So, you need to build an email list of subscribers.
The easiest way to do this is to make it very easy for your readers to subscribe to your email list.
But, the old optin forms that come with your email service provider may not be enough.
And you might be looking for optin forms that make it easy for your audience to subscribe without annoying them, that can get triggered based on user behavior, and that come with features which can help grow your email list superfast.
Fortunately, there are many wordpress plugins which not only provide you with email opt-in functionality but also blow you away with advance features like
The wordpress plugins that I have shared below have been selected based on various parameters like my personal experience, the ease of use, compatibility with leading email marketing providers, value for money, and cutting edge features.
No matter what stage of business you are in, I am confident this article will help you in finding a best list building plugin to get you more email subscribers.
OptinMonster is a popular plugin developer by WPBeginner Team. OptinMonster helps you to create beautiful high converting opt-in forms to grow your email List, start split test, create popup only for certain pages or category, and monitor your progress through analytics.
OptinMonster is cloud based where you can manage all your opt-in forms created for different websites in one place which is particularly helpful if you are a blogger/affiliate marketer managing multiple sites.
They were one of the first plugins to have exit intent popups.
If you are not aware about exit intent popups. It is a feature which lets you display opt-in forms when a visitor is about to leave your website which is great because you can present an irresistible offer in your pop-up form and convert a visitor who was about to leave your website into a subscriber.
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What’s great about OptinMonster is it’s not only limited to WordPress website, you can use this plugin in any HTML based website or website developed from other platforms.
With OptinMonster you can create upto 8 different opt-in forms which are Lightbox Popup, Full Screen Welcome Mat, Slide in Scroll Box, Floating Bar, Countdown Timer, Sidebar Forms, Inline Forms, Content Locker.
Besides, OptinMonster supports 6 ways to display your Opt-in forms
When you log in to their website and navigate to the dashboard you can find several high-quality opt-in form templates that you can use in your website.
What I like about them is they have made the process of creating Opt-in forms very easy and user friendly. You need not have any design skills or coding knowledge to create beautiful opt-in forms
Some of the best features of this plugin are
Unfortunately, the plugin doesn’t come with free version.
Paid plan starts with $9 per month. If you are just starting out you can go with the basic plan where you can use for 1 site and upgrade the license according to your need. Note that with basic plan you can create only one type of form which is Lightbox opt-in form
You can see different plan options available in OptinMonster in the below image
If you are a serious blogger, marketer, or an online business owner who believes in investing in your business before you get returns on it, then OptinMonster is a great choice as it offers host of features that make it easy for you to acquire new leads and customers.
Sumo is a powerful plugin which has a collection of apps to boost your website performance. Some of the apps that come with Sumo plugin are List builder, On Site Analytics, Heat maps, Social Media Share button.
Sumo’s List builder app helps you to collect email address from your audience through opt-informs. The fact that list builder app comes with other useful apps which helps to improve the overall performance of your website differentiates Sumo from other plugins.
With Sumo’s List Builder app, you can
Sumo allows you to create different opt-in forms like Cart Casino, Basic Popup, Scroll Box, Inline form, Click Trigger Pop up, Welcome Mat, and Smart Bar.
Note that Cart Casino pop up which displays high converting pop up game and Click Trigger Pop ups which displays pop up when users clicks on a link are available only for the premium version.
Unlike OptinMonster, this plugin doesn’t have a huge number of different templates and the free version lets you use just the basic template. However, you can easily customize the fields present in opt-in form without much difficulty.
When it comes to displaying your Opt-in forms you get two options:
With Manual Mode there are two different triggers to show your Opt-in Form
With Sumo you can also define rules to display the pop up. For example, you can display pop up on certain pages, URL’S or post; Enable or disable pop up for mobile, desktop or screens with particular width; display pop up only for first time visitors, display pop up for visitors in a specific location and so on.
Once you install the plugin you can hover over to the blue bar present on top right side of the page and on clicking the blue bar you can access the dashboard of Sumo where you find list of apps that you can use it in your website.
You can navigate to Forms-> List Builder to create Opt-in Forums. The steps to create
Opt-informs are straightforward as you just need to follow steps 1-6 and you would have created
a high converting opt-in form in no time.
What’s great about Sumo is when you sign up, they send an email with detailed instructions
about how to setup opt-in forms within one minute which can use very useful to you if you are a complete newbie.
Some of the other features of the plugin are
Sumo comes with free version and Premium version.
If you are complete newbie and you are in a tight budget I would highly recommended to go with free version.
Because free version of the plugin does the task of collecting email address(with some added features) but you would have to deal with Sumo branding in your pop up. Besides, other advanced features to design templates will be missing from the free version.
