Tag - Compared

6 Best WordPress LMS Plugins Compared (Pros and Cons)


Are you looking for an LMS plugin for your WordPress site? Learning Management System (LMS) plugins allow you to create and run online courses like Udemy with WordPress.

A perfect WordPress LMS plugin includes features for managing your online course content, handling subscriptions, running and grading quizzes, accepting payments, etc.

In this article, we will compare the best WordPress LMS plugins with pros and cons to help you choose the perfect solution for your online learning website.

Best WordPress LMS Plugins - Compared

Getting Started with Learning Websites

To build a training website with WordPress, first, you will need to sign up for a WordPress hosting account. It will be your website’s home on the internet.

You will also need a domain name. This will be your website’s address on the internet (e.g. wpbeginner.com)

We recommend using Bluehost or SiteGround. They are among the largest hosting companies in the world, and they are both officially recommended by WordPress.

Next, you will need to install WordPress on your website. You can follow the instructions in our step by step guide on how to install WordPress, and you will be up and running in minutes.

Once you have installed WordPress, you will be ready to choose a WordPress LMS plugin for your website.

Let’s take a look at some of the best WordPress LMS plugins side-by-side, so you can choose the one that works best for your needs.

1. LearnDash

LearnDash - Best WordPress LMS Plugin

LearnDash is the most popular WordPress LMS plugin on the market. It is also the most easy to use LMS plugin with tons of features.

LearnDash comes with a simple drag and drop course builder which allows you to easily create multi-layer courses with lessons, topics, quizzes, and categories. You can deliver all your lessons at once or schedule them for the entire course duration with its Drip-Feed content feature.

Using LearnDash, you can give user assignments and then approve or comment on them. It also comes with quiz and test management tools with multiple question types. You can easily set prerequisites for students such as finishing a lesson first before going to the next lesson.

It offers plenty of monetization options including subscriptions, one-time purchase, memberships, shopping cart, etc. for your online training course. You can accept payments using multiple payment gateways including PayPal, Stripe, and 2Checkout.

It also integrates beautifully with bbPress, WordPress eCommerce plugins, and WordPress membership plugins like MemberPress.

A great LearnDash feature is dynamic forums which lets you create course-specific forums where your students can interact with and help each other.

Price: Starting from $159 for a single site license with 1 year of support and updates.

Grade: A+

Review: LearnDash is the most user-friendly and flexible LMS plugin for WordPress users. It comes with comprehensive set of features to manage your online courses.

LearnDash has integration with many third-party plugins and tools which make it even more powerful. It is a perfect LMS tool suitable for schools, training organizations, entrepreneurs, and anyone who wants to create and sell online courses with ease.

For a detailed LearnDash review and set up instructions, see our tutorial on how to easily create an online course with WordPress using LearnDash

2. LifterLMS

LifterLMS - Top LMS Plugin for WordPress

LifterLMS is another powerful WordPress LMS plugin with a lot of neat features. It allows you to create engaging online courses and offer wonderful learning experiences to your students. It is easy to set up, even on existing WordPress sites.

LifterLMS supports multi-tier courses with training modules, lessons, categories, etc. The plugin gives you the flexibility to create smaller courses or full-fledged degree programs. You can add multimedia lessons including video, audio, text, images, and more to make your courses more appealing.

It has content dripping, course pre-requisites, and group memberships to offer even greater control over the entire course duration.

To boost user engagement, it comes with powerful features like automated emails, gamification with badges, and even certificates upon completion of a course. It has built-in content restriction allowing you to restrict any WordPress page on your site to members only.

LifterLMS has a useful collection of addons, which you can use to manage affiliates, integrate with eCommerce plugins, connect to your email marketing service, etc.

LifterLMS plugin allows you to easily sell online courses using WordPress. You can quickly set up credit card payments, one-time or recurring payments, course bundles, coupons, etc. It can accept payments with PayPal, Stripe, or manually via check.

Pricing: Individual addons for $99 each (single site), or Universal Plan for $299 for single site.

Grade: A

Review: LifterLMS is a powerful and flexible choice for a WordPress LMS plugin. It is easy to use, and the setup wizard even installs a demo course for you. It is useful for fitness experts, musicians, leadership trainers, education entrepreneurs, and anyone who want to earn money by selling online lessons.

It is a little more expensive, and the pricing will add up if you choose to buy individual add-ons.

3. Teachable

Teachable

Teachable is a powerful online course builder. It is not a WordPress plugin but you can use it on a sub-domain, a custom domain name, or simply adding a link to your school’s page.

Teachable hosts your course and provides you a complete set of tools needed to build highly interactive online courses. It also comes with built-in email marketing integration, analytics, and other marketing tools.

For payments, teachable will handle your course fees and you will be paid out using PayPal or Stripe. Payment periods may vary depending on your pricing plan.

Pricing Starting from $29 per month

Grade: B+

Review: Teachable offers a complete set of tools need to create, manage, and sell online courses. It can handle any number of students and courses. Since it is a standalone platform, you wouldn’t be responsible for updates and backups. The downside is that it is expensive than other WordPress LMS plugins. If you are on their Basic plan, then you will be charged a 5% fees on each transaction.

4. LearnPress

LearnPress Free WordPress Learning Management System Plugin

LearnPress is a free WordPress LMS plugin with powerful features. Unlike other LMS plugins in this list, which come with a setup wizard, LearnPress lets you do the setup on your own.

Course creation is easy with the help of lessons, quizzes, and questions. You can use lessons and quizzes from one course into another course. It also lets you export content, so that you can use it on other WordPress sites using LearnPress.

It has both free and paid addons available, which allow you to extend the features. It supports scheduled content (content drip), quizzes, assignments, grading, etc. It also supports integration with bbPress, WooCommerce, and WordPress membership plugins.

There are also some WordPress LMS themes created with this plugin. If you cannot decide which WordPress theme to choose for your learning website, then you can use one of those themes. Doing so saves your site from breaking due to theme and plugin compatibility error.

Pricing: Free + Paid Addons and support

Grade: B+

Review: We found LearnPress to be feature-rich and flexible. The initial setup may be a bit difficult for beginners. It supports PayPal by default, and other payment gateways are available as paid add-ons.

Support is available from official forums for paid subscribers, and limited support is offered to free users. The free version is limited and you will have to buy add-ons to make the most out of it.

5. WP Courseware

WP Courseware Plugin for Creating Online Courses

WP Courseware is a popular LMS plugin for WordPress. It is a drag and drop course creation tool for creating an online learning website easily.

Course creation in WP Courseware is powerful and comes with tons of features to create large or small online courses. Each course can have multiple modules, units, and quizzes. It supports course pre-requisites and content drip features. See our guide on how to add a LMS in WordPress with WP Courseware.

It supports instructor profiles, instructor grade book, student grade books, custom emails, and many other features that help create an engaging experience for users.

It also comes with a question bank so that you can quickly create quizzes for different courses and modules.

WP Courseware includes powerful monetization features to sell courses on your website. It has a built-in shopping cart option where you can directly connect PayPal or Stripe and start selling your courses.

You can also create free courses and offer some valuable content to your users free of cost. Sometimes, free content inspires users to buy the full course. You can sell the premium content for one-time purchase or recurring subscriptions.

Pricing: Starting from $129 for 2 sites with 1 year of support and updates.

Grade: B

Review: WP Courseware is a good choice to build your online courses. It is easy to use and comes with flexible options which gives you the freedom to create an engaging learning environment. Best of all, it works with any WordPress theme without any contradiction.

6. Sensei

Sensei LMS Plugin

Sensei is a powerful WordPress LMS Plugin created by the folks behind WooCommerce. It is flexible and easy to use and follows the same best practices as WordPress and WooCommerce.

Course creation with Sensei is easy, but it is not as powerful as with other solutions. You can run quizzes, assignments, grade them automatically or manually, and even offer badges and certificates to students.

To sell your courses and accept payments you will need to use WooCommerce. For each course you want to sell, you will have to create a product and then link it to your course.

There are not many third-party integrations available. You can integrate Sensei with a membership plugin, but there is no addon for that.

Pricing: Starting from $129 for a single site license with 1 year of support and updates.

Grade: B

Review: Sensei is a good solution to offer online courses. If you already run an online store using WooCommerce, then this will perfectly integrate with your store. However, we feel that WooCommerce integration is hard for beginner users. There are also fewer features and addons for Sensei than other LMS plugins in this list.

Conclusion

After comparing the top 5 WordPress LMS plugins, we come to the conclusion that LearnDash is clearly the best option for most users. It is effortless to use with tons of features and lots of cool integrations for users who need them.

LifterLMS is a close second with an intuitive user interface and great set of features. It’s a perfect LearDash alternative you can use.

We hope this article helped you compare the best WordPress LMS plugins with their pros and cons. You may also want to see our list of 24 must have WordPress plugins for business websites.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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How to Choose the Best Website Builder in 2019 (Compared)


Website builders are a perfect solution for individuals and small businesses to start a website without hiring a developer. However, finding the best website builder can be tricky for beginners.

There are so many website builders on the market, how do you know which one is the right solution for you?

In this article, we’ll help you choose the best website builder by going over the pros and cons of the most popular options.

How to choose the best website builder

We will be comparing the following website builders in this article. If you are interested in a particular website builder, then just click on the name to skip ahead.

  1. WordPress.org
  2. Wix
  3. Gator by HostGator
  4. 1&1 IONOS Website Builder
  5. BigCommerce
  6. Shopify
  7. Weebly
  8. Squarespace
  9. GoDaddy Website Builder
  10. WordPress.com
  11. BoldGrid
  12. Ucraft

Choosing the Best Website Builder — What to Look for?

Before comparing the top website builders, we recommend that you write down what you want to do with your website? What are your goals and what features would you like to see on your website.

For example, you can write down things like: have a blog section, photo gallery, online store, reservation system, contact form, slider, etc.

If you are unsure about what you want, then check out your competitors or other websites for inspiration.

Most website builders offer a drag and drop user interface to build your website. You can take advantage of the trial accounts to test drive before you make your final decision.

Next, you need to consider your growth options. Will you be adding regular updates to your website? Do you need a blog section? Would you be selling more products on your website in the future?

You need to make sure that the website builder you choose is capable of handling your needs as your business grows.

That being said, let’s take a look at the top website builder platforms to make your website without hiring a developer.

1. WordPress

WordPress

WordPress.org (also known as self hosted WordPress) is the world’s most popular website building platform. Over 28% of all websites on the internet are powered by WordPress.

Note: There are two versions of WordPress available. There is self-hosted WordPress.org and WordPress.com. We will talk about WordPress.com later in this article. You can also read our WordPress.org vs WordPress.com comparison for more details.

The self-hosted WordPress tops our list of best website builder due to its popularity, powerful features, scalability, and ease of use.

WordPress is a free and open source website builder. This means that you have maximum control over your website compared to any other builder in this list.

Unlike other website builders, you will need a WordPress hosting account and host your own website (this is a lot easier than it sounds).

Pros:

WordPress gives you complete control on every aspect of your website. It can be used to build any kind of website. For example, an eCommerce store, community forums, a social network, a membership website, and more.

There are thousands of pre-made WordPress themes that you can use for your website’s design. It also has amazing drag and drop page builders like Beaver Builder and Divi which allow you to easily create your own page layouts.

