fbpx

Tag: Plugins

Get More Mileage From Your Site With These 6 WordPress Popup Plugins


Using a WordPress Popup plugin is a fast and easy way to get more value out of your site. Show visitors timely offers, divert them towards key pages – they can boost conversions considerably. Not every popup maker is equal, though, and how you design and place them is equally important.

This guide will take you through some of the best WordPress Popup plugins in the market and how you can use them effectively. Stop losing potential subscribers or customers today with these ultra-handy tools.

6 Best WordPress Popup Plugins

Before you dive into this list, I’d like to take a moment as a reminder. While popups can be very useful, they can also be a double-edged sword. This fact is especially true if you’re new to creating and using them. 

Make sure to check out the tips section once you’ve gone through the options on this list!

1. Popup Maker

Popup Maker - WordPress Popup plugin that is in use on over 600,000 sites at last count.

Website: https://wppopupmaker.com/

Starting Price: Free – $87/year

Popup Maker was the first WordPress popup plugin I came across when I was searching for one. It shows up high on the WordPress plugin repository and is in use on over 600,000 sites at last count.

This plugin allows you to build almost any kind of popup imaginable visually. While that may be expected of a top plugin, Popup Maker also features an incredible number of ways you can have popups triggered by visitors.

Imagine having a bunch of popups that behave following what individual visitors do. Trigger a popup just before they leave, or open a timely offer if they happen to show interest in a particular product.

It’s so easy to use that you can build and deploy a basic popup in a matter of minutes. The free version is suitable for most regular sites, but paid plans have eCommerce support features. 

Top Features

  • Visual popup editor
  • Conditional targeting
  • Popup analytics
  • Third-party form integration
  • Built-in subscriber form

2. OptinMonster

OptinMonster - Popular WordPress popup that works well with several third party services and applications

Website: https://optinmonster.com/

Starting Price: $9/month onward

OptinMonster bills itself as a lead generation tool rather than a popup maker. In reality, though, it is just a popup maker, albeit one with relatively comprehensive features. The plugin feels like it’s almost an entire website builder, thanks to a powerful visual editor.

Part of the reason why OptinMonster markets itself for lead generation is that it envisions how popups are used. Instead of focusing on selling the popup feature, the plugin encourages visitors to create comprehensive popup campaigns to boost lead generation.

It also works with several third-party services and applications such as MailChimp, Salesforce, Facebook, and more. While running your campaigns, you also get intelligent reports that can recommend further actions to improve performance.

The only downside of OptinMonster is the lack of a free version (or even a trial period). This pricing model makes it suitable for commercial use but not very practical if you’re running a personal site or blog.

Top Features

  • Powerful visual editor
  • Build multiple campaign types
  • Multi-event triggering
  • Actionable insights
  • Geo-location targeting

3. Popup Builder

Website: https://popup-builder.com/

Starting Price: Free – from $5 for extra extension

Popup Builder may not rank as highly as some other popup makers, but it does have a sizeable audience. The thing I like most about this popup maker is how simple it is to use. Big and clearly labeled icons segregate the different types of popups which can be created.

This style works in more ways than just simplicity, though. The basic plugin offers what most typical users will need – popups based on image, HTML, or for subscriptions and the like. If you need more advanced tactics, you’ll need to choose an extension.

While this may drive up costs for those seeking an ‘all-in-one’ solution, the extension system is more beneficial than you might think. It helps keep the plugin more streamlined and creates less impact on your hosting resources.

The free version comes with only the basics, and each extra extension you choose comes at a small price. Of course, if you want everything, they have packages that bundle in all extensions as well.

Top Features

  • Modular feature design 
  • Works with PDF forms
  • Animation effects
  • Behavioral targeting
  • Popup themes

4. WP Popups

WP Popups - WordPress popup plugin for real newbies

Website: https://wppopups.com/

Starting Price: Free – $35/year

WP Popups is a pretty good place to start if you haven’t used a popup maker before. It skips past the lead generation marketing speak and jumps into what users want – to quickly get started building a popup.

While not unique, the visual interface is accommodating and has the added advantage of letting you start with templates. The system is convenient for real newbies and can serve as a guidance system.

Beyond that, WP Popups keeps on giving thanks to advanced features that rival almost any popup marker in the market. This comparison is especially prevalent in the area of display rules that allow practically any conditions you need to be set.

Honestly, I find that the way WP Popups is built keeps well to the freemium pricing model. The free version is wholly usable, while paid versions add functionality for those who have mastered the basics.

Top Features

  • Visual editor with templates
  • Highly defined rule system
  • Lots of animations
  • Integrates with email marketing apps
  • A/B testing and analytics 

5. Sumo

Sumo - Popup maker that comes from creators of AppSumo

Website: https://sumo.com/

Starting Price: Free – $39/month

Sumo comes from the creators of AppSumo and takes the form of a suite of tools. While it doesn’t offer pervasive popup functionality, Sumo does help with an essential one for some – list building.

This Sumo feature is dedicated to helping you build your subscriber list and offers a few means to do so. You can either choose to have it done in-line or as a popup. The latter will behave as you configure it to, either on a timer basis, when users try to close your page, or when an event is triggered.

There are also many other rules you can set to govern the way your Sumo list-builder works. For example, implementing controls for mobile devices of varying sizes and the like. Purists may object to Sumo trying to do too many other things in one package.

