Must-Have Free WordPress Plugins for WordPress

Most “reviews” for WP plugins i see on the Internet, are nothing but copy-paste from or paid ads, usually from people that have never installed and use them.

This is my ultimate list of really good and totally free plugins for WordPress. Plugins that i have installed and used for a long time in several WP installations. Plugins that work as expected with no errors and their support is really good.

I have also included some small jewels-plugins that will make your ilfe as a webmaster easier and your WP better.



Plugin: WP Photo Album Plus
By: J.N. Breetvelt a.k.a. OpaJaap URL: WP Photo Album Plus
Developer’s URL: WP Photo Album Plus

Description: A complete, highly customizable multimedia content management and display system.

My comments: WPPA is a completely free photo and multimedia gallery. There are hundreds of settings in the admin dashboard to tune everything in your galleries. The WPPA plugin is very stable and the support extremely good. There is no pro/paid/premium version.



Plugin: NinjaFirewall (WP Edition)
By: The Ninja Technologies Network URL: NinjaFirewall (WP Edition)
Developer’s URL: The Ninja Technologies Network

Description: NinjaFirewall (WP Edition) is a true Web Application Firewall. Although it can be installed and configured just like a plugin, it is a stand-alone firewall that sits in front of WordPress.

My comments: This is by far the best firewall protection for your WordPress site. Especially in full WAF mode. If you can’t use full WAF mode (prepend mode), please find a proper hosting company with LiteSpeed web server support and use full WAF mode.

Unfortunately i wasn’t using Ninja Firewall when we were hacked.



Plugin: wpForo Forum
By: gVectors URL: wpForo Forum
Developer’s URL: gVectors

Description: Full-fledged yet easy and light forum solution for your WordPress website. Comes with modern and responsive forum layouts and styles. This WordPress forum plugin brings everything you need to run an efficient and professional community. Powerful and beautiful forum with unique features.

My comments: If you are looking for a forum plugin, wpForo is the solution. wpForo is as close as it can be to a real forum. The plugin is great, stable enough and the support very good (check their forums). There is no paid/premium version but some paid addons are available if you need more power.



Plugin: Ad Inserter – Ad Manager & AdSense Ads
By: Igor Funa URL: Ad Inserter – Ad Manager & AdSense Ads

Description: Ad management plugin with many advanced advertising features to insert ad codes at optimal positions. Supports all kinds of ads including Google AdSense, Google Ad Manager (DFP – DoubleClick for publishers), contextual Amazon Native Shopping Ads, and rotating banners.This plugin is more than AdSense plugin or plugin for ads. It provides many advanced options to insert opt-in forms, header scripts, Javascript, CSS, HTML, PHP, analytics, tracking or advert code anywhere on the page.

My comments: This is more that an Ads Manager plugin. You can practically display anything almost anywhere. Not just ads but also text, images, scripts. A huge amount of positions, even using various Plugins Hooks!

There is one thing that bothers me with the plugin, the “Freemius” option. It can be skipped, still i really hate the whole “Freemium” approach in all plugins.


Plugin: GD Mail Queue
By: Milan Petrovic URL: GD Mail Queue

Description: The plugin adds a mail queue system that can intercept all the emails sent through the wp_mail function, and depending on the predefined rules (number of recipients) sent the email into the queue, with each recipient getting own email. On top of that, the plugin can process all plain text emails and wrap them in the HTML, and send them as HTML, with options to customize the template and various other aspects.

My comments: This is a unique plugin for tuning and queuing smtp (out) email from your WordPress installation. I don’t use any HTML-mify options, i just use the queuing features to solve email sending problems, especially from the Forums. This plugin is ideal if you are on a shared server and have some limitations of email sending (for example, emails per hour). The plugin has also other features like to turn all emails to HTML, relaying them to an other server or service etc etc.

I haven’t found anything like that on So this is a UNIQUE plugin.


Last Updated: Dec 2019

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