Best WordPress Plugins for Beginners: Start Your Site Right [Free & Paid]

Best WordPress Plugins for Beginners: Start Your Site Right [Free & Paid]

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By Sally Schinkel


Discover the best WordPress plugins for beginners. Effortlessly launch your site with our top free and paid selections, starting right.


WordPress Plugins are the secret to a more dynamic and functional website. They extend WordPress’ functionality so that you can create anything from an online shop to a social network. 

You can manage your online presence using WordPress plugins regardless of your technical expertise. But with thousands of free and premium plugins available, you may have difficulty finding the right one. 

So continue reading to discover the best WordPress plugins for beginners. We’ll share both free and premium plugins with you so you can start your website right.

What are WordPress Plugins?

What are WordPress Plugins?
What are WordPress Plugins?

Definition of Plugins

Plugins are software tools that enhance your website with a few clicks. You can find thousands of plugins on the WordPress website, many of which are free to use!

Purpose and Benefits of Using Plugins

Plugins let you add and improve features without coding from scratch. For instance, some plugins let you optimise images, loading them faster and saving bandwidth. Others store some information in temporary storage so your website loads faster.

The Importance of WordPress Plugins for Beginners

WordPress plugins offer many benefits for beginners. Let’s have a look.

Enhancing Website Functionality

Think of your website as a basic smartphone. It can make calls and send messages, but what if you want more? Like a camera or a map? That’s where WordPress plugins step in. They’re like apps you install on your phone (website) to give it more features. Maybe you want to let visitors chat with you, show off your portfolio, or sell your products. There’s a plugin for all of that!

Improving User Experience

Plugins can also enhance your website’s user experience. It’s like adding comfy seats and air conditioning to your car. They make the ride (or visit to your website) more enjoyable. Plugins can help your pages load faster and make your website look better on mobile phones.

Streamlining Website Management

Managing a website can be hard, like trying to fix a car without the right tools. But plugins can make it easier. Some plugins help keep your website safe and secure. Others can create backups of your website in case something goes wrong. 

Adding Customization Options

Plugins let you make your website truly yours. You can change your website’s look, add your logo, change the colors, and more. You get to decide what features you want and then add them!

Best Free & Paid WordPress Plugins for Beginners

Best WordPress Plugins for Beginners
Best WordPress Plugins for Beginners

WordPress is amazing. But it can be even more impressive with plugins. Let’s discuss some of the best free and paid WordPress plugins for beginners.

1. Classic Widgets

Explanation and Purpose of Classic Widgets 

Do you miss the old widgets in WordPress? Don’t stress. You can get them back with Classic Widgets. This plugin lets you use the old widgets instead of the new ones that use blocks. Some of the classic widgets available with this plugin include 

  • Categories Widget
  • Recent Posts Widget
  • Tag Cloud Widget.

These widgets are useful for displaying your website’s content. Thus, they make browsing easier for visitors. 

Benefits for Beginners

  1. Familiar Format for those used to the Classic WordPress Editor

Classic Widgets maintains a familiar, user-friendly design that helps users, especially those accustomed to the traditional WordPress editor. They are easy to use and configure, making the process of managing website elements simpler.

  1. Easy Widget Management 

It gives you direct control over widget placement and customization. This makes managing various sections of your site, such as the sidebar or footer, more accessible and efficient compared to the block-based system.

How to Install and Use Classic Widgets

2. Duplicate Page

Explanation and Purpose of Duplicate Page

Let’s suppose you need to make copies of your pages or posts. How can you do that fast and easy? You can use Duplicate Page. With a simple click, create a replica of your page or post. It’s a time-saver for duplicating layouts or content across your WordPress site.

Benefits for Beginners

  1. Simplifying Content Management

You don’t have to start from scratch every time you want to create a new page or post. You can just copy an existing one and modify it as you like.

  1. Saving Time in Building Similar Pages 

You can save hours of work by duplicating posts that have similar structures or elements. For instance, if you have a landing page template, you can duplicate it and change the text for different campaigns.

How to Install and Use Duplicate Page

3. Imagify

Explanation and Purpose of Imagify

Loading speed is important for your website. It affects your performance and user experience. But how can you make your website load faster? One way is to shrink your images without destroying quality. Imagify is an image optimisation plugin that can help you with that. It makes your website run smoother and uses fewer data.