While there is a free version of Sumo that comes with its branding, you will need to subscribe to a paid plan to remove limitations and branding. Oh yes – free users will still have to sign up for a Sumo account as well.

Top Features

  • Multi-function plugin
  • Connect eCommerce stores
  • Statistics and analytics 
  • Social media sharing

6. ConvertPlus

ConvertPlus - Popup plugin with a crazy amount of features.

Website: https://www.convertplug.com/

Starting Price: Free – $23

Even by the standards of popup plugins today ConvertPlus comes with a crazy amount of features. It seems determined to do everything it can to cover the entire field of lead generation rather than just offer popups.

The plugin offers detailed control over almost everything from background settings to animations and size. If the design options in place aren;’t enough, go ahead and add your own custom CSS to it as well.

Of course, there are also the trigger rules you can set, including a rather unique two-step popup to push your conversion rates even further. YOu can even create triggers on scroll activities!

Despite the name, ConvertPlus isn’t the paid version of it and offers some decent levels of capability. To get the whole shebang, you will need to sign up for ConvertPlus Pro – which sounds a little strange.

Top Features

  • Launch after content
  • Referrer detection
  • Visitor recognition (old vs new)
  • Cookie control

Tips for Using WordPress Popups Effectively

Nothing is more annoying than a website bombarding you with popups constantly. Using a popup maker to create a popup is easy, but working with them to create the results you want may not be.

Here are some areas to consider when using popups with your WordPress site;

Time Popups Carefully

When someone lands on your site, they are likely to have come as part of their search for something. Throwing a popup in their face is both rude and highly annoying. Chances are they’ll simply ignore the popup or even close the browser tab entirely.

Design Effectively

The art of design is more than building something that looks pretty. Popups are distracting for users, and you need to capture their attention quickly. You need a careful blend of colors and text that maximizes impact and effect.

Don’t Be Shy With Your CTA

I’ve seen users that place their Call-to-Action (CTA) so unobtrusively that it’s virtually invisible. Your popup is there for effect, so be bold and make your CTA prominent in color, font, size, and placement.

Follow Guidelines

Aside from what works or doesn’t with visitors, there are serious rules you need to consider. For example, Google will penalize sites using overly intrusive popups (especially for mobile devices). Make sure you’re aware of these potential pitfalls.

Following these guidelines can be difficult, especially since competition is so high nowadays. However, I’m sure you’ve felt the immense frustration at continually being bombarded by popups on every site you visit – show some consideration for your site visitors as well. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I create a popup for WordPress?

Using a plugin is the fastest and easiest way of creating a popup for your WordPress site. There are many to choose from and lots of free options that work well.

Do popup ads work?

Yes, but only if you design and use them carefully. Popups have a bad reputation due to many sites implementing them poorly and affecting user experience negatively.

How do I install a popup plugin?

Finding one from your WordPress plugin dashboard is the simplest way. You can search, install, activate, and configure it from one convenient location.

How do I add popups to WordPress without plugins?

Aside from plugins, you can also code popups manually or use third-party popup services like Popupsmart

What is a lightbox in WordPress?

Lightboxes are popup windows that display an image while dimming the rest of the page behind it.

Conclusion

I’ve tried a couple of the popups on this list, but my favorite is Popup Maker. For me, it was the perfect blend of simplicity and features. Yet all of us have diverse needs, so choose the WordPress popup maker that fits your requirements. Remember, plugins consume resources, so having one that does more than you need isn’t always the ideal solution.

Read more:

The 6 Best WordPress Plugins Every Blog Needs


Blogs are a must-have to establish an online presence. With blogging, you get to communicate with your visitors about the latest trends, showcase your products and services, and even ask for their feedback. 

But blogging is more than just writing a few words or posting a couple of videos. To run a successful blog, you also must consider search engine optimization, security measures, and promotion. 

Luckily, WordPress plugins can help you with these pressing needs. Check out the six best WordPress plugins for blogs below.

best WordPress hosting

1. Yoast SEO

Blogging is a long-term strategy to bring attention to your brand. It’s a combination of writing relevant content and getting people excited to visit your website. 

Search engine optimization plays a huge role in helping visitors discover your content on the web. Using the right keywords can ensure you’re attracting the right people. Adam Enfroy, a full-time blogger and affiliate marketing expert, says:

“Optimizing your blog posts is not about stuffing as many relevant keywords into the article as you can (that can actually hurt your SEO now). It’s about writing for humans first, and search engines second.”

Yoast SEO is an essential WordPress plugin to get your blog content ranked on search engines. This plugin comes with a readability analysis feature, title and meta description templating, breadcrumb controls, and XML Sitemaps functionality.

yoast seo wordpress plugin

2. Newsletter

Visitor engagement doesn’t stop when people land on your blog. The next step is to capture their email address, so you can send visitors more relevant content. That way, you can build a quality relationship with your audience. 

Newsletter is a WordPress plugin that helps you with list building and sending emails. This email marketing tool allows you to create responsive newsletters with its drag-and-drop composer. There’s even a subscription spam check to block unwanted bots.

newsletter wordpress plugin for blogs

Experts suggest building an email list as soon as you create your blog. It’s also wise to try different methods to boost your subscribers. Belle Beth Cooper, the first content crafter at Buffer, writes:

“When you’re asking readers to sign up for your email list, you might want to try experimenting with a different language. Willy Franzen found that his subscription rate jumped 254% higher when he changed his call-to-action from ‘subscribe by email’ to ‘get jobs by email’.”

