Everything in the world comes with a price. It’s nature’s way of balancing the scales. So don’t be surprised when the premium WordPress plugins can cost you a lot. You need to spend something in order to acquire something that you really need. In our modern world, money is most often that ‘something’ I was referring to.
It is, of course, good to find free WordPress plugins that you could use with your blog or the website that you are currently developing. However, free plugins have drawbacks.
- They work for a particular time frame only
- Some work at a very minimal amount
- The full features won’t be utilized unless you buy the plugin
Of course, our WordPress developer buddies work hard to brainstorm, design, and code, troubleshoot and re-code these plugins. They exert their utmost effort to help you with your daily WP needs. This is the main reason why some plugins can never be free, even if we wanted them to be.
Table of Contents:
Premium WordPress Plugins
1stwedesigner.com presents these plugins that were deemed to be the most practical, cost-effective and advantageous. Let’s try them!
UberMenu has uber-exciting features. It is a user-friendly and fully customizable responsive mega-menu WordPress plugin. It is very easy to use. It includes over 20 style presets, ranging from horizontal to vertical menus and supports both slide and fade effects for sub-menus (you can also deactivate this if you want).
Uber Menu comes with the following features:
- Fully responsive
- iPhone & iPad compatible
- Full-width sub-menu option with ability to define the number of columns
- It has various click, hover, or hover intent triggers, which can improve the overall design of the page
Gravity Forms (Personal: $39, Business: $99, Developer $199)
Gravity Forms is one of, if not, the best contact form plugins for WordPress. It enables you to quickly build and design your WordPress forms using a form editor. You can choose from fields to configure your options and embed these forms in your WordPress-powered site.
It comes with the following features:
- Multi-page forms
- Form settings
- Limit entries
- Advanced fields
- Schedule forms
- Standard fields
- Pricing fields
- Post Fields
Intense WordPress Plugin ($18)
Intense is a WordPress plugin that provides you with a very big library of short codes, custom post types and more. Being built through Twitter bootstrap, this plugin will surely provide you with the most essential codes you need in the easiest-to-use interface. This plugin is so intense that you wouldn’t look for anything anymore.
It comes with the following features:
- Short code dialogs
- Easily adds 59 different animation effects such as animate an item on mouse hover, on mouse click, or when scrolled into view.
- Parallax content sections and images
- Many image hover effect options with Adipoli and Effeckts
- Filter Blog, Portfolio and FAQ with transition effects using MixItUp
Logos Showcase ($13)
Do you want to display a set of images as a grid or in a carousel slider? Well, this plugin is perfectly fit for you! Perfect to display the list of clients, supporters, partners or sponsor logos in your website, create a grid of images with external or internal links, and to show off your best photos.
It comes with the following features:
- Easy to use pre-built styles and tooltips to enhance your logos
- Filter by categories
- Widget ready
- Custom feature name
- Bulk uploading
Q&A plugins come in handy, especially when you want to attract discussions. SabaiDiscuss is a very potent candidate for the best discussion plugin there is. Re-imagine the services of Stack Overflow or Yahoo Answers with this plugin! Sabai is an ideal tool for websites that aim to attract more discussion and hits.
It comes with the following features:
- Post and edit comments inline
- Tag questions with auto-suggest
- File attachments to questions and answers
- Code syntax highlighting using Google Prettify
- 10 email notification templates
- Integration with the Cubepoints plugin
Social Locker ($21)
Social Locker helps your content to be seen by more people. Its main feature allows you to lock a certain part of your content until the user clicks the social buttons. It is a great way to get traffic and customers!
It comes with the following features:
- Any URL to like/share/tweet/+1.
- Analytic tools
- Facebook Like
- Facebook Share
- Twitter Tweet
- Google +1
- LinkedIn Share
Are you taking a lot of time building your website? Or just updating? Anticipate will help you build the excitement. It is a very good maintenance mode plugin that allows you to post an alternate “coming soon” page while you build your website. Once you activate the plugin, your visitors will be redirected to the Anticipate landing page.
