30 Most Popular Free WordPress plugins of the Year

Find a list of 30 Most Popular Free WordPress plugins used by millions of users. Some Free plugins have i+ million active installs.

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Every year WordPress developers release so many new WordPress plugins which allow you to add the different type of features to your WordPress websites. In this article, I am going to list Most popular Free WordPress Plugins of the year.

It’s not easy to decide which plugin is best, because different plugins offers different features. It depends on your needs, you can decide which plugins suites your need best. Everyone has their own list of favorite WordPress plugins. There are so many popular plugins but not every WordPress users is using them.

List of 30 Most Popular Free WordPress plugins

In this article, I am going to list 30 most popular WordPress plugins of this year.


Note :Total number of downloads and active install can be different when you read this article.

Hello Dolly is one of the most popular Free WordPress plugin but i am not going to add hello dolly in this list, because it comes pre installed with WordPress.

1. Contact Form 7

ContactForm7 most popular Free WordPress plugin
ContactForm7 most popular WordPress plugin

Contact Form 7 is most popular WordPress plugin with more than 1+ million active installs and 33,534,041 all time downloads. This is most popular and widely used WordPress contact form plugin.

This powerful plugin allows you to manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup.

This plugin was last updated 1 month ago and is Compatible up to WordPress version 4.4. Latest version 4.3.1 requires WordPress 4.2 or higher.

2. All in One SEO Pack

All in One SEO Pack most popular free WordPress plugin
All in One SEO Pack most popular WordPress plugin

WordPress SEO is very important and every serious blogger and WordPress use some kind of WordPress SEO plugins to improve their search engine rankings.

With 1+ million active Installs and 25,486,474 all time downloads All in One SEO Pack is most popular WordPress SEO plugin and second most popular WordPress plugin in all categories.

This plugin is created by Michael Torbert and Steve Mortiboy. All in One SEO Pack version 2.2.7.5 requires WordPress 3.3 or higher and is compatible up to WordPress 4.4. This plugin is up to date and was last updated 3 weeks ago. A pro version is also available.

3. Akismet

Akismet Most Popular free WordPress plugin

Akismet is 3rd most popular WordPress plugin with 1+ million active install and 42,500,798 all time downloads. Spam is a big headache for bloggers and this free and very powerful WordPress plugins helps you to Automatically check all comments and filters out the ones that look like spam.

Akismet is updated recently and Compatible up to WordPress version 4.4.1. Akismet version 3.1.7 requires WordPress 3.2 or higher. Akismet is most popular WordPress Antispam plugin.

4. Advanced Custom Fields

Advanced Custom Fields Free  Most Popular WordPress plugins
Advanced Custom Fields Most Popular free WordPress plugins

Advanced Custom Fields is fourth most popular WordPress plugin with 1+ million active installs and 4,408,113 all time downloads.

Advanced Custom Fields is very powerful WordPress plugin to create different type of additional custom fields and forms. This plugin is not for beginner WordPress users. Advanced Custom Fields is created by Elliot Condon a Melbourne based web developer.

Advanced Custom Fields version 4.4.4 Requires WordPress version 3.5.0 or higher and is compatible up to WordPress version 4.4. This plugins was last updated 4 weeks ago.

5. Really Simple CAPTCHA

Really Simple CAPTCHA is fifth most popular WordPress plugin of 2015 with 1+ million active installs and 3,839,077 all time downloads. This is second most popular WordPress plugin by Takayuki Miyoshi, who is the developer of most popular WordPress plugin Contact Form 7.

Really Simple CAPTCHA is a CAPTCHA module intended to be called from other WordPress plugins. It was originally created for Contact Form 7 plugin.

Really Simple CAPTCHA is not up to date, it was updated almost a year ago. It requires WordPress version 3.9 or higher and is compatible up to WordPress 4.1.8. But normally most WordPress plugins works well with latest version of WordPress.

6. WooCommerce – excelling eCommerce

WooCommerce Free Most Popular Free WordPress plugins

WooCommerce is a most popular free WordPress eCommerce plugin that allows you to sell anything on your websites or blog. Built to integrate seamlessly with WordPress, WooCommerce is the world’s favorite eCommerce solution that gives both store owners and developers complete control.

You can start selling anything quickly and easily with WooCommerce without spending hundred or thousands of dollars.

According to plugin description page WooCommerce now powers 30% of all online stores — more than any other platform. For advance features hundreds of free and premium extensions are also available for WooComerce.

WooCommerce requires WordPress 4.1 or higher and is Compatible up to WordPress 4.4. With 1+ million active install and 11,707,822 all time downloads this is another most popular WordPress plugin.

