Our Favourite Free WordPress Plugins

OK, so you’ve already seen a ton of blogs about the best WordPress plugins, but this blog will not give you an endless list. Our top team of web designers here in Southampton have condensed it down to our top 5, which is no mean feat considering the overwhelming plethora of options to choose from.

WordPress has become the most popular web publishing platform since it began over a decade ago. With setup being simple, it has been the platform of choice for more than 60 million websites. WordPress offers an array of features and flexibility, but where some functionality is missing from the core software you now have more than 40,000 plugins to fill the gaps.

With so many options it can be difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff, so we’ve very kindly done it for you. Atelier’s experienced web designers and developers have put theirs heads together and come up with our top 5 free WordPress plugins.

In no particular order


It’s a powerful dashboard manager that is full of features and allows you to access and manage multiple blogs and websites from a single dashboard (with a single secure login), saving you loads of time. With ManageWP you can create automatic backups of your site and store them in a safe third party cloud service such as Dropbox.

Another advantage of this great plugin is that it lets you easily keep all of your WordPress sites up to date. All from one central place (and login), on multiple sites you can; write new posts, do SEO analysis on posts, keep tabs on your analytics, monitor for traffic and downtime, create backups, update plugins, even clone existing sites and much more.

iThemes Security

Due to the unknown vulnerabilities of other installed plugins, WordPress websites can be an easy target for automated attacks. A lot of WordPress administrators are not aware that these holes even exist, but this is where iThemes security comes in.

This plugin can identify and fix these holes and help protect your site from such attacks. iThemes Security provides all round website protection and monitoring against compromises.

Contact form 7

This plugin allows you to create and manage multiple contact forms. The forms can be easily customised through the settings, removing the need for extra coding. This is a powerful and flexible form building plugin for all sorts of uses. It’s popularity means there are many extra plugins to add.

Contact form 7 also supports AJAX-powered submitting, CAPTCHA and Akismet. It offers everything you need, it’s easily customisable, and it won’t cost you a penny, so don’t go and buy an expensive contact form plugin

Advanced Custom Fields

This is a very popular plugin that has a very clean user interface. Advanced Custom Fields provides users with the flexibility to add custom data to posts, users and categories, amongst other things. The ability to create custom WordPress options and page settings for bespoke theme development means you can turn WordPress into anything you want.

Custom field input types include: text, image, file, relationship, select, checkbox, radio buttons, date picker, true/false, repeater, flexible content, page link and post object.


Stream enables you to track any and all admin activity. If something goes wrong and breaks, Stream can show you what has changed and who did it. Every action of every logged in user is displayed in an activity stream and organised so it can be filtered easily. This can be done by user, role or IP address and even by action. Its compatible with multiple sites and will combine them into a single view.

Stream has built-in tracking integrations for popular plugins including; Advanced Customs Fields, Gravity Forms, Jetpack, WooCommerce and WordPress SEO by Yoast to name but a few.

Stream has the ability to track a number of actions including; Posts, Pages, Types, Users, Themes, Plugins, Tags, Categories, Settings, Custom Backgrounds, Custom Headers, Menus, Media Library, Widgets, Comments, Theme Editor.

Atelier is an agency which offers web design in Hampshire and the surrounding areas. If you need any advice or support with your website, get in touch