It comes with the following features:
- Complete localization
- Progress bar
- Email collection
- Social networking
This plugin allows your website to load faster without sacrificing the quality of images. It provides the user with a better browsing experience by delaying the loading of images. Images which are outside the visible portion of the page that the user is viewing won’t load before the user scrolls down to them.
Look out for the following features:
- Search engine friendly plugin
- Ready to use, no action is needed for existing or future images on posts/pages
- Improving images selection performance by customizing default selectors for several site sections
- Cascading enabling/disabling levels :
- Level 1 : Enable or disable for the whole website
- Level 2 : Enable or disable for all posts and pages
- Level 3 : Enable or disable for all images within a specific post or page
- Level 4 : Enable or disable for a specific post’s or page’s image
- Customizing the loading of images
- Possibility to also hack theme images that are not part posts/pages to be lazy loaded
These are just few of the best WordPress plugins that will make you say, “It’s worth every penny”. They are not just premium plugins; they actually make your website better and they actually work. They will make your website more comfortable to use and makes your overall workload easier. So, what are you waiting for? You can now swipe those cards because these plugins rock!
All these plugins are awesome, but we have something more to share. How would you like to manage all your WP sites form one place? Ready to find out? Just keep scrolling.
Manage All Your WordPress Sites From One Place: Meet ManageWP
For a kickoff we’ve prepared a review of a really neat and useful service some of you guys will be keen on. Those of you who manage more than one WordPress blog will be more or less familiar with the management problems multiple blogs can create. Installing new plugins, updating platforms, keeping an eye on the posts – it’s getting pretty inconvenient if you’ve got couple of active blogs.
Yes, some of you might have already figured out what kind of service we’re writing about here. ManageWP is a service that allows you to manage all your WordPress websites from one single dashboard. What does it mean?
Lets quickly run over the main features:
- Firstly, that means that you no longer have to remember all logins and passwords for your sites or keep them in long spreadsheets. With ManageWP dashboard you can access all your websites with one click.
- Performing an upgrade of WordPress, plugins and themes across all of your sites is easy as clicking one ‘Upgrade all’ button. You can also install plugins and themes to multiple sites at once, from a variety of sources (your favorites list, WordPress.org, your computer or any URL).
- You can backup all your sites from ManageWP dashboard at any time or restore a previous backup. ManageWP can backup both your entire website or just the database. You can also set automatic scheduled backups.
- ManageWP allows you to set up a new, fully loaded, WordPress site in minutes. Or use ManageWP’s clone tool to clone any of your existing sites from one domain, subdomain or folder to another.
- With all sites under one roof, doing bulk operations becomes easy. Whether you want to post an article to multiple sites, manage your blogroll links or add users, ManageWP allows you to do it effortlessly across any number of sites at once.
How does it work? Do you have to provide them with all your passwords? The answer is no. Access to your site is governed by the ManageWP Worker plugin that you install directly onto your blog. That means that the only password ManageWP stores is the one needed for their central dashboard. So lets get started and take a deeper look into this service.
Once you’ve installed the plugin and linked your website with ManageWP you can access all the features it offers. The dashboard is clean and easy to use. Plus it looks just like your casual WordPress dashboard so you don’t have to worry about adapting to a new and unfamiliar platform.
In the main view you can see which plugins or themes have an update available, below there are post revisions aka post autosaves and spam comments. You can also view the recent comments and posts. In the top right there is a pageview statistics graph and scheduled backups below it.
Manage Plugins & Themes
ManageWP dashboard allows you to instantly and simultaneously install themes or plugins for all of your websites. You can also opt to Activate plugins after upload. Looking through all the plugins is also made easy. In my opinion, the only drawback is the plugin horizontal layout so you have to scroll the window quite far if you’ve got a lot of plugins installed.
With ManageWP, you can set up scheduled backups to Amazon S3, Dropbox, your own server, any external FTP or an email address for all of your blogs with just a few clicks. You can choose between daily, weekly or monthly backups. Note – this feature is only available for the professional and business pricing plan.