7. Jetpack by WordPress.com

Jetpack Most Popular free WordPress Plugins

I think JetPack is most powerful and popular WordPress plugin with 30 plus modules, it turn your WordPress blog into powerful websites.

You don’t need to install dozens of other plugins to add different features to your website. Jetpack’s stats modules lets you see how many people visit your website, which blog post is most popular post, what people are searching for and a lot more.

You can let people subscribe to your blog very easily with subscribers widget. Related post module lets you display other related posts from your blog at the bottom of your blog post.

Jetpack also protects your website against brute force attacks and unauthorised logins. It also monitor your website for downtime and keep your plugins updated.

This is a free plugin created by Automatic the company behind WordPress itself. JetPack version 3.8.2 requires WordPress version 4.2 of higher and is Compatible up to WordPress 4.4.

8. Wordfence Security

Wordfence Security - Most Popular free WordPress Plugins

WordPress is most popular CMS to build websites, that’s why it is heavily targeted by bad guys. You can not ignore security of your WordPress based website.

The Wordfence is most popular WordPress security plugin that provides free enterprise-class WordPress security, protecting your website from hacks and malware.

READ  5 Best Social Sharing WordPress Plugins to Increase Blog Traffic

Wordfence checks if your site is already infected. Wordfence security plugin do a deep server-side scan of your source code and compares it to the Official WordPress repository for core, themes and plugins.

Then Wordfence secures your site and claims to make it up to 50 times faster. A premium version is also available.

Wordfence version 6.0.22 requires WordPress 3.9 or higher and compatible up to 4.4. Wordfence is up to date plugin.

9. WP Super Cache

WP Super Cache - Most Popular fee WordPress Plugins

Slow websites really sucks and people hate slow website, studies show that if a website take too much time to load people will leave it immediately.

Website speed really matters and Google also love fast websites. WP Super Cache is most popular WordPress caching plugin that produces static HTML files to make your website load faster.

WP Super Cache plugin generates static HTML files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After a HTML file is generated your web server will serve that file to Users who are not logged in or Users who have not left a comment on your blog, instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.

WP Super Cache requires WordPress 3.0 or higher and is compatible up to 4.4.

10. Google XML Sitemaps

XML sitemaps are very important for search engines. Sitemaps helps search engines to index your website better which improves your search engine ranking. Google XML Sitemaps is most popular WordPress plugin to generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines to better index your blog.

If you don’t know why XML sitemaps are important and why you should create sitemaps, let me tell you that with sitemaps, it is much easier for the crawlers (in simple words search engines like Google, Bing etc) to see the complete structure of your website and retrieve it more efficiently.

Google XML Sitemaps will notify all major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo etc) every time you will publish a post on your blog. You can also donate via paypal to support developer of this very useful and popular free plugin.

11. Regenerate Thumbnails

Post Thumbnails is a WordPress themes feature introduced with WordPress Version 2.9.

Later It was changed to Featured Images with Version WordPress version 3.0. Post Thumbnail, now Featured Image, is an image that is chosen as the representative image for Posts, Pages or Custom Post Types.

The display of this image is up to the theme you are using. This is especially useful for “Magazine style” themes where each post has an image.

Regenerate Thumbnails is one of the most popular WordPress plugins that allows you to regenerate the thumbnails for your image attachments.

This plugin is very handy if you have changed any of your thumbnail dimensions (via Settings -> Media) after previously uploading images or have changed to a theme with different featured post image dimensions.

The best thing of this plugin is that you can either regenerate the thumbnails for all image uploads, individual image uploads, or specific multiple image uploads. Regenerate Thumbnails requires WordPress version 2.8 or higher and is Compatible up to WordPress version 4.4.

12. Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO - Most Popular Free WordPress plugins

Yoast SEO is no doubt very powerful and most popular WordPress SEO plugin. This plugin allows users to easily optimize their website for search engines.

This free plugin not only allows you write better content also lets you fully optimized WordPress site. After writing each blog post Yoast SEO helps you make your blog post better by giving suggestion.

The Yoast SEO plugins Page Analysis functionality checks simple things you are bound to forget. It checks, for instance, if you have images in your post and whether they have an alt tag containing the focus keyword for that post.

Yoast SEO plugin will also check whether your posts are long enough, if you have written a meta description and if that meta description contains your focus keyword, if you’ve used any subheadings within your post, etc. etc.

You can read about this plugin at WordPress SEO plugin page. Yoast SEO requires WordPress 4.0 or higher and Compatible up to WordPress 4.4. With 1+ million Active Installs this one is second most popular WordPress SEO plugin. A premium version is also available.

