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


Are you looking for the best WordPress popup plugin? A good WordPress popup plugin helps you convert website visitors into email subscribers and paying customers.

There are dozens of WordPress popup plugins that can help you improve conversion rates.

However, most of them will either slow down your website, offer inaccurate statistics, or worst both.

In this article, we’ll compare the most popular WordPress popup plugins on the market, so you can see which is the best WordPress popup plugin.

Comparing the best WordPress popup plugins

3 Things to Watch Out for with WordPress Popup Plugins

Popups need to be used carefully. Poorly made WordPress popups can easily become annoying and ruin the user experience along with your brand’s reputation.

You need to pick a solution that offers proper behavior interaction, targeting, and personalization features, so you can offer the best user experience while ensuring maximum conversions.

Performance is another issue with most WordPress popup plugins. Since many WordPress popup plugins use WordPress to track analytics, this significantly increase the server load and slow down your website. As you already know, a slow page speed negatively affects your SEO rankings.

This is why you need a WordPress popup plugin that offers powerful conversion features without slowing down your site.

Last but not least, you need to make sure that the WordPress popup plugin that you choose actually works with your WordPress hosting environment. A lot of popup plugins are poorly coded, so their advanced features like A/B testing and reporting will not work with most advanced caching solutions that many hosting companies are now using.

The main purpose of using a popup plugins for WordPress is to help you capture leads and boost your email list subscribers.

You need to watch out for the above 3 things when choosing the WordPress popup plugin for your website or online store.

Contenders for The Best WordPress Popup Plugins

Now that you know the common problems with most WordPress popup builders, you can use it as a criteria to evaluate all popular WordPress popup plugins.

Now since there are dozens of popup plugins, this process can be rather time consuming.

That’s why, we did the research for you. Here are the best WordPress popup plugins that we will be comparing in our guide:

  • OptinMonster
  • TrustPulse
  • Bloom
  • Sumo
  • Thrive Leads

Now let’s take a look at each of them to find out which one is the best WordPress popup plugin to help you grow your website.

1. OptinMonster

OptinMonster

OptinMonster is the most popular lead generation software on the market. It allows you to easily convert website visitors into subscribers and customers.

It comes with a powerful WordPress popup builder and the most comprehensive set of targeting and personalization features. Simply put, it allows you to maximize your conversion potential like a marketing pro.

Features

OptinMonster dashboard

OptinMonster offers the most powerful set of targeting and personalization features in the market. They allow you to create different campaigns including popups, full screen welcome mats, floating bar, scroll boxes, etc.

Their targeting features allow you to target users by page they’re visiting, activity on your site, their geo-location, and literally dozens more.

You can create your own rules to display a popup which makes them more personalized and highly effective.

Below are some of OptinMonster’s most notable features:

  • Beautifully designed non-intrusive lightbox popups
  • Exit-intent popups which are displayed when a user is about to leave your site
  • Powerful targeting options with page level, geo-targeting, on-site retargeting, device based targeting, and more.
  • Adblock detection to display targeted messages to users
  • Device targeting with Mobile-friendly campaigns that look good on smaller devices
  • Trigger popups with exit intent, scrolling, inactivity sensors, time based triggers, and more
  • Dozens of ready-made beautiful popup templates
  • Drag and drop popup maker to easily create popups with your own images, fonts, and style
  • Multiple campaign types such as inline/after post optins, floating notification bar, countdown timers, fullscreen welcome mat, coupon wheel popups, and more.
  • Monster-links popups which trigger a popup by clicking on a link
  • Yes/No popups, two-step popups, and success message customization
  • Integrates with all top email marketing services, contact form plugins, eCommerce platforms, and more.

Looking at all the features, we can confidently say that it is the most comprehensive WordPress popup builder on the market. It has all that you’ll need to instantly grow your email list and boost conversions.

Performance

The biggest advantage of using OptinMonster comes with performance. It is a SaaS application which means that it does not use your WordPress hosting resources.

It loads asynchronously, which means it also does not slow down your perceived page load speed. This is crucial not just for user experience but also for SEO.

Last but not least, since OptinMonster doesn’t use WordPress to store analytics, your stats will be the most accurate and it will work with any hosting environment.

Ease of Use

OptinMonster comes with an intuitive drag and drop popup builder. You can simply design your own popups by adding a background, choosing colors, images, fonts, with your own text and sign up form.

OptinMonster popup builder

However, if you don’t want to do that, then you’ll find beautiful ready-made popup templates to choose from. Each of these templates is fully customizable using a simple point and click editor.

Adding popups to your website is also very easy. You don’t need to edit any WordPress files or add code to your website. You can simply install their WordPress connector plugin.

Pricing: Starting from $9 per month (billed annually).

Bonus: WPBeginner users can use our OptinMonster coupon to get 10% Off.

Disclosure: OptinMonster is the popup plugin that we use on WPBeginner. Many popular bloggers and businesses use OptinMonster including the likes of Social Media Examiner, Michael Hyatt, NBA, and more.

WPBeginner’s founder, Syed Balkhi, is the co-founder of OptinMonster. He had this plugin built to help us get more email subscribers. Now he serves as an advisor to the company.