Premium version starts from $30/month which you can use upto 750 subscribers. If you don’t want any restriction with number of subscribers that you can collect then you can go with the most recommended plan which starts at $73/month
If I am someone starting out and if don’t want to spend money then I would definitely go with Sumo free version as you get so many other apps along with list builder app.
But, if you are experienced blogger looking to build your email list then I would highly recommend to go with plugins like OptinMonster or Thrive Leads as they have advanced features at a good price point.
You can see different plan options available in Sumo in the below image
Thrive leads is a WordPress plugin developed by Thrive Themes. Thrive Leads is one of the best plugins to build your email list with advanced A/B testing features and drag & drop editor to build the Opt-in forms.
With Thrive Leads you can create upto 10 different opt-in forms like pop up Lightbox, Sticky Ribbon, 2 Step Form, Slide In opt-in form, Opt-in Widget, Screen Filler Overlay, Content Lock, Scroll Matt, Multiple Choice Forms
They have great collection of conversion optimized template with easy to use drag & drop editor powered by Thrive Architect. Thrive Architect is a WordPress page builder which allows you to create great looking pages with easy to use drag & drop editing.
Getting a powerful page builder like Thrive Architect along with Thrive Leads is a huge advantage as this is something which is not provided by other plugins in the market and it makes the job of creating beautifully designed Opt-in forms easier for you even if you don’t know anything about coding.
With Thrive Leads you can select a template for Opt-in form and regardless of where you use (For e.g.: If you decide to use the template in Widget area) the design of the template would be the same.
Thrive Leads supports 4 ways to display your Opt-in forms which are
The most impressive part of thrive leads is their A/B testing features where you can split test different kinds of opt-in forms against one another.
For example, you can find out if a widget opt-in forms or basic opt-in forms converts better and you can automatically have Thrive Leads to choose the best converting pop up once enough data has been gathered.
You can also test different opt-in triggers. For example, you can test between scroll depth trigger and exit inter trigger. This kind of advanced testing lets you to convert better.
Thrive leads also come with a new feature called Smart Links where it doesn’t show any kind of opt-in forms for people who have already subscribed to your blog making for a great user experience.
Some of the other features of this plugin are
Thrive leads plugin doesn’t come with free version. But what I love with Thrive leads is unlike other plugins irrespective of any plan that you select you would get all the features that are available in Thrive Leads and there are no upsells like other plugins where they charge you more to access additional features.
Instead Thrive leads charges based on the number of websites that you wish to use the plugin
on. Paid plan starts with one time fee of
Alternatively, you can opt for their Membership plan which is a killer as you get access to Thrive Leads, Thrive Architect, a few other plugins, and all of their themes at $19 per month paid annually.
You can see different plan options available in Thrive Leads in the below image
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Whether you just started out or are looking to scale up your blog/website, Thrive Leads should be your goto plugin as it offers the best features, easy of use, regular updates, and above all is great value for money.
Bloom is an email Opt-in plugin built by the impressive elegant themes team which makes iteasy for you to add beautiful email opt-in forms anywhere on your website.
With Bloom plugin you can create up to six different Opt-in forms like Automatic Opt-in PopUp, Automatic Opt-In Fly-Ins, Inline Opt-In Forms, Below Content Opt-In Forms, Widget Area Opt-In Forms, Require Opt-In To Unlock Content .
Coming to Opt-in templates, they have a massive 115 pre-built Opt-in forms with great design and lot of customization options for you to modify every aspect of the form like title, image, animation, fonts, borders, Custom CSS etc.
The only drawback is you don’t get visual builder like Thrive Leads to modify the templates.
They also have 3 different type of Opt-In Form Orientation where you can have the form fields in the Opt-in form displayed at the bottom of the opt-in form or to the left or to the right side of the Opt-in form.
Bloom supports 6 trigger options to help you choose when and where to display the opt-in forms
The only drawback with Bloom compared with other popular plugins is they don’t have exit intent trigger but they have other interesting trigger options like After Commenting trigger & After purchasing trigger which provides you with different options to convert your visitors to email subscribers.
Some of the other features of this plugin are
Bloom doesn’t come with free version and is not sold separately. Bloom is available only with Elegant theme membership which costs you $89 per year or $249 for Lifetime access.
With Elegant theme membership you will get access to all the plugins and themes developed by the team which also includes access to their flagship theme Divi which is an added bonus to you
Since Bloom comes as a package with Themes and other useful plugins, I would highly recommend this plugin if you are starting a new WordPress website as you get everything that you need to build your website and email list without having to rely on other plugins.
Pop up domination plugin supports just one type of opt-in form to collect emails – Popups.