3. Wordfence Security

Reports indicate that 43% of cyber-attacks are made against small businesses. One reason for this staggering statistic is the lack of security infrastructure. Similar to adding an alarm system to your new home, your website needs tools to protect it from potential breaches and suspicious attackers. There’s no better time to add security to your site than right now. 

Wordfence Security keeps your website safe with its firewall and malware scanner. This plugin identifies and blocks malicious traffic and checks core files for malware, bad URLs, and SEO spam. You’ll get access to a dashboard with an overview of your site’s security including notifications and total attacks blocked. 

wordfence security wordpress plugin for blogs

This tool also comes with two-factor authentication and CAPTCHA to stop bots from logging into your site. If you upgrade to the premium version, you’ll get real-time malware signature updates along with checks to see if your site has been blacklisted for malicious activity.

4. wpDiscuz

A blog serves as a central location for your brand to discuss topics relevant to your audience. Your blog posts will give insight into your business’s culture, products, and team. 

But it’s also important to get feedback. The comment section of your blog gives readers a chance to express their opinions directly to you. Every once in a while, it’s okay to get a little controversial.

“Begin a conversation in which you share your position and invite others to disagree. Be careful of overdoing this, though, as being contentious all the time can get weary. It can look like you’re just trying to pick a fight,” writes Jeff Goins, best-selling author of five books.

Supercharge your blog comments with wpDiscuz. This plugin adds an interactive comment box on your posts. You can accept and deny specific comments, sort the comments by newest or oldest, and enable comment voting.

wpdiscuz wordpress comment plugin for blogs

5. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP

Getting traffic to your blog matters to your brand. So much so that there’s been a 93% increase in blogs using promotional techniques to drive traffic to their posts.

You need a way to observe your traffic as it comes in. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP helps you set up all your tracking features without writing any code or hiring a developer. No more leaving WordPress to view key stats in Google Analytics; now, you can monitor them inside your dashboard.

google analytics dashboard for wp plugin for blogs

Get real-time stats of who’s viewing your website, where they’re coming from, how they found your site, and how long they’re staying on your site.  You also can automatically track clicks on affiliate links and track every file download with just one click.

Haven’t set up Google Analytics for your WordPress blog just yet? Read our step-by-step guide.

6. Social Media Share Buttons & Social Sharing Icons

Writing great content is only one part of a successful blog. The other part is actually getting people to read and engage with your blog posts. Beyond SEO, you will need additional content distribution channels to attract visitors to your blog. 

Social media is an effective way to spread the word about your website. Ben Sailer, inbound marketing lead at CoSchedule, states: 

“Another way to connect your audience to your content and encourage them to share it is to create content that revolves around their values. Your audience wants to know that the values of your company or product align with theirs.”

Encourage your current visitors to share your blog posts with the Social Media Share Buttons & Social Sharing Icons plugin. You can pick from 16 different designs to match your brand’s site. 

social media share buttons wordpress plugin for blogs

This tool gives you the option to make your social media icons static or dynamic. You also can add a counting feature to the buttons.

Upgrade Your Blog With These WordPress Blog Plugins

It’s time to attract new visitors to your blog. Use these six WordPress plugins to boost your SEO results, gain traffic from social media, and track your site’s analytics. 

Top Media Plugins to Make Your WordPress Site More Dynamic


Even as WordPress core becomes more functional and dynamic with every new release, plugins—the modular bits of code users can harness to add functionality to their sites—remain one of the platform’s most popular draws. 

With more than 55,000 free WordPress plugins to choose from in the Plugin Repository and thousands of premium (paid) plugins from other providers, the overall ecosystem of available plugins is expansive, and it’s only getting larger. 

Plugins have given WordPress users a huge amount of freedom when it comes to adding to their sites and making them more dynamic. There are also numerous use cases for plugins, including eCommerce, security, and marketing to name a few. Today, we’ll take a look at some of the top plugins out there for adding media elements to your site, which can enrich the overall user experience of your site and keep visitors there longer. Take a look below for some of our favorites. 

Video Plugins 

Images are a great way to supplement your content, but videos can be even more dynamic. An engaging video can pull in more viewers and keep them on your site longer. That said, the native media hub in WordPress may not format your videos the way you want. That’s where plugins come in. See below for a few of the most popular video plugins out there. With these plugins installed, you’ll be able to display your own videos or pull them in from somewhere else with ease.

Cloudflare Stream Video 

The Cloudflare Stream plugin for WordPress gives site owners full control over their video strategy, allowing users to easily integrate video into their WordPress sites. The plugin is block-native, meaning it works well with the new WordPress post editor and it offers additional features such as multiple playback options, per-minute pricing, adaptive bitrate streaming, and video storage, among many others. 

Youtube Embed Plugin

One of the easiest ways to upload and view videos online is through YouTube. Once you upload your content, use the YouTube Embed Plugin to add it to your site. This plugin allows you to add an entire YouTube playlist right onto your site, or opt for a video gallery. You can choose to enable automatic play or let users scroll through the playlist. The plugin also creates custom thumbnails so you don’t have to. 

