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


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

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

Best email marketing services compared

Why Choosing The Best Email Marketing Service is Important?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Constant Contact

Constant Contact

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Drip

Drip

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. ConvertKit

ConvertKit

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. AWeber

AWeber

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

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

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

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

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

5. SendinBlue

SendinBlue

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

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

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

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

6. GetResponse

GetResponse

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. Mailchimp

Mailchimp

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final Thoughts: The Best Email Marketing Service

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

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

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

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

Pro Tip: Get More Email Subscribers, Faster!

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

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

OptinMonster

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

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

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

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

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





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


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

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

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

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

Best WordPress Gallery Plugins

Our Criteria for the Best WordPress Gallery Plugin

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

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

4 Best WordPress Gallery Plugins

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

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

Let’s get started with our comparison.

Speed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ease of Use

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

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

Envira Gallery

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

Creating a new gallery is quite simple and beginner friendly.

Envira Gallery user interface

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

Gutenberg block for Envira Gallery

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

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

Modula

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

Modula Gallery user interface

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

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

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

FooGallery

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

FooGallery user interface

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

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

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

NextGEN Gallery

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

NextGen UI

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

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

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

Features

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

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

Envira Gallery

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

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

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

Envira Gallery features

Modula

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

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

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

Modula features

FooGallery

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

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

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

FooGallery features

NextGEN Gallery

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

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

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

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

Compatability

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

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

Envira Gallery

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

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

Import / Export photo galleries using Envira Gallery

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

Modula

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

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

FooGallery

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

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

NextGEN Gallery

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

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

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

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

Pricing

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

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



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


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

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

Best Drag and Drop WordPress Page Builders

Why Use a Drag and Drop Page Builder for WordPress?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder best WordPress page builder plugin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pricing: Starting from $99 for Unlimited Sites.

Our Grade: A+

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

2. Divi

Divi Builder Drag and Drop WordPress Page Builder plugin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pricing: Starting from $89 per year

Our Grade: A

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

3. Visual Composer Website Builder

Visual Composer Website Builder plugin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pricing: $59 For One Site License

Our Grade: A

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

4. Themify Builder

Themify Page Builder Plugin for WordPress

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our Grade: B

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

5. Elementor

Elementor WordPress Drag and Drop Page Builder plugin

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t want to build your own layout?

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

Pricing: Starting from $49 for single site license.

Our Grade: B

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

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

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

6. Page Builder by SiteOrigin

Page Builder Plugin by SiteOrigin

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pricing: Free

Our Grade: C

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

Final Thoughts: Best WordPress Page Builder Plugin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gutenberg blocks most used

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The post 6 Best Drag and Drop WordPress Page Builders Compared (2019) appeared first on WPBeginner.





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


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

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

Choosing the best live chat support software for your WordPress site

Why Add Live Chat Support to Your Website?

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. LiveChat

LiveChat

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

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

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

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

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

We use LiveChat on our eCommerce websites.

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

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

2. Olark

Olark

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

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

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

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

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

3. Zendesk Chat

Zendesk Chat

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

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

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

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

4. Chaport

Chaport

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

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

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

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

5. SnapEngage

SnapEngage

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

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

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

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

6. Intercom

Intercom

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

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

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

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

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

7. Freshchat

Freshchat

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

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

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

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

8. LivePerson

LivePerson

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

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

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

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

9. Userlike

Userlike

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

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

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

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

10. Smartsupp

Smartsupp

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

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

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

11. Pure Chat

Pure Chat

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

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

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

12. Drift

Drift

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

Drift integrates with all popular CRM and email marketing services.

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

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

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

Our Pick: Best Live Chat Software

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

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

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

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

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





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