But, the plugin does an impressive job at it.
The team that created Popup domination are so confident about the plugin that they promise you to give 100% refund if you are not fully satisfied with the Plugins performance.
Compared to OptinMonster, Sumo and other Opt-in plugins, Pop up domination focusses more on display your Opt-in forms as Popups and they don’t have different types of Opt-in forms like In-line form, Sticky Ribbon, Screen Filler opt-in form which you usually get with other plugins.
Pop up domination goal is to do one thing and do it better than anyone else.
With Pop up domination, you get professional, cleaner, and high quality pre built Opt-in forms. You can fully customize the look, colors, and design of your Opt-in forms to suit your website needs to perfection.
With Pop Up Domination you get 3 trigger options to help you choose when and where to display the opt-in forms.
Pop Up Domination works with most of the leading Email Providers and works with every website platform as seen in below picture
Another great thing with Popup domination is they host everything on their server so that load time of your website doesn’t get affected because of their plugin.
Pop Up domination comes with tons of features like Geographical Targeting allowing you to show popups to specific countries, Page specific pop ups to display your Opt-in forms to certain pages, Show Pop ups based on the sites your traffic is coming from, and many other cool features as show below
Product Domination’s price structure is different when compared to other plugins. You don’t pay for the features instead you pay for the Pop up views.
Pop up domination starts with $9 per month for 10,000 Pop up views and increases upto to $29 per month for 1,00,000 Pop up views with all the features available to you with every plan that you select.
If you are a beginner and if you want cost-effective plugin with great features then I would recommend you to go with this plugin.
Layered Popups is a WordPress plugin which offers you multilayer animated pop ups which is unlike any other plugin.
One area where Layered Popups beats all other plugins is it has killer design for all its pop up which just blows you away with how beautiful and eye catching those opt-in forms are. It comes with more than 200 professionally designed templates.
Not just with design of the pop ups but you also can create cool animations to display the pop up. For example, you can animate opt-in forms to display by sliding down, sliding up, sliding left, sliding right in your post. You can even animate the elements present inside the pop up
With Layered Popups, you can create 6 different types of Opt-in forms on your website
Layered Popups supports 7 trigger options like OnLoad Popup, OnExit Popup, OnScroll Popup, OnIdle Popup, OnClick Popup, and Adblock detector to help you choose when and where to display the opt-in forms.
Some of the other features of this plugin are:
If you want to collect email address from your audience by offering something different and if you want to stand out from your competition, then this plugin is your best option.
You can purchase this plugin for just $21 per website which provides so much value for your money considering how much flexibility and functionality that it provides you with creating beautiful, eye-catching & animated pop ups.
If your focus is to just collect email address from your visitors then Leadpages provides you with their entire platform which includes landing pages, webinar pages, Sales page, Opt-in forms, Leadforms to help you build your list and make more sales.
Leadpages comes with a WordPress plugin and is also available for websites built through other platforms.
If you are not aware about what landing pages are. They are web pages that allow you to capture a visitor’s information through lead form and are designed with one objective which is to turn your visitors into subscribers.
You can create a landing page to build your email list without having to host it on your own website/blog. You can host in their server which is great if you want a temporary landing page for an event or if you want to validate an idea that is in early stage of business.
What I like about Leadpages is that they have more than 300 high converting landing pages which are specific to each industry and how easy it is to create your landing pages.
For example, if you are into fitness business you can choose landing pages related to fitness category which would in turn increase your conversions.
Leadpages comes with a powerful drag and drop editor to help you design beautiful Opt-in forms and landing pages with no coding knowledge required.
Talking about Opt- in forms, Leadpages also allows you to create Opt-in forms in your website which help turn any link on your website into a link that displays a popover when clicked, boosting your conversions.
You can trigger the opt-in forms on your website through 5 methods
Leadpages also comes with a pretty cool feature called Leadlinks. With Leadlinks you can create a link that automatically subscribes your audience with just a single click which is particularly helpful when you want your email subscribers to register to an event or webinar.
With Leadpages you get the following features to grow your list
Leadpages starts with $37 per month for Basic Plan but price gets reduced to $25 per month paid annually & $17 per month for 2-year period.
Please note with Basic plan you don’t get important features like A/B Split Testing, Leadlinks, Unlimited Leadboxes Popup Forms, and Accepting payments from your landing page.
My recommendation would be to go with $79 per month where you get most of the advanced features available within Leadpages.
I would recommend you to use Leadpages when you are making decent money from your blog/ website, have a product to sell, or you want to validate your idea by pre-selling.
If you are someone who thinks pop up ads are annoying and you don’t want to clutter your website with Opt-in forms, then WP Notification Bar plugin is your best option that lets you add notification bar at the header.