Upon downloading the plugin, you’ll see a special button for YouTube right next to “Add Media” on your admin controls, making it incredibly easy to pull in the videos you want. If the channel is your own, add a Subscribe button below the video gallery and boost your numbers.

WP Video Lightbox

WP Video Lightbox allows you to display videos in a different way. When a user starts to play a video, it will pop out and make the screen behind the player dark. This makes it easier to view the video without the distractions of the post or ads behind it. The plugin works with YouTube or Vimeo and it’s very easy to embed. 

If you don’t have a lot of video content, the plugin can also be used to create a lightbox for photographs and other images. It’s also a great plugin for infographics and diagrams.

Audio Player Plugins 

Embedding audio files on your WordPress site can be challenging if you don’t have the right plugin or knowledge of code. For one reason or another, you might run into a situation where an audio file is required on your site. Here are a few plugins you can use to enable audio player functionality on your WordPress site.

Compact WP Audio Player

Compact WP Audio Player uses an HTML5 + Flash hybrid to embed mp3 audio files on your site. Fully responsive and compatible with all web browsers, you can easily add a compact audio player to any page or post on your site with a shortcode. The plugin is compact as stated in its name, with only one customization feature (located in Settings >> SC Audio Player) that determines whether or not front-end users are able to play multiple audio files at once.

Html5 Audio Player

Html5 Audio Player is an audio plugin that offers a bit more functionality. Using this plugin, you can play .mp3, .wav, or .ogg audio files on your WordPress site(s). There’s also the option to add a rating, artist, and title information, as well as a cover image.

Graph and Chart Plugins 

Turning extensive amounts of data into a chart will make it more digestible at first glance. While charts can be used for presentations and PowerPoints, how many times do you see one in a blog post? Not nearly enough. A common misconception is that charts are difficult to create on a website. But this simply isn’t true—there are numerous plugins that can do the job quite nicely. You might even end up finding it easier than building a chart in Excel. 

Visualizer: Tables and Charts Manager for WordPress

The Visualizer: Tables and Charts Manager for WordPress (Lite) plugin is a simple, easy to use, and powerful plugin that lets you create, manage, and embed interactive charts and tables within your WordPress posts and pages. The plugin uses Google Visualization API, DataTables.net, and ChartJS to add responsive and animated charts and diagrams, which support cross-browser compatibility (adopting VML for older IE versions) and cross-platform portability to new iOS and Android releases. 

Want to find out more about all the available WordPress plugin options out there? Check out our Ultimate Guide to WordPress Plugins, which offers a deep-dive into the options available to you in the WordPress plugin repository as well as paid plugins. And visit WP Engine to find out more about our Digital Experience Platform for WordPress and the ways we’re helping customers manage their WordPress plugins.

Top 10 WordPress Plugins for 2020


WordPress plugins allow you to add robust functionality and eye-catching aesthetic elements to your WordPress site with ease. They save you time and money by giving you the ability to extend the capabilities of your website without a total overhaul. Certain plugins even refresh the look of your website by quickly and easily adding modern design elements with little to no code.

However, with thousands of plugins to choose from, how do you know which plugin is best for you? For most, when deciding which type of plugin to use, the needs and goals of the website will guide the decision making. But, there are a few plugins that every website owner can benefit from when updating their website in 2020. 

The below lists the top 10 WordPress plugins in 2020 you should consider. The list gives recommendations for eCommerce, spam, security, sliders and more. Get the most out of your website this year with the plugins below.

Top 10 Plugins in 2020

  1. weForms
  2. Akismet Anti-Spam
  3. WooCommerce
  4. Black Studio TinyMCE Widget
  5. W3 Total Cache
  6. Table Press
  7. Strong Testimonials
  8. iThemes Security
  9. Advanced Custom Fields
  10. Smart Slider 3

weForms WordPress Plugin

weForms is a beautiful form builder that allows you to easily create and add forms to your website. The user-friendly, drag-and-drop design gives you the tools and confidence you need to develop form solutions that work best for your website. The easy-to-use form builder gives you over 20 field options to create custom forms, or you can use templated forms to save time. With all of the customization options available, you’ll have no problem creating a basic contact form, an event registration form, a lead generation form, and more. Download and install the plugin to experience the ease of adding forms to your website with weForms.
 

Akismet Anti-Spam WordPress Plugin

Akismet Anti-Spam is a great tool that monitors your comments and contact form submissions for potentially harmful spam. The plugin checks incoming comments and submissions against their global database of spam and prevents spam from being published on your website. You can also review the comments that are caught or cleared by Akismet, as well as comments that were marked as spam or unmarked as spam by users. The plugin also has a discard feature that fully blocks the worst spam and maintains the speed of your website. Download and install Akismet to protect your website against spam.
 

WooCommerce WordPress Plugin

WooCommerce is a robust eCommerce solution that will allow you to quickly and easily sell your product and services. In addition to providing a fully functional online store complete with payment and shipping options, the plugin has many extensions and integrations that will allow you to create an online store that best fits your needs. You can sell physical, downloadable, or affiliate products. Also, through integrations, you’ll also be able to take bookings, offer memberships, set up recurring payments through subscriptions and more. Learn more about the benefits of WooCommerce and start your eCommerce journey.
 