Creating a page with Beaver Builder best page builder plugin

You’ll also get access to more than 50,000 free WordPress plugins. These are like apps for WordPress that adds additional features and functionality to your website.

WordPress is fully translated into dozens of languages and can be easily used to create multilingual websites.

Cons:

You will have to manage your own website, which means you will need to familiarize yourself with a new system. This slight learning curve is easily overcome by most users, but it does feel a bit difficult in the beginning.

You will also have to keep up with WordPress updates, plugin updates, and create backups.

Pricing:

WordPress software is available for free, but you will need a domain name and web hosting which typically costs $14.99/year and $7.99 per month respectively.

Fortunately, we have worked out a special deal for WPBeginner users. You can start a website for only $2.75 per month with Bluehost, an official WordPress recommended hosting provider. They are offering our users 60% off on web hosting that comes with free SSL and a free domain name.

→ Click here to Claim this Exclusive Bluehost offer ←

For more details, see our guide on how to make a website with step by step instructions.

2. Wix

Wixlogo

Wix is another popular cloud based website builder. It offers ease of use combined with a powerful set of features to easily build your website.

Pros

Wix is a fully hosted platform, so you will not have to pay for hosting. You get access to hundreds of templates to choose for your website’s design. Each template is fully editable with their intuitive drag and drop site builder.

Wix Builder

It also comes with dozens of free and paid apps that you can install on your website. These apps allow you to add new features and functionality to your website. Some of them are created by Wix, and others are created by third-party developers.

Wix offers a free plan with limited bandwidth and storage. However, you can use this plan to test drive their drag and drop website builder. It does not include a domain name, so if you decide to keep your website, then you may want to upgrade to a premium plan.

You also get a free SSL with all Wix plans, but you will need to turn it on for your website.

Cons

Free and Connect Domain plans will show Wix branded ads on your website. You’ll need to upgrade to their Combo or Unlimited plan to remove those ads.

If you ever decide to move your website away from Wix, then you will find it quite complicated to do so.

Their Connect Domain plan which costs $9.16 per month only lets you connect a custom domain name, so you’ll still have to buy a domain name separately.

Pricing

Wix offers a limited free plan with a Wix branded sub domain. You can connect a domain for $9.16 per month. Their combo plan starts at $14.95/month and will get you a free domain name. The ecommerce plan costs $26.25 per month.

If you are interested in how it stacks up against WordPress, then see our comparison of Wix vs WordPress.

3. Gator by HostGator

Gator Website Builder by HostGator

Gator is brand new website builder by HostGator, one of the most popular web hosting provider in the world. The Gator builder is an all-in-one website building & hosting solution.

Pros

Gator is a fully hosted platform, so you don’t have to worry about the software, updates, or backups.

It has an intuitive website builder that lets you choose from 200+ professional website design templates. Each design comes with simple customization options that you can configure from the builder itself.

You can edit any item on a page with a simple point and click interface. You can also drag and drop commonly used items like images, videos, photo gallery, text, columns, maps, and contact forms.

You also have access to a built-in stock photo library, so you can find and add beautiful photos on your website.

All paid plans also include a free custom domain name for your website. The eCommerce plan also comes with the ability to setup an online store and sell your products online.

Since Gator is a paid product, they don’t sell your data or show any ads on your website.

Cons

Unlike some of the other options in the list, Gator doesn’t have a free plan. They also do not offer a free trial.

Like other proprietary builders in the list, you cannot hire a developer to help you significantly modify your website design or add new features to your website.

Pricing

Gator paid plans start from $3.84 per month, $5.99 per month for premium, and $9.22 for eCommerce plan.

Gator can be used to build a small business website, a store with limited items, or a photo gallery. However, it is no match for the power of the most popular website builder, WordPress.

4. 1&1 IONOS Website Builder

1&1 IONOS Website Builder

1&1 Website Builder is a premium website builder designed specifically for small businesses, individuals, and starter websites.

Pros

The 1&1 IONOS Website builder is a fully-hosted solution to easily create a website in minutes. It comes with hundreds of professionally designed templates to create fully functional business websites.

All templates are mobile friendly out of the box and your website will look great on all devices.

Select your industry to get a template that already contains the content matching your needs. You can tweak it as little or as much you like with user friendly interface.

Each plan comes with a free domain name and your own branded email addresses. Support is available 24 / 7 via phone, live chat, or email.

Cons

There are no integrations or third-party extensions that you can install to your website for new features.

The website builder and online store builder are two separate products. If you want to start an online store, then you need to sign up for their online store builder.

Pricing:

They are running a $1 for six months offer on all their plans. Regular prices start from $7 per month (Essential), $10 per month (Business), and $20 per month (Pro).

5. BigCommerce

BigCommerce

BigCommerce is one of the most powerful website builder platforms to build an online store. If you’re looking to create an eCommerce website that scales, then BigCommerce is the platform for you. It comes with all the essential features built-in, so you can keep your overhead low and margins high.

Pros

BigCommerce is a fully hosted eCommerce solution, so you don’t have to worry about website speed, security, or updates. They handle the server and technical side for you, so you can focus on growing your business.

Unlike other hosted eCommerce solutions, BigCommerce has a native integration with WordPress which allows you to leverage the flexibility of WordPress while taking advantage of the headless eCommerce power of BigCommerce. In simple terms, your website will be fast and secure no matter how much traffic you get.

BigCommerce integrates with all popular payment gateways including Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay, Square, Amazon Pay, Visa Checkout, Chase Pay, Ayden, and more. Unlike Shopify, BigCommerce doesn’t charge a transaction fee for you to use these payment gateaways.

You can start with one of their many pre-made website templates and customize it to match your needs using their easy drag & drop website builder.

BigCommerce Design Builder

BigCommerce comes with many features built-in to handle conversion rate optimization such as cart abandonment, improved product search, product reviews, coupons, and more.

The best part is their dashboard that lets you see the metrics to help you grow your business with confidence.

Cons

If you are just starting out, then you will find BigCommerce pricing a bit higher than other website builders in the list.

Since it’s a proprietary platform, migrating away from BigCommerce will be difficult.

Pricing

BigCommerce comes with a 15-day free trial for all plans. Their basic plans at $29.95 per month which comes with all the essential features that you will need. You can upgrade to the plus plan which costs $79.95 per month for additional conversion optimization features. Their pro plan costs $249.95 per month which has all the advanced features you may need.

The best part about BigCommerce when compared to Shopify and other third-party eCommerce platforms is that they have a seamless integration with WordPress which can be a huge plus if you want to combine the flexibility of WordPress with the power of BigCommerce.

6. Shopify

Shopify

Shopify is a website builder designed specifically for online stores and ecommerce websites. It powers more than half a million businesses with 1 million active users. Over 40 Billion dollars worth of products have been sold on Shopify’s platform.

Pros

Shopify is an all-in-one fully hosted solution, this means you don’t have to worry about managing software, installing updates, or keeping backups. Shopify does all that for you.

It offers integrated payment solution called Shopify Payments. You can also add third-party payment gateways to accept payments.

As an ecommerce website builder, Shopify comes with full inventory management, unlimited products, powerful stats, easy marketing solutions, all neatly wrapped under one roof. They have hunereds of designs to choose from, and you will never need to add code.

Shopify

With its intuitive drag and drop interface, Shopify makes it super-easy to create a full-fledged ecommerce store. They also offer in-store POS, which allows you to sell products at your location, while accepting all credit cards and taking advantage of Shopify’s inventory, shipping, marketing, and stats management tools.

You can even integrate Shopify into WordPress, allowing you to use both great solutions at the same time.

Cons

If you are just starting out, then you may find Shopify’s pricing a bit higher than some other website builders in this list.

If you ever want to move your website away from Shopify, you will find it quite difficult to do so.

Pricing

Shopify’s basic plan will cost you $29 per month. You can upgrade it to Shopify for $79 per month or Advanced Shopify for $299 per month. Shopify also offers a Shopify Lite plan for $9 per month, which basically allows you to add a buy button on any website.

If you want a hassle free ecommerce website builder, then Shopify may be the perfect option for you.

7. Weebly

Weebly logo

Weebly is an easy to use website builder with tons of great designs. It includes a beautifully crafted page builder which allows you to edit your website without learning any coding skills.

Pros

Weebly is a fully hosted platform, so you don’t need to install and manage any software. They take care of hosting your website and managing all the software that runs in the backend.

It comes with dozens of website designs to use as an starting point for your website. These gorgeous designs are fully editable using Weebly’s live page editor.

Weebly

Weebly also comes with built-in support for ecommerce. This allows you to easily create an online store and start selling.

Each Weebly site comes with built in features for contact forms, photo galleries, sliders, and more. This allows you to easily add features to your website without any complicated setup process.

Cons

Weebly is a fully hosted platform so you are locked to the features they offer. You cannot hire a developer or designer to add new functionality of feature to your website.

Weebly charges 3% transaction fees on every purchase made through your ecommerce store. You’ll need to upgrade to their business plan to avoid these additional fees.

Pricing

Weebly comes with a very basic free plan. Their paid plans start from $8 per month billed annually. The pro plan costs $12 per month, and their business plan costs $25 per month.

If you are wondering how it stacks up against WordPress, then check out our comparison of Weebly vs WordPress.

8. Squarespace

Squarespace

Squarespace is a popular fully hosted website builder known for its great designs and ease of use.

Pros

Squarespace comes with enterprise-grade infrastructure for hosting your website. This secure and robust platform allows you to focus on growing your business without worrying about hosting.

Squarespace includes tons of website designs to get started. All of these designs are fully ready for all types of content. They are fully editable, and Squarespace even allows you to use multiple templates for the same website at once.

Squarespace

Adding content to your website is very easy on Squarespace. Just point anywhere on your website and start typing. You can easily drag and drop items on pages to create your own layouts in minutes.

Squarespace also has an ecommerce plan which allow you to add an online store to your website. It offers a nice interface to manage your products, inventory, orders, coupon discounts, and more.

Cons

Squarespace offers limited integrations with third-party service which can be a hurdle in growing your business.

Their ecommerce plans only allow Stripe, Apple Pay, and PayPal for payment processing. You cannot add additional payment gateways.

Pricing

Squarespace websites start from $12 per month and $18 per month. Their online stores start from $26 and $40 per month.

Squarespace is a beautifully designed platform that offers very easy to use features. It can be perfect if you just want to quickly build a website.

If you are wondering how it stacks up against WordPress, then take a look at our comparison of Squarespace vs WordPress.

9. GoDaddy Website Builder

GoDaddy Website Builder

GoDaddy is one of the largest domain name and hosting service providers in the world. They offer a simple and elegant website builder complete with hosting included.

Pros

GoDaddy Website Builder is a simple and easy tool to create professional looking websites. It comes pre-loaded with several ready to use blocks that you can drag and drop to build different layouts.

GoDaddy Website Builder

It also has integrated photo library with professional images from Getty Photography that you can use on your website. You can also upload your own photos and create image galleries.

GoDaddy website builder works on smaller screens too. This allows you to work on your website on the go using your mobile phone or tablet.

Cons

It is not as feature rich and flexible as most other website builders on this list. It offers limited set of features with fewer design options.

It is quite difficult to move your website from GoDaddy Website Builder to WordPress.

Pricing

Personal plan costs $5.99/month, business plan for $9.99/month, and business plus plan for $14.99/month. All plans are billed annually.