2. TrustPulse

TrustPulse

TrustPulse is a WordPress popup plugin that uses social proof to help you boost conversions on your website.

It shows social-proof notifications on your website to help build user trust, trigger FOMO (fear of missing out) effect, and encourages more users to signup or make a purchase.

Features

TrustPulse helps you instantly win user trust by sharing social proof using less-intrusive but highly effective popups. Here are some of the features that make it unique among our list of best WordPress popup plugins.

TrustPulse popup

  • Triggers FOMO – It uses urgency and social proof to trigger FOMO effect (fear of mission out). This encourages users to sign up or complete a purchase.
  • Real-time Tracking – It shows real-time purchases, activity, and signups
  • Smart-targeting – Show social proof popup to the right users at the right time
  • Customize popup – Use the default design or make it your own with easy customization options

Performance

If you run an eCommerce business, then speed is crucial for more sales on your website. TrustPulse does not affect your page load speed and improves the user experience at the same time.

It is a SaaS app and does not use your WordPress hosting resources. All the code used to display popups loads asynchronously from the cloud servers.

Ease of Use

TrustPulse comes with an insanely easy to setup process. The default social proof popup works with very little modifications.

Creating a popup campaign in TrustPulse

It has an easy to use interface, which allows you to customize popup, set up targeting, view stats, and run customized campaigns on your online store.

Pricing: Free 500 sessions per month and then pricing starts from $4 per month (billed annually).

3. Bloom

Bloom

Bloom is a popular WordPress popup plugin made by Elegant Themes one of the oldest commercial WordPress theme shops. Available, as a standalone WordPress plugin, Bloom provides an easy to use WordPress popup maker for bloggers.

Features

Bloom comes with a decent set of features covering the basic requirements you would need from a good WordPress popup plugin.

Bloom user interface

  • Automatic lightbox popup
  • Multiple optin types including sidebar, slide-in, and below post signup forms.
  • Basic post or page level targeting
  • Basic time delay, scroll, form submission triggers
  • Pre-built popup templates with easy customization
  • Integrates with popuplar email service providers

Performance

Bloom comes as a stand-alone WordPress plugin, which means it loads all the code from your WordPress site. This means it uses your server resources and affects your page load time.

It tries to mitigate by optimizing the code and using WordPress best practices. However, if you have a busy site on limited server resources then this will slow down website performance.

Based on your WordPress caching plugin settings, reporting stats and features like A/B testing might misbehave.

Ease of Use

Bloom is extremely easy to use with simple drag and drop popup maker. Creating new optins with Bloom is straightforward and the user interface is quite easy to figure out.

Choose a popup template in Bloom

The trouble comes in when you are configuring display settings. There are too many options to choose from, which makes the user interface a bit confusing.

Pricing: Comes with Elegant Themes mebership starting from $89 per year.

4. Sumo

SumoMe

Sumo is a free popup plugin for WordPress which allows you to add popups to your website. They offer a premium version which offers more options.

Sumo panel in WordPress dashboard

Features

  • Allows you to create free WordPress popup and opt-in form
  • You can use multiple optin forms
  • Connects with popular email marketing platforms
  • Comes with different styles and templates to use
  • Includes basic A/B testing and stats for your forms

The free version is limited in features and adds Sumo branding to your popups.

Performance

Sumo loads code asynchronously which reduces the impact on performance. Depending on your campaign design, the effect on performance may vary.

Ease of Use

Sumo integrates with your WordPress site. However, you’ll need to manage your account from their website and use the Sumo dashboard to design your campaigns.

Design your popup with Sumo dashboard

It comes with a bit of a learning curve. The campaign builder is not the easiest but you’ll find your way around. We found it a bit harder to use particularly when it came to integrations and targeting.

5. Thrive Leads

Thrive Leads

Thrive Leads is another popular popup plugin for WordPress. It comes with beautiful popup templates and an easy to use popup builder.

Features

Thrive Leads is designed to help you capture leads on your WordPress site and grow your email list. Here is a quick overview of its features.

Thrive Leads

  • Multiple optin types including lightbox popup, inline forms, 2-step optin, slide in forms, and more
  • Simple drag and drop editor to customize sign up forms
  • Basic A/B testing and analytics for your forms
  • Page level targeting including categories, tags, post types, and more
  • Works with all popular email services
  • Mobile friendly popups for small devices

Performance

Thrive Leads does try to balance out performance and features. However, it is still slower than some other solutions on our list.

It is a standalone WordPress plugin, which means all the code resides on your WordPress site and utilizes your hosting resources.

This also means that like Bloom, features like reporting and A/B tests may not work properly on certain hosting companies or with popular caching plugins.

Ease of Use

Thrive Leads is pretty straight-forward to use and comes with multiple templates. It also comes with a basic popup maker with drag and drop functionality to customize your popup form.

Thrive Leads builder interface

There is a slight learning curve involved in displaying optins on your website. Many beginners would struggle a bit when setting up a popup.

You’ll see different options for Lead groups, lead shortcodes, Thrive boxes, and other features without much explanation. This means users will have to explore them to learn what they do.

Pricing: Starting from $67 per year for a single site license.