Black Studio TinyMCE Widget WordPress Plugin

Black Studio TinyMCE Widget plugin allows you to easily edit your sidebar widgets. The plugin presents widgets as posts or pages, giving you the ability to edit the content as you would a post or a page. This includes the ability to add rich text and media with ease. There are even visual and HTML editors to toggle between depending on your expertise level and needs.
 

W3 Total Cache WordPress Plugin

W3 Total Cache improves your SEO and user experience by reducing load times and increasing website performance. Users of the plugin can see improvements in search engine results, especially for mobile-friendly and SSL enabled websites. It also increases site performance by reducing load time, optimizing rendering, and browser caching. No matter what kind of site you manage, W3 Total Cache sets you up for optimal performance.
 

TablePress WordPress Plugin

TablePress gives you the ability to create and manage robust, beautiful tables right from the dashboard. The tables can be edited in a spreadsheet interface and users can embed the tables into posts, pages, and widgets with a shortcode. Perfect for websites displaying a lot of information, this plugin also allows any type of data, including formulas. You can also export the tables or import tables as Excel, CSV, HTML, and JSON files.
 

Strong Testimonials WordPress Plugin

Strong Testimonials allows you to collect and publish testimonials and reviews easily. Testimonials and reviews are highly valued by end users and can positively assist in the growth of your business and website. This plugin gives you the ability to add a beautiful testimonials area that inherits the style of your theme. In addition, editing the testimonials area is easy with their visual editor, and the testimonials can be displayed using a shortcode or widget on the appropriate page.
 

iThemes Security WordPress Plugin

iTheme Security locks down your WordPress site by giving you over 30 ways to secure and protect it. With thousands of hacks each day, the plugin works to fix common holes, stop automated attacks and strengthen user credentials to keep your website safe. It addition to a list of protection, detection, obscuring and recovering features, it also has brute force protection and bans users who have tried to break into other sites from breaking into yours.
 

Advanced Custom Fields WordPress Plugin

Advanced Custom Fields allows you to add and edit customs fields for additional sections and content on pages via the edit screen. Perfect for custom websites or themes without a block builder, this plugin allows you to easily add dynamic elements to your pages without the need to overhaul your entire website. In addition to pages and posts, the fields can also be added to comments and used for taxonomy terms, media and more.
 

Smart Slider 3 WordPress Plugin

Smart Slider 3 is a wonderful plugin that allows you to add beautiful, dynamic design elements to your website with ease. Create fully responsive, SEO optimized sliders with animations, layers, buttons and more without code. The paid version even allows you to add videos via YouTube or Vimeo. Smart Slider 3 is another great tool that allows you to refresh the look of your site without a complete redesign.
 

With the above top 10 WordPress plugins, you’ll be able to protect your site from brute attacks, optimize the SEO and performance, add robust functionality and beautiful design elements easily. Do you use a plugin on this list or have a plugin suggestion? Let us know in the comments!


Stormy Scott is a member of the InMotion Hosting content marketing team and enjoys writing about WordPress, web design and emerging technologies in the industry.



Taking Care of Alex’s Plugins


On February 27, 2019, Alex Mills (aka Viper007Bond) passed away at home surrounded by his family after a two and a half year battle with leukaemia.

Alex Mills, Montmorency Falls, Quebec. 2009.

Alex was a gifted developer and a much liked member of the WordPress community. I have always been in awe of everything he did. He contributed to core many times and is listed as a contributor to WordPress 5.1.1 that was released last month. He still has 15 open Trac tickets so I expect to see his name on future releases too. He was the primary author of many plugins as well as contributing to others.

In his last blog post he expressed the wish that his plugins would be maintained and developed.

Since all of my plugins are open-source, they are free to be forked by reputable authors in the WordPress community. It would mean a lot to have my legacy go on.

Alex Mills, February 18th 2019.

I’m glad to say that a team inside Automattic will be taking care of his plugins in the future.

We will fork each of Alex’s GitHub repositories adding them to the Automattic GitHub account. We’ll update any links in his plugin readme files so they’re pointing at the new locations.

A short paragraph about Alex will be added to the plugin readme files. You can see an example on the Regenerate Thumbnails homepage.

We’ll do our best to stay on top of support queries on the forums too. If anyone else wants to help please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’m donncha on the WordPress.org Slack.

In times gone by authors left works of music, novels, poetry, and letters on their passing. They were static works of art frozen in time. Alex leaves behind his code that will continue to evolve and operate in a living world used by thousands (millions?) of people every day as they go about their online lives.

***

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a code wrangler with Automattic, sometimes contributor to WordPress and writer of plugins.

Best WordPress Plugins to Create Online Courses


With the advent of a strong open source content management system; popularly known as “WordPress”, the enhancement of everyday writing has now been converted to a largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, used on millions of sites and viewed by millions of people every day. But it should be noted that WordPress is no longer just a blogging tool, but with information exchange expanding far and wide, it has opened a new avenue in the e-learning genre. Yes, with WordPress plugins for e-learning, online courses too can be created. And here, we will be focusing on the best WordPress plugins to create online courses.

The plugin is a software add-on that is installed onto a program, enabling it to perform additional features. For example, Internet browsers allow users to install plug-ins into the browser to give that browser a specific tool, not found in the default installation. Similarly, WordPress plugins are add-ons that assist WordPress to create some powerful and meaningful content.