GoDaddy Website Builder can be used for a basic website with a few pages. However, it is not a good choice to build content rich websites.

10. WordPress.com

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is a blog and website hosting service run by Automattic. It is created by Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress open source software, hence the name WordPress.com. To learn more, see our article on how are WordPress.com and WordPress.org related.

However, WordPress.com is not the same as self-hosted WordPress.org. Please see our comparison of WordPress.com vs WordPress.org for more details.

Pros

WordPress.com is a website hosting service. Built on top of the same WordPress software but with a totally custom user experience. You don’t have to worry about the software and backups as WordPress.com takes care of it.

Their free and paid plans have different set of features. All plans allow users to choose from hundreds of free and paid WordPress themes. You can then use the built-in customizer to add your site title, use widgets, add navigation menus, and so on.

WordPress.com

It doesn’t offer the same drag and drop functionality of other website builders. However, you can easily customize designs to a certain extent.

Cons

You cannot install custom plugins or themes unless you upgrade to their business plan.

Premium and lower plans do not have ecommerce features or third-party ad network support. With the business plan, you can use WooCommerce and third-party ad networks. However, you will still have to follow WordPress.com’s terms and conditions.

Pricing

The basic plan is free, but is extremely limited. Their personal plan starts with $4 per month billed annually and includes a custom domain. Premium plan costs $8.25 per month billed annually and it gives you the ability to monetize your site and advanced design customization. Business plan costs $24.92 per month billed annually, and it gives you the ability to have Ecommerce and custom plugins.

11. BoldGrid

BoldGrid

BoldGrid is a new kind of website builder that is built on top of WordPress. It is available as a standalone WordPress plugin as well as a fully hosted website builder suite.

Pros

BoldGrid is built on top of WordPress, so you get full advantage of WordPress with a customized user experience. BoldGrid’s website builder allows you to choose a professional design from their gallery of themes.

After that, you can customize those designs with a drag and drop customizer. You can point and click on any item in the preview section to edit its properties. You can change colors, fonts, layouts, navigation menus, and widgets with ease.

BoldGrid

Need a staging website? BoldGrid creates one for you with a single click. This allows you to test out your new designs, layouts, plugins, and themes before making it live for everyone to see.

It also comes with a full WYSIWYG page editor. No more guess work when editing your pages in WordPress. You’ll get exactly what you see on your page editor window. You can also use GridBlocks to simply drag and drop elements to your page and build your own layouts from scratch.

All BoldGrid themes are ready for WooCommerce. This allows you to easily create a storefront using BoldGrid’s drag and drop builder (see our list of best WooCommerce hosting companies).

Cons

BoldGrid runs on top of WordPress, so you will still need a self-hosted WordPress.org website to use it.

But the good part is backups are included through BoldGrid backups, so you don’t have to worry about that.

Pricing

BoldGrid basic plugin is available as a free download. You’ll need a WordPress hosting account and a domain name to install and use it. We recommend using InMotion Hosting because they are an official BoldGrid hosting provider.

This means you can easily setup BoldGrid with a few clicks on InMotion Hosting’s platform.

InMotion Hosting has agreed to offer WPBeginner users 50% discount on hosting. Click here to get started with InMotion Hosting.

If you want to use WordPress but with the ease of hosted drag and drop website builders, then BoldGrid would be perfect for you.

12. Ucraft

Ucraft

Ucraft offers an easy to use website builder for blogs and businesses wanting to add a shopping cart and start selling products.

Pros

Ucraft comes with a drag and drop website builder with dozens of templates to choose from. All website designs are fully mobile friendly. Getting started with a basic website takes only a few minutes and requires no technical skills.

They offer a limited free plan and let you add your own custom domain name. All paid plans include one free domain registration.

All paid plans also include eCommerce features with more than 70 payment methods to accept online payments. Other notable features include on-site search, Google Fonts, multi-currency stores, multilingual website, discount coupons, and more.

Ucraft also has integrations available for several third-party tools and services like Google Analytics, Live Chat, Zendesk, Intercom, and more.

Cons

There are enough integrations available but you are only limited to those currently available.

The pro website plan lets you add only 50 products at a time. You will need Pro Shop plan to add more products.

Pricing

Ucraft offers a limited free plan with the ability to connect your own domain name. Their paid plans start from $10 per month for Pro Website, $21 per month for Pro Shop, $39 per month for BigCommerce.

Our Pick for The Best Website Builder

After carefully evaluating different website builders, we believe that WordPress beats them all in overall performance, ease of use, and flexibility.

It is not just great for beginners. World’s top brands are using WordPress on their websites. See many more reasons to choose WordPress as your website builder.

You can get started with WordPress by using Bluehost or read our step by step guide on how to make a website.

If you’re looking to build an online store (eCommerce website), then we recommend BigCommerce as the best solution because it offers all the features that you will need at the best price.

We hope this article helped you choose the best website builder for your project. You may also want to see out list of tools to help you grow your website.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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5 Best Contact Form Plugins for WordPress Compared


Are you looking to add a contact form on your WordPress site? Not sure which one of the 1625+ WordPress contact form plugins to use? In this article, we have hand-picked the 5 best contact form plugins for WordPress and compared their pros and cons, so you can easily add a contact form in WordPress.

Best WordPress Contact Form Plugins

1. WPForms

WPForms is the most beginner friendly WordPress contact form plugin. We use it on WPBeginner and all of our other websites. WPForms is built by the same team as WPBeginner with a single goal: Make a WordPress forms plugin that’s both easy and powerful.

WPForms Best WordPress Contact form plugin

Pros

WPForms’ drag & drop online form builder makes it the most user-friendly form plugin for WordPress.

WPForms Lite is available for free in the official WordPress plugin directory meaning you can install it on as many sites as you like for free.

The free version comes with all the basic contact form features including basic form fields, captcha for spam protection, email notifications, and a thank-you page for form confirmation.

The premium version allows you to extend the functionality, so you can build any type of forms such as multi-page forms, email subscription forms, payment forms, order forms, and more.

WPForms pro also comes with other powerful form fields and features like smart conditional logic, file upload, geo-location, signature feature, form abandonment, user-submitted content (post submissions), login and user registration for WordPress, and over 150+ pre-made form templates.

You can see all your form submissions right inside your WordPress dashboard as well as get customized email notifications. You can even setup conditional notifications, so the right person in your team gets notified.

WPForms surveys & polls addon is by far the best WordPress survey solution in the market. It comes with interactive survey reports, real-time polls for WordPress, and all smart survey fields like star ratings, likert scale, NPS, etc.

They also have a form landing page solution to help you create distraction-free form pages in WordPress.

WPForms integrates with all popular email marketing and payment platforms. There are documentation and guides available along with email support to help you when you need it.

WPForms is being used by over 1 million websites and have built quite a loyal following (See: WPForms user reviews).

Cons

While the lite version is free, you need to upgrade to Pro to unlock more powerful features.

Even though WPForms is powerful, the #1 goal of this plugin is to make it user friendly. That’s why it doesn’t have the more complex features that some other form plugins offer.

WPBeginner users can use this WPForms coupon that will give you 50% off the premium version of WPForms.

Get WPForms Pro Now »

Alternatively, you can start with WPForms Lite for Free.

2. Formidable Forms

Formidable Forms is the most advanced WordPress form plugin in the market. They specialize in helping developers build complex form-focused solutions quickly.

Formidable Forms Advanced WordPress form plugin

Pros

Formidable is an all-in-one WordPress form builder that comes with powerful addons to help you go beyond simple contact forms.

You can use Formidable drag and drop interface to create advanced forms like quizzes, surveys, payment forms, registration forms, profile forms, and more.

Advanced users will really love the Formidable Views feature because it allows you to format, filter, and display user-submitted data on the front-end of your website. You can use it to create form-focused solutions like directories, job board listings, event calendars, management systems, rating systems, and more.

You can use Formidable’s advanced calculation fields to create powerful order forms as well as smart calculators like Mortgage calculator, car payment calculator, request a quote calculator, and more.

Formidable integrates with all popular email marketing and payment platforms.

They also have a powerful WooCommerce integration to help you build product forms and even WooCommerce product configurator forms that ties directly to your cart.

Cons

Formidable form builder is not as intuitive as WPForms because they focus on advanced users and developers.

But it makes up for it by being the most extendable form solution in the market. If you’re a developer or agency looking to build form-based solutions or data-driven web applications, then nothing in the market comes close to Formidable Forms.

3. Gravity Forms

Gravity Forms is a paid WordPress form builder plugin that comes with a lot of advanced functionality and features. They also specialize in helping developers build complex form related solutions.

Gravity Forms WordPress form plugin

Pros

Gravity Forms is a powerful drag and drop contact form plugin for WordPress.

With the help of additional add-ons, Gravity Forms can be used to create surveys, quizzes, user submitted content, and even web directory.

It comes with premium support options like FAQs, knowledge base, forums, and email support. This means that help is available when you need it.

Cons

Gravity forms does not have a free version, so it can be a bit expensive than other WordPress contact form plugins. However, if you are using it on multiple sites and projects, then the cost should not be a big deal.

4. Ninja Forms

Ninja Forms is a freemium contact form plugin for WordPress. It can be used to create highly interactive form with very little effort.

Ninja Forms WordPress Form Creation Plugin

Pros

The base plugin for Ninja Forms is available for free from the official WordPress repository. This means you can download and install it on as many sites as you like.

There are premium extensions which allow you to extend Ninja Forms functionality such as connecting with Campaign Monitor, Freshbooks, Salesforce, SMS notifications, etc.

There is a helpful community support option, as well as documentation, guides, and email support.

Cons

Even though the main plugin is available for free, the extensions are not. Buying two or more extensions or even the developer bundle will cost you nearly the same amount as WPForms or Formidable Forms.

5. Contact Form 7

Although we don’t recommend Contact Form 7, this list cannot be complete without the oldest and most downloaded contact form plugin in the official WordPress plugin directory.

Contact Form 7 Free WordPress Contact Form Plugin

Pros

Price is probably the most important advantage of using Contact Form 7. You are free to install it on as many sites as you want.

Although if you’re looking for a free WordPress form plugin, then WPForms Lite, Formidable Forms, and Ninja Forms are all significantly better solutions than Contact Form 7.

There are several third-party plugins that act as add-on plugins for Contact Form 7. Most of them are available for free.

Cons

Contact Form 7 is a below-average solution for creating a basic contact form for your blog. It is very difficult to set up for absolute beginners. The user interface is not intuitive at all.

Since it is a free plugin, support options are limited.

There are several third-party add-ons available for Contact Form 7, but the official plugin website doesn’t have an add-ons directory which makes it difficult to find add-ons to extend the functionality of the base plugin.

Which is the Best Contact Form Plugin for WordPress?

The plugins we mentioned in this article can all help you create a contact form plugin. However deciding the best WordPress form builder plugin varies based on your needs.

If you’re a beginner and don’t want to spend any money, then go with WPForms Lite.

If you’re a business owner and want to create powerful forms without learning code or hiring a developer, then go with the WPForms Pro version.

If you’re a developer trying to build more complex forms, then there’s no better solution than Formidable Forms.

Our overall pick for the best WordPress contact form plugin is WPForms.

We hope this guide helped you choose the best contact form plugin for your WordPress site. You may also want to take a look at our guide on the best WordPress backup plugins compared (Pros and Cons).