13. WP-PageNavi

WP-PageNavi Free Most Popular WordPress Plugins

According to Joost De Valk developer of Yoast SEO plugin

You’ll want to make sure that if a bot goes to a category page, it can reach all underlying pages without any trouble. Otherwise, if you have a lot of posts in a category, a bot might have to go back 10 pages before being able to find the link to one of your awesome earlier posts. Source

There’s an easy fix, in fact, there are several plugins that deal with this. Joost’s favorite one by far is WP-PageNavi, maintained by Scribu, one of the best WordPress developers around.

WP-PageNavi plugin will replace the old ← Older posts | Newer posts → links with numbered pagination.

WP-PageNavi requires WordPress version 3.2 or higher and is compatible up to WordPress 4.4

14. WordPress Importer

If you need to import posts, pages, comments, custom fields, categories, tags and more from one WordPress install to another, you can use WordPress Importer free plugin.

This free plugin can also import and export custom post types, Comments, Custom fields and post meta, Categories, tags and terms from custom taxonomies and Authors.

This free plugin is created by WordPress.org

15. NextGEN Gallery

NextGEN Gallery free Most Popular WordPress Plugins

This is the most popular WordPress gallery plugin and one of the most popular plugins of all time with over 14 million downloads and 1+ million installs.

NextGEN Gallery is very powerful plugin for uploading and managing galleries of images, with the ability to batch upload, import meta data, add/delete/rearrange/sort images, edit thumbnails, group galleries into albums, and more.

READ  6 Best WooCommerce Affiliate Management Plugins To Boost Sales

NextGEN Gallery provides two front-end display styles (slideshows and thumbnail galleries), both of which come with a wide array of options for controlling size, style, timing, transitions, controls, lightbox effects, and more.

16. TinyMCE Advanced

TinyMCE Advanced Most Popular Free WordPress Plugins

WordPress editor does not give advance buttons and options, for example if you want to create tables you will have to use HTML mark up.

TinyMCE Advanced plugin enables advanced features of TinyMCE, the WordPress WYSIWYG editor. It is compatible up to WordPress 4.4.

This free plugin is created by Andrew Ozz, who is one the WordPress lead developer. Exploit Scanner is his another very useful plugin.

Some of the features added by TinyMCE Advanced

  • Support for creating and editing tables.
  • More options when inserting lists.
  • Search and Replace in the editor.
  • Ability to set Font Family and Font Size.
  • And many others.

  • Download TinyMCE Advanced

  • Active installs : 1+ million
  • All time downloads : 6,723,471

17. Google Analytics by Yoast

Google Analytics by Yoast is another most popular WordPress plugin from Joost de Valk developer of Yoast SEO plugin.

The Google Analytics by Yoast plugin for WordPress allows you to track your blog easily and always stays up to date with the newest features in Google Analytics.

It requires WordPress 3.9 or higher and WordPress 4.3.1. I want to share my experience with you that when i installed this plugin in December 2015, it failed to connect with my Google account.

When I pasted the authentication code, it took me to a non-existent page. I tried to contact developer but they said they failed to solve the issue.

Make sure it works well and you can authenticate your Google analytics account. otherwise you can use Jetpack’s Stats module or any other plugin.

18. W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache Free Most Popular WordPress Plugins

This is another WordPress caching plugin for Easy Web Performance Optimization (WPO) using caching: browser, page, object, database, minify and content delivery network support.

W3 Total Cache helps you to optimize and increase page speed of your site.

According to WordPress.org page web hosts like Page.ly, Synthesis, DreamHost, MediaTemple, Go Daddy, HostGator and countless more recommend and companies like AT&T, stevesouders.com, mattcutts.com, mashable.com, smashingmagazine.com, makeuseof.com, yoast.com, ilovetypography.com, webdesignerdepot.com, css-tricks.com and tens of thousands of others trust W3 Total Cache plugin.

W3 Total Cache requires WordPress 3.2 or higher and Compatible up to WordPress 4.3.1. It was last updated 4 months ago (August 2015).

19. Duplicate Post

Duplicate Post Free Most Popular WordPress Plaugins

Duplicate Post plugin allows to clone a post or page, or edit it as a new draft quickly. If you find this useful, consider donating whatever sum you choose, even just 10 cents.

It’s been downloaded thousands of times: just a few cents from every user would help Lopo the developer of this plugin to develop the plugin and improve support.

20. Disable Comments

This plugin allows WordPress site administrators to globally disable comments on any post type (posts, pages, attachments, etc.) so that these settings cannot be overridden for individual posts.