Presenting below are some of the best WordPress plugins for Creating Online Courses:

LearnDash

LearnDash is a paid premium WordPress LMS (Learning Management System) plugin. It is also the easiest to use LMS plugin with a variety of features. It comes with multi-tier courses that allow you to easily create courses with lessons, topics, quizzes, and categories. A unique drip feed content feature can schedule course content for entire course duration.

You can give user assignments and then approve or comment on them. Multiple question-based options are provided with the quiz and test management tools. Prerequisites can be easily set up for students such as finishing a chapter first before moving to the next chapter.

It is also compatible with bbPress, WordPress eCommerce, and WordPress membership plugins and offers 1 year of support and updates.

LifterLMS

LifterLMS is an alternate powerful Learning Management System plugin with varied features. This plugin is compatible, even with existing WordPress sites.

Multi-tier courses with training modules, lessons, and categories are supported by a premium plugin which assists the author to create courses that range from small to full-fledged degree programs.This paid premium plugin supports multi-tier courses with training modules, lessons, categories, etc. This gives the author to create smaller courses or full-fledged degree programs. It has content dripping, course pre-requisites, and group memberships to offer greater control over the course duration.

The user engagement is boosted as it comes with powerful features like automated emails, gamification with badges, and even certificates of completion of a course. It has a built-in content restriction that allows you to hedge WordPress page on your site to certain members only.

Great selection of add-ons in Lifter LMS allows you to manage affiliates, integrate with eCommerce plugins, and connect to your email marketing service.

LearnPress

This free WordPress LMS plugin unlike other LMS plugins in this list, which come with a setup wizard; LearnPress lets you do the setup which is not that difficult.

The content creation is simplified with the assistance of pre-existing templates of lessons, quizzes, and questions. These lessons and quizzes can be reused from one course into another. It also helps you export content, so that you can use it on other WordPress sites using LearnPress.

LearnPress has many free and paid add-ons available which allow you to extend the features. It supports scheduled content such as content dripping, quizzes, assignments, and grading. It can be integrated with bbPress, WooCommerce, and WordPress membership plugins.

Sensei

Sensei is a WordPress LMS Plugin created by the team who invented WooCommerce. It’s flexible and easy to use nature makes it quite a popular tool in the e-commerce industry.

The content creation with Sensei is quite simplified to a large extent and does not exuberate powerful capabilities as with other LMS plugins. The plugin can run quizzes, assignments, grade them automatically or manually, and even offer badges and certificates to students.

The selling and acceptance of payments for the courses will require WooCommerce. For each course that needs to be sold, a new product needs to be created and further linked to the course.

There are not many third-party integrations available. You can integrate Sensei with a membership plugin, but there is no add-on for that. Paying a premium will fetch 1 year of support and updates.

WP Courseware

Another trending WordPress LMS plugin is the WP Courseware that assists in the creation of large or small online courses. Due to WP Courseware flexible options, each course can have multiple modules, units, and quizzes. It supports course pre-requisites and content drip features. It also comes with question bank so that one can quickly create quizzes for different courses and modules.

It also supports Instructor profiles, Instructor and Student Gradebooks, custom emails, and many other features that help create an engaging experience for users.

To sell courses on a website, WP Courseware needs to be integrated with a WordPress membership or an e-commerce plugin as it does not accept payments to sell courses on a website.WP Courseware does not accept payments to sell courses on one’s website. It needs to be integrated with a WordPress membership or an e-commerce plugin to sell the courses. It supports all popular e-commerce and membership plugins.

Lucid LMS

The plugins properties are just same as its name suggest; lucid and user-friendly. Like the other competitive plugins available in the market, it offers the quiz banks and certificates, but, apart from that, an added feature is course outlining thus making the task easier for students. One could definitely give this a try if you are looking for an uncomplicated LMS plugin that comes with a limited course access.

Lucid LMS can be easily integrated with BuddyPress, PayPal, and WooCommerce and can be installed free of cost.

Conclusion

As we compare few of the top WordPress LMS plugins, please be informed that none of the mentioned plugins are ranked in any specific order. No one plugin is superior to the other but each of them has customizable properties that can be achieved as per individual needs and wants. Thus, if you are a budding or seasoned online course creator, go through the aforementioned list of best WordPress plugins to create online courses, and choose the one that suits you best.

Wishing you all the very best in creating your own online course with WordPress!!

5 Best Free WordPress Migration Plugins


When it comes to moving your WordPress website from one location to another, let’s just say this, it’s not easy. Of course, we all wish that moving a website was as easy as clicking a button. But the truth is, migrating a website just doesn’t work like that.

It takes a lot of time to move a website. And the chances of you making a mistake are very high, even if you know what you’re doing.

That’s why enlisting the help of a WordPress migration plugin is probably going to be your best bet. Unless of course, you have an amazing web host that will do it for you, like HostGator with its free website migration services.

But for everyone else wanting to move their website, check out this roundup of the best free WordPress migration plugins in the market to help you move all your site files and data quickly and without error – regardless of your skill level.

Why Use a WordPress Migration Plugin

Manually migrating your WordPress website is definitely an option, though it’s not recommended unless you really know what you’re doing

There are many technical steps involved and the process can take a long time, especially if you have a large website.

And even if you do know what you’re doing, there’s no reason not to use a plugin to simplify and speed the process up. After all, you don’t want to risk crashing your entire site and losing all your hard work because of one tiny mistake. 