This feature comes in handy if you need to setup a new network of identically modified websites. The theme and all plugins are installed automatically so you don’t have to spend time setting up every blog manually.
ManageWP allows you to bulk add/export websites, create new pages, posts and links for all of your websites.
It’s pretty clear with the pages and posts – although I don’t see a good reason why one would like to publish the same post on several blogs, the function does it’s job. Again you’re given the default WordPress text editor so there’s nothing unfamiliar to master.
The Bulk add users feature is bloody useful if you’re willing to add a writer for a set of blogs. You can find this feature under the Users section.
Note – all the bulk features are only available for professional and business pricing plan.
ManageWP also offers self-hosted version which allows you to run the service on your own dashboard. Self hosted allows you to have an unlimited number of blogs, host everything on your server and add your own features. It’s created for companies and organizations managing hundreds or even thousands of websites and is currently available only as Enterprise license.
ManageWP will be offering three pricing plans where the price then depends on the number of websites you’ll manage (you can choose from a range between 10 and 500). The pre-order is launching on December 6th. All users that sign up now will receive a 30% life-time discount on any hosted service plan that they pre-order for as long as they maintain their service.
- 30 day free trial so you can test the service before paying for it.
- Free plan which allows you to use the Standard features for up to three (five, if you refer some friends) websites.
- Annual plans, and you will get two months free when you sign up for these.
Below you can see the pricing plans for 10, 100 and 500 websites.
- Standard: $7/month
- Professional: $21/month
- Business: $42/month
- Standard: $40/month
- Professional: $120/month
- Business: $240/month
- Standard: $70/month
- Professional: $210/month
- Business: $420/month
Since this series focuses on the startups we wanted to ask a couple of questions to the founder of ManageWP Vladimir Prelovac.Vladimir Prelovac is the the CEO of Prelovac Media, an internet company located in Belgrade, Serbia. Besides ManageWP he’s also written a book on WordPress plugin development and created other stunning services and plugins.
1. There aren’t many alternatives who can compete with ManageWP. How did you come up with the idea of ManageWP?
As with most good ideas, it was a stroke of luck and a hint of opportunity. A friend of mine was rambling about how he had trouble managing his blogs, and I suddenly realized there is nothing like that available for WordPress, which is, after all, the world’s biggest internet publishing platform. The world needed something like ManageWP, so I decided it was time to make it.
2. As far as I understand ManageWP began in 2010. Why did it take so long to finish beta testing and establish a fully functional service?
ManageWP is an extremely complex piece of software. What makes it unique is that we really tried to make it run smoothly on literally thousands of different server configurations that WordPress would run on. That was our biggest challenge. Scalability was also an important focus for us — some of our users are managing thousands of blogs. But knowing that ManageWP can load data from 1800 websites in less than two minutes… it makes it all worth it.
There is also a list of spectacular features that we are pushing to integrate into ManageWP. Some startups, for example, are satisfied with only offering backup solutions for WordPress. But that functionality is only a tiny piece of the overall picture. Backup features are critical — and something we pride ourselves in offering — but it is only one piece of the 23 major features currently offered by ManageWP, with many more on the way. And with all the great ideas coming in from our beta users, we know that the value we can provide will continue to grow.
Another thing is that we had to ensure that ManageWP would work with services that WordPress users already deeply value. That’s why ManageWP now integrates with Google Analytics and AdSense. And that’s why we already have plans in place to integrate with SEO and uptime monitoring tools in the near future.
And then there is the fact that WordPress is constantly evolving. Adjusting to all the changes is a challenge unless you are willing to work hard to adjust to those changes. Thankfully, our team put in the effort to adapt. So that’s why it all took almost a year and a half to arrive at this point. (And the ride is not over yet!)
Ultimately, our goal is to create a dashboard so useful, so powerful that people will no longer need to log into their WordPress websites or other services. They will be able to log into ManageWP, and everything that the user needs to effectively manage their WordPress sites will be all right there at the user’s fingertips.
Above you can see a screenshot from Wayback Machine with the ManageWP website in 2010.
