On WordPress websites, users publish 17 posts every second around the globe due to its immense popularity.
One of the great things about having a WordPress website is that it’s free to get started. Another great thing about WordPress is that there are a ton of plugins available to add functionality to your website. So, are WordPress plugins free?
The answer is yes and no. Some WordPress plugins are free, while others are premium (paid) plugins.
There are also some plugins that offer a free version with limited features and a premium version with more features. So, how do you know which plugins are free and which are not? Keep reading to find out!
What Is a WordPress Plugin and How to Install It
WordPress is a tremendous and powerful content management system (CMS). But it cannot do everything the user wants it to do. This is where WordPress plugins come in.
WordPress plugins are pieces of software that add additional functionalities to your WordPress website.
With WordPress plugins, you can add unique features to your website without starting from scratch with coding. There are a ton of plugins available for WordPress. When we look at the WordPress plugin repository, there are more than 60,000 plugins available.
What kind of features are available with WordPress plugins?
You can easily add a contact form to your website with the help of plugins such as Contact Form 7, WPForms, Ninja Forms, Constant Contact Form, and many more.
A plugin like WooCommerce also allows you to sell your products and services on your website.
Basically, with plugins, there is no limit to the kind of features you can have on your WordPress site.
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How to Install WordPress Plugins
To use WordPress plugins, you will first need to install and activate them on your WordPress website.
How do you install WordPress plugins? This section will address that; let’s proceed.
A WordPress plugin can be installed in one of two main ways:
The first way is to install it straight from your WordPress website dashboard. To do this,
First, click on the “Plugins” tab in your WordPress dashboard.
Then click on “Add New”.
Next, type the name of the plugin you want to install into the search box.
Once you’ve located it, click “Install Now” to begin the installation process.
After you are done installing the plugin, click on “Activate” to activate the plugin.
Note: The plugin will not work until you activate it.
The second approach is to download and upload the plugin to your WordPress website. This will be required for plugins that are not available in the WordPress repository or if you purchase the pro version of the plugin.
To do this,
First, download the plugin file from the WordPress website or the plugin vendor.
Then, in your WordPress dashboard, go to “Plugins”.
And click “Add New” and then click on “upload”.
Next, choose the plugin file you downloaded and click “Install Now”.
Finally, click on “Activate” to activate the plugin after the installation.
Are WordPress Plugins Free?
Now, the big question. Are WordPress plugins free?
Yes and no. While there are many free plugins available, it is important to note that not all WordPress plugins are free. Plugins are also available in paid versions. Free plugins have limitations, and you must upgrade to premium to access certain features.
For example, Elementor is a plugin that allows you to build your website quickly, but features such as a countdown timer are only available in the premium version.
Another thing to consider is that some WordPress plugins do not have a free version at all; these come with excellent customer support, frequent updates, and more features than free plugins.
An example is the Gravity Form, which is a drag-and-drop form builder. This plugin makes it easy to build any kind of form.
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Where Can You Find WordPress Plugins?
WordPress plugins are available on a variety of platforms. The largest source of plugins is the WordPress repository. As of the time of this writing, the WordPress repository has 60,001 free plugins available.
Almost every type of function imaginable is covered by a plugin in the WordPress repository, including an e-commerce website, SEO, social media buttons, advertising, analytics, contact forms, and many more.
WordPress plugins are also available from third-party plugin developers.
You can buy paid or premium plugins from the developer’s website or from design marketplaces like CodeCanyon. The price of premium plugins can range from $20 to hundreds of dollars, depending on the features of the plugin.
Premium plugins are available for a one-time purchase or monthly subscription.
Top 10 Free Plugins You Need On Your WordPress Website
As we’ve previously mentioned, there are more than 60,000 free plugins available in the official WordPress plugin directory. But for your website, you only need those that are absolutely necessary. Additionally, too many plugins on your WordPress site can slow it down.
So which ones are essential to your WordPress website?
These are the top 10 plugins you need on your website.
First, you need to build your website. The Elementor makes it easy to create your website without writing even a single line of code.
The Elementor Page Builder plugin is a drag-and-drop page builder, which makes it possible for anyone to design a website.
The plugin has over 5 million downloads and a 4.7-star rating from over 6,000 reviews.
The Rank Math plugin makes it easy to optimize your content for search engines. The plugin provides you with steps to take to optimize your website’s content.
Like many other SEO plugins, Rank Math also provides an XML sitemap that makes it simpler for Google to crawl your website.
The plugin has been downloaded over a million times and received more than 5,000 reviews, earning a star rating of 4.9 since its launch.
This is the plugin you need for your affiliate marketing website. Affiliate links usually look long and ugly, which might deter users from clicking them.
Pretty Links allows you to cloak your affiliate links with your domain name, making it presentable to online users.
Let me blow your mind: if the address of your affiliate link changes, you only need to change the link in your Pretty Links, and it will automatically update everywhere you’ve used it.
Pretty Links has over 300,000 downloads with a 4.8-star rating from 1,089 reviews
The Contact Form 7 plugin makes it simple to create and manage contact forms. This plugin allows you to add a contact form to your website in any way you want.
Simply place a shortcode on the webpage you want the contact form to appear on.
This WordPress plugin has been downloaded over a million times and has 4.1-star ratings from 1,980 user reviews.
The MonsterInsights plugin allows you to connect your website to Google Analytics to get insight into your website’s traffic.
This plugin has been downloaded over 3,000,000 times and has 4.6-star ratings from over 2,500 reviews.
We all hate spam. This is exactly what this plugin prevents by filtering all incoming comments on your WordPress website.
The Akismet Anti-Spam plugin has been downloaded 5 million times and has 4.7-star ratings from 952 reviews.
Web users hate slow websites; more than 30% of online users abandon websites that take more than three seconds to load. This plugin increases the speed of your WordPress website by using caches to improve the hosting server’s performance.
A cache is a place to store temporary data, and W3 Total Cache stores temporary data to make websites load faster.
The W3 Total Cache plugin has over 1 million downloads.
Large-size images tend to slow down your website. Smush automatically compresses images you upload on your website to improve your WordPress website’s performance.
Smush compresses images without reducing their quality.
Smush has over 1 million downloads and a 4.8-star rating from over 5,800 reviews due to its incredible features.
An SSL certificate is crucial for your website because it secures data transmission between it and its visitors.
If your website does not have an SSL certificate, Google will display a “Not Secure” warning in front of your domain name in the address bar. This will harm the SEO of your website.
The SSL certificate shows “HTTPS” instead of “HTTP” in front of your domain name in the address bar. Proving that the data is protected, helps to increase user confidence in your website.
Really Simple SSL actually sets up your website’s settings to ensure that HTTPS is being used. It sets up your website to fully utilize SSL. With the Really Simple SSL plugin, you can be sure of a secure website.
This plugin has over 5 million downloads and a 5-star rating from 8,000 reviews.
Building and maintaining a website is tedious work, so losing your website due to a server crash, attack, or other malfunction would be terrible.
You must regularly back up your website because of this. This is where UpdraftPlus comes in.
The UpdraftPlus plugin will perform scheduled automatic backups of your WordPress website to a remote server or location of your choice.
And you can use the UpdraftPlus plugin to restore the backup in the event that your website is lost.
It has over 3 million downloads and a 4.8-star rating from over 6,500 customers.
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You can absolutely start off with free plugins for your WordPress website and upgrade to premium plugins once you start seeing results. In order to scale as a business, you require premium WordPress plugins with more features that are well worth the money and will facilitate scaling.
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