So, if you’re ready to move your website, and need a little help and guidance, consider using one of these free WordPress migration plugins that are designed to do all the hard lifting for you and provide a seamless migration without any data loss.

5 Best Free WordPress Migration Plugins

1. Migrate Guru

If you need to migrate your WordPress website between hosts and need a simple, easy to follow, and affordable solution, Migrate Guru is my top choice.

Powered by BlogVault, Migrate Guru uses its own servers and intelligent processes to move your site from one place to another. And to top it off, there are zero risks to your sites during the process because the plugin automatically rewrites URLs, bypasses import-export scripts, and even handles serialized data for you.

And if you want to clone a WordPress website, it can do that too.

Migrate Guru was built for large websites. And since it uses its own servers to complete the process, you never have to worry about live-site server import limits crashing your site and interrupting the migration.

Built to work with all the best web hosting companies on the market, Migrate Guru handles all the hard work and notifies you via email when it’s all done.

Here’s how it works:
Start by installing and activating the Migrate Guru plugin on your WordPress website. Next, you’ll be prompted to enter your email and agree to the BlogVault terms and conditions.

Next, choose the web hosting company you’ll be migrating your website too. If you don’t see your web host, select the cPanel or FTP option to complete the migration.

After you choose your web host, you’ll need to enter the following information:

  • Destination Site URL
  • Destination Server IP Address
  • cPanel Username
  • cPanel Password

You might need to fill out additional credentials. For example, if the destination website is password-protected, you’ll need to provide the username and password for it before you can move on.

All that’s left to do is click Migrate. From there, you’ll see a progress bar, so you can see how the migration process is going.

When your site has been migrated, you’ll see a success message and a button that links to the newly migrated site.

2. WPvivid Backup

WPvivid Backup is one of the only free all-in-one backup, migration, and restore plugins in the market. And with over 10,000 downloads, you can tell people want all three features in one plugin to make their lives easier.

When it comes to migrating a website, all you have to do is make a copy of your site (no matter how big it is) and transfer it over to the new host with a single click. You can even do this from a staging environment if you want, which is great for developers.

In addition, you can migrate a site to a subdirectory, from one domain to another, and much more. Lastly, you can choose what data to migrate: the entire site, the files, or just the database.

In addition to migration functionality, you can schedule automatic backups, enjoy one-click site restores, and even save copies of your website to offsite cloud storage locations such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and Amazon S3, to name a few.

3. All-in-One Migration

All-in-One WP Migration exports your WordPress website (including the database, media files, plugins, and themes) to another location without needing any technical knowledge. All you have to do is drag and drop your site into its new location.

This WordPress migration plugin imports your site to its new location in chunks so you never have to worry about surpassing upload file size restrictions.

This also reduces the chances your site will crash during the migration process. All-in-One WP Migration does not require PHP extensions and works with PHP version 5.2 and higher. And unlike many migration plugin solutions, this plugin is 100% compatible with mobile devices.

4. Duplicator

Duplicator is a well-known migration plugin that comes in both a free and premium version. You can use it as a simple backup tool as well as a tool for cloning, copying, and moving a website from one location to another.

It handles serialized and base64 serialized replacements for you. And whether you want to move to another host or a new domain, Duplicator has you covered.

During the migration process, Duplicator creates a package that bundles your website’s plugins, themes, content, database, and WordPress files into a simple zip file.

This package is then what you use to migrate your site. And get this, WordPress is not required for installation since the package created for you holds all your site files.

Keep in mind that the free version of Duplicator has its limits. For example, if you want to schedule backups, save your website to cloud services like Dropbox, receive email notifications, or connect to cPanel directly from the installer, you’re going to need to invest in the pro version.

5. WP Staging

Just like Duplicator, WP Staging comes in both a free and premium version. And, as with all freemium solutions, WP Staging’s free version is limited.

That said, you are able to create an exact copy of your entire WordPress website for staging or development purposes in seconds. In fact, when you clone your website, you’ll find the copy in a subfolder of your main WordPress installation, including the database.

All data you copy and migrate belongs to you and stays on your server. There are no timeouts on huge websites and small hosting servers will do just fine.

If you want features such as pushing and pulling from a staging site or the ability to choose a separate database and select a custom directory for cloning, you’ll need to purchase the pro version of WP Staging.

Wrapping Up

Moving your WordPress website from one location to another doesn’t have to be difficult. While manually migrating a website can be very challenging, when you use a dedicated WordPress migration plugin, you can move your site to a new host, domain, or anywhere else you want in a matter of minutes. 

So, if you’re thinking about making a move, and don’t have a web host that provides free WordPress site migrations, don’t stress out.

Just research some WordPress migration plugins, find the one that has the features you need and click a few buttons. Your site will be moved in no time.

18 Best WooCommerce Plugins for Your Online Store (Most are Free)


If you run a WooCommerce website, are you using it to its full potential? Do you have all the tools and software necessary to run a successful online store? Your website should make it easy to generate sales, run contests, provide a positive UX, and more. However, this is tough to achieve if you don’t have the right WordPress plugins.

The plugins you choose to add to your website make or break the buying experience for customers. You must include the right features to your marketing strategy so you see the best outcomes.

