If you’re looking for the very best enhancements for your WordPress site, is it necessary to put up with the extra expense of premium plugins?
You might be surprised to find that there are many comparable free plugins that will get the job done and save you money. Let’s take a look at some alternatives to some of the most popular premium plugins out there.
1. Scribe versus Yoast SEO
Scribe is considered by many to be the ultimate in optimization for online marketing, Scribe assists you in targeting content to your audience while encouraging social media sharing – a formula that can significantly boost search engine rankings. The more highly ranked your site, the more traffic and leads come your way. While a great tool, Scribe comes at a price that may be a little intimidating for fledgling businesses – $97 a month at the professional plan, and $247 a month for the agency plan, which provides an increased number of evaluations and keywords.
Yoast SEO, a free plugin, allows you to set a focus keyword on blog posts, so you can see an analysis of your content in relation to the keyword. You’ll get immediate recommendations on areas for improvement, such as failing to use the keyword within blog posts or within the meta description, or whether titles are too short or long. Yoast SEO includes a full raft of SEO optimization tools, including optimization of social media, RSS feeds, and meta and link elements. Yoast SEO is simple to use, and while Scribe contains more functionality, it proves to be challenging to use and quite expensive. Choosing Yoast SEO is a no-brainer.
2. VaultPress versus UpDraftPlus
VaultPress backs up your content in real-time, meaning every post, page, photo, setting, and comment is safe and secure from the time it lands on your site. Restoring backups is as easy as the press of a button. Daily security scans keep you on top of any security threats. Three packages are available: lite, basic, and premium. Lite includes backup for one site for $5 monthly. The basic package does a real-time backup and automated restore for one site for $15 per month, and the premium plan with additional benefits costs $40 per month per site.
UpDraftPlus is the top ranking backup plugin for WordPress. It allows you to do manual or automated pre-scheduled backups. You can connect with a variety of remote storage resources, such as Microsoft One Drive, Amazon S3, Dropbox, and Google Drive, or save your backups to your server. Restores are quick and easy, and backups can be accessed right from your dashboard.
There is a premium version of this plugin available, but the truth is the free version is going to provide all the functionality you need for backups and restores. Save your money and choose the simple solution of UpDraftPlus.
3. Gravity Forms versus Contact Form Builder WD
Gravity Forms is an easy to use, intuitive solution for creating contact forms. It allows the user to select fields, configure options, and embed the form on your site. It can also be used for multi-page forms and order forms. A license for personal use allows Gravity Forms to be used on one site for $39, 3 sites for $99, or unlimited sites for $199. These licenses renew annually for $29.25, $49.50, and $99.50 respectively.
Contact Form Builder WD is a low-cost alternative that is designed to help you create interactive forms with minimal effort or knowledge. The interface is visually appealing and very easy to use, there are no limitations on the number of fields you can select, and there’s an option for admins to receive a notification each time a contact form is completed. You can use Contact Form Builder WD on an unlimited number of sites. You’ll also find great support for this plugin via the WordPress online community, and email support via the development team. While both of these tools are very effective, Contact Form Builder WD offers the better user interface, greater ease of use, and it’s free.
4. WordPress Core+ Calendar versus Calendar Event WD
The Core+ Calendar makes it easy to create and repeat events, import events automatically, filter entries by category and tag and add links and images. It includes Twitter integration, a super widget, and CSV importing. Users can choose from a variety of views, including agenda, posterboard, day, week, and month. The cost is $94 per year.
Calendar Event WD is an easy to use enhancement for displaying and managing events in the order you prefer. You can display the calendar by month, week, day, or list. The design is responsive and elegant, and the calendar is optimized for SEO. You can display an unlimited number of events, categories, and tags. There is built-in support for venues and organizers, integration with Google Maps, event search, and social media buttons. There is a premium version available with additional perks, but the free version is more than adequate for most users. Why pay $94 a year when a comparable solution is absolutely free?
5. MailPoet Premium versus Nifty Newsletters
MailPoet is a newsletter tool that allows users to add a subscription easily from your site. It includes unsubscribing, and the ability to schedule emails and send auto-responses. You can get your spam score, track clicks, handle bounce emails, and choose from pre-formatted email templates. A single site license for 2,000+ subscribers costs $99 per year.
Nifty Newsletters features a simple drag and drop newsletter editor that allows you to easily add images, buttons, posts and text areas to your newsletters. You can add a signup widget to your website, manage subscribers, and send newsletters within the WP admin area. Set up autoresponders for new subscribers and users, and automatic notifications when new posts are published. You can send newsletters via WordPress Mail, SMTP, Amazon SES, or Gmail. Up to 2,500 subscribers are supported by the free version of this plugin, and a premium version with additional benefits and support is available for just $19.99 per year.
6. Sucuri versus All-in-One WP Security & Firewall
Website security is a paramount concern for website owners because site visitors expect you to do everything possible to protect their privacy and sensitive data. Sucuri is a security solution that can keep your site free of malware and hack attacks. Sucuri constantly monitors your site to detect, block and remove any threat. The cost of protecting one site for a year is $89.99, protecting 2-5 sites is $189.99, and 6-10 sites in $289.99 per year.
All-in-One WP Security & Firewall is a comprehensive, stable, and easy to use security package that takes your website security to the next level. Like Sucuri, it constantly checks for any vulnerabilities, then blocks and removes any potential threats. You can change your firewall setting from basic to intermediate or advanced, ensuring no interference with your website’s functionality.
You’ll have the option to blacklist IPs that attempt to hack your site and manually approve new registrations. All-in-One will also bring to your attention any vulnerable files or folders due to insecure permission settings. Security is one of your most important responsibilities as a site owner, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to keep your data safe. All-in-One is a free solution that is more than up to the task of providing a high level of online security.