WordPress has the advantage of thousands of free and paid plugins. These plugins are developed by third-party developers and companies. A huge number of WordPress plugins are free, but there is a rapidly growing market of paid themes as well. The problem is that developing and maintaining these plugins costs a lot of time. Unless there is a way to compensate the developers for their effort, it becomes impossible for them to support a plugin in the long run.
There are still many great WordPress plugins that offer the same features as paid plugins with basic support. If you are short on budget, or simply don’t want to overspend, then these free plugins provide great alternative to popular premium WordPress plugins. Many of them are used by hundreds and thousands of WordPress sites. In this post we will look at some free alternatives of popular premium WordPress plugins.
Note: We are not saying that free plugins are better than premium plugins or vice versa. A paid plugin may have features not offered by any free plugin. Similarly, a free plugin can be much better in quality and features than any paid plugin. This is not a comparison. The goal here is to find plugins that are reliable, regularly maintained, and can get the job done.
1. Contact Form 7
It is one of the most downloaded WordPress plugin of all time. Its one of the best alternative to Gravity Forms plugin. It is regularly maintained and updated, the plugin website has detailed documentation and FAQs. The support forum is active and very helpful. Using the Contact Form 7 to Database Extension, you can even save form responses into your database.
There are several plugins in the WordPress.org directory which act as extensions for Contact Form 7. These plugins allow you to save your responses to database, create quizzes, integrate contact form in countless other ways.
2. Page Builder by SiteOrigin
Site Origin’s Page Builder is a free drag and drop page builder tool. It is a great alternative to popular paid page builders themes and plugins. You can drag and drop items to a page using a clean interface. It is very easy to use even for users with no design or development experience.
3. NextGen Gallery
NextGen Gallery is a popular a free image gallery plugin for WordPress. Installed on more than a million websites, NextGen Gallery is extremely powerful and easy to use. There is free support and online documentation available for all users.
4. EWWW Image Optimizer
EWWW Image Optimizer is the best alternative to paid image optimization tools and plugins. It allows you to optimize your images, reduce image sizes, and speed up your WordPress site.
5. WPtouch Mobile Plugin
WPTouch Mobile Plugin is the free alternative to popular WordPress mobile and touch themes. It redirects your mobile users to a mobile and touch friendly theme. It follows Google’s mobile friendly guidelines and provides excellent tips on improving the mobile user experience for your WordPress site. One downside of the plugin is that it has limited features and support. You will have to upgrade to paid version to get more mobile themes and better support.
6. MailPoet Newsletters
MailPoet Newsletter is the best WordPress alternative to email service providers like MailChimp and Aweber. It allows you to manage email lists on your WordPress site. You can create and send emails to your users directly from WordPress admin area.
7. UpdraftPlus WordPress Backup Plugin
The first thing you should do on any WordPress site is to setup a WordPress backup solution. UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration is a great alternative to paid backup solutions like VaultPress and BackupBuddy. It allows you to automatically backup your WordPress site and store your backups on the cloud.
8. Meteor Slider
Meteor Slider provides a simpler alternative to paid slider plugins. It is simple and easy to use. The plugin’s official website has detailed documentation, which will help new users get started quickly.
WordPress does not have tables in TinyMCE. TablePress is a free WordPress plugin that allows you to create beautiful tables in WordPress. You can easily add tables into your WordPress posts and pages. This awesome free plugin has extensive documentation available on the official website.
10. WordPress Share Buttons Plugin – AddThis
The WordPress Share Buttons Plugin from AddThis (absolutely FREE) makes it easier than ever for your audience to spread your content around the web. Our quick-loading Share Buttons Plugin lets you connect to over 200 social channels including Messenger, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and many more.
11. AdSense Plugin WP QUADS
This free Google AdSense inserting plugin is an improvement of the successfull but discontinued plugin Quick AdSense which is used on more than 100.000 websites. WP QUADS is coded well with no overhead and is used on huge websites with millions of monthly page impressions.
12. AdRotate Banner Manager
Ads are the main source of income for most blogs. You will need a plugin to manage your advertising codes, banners, and manage them from an easy dashboard. AdRotate is a free WordPress plugin to manage ads on your site. It allows you to easily add and rotate ads into your WordPress posts and pages. It supports multiple advertising networks like Adsense, Buy Sell Ads, and even your own custom ads.
13. Popup Builder Plugin
Pop up anything with Popup Builder, create and manage powerful promotion modal popups for your WordPress blog or website. Powerful, and yet, easy to use this plugin that will help you to grab your visitors’ attention to introduce them your offers, discounts or other kind of promotional notices.
14. Simple Lightbox
Simple Lightbox allows you to open images in a simple jQuery lightbox. The plugin can automatically activate image links to open in the lightbox. it can also automatically open default WordPress image gallery photos into lightbox.
While premium plugins provide stability and support, free WordPress plugins are not doing bad either. In fact some free plugins have huge user base and a very active community of their own. Whether you use free plugins or the paid ones, remember the goal is to create beautiful usable websites. If you can save some money on the way, then that’s alright too.
Let us know if you have any questions around this article or questions about using Avada with WordPress, in the comments below.