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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10 Best WordPress Forum Plugins (Compared)


Are you looking to add a community section on your WordPress site? Forums and discussion boards are a great way to boost user engagement and build a community around your site.

In this article, we’ve hand-picked the best WordPress forum plugins that you can use to build a community around your website or business.

Aside from the basic forum feature, we also made sure to find solutions that have advanced functionalities like question & answer board, custom social network feature, and more so you can build a community of your dreams.

Best WordPress Forum Plugins

Why Create a Forum on Your WordPress Site?

Online forums are an effective community-building tool where your website visitors can participate by posting questions, sharing solutions, new ideas, etc.

Your forum could be a Q&A (question-and-answer) platform, discussion board, knowledge sharing space, or a problem-solving support zone.

There are multiple advantages of adding a forum to your website.

First, your WordPress forum software will help users engage and participate on your website. When they participate, they’re more likely to come back, buy your products, and recommend them to their friends and family.

Second, it’s one of the most common and effective ways to provide support to your customers. When your customers have a technical or generic support question, they can hop into the forum and check to see if the issue is already posted. If it’s a new problem, then they can post and get their problem solved.

Lastly, it gives some SEO value to your website when a unique issue is discussed and the thread becomes popular. In many instances, forum threads outrank other types of content in search results. Sometimes, the user-generated content makes more sense than formal posts on your blog.

That being said, here’re the best plugins to add a forum to your WordPress website.

Note: You will need to have a WordPress website to use these plugins. If you want to start a new website, then you will need a domain and web hosting.

We recommend using Bluehost because they’re an official WordPress hosting provider, and they’re offering our users a free domain name and 60% off web hosting.

1. bbPress

bbpress-best-wordpress-forum-plugin

When it comes to integrating a forum into WordPress, bbPress is hands-down the best plugin for the job. It is a sister project of WordPress.org, which means that it’s built the WordPress way and uses the existing WordPress core to power your forum.

bbPress is easy to set up, easy to moderate and maintain, fast, and clean. Anyone can easily create a forum in WordPress using this plugin. If you need detailed instructions, we have a tutorial on how to set up bbPress in WordPress.

Pros

  • Built for WordPress, bbPress utilizes the same WordPress core and follows the same coding standards as WordPress.
  • It integrates with any WordPress theme without painful modifications. There are also some excellent WordPress themes for bbPress that you can use.
  • More than 200 bbPress extensions available to do just about anything you want.
  • Since it doesn’t have a lot of bloat, bbPress is fast and lightweight.
  • You can easily create multisite forums and maintain them from one dashboard.
  • It’s a free open source software, so you can use it unlimited for free.

Cons

  • Not as feature-rich as full-fledged forum CMS like phpBB, Vanilla Forums.
  • The core plugin has only the basic features, so you need to install additional extensions for more power.

2. BuddyPress

buddypress-wordpress-plugin

BuddyPress allows you to build your own social network within WordPress. Just like bbPress, BuddyPress is also an official WordPress plugin. It follows the same coding practices and standards as WordPress.

With BuddyPress, you can create a full-fledged online community with user profiles, activity streams, user groups, messaging, and networking options.

Similar to Facebook, it allows your users to add friends, send private messages, create groups, and get notifications.

Best of all, you can use BuddyPress and bbPress together and create a feature-rich online forum.

Pros

  • Easily integrates with any WordPress theme and plugin.
  • Hundreds of third party BuddyPress plugins and extensions to extend the functionality.
  • Lets you easily create a complete social network with activity streams, user profiles, social connections, groups, etc.
  • It’s free and open source. Download BuddyPress for free and use it on unlimited sites, and also get regular updates.

Cons

  • The core plugin lacks advanced features that you may need to build a full-fledged online community. To extend its power, you’ll need to depend on third-party plugins.

3. ForumEngine

forumengine-wordpress-forum-theme

ForumEngine is actually a WordPress theme which turns your WordPress site into a discussion forum. It’s a powerful theme built specifically for creating a forum in WordPress. The theme shows the forum threads right on your website homepage.

With ForumEngine, you can create forums where users can interact in many ways like posting topics, questions, replying, liking or disliking a topic. It allows users to quickly search any topic in the list with Ajax live search.

It also provides a private space to your users where they can access and manage all their activities in the forum.

Pros

  • It’s a full-fledged WordPress forum theme, so you won’t need to install any plugin to create a forum in WordPress.
  • It provides plenty of styling options to change the appearance of your forum and make it look attractive.
  • Plenty of widgets for adding forum statistics, categories, hot topics, etc.
  • Allows you to display advertisements and earn extra income.

Cons

  • It’s a forum specific theme, so it’s hard to create a regular business or eCommerce site with this. You can integrate it with your WordPress blog, but it doesn’t have options to display products, etc.
  • It’s a paid theme. If you’ve limited budget, free options like bbPress and BuddyPress may be better options.

4. Simple:Press

simple-press-wordpress-forum-plugin

Simple:Press is a simple solution for adding a forum to your WordPress site. It comes with both free and premium versions, so you can choose the option according to your need.

Using Simple:Press, you can create unlimited forums, forum groups, sub-forums, private and public forums easily. You can also lock and pin any forum. To let you manage the users, it has a powerful user group and permission system. Your users can create extended profiles with timezone, and a lot more.

Pros

  • Fully integrated into WordPress, supports WordPress registrations and logins.
  • Supports both standard WordPress and multisite installs as well.
  • More than 70 premium plugins are available to extend its features.
  • Creates SEO friendly permalinks and includes many SEO features.

Cons

  • The free version is fairly basic. You’ll need to purchase a premium plan to add advanced functionalities.

5. wpForo Forum

wpforo-wordpress-forum-plugin

wpForo is a free WordPress forum plugin which comes with plenty of design and customization options. It features 3 design layouts for your forum: Extended, Simplified, and Question and Answer layout. Each layout has a unique design and features. Plus, there’re 6 set of forum color styles including dark style.

Using this plugin, you can easily create modern forums where your users can participate, get support, as well as contribute. Users can post questions, give answers, vote, subscribe to topics, and receive notifications, share topics on social media, etc.

Pros

  • Available for free with options to extend functionalities by purchasing paid addons.
  • Built-in features for search engine optimization (SEO), XML sitemap, caching, antispam, etc.
  • Smooth integration with BuddyPress to allow more social networking features.

Cons

  • Only basic features are granted in the free plugin. You’ll need to pay for advanced features like ad management, polls, user custom fields, private messaging, etc.
  • The plugin settings are a bit complex for first time users.

6. Asgaros Forum

asgoras-form-best-forum-plugin-for-wordpress

Asgaros Forum is a simple WordPress forum plugin you can use on your live website. It’s the best forum plugin for anyone who is looking to add a lightweight forum page on their existing sites with ease. It’s super easy to setup and adds a feature-rich discussion board in WordPress.

Pros

  • Simple and lightweight forum plugin for beginners as well as professionals.
  • Simple yet powerful options available for content management, members, and permissions.
  • Forum statistics to let you see how well your forum is performing.
  • Multisite compatible plugin.

Cons

  • It doesn’t have extensions to add more functionalities.

7. CM Answers

cm-asnwers-wordpress-qanda-plugin

CM Answers allows you to create a powerful Q&A (question and answer) discussion forum in WordPress. The basic free plugin comes with enough features to quickly setup a Stack Exchange like forum on your website.

It enables users to post questions, answer the questions, vote, upload files, subscribe categories, send private messages, etc. As the admin, you can customize questions, answers, filter out unwanted content, and manage the users. If you want additional features like anonymous posting and payments, you can buy the plugin addons.

Pros

  • Integrates seamlessly with most WordPress themes.
  • Users can vote on questions and answers.
  • Premium version has a lot more features including the ability to choose best answer, profiles, comments, social media login, etc.

Cons

  • Your forum is limited to Q&A format.
  • Most useful features are available for the premium version.
  • Some reviews on the plugin’s page indicate that users found it difficult to use.

8. WP Symposium Pro

wp-symposium-pro-plugin

WP Symposium Pro is an alternative to BuddyPress. You can create your own social network using this plugin. Similar to BuddyPress or Facebook, it allows your users to create profiles and activity wall, add friends, set email alerts, join forums, and more.

The plugin is designed to work with any WordPress theme or plugin. This allows you to add it to an existing WordPress site.

Pros

  • Highly customizable through shortcodes – change colors, fonts, buttons, etc. easily.
  • Option to buy Premium version or individual addons to add features. Premium support available for paid version users.
  • Documentation with videos is available on plugin’s website to help you get started.

Cons

  • Many useful features need a premium plan.

9. DW Question and Answer

dw-question-and-asnwer-plugin

DW Question and Answer enables you to create a complete Q&A (question and answer) system on your WordPress site. If you’re thinking of creating a system like Quora or Stack Overflow, DW Question and Answer is the right plugin to start with.

Unlike normal forum plugins, it allows your users to vote the answers, so that the best answer comes to the top and the less meaningful answers go to the end. For more details see our tutorial on how to create a question and answers site in WordPress.

Pros

  • You can use the free plugin for creating a basic question answer system. Advanced users can buy the premium version for more features.
  • CAPTCHA support helps you to combat spam.
  • Great for providing support to your customers/ users.

Cons

  • The free plugin lets you create just a simple forum in question and answer format.

10. Discussion Board

discussion-board-wordpress-forum-plugin

WordPress discussion board is a free plugin you can use to create a forum. It’s easy to install and setup the plugin, so anyone can build a forum in WordPress without touching any code.

Using this plugin, you can allow front-end registration and login system to attract more users. To avoid spamming, it has options to restrict repost, moderation for comments, etc.

Pros

  • Discussion Board theme specifically designed to go well with the plugin. You can also use this plugin with any theme you like.
  • Comes with plenty of handy shortcodes for displaying forms, list of topics, etc.
  • A paid version available for adding more options and possibilities.

Cons

  • The free version lacks powerful options. You’ll need to purchase their premium plan for many useful features.

Important Advice on Building a Forum Website

Regardless of your choice of online forum software, you will need extra hosting resources to run a successful online community.

You can install all these WordPress forum plugins on a shared hosting plan. You can even run a forum quite effectively for a while on the same starter hosting package.

If you are just starting out and want to test the waters, then we recommend using Bluehost. They are one of the top hosting companies in the world and officially recommended WordPress hosting provider.

However, as more visitors use your forum, it will slow down your website and may even crash it. In that case, you will need to upgrade to a managed WordPress hosting plan.

We recommend using WPEngine. They are one of the top managed WordPress hosting companies in the world.

Our second choice would be SiteGround. They are an officially recommended WordPress and bbPress hosting provider.

Need help moving your website? See our article on how to move WordPress to a new hosting server without any downtime.

We hope this article helped you find the best forum plugins for WordPress. You may also want to see our handpicked list of best Analytics Solutions for WordPress Users.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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7 Best WordPress Backup Plugins Compared (Pros and Cons)


Creating regular WordPress backups is the best thing you can do for your website security. Backups give you peace of mind and can save you in catastrophic situations such as when your site gets hacked or you accidentally lock yourself out.

There are several free and paid WordPress backup plugins and most of them are fairly easy to use. In this article, we will share the 7 best backup plugins for WordPress.

Best WordPress Backup Plugins

Important: While many WordPress hosting providers offer limited backup services, we always recommend our users to not rely solely on them. At the end of the day, it is your responsibility to keep regular backups of your website.