Performance Comparison of Top WordPress Popup Plugins

For this article, we decided to actually try each WordPress popup plugin and test their impact on a website’s performance and speed.

Basically, we created a demo website and used the default settings of each plugin to create a basic WordPress popup. After that, we used Pingdom to test page load speed.

Following are the results of our tests.

Popup Plugin Page Load time Requests Page size
OptinMonster 1.03s 17 225KB
TrustPulse 894ms 14 130KB
Bloom 1.23s 22 188.8KB
Sumo 1.24s 41 575.5KB
Thrive Leads 1.38s 26 736.4KB

In our results, we found OptinMonster to be the fastest WordPress popup plugin with the least effect on performance.

Conclusion: Which is The Best WordPress Popup Plugin?

Considering the criteria we set up, OptinMonster comes up as the best WordPress popup plugin. It is the fastest popup builder and comes with incredible tools to boost conversion rates.

It is also the easiest to use with beautiful popup templates and a powerful drag and drop editor. It works with all popular CRMs, email marketing platforms, best WordPress form plugins, custom HTML forms, and more.

Showing your popups at the right time to right users is what makes them more effective. OptinMonster includes powerful page level targeting options, personalization, and event-based triggers.

If you are running an eCommerce store, then we would recommend OptinMonster + TrustPulse. This allows you to maximize conversions with social proof and OptinMonster’s powerful cart abandonment features.

We hope this article helped you pick the best WordPress popup plugin for your website. You may also want to see our article on tested and easy ways to grow your email list.

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.

The post Which is the Best WordPress Popup Plugin? (Performance + Quality Compared) appeared first on WPBeginner.



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How to Choose the Best Business VoIP Provider in 2019 (Compared)


Are you looking to choose a business VoIP provider but not sure which one is right for your needs?

VoIP is a term used for business phone service which allows you to use advanced call management features on your computer or mobile device.

Unlike the old school bulky phone setup, business VOIP is a perfect phone solution for small businesses. You can cut down phone costs while enjoying all the powerful tools to grow your business.

In this article, we will explain what is business VoIP, and how to choose the best business VoIP provider for your company. Since we had to choose a VoIP provider for our own business, we will also share our best VoIP phone providers for small and growing businesses.

Best business VoIP services compared

What is VoIP?

VoIP or Voice over IP is a term used to describe internet phone service. Unlike a traditional phone service which uses the landline, VoIP services use the internet to receive and make calls.

Benefits of using VoIP

Following are just some of the benefits of using a business VoIP phone system:

  • You can receive calls using computers, VoIP phonesets, and even cell phone.
  • You can share one number with several employees.
  • You can easily track call duration, hold times, wait times, and overall usage.
  • Most business VoIP services come with call forwarding, caller ID, call waiting, call routing, and more.
  • You can use the same number anywhere you want.
  • It gives you a business phone number, so you don’t have to share your personal cellphone number with clients.
  • Business VoIP offers cheaper local and international calls.

The business VoIP technology offers a lot of flexibility and freedom, and it has made it easy for businesses of all sizes to have a business phone number. Whether you’re a small 1 person company, a growing 10 people team, or established business with over 100+ people, you can use business VoIP.

However if you don’t choose the best business VoIP provider, then you can run into some serious challenges.

For example, the voice quality on VoIP calls varies depending on the internet connection and the service provider you’re using. Unlike landlines, you’ll loose VoIP connection during a power outage or internet disruption, but this shouldn’t impact most small businesses if you’re well prepared.

Having said that, let’s discuss when is the right time to start thinking about a business VoIP solution.

Does Your Business Need VoIP Business Phone Solution?

In any business, giving people a way to contact you is helpful in building trust and boost your sales.

When starting a website, most business owners add a contact form, which makes it easy for users to contact you via email.

However depending on the industry, sometimes customers may prefer more instant communication.

This is why many businesses offer live chat or phone number on their websites. Giving users more than one way to communicate with your business can improve customer support and result in more sales.

Whether you run an online store to sell products or a business website to sell services, a VoIP based business phone service can help you grow your business without the high costs.

Your website visitors can easily call you to request a quote, ask a pre-sale question, or even request support.

In short, business VoIP phone enables you to better manage and track your calls, collect customer information, and build stronger relationships with your customers.

How to Choose The Best VoIP Service Your Business

There are a lot of large companies offering business VoIP services, and it’s a very competitive space. The abundance of choices and highly competitive nature of advertising makes it difficult for business owners to choose the best VoIP provider for their business.

If you are just starting out, then you may be looking for the cheapest VoIP business phone service. However, you need to be careful when going down this route because they may lack certain features, which you’d later discover to be essential for your business.

Then there are some business VoIP services that are not easy to implement, transfer, or simply too expensive.

When comparing business VoIP providers for our business, we looked for a balance of features and reasonable cost. Here’s a quick checklist that we used:

  • Cost of local vs international calls. Most business VoIP services offer different plans for international calls. You need to choose a provider based on the geographic location of your customers.
  • Features available in the VoIP plans. Many companies offer different features while some sell them as separate add-ons which would increase your costs.
  • Mobile apps and features that you can share among multiple users.
  • Third-party integrations that you can use to connect your VoIP service to other tools like your CRM software, email marketing service, and more.

