20 Essential Free WordPress Plugins for Top Security and SEO

Security is a very important aspect in every online platform, especially WordPress website. Another aspect that will determine how popular your site will be and how long it will take is SEO, that is how friendly search engine bots and your site visitors find it. That is why you need to be very careful when selecting security and SEO plugins. There are tons of free plugins for securing and optimizing WordPress blog. As with any other thing, there are few that work efficiently, just like premium plugins.

best wordpress plugins for new sites
Source: zonewp.com

Popular blogs that attract huge traffics are the ones that are search engine-friendly. Also, popular WordPress blogs are the main targets of hackers. Your blog can only be hacking-proof if it is properly secured. I have taken time to select these top SEO and security plugins for WordPress blog and eCommerce sites.

How to Install WordPress Plugins

  1. Login to your WordPress admin dashboard.
  2. Navigate to Plugins Add New.
  3. Type in the name of the plugin in the search box.
  4. Click on Install for the plugin.
  5. Next click on Activate. That’s all.

NOTE: If you have already downloaded the plugin zip file, simply upload the file from your PC, install and activate it.

See:

Recommended Free WordPress Security Plugins for New Blogs

Google Authenticator

This is a very essential security plugin every WordPress blogger should install in his blog. The plugin gives you 2 factor authentication using the Google Authenticator app for Android or iPhone. With this, nobody can login to your WordPress admin account without providing the time-based one-time pass code. Even if someone else knows your WordPress admin username and password, they will be denied access unless they provide the pass code from the Google Authenticator app on your phone. Google Authenticator plugin is a better alternative to Jetpack plugin.

reCaptcha by BestWebSoft

A very essential security plugin that protects WordPress sites from spams in login, registration, password recovery and comment forms. This is to ensure that bots don’t submit details to your site.

After a user enters a required information in any of the forms, they are required to prove that they are not robots by solving a challenge. It could be word challenge or image challenge, depending on the version you installed.

It is also compatible with other security plugins.

Read:

Sucuri Security – Auditing, Malware Scanner and Hardening

Here comes another popular and effective free WordPress security plugin.

The plugin effective security auditing, hardening, file integrity and blacklist monitoring, post-hack security actions, etc. Website firewall is also enabled for the premium version.

Login LockDown

When there are more than 3 failed login attempts from a particular IP or IP range within 5 minutes, this plugin will prevent your site from accepting any login request from that IP for about 1 hour. This is to ensure that hackers don’t discover login details through brute force attack.

Site admins can also disable or re-enable logins functions for a specific IP.

UpdraftPlus – Backup/Restore

A trusted WordPress backup and restoration plugin. There are many reasons why you should backup your site online, even if you have manually backed it up offline. The main reason is to ensure that in case of any incident like server crashes, hacking, security flaws, etc., you can easily restore it from the backup files. The plugin allows you to backup directly to your online Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3, UpdraftVault, email, etc.

The premium version gives you access to automatic backup schedule.

WPS Hide Login

What this security plugin does is to change the WordPress Admin URL from the default to any custom URL you want. This means that when an unauthorized users try to access the default admin URL, it will redirect them to the error 404 page. Make sure yo don’t forget the URL and also make sure you don’t disclose it to any other person, apart from site admins.

But once this plugin is disabled, the default admin URL will be re-enabled.

See:

Recommended Free WordPress SEO Plugins

Yoast SEO

The best Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plugin for WordPress sites. The plugin helps you configure your blog in a way that will please both your site visitors and search engines spiders.

It provides title and meta description template, the latest schema implementation, advanced XML sitemaps and also helps to avoid duplicate contents by automatically setting canonical URLs.

Yoast SEO premium version offers even more features like: ability to add more than one keyword to articles, suggests related articles for internal linking, social share preview and modification, etc. After installation you need to configure Yoast SEO for maximum blog performance.

Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights

The most popular Google analytics WordPress plugin. It reveals important stats that will help you understand your business better. With these stats, you can now start making data-driven decisions that will take your business to the next higher level. You can install and setup the plugin with just few clicks.

Read:

LiteSpeed Cache

This plugin features server-level cache and optimation tools.

It helps to reduce the load time of your site pages and also ensures that users can browse through your site even with a slow network. Its features that helps to increase your site speed is the Lazyload images that ensures that page texts load first and also that images load as users scroll down the page. Other features include minify inline CSS/JS, Browser cache, multiple CDN support, database cleaner and optimizer, etc.

Site Kit by Google

This is an official plugin from Google to help bloggers deploy, manage and get insights from most Google tools. Site Kit by Google displays key metrics from these Google products:

  • Google Analytics
  • Tag Manager
  • Search Console
  • AdSense
  • PageSpeed Insights
  • Optimize

All you need to do is to give the plugin the permission to connect to these Google products once you install it.

Smush

This plugin helps to optimize your blog images. With the plugin you can reduce the size of your site images (image compression) without reducing their quality. It also has “lazy load” feature. These features help to improve the Google page speed score of your blog for free. The page speed of my blog increased when I started using this plugin.

Broken Link Checker

Broken links from your site affects your site Search engine rank negatively. The plugin checks your site posts, pages, comments, etc. for broken links and then notifies you via dashboard or email. It allows you to easily detect these broken links by showing you the URL anchor link. With this, you open the page and search for the anchor link. You can also configure it in such a way that it prevents search engines from following your sites broken links.

Other Recommended WordPress Plugins for New Blogs

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Conclusion

These are some of the recommended free WordPress plugins to help your site rank very high and with top security. You can install these plugins by first downloading the plugin zip file from WordPress.org and then upload them through the WordPress admin > Plugin section. You can also search for these plugins from your admin dashboard and then install them without having to download them first. The first option is recommended for premium plugins where you have to purchase and download them from the developers site and then install them in your blog through the admin dashboard.

Both methods give you the latest version of the plugin. You can always update them when new versions are released.

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About the Author: Buzzer Joseph

I am an entrepreneur who believes that anybody can achieve whatever goal he sets, so long as you follow the right path. I fully decided to take entrepreneurship as a lifestyle in 2014 and have never regretted that decision. Even though I failed many times, but my failures helped me discover my hidden potentials. Check out my Amazon Author Page at https://amazon.com/author/buzzerjoseph. I blog at Buzzing Point - https://www.buzzingpoint.com and Microsoft Tutorials - https://www.microsofttut.com where I help young entrepreneurs to discover their hidden potentials and how to turn their passions into long term income streams. Also, I am very active in Quora, especially in my spaces, Lucrative Business Ideas - https://lucrativebusinessideas.quora.com/. In fact, I can't do without the internet. I love surfing the net and making research. I love updating my fans on the latest buzzing info. Apart from surfing the internet, you can also find me playing badminton game or tennis.

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