If you are not already backing up your WordPress website, then you should pick one of these 7 best WordPress backup plugins and start using it right away.

1. UpdraftPlus

UpdraftPlus best WordPress backup plugin

UpdraftPlus is the most popular free WordPress backup plugin available on the internet. It is used by more than 2 million websites.

UpdraftPlus allows you to create a complete backup of your WordPress site and store it on the cloud or download to your computer.

The plugin supports scheduled backups as well as on-demand backups. You also have the option to choose which files you want to backup.

It can automatically upload your backups to Dropbox, Google Drive, S3, Rackspace, FTP, SFTP, email, and several other cloud storage services (see our step by step guide on how to backup & restore your WordPress site with UpdraftPlus).

Besides backing up each WordPress website, UpdraftPlus also allows you to easily restore backups directly from your WordPress admin panel.

UpdraftPlus also has a premium version with add-ons to migrate or clone websites, database search and replace, multisite support, and several other features. The premium version also gets you access to priority support.

Pricing: Free (UpdraftPremium Personal for $70)

Review: UpdratPlus is the most loved WordPress backup plugin in the market. It has over 2 million active installs and 4.9 out of 5 star rating average. While the free version has a lot of features, we recommend upgrading to UpdraftPlus premium to unlock all powerful backup features.

2. VaultPress (Jetpack Backups)

VaultPress - Jetpack Backups Plugin

At WPBeginner, we use VaultPress to back up our website. VaultPress was founded by Matt Mullenweg (WordPress co-founder) and his team at Automattic.

Although it started as an independent plugin, VaultPress is now a part of Automattic’s another product called JetPack. You will need a JetPack subscription plan to use VaultPress. There are multiple pricing plans with different set of features.

VaultPress plugin offers automated real-time cloud backup solution starting at $3.50 per month. You can easily setup VaultPress backups and restore from backups within few clicks.

The higher plans of Jetpack also offer security scans and several other powerful features.

There are a few downsides of using VaultPress.

First, it is a recurring expense that can add up if you have multiple WordPress sites because you pay per site.

Second, you will have to subscribe to JetPack, get a WordPress.com account, and install the Jetpack plugin on your site.

Lastly, backups are stored for only 30-days on the lower plans. If you want an unlimited backup archive, then you would have to pay the $29 per month per website which is significantly more expensive for beginners when compared to other solutions listed here.

We are still using VaultPress because we got grandfathered in at their older pricing which was a lot more favorable.

Even at the higher price, VaultPress is completely worth it due to the stellar reputation of Automattic.

Pricing: From $39 per year for JetPack Personal plan

Review: VaultPress as part of the popular JetPack plugin gives good value for money. If you’re already using JetPack for other features like JetPack CDN for photos, social media promotion, etc, then it’s an easy pick for you.

3. BackupBuddy

BackupBuddy WordPress Backup Plugin

BackupBuddy is one of the most popular premium WordPress backup plugins used by over half a million WordPress sites. It allows you to easily schedule daily, weekly, and monthly backups.

With BackupBuddy, you can automatically store your backups in cloud storage services like Dropbox, Amazon S3, Rackspace Cloud, FTP, Stash (their cloud service), and even email it to yourself.

If you use their Stash service, then you also have the ability to do real-time backups.

The biggest advantage of using BackupBuddy is that it is not a subscription-based service, so there is no monthly fee. You can use the plugin on the number of websites mentioned in your plan.

You also get access to premium support forums, regular updates, and 1GB of BackupBuddy Stash storage to store your backups. In addition, their iThemes Sync feature lets you manage up to 10 WordPress site from a single dashboard.

You can even use BackupBuddy to duplicate, migrate and restore websites.

Pricing: $52 for Blogger Plan (1 Site License)

Review: BackupBuddy is a cost-effective premium WordPress backup solution for you. It has full set of features you’ll need to backup, restore and move a WordPress site. In the nutshell, it’s a powerful UpdraftPlus and VaultPress alternative that you can use.

4. BoldGrid Backup

BoldGrid Backup WordPress plugin

BoldGrid Backup is an automated WordPress backup solution by BoldGrid, which is a website builder powered by WordPress.

It allows you to easily create your website backups, restore your site after it crashes, and you can even use it to move your site when switching hosts. You can set up automated backups or manually create backups with one-click.

BoldGrid Backup comes with an automated fault protection feature which automatically creates a backup of your site before it updates. If an update fails, it automatically rolls back your WordPress site to the last backup. It’s a great feature which protects you against update errors.

With BoldGrid Backup, you can store up to 10 backup archives on your dashboard and more in a remote storage locations like Amazon S3, FTP or SFTP.

Pricing: $60 per year (Includes all of BoldGrid Premium tools & Services)

Review: BoldGrid Backup is a simple WordPress backup plugin that you can use to create your website backups. The advantage of using this plugin is the bundle of other powerful tools you’ll get with the purchase of this plugin.

5. BlogVault

BlogVault Best Backup Service for WordPress

BlogVault is another popular WordPress backup service for WordPress. It’s a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution rather than just a WordPress plugin. It creates offsite backups independently on BlogVault servers, so there will be a zero load on your server.

BlogVault creates automatic backup of your website on a daily basis and also allows you to manually create unlimited on-demand backups. It features smart incremental backups that sync only incremental changes for minimal server load. This ensures optimal performance for your site.

Besides backups, it helps you to recover your website easily. You can store 90 days backup archive, so you can recover your site from any mishap.

It also has a built-in staging site feature to let you test your website easily. Plus, it provides an easy option to migrate your website to another host.

BlogVault features seem promising however pricing seems a bit expensive when compared to other plugins above. You’ll need to pay $89 for the basic plan which offers a 1 site license.

Pricing: $89 per year for Personal Plan (1 Site License)

Review: BlogVault is an easy to use WordPress backup solution. It creates offsite backups, so your website server will not be loaded with your backups. The pricing seems a bit high for small businesses.

6. BackWPup

BackWPup free WordPress backup plugin

BackWPup is a free plugin that allows you to create complete WordPress backups for free and store it on the cloud (Dropbox, Amazon S3, Rackspace, etc), FTP, email, or on your computer.

It is extremely easy to use and allows you to schedule automatic backups according to your site’s update frequency.

Restoring a WordPress site from backup is also very simple. The BackWPup Pro version comes with priority support, ability to store backups on Google Drive, and some other cool features.

Pricing: Free (Premium plan is also available)

Review: Used by over 600,000 websites, BackWPup is a great alternative to other backup plugins in the list. The premium version of the plugin adds more powerful features including easy and quick website restoration from the backend with a standalone app.

7. Duplicator

Duplicator WordPress plugin

As the name suggests, Duplicator is a popular WordPress plugin used to migrate WordPress sites. However it also has backup features.

It does not allow you to create automated scheduled backups which makes it less than ideal primary WordPress backup solution for a regularly maintained site.

Pricing: Free

Review: Duplicator lets you create manual backups of your WordPress site easily. If your web host creates regular backups, you can use this plugin to create backups to use on staging environment. It’s a great site migration plugin.

Final Thoughts

Each WordPress backup plugin in our list has their pros and cons, but all of them offer complete WordPress file backup as well as full database backup features.

We use VaultPress for two main reasons. It is extremely easy to use, and it offers real-time incremental backups.

What this means is that instead of backing up all of your files every day or every hour, it only creates a backup of what has been updated literally within minutes of the update. This is ideal for a large website like ours because it allows us to use our server resources efficiently.

However, if you run a small to medium size website and hate paying monthly fees, then we recommend the popular UpdraftPlus plugin. It comes with all the powerful features like backup encryption, encrypted backup transport, and tons of cloud storage options.

Whichever WordPress backup plugin you end up choosing, please do NOT store your backups on the same server as your website.

By doing that, you are putting all of your eggs in one basket. If your server’s hardware fails or worst you get hacked, then you don’t have a backup which defeats the purpose of setting up regular backups.

This is why we highly recommend storing your backups on a third-party storage service like Dropbox, Amazon S3, Google Drive, etc.

That’s all. We hope that this list helped you pick the best WordPress backup plugin for your site. You may also want to see our step by step WordPress security guide for beginners.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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7 Best Email Marketing Services for Small Business Compared (2019)


Is email marketing a priority for your business in 2019? Are you looking for the best email marketing software?

Choosing the right email marketing service can have a significant impact on the success of your marketing campaign. In this article, we will review the 7 best email marketing services for small businesses.

Best email marketing services compared

Why Choosing The Best Email Marketing Service is Important?

Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing tools for small businesses. According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing on average sees a 4300 percent return on investment (ROI) for businesses in the United States.

This is because email marketing is easy to manage, gives you full control, and allows you to establish a direct contact with your customers.

Not convinced on email marketing? See these 6 reasons why building an email list is so important today.

It’s important to understand that a lot of your success with email marketing depends entirely on the email marketing software you choose because they are responsible for making sure that your emails actually get delivered.

If you aren’t careful, then you will end up paying a lot more money for fewer features and terrible deliverability (which causes you to lose even more money).

A good email marketing service enables you to create highly engaging emails. It also allows you to manage your contacts, segment users into groups, and track the performance of your email campaigns.

Most importantly, a good email marketing service ensures that your emails do not end up in the spam folder.

Having said that, let’s take a look at some of the best email marketing service providers and how they stack up against each other.

1. Constant Contact

Constant Contact

Constant Contact is one of the largest and fastest growing email marketing service in the world. It is also the most easy to use and beginner friendly email marketing service.

You can easily manage your email lists, contacts, email templates, marketing calendar, and more.

Each account gives you access to easy tracking and reporting, built-in social media sharing tools, free image library, list segmentation, Facebook ads integration, and a powerful eCommerce integration for Shopify stores.

Their Email Plus accounts also come with powerful features like email automation, surveys & polls, coupons, online donations, and subject line A/B testing to maximize your open rate.

Constant Contact offers unmatched support with live chat, phone calls, email, community support, and a vast library of helpful resources.

Aside from online training, they also offer in-person live seminars across the United States. This allows small businesses to quickly learn the basics of email marketing and start using it to grow their business like a pro.

For all the reasons above, we rate Constant Contact the best email marketing service for small businesses.

Constant Contact has a 60-day free trial (no credit-card required). After that their pricing starts as low as $20/month.

WPBeginner users can use our Constant Contact coupon code to get an additional 20% off.

2. Drip

Drip

Drip is a powerful email marketing platform for eCommerce, bloggers, and marketers. They offer a wide range of tools to make marketing automation and personalization easy.

They offer seamless integration for all popular website builders including WordPress and WooCommerce. This allows you to easily add sign up forms to your website and capture more leads.

What sets Drip apart from the competition is their intelligent marketing automation tools, smarter email segmenting, list groups, and a visual workflow builder. These features allow you to reach targeted customers in your email list to get more sales.

Support options at Drip include live chat support, webinars, automation training, detailed courses, free guides and excellent documentation.

We use Drip for several of our businesses because it allows us to connect, engage, and relate to every customer on a personal level with smarter eCommerce marketing automation.

We believe Drip is the best email marketing software for eCommerce websites and business owners who want more advanced tools.

Drip offers a free account for up to 100 subscribers. After that their plans starts from $49 / month which includes all their features.

3. ConvertKit

ConvertKit

ConvertKit is a robust email marketing platform for professional bloggers, authors, and marketers. It is extremely easy to use and incredibly powerful.