That being said, let’s take a look at our pick of the best business VoIP providers.

1. Nextiva

Nextiva

Nextiva is the best business VoIP service on the market. We can say this confidently because while researching for a VoIP service for our own business, we ended up choosing Nextiva.

Their business VoIP service offers all the essential features needed by a growing business including call routing, free domestic calling, voicemail to email and text, online fax, and more.

Other standard features include free number porting, caller ID, call forwarding, custom greetings, hold music, and more.

They also offer a free local or toll-free number with their plans.

We were able to quickly setup professional sounding welcome message with directory and phone routing which helps make our small business compete with the big guys.

What we really liked about Nextiva was their support team was extremely helpful from pre-sales all the way to onboarding and setup.

Even though we didn’t need any fancy desk phone sets, they gave us a full demo and showed us how we can easily use Nextiva with traditional desk phones or conference phones as our business grows.

The best part was they went above and beyond even though we’re a relatively small customer for them considering they help large businesses like Taco Bell, Ashleys Furniture, Conan, and others.

Pricing: Starts from $20 / per user / per month. Unlike other business VoIP providers, they don’t require annual contracts. However you can get discounts on buying pre-paid packages, and you can also get lower rates when you add more users to your plan.

2. RingCentral

RingCentral

RingCentral is another excellent business VoIP provider. With RingCentral, you get all the standard feature you would expect from a reliable business VoIP provider like call forwarding, advanced routing, call waiting, caller ID, hold music, and more.

They offer easy integrations with third-party services like Dropbox, G Suite, Salesforce, and more.

Other notable features include online meetings, video calls, screen sharing, conferencing, and an easy to use web-based administration panel.

We first discovered RingCentral organically because they are very well known and a fairly large company in the business VoIP space. While their feature offering is great, their pricing is a bit on the higher end unless you sign the annual contract.

Pricing: Starting from $34.99 / per user every month for the first user. Their monthly pricing drops significantly when you add the second user to $24.99 per user every month. You can also save 40% by switching to the annual plan.

3. GrassHopper

Grasshopper

GrassHopper is a popular business VoIP service suitable for startups and growing businesses.

They offer virtual phone numbers over VoIP platform, allowing call forwarding to any numbers or devices. The downside is that you’ll need a landline for outgoing calls.

They offer all the features you will expect like call waiting, forwarding, hold music, advanced routing, voicemail to email, and more. You can manage it from a computer using your web browser or mobile phone apps.

It works with local, toll-free, vanity numbers, and you can choose from the US, Canada, or UK based numbers.

Pricing: Starting from $29 per month with 1 number and up to 3 extensions. They offer a 10% discount if you sign an annual contract.

4. Phone.com

Phone.com

Phone.com is another popular choice among small business VoIP service providers. They include many European countries and Canada in their local call minutes. If you are operating in those locations, then it could be a cheap business VoIP service for your needs.

Their service includes call forwarding, routing, waiting, custom greetings and music, conferencing, and more. You can also integrate your VoIP plan to popular CRM software like Salesforce or Zoho.

Pricing: Starting from $12.99 per month with 300 monthly minutes. Their unlimited plan starts at $29.99 per month per user extension.

5. Vonage

Vonage

Vonage is famous for offering residential VoIP however they also offer business VoIP services for small to medium-sized businesses as well as enterprise clients. They offer a wide range of business communication tools including VoIP.

It includes all the usual features such as call forwarding and routing, caller ID, waiting, and more. Apart from that, they also offer team messaging and chat, conference calling, CRM integration, automatic call attendant, call recording, and more.

They offer different plans each with different features and limitations.

Pricing: Their base plan starts from $19.99 per month per line.

Which is the Business VoIP Provider for You?

Above we have shared the best business VoIP providers in the market today. Each of them offer a slightly different product and service at different prices.

When looking for a business VoIP solution for our company, we did extensive research to compare each of these companies, their ratings on top user review websites, and even what their employees were saying about them.

At the end, we ended up choosing Nextiva for our business.

We recommend using Nextiva as the best business VoIP provider. Their plans are suitable for businesses of all sizes with an impressive set of features and great customer service.

They offer fair pricing, do not require annual contracts, and their customer service is top-notch.

RingCentral came as a close second. They offered a lot of the same features, but at the end it came down to pricing where Nextiva clearly won.

We hope this article helped you find the best business VoIP provider for your business. You may also want to see our list of most useful tools to manage and 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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7 Best CRM Software for Small Businesses (Compared)


Are you comparing the best CRM software for small businesses? CRM software helps you manage customer relationships, increase sales, manage leads, and grow your business.

Due to the critical role Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software plays in your business success, it’s extremely important that you properly research the industry and compare the top CRM providers before making your decision.

In this article, we will show you our expert pick of the best CRM software for small businesses. We will compare popular CRM software in terms of features and share the pros and cons to help you choose the best platform.

Comparing the best CRM software for small businesses

What is a CRM Software?

CRM software or Customer Relationship Management software is a tool that helps you manage customer data and offer streamlined customer services across your business.

