One of the highlights of using WordPress is the ability to install WordPress plugins to add extra features & functionality to your theme. From spam protection to newsletter forms to SEO, WordPress plugins offer a wealth of helpful ways to customize your theme and blogging experience!

Below, we’ve documented 10 of our favorite free WordPress plugins (in no particular order) and how to install them.

1. W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache is a popular plugin which will create cached versions of your site to “serve up” to visitors. This often leads to increased loading speed and happier visitors! Just remember to clear your cache if you don’t immediately notice changes to settings taking place. Explore W3 Total Cache

2. Akismet

Tired of logging in to see loads of spammy comments? Akismet, also created by Automattic, is a straight-forward, powerful plugin that will dramatically reduce your spam comments. It checks comments against their constantly-updated database of spam to filter out the fake stuff. This can increase site speed and save you headaches! Explore Akismet

3. Autoptimize

Every time a page or post is loaded on your site, there are TONS of scripts running in the background. Autoptimize helps aggregate, cache, and minify the masses of scripts on your site so pages load more quickly and smoothly. Explore Autoptimize

4. Jetpack for WordPress

Jetpack is a hugely popular plugin created by Automattic, the makers of It offers an impressive suite of features for your blog ranging from image optimization to login security. Explore Jetpack for WordPress

5. Backup Guard

Your WP content (images, posts, comments, etc.) will be saved to your WP Database. Protecting your WP Database is critical and one of the best ways to do so is to make backups. Backup Guard operates quietly in the background, making occasional WP database backups. If the unthinkable were to occur and you lose your content, fear not! Simply access a backup of your database and restore it. Explore Backup Guard

6. Loco Translate

Loco Translate makes it easy to translate your WordPress theme from one language to another. Forget having to download translation programs and importing .po or .mo files– Loco Translate lets you do it all straight from your WordPress Dashboard! Explore Loco Translate

7. MailChimp for WP

MailChimp is a newsletter service which allows you to create mailing lists and send out email newsletters to your followers. Using the MailChimp for WP plugin, visitors can signup to receive your newsletter via a widgetized form or a form inserted into your post/pages. When you’re ready to send out your newsletter to the masses, you can use MailChimp’s clean & stylish email templates to keep your followers in the loop! Explore MailChimp for WP

8. Contact Form 7

Contact Form 7 is a straight-forward plugin that allows you to create a “Contact Me” form. Visitors can use this form to send inquiries or messages directly to your preferred email account while keeping your personal contact information totally private. Explore Contact Form 7

9. EWWW Image Optimizer

Is your site very image-heavy? Images, especially large ones, can cause strain on your server if numerous image files need to be loaded at the same time. EWWW Image Optimizer will create alternative, less-weighty versions of your images to decrease load time for your visitors and reduce bandwidth usage. Explore EWWW Image Optimizer

10. Yoast SEO

SEO (search engine optimization) seems to be on most bloggers’ minds these days, and for good reason! Yoast SEO is perhaps THE leading free plugin that will further optimize your site’s SEO and even provide guides to write more SEO-friendly content. Explore Yoast SEO

*Please note that not all of the thousands of plugins out there may be 100% compatible with your particular WordPress theme.

How to Install a Plugin

Installing a plugin from the WordPress Plugin Directory is simple!

  1. On your WordPress Dashboard, select “Plugins” on the left.
  2. In the top-left, select the button titled “Add New”.
  3. In the top-right, search for your plugin or a keyword.
  4. Click the plugin’s title to read more about it, or, click “Install Now” to begin installation.
  5. After the plugin is installed, click “Activate Plugin” to turn it on.

Additional resources to optimize your blog

Solo Pine Recommended Resources: Whether a blogging beginner or a WordPress whiz, here’s some tools we personally recommend to help make your website experience easy and efficient!

Crucial steps to setup and optimize your WordPress: Once you’ve installed WordPress, do yourself a solid and follow these simple steps to make sure your site is setup for success!

Top 10 Recommended WordPress Plugins: Here’s a list of some of our favorite free WordPress plugins to protect and improve any site!

15 responses to “Top 10 WordPress Plugins”

  1. Paolo Bardon says:

    Great tips, plugins very useful, especially Yoast seo that I consider essential for the creation and growth of a blog

  2. Great tips! I correctly use WP Rocket as my cache plugin and it’s one of the best I’ve ever used in the past. And one more plugin you should put in your recommendations is Social Warfare for people who want beautiful share buttons 🙂

  3. Anna Victoria says:

    Lots of useful WordPress plugin is present here. I want to share one more Slider plugin Avartan Slider. It is responsive plugin to create stunning image slider and video slider for your WordPress website. See more:

  4. Thank you for the list, I use some of these, and they do their job.

    But Contact form 7 seems to malfunction with one of your themes. People keep getting error message. When I test it myself, everything looks fine, but I haven’t received a single message yet. Maybe you know why this happens? This is the contact page of my blog:

    • SoloPine says:

      Hi Marina,

      Thanks for the feedback! Contact Form 7 functions great with our themes generally, though it can sometimes “not play well” with some other plugins. This has been a rather new development. We’re still not sure why this is the case because a few will have an incompatibility between Contact Form 7 and, for example, MailChimp for WordPress, but the vast majority of everyone else never experiences an issue. It generally shows itself as a javascript error. It leads us to believe that there may be another factor such as server setting or script for a third plugin that interferes. Generally if this occurs, we recommend switching over to another Contact Form plugin such as “Contact Form by BestWebSoft” ( )

      However if people are receiving an error message instead of experiencing a javascript error (which often makes the Featured Area disappear and adds lots of space to the web page), it may be another thing entirely. Perhaps a setting which needs to be adjusted.

      If you ever experience anything strange with the Contact Form, you’re always welcome to open up a new support ticket at — we’d be happy to take a look!

  5. Rahul Arora says:

    I have used few of these supercool plugins and they worked great. Few more recommended plugins to boost a wordpress website:

    searchIQ for site search –
    W3 Total Cache to increase website performance –
    WooCommerce to integrate ecommerce store –
    bbPress for forums –
    Events Manager to support events registration management –
    Maps Builder to create Google maps –

  6. Peta-Leisbeth Weisfelt says:

    jJust checking in re turn around time on a ticket I submitted about 9 hours ago. I’m in Australia so always tricky to have a chat. Cheers

  7. Muhammed Moeez says:

    Wow. That’s an awesome list of WordPress plugins. I think it covers almost everything.

    I am surprised that Wordfence is missing from this list. I think security is the most important concern for a site owner and Wordfence provides the best security.

    I wrote about it here ( ) and I think you should check it out as well. It might be a valuable addition to your article.

  8. Sonika Srivastava says:

    Great Post! It is very informative and helpful to enhance my knowledge.

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