10+ Free Essential WordPress Plugins You Must Use in 2014

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One of the most impressive features of WordPress is its extensibility. Plugins can extend WordPress and provide it with extra functionality – they can add to security, provide social functions, search engine optimization, and many more. I’ve gathered ten plus something of these plugins that you will surely find very useful for your WordPress site, let it be a blog, a portfolio, or anything else!

1. Yoast WordPress SEO


WordPress out of the box is already quite a good platform for SEO, but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve it further. WordPress SEO by Yoast helps you rank better in search engines by letting you adjust a bunch of SEO-related settings for your WordPress blog, posts and pages.


2. Jetpack

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Jetpack is a new plugin-pack that lets you enable powerful features previously only available to wordpress.com users. It includes statistics, CDN, social network enabled comment systems, URL shortener, built-in grammar checker, image carousel, and many many more! A must-have plugin to extend your WordPress website’s capabilities.


3. Google Analytics for WordPress


GAWP is a plugin that enables Google Analytics on your website, with an added plus. All you need to do is enter your ID, and you can start tracking your site with tons of metadata, including views per taxonomies, page views and tracking of outbound links.


4. Better WP Security


Better WP Security is one of the many security plugins for WordPress out there, but I’ personally find it the best of all. It has a quick setup tool to defend against most standard types of vulnerabilities, but it also has a ton of advanced options if you know what you’re doing. You can create manual database backups with this plugin as well. Free protection for your WordPress installation? Why not!


5. BackUpWordPress

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BUWP is an free alternative to Backup Buddy, a professional database-backup plugin. It does automated backups according to your settings, and saves them on your server.

There are other options if you’re lacking online disk space, one of them is WordPress Backup to Dropbox.


6. WP Smush.it

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WP Smush.it is the highest-rated image optimizer plugin that helps you keep your image sizes low by optimizing them for the web. This makes your pages load faster and your users happy – and it also saves a lot of disk space! It has an automatic mode, that optimizes every image upon uploading, or you can do manual optimizations every once in a while.


7. MailPoet Newsletters [formerly Wysija]

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With MailPoet you can send automatic and manual newsletters, post notifications and autoresponders. The newsletter creation was made super easy with the built-in visual editor. You can also create multiple subscription lists and you can send multiple newsletters to these lists.

Subscribers of the Szaboka.com Monthly Newsletter also get their newsletters through MailPoet.

If you like, you can subscribe to my monthly newsletters in the top of the sidebar.


8. Contact Form 7

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Whenever you’re in the need of a contact form on your site, the first thing I could recommend is Contact Form 7. It gives you a myriad of options for your contact forms. You can create as many contact forms as you like; all you need to do is insert the plugin-generated shortcode into any post or page you prefer.

For added security, you may want to try Really Simple CAPTCHA, which was originally written to work with Contact Form 7 (though it works well stand-alone, too)!


9. Google XML Sitemaps

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With this plugin, you can generate XML sitemaps that will help search engines better index your blog. You can specify how frequently you want the plugin to generate sitemaps with a neat list of options.


10. TinyMCE Advanced

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TinyMCE is the built-in visual editor that many websites and platforms use, including WordPress. TinyMCE Advanced adds a lot more options you can configure yourself. These include tables, justified text, highlight color, no-break space, inserted and deleted text, hidden chars, cut-copy-paste buttons and much more.


11. WPtouch Mobile Plugin

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If your website is not responsive, meaning (for short) it’s not mobile-ready, you can and you should make it so with WPtouch Mobile Plugin. It includes 4 built-in themes and the ability for visitors to switch between the mobilized and the original theme. For those lacking a responsive (or adaptive) design, it worths a try!



These plugins will serve a good purpose in 2014, I really recommend using them for your WordPress-driven website to be safe, SEO-ready, easy for users to read and to be successful.

Do you have any bulletproof plugins I have missed? Let us know in the comments what you use and why you love it!

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Written by

Web designer, web developer, UI/UX designer 9-5. Energy drink consumer, video game addict, avid blogger 5-9. Owner of Szaboka.com.

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9 Responses


  • Ryan said on 2014.03.14. at 3:22 Reply

    Great list of (mostly) free plugins - thank you! Backups and security particularly are a no-brainer.

  • Owain said on 2014.04.03. at 3:44 Reply

    BackUpWordPress supports loads of cool third party storage solutions now - including Dropbox ;)

  • mohan said on 2014.06.25. at 3:33 Reply

    Good list, I want to know which is better author profile plugin.

  • Dan said on 2014.07.31. at 23:55 Reply

    I trust these are also essential: WPMU - To manage multi language sites DuracellTomi's Google Tag Manager plugin for WordPress - Among a bunch of other high level really advanced stuff that you can do with Data Layer, with this plugin you can easily send a bunch of extra information to GA from WP, like post tags, authors, publishing date and etc.

  • Denis said on 2014.11.04. at 9:38 Reply

    I think Wordfence (I use the Free version) is a great security tool too. Already fended off a lot of login-attempts. Sends warnings if plugins are outdated. If your hosting allows it, it can do a lot of scanning.

  • awaz said on 2015.02.03. at 14:15 Reply

    Nice WordPress plugins list for handling SEO, Contet and SMO purpose.

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