Most businesses need a contact manager to handle contact details of their customers and prospects. In the early stages of most companies, this is typically done manually through spreadsheets or simple contact management tools.

However, these processes become inefficient as your business grows, and if you don’t fix the problem fast enough, then it can lead to significant loss in opportunity / sales.

A CRM software helps solve the problem by storing all aspects of customer relationship into a database and making it easily accessible. It allows your marketing, sales, and customer support teams to have all the data at their fingertips when needed.

CRM software are incredibly useful in increasing sales, building customer relationships, and providing amazing customer services. Your customers get more personalized, more attentive, and highly efficient service.

What to Look for in Your CRM Software?

Since there are so many different CRM software companies out there, it becomes quite overwhelming for small businesses to decide which one is the best CRM for their needs.

Here are some quick tips on choosing the best CRM software for your business:

1. Ease of Use – A recent survey revealed that 67% of businesses put ease of use as the most important feature of their CRM software. You and your team will be using it for several hours every day. If the CRM is not easy to use, then it will not you help achieve your business goals.

2. Cloud and Mobile – In 2008, less than 12% of CRM software ran on the cloud. Today, 87% of CRMs are cloud-based software. It is more secure, faster, and easy to integrate with other apps and services.

Another study by the Nucleus Research revealed that 65% of companies using a mobile-friendly CRM, exceeded their sales targets. This means you want to look for a CRM software that is mobile-friendly.

This makes it convenient for your teams to meet their targets. Your customers get quicker responses and don’t have to wait for hours just to get quick answers.

3. Make a Features List – You need to make a list of features that you need in your CRM software. Don’t worry if you can’t think of all the features right away. This exercise will give you an idea of what would be a good fit for your business.

CRM software are not just an address book of your customers’ contact information. They are useful because they integrate into your marketing, sales, and lead generation.

They help you manage every aspect of a customer’s journey with your business with great detail. You would need to see how you can integrate the specific CRM software with your existing business process and sales activities.

4. Integrations – Many modern CRM software include a ton of features. However, you would still need to get them to work with other apps, like your WordPress site, lead generation software, email marketing service, business email service, social media platforms, and more. Make sure that your CRM software supports those integrations.

For example, if you are running a membership website or online store, then you would need your CRM to integrate with your membership plugin or eCommerce platform.

These are just some very basic requirements that you would want to check. You may also want to consider pricing, the ability to add users and departments, security, GDPR compliance, and more.

That being said, let’s take a look at the top CRM software on the market and how they stack up on these criteria.

1. HubSpot

HubSpot

HubSpot is the best CRM software for small businesses looking for a cost-effective solution to get started. It offers free plans for their CRM, Marketing, Sales, and Sevice hubs.

The free HubSpot CRM comes with unlimited users and unlimited contacts. It is also free forever.

However, many of the features are limited or unavailable in the free plan. To access the powerful features, you will need to upgrade to one of their paid plans under the Growth Suite.

HubSpot is quite easy to use, and you can connect marketing, sales, and service hubs to your CRM software. This provides you a wide range of tools to efficiently manage the customer journey.

With an easy user interface, you get a bird’s eye view of your entire sales pipeline on your dashboard. You can view detailed reports, all contact activity, sales activities, and user/team performance.

HubSpot offers a comprehensive set of features including a mobile app for iPhone and Android, contact manager, email templates, real-time notifications, phone calls, email tracking, scheduling, and more.

Integrations are crucial for CRM software. HubSpot integrates with more than 300 apps and services including WordPress, top email marketing companies, lead generation software like OptinMonster, and many more.

Pricing: HubSpot offers core CRM platform for free. For more features, you can upgrade to their paid plans for Marketing, Sales, and Service hubs or upgrade to Growth Suite, which starts from $113 / month and includes 1 user ($38 per month for each additional user).

2. Constant Contact

Constant Contact

Constant Contact is a popular email marketing and CRM software. It allows you to easily store contacts, manage customer information, send emails, and track customer activity from your dashboard.

It is extremely easy to use with simple reports, detailed activity logs for each contact, and powerful drag and drop tools to send out emails. You can schedule emails, create sales funnels, and have easy marketing automation for beginners.

Constant Contact has a huge marketplace of integrations available for third-party apps. Many of the popular services and tools that you are already using like WPForms can be instantly connected to Constant Contact.

For eCommerce stores, Constant Contact offers integrations with all top eCommerce platforms. It includes eCommerce tools which help you capture, engage, and convert leads into paying customers.

Pricing: Their pricing is based on the number of contacts and starts from $20 per month. However, if you want to add team members then you will need their Plus plan which starts at $45 per month.

WPBeginner users get a free 60 day trial, and you can also get a 20% off if you use our Constant Contact coupon code.

Click here to get Started with Constant Contact »

3. PipeDrive

PipeDrive

PipeDrive is a sales driven CRM software for businesses. It offers a complete sales pipeline management with an intuitive user interface that gives you quick access to all the information you need.

Designed for sales teams, it includes features like sales reporting, sales forecasting, detailed activity log, advanced contact details, email integrations, and customizable pipelines.

It has a growing selection of integration apps allowing you to connect your CRM system to other services you already use. It also has mobile apps for iOS and Android allowing you to stay connected and get things done.

