While WordPress CMS is the premium platform for creating websites and blogs with pre-built themes, plugins are a marvelous addition to increasing the functionality of a website.
In the last decade, many designers have gone online and created portfolios to brand their work and attract clients. To maintain such portfolios and capture client leads, the designers can make use of certain WordPress plugins.
Some advantages of using WordPress:
Apart from the option to extend the functionality of WordPress CMS through plugins, some other benefits of using this CMS are:
- WordPress is an easy to use interface for adding new pages, images, and posting blogs.
- Managing your website is effortless, and the user can log in from any computer.
- WordPress doesn't require any coding knowledge as it fully occupied with pre-defined templates.
- WordPress is SEO friendly, meaning its coding is immaculate, straightforward, and comfortable for ranking high in search engines.
- The web designers won't have any trouble maintaining their website with WordPress, they have the control of every feature.
- The website is 100% customizable, so the site is easy to build as per the web developer's wishes.
- The users have the facility of extending the functionality such as event calendar, video gallery, Twitter feed, Facebook fan boxes, email subscription forms, and more.
- As an administrator, the user is allowed to add multiple users to the admin panel.
This article shares 21 plugins useful for designers. These plugins will help you design a great website and optimize it to make sure users have a great experience on your site. We have included plugins for various functions such as design, SEO, cache, email opt-in, and various other functionalities.
Useful Plugins for Designers
HubSpot’s WordPress plugin lets you capture, organize and engage web visitors with forms, live chat, CRM, email marketing, and analytics. That’s a lot of value from one plugin — and better yet, it’s free.
This plugin is especially useful for designers. You can easily create forms, popups, and live chat using a drag and drop builder. Adjust colors, stylings, and more to match your brand and provide a seamless experience for visitors.
Built-in analytics makes it easy to understand which sales and marketing actions are driving the most success… and which ones you need to fix. This is useful in deciding what pages need a refresh as well as the impact of any design changes on business growth.
Yoast SEO is one of the best plugins for writing content and adhering to all with on-page SEO factors. This plugin is written by Joost de Valk to improve SEO. Yoast SEO pushes the user to focus on keywords, which is the biggest aspect to consider while writing articles.
Yoast SEO has reached more than 3 million installs and takes the utmost care of even the little things you forget. When it comes to the best SEO plugins for Wordpress the Yoast plugins stand out.
With the help of the Yoast plugin, you can control which pages can be displayed in Google searches. Features included are compatibility with WordPress multi-sites, import and export, social media integration, and RSS optimization.
W3 Total Cache helps in performance optimization with the help of caching technology. The plugin is trusted by most companies such as AT&T, mashable.com, smashingmagazine.com, makeuseof.com, pearsonified.com, johnchow.com, ilovetypography.com, webdesignerdepot.com, css-tricks.com, and more.
Active installs have reached nearly 1 million.
W3 Total Cache performs an excellent job of improving search engine results of page rankings and is a great mobile-friendly tool to have. It decreases page loading and visitor time on your site.
The W3 Total Cache is compatible with virtual private or dedicated servers and clusters. W3 Total Cache has a transparent content delivery network management. It is mobile-friendly, supports AMP and SSL, and incorporates multiple security features.
Monarch is one of the best social media plugins for WordPress that helps you increase traffic from social networking sites. As you design a new website, the social sharing option is one of the most important and must have features.
Monarch offers you a variety of different placement options so you can maximize conversion and the number of social sharing. You have the following options as far as placement is concerned.
- Floating Sidebar
- Above & or Below Content
- On Images & Videos
- Automatic Pop-Up
When we talk about the design of the social sharing buttons, you have all the modern designs to choose from. You will have full control over the plugin and a powerful control panel to make things a lot easier for you.
Check our detailed review of Monarch plugin.
More than 30000 websites use Optin Monster for its incredible performance. It’s the best pop-up and lead generation plugin. With the help of a drag-and-drop page builder, Optin Monster helps users to build landing pages with various user intents like signing up for free courses, email newsletters, subscriptions, and more.
It offers Multiple Form Types, A/B split testing, page level targeting, built-in analytics, and more. The plugin integrates with almost all email marketing services like MailChimp and Emma.
We all know that a page builder makes life a lot easier for web designers. Even if you are a new Wordpress user, a page builder can help you create a completely custom unique design for your site without writing a single line of code.
Elementor is a plugin that will help you to create stunning pages for your site with a drag-and-drop interface without any coding. This plugin comes free as well as a pro version with a number of great modules and design options.
You can define sections by height and width, resize columns, and you can position the content as per your requirement, you can define the gap between each section to make your content look neat.
The image below will show different modules that are available with the website builder. You can use all these modules to create a modern design for your site.
WPforms is one of the best WordPress contact form plugins that creates an extraordinary form with just a few clicks. The drag-and-drop form builder helps even a beginner create a website without any coding knowledge. You can use smart conditional logic to control the form intent.
There are instant notifications whenever someone submits a form, multiple form templates, protection from spam entries, and you can even collect payments.
8. Edit Flow
Edit Flow is a plugin that enables in-house collaboration with other content writers. It provides a convenient month by month publication calendar and custom statuses that will define the critical stages to the user's workflow.
Editorial Metadata will keep track of the important details. Edit Flow ensures that users receive notifications and updates on the content on time, and users are organized by department and function.
This plugin has now reached nearly 10000 installations.
Soliloquy is an excellent choice for a slider plugin functionality. It makes the most powerful and user-friendly slider plugin among other alternatives. Soliloquy quickly creates a website with a drag-and-drop page builder and acts as a responsive mobile-friendly plugin.