WP Notification bar plugin is a lightweight plugin that allows you to add custom notifications and alerts to your website.
You can display your email opt-in form within the Notification bar as shown below which helps you with conversions whereas your opt-in forms are visible to your audience all the time covering up the content and disturbing the audience’s attention.
You can create different kinds of notification bar like
You can customize the notification bars with unlimited colors allowing you to seamlessly blend with design of your website and all the designs are fully responsive which works great in mobile as well.
WP notification bar comes with advanced targeting option where you can display your opt-in forms for certain pages or post. You also have the option to hide the notification bar for certain pages
Other features of the plugin are
WP notification bar comes with free version but unfortunately you can’t create email opt-in notification bars with the free version.
You can buy the paid version for $29 which gives you access to use the plugin for up to five websites.
I would highly recommend to use this plugin if you are looking for an alternate way to collect your email list without having to annoy your audience with the traditional opt-in forms.
Building an email list doesn’t have to be so hard, especially with the above list of plugins.
These plugins will definitely make it easy for the audience to subscribe to your email list, help you to build your email list faster, and improve your conversions through their advanced features.
Therefore, without much delay, chose a plugin and start building your email list like crazy.
If you know of any other awesome email list WordPress plugins, do let us know in the comments.
Last Updated – 16 April 2018
So, you have started an e-commerce store on WooCommerce and have a great product to sell.
Despite having a great product, you still might be facing difficulty in generating higher sales. That’s because whether your e-commerce store becomes a sales conversion machine or not depends upon many factors such as
and much more.
This is where the most successful online stores that have been built on WooCommerce take advantage by integrating WooCommerce plugins to better manage their online store and in turn increase their sales.
In this article, I am going to share 10 of the best WooCommerce plugins that are available in the market today to help improve your online store’s performance, increase sales, and give full control over it.
The WooCommerce Stripe Payment Gateway plugin helps you to accept payments directly on your store instead of redirecting the user to a third party payments page like in case of PayPal. I love this plugin as it helps to increase the conversion rate of your online store as customers no longer have to be diverted to an external page just to make payments.
With Stripe you can accept all major debit and credit cards from your customer. Besides, the customer can can add a credit/debit card on the checkout page itself which also improves the conversion rate.
Stripe for WooCommerce is available free of cost. For transactions though, the fee is 2.9% per transaction plus + 30¢ per successful transaction as long as you’re doing under $1 million in volume per year. This fee is same as the one PayPal charges.
And your earnings are transferred to your bank account every 7 days.
Once you install and activate the plugin, navigate to WooCommerce >> Settings >> Checkout >> Stripe to configure the plugin.
You just have to enter Publishable Key and Secret Key which will be available to you once you create you Stripe Account. Once you do that your account will be connected to Stripe Account and you can receive the payments from your E-Commerce Store
If you have an e-commerce store chances are that you will be using lot of high quality images for showcasing your products and the problem with using high quality images is that it takes lot of time to load, affecting your SEO.
You don’t want your SEO to get affected, do you ?
Imagify Image Optimizer is the solution to the above problem which helps in speeding up your e-commerce store by
Imagify plugin is available both as free and paid versions. Free version lets you compress up to 25MB of images per month. Paid version starts from $4.99 per month and the price varies based on the total size of the images that you can compress.
If you are going for a paid version I would highly recommend the ‘Lite version’ which lets you compress 1GB of images per month.
Once you install and activate the plugin, go to Settings >> Imagify to navigate to the dashboard as shown below. If you are using this plugin for the first time then, in the setting page of the plugin just select ‘Aggressive’ option and select ‘Imagify Bulk Optimization’ link present at the footer.
You will then be navigated to a different page where list of images that have been optimized are shown to you. Next you can select ‘Imagif’em all’ button, as seen below, to optimize all the images. Depending on the number of images present in your site it might take anywhere between 30 to 90 minutes to optimize all the images.
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WooCommerce Checkout Manager plugin helps you to customize the default checkout page provided by WooCommerce.
Take the case of managing the fields on checkout page – if you want to add an additional field or if you want to remove an existing field like Last Name without touching the code you can easily do so with this plugin .
The WooCommerce Checkout Manager plugin also has other great benefits to offer such as
Once you install and activate this plugin in your WordPress, just select ‘WooCheckout’ menu option to navigate to the dashboard.
There will be four tabs named General, Billing, Shipping and Addition. If you want to make any changes to Billings section in checkout page just select Billing tab. Now all the fields present in the Billing section will be displayed. For example, if I have to remove Company name and Country field just select the last checkbox as show in the above image and click on Save changes.