Pricing: Their plans start from $12.50 per user per month billed annually.

4. Freshsales

Freshsales

Freshsales is another popular CRM software suitable for businesses of all sizes. It features a sales-oriented approach with tools to maximize your conversions.

They offer a one-stop dashboard that gives you instant access to reports, activities, phone calls, emails, users, and contact management. It has an intuitive web based interface and has powerful mobile apps to help your teams make sales on the go.

Freshsales uses AI-powered lead scoring which helps you prioritize leads more likely to convert. Other notable features include visual sales pipelines, actionable insights into conversations, event tracking, custom workflows, and more.

It has native integrations available for some of the most popular third-party services. Several more integrations are available as third-party apps. However, the number of integrations is a bit limited at the moment.

Pricing: Plans start from $12 per month per user billed annually.

5. Drip (Ecommerce)

Drip

Drip is another popular eCommerce CRM software designed to increase sales. Featuring an intuitive user interface, it is incredibly easy to use yet extremely powerful.

It is loaded with features including marketing automation, advanced contact management, actionable reports, email campaigns, one-on-one conversations, eCommerce user tracking, and more.

Drip comes with native integrations for all top third-party services. This includes email services, lead generation software, SMS services, WooCommerce, Shopify, and many more. It offers workflows to generate leads from Facebook and Instagram which helps you get tapped into their massive user base.

Pricing: Drip’s plans start from $49 / month for up to 2500 contacts.

6. Streak CRM for Gmail

StreakCRM

Streak is a CRM software for Gmail and works with both free Gmail accounts as well as G Suite. It allows you to track customer emails in Gmail, manage contacts, track leads, and manage sales pipelines.

It automatically captures leads from your contacts, allows you to add tasks and reminders, add tags and notes, create custom pipelines, schedule emails, and so much more.

It comes as a browser add-on as well as mobile app for Android and iOS. It supports third-party integrations through Gmail and Zapier, this gives you access to share data across multiple tools and services.

Pricing: They offer a limited free plan for personal use. Their paid plans start from $49 per user per month billed annually.

7. AgileCRM

AgileCRM

AgileCRM is a powerful all-in-one CRM software. It packs contact management, sales, marketing and customer service in one convenient dashboard.

It offers sales tools with 360 degree contact view, detailed reports, timeline, calendar, events, project management, deals, and gamification for your sales team. You get access to quick reports that you can drill down to keep track of everything that is happening across your business.

AgileCRM includes marketing tools to generate and capture leads, send out emails, newsletters, landing pages, forms, and social media marketing tools.

Pricing: AgileCRM offers a limited free plan. Their paid plans start from $9.99 per user per month billed annually or $8.99 per user billed for 2-years.

Which is the Best CRM Software for Small Business?

As we mentioned earlier that you’ll have to compare CRM tools based on your businesses requirements and goals.

Based on the criteria we defined earlier, we believe that HubSpot is the best CRM software for small businesses. It is easy to use and offers a comprehensive set of features. They offer a free plan which is good enough for small businesses to get started.

If email is the primary source of leads and sales for your business, then Constant Contact is the best option. It offers an easy to use contact management tool that you can effectively use to boost sales and manage customer relations. Their pricing is very friendly for small businesses.

If you’re looking for a completely sales focused CRM, then we recommend using either PipeDrive or FreshSales because they’re both sales-driven CRM, and they will help you improve your sales processes.

If you’re an eCommerce brand, and you need a CRM that comes with eCommerce focused marketing automation, then look no further than Drip. It is extremely powerful and worth every single penny because it’ll definitely help you grow your overall sales.

We hope this article helped you find the best CRM software for your business. You may also want to see our list of the must have WordPress plugins for business websites, best business phone services, and best live chat software for small business.

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 WordPress Ecommerce Plugins Compared – 2019


Are you looking to build an online store? Want to know which is the best WordPress eCommerce plugin?

Choosing the right eCommerce plugin is crucial for your business because a better platform means more opportunity for growth. Often users end up losing money because they didn’t do proper research when choosing the eCommerce platform to start their store.

In this article, we will compare the 5 best WordPress eCommerce plugins for 2019. We will also explain their pros and cons to help you find which eCommerce plugin is right for your business.

Best WordPress eCommerce plugins

What to Look for in a WordPress eCommerce Plugin for Your Site?

There are plenty of WordPress eCommerce plugins in the market. But not all of them have the right set of features for your use-case.

For example, some eCommerce plugins are made for selling digital goods like eBooks, photos, music, etc. Others are better suited for selling physical products that need shipping.

If you want to run a drop-shipping business, then you’ll need an eCommerce solution that provides better support for drop-shipping.

Basically, you need to consider what you will be selling and what kind of features you would need to efficiently run your online store.

Apart from that, following are some of the most important factors you need to look for when choosing an eCommerce platform.

  • Payment solutions – Your eCommerce plugin should have support for your preferred payment gateways by default or through an extension.
  • Design and customization – Your store’s design is your customer’s first interaction with your business. Make sure there are plenty of templates and easy customization options available
  • Apps and integrations – Check out integrations available for third-party apps like email marketing services, CRM software, accounting software, etc. You’ll need those tools to manage and grow your ecommerce business more effeciently.
  • Support options – Make sure that there are support options available. Good support can save you a lot of money in the long run.