Benefits for Beginners

  1. Image Optimization

Imagify lets you compress your images by up to 80% without any difference in quality. This means your images will take up less space and load faster on your website.

  1. Improving the Website Loading Speed 

You can improve your website’s loading speed by using Imagify. A faster website can boost your SEO ranking and increase your conversions. It will also reduce your bounce rate. It can also make your visitors more satisfied and loyal.

How to Install and Use Imagify

Comparing Free and Premium Versions

Feature  Imagify Free Imagify Premium
Price  Free  Paid 
Image Compression   Limited Unlimited  
Bulk OptimizationNo  Yes     
Backup Original Images  No  Yes     
Premium Support  No    Yes   

4. FlyingPress

Explanation and Purpose of FlyingPress

Another way to improve your website speed and performance is to use FlyingPress. This performance optimisation plugin offers features like image optimisation, lazy loading, and caching. These features make your website load faster and use fewer resources. 

Benefits for Beginners

  1. Website Speed Optimization

FlyingPress helps you reduce the size of your images, load them only when they are visible, and store them in the browser for faster access. It can also remove unnecessary code and files from your website.

  1. Improving User Experience 

You can improve your user experience by using FlyingPress. It can prevent your visitors from leaving your website due to frustration or impatience. It can also improve your SEO ranking, conversion rate, and revenue. 

How to Install and Use FlyingPress

5. GenerateBlocks

Explanation and Purpose of GenerateBlocks

GenerateBlocks is a page builder plugin you can use to design your website. It is a fast and easy plugin that gives you different blocks to create custom designs for your website. You can move the blocks around to make your pages. You can make your pages look exactly how you want them to.

Benefits for Beginners

  1. Creating Custom Page Layouts

GenerateBlocks lets you choose from different blocks like containers, grids, headlines, and buttons. You can also adjust the size, color, spacing, and alignment of the blocks. 

  1. Enhancing Website Design Capabilities

GenerateBlocks lets you use the blocks to create stunning designs for your website. You can also use the blocks with any theme or plugin.

6. GenerateBlocks Pro

Explanation and Purpose of GenerateBlocks Pro

GenerateBlocks Pro is the premium version of the GenerateBlocks plugin. It offers additional features like advanced typography controls and dynamic content. It also offers more pre-built blocks to help you create even more complex layouts and designs.

Benefits for Beginners

  1. Additional Customization Options

You can customize your blocks even more with GenerateBlocks Pro. It lets you change the fonts, colors, sizes, and styles of your text. You can also add dynamic content like post titles, dates, and images.

  1. Advanced Design Features 

GenerateBlocks Pro offers more pre-built blocks like testimonials, pricing tables, and calls to action. You can also use animations, gradients, and effects to make your website more attractive.

Comparing GenerateBlocks vs. GenerateBlocks Pro

Feature                   GenerateBlocksGenerateBlocks Pro
Price  Free Paid  
Advanced Background GradientsNo Yes    
Off-canvas Panels    No Yes 
Container Link No Yes 
Premium Support    No Yes 

7. GP Premium

Explanation and Purpose of GP Premium

GP Premium is a plugin bundle for the GeneratePress theme. It offers additional features like advanced typography controls and custom post layouts. You will also get more customisation options for your website.

Benefits for Beginners

  1. Access to Premium Features and Layouts

With GP Premium, you can change the fonts, colors, sizes, and styles of your text. You can also create custom layouts for your posts and pages.

  1. Streamlined Website Customization 

GP Premium offers customization options to change the settings of your theme. You can also import and export your customizations to other websites.

How to Install and Use GP Premium

Legal Pages plugin is an effortless way to maintain legal compliance on your site. It generates mandatory legal pages, like Privacy Policy and Disclaimer. It offers templates you can use and edit to match your needs. 

Benefits for Beginners

  1. Ensuring Website Compliance

You can ensure your website compliance with the Legal Pages plugin. It helps you follow the laws and regulations of your country and industry. It also protects you from legal issues and fines.

  1. Simplifying the Creation of Legal Disclaimers 

Legal Pages plugin provides you with ready-made templates you can customize and publish. You don’t have to write them from scratch or hire a lawyer.

