Website PluginsWordpress Development

28 Free and Essential WordPress Widgets for 2021

wordpress-widgets

The million-dollar question still remains – what are the best WordPress widgets

The answer?

Each site is different, so the best new WordPress plugins are very personal. In other words, the right choice for one is not the right choice for everyone.

However, we present to you some of the best WordPress widgets to consider. There are many free and paid WordPress addons that will suit your needs, as you already know.

Yet, we can say that you need to install various essential WordPress addons because of SEO optimization, security, loading speed, etc. If you are new to blogging and you don’t know what the best new WordPress plugins are about, here is a list of the best WordPress widgets that will do you a big favor to get started.

The Best WordPress Widgets in 2021

Imagify

Imagify

Controlling the weight of images on the web is very important because it is one factor that most affects the speed of the web load. Therefore, in addition to optimizing the images for the web before uploading them, it is wise to use some optimization WordPress widgets, such as Imagify.

It’s a free and easy to configure plugin that allows you to choose different optimization levels and secure a copy of the original image regardless of whether you want to restore it. This plugin, in our opinion, is essential. But if you have a website that you are not going to use in months, you don’t need it.

Scriptless Social Sharing

Scriptless Social Sharing

If you have a blog on your website, you probably want to add the typical buttons to share on social networks, although we don’t know how much they are needed today. 

We think most people already know how to share an article, but hey…

The fact is that this plugin is very light and will suit you very well not to slow down your website. As one of the best new WordPress plugins, it is easy to configure and allows you to activate the sharing buttons by WhatsApp or Telegram in addition to the typical social networks. And as for the design, it is also quite good; it fits pretty well in any blog, so you won’t have to be constantly tweaking its style.

UpdraftPlus

UpdraftPlus

Updraftplus is one of the most helpful WordPress widgets that can be used to back up automatically. It has a premium version with more features, but the free version already fulfills its mission. 

Imagine something happens, and you lose everything from your blog. You wouldn’t want that, right?

If you are looking for quality WordPress addons, this plugin could be optional if you can back up from hosting. The only drawback of this plugin is that you can not program the hours you want to do the backup in the free version.

Elementor Website Builder 

Elementor

Elementor is yet another of the best new WordPress plugins that will serve you to model any page, whether the content or element of your website. While not without its flaws, this is one of the smoothest WordPress addons for its purpose. 

We have tried several, and Elementor for us would be in the lead. The highlight is that if you uninstall it, the plugin does not leave shortcodes as others do. If it did, the page’s format would be very different and unappealing. So, it is safe to say that Elementor saves you a lot of nerve-thinning as well.

The premium version (Elementor Pro) offers many more WordPress widgets to improve web aesthetics, and usually comes highly recommended for its price.

Woocommerce

WooCommerce

Woocommerce is optional on this list, but it is mandatory if you are creating an online store in WordPress. 

The best part? 

It’s FREE. Not only that but it’s being turned into a plugin, gaining a lot of strength and overshadowing many other CMS like Shopify or Prestashop. So, if you want to start an e-shop, don’t hesitate to use it!

iThemes Security

iThemes Security

If you are looking to protect your site from malware and attacks, one of the best WordPress widgets to help you do that is iThemes Security. It is among the finest WordPress addons that are essential if you want to remain calm, and unless your hosting service guarantees you complete security, you need to install it right away. Nothing like peace of mind!

SEO by Yoast

Yoast

Yoast is the plugin par excellence for us, and for many users, it’s one of the best WordPress widgets for SEO. Installing this plugin does not mean that you will rank from the first day, but it will help a lot in the technical part. On each page where you write content, you will have a section where you will mark the points you need to review to improve the wording to focus on positioning.

GDPR Cookies Advisor

CookieYes

Another of the best new WordPress plugins that are free is GDPR Cookies Advisor.
It serves to notify your users that you collect cookies (bits of information). These help measure web traffic, among many things, and how your users behave on the web. It would only be mandatory if you collect cookies or some analytical information. Otherwise, it is not necessary.

Ultimate Add-ons for Gutenberg

Ultimate Blocks Library

Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg is a ‘layout’ to expand the blocks that come by default in Gutenberg, the new WordPress editor. With them, you will be able to improve the aesthetics of your content. Of course, we’ve always been very reluctant to install plugins of models, but we tried it out of curiosity, and we must say that it does not consume a lot of resources and fulfills its mission.