What Do You Need to Run an eCommerce Website?

Ecommerce websites are resource intensive, so the first thing you will need is the best WordPress hosting that you can afford.

If you’re on a budget, then you can start with Bluehost. The Ecommerce plan comes with SSL Certificate which you need to collect payments securely, dedicated IP, and a dedicated support line. They also install WooCommerce by default, which is the most powerful WordPress Ecommerce plugin (as you’ll find out later in this article).

If budget is not an issue, and you want the best performance, then we recommend using a managed WordPress hosting provider like WPEngine.

Next, you will need to choose a domain name for your website. Here is our guide on how to pick the right domain name for your eCommerce site.

Lastly, you will need to choose essential business plugins that you will need such as OptinMonster which help you reduce shopping cart abandonment and increase sales.

Having that said, let’s take a look at the best WordPress eCommerce plugins.

Best WordPress Ecommerce Plugins – The Contenders

Now that you know what to look for in an eCommerce platform and what you need to get started, here are our top picks for the best eCommerce platform for WordPress users.

  1. WooCommerce
  2. BigCommerce
  3. Easy Digital Downloads
  4. MemberPress
  5. Shopify

Let’s take a look at each one of them and compare their pros and cons.

1. WooCommerce

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is the most popular WordPress eCommerce plugin. It is also the most popular eCommerce platform in the world. WooCommerce was acquired by Automattic (the company behind WordPress.com blog hosting service) in 2015.

There is a large number of addons and themes available for WooCommerce. They also have a passionate developer community behind it. Recently several hosting companies have started creating specialized WooCommerce hosting solutions.

Pros of Using WooCommerce

Here are some of the advantages of using WooCommerce as your WordPress eCommerce plugin:

Extensions and Themes – There are hundreds of extensions and themes available for WooCommerce, which makes it easy for you to add new features to your eCommerce site. Large collection of themes means you have tons of options when choosing your site’s design and layout.

Supports Both Digital and Physical Goods – With WooCommerce, you can sell physical as well as digital downloads (such as ebooks, music, software, and more).

Sell Affiliate or External Products – Using WooCommerce, you can add affiliate or external products to your site. Affiliate marketers can create product sites and provide users a better experience.

Complete Inventory Management – WooCommerce comes equipped with tools to easily manage your inventory or even assign it to a store manager.

Payment and Shipping Options – WooCommerce has built-in support for popular payment gateways, and you can add many other payment options using extensions. It can also calculate shipping and taxes.

Support and Documentation – There is excellent documentation available online for WooCommerce. Apart from documentation, there is knowledge base, help desk, and community forums available.

Cons of Using WooCommerce

Too Many Options – WooCommerce is very easy to use, but the number of options available on the settings page can be quite intimidating for a new user.

Finding Addons – There are lots of addons available for WooCommerce, sometimes a user may not find the right addon for features that they need.

Theme Support – WooCommerce works with any WordPress theme, but it is not always as easy to setup or good looking with all themes. You need a WooCommerce ready theme to take full advantage of its features without too much hassle.

Scalability – As your store gets larger, you will need to move to a managed hosting provider like WP Engine to scale your WooCommerce store.

WooCommerce is the perfect choice for any kind of eCommerce website. It has a large community of developers and users, a lot of addons and themes, excellent support for multilingual websites, and best free and paid support options.

2. BigCommerce

BigCommerce

BigCommerce is a fully hosted eCommerce platform that offers seamless integration with WordPress. This allows you to use a scalable eCommerce platform while using WordPress to manage your content and run your website.

It has a powerful integration plugin for WordPress which makes it very easy to embed your products in WordPress. It automatically creates the sign in, cart, account, and other important pages for you.

Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of using BigCommerce as your WordPress eCommerce platform.

Pros of Using BigCommerce

  • High scalability – It includes all the features you will need with enterprise grade security, high performance, and easy scalability.
  • Less Maintainence – Keeping your eCommerce engine separate from other content makes it easier to run your WordPress site.
  • Sell across Multiple Channels – You can use it to sell not only on your website but also on other channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon.
  • No transaction charges – Unlike some other eCommerce platforms, it does not charge you on each transaction. You can choose from dozens of top payment gateways and only pay the payment service provider.

Cons of Using BigCommerce

  • Limited Integrations – BigCommerce integrates with all the top third-party apps and tools. However, its app store is still growing, and you may not find an integration for some less popular apps.
  • No Mobile App – Currently, it does not have a mobile app to manage your store on the go.

BigCommerce is an incredibly powerful yet very easy to use eCommerce platform. It is a SaaS eCommerce platform, but with their BigCommerce WordPress plugin you can have the best of both worlds.

It takes away the pains of scaling your hosting requirements as your business grows. At the same time, you don’t have to worry about security, performance, or finding extensions for SEO and caching.

BigCommerce is a rising contender in WordPress for headless eCommerce. It takes care of technology infrastructure, so you can focus on growing your business.