Feature Legal Pages Legal Pages Pro
Price       FreePaid  
Pre-made Legal TemplatesLimited Extensive 
Customizable Templates  No    Yes    
Auto-update FunctionalityNo    Yes   
Premium Support    No Yes 

Link Whisper is a plugin that helps you improve the internal linking format of your blog. It offers suggestions for internal links based on your content. It can help you organise your website and make it user-friendly.

Benefits for Beginners

  1. Improve Internal Linking

Link Whisper helps you connect your related posts and pages with relevant links. It also helps you avoid broken links and orphaned pages.

  1. A Faster and Easier Way to Build Links

It saves you time and effort by finding and adding links for you. You can also edit and manage your links from one dashboard.

FeatureLink WhisperLink Whisper Premium
Price Free   Paid 
Automatic Link SuggestionsYes Yes 
In-Depth Link Reports    Limited Advanced 
Keyword Auto-Linking    No Yes 
Premium Support    No Yes 

10. Rank Math SEO

Explanation and Purpose of Rank Math SEO

Do you want to increase your website’s rank on search engines? You can use Rank Math SEO, an SEO plugin for that. It has features like keyword optimisation, site maps, and social media integration. All these features can help draw more visitors to your site.

Benefits for Beginners

  1. Optimize Your Website for Search Engines 

Rank Math SEO helps you choose the right keywords, titles, and descriptions for your pages and posts. It also helps you fix any SEO errors or issues on your site.

  1. Power of an Entire SEO Team with Just a Few Clicks

Rank Math SEO has advanced features like schema markup, redirections, and analytics. It also integrates with Google and other popular tools and platforms. You can manage your SEO strategy with ease and confidence with this plugin.

Comparing Rank Math SEO Vs. Rank Math SEO PRO

Feature              Rank Math SEORank Math SEO PRO 
Price  Free   Paid  
Keyword Tracking   LimitedUnlimited
Schema Markup    Basic Advanced 
Advanced Google AnalyticsNo Yes 
Premium 24/7 Support   No Yes 

11. Recent Posts Widget With Thumbnails

Explanation and Purpose of Recent Posts Widget With Thumbnails

Recent Posts Widget With Thumbnails lets you display recent posts with thumbnails. It offers customisation options like post count, thumbnail size, and more. It’s an engaging way to showcase your latest content to visitors.

Benefits for Beginners

  1. Enhance Your Blog’s Appearance

Recent Posts Widget With Thumbnails adds visual interest and variety to your sidebar or footer. It also helps your visitors see what’s new and interesting on your blog.

  1. Lightweight, Simple, and Effective

Recent Posts Widget With Thumbnails is lightweight. It doesn’t slow down your website or cause any conflicts. It also works with any theme or plugin. You can set it up and use it in minutes.

How to Install and Use Recent Posts Widget With Thumbnails

12. WordFence

Explanation and Purpose of WordFence

There’s also a plugin to protect your website from viruses, hackers, and other threats. It’s called WordFence. It offers features that help with the security of your website.

Benefits for Beginners

  1. Secure Your Website from Threats 

WordFence helps you block malicious attacks, detect malware infections, and prevent unauthorized access. It also helps you monitor your website activity and alerts you of any issues.

  1. Provides a Comprehensive Suite of Security Features

It offers features like brute force protection, two-factor authentication, and live traffic analysis. You can also use features like password auditing, spam filtering, and IP reputation checking.

Comparing WordFence Vs. WordFence Premium

Feature                          WordFenceWordFence Premium
Price   Free Paid 
Real-Time Threat Defense Feed   No    Yes      
Country Blocking         No    Yes     
Scheduled Scans    Yes    Yes 
Premium Support NoYes    

13. Contact Form by WPForms

Explanation and Purpose of Contact Form by WPForms

If you need to create customised forms for your blog, WPForms Lite is a good choice. It is a plugin that helps you make professional-looking forms easily. 

Benefits for Beginners

  1. Create Custom Contact Forms 

WPForms Lite lets you add different fields like name, email, message, and more. You can also customise the appearance and behaviour of your forms.

  1. A Drag & Drop WordPress Form Builder that’s Easy and Powerful

You can create and edit your forms with a simple interface. Advanced features like spam protection, email notifications, and file uploads can also be used.

