If you own and operate a WordPress website, then you’re probably familiar with those handy, downloadable features called plugins. There are thousands available and each one does something different for your site. If you haven’t discovered them yet, then you might want to read up on what plugins are and why they’re so valuable for building and growing a website.
Long story short, plugins are bits of code that provide access to new features and tools. They can be aesthetic, giving you features that improve your site’s design, or they can be functional and provide new capabilities for your users and visitors.
For instance, one tool that many WordPress users download is a project management plugin. These plugins help content managers and bloggers keep track of various campaigns being published through their site. That way, content is published before the deadline, and marketing teams can capitalize on timely opportunities to engage their audience.
In this post, we put together a list of the top project management plugins available on WordPress this year. Choose one and get started planning, optimizing, and executing projects for your WordPress website.
Best WordPress Plugins for Project Management
WP Project Manager is one of the most-popular project management plugins available on WordPress. It's open-source and packs enough potential to compete with full-fledged project management systems.
For example, its basic features include project creation, user assignment, messaging, file attachments, and the ability to leave comments on tasks or projects. The premium version adds a calendar with drag-and-drop functionalities, expanded privacy settings, milestone tracking, and more.
You can also incorporate add-ons like WooCommerce and BuddyPress to track additional activities on your site. The WooCommerce integration creates projects after a product is purchased and the BuddyPress integration creates tasks for different internal teams. With these added features, you can maintain a finger on the pulse of everything that's going on with your site.
Whether you’re adding a last-minute post to your social media calendar, or announcing an unexpected update for a new product, sometimes it’s critical to share information quickly. The appropriate stakeholders need to be in the know and receive information at the right time if you want your campaigns to be successful. And, to accomplish this, you’ll need a project management system like this one to disseminate information swiftly and efficiently.
The SP Project and Document Manager allows you to create unlimited folders and subfolders, and each folder can contain as many files as you would like. You can upload documents, images, videos, and other types of media all into one place. This makes it easy to share an entire campaign with new a team, department, or stakeholder because all of the campaign’s files are located in a single shared folder.
The premium version of this plugin offers a bit more customization. For example, you can add tags to your files so that they’re easier to find when searching for them in a folder. You can also group files based on who created or uploaded them. This helps you keep track of which teams are hitting deadlines and which ones need more support to successfully complete your project.
The WP Client Portal combines elements of a CRM with a project management system. One example is the "Private Messaging" feature, which acts similar to the messaging feature on a CRM contact record where you can send emails to a client that are recorded on their internal profile page.
Another example is the "Client Manager" feature, where you can assign clients to someone at your company who then is responsible for sending them information and promotions. This is similar to a "teams" or "contact owner" feature offered by most CRMs. It funnels information into one pipeline that can be reference over time as needed.
One standout feature for this plugin is its "Estimates & Invoicing" tool that lets you create customized and branded estimates and invoices for clients before and after they make a purchase. Clients can then view these documents as PDFs and even pay an invoice online rather than doing so over the phone or in person.
CoSchedule’s marketing calendar helps you easily visualize your workload and organize your marketing team's digital strategy. All of your content is scheduled on a shared, drag-and-drop calendar where users can communicate and collaborate in real-time.
Unlike some of the other options on this list, this plugin packs several unique social media features, including the ability to optimize promotions using "Best Time Scheduling," a tool that identifies the most effective time to engage your following. There's also an option to automatically reshare top content, so you can capitalize on the material that generates the most engagement.
CoSchedule also integrates with HubSpot, which means you can streamline and manage blogs, landing pages, and emails all within the calendar.
Panorama is a true project management tool, meaning it's designed to help users and stakeholders understand what a project's timeline looks like and when they can expect that project to be completed. Unlike some of the other options on this list that provide additional features and tools, Panorama focuses solely on project management and sharing information between internal and external stakeholders.
While you may think this limits Panorama, it actually makes it a powerful project management plugin. With Panorama, each user has their own custom dashboard giving them a summary of what projects they're currently working on and how far those projects are from completion. This feature lets everyone know what they need to do to complete a project — which makes the goal feel much more attainable.
Another unique feature is the task completion system that measures time elapsed between each completed task. With this tool, you can see which teams are keeping pace with the project's timeline and which tasks have yet to be finished before a project is complete.
Kanban was designed for agile project management, but it can be used for tracking marketing and sales activities as well. Its project boards are customizable and most editing can be done right from the board interface. Tasks can be created and assigned to team members, and you can track how long it takes to complete them.
With this tool, you can also create "custom views" which filter your project board by different criteria. You can bookmark individual tasks and updates, and delegate them to team members who can collaborate in real-time.
And, the data you gather with Kanban is stored outside of your WordPress account. This makes it more secure and reduces the chance of sharing data with unwanted parties.
BuddyPress is a popular WordPress plugin because it adds a great deal of functionality to your site. It's not only a project management tool, but also a social networking integration, a content management system, and a web design resource.
When it comes to managing projects, BuddyPress offers a variety of features that help users collaborate in real-time. For instance, users can form and join groups where they can chat internally and update each other on their progress.
They can also follow "activity streams," which are timelines that highlight what another user has been doing over a certain period of time. Rather than having that user notify everyone when a task is complete, those who follow their activity stream will be alerted automatically once they're finished.
Behance is a useful tool for presenting projects to different stakeholders. With this plugin, you can either pull up a single project or group a few together and compare them without having to jump between browsers. Its grid interface is responsive, so you can review projects on the go and there's also a custom styling option that lets you change how a project looks in the presentation view.
If there are details of a project that you don't want to share, Behance has an option to hide specific information as well. That way, you don't have to mention that embarrassing hiccup that delayed a task and instead, you can focus on the important details that stakeholders should know.
Upstream offers many of the same features provided by other plugins on this list. It lets you upload files and documents, assign tasks to users and teams, and create project discussion threads so team members can chat internally about different goals and tasks.
One unique feature that Upstream provides is its issue/bug tracking tool. This tool reports glitches and roadblocks as they arise, and just like delegating a project task, these issues can be assigned to team members who are responsible for fixing them.
If you want to share your progress with external stakeholders, Upstream has a feature that lets people view data without granting them access to your WordPress admin panel. That way, you can keep relevant stakeholders updated without having to add them as users in your WordPress account.
10. Business Manager
Business manager is a project manager, a document manager, and an human resources manager all wrapped into one plugin.
With this tool, you can track when a project starts, when it's completed, and how many hours and days were spent on each task. You can also categorize projects by different types and statuses and write detailed notes so you know exactly what's going on with each one. Business Manager uses Kanban Boards to outline projects in a calendar format, so you can drag and drop new items in as your work develops.
The HR management tools are more employee-specific. For example, you can monitor company-wide holidays and keep track of when employees are taking vacations so that you're properly staffed throughout the year. You can also create performance reviews that measure how well an employee is doing at your company. These reviews include skill ratings, strong/weak points, and career goals that you and your employees can set together.
Creating and Managing Projects in WordPress
Completing a project on time relies heavily on your ability to remove roadblocks that negatively impact productivity and efficiency. Project management tools do just that and make it easy for stakeholders to understand what work has been done, and what work needs to be done to complete a project or task. By using one of these WordPress plugins to outline this information, team members have a clear understanding of what their responsibilities are and how their work contributes to the project's success.
This post was originally published in January 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published Apr 6, 2021 7:00:00 AM, updated April 06 2021