ConvertKit allows you to easily offer content upgrades and incentives with email signup forms. It also comes with easy to manage auto-responders allowing you to send drip emails.

With ConvertKit, you can easily segment contacts into those who are interested and those who have already purchased. This helps you increase conversions with automated emails that feel personal.

ConvertKit offers email based support and have extensive knowledge base with great learning material.

A lot of ConvertKit features are specifically designed for creators and professional bloggers that’s why we rate them the best email marketing service for professional bloggers.

ConvertKit offers a 14-day free trial, and their pricing starts from $29/month. They also offer a 30-day refund policy.

4. AWeber

AWeber

AWeber is one of oldest and most popular email marketing service providers in the world. They offer a wide-range of tools for small and medium sized businesses to manage their email marketing.

Getting started with AWeber is easy. It connects seamlessly to most platforms including WordPress. For detailed instructions, see our ultimate guide on how to connect AWeber to WordPress.

You get access to ready to use email templates, list management, autoresponders, and email tracking with detailed insights.

Support options include live chat, phone support, email support, live webinars, and a vast library of how-tos and tutorials.

AWeber offers a 30-day free trial. After that, their pricing starts from $19/month. You can also signup for quarterly or annual plans to save even more.

5. SendinBlue

SendinBlue

SendinBlue is a complete SMS and email marketing software for businesses. They are one of the fastest growing email marketing platforms in Europe.

It is an extremely easy to use platform with excellent tools to create beautiful and highly engaging emails. Their simple drag and drop tools are perfect for beginners with no experience in email marketing.

SendinBlue includes beginner-friendly automation tools that allow you to send transactional emails, create workflows, and segment users. It can also select the best time to send email using their AI algorithms.

SendinBlue offer a completely free email marketing plan that lets you send up to 300 emails per day, but all your emails will have their branding. Paid plans start from $25 per month. You can also include SMS to your account, but the pricing will vary based on your sending requirements.

6. GetResponse

GetResponse

GetResponse is another very popular email marketing solution. It is extremely easy to use and simplifies email marketing for small businesses and absolute beginners.

It comes with some amazing marketing automation tools which allow you to create smart automated campaigns.

With their drag and drop builder, you can create campaigns, segment contacts, and send content designed for specific groups. These tools help you create effective campaigns to boost your profits.

GetResponse comes with beautiful responsive forms, landing pages, A/B testing, tracking, and autoresponders. It also integrates with third party lead generation software like OptinMonster, SalesForce, Google Docs, ZenDesk, etc.

Support is provided by phone, live chat, and email. Their help section is full of free learning material including videos, webinars, how-tos, guides, etc.

GetResponse offers a 30-day free trial. Their pricing starts at $15/month.

7. Mailchimp

Mailchimp

Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing service providers in the world primarily because they offer a forever free email marketing service plan.

Mailchimp comes with an easy email builder, autoresponders, segmenting contacts into groups, and simple tracking for analytics. It also allows you to setup delivery times based on user’s timezones, and you can setup segmenting based on geolocation.

You can easily integrate MailChimp with WordPress, Magento, Shopify, and many other platforms. If you are using WordPress, then see our ultimate guide to using Mailchimp and WordPress for detailed instructions.

When it comes to marketing automation features, Mailchimp platform is quite limited when compared to other providers in our list such as Drip or ConvertKit.

In the recent years, Mailchimp has attempted to add many of the “advanced” features, but having tested many of these, they’re not truly advanced.

Mailchimp support is offered by email, live chat, and a large tutorials knowledge-base.

Mailchimp offers a forever free plan which allows you to send 12,000 emails for up to 2,000 subscribers. This plan is fairly limited because you don’t features like send-time optimization, advanced segmentation, multi-variate testing, etc. You are also required to display their branding in your email. Last but not least, support is restricted to email only, and you may find it not as helpful.

Their paid plans start from $10/month for up to 500 subscribers, and the pricing increases in the increment of 500 subscribers.

Final Thoughts: The Best Email Marketing Service

There are dozens of email marketing services out there, and we want to make sure you choose the right one for your business needs. Below is our expert pick:

If you’re a small business, non-profit, or a new blogger, then we recommend using Constant Contact. Their top-notch support and onboarding will help you find success with email marketing.

If you run an online store or want something more advanced, then we recommend using Drip. Their personalization and automation features are extremely powerful. A lot of our own businesses use Drip, and we will be switching the WPBeginner website to use Drip as well in 2019.

If you’re a professional blogger or content creator, then we recommend using ConvertKit. They offer an easy to use platform with advanced segmentation and funnels that will help you take your blogging business to the next level.

Pro Tip: Get More Email Subscribers, Faster!

Once you have picked an email marketing service for your business, you’ll likely want to start getting more email subscribers.

We use and recommend OptinMonster. It is a powerful conversion optimization toolkit that helps you convert abandoning website visitors into email subscribers and customers.

OptinMonster

OptinMonster seamlessly integrates with all the best email marketing service that we mentioned above and dozens more.

WPBeginner founder, Syed Balkhi, is also the co-founder of OptinMonster. He initially built this toolkit to help grow our own email list, but since then it has tremendously grown in popularity.

Today OptinMonster is being used by some of the largest brands in the world including McAfee, Experian, TripAdvisor, Pinterest, Harvard University, Pateron, and more.

We hope this article gave you a good overview of the best email marketing services for your business. You may also want to see our list of 24 must have WordPress plugins for business websites

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.





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Which is the Best WordPress Photo Gallery Plugin? (Performance + Quality Compared)


Are you looking for the best WordPress gallery plugin for your website?

There are so many WordPress photo gallery plugins available, but the problem is that most will either slow down your website, or they’re extremely difficult to use.

To help you pick the right solution, we have created a detailed comparison of the performance, features, and quality of the best WordPress photo gallery plugins.

Our goal is to help you find the WordPress photo and video gallery plugin, that is fast, easy to use, and has all the features you will need.

Best WordPress Gallery Plugins

Our Criteria for the Best WordPress Gallery Plugin

In our opinion, a perfect WordPress gallery plugin should be fast, easy to use, and have all the necessary features that you need to create beautiful galleries (such as lightboxes, image navigation, albums, pagination, etc).

The gallery plugin should offer a great user experience and help improve your image SEO as well.

4 Best WordPress Gallery Plugins

We have hand-picked the four most popular WordPress photo gallery plugins on the market.

In our comparison, we will look at the speed, features, ease of use, and reliability of these plugins:

Let’s get started with our comparison.

Speed

Speed is crucial when you are choosing a WordPress photo gallery plugin. Not only does it affect your WordPress SEO, but it also affects user experience on your site.

If you are using a gallery plugin for a portfolio or photography site, then you simply cannot afford to compromise on speed.

We ran a speed test for each of these plugins using the same images without modifying any default settings. Below are our results:

Gallery Plugin Page Load Time Requests Page Size
Envira Gallery 655 ms 23 988KB
Modula 696 ms 28 948 KB
NextGEN 867 ms 35 1.0 MB
FooGallery 917 ms 27 591 KB

As you can see in the above results, Envira Gallery came out as the fastest loading WordPress image gallery plugin. Modula came as a very close second with barely few milliseconds difference and with smaller page size.

The reason why Envira Gallery and Modula are so fast is that they are both well coded and highly optimized for speed. If performance and speed is your main concern (which it should be), then Modula and Envira Gallery are both great options.

Winner: It’s a tie between Envira Gallery and Modula

Ease of Use

Creating image galleries is not as simple as uploading a single image to your posts. You need to choose layouts, select columns, add thumbnail sizes, choose lightbox animations, etc.

Most beginners find the process quite overwhelming. The goal here is to find a WordPress photo gallery plugin that is both powerful and beginner friendly at the same time.

Envira Gallery

Envira Gallery follows and adheres to the WordPress coding standards and best practices. It provides a user interface that seamlessly blends into your WordPress admin area.

Creating a new gallery is quite simple and beginner friendly.

Envira Gallery user interface

Envira Gallery also comes with a Gutenberg block allowing you to easily add photo galleries into any WordPress post and page. You can also change gallery settings right from the post edit screen.

Gutenberg block for Envira Gallery

Classic editor users can use the shortcode or the button above the post editor to quickly add any gallery or album in your post/page.

Aside from that Envira Gallery also shows you the template tag that you can use it in your WordPress templates. This is particularly handy if you are developing a site for a client and want to include galleries straight into the theme.

Modula

Modula Gallery uses a similar approach to create new photo galleries. You can simply upload your files or select them from the media library to create a photo gallery.

Modula Gallery user interface

Below the images, you will find all gallery settings organized in tabs. From here you can change gallery style, theme, lightbox, and other settings.

To insert the gallery into WordPress posts and pages, you will need to copy the gallery shortcode and insert it using the Shortcode block in the Gutenberg editor.

There are no sidebar widgets or Gutenberg blocks at the moment to make it easier for users to insert Galleries.

FooGallery

FooGallery takes the similar approach as Envira Gallery and Modula. They use a simple user interface that looks and feels like WordPress.

FooGallery user interface

After uploading your photos, you can adjust the gallery settings in great details below the images.

FooGallery also makes it easy to insert photo galleries. You can use the built-in Gutenberg block, shortcode, or sidebar widget to display your photo galleries anywhere in WordPress. It also adds a button on top of the Classic Editor to select and insert galleries.

Unlike Envira Gallery, FooGallery does not show the template tag to insert your galleries into theme files or templates.

NextGEN Gallery

NextGEN is a little different than our other three contenders. It brings its own user interface, database tables, and separate folders to store your images. This is why NextGEN user interface looks a bit complicated in WordPress.

NextGen UI

It does offer a gallery wizard which can be helpful for beginners. However, it will take users some time to understand how to upload images and create a gallery. You may also find it a bit difficult to add the gallery into your post/page.

NextGen adds a Gutenberg block which allows you to create and add galleries from the post edit screen. For classic editor users, it adds a button to the post editor.

Winner: No clear winner. Envira, Modula, and Foo Gallery all offer easy to use interface.

Features

In order to create a beautiful photo gallery, you need functionality like lightboxes, full-screen mode, albums, pagination, navigation, slideshow, password protection, EXIF metadata, social media sharing, and more.

However it’s important to remember that too many features can slow down your site, so let’s take a look at how our contenders handle the balance in features and functionality.

Envira Gallery

Envira Gallery is built with a mobile first approach. This means that it is fully responsive out of the box.

It allows you to easily choose thumbnail sizes, animations, gallery layouts, add meta tags for your images all from the single user interface.

Apart from the built-in features, there are loads of features that you can add by installing addons such as: gallery templates, social sharing, videos, password protection, image protection, albums, slideshow, Pinterest, image proofing, WooCommerce support, and more.

Envira Gallery features

Modula

Modula is the newest of all plugins on our list, so they do not have the advanced features. However the plugin does cover all the basic features you’ll want from a WordPress gallery plugin like lightbox popup, social sharing, custom styles, grid layouts, and more.

It comes with a custom grid feature which allows you to use simple drag and drop to create your own custom grid for galleries.

It also has a video addon for creating video galleries. However, Modula is lacking other features like albums, watermarking, proofing, and gallery templates.

Modula features

FooGallery

FooGallery comes with a lot of powerful features however it is not mobile responsive out of the box. You can select the responsive template to add a responsive photo gallery.