Comparing Contact Form by WPForms Lite Vs. Contact Form by WPForms Premium

FeatureContact Form by WPForms LiteContact Form by WPForms Premium
Price  Free   Paid   
Form Templates    Limited    Numerous 
Spam Protection Basic   Advanced       
Payment IntegrationNo  Yes  
Conditional Logic   No    Yes  

14. WP Mail SMTP by WPForm

Explanation and Purpose of WP Mail SMTP by WPForms

How can you ensure your emails from your WordPress site reach their recipients? One way is to use WPMail SMPT by WPForms. This plugin lets you send emails using an SMTP server. 

Benefits for Beginners

  1. Improve Email Deliverability 

You can improve your email deliverability with WP Mail SMTP by WPForms. It helps you avoid spam filters and email rejections. It also helps you track and troubleshoot your email issues.

  1. Easy-to-Use Setup Wizard and Detailed Documentation Guide You through the Process

It helps you configure your SMTP settings and choose your mailer service. It also provides you with helpful tips and support along the way.

Comparing WP Mail SMTP by WPForms Vs. WP Mail SMTP by WPForms PRO

Feature                    WP Mail SMTP by WPForms WP Mail SMTP by WPForms PRO
Price   Free Paid 
Number of available email routesLimitedUnlimited
Customer Support       Limited    Full support 
Email Logs   No    Yes       
Multiple SMTP Connections  No             Yes  

How to Choose the Right Plugins for Your Website 

Define your Website’s Purpose and Target Audience

Knowing your website’s purpose and target audience is paramount. These elements dictate the functionality and user interface needed.

Assess your Technical Skills and Needs

Self-assessment of your technical abilities is crucial. This step will decide if you can manage complex plugins or if simpler solutions would serve better.

Consider your Budget and Whether to Invest in Paid Plugins

Consider your budget constraints. Then decide whether investing in premium plugins aligns with your financial plan.

Research Plugin Compatibility and Updates

Research each plugin’s compatibility with your website’s platform and regularly updated features. A plugin that is regularly updated minimizes security risks.

Additional Tips for Success with WordPress Plugins

Additional Tips for Success with WordPress Plugins
Additional Tips for Success with WordPress Plugins

Keep Plugins Up-to-Date for Security and Functionality

Always keep your plugins updated. This ensures you’re leveraging their latest features and security enhancements, preventing potential vulnerabilities.

Remove Unused Plugins to Maintain Site Speed and Performance

Remove any unused or unnecessary plugins from your site. This declutters your workspace and also optimizes your website’s speed and overall performance.

Reach Out to Plugin Developers or User Communities for Support and Best Practices

Don’t hesitate to reach out to the plugin developers or join their user communities. This opens up avenues for valuable support, expert advice, and shared best practices to optimize your use of the plugin.


Plugins are the secret to the success of any WordPress website. With plugins, you can customise and improve your website without much effort. They amplify your site’s performance, saving you valuable time and effort. While free plugins are handy and won’t hurt your wallet, they offer basic features with limits. 

Contrarily, premium plugins deliver a value-packed proposition worth every penny. They offer advanced capabilities, superior support, and regular updates. The plugins shared in this blog are only a fraction of the vast variety of WordPress plugins. Exploring this vast world, you’ll find the perfect fit for your site’s unique needs and objectives.

Best WordPress Plugins for Beginners
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FAQs – Best WordPress Plugins for Beginners

What is the difference between free and premium plugins?

Free plugins cost nothing but may lack features. Premium plugins cost money but offer more features and usually better help.

Why should I use a premium plugin?

Premium plugins can make your site better or more professional. Plus, you get fast help if there’s a problem.

Can I use free plugins instead of premium ones?

Free plugins are fine if they do what you want. But they may not have too many features or help as premium plugins. 

Are there any risks associated with using plugins?

Yes! Although plugins improve your site’s functionality, they might pose risks if handled poorly. This could involve security loopholes, compatibility hurdles, and performance setbacks. To mitigate these concerns, it’s wise only to download plugins from reputable sources. Keep them routinely updated, and frequently check your website’s performance and security.

How do I choose the right plugin for my needs?

Think about what you want your site to do. Look for a plugin that has those features. Read reviews to see if people like it. Then try the plugin on a test site before integrating it into your live website as a safety measure.

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