It’s a well-known fact that I’m a huge fan of premium plugins. I like a plugin that is well developed, well-documented, professional and functional and often times, that means you have to pay for it. I’m okay with that. The women and men who develop these plugins deserve to be paid for their work.

But there are a lot of really great free plugins out there, so I thought I’d share a list of my favorites, in no particular order.

  1. Better Search and Replace: I love this plugin by Delicious Brains. (Also, I love the name of that company.) This makes the task of finding and replacing almost anything anywhere in the database super easy. I use it when migrating sites from one URL to another, or changing a site from a dev directory to root, or even if someone needs to add a ® or ™ to their name throughout the site. Makes it super easy.
  2. iThemes Security: WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world, now powering more than 25% of all websites. That’s a huge marketshare, which makes it a target for hackers. iThemes Security makes it super easy to lock down different areas of your site to prevent getting hacked into. Since I’ve been using it (for years now) I rarely have to deal with a hacked site.
  3. Yoast SEO: When it comes to SEO, Yoast is the leader. There’s no denying this. I like that it starts out simple, but then gives you more advanced options. It is a must for every site we create.
  4. Migrate DB: Another plugin by Delicious Brains, those people really know what they are doing. Since I develop all my sites locally, I use this plugin to easily migrate the database over to the live server. It could not be easier.
  5. Simple 301 Redirects: Whenever we launch a new website for a client who already had a website, the first thing I do is go through, find all their old URLs, and redirect them to the new pages. This helps with SEO and prevents broken and error pages. This plugin makes it really easy to pop in your old/new URLs and make those redirects happen.
  6. Custom Post Types UI: I like CPTs. I use them on almost every single site I make. This plugin by Web Dev Studios is great. It’s easy to create and edit your custom post types, set them up how you want with categories and taxonomies, and keep them organized. It’s a favorite of mine!

With the exception of Simple 301 Redirects, all of these free plugins also come in a premium model. However, in nearly all cases I have never needed the paid version. These free versions really work well and I highly recommend them all.

Amy Masson

Amy is the co-owner, developer, and website strategist for Sumy Designs. She's been making websites with WordPress since 2006 and is passionate about making sure websites are as functional as they are beautiful.

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