3. You’ve established a flexible and nice scheme where instead of following a strict milestone schedule the users themselves suggest the ideas you then consider. How did you come up with this method and has it brought the desired results?
Yes! I believe this is one of our strengths at ManageWP. Many of our features were suggested by our users, and that makes it a much more personalized experience for them and for us. After all, nobody could ever have a perfect vision of a product (except maybe Steve Jobs), so it was very important that we listened to our users early on in the development process. We already have around six or seven different ways for users to send us feedback, and I read all of it. The best ideas are sent off to the team for development.
Above you can see a screenshot from ManageWP Google group where users can suggest ideas which then are sent for consideration.
4. Since our series is about successful and fresh startups could you comment on ManageWP from this perspective? How has it grown as a project?
There are different ways to measure the success of a startup. At ManageWP, and from the feedback we have received, it would seem that we created a truly useful service that solves a problem that many people share. Some of our users were excited to learn when we intended to charge for ManageWP, but for the past 12 months, all we wanted to do was focus on creating a genuinely useful product.
And I think that is the most important thing — in order to keep the team passionate and the users interested, you need to have a great product.
5. Your blog says that the number of websites managed by ManageWP has hit 50 000. How do you feel about these results and what are predictions for the future?
Well, looking at numbers like these is always exciting. We hit 50,000 websites near the end of September, but we now manage over 80,000 WordPress blogs. So, when you put it into that perspective, you get really excited as you can see that your product is making a small but measurable change in how the internet works.
Somebody once said that the best way to predict the future is to invent it.
By having a clear vision of where we want to go and by keeping our customers happy, inventing the future is exactly what we are doing. It also helps when we are working with a strong and thriving publishing platform in WordPress. So, all things considered, I am very positive about our future.
Above you can see a screenshot with the exciting announcement.
6. Could you share some of your tips/business principles for others out there willing to make a successful startup?
There are couple of principles that I believe will make any startup’s journey easier:
First is that you need to have a cool product, one that you strongly believe in and you will want to use on your own. This also makes it so much easier to justify putting most, if not all, of your own time, money, and heart into it. You have to realize that there will be many hurdles along the way, as with all things in life, so you better have an idea of what you are doing and why you are doing it.
Second is to launch the beta as soon as possible. This allows you to start listening to your users and getting feedback. They will give great ideas on how to improve your product… for free!
Third is to not create a startup that relies on external funding to succeed. We are completely bootstrapped, which most likely forced us to create a significantly better product than we might have if we were basking in investment money. It motivates you to perform.
Fourth is the speed — making efforts to optimize your application and interface like crazy. Users have never been as impatient as they are today. Also, intuitiveness: the less the users needs to think, the better. You really need to watch other people use your product. You will be surprised by what you will discover.
Do the above things, and people will be drawn to your efforts and will help you to succeed.
7. Additional information
We are launching the pre-order on December the 6th. All users that sign up now will receive a 30% life-time discount on any hosted service plan that they pre-order for as long as they maintain their service, so come check us out! Finally, ManageWP is set to launch in early January.
ManageWP indeed is an amazing and one of the most useful services for WordPress. It’s also a great example of a fresh startup success story. You should definitely check out the free trial if you are running multiple WordPress websites. We’d be glad to hear your feedback and personal experiences. Stay tuned and wait for the next hot startup story.
Little explanation, what we’re doing here
This is something new we are trying out here at 1WD. We are searching for new startups, services we really enjoy and want to share with our readership! The idea is to give better visibility to some outstanding startups and give you a good understanding of what they do and why we think they deserve your attention. Also – we don’t earn anything from these reviews, we just find what we love and review it honestly in detail. When we can, we will always interview the people behind the startup, so you can learn from them, and they can share their passion and story.
I think this new idea and a little shift in focus here at 1WD will be really beneficial for You and feel free to critique what you didn’t enjoy in this article, what you want us to review next and tell us what we did right and if you want more articles like this!
We are very open and if you know about a cool service we could review – just write us in our contact form!