Website Tools & WordPress Plugin Options


Image/PDF Optimization:

Small PDF (compresses PDFs only)
WP WP plugin (optimizes uploaded images to WordPress, offers bulk editing as well!)
Pixlr (online photoshop-type software)
Gimp (free downloadable photoshop-type software) (image optimization for your site, starts at $9/mo)

Article: Bulk Editing Images in WordPress Like a Pro


Google Analytics Dashboard for WP plugin
WPMU Google Analytics+ plugin

Client Tools:

Gutenberg WordPress Shortcodes Plugin FREE

Live Composer Front-end Editor plugin $28 (view video preview)
WP Front-end Editor plugin

WP Editor Widget plugin
BeaverBuilder drag and drop page builder $99
Barley plugin
Velocity Page plugin $97/yr/site (drag and drop page builder – better than Visual Composer!)
Content Views Pro $39/yr (display posts layout, sorting, filters, etc. without coding AND display google ads!) FREE version here.
Conductor $49-$199
All about Visual Composer plugin | Demo
Google Fonts plugin FREE / Disable Google Fonts (for privacy/security concerns as Google will take screenshots of your site if you use their fonts)
WP Updates Notifier
Sketch (mockup tool similar to photoshop, not great for photos)
Trello (project management)
Teamwork (project management)
Doodle (team scheduling made easy)
TrustPilot (open review community app)
TidyRepo (plugin research tool, also offers Help Me Find a Plugin service for $35)
Sucuri (cleans and protects your website from malware) $200-500/yr
Easy Responsive Shortcodes FREE (includes options for accordions, tabs, fontawesome icons, columns, buttons, alert)
SkyStats (pulls in stats from mailchimp, analytics, social media, adwords, etc to dashboard)
Periscope (live streaming of events, erased 24 hrs later) Article on how to
Facebook for NonProfits

Article: Hosting Videos

Accessibility & Audio Plugins:

Amazon Polly (converts text into speech, WP Engine helped to develop)
Voice WP (add Alexa skills to your website, WP Engine helped to develop)
Spoken Word (add text-to-speech TTS to content)
Accessibility Checker Pro $150/yr (WP Plugin to check all pages of website)

Job Managers:

WP Job Manager plugin FREE
CATS JobSite (for CATS Applicant Tracking System)
WPMU Jobs & Experts plugin $19/mo (really good vendor and support)
WP Job Board $97
JobRoller $99

Article: 10 Job Board Plugins

Responsive Slider/Galleries/Lightboxes:

MetaSlider plugin FREE (works with Event Calendar)
LayerSlider $27 (very robust with popup options too)
Envira Gallery plugin
Soliloquy Slider plugin $19
FlexSlider by WooThemes FREE (for non-WordPress sites)
WooSlider $49 (FlexSlider for WordPress)
Revolution Slider plugin $19 (very robust)
Swipebox (lightbox)
FancyBox (lightbox but not completely responsive – nav doesn’t work reliably on mobile)
Easy Fancybox (WP Plugin)
NextGen (gallery that resizes images automatically)
UberGrid $18
UnSlider FREE (jquery slider, simple, not WP)


  • SavvyCal $12/mo – can overlay your calendar with a client’s calendar (recommended by Chris Lema)
  • WooCommerce + Bookly Advanced Google Calendar $49 (two-way sync) + Bookly Pro $89 — See blog post that covers also the following 3 plugins:
  • Appointy FREE or $20-50/mo, 14-day free trial (Google Partner), 2.8-4.6 rating
    Helps with Appointments/Resources, Classes/workshops/Events, Tours/Rides/Activities. Offers social promotion as well.
  • Accuity Scheduling FREE or $15-25/mo, 7-day free trial, 4.8 rating
    Really smooth layout with gift certificates, subscriptions, packages, memberships, group classes, email reminders, rescheduling/cancellations, and video appointment integration with Zoom, Google Hangouts Meet,, and GoToMeeting.
  • YouCanBookMe $10/mo, 14-day free trial, 4.5 rating
    Reminder and follow-up emails/SMS, accept/reject appt, time zone detection, personalized booking page, include information entered by customers at time of booking, video appointment integration.
  • FREE or $8-12/mo, 14-day free trial, 4.7 rating
    Scheduling for large teams, reminder and follow-up emails/SMS, daily limits, time zone detection, video appointment integration.
  • Amelia $59-249/yr, 4.6 rating, 15-day money back guarantee or free limited version available on, see demos here »
    WooCommerce integration, 3 different views: step-by-step booking wizard, search interface, catalog view of services. Individual/group appointments, multiple services or business locations, discount coupons for bookings, video integration, reminder and follow-up emails/SMS.
  • Homey $59, 4.7 rating
    Booking, Accommodation, and Rentals Theme for Residential/Commercial.

