The best WordPress plugins at a glance – Free & Premium

WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems. And with the help of plugins, any website can be extended. For this reason, we present you the most popular free and paid WordPress plugins.

Plugins are extensions for additional functions. When you install the content management system (CMS) for your website, it always looks the same. By using plugins, you can then expand this standard version according to your wishes and ideas.

For example, if you have a WordPress blog and now want to run an online shop as well, you can integrate it directly into your blog. There are WordPress plugins that allow you to do this.

One advantage of WordPress plugins is that you can easily add new functionality to your applications without greatly expanding the size of the main application.

There is now a large selection of free and paid plugins. In many cases, you have the choice between free and paid plugins – the difference is usually in the range of functions.

The Best Free WordPress Plugins

Below we present the five best free WordPress plugins.

All In One WP Security

The issue of security should play a major role for all website operators. Even though WordPress itself has become more and more secure over the past few years, a WordPress plugin makes sense for more security. The “All in One WP Security” plugin offers you functions such as your own firewall, brute force protection, a security scanner and spam protection.

In your WordPress plugin dashboard you can see an overview of the specific security score for your website. This allows you to see directly whether there is still potential to improve the security of your website.

Benefits of All in One WP Security Disadvantages of All in One WP Security
High range of functions
Security Score
Simple explanations

bbPress

With the WordPress plugin “bbPress” you can expand your website with a customizable forum. You can decide for yourself whether the forum is directly accessible to all visitors or whether they have to register beforehand to read or write posts.

The setup is very uncomplicated even for beginners and runs via a central admin account. Only a few clicks and a short time are needed to install the forum and adapt it to your own ideas.

Benefits of bbPress Disadvantages of bbPress
Quick setup of the forum Not a modern design
good support
Central admin account

Contact form 7

To give your visitors an easy way to get in touch with you, you should include a contact form. WordPress itself does not provide you with a form by default. That’s why the WordPress plugin “Contact Form 7” makes sense.

The plugin itself is easy to integrate. However, programming knowledge is a great advantage if you want to adapt the contact form to your ideas and design.

Benefits of Contact Form 7 Disadvantages of Contact Form 7
quick setup Programming knowledge an advantage
Respects the privacy of users Documentation available in English only
Can be expanded

YoastSEO Free

Search Engine Optimization is important for any website, big or small. The better you can be found via search engines, the more people you can reach. The free WordPress plugin “Yoast SEO” helps you to improve your own ranking in search engine results.

With the free version of the plugin, you can, for example, automatically check the readability of your texts. With the free version, you are limited to a basic main keyword. With Yoast SEO Premium you have the opportunity to plan extensive keyword strategies.

Benefits of Yoast SEO Free Cons of Yoast SEO Free
Automatic readability analysis Focus on just one keyword
meta tags No support in the free version
Fast setup

YARPP

When your visitors read one of your articles, they are interested in a specific topic. It therefore makes sense to refer to related articles under the article. This is very easy with the WordPress plugin “YARPP”.

YARPP stands for “Yet Another Related Posts Plugin” and gives you the opportunity to increase your views. Programming skills are required for customization and integration.

Benefits of YARPP Disadvantages of YARPP
Easy handling Programming skills required
increase in views Takes a lot of time depending on the size of the website
Greater interaction with visitors

The Best Premium (Paid) WordPress Plugins

In addition to the many free WordPress plugins, there are also numerous paid WordPress plugins. Below we present the five best.

MemberPress

“MemberPress” is a WordPress plugin for managing exclusive website content. You can use the plugin to set different membership packages, prices, the available content and also the length of the subscription.

MemberPress automatically generates the page on which your visitors register for the respective offer, as well as a suitable button for the desired payment option.

Benefits of MemberPress Disadvantages of MemberPress
High range of functions No membership directory
Integration of third-party applications possible Complicated to use
Coupon creation possible

MonsterInsights

Keeping track of how your website or project is doing is of great importance. Only then can you understand whether you are successful or not and where you should optimize.

The “MonsterInsight” plugin offers you all the important figures in real time, such as page views, bounce rate, average length of stay, user devices, links or file downloads in a clear dashboard.

Benefits of MonsterInsights Cons of MonsterInsights
No third-party registrations required High cost
Many analysis options
Tracking possible for any type of project

OptinMonster

If your visitors or customers only visit your website or online shop once without coming back, you will be less successful in the long run. The premium plugin “OptinMonster” will help you with this.

For example, with the built-in drag-and-drop editor, you can create forms in just a few minutes to get your visitors’ email addresses for initial contact.

Advantages of OptinMonster Disadvantages of OptinMonster
good support Hardly any third-party tools involved
Easy handling
quick campaign creation

Squirrly SEO Pro

As already mentioned, search engine optimization is crucial for any website. With the paid WordPress plugin “Squirrly SEO Pro” you get many important SEO functions such as keyword suggestions, a blogging assistant or content marketing analytics.

The “Focus Pages” feature automatically highlights the most promising pages of your website or online store for optimization and helps to achieve better results.

Benefits of Squirrly SEO Pro Disadvantages of Squirrly SEO Pro
Easy handling Various paid versions that differ in the range of functions
Real-time SEO recommendations
Quality keyword research

WP Rocket

The premium plugin “WP Rocket” is a popular extension for many users to optimize the performance of their own website.

For example, the plugin ensures that all pages on a website are loaded into the cache, which means that they load much faster for visitors. For this optimization, a “preload” bot from WP Rocket regularly loads the visit to the website.

Benefits of WP Rocket Cons of WP Rocket
preload bot no trial version available
Lazy loading feature
Easy handling

The best sources for WordPress plugins

Of course, you have to decide for yourself which plugins are really useful for your website. That is why it is particularly important to do your own research. There are a few sources you can use to find the right WordPress plugins:

  • WordPress repository
  • CodeCanyon
  • GitHub
  • accessPress

How many WordPress plugins can you install?

Basically, you can install as many WordPress plugins as you want. In order to avoid technical problems, the plugins should be chosen consciously, checked regularly for their necessity and sorted out again.

Not the quantity, but the quality of the individual WordPress plugins is decisive for the performance. It can happen that an incorrectly programmed plugin significantly impairs the performance of your entire website. Therefore: Pay attention to the quality of your plugins to avoid problems.

Where does WordPress store the plugins?

WordPress automatically installs your plugins, regardless of whether you select the plugin via the integrated search or the import function.

In addition, WordPress also automatically arranges the installed plugins in the folder structures by placing all plugins in the “wp-content/plugins” folder.

Conclusion: Choose WordPress plugins as needed

You have a wide range of WordPress plugins, each serving different purposes. Depending on the range of functions, free or paid plugins make sense for your website. With the help of specialized WordPress hosting, you can always keep an eye on all plugins. Here you can choose from high-quality, fixed WordPress plugins.

Create your WordPress website with IONOS now

This article is part of our content hub for web hosting, cloud services and domains and is sponsored by IONOS.