Top FREE (Lesser Known) WordPress Plugins for 2019

February 10, 2019

With the launch of WordPress 5.0 and some other platforms changing their business models with salesforce (looking at you, Drupal), 2019 is poised to be a big year for WordPress and the community.

Since WordPress already powers about a third of the web – and you’re probably on this page because you’re a WordPress developer – I’m not going to bore you with a bunch of plugins you’ve already heard of… or even used.

Here are a few plugins that will help tremendously this year that you may not have heard of before:

*Disclaimer: none of these plugin developers have paid to be on this list. These are just purely some plugins I’ve used that could be helpful to you.*


ManageWP is a plugin/website that allows you to create an account and manage your WordPress installs from one location. It’s free to sign up and add as many sites as you want.

Once added, you can update WP core and plugins from their dashboard as well as perform security and performance checks.

Smush Image Compression and Optimization

Ranking well with search engines is important. One of the major factors is your site’s performance.

With the Smush plugin, you can compress your images with one click, taking the guess work out of export settings and giving your site and easy SEO win!

WP Mail SMTP by WPForms

Mail deliverability will be a huge concern in 2019. For most of WordPress’s life, site emails have been generated and sent out using a combination of PHP as a trigger and the host server as the mail sender.

To increase deliverability and ensure that your emails make it to their intended inboxes, you’ll need something like WP Mail SMTP. This plugin will help you route your site’s emails through an actual email server and make it that much more likely that your emails will be delivered.

Disable Comments

Sometimes you just don’t want a commenting system on your site. This takes care of all commenting with one fell swoop 🙂

Instagram Feed

As the social platforms fight it out for viability, it seems that Instagram is holding its ground. If you’re not using Instagram (at least for your business), there’s a good chance you’re missing out on some brand awareness opportunities.

While you’re posting anyway, might as well add the feed to your site for some bonus refreshed site content. This is the way to do it.

Force Regenerate Thumbnails

If you do a lot of work with dynamic imagery, you can get into some caching issues with WordPress. If this happens, your best bet is to flush the thumbnail cache and give it another go.

Give this plugin a try if you’re not having any luck with your site’s image cache.

WPS Hide Login

Security will be a hot topic in 2019 as well. If you can get ahead of any potential disasters, you should. One of the best ways to prevent “brute force attacks” is to hide your login page.

With the WPS Hide Login plugin, you can change your default login page to something else – making it that much harder to find and gain access to your site and its data.


While there are some really great platforms out there for email newsletter marketing (Mailchimp, Constant Contact, etc), sometimes you just need something a bit lighter for the small number of recipients you have. (Not to mention, this takes one more monthly expense off the books…)

The Newsletter plugin allows you to roll your own email newsletter right from your WordPress website. It even has an email builder built right in!

Admin Menu Editor

When working with clients, it can sometimes be necessary to lock down portions of the WordPress backend. Admin Menu Editor allows you to add/modify/delete backend admin pages from the menu system.

If they can’t find a link to a page, they probably can’t surf there.

SVG Support

The SVG Support plugin allows you to upload SVGs using the media library and use them as you would normally – with access to CSS styling and even animation!

That’s a Wrap

Hopefully that list was useful to you. I know these help me out quite a bit! If you have any others that you want to mention, go ahead and leave them in the comments below!

Wanna chat about this article or any others? Feel free to DM me or mention me on Twitter @marcusdburnette to start a conversation!

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