best free wordpress plugins

When you start a blog or even if you’ve had your blog for awhile, there is a multitude of options for making your blog do things.
Trying literally hundreds of WordPress plugins myself over the last period, reading reviews and a lot of lists I’ve narrowed the list down to the very best that work for me:

SECURITY AND MAINTENANCE

Spam Protection

Akismet – Spam comments are a huge problem for WordPress websites. A large number of spam comments is generated by automated spam bots. Manually submitted spam comments are also in huge numbers.
One way to deal with this is by enabling comment moderation on your WordPress site.
However, in short amount of time you will not be able to moderate comments due to a high volume of spam.
Akismet catches spam comments submitted to your website and stops them from appearing on your website or in comment moderation.

Backup

BackupGuard
Is the complete backup and migration choice for WordPress. It offers the easiest way to backup, restore and migrate your WordPress based website or blog. You can backup/migrate your files, database or both.
Free Features:

  • Unlimited backup – create as many backups as you want, there is no limit
  • Backup files, database or both – you can backup your database or files, or both
  • Unlimited restore – restore any backup file whenever needed
  • Download backup – download your backup files for migration
  • Import backup – upload your backup file to restore it right away
  • Backup cancellation – cancel the backup process while it is not finished yet
  • Manage backups – delete backups, view backup or restore log
  • Backup customization – you choose which folders you want to backup
  • Live progress – precise progress of the current backup and restore process
  • WordPress multisite/network support

Maintenance

Maintenance plugin allows WordPress site administrator close the website for maintenance, enable “503 Service temporarily unavailable”, set a temporary page with authorization, which can be edited via the plugin settings. Easy customize good look on all devices. Add your logo, background image, select the desired color, add text.

TRAFFIC GENERATION & SOCIAL SHARING

Social Auto Post
Blog2Social – Automatically share and schedule your blog posts to social media customized for each network and scheduled for the best times to post to profiles, pages and groups.
Free Features:

  • Autopost to all of your networks profiles.
  • Customize posts and add comments, tags hashtags and handles for each network.
  • Manage your author’s posts and share the blog posts of all authors of your blog (administrator rights needed).
  • Post images with your posts.
  • Keep the overview of your publications with the dashboard.
  • Accessible Social Networks:Twitter, Facebook, profile and page Google+,
  • LinkedIn, Flickr, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Medium,Diigo or Delicious

SUBSCRIBERS + COMMUNITY BUILDING

Contact Form 7 is a very powerful plugin. It is a very strong alternative to premium paid plugins in the same category. It comes with extensive documentation and has good community support which ensures that it will be around for a long time. It is also fully translated into many different languages.
It can manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and so on.

 Formilla Edge allows you to create lightbox modals, website bars, and corner widgets on your WordPress website.
A few of the Formilla Edge Features:

  • Installs Instantly: Get started in just a few minutes. Sign up for a Formilla account and activate this plugin to start creating widgets right away.
  • Email Collection Widgets: Continually grow your email list with our beautiful email collection widgets and popups.
  • Facebook and Twitter Social Media Widgets: Increase your Facebook Likes and Twitter Followers using its social media widgets.
  • Lightbox Popup (Modal) Widgets: Use lightbox popups with any of our widget types to collect email subscribers, grow your social following, or market anything using our custom messaging widgets. They also look great on mobile devices!
  • Top or Bottom Website Bars: Top or bottom website bars are a great alternative to lightbox modals and allow you to display a message across the top or bottom of your website. Use them to collect emails, social followers, or create custom messaging bars to communicate anything to your visitors.

Newsletter is a real newsletter system for your WordPress blog: perfect for list building, you can easily create, send and track e-mails, headache-free.

Some of the Main Features:

  • NEW responsive email Drag & Drop composer
  • Unlimited Subscribers with statistics
  • Unlimited Emails with tracking
  • Customizable subscription widget, page or custom form
  • WordPress User Registration seamless integration
  • Subscribers preferences to fine-target your campaigns
  • SMTP-Ready
  • Customizable Themes

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