3. Easy Digital Downloads

Easy Digital Downloads

Easy Digital Downloads allows you to easily sell digital downloads online using WordPress. It is very easy to use and comes with powerful features to create beautiful and functional digital goods store.

We use Easy Digital Downloads to sell our software like WPForms and MonsterInsights.

Pros of Using Easy Digital Downloads

Designed To Sell Digital Goods – Easy Digital Downloads is built from the ground up to sell digital downloads. Unlike eCommerce plugins that can be used to sell all kind of products, EDD provides a far better experience for selling digital goods.

Easy To Use – Easy digital downloads is very easy to use, from the start you would instantly figure out how to add products and display them. This is really useful for the first timers.

Extensions – There are hundreds of extensions available for Easy Digital Downloads including addons for payment gateways, marketing platforms and services.

Themes – Easy Digital Downloads works with almost any WordPress theme, however if you have not choosen a theme yet, then Easy Digital Downloads has themes built specifically for the plugin.

Awesome Support – The plugin is very well documented, and you have free support forums, videos, tutorials, and even an IRC chatroom. There is also a priority support option for premium users.

Cons of Using Easy Digital Downloads

Digital Downloads Only – As the name suggests, Easy Digital Downloads makes it easier to create eCommerce sites for digital goods. But if you want to sell non-digital goods along with digital downloads then it will become quite complicated.

Selling External Products – If you want to add an external product or an affiliate product to your EDD store, then you will need to install a third-party add on for it.

When it comes to selling digital products online, we believe that Easy Digital Downloads is the best plugin to do that. We have used Easy Digital Downloads with great success, not only on client sites but also on a few of our own projects.

4. MemberPress

MemberPress

MemberPress is allows you to sell subscription based digital products and services. It is the best WordPress membership plugin with tons of integration options. It can even integrate with WooCommerce.

Let’s take a look at pros and cons MemberPress.

Pros of Using MemberPress

Sell Subscription Based Products – Allows you to easily sell subscription based products, membership plans, pay per view content, and more.

Powerful Access Rules – Powerful access control allows you to define user access levels and content restrictions. Only users with permissions will be able to access restricted content.

Powerful Extensions – You can integrate it to your WooCommerce store or LearnDash LMS. There are tons of extensions to connect MemberPress with third-party services.

Cons of Using MemberPress

Limited Payment Options – MemberPress only supports PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.net.

Yearly Pricing – Pricing plans are available on yearly terms alone.

MemberPress is the perfect eCommerce plugin to sell subscription based products, sell courses, or build a membership website. It is beginner friendly and can be easily extended with addons which allows you to take your eCommerce website in any direction you want.

5. Shopify

Shopify

Shopify is a fast growing eCommerce platform that handles everything for you. Shopify isn’t a plugin but it’s an all in one solution that’s completely hassle free. See our guide on Shopify vs WooCommerce for detailed side-by-side comparison of the two platforms.

Let’s look at the Pros and Cons of Shopify.

Pros of Using Shopify

Super Easy for Beginners – No need to worry about the technical aspects of an eCommerce store such as setting up SSL, integrating with different payment gateways, handling shipping, worrying about taxes, etc. Shopify handles it all.

Supports Both Digital and Physical Goods – Whether you’re selling physical goods like shirts or digital downloads like music, Shopify can handle it all.

Complete Inventory Management – Shopify comes with an inventory editor and bulk importer combined with an order tracker which makes managing inventory a breeze.

Payment and Shipping Options – Shopify makes it easy for you to accept credit card both online and in person. Their shipping system streamline your fulfillment process with direct integration with popular providers like USPS.

Facebook Store, Buyable Pins, and Twitter Buy Buttons – Shopify integrates with everything. Whether you want to create a Facebook store, add a buy button on Twitter, or create buyable Pins on Pinterest, you can do it all with Shopify.

Cons of Using Shopify

Monthly Platform Fee – Shopify charges you a monthly fee to use their platform which is comparable to purchasing hosting and individual addons using the other plugins in this list.

Shopify Payments – Shopify encourages you to use their payment platform which is powered by Stripe and is a very good option for beginners. However if you want to overcomplicate things and use external systems, then Shopify charges you an additional fee.

If you want to have a powerful platform without having to deal with technical issues, then Shopify is the solution for you. While the monthly fee sounds bad at first, the hassle-free approach and peace of mind are definitely worth it because it allows you to focus on what you do best, your business!

Shopify does not have a native integration with WordPress. BigCommerce #2 solution in our list gives you everything Shopify offers while offering a seamless integration with your WordPress site.

Conclusion – The Best WordPress eCommerce Plugin is:

If you want maximum control, flexibility, and features, then WooCommerce is the best solution for you.

If you don’t want to manage all the technical stuff, then BigCommerce is the best option for you. It allows you to use a SaaS eCommerce platform side by side with WordPress as your content management system.

If you are just selling digital goods, then Easy Digital Downloads could be the best option for you.

That’s all we hope this article helped you find the best WordPress eCommerce plugins for your site. You may also want to see our comparison of 5 best drag and drop WordPress page builders.

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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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.

The post 5 Best Contact Form Plugins for WordPress Compared appeared first on WPBeginner.



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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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