Use these pre-built templates to customize the WordPress slider. Soliloquy boost your sales by adding interactive product sliders in your WooCommerce store. It enables slideshow displays in a full-screen lightbox mode for better user experience.
It creates dynamic sliders from featured blog posts, Instagram images, Testimonial, and much more.
Sucuri provides websites security against malware, hacking attacks, DNS manipulation, and more. They help in cleaning the website. Sucuri guarantees the user in completely removing website malware. This monitoring platform utilizes a massive approach to scanning sites.
Sucuri detection technology can quickly identify and alert site owners in the event of any security incident. The software is easy to deploy and there are no hardware requirements. With this theme, your site is safe against DDoS and website hacks.
It uses a global CDN for performance optimization. Once installed, there is continuous monitoring and brand management.
Floating Social Bar is a well known social media plugin. It adds a horizontal floating share bar to your blog posts, pages, and other post types. The floating ability allows this beautiful social media bar to get you maximum shares.
The plugin is responsive, meaning it is visible on all devices. However, it supports all the major social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Linkedin, and Pinterest.
The Disqus comment system does an excellent job of replacing your native WordPress comment system with comments hosted and powered by Disqus. It is SEO friendly with Auto sync of comments with Disqus and WordPress database.
Its features include the ability to receive comment notifications, users can leave threaded replies, users receive subscription options through RSS, social mentions, strong and multi-user admin interface, strong spam filtering options, ability to create blacklists and whitelists, support from Disqus community users, and more.
Increasingly, bloggers prefer to use this commenting model than the native WordPress model.
AdSanity is one of the WordPress plugins focused on easy use. Adding new ads in Adsanity is very similar to adding a post. It comes with widgets, and shortcodes support to display ads to show in posts, sidebars, and pages.
You can create either time-based ads or infinite ads. It also shows graphs for views and clicks. Adsanity is a great plugin for displaying advertisements.
14. Envira Gallery
Envira Gallery is one of the best responsive WordPress plugins to create a customized gallery from images and videos. Some of the features that make Envira Gallery the most powerful and user-friendly WordPress gallery plugin in the market are:
- Drag-and-drop gallery builder
- Responsive and Mobile Friendly
- Gallery Templates
- Albums and Tags
- Social Media Integration
- eCommerce store with WooCommerce plugin
- Watermark protection
- Deep linking & Pagination
Most importantly, despite its multiple features, the plugin doesn’t slow down the website.
15. Login LockDown
As the name suggests, Login Lockdown limits the number of login attempts from a given IP range within a period. It records the IP address of every failed login attempt.
The login function is disabled for all requests if more than a certain number of attempts are detected within a less period from the same IP range. You need to have this plugin to protect the website from hackers.
Term Management Tools will help in reorganizing your tags and categories, plus add new options to the dropdown on the management pages.
With the plugin, you can merge more than two Terms into one, create hierarchical taxonomies and set parents for one or more terms, change taxonomy, and more. In all, the tool helps to create an integrated category and tag display.
TablePress embeds elegant and feature-rich tables into your posts and pages without having to write code. It helps the user to create and manage beautiful tables. Table data can be edited in a spreadsheet-like interface without any coding knowledge.
Some of the features include:
- Tables can either be imported or exported from or to Excel, CSV, HTML
Affiliate money earners often use TablePress to present a customized list of recommended posts.
You can camouflage your affiliate link with Thirsty Affiliates. Accurate stats tracking, auto keyword linking, and import links are all attractive features included in Thirsty Affiliates.
If you have chosen affiliate marketing as the primary source of income for your website, then Thirsty Affiliates plugin is a must-have addition to your WordPress blog. This plugin not only turns ugly link URLs into nice links, but also extends its functionality with amazing features like auto keyword linking, handy importing tools, add-ons, and more.
Don't forget to read our review of Thirsty Affiliates plugin
19. Backup Buddy
A website without a backup option is a disaster. Backup Buddy is a reliable backup strategy that is pre-built to meet the needs for backup. Some of the security issues such as malware, hacks, user error, deleted files, and running wrong commands can be eliminated with the help of Backup Buddy.
This Plugin helps to backup data with just a few clicks. Backup Buddy plugin contains Pages, Posts, Widgets, Comments, Themes and Plugin Settings, Custom Post Types, Media Library, Menus, Images, Videos, Categories, Tags, and other Plugin files.
Backup Buddy ultimately takes care of the backup plan, helps in setting up backup schedules which will run automatically. Plus, it restores your WordPress website quickly from the backup if a situation arises.
20. Compact Archives
Usually, blogs display a long archive of blog content published over days and months. Without customization, the display is a long list of boring posts, which is useless because a blog publishing more than one post a day needs a better method to display all the content, without taking too much time.
This functionality is performed by Compact Archives. Sites like WPbeginner use the plugin to display their content publications in a more unified way.
21. WP Mail SMTP
WP Mail SMTP helps in eliminating problems with emails. Sometimes, the email may not be sent due to configuration settings on WordPress hosting providers. To overcome this hurdle, the user can choose the WP Mail SMTP plugin.
WP Mail SMTP functionalities:
- Users can define the name and email address for outgoing emails.
- You can select to send mail by SMTP or PHP's mail function.
- Specify a default to localhost.
- Specify an SMTP port
- Choose SSL / TLS encryption
- Choose to use SMTP authentication
- Specify an SMTP username and password
You can choose an SMTP username and password, specify SMTP ports and hosts, use email authentication, specify name and email of outgoing emails, and more. The plugin includes integrated support for Pepipost.
Hopefully, the above-listed plugins are useful for designers trying to build websites with optimum creativity and elegance. Even though WordPress has numerous choices, we have suggested the best out of the best in this article.
Originally published Jan 1, 2020 1:22:00 PM, updated February 04 2021