Event Calendar

StacheThemes Event Calendar $27 (includes user post submissions)
The Events Calendar plugin FREE ($69 for Pro version with support) *** has many great add-ons
SimpleTix (like EventBrite but half the cost)
Event Espresso $100
Timely’s All-in-One Event Calendar plugin FREE (pulls in calendar feeds from anywhere, posterboard format but low ratings)
EventON $28 with many add-ons that add up quickly but very stylish look and good ratings!!

Contact/popup forms:

Gravity Forms plugin $39 (uses honeypots to prevent spam)
Ninja Forms
Ninja Popups for WordPress
PopupAlly $97 + $27/yr for ongoing support license
PopupMaker FREE but $ for add-ons (mailchimp $25, exit intent $35)
Formidable Forms (job, real estate, or directory listings, ratings, to do lists, etc.)
* Popup Pro by WPMU $19/mo
* Slide In by WPMU $19/mo
GravityView $59 (display form results from gravity forms – used for jobs, events, directories, PDF extended add-on, etc.)
NaomiCBush (form expert, spoke at WordCamp ATL)
Popup Maker (has Mailchimp integration)
Supsystic Popup Plugin $29
Pulldown Customization Options (custom dropdown list styling)
15+ jQuery Radio button and Checkbox Style Plugins

Article: Popup Plugins
Article: Contact form plugin comparison grid


iThemes Security (hides common WordPress security vulnerabilities)
WordFence (searches WordPress files for hackings, but so does WP Engine hosting)
Akismet or Growmap Anti Spambot plugin (prevents comment form spam only)
No Captcha ReCaptcha plugin (for comments, registration, or forms but does not work with Jetpack comments or BuddyPress reg)
12 Tips & Tools to Combat Comment SPAM article

WordPress Support for Clients:

Maintainn $39/mo
WP Site Care $29/mo
WP Curve $69/mo
Codeable (customize plugins, etc)
WP101 WordPress Tutorial plugin $24/mo

Live Chat/Support:

Live Chat plugin $36
Olark $15/mo
WPMU Support System $19/mo (blog article & video)
WPMU Chat Free or Premium $19/mo for BuddyPress too

Website Testing Tools:

Cybercrab Screencheck (device-only screenshot testing for different size)
Crazy Egg
(Heatmaps and Visitor Insights)
Peek (free usability testing)
UserTesting $49
Theme Review $90-385
WP Engine Speed Test
Is my website down for everyone or just me?
KISSmetrics (helps with a deeper understanding of where your customers come from and who your repeat customers are, popular for ecommerce sites) (user browser details check)

Social Media & Marketing:

(read article on affiliate linking rewrites with this plugin)
Tipsy Social Icons
Pay with a Like

Pinterest “Pin-it” Button
ORBTR (Sales & Marketing Automation Software) (Integrations plugin) FREE-$29/mo
WordPress Social Sharing Optimization plugin FREE and Pro
Marketify $60 (Marketplace WordPress Theme)
Optin plugins | More Optin plugins
SumoMe (Popup List Builder, Smart Bar, Scroll Box and many more for regular websites – not sure about WP)
WPMU Slide In $19/mo
Floating Social Bar
Shared Counts – Social sharing buttons that look great and keep your site loading fast.

Article: 3 Powerful Options for Listing Popular Posts in your Sidebar
Article: The Ultimate Social Media Plugin Guide
Article: A Comprehensive Guide to Styling and Moderating Comments
Article: How to Display Author Information in Organic Search Results
Article: Understanding the Search Results Page


Creating Bulletproof buttons for emails

Other Cool Stuff:

