I’ve had a dream to gather all valuable, free plugins and tools for developing WordPress websites under one roof. Recently, this dream has become real.
You may think: “Oh, one more article among tons of other.” Yeap, but this one has only community feedback and what the real WordPress developers are using.
So, I’ve gone through our recent Community poll and asked the Post Status community about the free tools everyone is using for website development. However, don’t hesitate to share your top plugin or tool in the comments below if I’ve missed something. Now, let me present the 14 best free plugins and tools for WordPress website development.
WP Staging plugin aims to migrate, clone websites, and be a great helper in testing plugins, making changes before going live.
WP Staging features:
- Clone or backup website;
- Migrate the staging WordPress site to the server;
- Backup website for testing.
Pods is the free WordPress plugin for creating custom post types and fields. Jim, from Rocket Genius recommends this free plugin:
“Primarily because it’s the easiest and most robust way to add Custom Post Types, Taxonomy, and Custom Fields in an all-in-one solution. The flexibility with adding to and expanding existing post types and taxonomies along with the powerful relationship fields make this a necessary addition to any work I do on a site.”
Pods Framework features:
- Create content types;
- Build custom taxonomies;
- Add custom fields.
Advanced Custom Fields plugin is a free, simple WordPress plugin that allows to:
- Add custom fields anywhere;
- Edit over 30 field types.
Without a doubt, Elementor will be on my list. This is one of the best WordPress page builder plugins, and many developers recommended this tool in my poll in Post Status.
Elementor main features:
- Drag-n-drop functionality;
- 30+ free widgets;
- Tons of Elementor addons.
“If you want to use WordPress’s CMS, your style options are limited. You can use Oxygen or equivalent and get a fast, beautiful website. But you’re going to spend dozens or hundreds of hours figuring out the development environment (and code library). Elementor, on the other hand, is beautiful and easy to use. All in all, the platform’s success speaks for itself. Elementor is wonderful to have in your WordPress tool stack,” says Richard, the owner of an e-store (built with Elementor, without coding skills).
Hide My WP Ghost is a WordPress security plugin recommended by the Crocoblock community. This free WordPress plugin helps to protect and secure your website. By the way, you can check if your website is secure with a free vulnerability detector.
Hide My WP Ghost features:
- Compatible with different hostings and servers;
- Prevent SQL injections and scripts;
- Blacklist IPs manager.
“WordFence Security is an essential plugin for any WordPress website. It’s a fully-featured security plugin to keep your website safe and secure. It will create a firewall to keep hackers away, keep you safe from malware and viruses. If there’s an issue, you will receive an email notification.” – Lindsay, PlayBookUX co-founder.
- Monitor hackers attacks;
- Block attackers by IPs;
- Multiple websites management with Wordfence Central.
CookieYes free WordPress plugin guides you in a world of cookies consent, supporting European Union GDPR, LGPD of Brazil, CNIL of France, and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
- Enable a cookie pop-up with accept/reject options;
- Cookie scanning and categorization;
- Notice bar configuration.
“Accessibility Checker is a great free plugin for auditing for accessibility problems while building websites,” – from the poll.
Accessibility Checker features:
- Posts and pages checkups;
- Audit your content following the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines each time;
- Prepare suggestions for fixing the issues.
The next valuable recommendation from WordPress developers was the User Switching plugin. This is a free plugin to switch between several WordPress accounts. Thus, it helps to swap quickly for testing websites.
User Switching features:
- Log in/off from different WP accounts;
- Doesn’t reveal your passwords.
Query Monitor is also a free and open-source WordPress plugin for developers.
“Debug Monitor may be the most famous of free debug tools for website builders, but it doesn’t hold a candle to Query Monitor, in my opinion. Query Monitor lets us view the database and all the rows of code involved.” – Jane, FastPeopleFinder.
Query Monitor features:
- Debug database queries, PHP errors, etc.;
- Detect bad-performing plugins, themes;
- Admin toolbar menu.
Local WP is one of the best development tools to set up and test websites locally, created by the Flywheel team.
Local WP features:
- Setup WordPress automatically;
- All-in-one dashboard for managing several websites;
- Advanced features like SSH access, WP-CLI, PHP environments.
Trellis is a free, open-source tool for WordPress websites development. This free tool helps build production and development servers for hosting WordPress sites.
“It enables you to automatically establish and provision a server for hosting a WordPress site by utilising Vagrant to create a self-contained virtual machine that replicates the environment that your site would utilize in production.” – Jamie Opalchuk, HostPapa.
Code Snippets plugin helps to expand WordPress website functionality using snippets (code).
Code Snippets features:
- Clean interface;
- Export/import snippets;
- Allows creating plugins/themes.
The next free, open-source handy tool is Visual Studio Code, a text editor created by Microsoft.
Visual Studio Code features:
- Code debugging;
- Built-in Github & Git commands;
- Intelligent code writing.
Each website developer chooses the tools regarding their needs. So, it’s essential to have free tools for WordPress website development.
There are several free WordPress plugins and tools developed by Crocoblock team.
What about you? What tools are you using for website building?
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