Disable Comments plugin also removes all comment-related fields from edit and quick-edit screens. On multi-site installations, Disable Comments plugin can be used to disable comments on the entire network.

Additionally, comment-related items can be removed from the Dashboard, Widgets, the Admin Menu and the Admin Bar. This plugin requires WordPress 3.9 or higher and compatible up to WordPress 4.4.

21. WP Multibyte Patch

Multibyte functionality enhancement for the WordPress Japanese package.

22. Black Studio TinyMCE Widget

Black Studio TinyMCE Widget is created by Marco Chiesi and Francesco Canovi, that adds a new Visual Editor widget type that allows you to insert rich text and media objects in your sidebars with no hassle.

As you know that default WordPress text widget lacks of functionalities and it requires HTML knowledge, not every WordPress users knows HTML, this plugin was born to overcome these limitations.

Black Studio TinyMCE Widget requires WordPress 3.1 or higher and compatible up to WordPress 4.3.2 but it does not mean it won’t work with latest version of WordPress.

To support the developer you can also donate to this plugin.

Black Studio TinyMCE Widget Features

  • Add rich text widgets to your sidebars and edit them using visual editor
  • Switch between Visual mode and HTML mode (including Quick tags toolbar)
  • Insert images/videos from WordPress Media Library
  • Insert links to existing WordPress pages/posts or external resources
  • Support for fullscreen editing mode
  • Support for widgets accessibility mode
  • Support for WordPress networks (multi-site)
  • Support for WPML (multi-language)
  • Live preview in theme customizer
  • Available in 20+ languages

  • Download Black Studio TinyMCE Widget

  • Active installs : 700,000+
  • All time downloads : 2,671,276

23. Page Builder by SiteOrigin

Page Builder by SiteOrigin free Most Popular WordPress Plugins

Page Builder by SiteOrigin is the most popular page creation plugin and one of the most popular WordPress plugin with 700,000+ active installs.

This powerful free plugin makes it easy to create responsive column based content, using the widgets you know and love. Your content will accurately adapt to all mobile devices, ensuring your site is mobile ready.

It means your content will look great on all type of devices desktops, tablets an smart phones.

One of the great thing about this plugin is that you are free to change themes as often as you like. Your content will always come along with you. Page Builder offers simple drag and drop interface means you will never need to write a single line of code. Page Builder generates all the code for you.

Plugin developers (Greg Priday and Braam Genis) claims that they have created an intuitive interface that looks just like WordPress itself. It is easy to learn, so you will be building beautiful, responsive content in no time.

READ  How to Change WordPress default login logo, url and title?

Page Builder by SiteOrigin requires WordPress 4.0 or higher and is compatible up to WordPress 4.4.1.

24. iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security)

iThemes Securityfree  Most Popular Free WordPress Plugins

iThemes Security (formerly Better WP Security) is one of the best and most popular WordPress security plugin that offers more than 30 ways to protect your website from attacks.

With this free and powerful security plugin you can protect WordPress site by hiding vital areas of your site.

You can easily protect access to important files and preventing brute-force login attempts is also possible with this plugin. Brute force attack is very common to steal login details of WordPress sites.

A pro version is also available which offers many advance features. Version 5.1.1 requires WordPress 4.1 or higher and compatible up to WordPress 4.3.2.

iThemes has created 10 free plugins this security plugin is most popular. For example iThemes Hide Dashboard plugin lets you hide the login pages of your WordPress site making them only accessible through the address you provide.

25. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP

Google Analytics Dashboard for WP free Most Popular WordPress Plugins

Google Analytics Dashboard for WP is created by Alin Marcu, this one is his most popular plugin. This plugin shows Google Analytics reports, in real-time, in your dashboard screen.

You can see real-time number of visitors, real-time acquisition channels and real-time traffic sources details on your site with in WordPress dashboard.

This free plugin enables you to track your site stats using the latest Google Analytics tracking code and allows you to view key Google Analytics reports in your WordPress install.

It means no need to visit Google analytics dashboard to view your site stats. FOr more information and all features you can read plugin description.

Google Analytics Dashboard for WP version 4.9.1.2 requires WordPress 3.5 or higher and is compatible up to WordPress 4.4.1.

26. UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration

Regular back up are one of the most important thing for any WordPress website, you don’t know when some thing bad happens to your website. Hackers are always try to access your website, in case of any problem they can delete your entire website and your client can delete some important files.

There are many free and premium WordPress back up plugins are available. UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration is most popular free plugin that makes Backup and restoration simple and easy. This free plugin offers complete backups and manual or scheduled (backup to S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, Rackspace, FTP, SFTP, email + others).