Another feature that we missed is the lightbox. You can install the free Foobox plugin to add lightbox functionality, but we felt that it should have been packaged with the core gallery plugin.

FooGallery also comes with extensions that you can install to add more features such as custom branding, cube effect, lightbox, and more.

FooGallery features

NextGEN Gallery

NextGEN Gallery is the oldest of all four plugins, and it comes with an extensive list of features.

Many of the features that are available as addons in Envira and Foo, are available out of the box in NextGEN gallery. There are also premium addons with more features that you can install.

Most NextGen features require a certain level of familiarity with the plugin. Users will need some time to figure things out, reading the documentation, and posting questions in support forums.

Winner: Envira Gallery is the clear winner here with its extensive list of features that cover all the basics + advanced features for photographers, eCommerce websites, and portfolios. NextGEN is the close second with a matching set of features.

Compatability

WordPress provides you the freedom to move your site from one web host to another and even to different competitors.

We need to see if you can easily import/export and backup your photo gallery data.

Envira Gallery

Envira stores all your photo galleries as custom post types in the WordPress database. It stores your media files using the default WordPress media location. This means if you backup your WordPress site, then you will have all Envira Gallery data backed up.

Envira also allows you to import/export your individual galleries. This means that you can move a single gallery from one WordPress site to another.

Import / Export photo galleries using Envira Gallery

When you move your WordPress site, Envira will automatically detect it and will show you an option to fix the migration. All these features make Envira Gallery the most reliable photo gallery plugin for WordPress.

Modula

Modula also uses a custom WordPress content type to store your photo galleries. This means you can save your photo galleries with your WordPress backup and restore them when you restore WordPress site from backup.

Modula doesn’t allow you to import/export individual galleries.

FooGallery

Similar to Envira, FooGallery also stores your galleries as custom post types in the WordPress database. If you backup your WordPress site, then you will have a FooGallery data backup as well.

However, if you just want to export individual galleries, then there is no option for that because the plugin doesn’t come with an import/export feature.

NextGEN Gallery

NextGEN gallery does not come with import/export feature. Since it stores your data in separate database tables, this means you will need to configure your WordPress backup plugin to include those tables.

NextGEN also stores your images in a separate folder. If you want to create a backup for them, then you will need to download the folder separately to your computer.

Both Envira and FooGallery offer NextGen importers to make it easy for users to switch to their platform.

Winner: Enivra Gallery offers the most comprehensive set of tools to import/export your photo galleries.

Pricing

All four plugins have a free WordPress gallery version available in the WordPress plugin directory. All four of them have paid upgrades available with more features. The pricing of your photo gallery plugin will depend on which plan you want to use for any of these plugins. You can choose a plan based on the features you need after trying the free versions.

Winner: No clear winners here – the pricing of products will vary based on what features you need and plan that you select.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a simple and fast solution, then Envira Gallery and Modula Gallery are both great options for a WordPress gallery plugin.

If you need the advanced features and don’t mind a learning curve, then NextGen gallery is your best option.

We hope this article helped you pick the best WordPress gallery plugin for your website. You may also want to see our expert-pick of the must have WordPress plugins for all websites.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials and join us on Facebook.

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6 Best Drag and Drop WordPress Page Builders Compared (2019)


Looking for an easy way to build and customize your WordPress site? That’s where drag and drop WordPress page builder plugins come in handy.

WordPress page builders allow you to create, edit, and customize your website layout without writing any code. In this article, we will compare the 6 best drag and drop page builders for WordPress.

Best Drag and Drop WordPress Page Builders

Why Use a Drag and Drop Page Builder for WordPress?

When starting a blog, many beginners find it difficult to customize their WordPress page layouts.

While a lot of premium WordPress themes come with different page layouts, most of them are extremely hard to customize for anyone who does not know code (HTML / CSS).

This is why users often ask us questions like: “how can we make WordPress drag and drop?” or “is there an easy drag and drop page builder for WordPress?”

When we talk with people who switch from Weebly to WordPress or from Wix to WordPress, their most common response is: “I wish WordPress had a drag and drop website builder”.

Well, there are several great drag and drop page builder plugins available for WordPress. They allow you to create completely custom website designs in WordPress without writing a single line of code.

Since there are so many different WordPress page builder plugins in the market, we decided to compare and rank the top WordPress page builders, so you can choose the right solution for your need.

Our criteria for comparing these WordPress page builders are: ease of use, flexibility, and the design output.

Having said that, let’s take a look at the best page builders for WordPress in the market.

1. Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder best WordPress page builder plugin

Beaver Builder is a premium drag and drop page builder plugin for WordPress. In our opinion, it is by far the best WordPress page builder in the market.

It is extremely fast and comes with a built in onboarding tour to help you quickly familiarize with their interface.

Beaver Builder comes with a live drag and drop interface. You get to see all your changes as you add them by simply dragging elements from the right sidebar and dropping them on your page. You can click on any element on a page to edit its properties.

There are modules that let you add almost everything you may want including sliders, carousel, backgrounds, content blocks, buttons, and more.

It also comes with over 30 finely designed templates for landing pages that makes it super-easy and super-fast to create stunning website layouts.

We find Beaver Builder to be very beginner friendly. Check out our tutorial on how to create custom WordPress layouts with Beaver Builder.

Wondering if it’s compatible with the new WordPress version? Yes, it is.

Beaver Builder has been updated well along the Gutenberg project. So, it works fine with your new Gutenberg editor.

Pricing: Starting from $99 for Unlimited Sites.

Our Grade: A+

Review: Beaver Builder is the easiest page builder option in the market. It comes with pre-made templates to help you get started. The ability to customize every little detail makes it the perfect solution for WordPress users.

2. Divi

Divi Builder Drag and Drop WordPress Page Builder plugin

Divi is a drag and drop theme and WordPress page builder plugin. It is extremely easy to use and comes with 20+ layouts/templates for different kind of websites.

Just like the Beaver Builder, the Divi Builder is a visual drag and drop page builder, a true WYSIWYG editor (what you see is what you get).

You can directly click on your page and start editing with the real-time preview of all changes. You don’t need to save and click preview to see your new design.

Divi comes with 46 content modules that you can drag and drop anywhere in your layout. You can arrange them in 3 section types, 20 row types, and customize each element using its advanced design settings.

With Divi, you can create any type of custom page layout that you want within minutes. You can then save these Divi layouts for future use on your site. You can also export a layout from one Divi installation into another.

The Divi Builder plugin is the backbone of the Divi theme, yet it works well with any other WordPress theme.

Best of all, Divi has the best pricing out of all options in this. For a single price, you’ll get the Divi theme, the Divi page builder plugin, and all other Elegant Themes products.

This means you can use the Divi theme or install the Divi Builder plugin on any other theme.

Pricing: Starting from $89 per year

Our Grade: A

Review: Divi is a great Beaver Builder alternative. It has a powerful page builder with limitless design possibilities. Their large number of content modules allow you to create literally any type of website that you really want.

3. Visual Composer Website Builder

Visual Composer Website Builder plugin

Visual Composer Website Builder is a user-friendly WordPress website editor that helps you create custom website layouts, fast.

It comes with a simple drag and drop builder, out of box content elements, professional templates, and a host of powerful features to make a website.

Similar to Beaver Builder and Divi, it also provides real frontend editing experience for designing a website. But there’s a lot more you can do with this plugin. Unlike other plugins in the list, Visual Composer Website Builder allows you to edit your logo, menus, headers, footers, sidebars, etc.

That’s why the team decides to call it a website builder, instead of just a page builder.

The plugin features powerful design options to customize the appearance of any element on your page. You have easy options to add stylish backgrounds including parallax, gradient, slideshow, carousel, zoom in/out, video, etc. It also comes with flexible rows and columns for creating grid layouts on your site.

Visual Composer works well with all WordPress themes. This allows you to switch your themes without losing custom layouts that you created with Visual Composer.

It also includes support for the new Gutenberg editor, Google Fonts, and Yoast SEO.

Visual Composer is designed for professionals, and it’s evident by their attention to details such as remembering your color choices, which allows you to easily use the same color palette for consistency throughout your design.

Pricing: $59 For One Site License

Our Grade: A

Review: Visual Composer is a great plugin for beginners to start a website. It provides powerful features for website making in a simple manner. Website editing is made super simple with the real frontend drag and drop editor.

4. Themify Builder

Themify Page Builder Plugin for WordPress

Themify is a popular WordPress theme shop that offer a built-in Themify builder with all of their WordPress themes. For other non-Themify WordPress themes, you can get the Themify Page Builder plugin.

This simple and highly intuitive page builder comes with several ready to use modules that you can add to your pages or posts. Many of these modules usually require you to install separate WordPress plugins.

The plugin includes 40+ pre-designed layouts for different industries like gym, restaurant, portfolio, music, photography as well as online shops.

You can import a layout with one click, change its content, and build an awesome landing page within minutes.

Themify Builder allows you to edit your pages from the admin area as well as from your live site. With live editing, you get to see exactly how your changes will appear on the site.

Apart from that, Themify Builder comes with ready-to-use layouts that you can quickly apply to your page.

Pricing: $39 For the Builder Addon Bundle (The core plugin is free)

Our Grade: B

Review: Themify Builder is a reliable page builder plugin for WordPress. While the builder comes with promising features, there is a learning curve that can leave a new user frustrated.

5. Elementor

Elementor WordPress Drag and Drop Page Builder plugin

Elementor is another powerful drag and drop WordPress page builder plugin.

It is a live page builder plugin which means you get to see your changes live as you edit it with Elementor. Simply start by creating sections and select the number of columns for each section.

You can then drag and drop widgets from the left panel to your section. Elementor comes with tons of widgets including most commonly used website elements.

From basic image and text widgets to advanced accordions, sliders, testimonials, icons, social media, tabs, etc. Each widget comes with its own settings.

Elementor will also let you add widgets created by other WordPress plugins.

Don’t want to build your own layout?

Elementor comes with many ready-to-use templates that you can easily insert into your pages. You can simply point and click to edit any item on the page, replace the content, and you’re done.

Pricing: Starting from $49 for single site license.

Our Grade: B

Review: Elementor is a popular page builder plugin for WordPress. It is fast, easy to use, and comes with tons of modules / templates.

The biggest thing that we don’t like about Elementor is that their license is very restrictive. If you’re a freelancer or agency looking to use Elementor on client websites, please know that their Pro version is not GPL.

You’re better off using Beaver Builder, Divi, or Visual Composer because they respect the WordPress standards and freedoms.

6. Page Builder by SiteOrigin

Page Builder Plugin by SiteOrigin

With more than one million active installs, Site Origin’s Page Builder is a popular free WordPress page builder on the market. One of the primary reason for its popularity is the price (free). It is available as a fully functional free plugin.

Site Origin Page Builder is a little complicated to use, and new users often struggle to get familiar with it. However we had to include in our list because of it’s popularity.

For components, Site Origin Page Builder allows you to use WordPress widgets. It comes with several widgets of its own, and you can download and install any widget.

See our list of the 25 most useful WordPress widgets because you can use all of them with this page builder.

It also comes with a history tool which allows you to switch back and forth to undo/redo changes that you made. This is a huge time saver, and it gives you a peace of mind knowing that you can revert and undo changes.

The SiteOrigin plugin and all its widgets are fully Gutenberg compatible. There’s also a new SiteOrigin layout block that you can use as a Gutenberg block.