After making the changes, Company Name and Country text fields are no longer present in the checkout page as seen below.
A fast loading website not only leads to higher sales conversions but also is a must for good SEO. If you want your Woocommerce Store to be fast and at the same time you can’t afford a fancy plugin to speed up your site then, Breeze plugin is your best option.
Not only is the Breeze plugin free but also very easy to set up. And it optimizes your website performance through
Once you install and activate the plugin, to configure the plugin just navigate to Settings >> Breeze
The best part about this plugin is that you need not make any drastic changes to Settings as most of the default options selected do a good job in optimizing your website instantaneously.
Take a look at my screenshot below where I could instantaneously decrease the load time of my website from 4.23 sec to 1.96 sec. I just installed and activated the plugin, I didn’t have to do anything else and the results are there to see.
No one enjoys a lengthy checkout process and it has a direct bearing on your e-commerce sales.
Reducing the time it takes for the user to complete the purchase helps you to increase your sales. WooCommerce Direct Checkout is one such plugin that helps in this regard by enabling the user to navigate to Checkout page directly after adding the product.
This plugin enables you to add a ‘Buy Now’ button in the product page itself and when the user clicks on this buy now button user is immediately directed to Checkout page instead of Cart page.
This plugin is available both as free and paid versions. The difference being the paid version i.e the PRO version helps you to add additional buttons in Product page.
Once you install and activate the plugin in your WordPress site just go to WooCommerce >> Direct Checkout to navigate to the Dashboard.
You can see from the below screenshot that the Dashboard is very simple and straightforward. You can
I changed the Custom “Add to cart” text to “Buy Now” and saved it. You can see from the below screenshot where “Buy Now” button is displayed in the product page and when user clicks on Buy Now button he is taken directly to checkout page
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This is the one of the best plugins to create invoices and packing slips in PDF format for your e-commerce store. This plugin has been installed more than 100,000 times and has got some great reviews.
This plugin helps you to add PDF invoice to the order confirmation email that you send out to customer and also lets the customer to download the PDF invoice by accessing his account in your website. This plugin has other great features such as
Once you install and activate the plugin you can navigate to WooCommerce >> PDF invoices to configure your PDF invoice.
The options are straightforward and you can configure it on your own without much trouble. However, the only thing that I would advise you to do is to navigate to the documents tab where you would find list of options where you can attach your PDF invoices.
Make sure you select appropriate checkbox as shown below
Also, you can see from the below screenshot that after configuring the plugin, I logged into my account and navigated to order page where I could see “Download Invoice” plugin which lets the user to download the invoice.
You can see my download invoice here and basic template provided for the PDF format looks neat and clean
Due to rise of internet and online shopping, consumers around the world are looking for more choices and are not hesitating to shop for things that they might not find within their native countries.
Currency Switcher plugin helps you to take advantage of this phenomena by catering to international customers by facilitating switching of currency and displaying visitor’s local currency based on their IP address.
This way you can attract many online shoppers to your store as allowing them to view your products in their local currency will make them feel at home as they don’t have to calculate the product’s cost in their local currency .
Some of the other benefits of using this plugin are
This plugin comes in free and paid version. The difference being that free version lets you create only 2 currencies and premium version lets you create unlimited currency.
After activating the plugin in your WordPress site just navigate to WooCommerce settings page and select Currency tab to navigate to the dashboard where you can add different type of currencies.
This is another cool plugin to speed up the checkout process. What this plugin does is whenever your customer enters his address in the checkout page, the plugin will make use of Google location(places) to populate potential address.
Upon selecting one of the suggested addresses it will autocomplete the address fields in the checkout page. The main benefits of this plugin are
As you can see from the below screenshot, in the checkout page when I entered address I could see the address suggestion dropdown with probable addresses.
Discounts and Offers are great way to attract customers, bring them into your sales funnel, and make more sales. Pricing Deals for WooCommerce is a powerful plugin through which you can create both dynamic cart pricing discounts and catalog price(wholesale) discounts.
Some of the types of discounts that you can create are
Once you install and activate the plugin in your WordPress site you can select “Pricing Deal Rules” from the left menu to navigate to the dashboard as shown in the below screenshot. I would also advise you to follow this tutorial if you are creating promotion for the first time as it can be difficult to configure at times.
This plugin gives the customer the ability to set the delivery date on the Checkout page. This plugin is very useful for people who are in chocolate, cake, or brewing industries where it is important to deliver the products at the right time.
Some of the other features of this plugin are
Once you install and activate the plugin, you can select “Order Delivery date” option from the left menu to navigate to the dashboard. Here you can configure the delivery dates to when you are open, change appearance of the delivery date field in checkout to a different theme, and disable the delivery date field for virtual product without much difficulty.
