Best WordPress plugins of 2016

Plugins are an essential part of any WordPress website. With over 44 thousand free plugins available, there is no shortage to the amount on functionality you can add to your website by installing one of them.

Due to the amount available sorting the good plugins from the bad ones can be a nightmare. Here are some of the best WordPress plugins of 2016.

All of the plugins on this list are free and can be installed directly from the WordPress plugins page on your website. Please make sure you create a backup before proceeding with installing plugins because they might conflict with each other.

Yoast SEO1+ million Active Installs

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Yoast SEO is the most used SEO plugin for WordPress. It was created to boost your site’s overall SEO. Whilst it takes care of all the technical size of stuff (no coding required) it’s most important aspect is it helps you write better content. You define your focus keyword and it guides you with its page analysis to determine what you need to include/remove from your content for the best possible results. Along with this it takes care of Title tags, XML sitemaps, meta descriptions, RSS Optimization, Social Integration and much more.

Contact Form 71+ million Active Installs

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Contact Form 7 is the best free contact form plugin for WordPress. With it’s easy to install and setup processes, it can manage multiple forms on your website of which you can customize their contents with simple markup. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA and Akismet spam filtering. I have used this form for many years on my personal and client websites and its brilliant.

Shareaholic100,000+ Active Installs

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Shareaholic is a brilliant social platform for WordPress. It includes content recommendations, social sharing, following, social analytics and site monetization apps such as promoted content, native ads and affiliate links. This responsive plugin allows you to include social sharing buttons onto almost any part of your website. If you are looking to have 1-click easy sharing for your visitors with the social sharing buttons floating along the side of the screen or appearing when hovering over images then this is the social plugin for you.

WP Smush – Image Optimization400,000+ Active Installs

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WP Smush is great if your website features lots of large images. Large images may slow down your website so this plugin uses it’s own servers to quickly “smush” every single one of your images by removing all the unnecessary data without losing quality. This in turn speeds up website load times and relieves the strain on your web server during peak periods.

Jetpack by WordPress.com1+ million Active Installs

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Jetpack is a great free plugin that simplifies managing WordPress sites by giving you visitor stats, security services, speeding up images, and helps your site get more traffic. Jetpack is an open-source plugin so fixes and improvements are frequent.

W3 Total Cache1+ million Active Installs

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W3 Total Cache improves server performance by reducing download times and providing transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration. What this means for you is quicker loading times improving your visitors experience on your website. There are lots of different cache plugins available for WordPress, these lack the setting options that W3 Total Cache has. Don’t let this put you off trying this plugin out.

With over 44 thousand free plugins available this is just a small list of the best WordPress plugins of 2016. Let me know in the comments if there are any others you think are worthy!