It’s pretty simple, so if you want to model in a much more complete way, we recommend Elementor. An advantage of this plugin is that it comes with a social sharing block. You do not have to install a plugin expressly for that and thus you save resources in the hosting.

Easy Digital Downloads 

Easy Digital Downloads 

Easy Digital Downloads are among the finest WordPress widgets for the sale of virtual or digital products. It is counted as one of the best new WordPress plugins to use to create digital product platforms in stores. With Woocommerce, you also can sell them, but EDD is specialized in this type of product. The only drawback we find from EDD is that you need to pull payment plugins for basic features.

Unlist Post & Pages 

Unlist

It is one of the most unknown WordPress widgets, yet we find it essential for any WordPress installation. Unlist Post & Pages has been developed by the company Brainstorm, which are the same ones that have created the template Astra and the plugin Convert Pro among other powerful plugins.

As one of the best new WordPress plugins, it allows you to exclude posts, pages, and custom posts you are interested in from the WordPress search engine. Imagine you have a test page, a page with convertible content, or any other page you don’t want to see on the web.

You may think that if you don’t link it from any site on your website, no one will know about it, but they don’t. If someone tries to use the WordPress search engine, that page you thought was hidden can come up in the search results. With Unlist Posts & Pages, you will avoid that!

Contact Form 7

Contact form 7 is among the most productive and free WordPress widgets for creating simple contact forms. We’ve never used it, but it’s perfect for forms that don’t have much mystery from what we have seen so far. As far as we can see in the WordPress repository, it has good reviews and scores.

Honeypot Anti-spam

Honeypot Anti-Spam

This is one of those WordPress widgets that blocks the spammy comments that you want to put on the blog. The good thing about this plugin is that you do not have to configure anything, you just install and are ready to go.

In the settings, you only have the option to save spam in the spam section. We don’t see it as necessary unless you intend to review all spammy comments, whether one of them ended up there by mistake.

WP Rocket 

WP Rocket

Wp Rocket is a cache plugin that improves the speed of your web. Practically only installing it already improves, and no, we’re not lying to you. When you install it, the plugin itself modifies your access file and enhances speed. It is one of the best cache plugins currently, according to us. It has a version that you have to pay for, but investing that 49$ a year to improve your web speed considerably is worth investing.

Akismet

Akismet

If we say to you, “Spiced ham,” what do you think of it? Probably you think of cold meat or pâté, right? Imagine that this famous spicy ham is the origin of the word spam, which means junk mail. The reason we are talking about this is that Akismet filters out comments that look like junk. For example, comments that have nothing to do with the content you have posted, or contain irrelevant symbols.

And believe me, it saves a lot of time and energy. The extension is free (Akismet becomes paid when you create a commercial site) and present by default on any new WordPress installation. To make it work, make sure you activate it by entering an API key.

Q2W3 Fixed Widget 

Q2W3 Fixed Widget

Q2W3 Fixed Widget is one of the optional WordPress widgets and serves to set a widget on the sidebar always to be visible when scrolling. It will be pretty helpful for CTA (call to action), for example, a button for your visitors to subscribe to the newsletter. I’m telling you, it’s not mandatory, but it can help you to boost those clicks on specific points on your website.

Mailchimp

MailChimp

One of the most popular email marketing services currently is Mailchimp. It is a very comprehensive subscription plugin. You can add a custom subscription form to your website. Considered one of the best new WordPress plugins, it offers the possibility to create a mailing list with the email addresses of all your subscribers. So it becomes the ideal tool to attract people who visit your website with new offers and content.

Vcgs Toolbox 

Vcgs Toolbox

Vcgs Toolbox is another of the great WordPress addons for social sharing, created by Víctor Campuzano. It allows you to share phrases from your articles. It allows you (by adding a JavaScript code beforehand) to analyze the scroll users in your posts or pages and meet the best commentators on your blog.

Force Regenerate Thumbnails 

Force Regenerate Thumbnails

On a search for the best WordPress widgets for images? This plugin allows you to regenerate all your featured images to give them the size you need. It is beneficial if you modify the web design of your page and the size of your pictures does not adapt to the new style. You can also regenerate specific images from the WordPress media manager. It will not remove Old photos from your server.