27. Clef Two-Factor Authentication

Clef Two-Factor Authentication Most Popular WordPress plugins free

Two Step verification helps you make your online accounts more secure and safe. 2-Step Verification can help keep bad guys out, even if they have your password.

Many online services offer two step verification services to make your accounts more secure and safe. there are many free WordPress plugins available to add two Factor Authentication to your WordPress site.

Clef Two-Factor Authentication is most popular free WordPress plugin for two-factor authentication. This plug lets you use modern two-factor that people love to use. strong authentication without passwords or tokens; single sign on/off.

Clef Two-Factor Authentication 2.3.3 requires WordPress 3.5 or higher and is compatible up to WordPress 4.4.1.

I personally use Google Authenticator plugin for two step verification, You can read my sitepoint tutorial How to add 2-Step Verification for WordPress Using Google Authenticator.

28. Meta Slider

Meta Slider Most Popular Free WordPress Plugins slider

There are many free and premium WordPress slider plugins available, with 600,000+ active install Meta Slider is most popular WordPress plugins to create slides.

This free most popular WordPress slider plugin makes it easy to create slideshows fast and easy. Simply select images from your WordPress Media Library, drag and drop them into place, set slide captions, links and SEO fields all from one page.

You can choose from 4 different slideshow types (Flex Slider, Nivo Slider, Responsive Slides & Coin Slider) and use the provided shortcode or template include to easily embed slideshows in your blog. A premium version is also available.

29. Duplicator

Duplicator Most Popular Free WordPress plugins

The Duplicator is most popular WordPress migration plugin, that gives WordPress administrators the ability to migrate, copy or clone a site from one location to another.

The plugin also serves as a simple backup utility. The Duplicator supports both serialized and base64 serialized string replacement. If you need to move WordPress or backup WordPress this plugin can help simplify the process.

Duplicator 1.1.0 requires WordPress 3.9 or higher and compatible up to WordPress 4.4.1.

30. WP-DB-Backup

With 500,000+ active install WP-DB-Backup is one of the most popular WordPress plugin to backup the database. This plugin allows you to easily backup your core WordPress database tables. You may also backup other tables in the same database.

WP-DB-Backup version 2.3.o requires WordPress 2.0.3 or higher. WP-DB-Backup is created by Austin Matzko, he has also published 15 other free plugins.

Final Words

These are most popular free WordPress plugins of the year so far. There are many other free and popular plugins available.

Keep in mind if a plugin is very popular it does not mean it is great and offer everything, sometimes less popular plugins works great offers much more great features, simple and easy to use interface.

For example, Clef Two-Factor Authentication is the most popular plugin for WordPress Two-Factor Authentication but less popular Google Authenticator also works great and i have been using it for a year.

Google Analytics by Yoast is the most popular plugin but if you will read help forums many people says that it does not work and they can not authenticate their account. So always test plugins before installing them on a live website.

Feel free to share your own list of favorite Free WordPress plugins in comments below.

13 responses on “30 Most Popular Free WordPress plugins of the Year

  1. Troy

    Excellent Plugins. I have found another slider plugin which is Avartan Slider. Which has multi slider functionality and lots of unique features.
    Avartan Slider is available in Lite and Pro version.

  2. Brenda Smith

    There is no doubt that These are the must have WordPress plugins for every blogger.

    Currently I am using few of them like Yoast SEO, Jetpack, W3 Total Cache, Redirection, Wp Smush.it.

    For WordPress security, I am using ” iThemes security ” also known as ” Better WP Security “.

    Thanks for sharing this list with us.

  3. FreeZeR

    My favorites wordpress plugins:
    WordPress SEO by Yoast
    WP Mail SMTP
    Google XML Sitemaps
    Jetpack
    WP Super Cache
    Akismet
    Also i prefer Facebook comments or generic wordpress comment system then Disqus.

    1. Tahir Post author

      Thanks Jamil Adhmad for your comment. There are so many free and premium WordPress back up plugins available. I will write an other post about best and most popular WordPress Back up plugins soon.

    1. Tahir Post author

      Hi Shrinivas,

      Thanks for sharing your plugin. In this article i have listed most popular WordPress plugins, I will publish other article about email plugin soon.

  4. Gssamdani

    This is very conducive article on wordpress plugins . One of the great thing that these plugin is very much useful for whom who want to experiment on plugins to get clear concept before using premium plugins . Thus way they can know which one is authentic of premium using free most popular wordpress plugins As I am free to activate as often as i like .

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