You can see the delivery date option displayed in the checkout page after configuring the plugin
The above list of WooCommerce plugins will definitely help to increase the sales as well as the performance of your e-commerce store. There were other good plugins too but they missed the cut because
If you know of any other awesome WooCommerce Plugins do let us know in the comments.
Last Updated - 17 April 2018
I have researched a lot about top Wordpress membership plugins because I wanted to create a private community, online courses and a website with exclusive content for my readers.
Actually, I wanted to monetise my website like Mixergy.com and I was looking for the combination of WordPress + Membership Plugin.
The common issues before finalising a WordPress membership are -
So, here’s what I did - I actually went through 50+ articles on WordPress paid subscription plugins, made an excel sheet and researched every single one of them.
Yep, that’s right. I am going to share the Pros and Cons of each plugin based on my research.
By the way, membership plugins can be used in many different ways.
In fact, one of the most profitable monetization strategies for your blog is to create membership programs.
This is an important consideration while deciding on your plugin. Here’s how you can think through it
Some of the key factors to consider when choosing a membership plugin
List of Features you get with a membership plugin
Although there are many free plugins that can do the job for you as discussed above, there are some premium plugins that are worth the price tag attached to them.
As your business needs change you might want to consider using these premium membership plugins to access more functionalities and gain more control over your content.
This is hands down the most powerful among the paid plugins out there.
You need to have only three pages on your website – login page, account page and thank you page. The makers have made it as easy for you and give you the option to create those pages with a touch of a button.
Apart from integrating with regular gateways like PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, it also gives you the ability to work with offline payments which are managed by site admin.
Also, you get many types of notification like
MemberPress can easily be integrated with popular email marketing providers.
Restrict Content Pro is developed by the master WordPress plugin developer Pippin Williamson. That means you'll get the best documentation and the support for the product.
This is one plugin which is quick to set up and doesn’t come up with the fancy bells and whistles you don’t necessarily need.
It's easy to manage members and create reports.
You can create unlimited membership levels, tiered memberships, upgrades, downgrades, renewals, add a signup fee (if you need) and discount coupons.
A perfect fit for your if your requirements are
In terms of pricing, you have 4 options to choose from
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The primary focus of this plugin is membership management, so you get options like - managing documents, conduct member polls, online surveys, collect donations, fees, customize accounting, allow discounts to premium members.
One click upsells and downsells
Automated customer support
Completely customizable checkout process
Time released drip content
Custom user fields
Scalability with unlimited members and reporting
No integrations for CRMs like Ontraport, ActiveCampaign, etc.
No shipping option in case you’re selling physical products
No file protection
No GPL so you can’t customize the source code
One purchase is for one site use only
In terms of pricing, you have 3 options to choose from
Starter (for 1000 members, $19.95/ month)
Advanced (50000 members, $99/ month)
Premium (100,000 members $299/month)
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WooCommerce allows you to turn your WordPress site into an e-commerce store extremely easily to sell anything from digital to physical products.
WooCommerce is the is the right option for you if you have an e-commerce store selling multiple products.
Ability to create membership plans
Ability to restrict other products
Discounts for selected members only
Show related products
Link to different membership plans
One time signup fee and recurring payments option
Upgrade and Downgrade
Allow members to pause their accounts
Synchronize payments on a certain day
No ability to add members to an email list
You can’t redirect members to a specific page
No option to set a recurring payment
Limited integration for advanced email marketing providers like ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign
If you’re offering a lot of products and you want only your exclusive members to buy, this is a great option.
As far as pricing goes, it comes in 3 options
Single site ($149)
5 sites ($199)
25 sites ($249)
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Wishlist gives you great control like how your membership site will function, how your content is protected, or how access is granted to your customers.
One of its key features is Sequential Upgrade, which allows you to automatically move members to various levels.
In terms of pricing, you have 2 options to choose from
One of the main concerns with a membership site is content protection and Magic Members does a great job in addressing this in a variety of ways.
It's easy to maintain a large content section, while keeping complete privacy for the member’s area.
In terms of pricing, it is available in 3 options
Like I mentioned above, there are almost 40+ membership plugins available. There is no one-size-fits-all when you have plenty of options. I have narrowed it down to the best ones in this article.
Which one should you select will largely matter on what is your criteria.
That means it will depend on what you use your site for.
I will update the article after a few weeks after hearing your thoughts in the comments. Let me know if you need any more clarification about the membership plugins.
Last Updated - 17 April 2018
I never worried about the security of my website in the initial days of my blogging business.
No one hacked my website, neither I had any virus or malware attacks.