Duplicator

Duplicator

Trying to find the most efficient WordPress widgets for backup? Duplicator is an essential tool to use and among the best new WordPress plugins for back up.
We are not going to tell you again how necessary it is to do backups almost every day. This WordPress plugin is simple, practical, fast, and reliable. In a couple of clicks, you will have the backup saved on your hard drive.

It’s also beneficial to make complete clones of a website with the idea of making a redesign and replacing it with the old one.

Easy Table of Contents

Easy Table Of Contents

Easy table of contents is a plugin that serves to create an index of your articles. It is not a crucial plugin, but it is recommended because it helps to improve the CTR of your website. 

And why?

Well, if your web page comes out in a search, it may be that in the same result below, the links in the article index come out, which makes it more striking and increases the number of clicks you get!

It’s worth mentioning that if you have installed Ultimate add-ons for Gutenberg, you don’t need to install ETOC, because there is a specific block for that.

Gravity Forms

Gravity Forms

Gravity forms are the best WordPress addons to create contact forms and are the ones we always recommend. You can create all kinds of forms, modify notifications, confirmations, sell digital products, integrate with most plugins, etc. 

Come on; it is a super complete plugin that we will not tire of recommending.

If Menu

If Menu

Another optional plugin, and it may be the case you don’t need to use it even if the menu serves to hide links in your main menu depending on the user’s role who is logged in.

For example, if you want subscribers to see a page in the menu when they are logged in. Another example would be for a login link to appear on the menu and disappear when users log in and for the same to happen when they log out.

AMP

AMP

What is this plugin for? AMP is one of the leading and free WordPress widgets in which Google will display a kind of “second version” of your website in the search results. It makes your articles or pages look simpler at a visual level to remove all the code that makes the web slow down.

So, what do you get out of this? When a user clicks on the search result shows the page much faster than in its “normal” version.

This plugin is optional, and there are still doubts about whether you rank better or not.

WP Smush

Smush

When it comes to leading WordPress addons, this one reduces the weight of images. A load of pictures for your blog is essential. Currently, there are outstanding hosting services like web companies, which automatically reduce the weight of your website’s photos of your website. Wp smush is a WordPress plugin that performs an overall reduction of all the images on your website, automatically and without losing quality. 

Suppose you have previously done your particular compression. In that case, you know that it will leave your images for your blog very light, thus increasing the speed of load of the same Read the full article on how to use pictures in WordPress so that your website is constantly optimized.

Redirection

Redirection

Redirection is among the more technical WordPress widget plugins that serve to make 301 redirects. These redirects help to “replace” an old URL with a new one. For example, if we have an article or page published and change the URL, we will generate a 404 error.

Thanks to this plugin, we will create a redirection and thus avoid generating an error 404. There is another way to generate 301 redirects without installing Redirection, and it is through the file .htaccess. But if you don’t know what we are talking about, better install the plugin, as it’s one of the most productive WordPress addons to use.

Countdown

Countdown & Clock

If you’re looking to generate a countdown on your website for a new opening, a launch, or make deals, timers can help. Using timers is a great way to capture potential customers. To insert them into your website, you can use the countdown plugin, which permits you to add a countdown timer to a website with complete ease. Plus, it allows you to use different types of clocks.

NextGEN Gallery

NextGEN Gallery

As you may already know, WordPress allows you to create image galleries by default. But its appearance can leave a lot to be desired. That’s why we present you with one of the best options to introduce a quality gallery on your website, NextGEN Gallery.

This is counted as the best WordPress widget plugins and has a free version with which you can make numerous types of galleries without spending anything. In addition to the free version, you also have two paid versions if you want to add more features and effects, such as selling your photos.

The Bottom Line

Good job, you have arrived at the end of this article presenting what we consider to be the best free and essential WordPress widget plugins in 2021. Security, performance, SEO, backups, marketing: you are armed to make your WordPress website a war machine. Throughout these lines, we tried to be as objective as possible. 

However, it is crucial for you to decide which of the best WordPress widget plugins work for your site the most, but trust us, they’re make-or-break!