Let’s take a look at a list of plugins you should consider adding to your WooCommerce website for better conversions and happier customers.

best WordPress hosting
rafflepress woocommerce

RafflePress is a newly launched giveaway and contest plugin that lets you set up campaigns with ease. No coding knowledge is necessary and creating giveaways or contests is simple to build brand recognition for your WooCommerce store, generate sales, and increase leads.

The plugin provides you with pre-built templates and uses a drag-and-drop builder so the hard work is already done for you. It’s mobile-friendly and provides viral sharing so it’s easy to spread the word about your giveaway and collect more responses. If you need a boost for your eCommerce business, this plugin is the way to go.

constant contact

Every business needs email marketing, and Constant Contact is the plugin to choose to provide you with all your email-related needs. Use the drag-and-drop builder to customize pre-made templates, drive sales with marketing automation, and create segmented email lists and custom funnels to reach your target audience.

optin monster

OptinMonster is a conversion optimization tool that lets you create persuasive optins to grow your email list, collect leads, reduce cart abandonment, and more. Its mobile-friendly design creates popups and optins suited for all devices. If you want to reconnect with visitors at the top of the sales funnel, this plugin is the solution for you. 

trustpulse for woocommerce

Since more people trust the recommendations of friends and family over advertising itself, it’s vital to incorporate social proof to your marketing strategy. TrustPulse uses FOMO to create popups on your website that inform visitors every time someone makes a purchase. This builds brand credibility and forms trust between visitor and brand, bringing them one step closer to becoming a paying customer.

livechat for woocommerce

How easy is it for visitors on your website to get in touch with someone from your company who can answer their questions? With LiveChat, a live chat support software, it’s easy to add this feature to your WooCommerce site and increase conversions by tending to customer needs right away. 

woocommerce multilingual

If you really want to boost your eCommerce sales, consider translating your content into multiple languages. This is easy thanks to WooCommerce Multilingual. Now customers from all over the world have the opportunity to scour your website and possibly buy your products, resulting in higher sales for your business.

wpforms for woocommerce

You need a form plugin that’s sturdy, reliable, and provides a positive UX, which is why WPForms is on this list. Even beginners can set up an online form using the plugin’s drag-and-drop builder and no code is required. The free subscription comes with all the basic features you need to create optimized forms for your website, but if you’re looking for something extra, you can invest in WPForms Pro.

woocommerce pdf invoices and packing slips plugin

Customers need receipts about items they purchased, and PDF Invoices & Packing Slips makes it easy to do so. When a customer purchases from your website, the plugin automatically adds a PDF invoice to the WooCommerce confirmation email. It has fully customizable HTML/CSS templates to choose from so it matches your branding.

yith woocommerce wishlist plugin

This plugin has the same idea as Amazon when it comes to pushing sales. It’s a shareable wishlist customers can use to collect desired items in one place and send to others, including on social media.  

monsterinsights woocommerce plugin

It’s not up for debate: you need analytics to run a successful eCommerce store. MonsterInsights integrates with Google Analytics and appears straight on your WordPress dashboard for easy accessibility. It breaks down what you need to know and what you should track so that even beginners with no prior knowledge can stay up to date on their conversions and sales.

woocommeerce image zoom plugin

When people browse products online, they want to get a good look at what they’re buying, which is why adding a zoom feature to product photos is crucial. It’s lightweight, customizable, easy to use, and works with all WordPress themes.

wp mail smtp by wpforms plugin

Some WordPress users have trouble sending emails from the platform. You need to make sure that your emails show up in people’s inboxes so you can reach subscribers and increase sales. WP Mail SMTP fixes email deliverability issues by reconfiguring WordPress to use a legitimate SMTP provider when sending emails. 

currency switcher for woocommerce

This multi-currency plugin does exactly what it sounds like: translates currency. For customers living internationally, you need to make sure it’s easy for them to understand how much your products are worth and how much they’re spending. Users can checkout using their preferred currency so it’s easy to purchase from your WooCommerce store.

custom product tabs for woocommerce

It’s important that product details are neatly laid out on your website so it’s easy for consumers to browse information and find what they need. Custom Product Tabs create tabs so you can organize, add, delete, or rearrange information how you want it. Rather than users endlessly scrolling through content, it makes it easy for them to learn more about your products.

yith woocommerce compare plugin

WooCommerce Compare lets users compare different products side by side so they choose the one that’s right for them. The products are saved in a complete table where you can clearly discern different features. 

yith woocommerce ajax search

Ajax Search makes it easy for visitors to find exactly what they’re looking for by creating a search box that shows instant results. The easier it is for users to receive results, the likelier they are to purchase. All this plugin requires is a download and it’s ready to go.

yith woocommerce quick view plugin

The easier it is for users to obtain product information, the higher your sales will be. With WooCommerce Quick View, when visitors hover over a product with their mouse, they see key information about that product and get a clearer look at its images. Users get this information without having to leave the current webpage they’re on, which provides a better UX. 

woocommerce menu bar cart plugin

Menu Bar Cart adds a shopping cart button directly to your navigation bar for easier access to users’ items. You can customize your own CSS, place the icon where you want on the bar, and spend only a few minutes setting it up.

Finding the Best WooCommerce Plugins for Your Online Store

Choosing the right plugins for your online store makes all the difference in how users interact with your website and how they purchase. You want to make it as easy as possible for them to have a positive buying experience so you see increased sales and they end up as happy customers. Which WooCommerce plugins do you recommend?