/Disable cache option for mobile devices
- Enable/Disable cache option for logged-in users
- Preload Cache – Create the cache of all the site automatically
WP Fastest Cache also has a premium paid version that includes more performance optimization features. Learn more here.
The internet is full of many cool and nifty plugins so if you have any that you think we missed don’t hesitate and share your knowledge with us in the comments below! We’re always open to testing new things and improving our work process.
Stay tuned for our next plugin-related article where we’ll share our top paid plugins.
You may also like
More articles in technology
Who wrote this article
Learn more about the author
/ travel lover – close and distant, passionate about photography and spontaneous gatherings
/ an avid fan of the Japanese culture and language 🥢