But that does not mean that I did the right thing. I escaped from the hackers because of my luck but that's not how online businesses are run.
I was very careless about maintaining my website.
Often a times my website became slow or unresponsive because I hosted my website with a cheap web hosting company (GoDaddy). The issues got resolved after I moved my website to a high performance web host (SiteGround).
A good hosting solves most of the performance issues and the basic security comes by default with SiteGround hosting plans.
Chances are still there that we can get into the trouble if we don’t keep our website safe. After all our business (revenue) comes from our website. Loss of every minute of website uptime means revenue loss.
And we can't afford the data loss at all. Right?
Let’s understand what we need to do to keep our website safe & secure.
There can be security threats on your website from two sources.
If you are not popular then hackers will not target your website.
Hackers target big brands, government websites and people who are earning well from their websites.
However, If your website is hosted on your self-managed servers (dedicated hosting, AWS) then bitcoin miners may hack your machine and use for bitcoin mining.
The moment you launch your website, lots of automated software tools will start attempting to break your security.
You will start receiving continuous login attempts to your website, spam comments, article submissions and various other un-identified things.
You can install security plugins to keep your website secure.
You must go through the manual health check of your website
#1. Strong Password
Not to mention that you must set a strong password for your website. It should contain Alphabets, Numbers and Special Characters. Never ever use English grammar words or easily identifiable works like your own name or website name as your password. If possible, use non-English words with combination of special characters.
Good password examples - Ud7@Par!nd@, Gl0b@lW@rm!ng
Bad passwords examples - PluginHackers@123, password1234
#2. Change default username ‘admin’
By default wordpress installation will give you admin as the username of administrator. All the bots will try to break the password of default ‘admin’ username, better not to user ‘admin’ as username.
You should either change the default admin username at the time of installation or create a new user as administrator and delete the default ‘admin’ user.
#3. Change default login URLs
By default anyone can see the login page at URL yoursite.com/wp-admin
For the safety purpose, you should change the default URL to something else.
There are different plugins to perform different type of security tasks. If you know your requirements then it becomes easy for you to pick the right plugin for securing your wordpress website. Otherwise you can pick the generic plugin that can perform most of the tasks.
Don’t install all the plugins mentioned in this article as installing unnecessary plugins will slow down the performance of your wordpress website.
For the comparison purpose, we will look at the following things apart from the main features of the plugins.
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Sucuri is the most popular and full featured security plugin for wordpress. It prevents the website from brute force attacks, scan the entire file system for malware infection and keeps monitoring for any ongoing malicious activities.
The plugin will ask you to get the API code and registration with their website. It’s just a single click process.
After the registration and API access - the plugin will test the website for any malicious activity.
I fell in love with their interface and clean report.
They provide many other options to secure your website
All in all, the plugin has a beautiful interface and easy to understand settings for a layman.
Look at their hardening options.
You can enable and disable security options with a single click.
However, when I tried to enable the Firewall Protection, I got this message, “SUCURI: The firewall is a premium service that you need purchase at - Sucuri Firewall”
I think that’s justifiable. The sucuri is still giving a lot of options to use as free and high level security options are available in the premium version of the plugin.
Their premium plan starts at $16.66/month and that includes SSL certificate from LetsEncrypt.
I bought the SSL certificate for my website at $80 per year, so my effective price becomes half for the premium version of Sucuri after adjusting the cost of SSL certificate.
The complete website protection package includes
Here is the link to get the premium version of Sucuri ($16.66/month)
You can also get just the Sucuri Firewall Website Application Firewall (WAF) / Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) at $9 per month.
Click here to buy Sucuri Firewall ($9/month)
Update Secret Keys Option
Interestingly, they have option to update all the security keys in case your website is compromised for any reason. The hackers won’t be able to access your website with the old security keys.
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This is one of the most popular security plugin for wordpress websites - with more than 1,000,000 installs till date.
The plugin will check if your site is infected with any malware or suspicious code. You will get peace of mind after installing Wordfence security plugin as it protects your website from brute force attacks and malware infections.
After installing WordFence, you will see the dashboard showing the status of features, monthly stats and number of threats counts.
And they have additional security measures for the premium users.
“As a free Wordfence user, you are currently using the Community version of the Threat Defense Feed. Premium users are protected by an additional 199 firewall rules and malware signatures.”
Wordfence security plugin did not find any threats on my website.
[Sep 07 07:17:52] Preparing a new scan. Done.
[Sep 07 07:17:52] Scanning for old themes, plugins and core files Secure.
[Sep 07 07:17:52] Scan complete. Congratulations, no new problems found. Scan Complete.