Pricing: Free

Our Grade: C

Review: Site Origin Page Builder is a good free plugin with a drag-and-drop interface to create and customize layouts. Although the live editing is not comparable to other solutions mentioned in this comparison.

Final Thoughts: Best WordPress Page Builder Plugin

As we compared different drag and drop WordPress page builders, one thing became very clear. Beaver Builder and Divi are clearly the top choice.

Visual Composer is a close third option that offer a complete drag & drop WordPress page builder.

If you don’t mind spending a little bit money to get the best solution in the market along with guaranteed support, then go for any of these three, and you won’t regret it.

Do I still Need a Page Builder if I am Using the New WordPress Block Editor?

Recently we’re getting a lot of users asking us this question.

WordPress block editor also known as Gutenberg was officially launched as the new default WordPress editor. The new editor uses blocks which are content elements for creating pages and posts.

Superficially, the block editor looks similar to some of the WordPress page builders above.

Gutenberg blocks most used

Hence there’re hot discussions going on in WordPress about Gutenberg and page builders.

Is Gutenberg a page builder? Does the Gutenberg block editor replace the WordPress page builders? And, do I still need a page builder if I am using the new WordPress block editor?

Well, the answer to the first two questions is ‘No, not quite yet.’

And, Yes, you will need a page builder if you want an easy way to create completely custom WordPress designs.

Gutenberg in its current form is no match to the powerful features these “true” WordPress page builder plugins offer.

Having that said, you can use a plugin like CSS Hero with Gutenberg and probably get away without using a true page builder, but it entirely depends on your needs.

A lot of our readers love using CSS Hero for quick and easy website customization. Read our full CSS Hero review to see if it’s a suitable solution for your needs.

We hope this article helped you find the best WordPress drag and drop page builder plugins for your site. You may also want to see our comparison to find the best WordPress contact form plugins.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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12 Best Live Chat Software for Small Business Compared (2019)


Did you know that more than 67% of users on eCommerce websites abandon their shopping carts without checking out? Customers want their questions to be answered instantly, and any uncertainty with their purchase can result in losing a sale.

Using a live chat support software helps you instantly answer user questions and convert them into paying customers. In this article, we will share our pick of the best live chat software for your small businesses. These live chat services work perfectly with any WordPress site.

Choosing the best live chat support software for your WordPress site

Why Add Live Chat Support to Your Website?

According to eConsultancy, live chat has the highest satisfaction levels of any customer service channel at 73%, compared to 61% for email and 44% for phone.

It is a no brainer that live chat has such a significant impact on online sales and marketing. It allows customers to get instant answers without leaving your website. A positive live chat experience can effectively help customers make the buying decision.

Adding live chat support can definitely reduce cart abandonment, increase sales, and boost conversions. But a lot of it depends on the live chat software that you use.

A poor live chat support experience can have an adverse impact. You can lose sales, customers may leave with a bad impression of your brand, you may end up paying too much for the service, or fail to utilize the live chat app due to technical skills.

Basically, you want to find an affordable live chat service, that is easy to use, works with WordPress, and comes with all the features to help you make more sales.

That being said, let’s take a look at our expert pick of the best live chat software that you can use to grow your business.

1. LiveChat

LiveChat

LiveChat is the industry leader in live chat software. It’s very easy to set up and install with their free LiveChat plugin for WordPress.

LiveChat also offers beautifully designed live chat support apps that you and your agents can use on your laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. That means you can chat with customers while on the go, without having to login to your WordPress dashboard.

You can add survey forms before and after a live chat session, so you can evaluate how your support team is doing. During your off-hours, your users can also conveniently send a support ticket directly from live chat.

LiveChat integrates with dozens of other services like popular CRM software, Google Analytics, Zendesk, all the top email marketing services, and many more. This will save you time since you won’t have to enter customer details manually into your other systems.

Perhaps the best feature of LiveChat is speed. It loads extremely fast, works on all devices, and offers a much better user experience than most other live chat software.

We use LiveChat on our eCommerce websites.

Pricing: LiveChat has different plans for businesses of all sizes. Their starter plan starts from $16 per agent per month billed annually, or $19 for month-to-month. Each plan comes with a 30 day free trial.

Special: WPBeginner users get 30% off the first payment when you use our LiveChat Coupon.

2. Olark

Olark

Olark is a popular live chat solution for online businesses. It’s easy to use, and adding Olark to a WordPress site is simple. All you need to do is copy and paste a code snippet into your WordPress sidebar widget or in your child theme.

If you’d rather not work with code, then there is also a free Olark Live Chat plugin which makes setup even easier.

Olark offers integration with other services such as Salesforce, Zendesk, Highrise, etc.

There are third-party mobile apps which allow you to connect to Olark chat from almost any iOS or Android device, so you can chat with customers on the go.

Pricing: Olark offers simpler pricing plan starting from $17 per agent each month. There is a 12% discount if you choose annual billing and 29% discount for two-year billing. They also offer 2-week free live chat support trial.

3. Zendesk Chat

Zendesk Chat

Zendesk is the leading help desk support software provider. They recently acquired an existing company called Zopim to enter the live chat support market and rebranded it as Zendesk Chat.

If you are already using Zendesk, then the best advantage you get is that it already integrates with your existing support software. It also works smoothly with WordPress, Salesforce, and a number of other third-party services.

Zendesk Chat also offers real-time chats, advanced analytics, and AI-powered chat-bots to automate the process when no live agents are available. They have beautiful templates and customization options to create attention-seeking chat widgets.

Pricing: Zendesk Chat offers a limited free live chat support account for 1 concurrent chat session. Their paid plans start from $14 per month per agent.

4. Chaport

Chaport

If you are looking for a free live chat support software for WordPress, then you may want to checkout Chaport. They offer a free forever plan with unlimited chats, history, notifications, unlimited registered operators, and up to 5 operators online at the same time.

Their software covers all the basic requirements. They have live chat support apps for mobile devices, beautiful multilingual chat widgets, reporting and analytics, third-party integrations through Zapier.

Paid plans give you access to more features like typing insights, visitor notes, saved replies, file sending, auto-invitations, and more.

Pricing: They offer a free plan and a Pro plan starting from $9.80 per agent / month.

5. SnapEngage

SnapEngage

SnapEngage offers live chat service to businesses of all sizes. It is a bit expensive than some other live chat companies on the list but offers some unique features and add-ons to justify the cost.

They offer integrations with popular CRM software, call back request, automated chat invitations, and customizable chat widgets to match your site.

SnapEngage also offers a SMS to Chat feature as an add-on service to their live chat software, so your visitors can directly communicate with your support team via text. Their OmniChannel chat solution allows you to help customers across different channels like Facebook, Twitter, SMS, WeChat, Zalo, and more.

Pricing: Their essentials plan starts from $16 per user / month, with minimum 3 users and it is billed annually with 7-day free trial.

6. Intercom

Intercom

Intercom is a flexible tool that helps you capture leads, engage users, and boost conversions. It offers messaging services with live chat widgets that you can automate with your own flows, add chatbots, and engage customers.

It is not just a live chat support software. It can be used as an onboarding tool, support assistant, lead generation tool, marketing automation, and user-engagement software.

If you are just looking for a live chat software, then you may not be able to utilize Intercom’s full potential. On the other hand, if you want your live chat support software to do all these tasks, then you’ll love Intercom.

It is easy to use, integrates with Google Analytics, CRM software, Slack, email marketing services, and more.

Pricing: Their essential plan starts from $136 / month, after which pricing is calculated based on your usage and add-ons you purchase.

7. Freshchat

Freshchat

Freshchat is another good live chat support service with awesome features that rival some of the more well-known companies on this list.

Designed to be a conversation and messenger app, it allows you to start real-time chats with customers using agents or AI-powered bots. It also offers customer timeline views, live profiles, in-app campaigns, and customizable bots for automated conversations.

You can connect chats to support tickets on Zendesk or on a slack channel. Your team can use smart plugs, canned responses, labels, private notes, and desktop notifications to be more productive.

Pricing: They offer a free live chat support service plan for up to 10 team members. Their paid plans start from $15 per user per month and are billed yearly.

8. LivePerson

LivePerson

LivePerson is another powerful live chat support software with tons of awesome features to help you engage customers and increase sales.

It allows you to engage your customers via live chat on your website but also through SMS, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and more. You can use chatbots to create automated conversation flows and save customer information in your other third-party apps.

LivePerson is targeted towards medium to large businesses and enterprise level clients.

Pricing: You will have to request a quote to get pricing information based on your needs.

9. Userlike

Userlike

Userlike is another neat live chat support software that you can use on your WordPress site. It is based in Germany and their servers are hosted in Europe. They offer GDPR compliant services, which makes them a particularly good option for businesses in the European Union.

Their software is beautifully designed offering a better experience not just for your users but also for chat agents. With a clean and clutter-free dashboard, your agents still have all the tools that you would expect from a professional live chat support service.

It offers beautiful chat widgets, chatbots, integrations with all top support, CRM, and email platforms. You also get meaningful analytics reports, which helps you improve performance and overall conversions.

Pricing: They offer free live chat support account for 1 user. Their paid plans start from €29 per month for 3 operators.

10. Smartsupp

Smartsupp

Smartsupp is a low-cost live chat support software that allows you to track and record user sessions on your website. This helps you see how potential customers use your website and what’s preventing them from making a purchase.

It also helps you track chat conversations in Google Analytics to see your performance. It works with WordPress, Magento, Shopify, and other popular eCommerce platforms.

Pricing: A basic free-forever plan and their paid plans start from $8 per month per agent.

11. Pure Chat

Pure Chat

If you are looking for a free live chat software, then Pure Chat is another good alternative. It allows you to easily add beautiful live chat widgets to your websites and the free plan allows you to add 3 operators with unlimited chat history.

It comes with mobile apps so that you can stay connected with customers. Your customers can send you email messages when you are offline and pre-chat form helps you collect user information to reach out later.

Pricing: A basic free plan, and their paid plan starts $79 / month billed annually.

12. Drift

Drift

Drift is a conversational marketing platform that combines the power of live chat with an automated chat bot to help you save time and increase conversions. It comes with powerful features to help you convert more website visitors into sales leads.

Drift integrates with all popular CRM and email marketing services.

They offer several powerful features including Drift bot, anonymous visitor intelligence, account based marketing, scheduling for meetings, and more.

While it has a lot of powerful features, Drift is not affordable for small businesses.

Pricing: The Standard plan starts at $50 / month billed annually, and it comes with 2 seats. If you want the bot feature, then you will have to upgrade to the Pro plan which starts at $500 / month billed annually, and it comes with 5 seats.

Our Pick: Best Live Chat Software

For small businesses, we recommend LiveChat Inc. They’re the top rated live chat software in our list, and we use them on our business websites. It has all the necessary features for the right price.

If you’re looking for a complete platform and cost is not an issue, then we recommend that you look into Intercom.

If you’re looking to hire live chat agents, but not sure where to start, then we recommend using LTVPlus. We use them to hire affordable 24/7 live chat agents for our eCommerce website.

We hope this article helped you choose the best live chat support software for your WordPress site. You may also want to learn how to enable customer tracking in WooCommerce with Google Analytics.

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The post 12 Best Live Chat Software for Small Business Compared (2019) appeared first on WPBeginner.





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