The additional benefits of WordFence plugin
They offer pretty good options in the free version but the interface is not user friendly. No doubt the plugin is popular but it’s most appropriate for the developers rather than a regular user like me & you.
Single license key with 1 year validity costs you $99.
Personal Biased Opinion : If I have to choose between Sucuri and Wordfence then I will pick Sucuri.
iThemes security will help you change the default admin user name and block the IP address of known hacker website servers.
You will also be secured from brute force attacks. The plugin will send you notifications whenever there is any unauthorised change in your file system.
iThemes offers a lot of options in their free version.
This is how their dashboard looks.
I went through the security check option and enabled brute force protection.
Security check results are below for my website.
They clearly shows you what options are available in the free version and what would you get in their premium version.
The premium version starts at $80 per year, valid for 2 websites.
You will be secured against most of the bots attack that try to exploit the vulnerabilities of wordpress, free themes and loopholes of hosting servers.
Bulletproof security will protect your website from running malicious scripts, SQL injections and brute force attacks.
I installed it on PluginHackers and the setup wizard gave me following report.
It gives this notification after the running the Setup Wizard.
“BPS Setup Verification & Error Checks
If you see all Green font messages displayed below, the Setup Wizard setup completed successfully.
If you see any Red font or Blue font messages displayed below, click the Read Me help button above and read the "Notes" help section.”
I saw all messages in Green so I assume the website is secure as per BulletProof plugin.
They give a lot of other options and everything is free.
Most of the options are beyond the understanding capacity of a normal user.
I am also not a security expert. Tested the security plugin as a regular user like you.
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The plugin will offer most of the features that are required by a first time user. Your website will be secured from the brute force attacks and malicious codes that try to steal your website information.
You will see this simple dashboard after installing the plugin
The settings are difficult to understand for the novice user however they have provided a lot of options in the free version
Their malware scanner option is paid but the rest of the features are free.
That makes them stand out from other plugins which offers the basic features under their paid plan.
But the negative point is that the plugin will not provide you continuous monitoring & prevention from threats.
Overall, it’s a good choice for people who don’t have any budget to spend on security plugins.
The plugin will automatically check brute force attacks and the strength of your password. You will be able to hide the version of your wordpress from the eyes of hackers.
Free version of Security Ninja plugin will run 48 security tests on your website.
Here is the list
And the results of my website when I run the security tests.
My website failed at 18 security tests.
On clicking details, tips and help button, the plugin shows the solution that can be applied manually.
Some of the solutions may not possible on the shared web hosting but I have not tried to fix all the issues reported by the Security Ninja.
The plugin has 5 other option tabs
But all the options are available in Pro version.
The free version will just show you the issues and a recommended solution. But if you really want to fix the issues automatically and protect your website from future threats then a paid version will solve your problem.
However, it’s worth trying the free version of Security Ninja, just to see how many errors are pointed out by the plugins.
And what can you fix manually.
Acunetix will perform the basic security checks and help you secure your website against brute force attacks. You can change the permissions on files and change the default messages that user see on wrong password attempts.
I read the good reviews when I was researching about the best wordpress security plugins.
But I did not felt like installing the plugin on my website when I saw that the plugin has not been updated for past 2 years.
Yet, Acunetix WP Security offers the basic level of protection for the websites.
The plugin checks for security vulnerabilities and suggests corrective actions
I included the plugin in the list so that you know that Acunetix was referred as one of the best plugin by WordPress experts and it does it’s work (happy users are saying that).
The plugin is totally focused on protecting your website from any virus or malware attacks. It’s useful for people who are running their websites on windows server as most of the viruses attach windows.
You may need protection from malwares, adwares, hidden links, redirection, spywares and other bad code that may be hidden in plugins & themes that we install from any random developers.
This plugin solves a single problem of unauthorised access to your website by any hacker.
The user will be enforced for double authentication after installing this plugin on your wordpress website. The first step would be using correct username/password and the second step would be authentication through a text/voice or mobile app.
VaultPress is a combination of backup and firewall protection for your website. You can get those as a combo or separate package depending on your requirement.
The plugin will scan your files and keep you protected against the threats from malwares.
No matter at which business level are you - A security plugin is must for your wordpress website.
Almost all the plugins provide Protection against brute force attacks (DDos attacks) and basic website health monitoring. All In One Security Plugin will do all the work that is expected from a free plugin.
But if you have an annual budget of $100 to spend on the security of your website - then Go with Sucuri Security (Two options - Securi Firewall $9/month and Complete Protection $16.66/month)
If your requirement is purely Virus & Malware protection then you should pick WP Antivirus Site Protection.
I will update the article after a few weeks after hearing your thoughts in the comments. Let me know if you need any more clarification about the security plugins.