Admin Columns (column customizer for posts, pages, media, comments)
Random Text plugin
Aesop Story Engine plugin
8 WordPress Themes And Plugins For Creating A Review Site
Postmatic (subscribe to comments or new posts by email)
Font Awesome 4 Menus plugin (Icon Cheat Sheet)
CampusPress WordPress for Education
PushUp (WordPress push notification plugin)
Simple ToolTips
WP DrawAttention $74/site (interactive images & hotspot plugin)
Mobile.nav plugin
Cool Live Graph Visualizations (Visualization examples) (send automated custom segmented emails)
Google Maps plugin $19 (but can embed google maps without plugin)
Maps Builder Pro (google maps plugin similar to mapbox) $50
Top 7 Most Stylish YouTube WordPress Gallery Plugins
Testimonials by Aihrus (widget)
User Meta Pro (for managing WP users) $29
IgnitionDeck Crowdfunding Plugin FREE (Fundify theme $99)
CoursePress for offering courses online FREE or Pro $19 (read article: Add Courses To Your WordPress Site In Just 10 Minutes, For Free!)
What WordPress Theme is That?
YTPlayer for Background Videos plugin
WP Sniffer for Chrome (find out what theme a WP site is using)
Simple 301 Redirects
AppPresser $200-500 (create a mobile app from wordpress site in minutes and publish to app stores)
Bizness Apps $49/mo
SimpleIntranet $95-295
WP Project Manager
Our Team Showcase Pro $15
UberMenu $18
Max Mega Menu $29
LifterLMS $149 (WP online course plugin)
Tabby Responsive Tabs FREE
Responsive Column Widgets FREE (allows you to place widgets in your page content area)
Responsive Menu FREE
Parallax Scroll FREE
Draw Attention Pro – creates interactive images in WordPress (rollover image maps)

Article: Online Courses Plugin Review
Article: Best Directory Plugins
Article: eLearning on WordPress is getting better everyday
Article: 10 Impressive Admin Themes for 2014
Article: Building an Online Course with WooCommerce
Article: Why not to build a CRM within WordPress

Membership Plugins:

Ultimate Member
WooCommerce Memberships $149 + WooCommerce Subscriptions $199 (If need events, watch video on how to integrate Events into this plugin)
Membership Pro $30 (really nice interface)
MembershipWorks Free-$99 (membership software for associations/groups with directory listing and events)
Cart66 $25/mo
iThemes Exchange + Membership Add-on $97/yr + Recurring Payments Add-on FREE with membership add-on purchase + Stripe Add-on FREE
Memberful $0-99/mo + fees
Memberwing $90-200
MemberMouse $20-60/mo
*MemberPress $100-200/yr
ClickFunnels $37-97 Funnels for membership, webinars, sales, lead capture
WishList Member (recommended by Chris Lema) $147/yr
Paid Memberships Pro $0-700
Restrict Content Pro $42/site
UserPro (User front-end login, profiles, community, & registration with social login) $28
User Meta Pro Free or $29
Rainmaker Hosting (for podcasting or membership content protection websites)
LifterLMS (only software to-date with private content for each user)
LearnDash – best course development software
For online course development use X Theme + Memberium (online course plugin) + InfusionSoft (lead generation)
Members (the most powerful user, role, and capability management plugin for WordPress)

For other options outside WordPress: Read Chris Lema’s blog category on membership
Article: The Best WordPress Membership Plugin in 2014
Video: Choosing the Right WordPress Membership Plugin


Fifth Avenue Theme by FuelThemes $79 (gutenberg-friendly and stylish sidebar product filter)
Easy Digital Downloads
WooCommerce + Stripe & Apple Pay plugin FREE, 20 Awesome WooCommerce Plugins
WooCommerce MailChimp FREE / Follow Up Emails $99-299
WooCommerce Storefront Framework to use with Child Storefront Themes + Theme Customisations
WooCommerce Themes from Ocean WP
WPMU MarketPlace eCommerce $19/mo (digital downloads and more)
WPdeposit $21 (allows you to sell credits that customers can then use to make purchases)
Ewcid (sell your products on Facebook as well as your site)
GraphFlow – connect customers with relevant products 60-day free trial
Shopify $29-179/mo
Elto (small ecommerce tweaks) $39/tweak (affiliate program0
ReactMail (customer data collection for ecommerce stores)
TaxJar (sales tax reporting) $10-50/mo (referral program)
WP Product Review
Gift Up (for gift certificates) – see Chris Lema’s post

WooCommerce Plugins:

Mix ‘n Match Product $79
Email Customizer $79
PDF Watermark $79

WooCommerce Tips by Chris Lema

Payment Gateways:

Stripe 2.9% + 30¢/transaction
PayPal 2.2%-2.9% + 30¢/transaction, no monthly fees
PayPal Pro 2.2%-2.9% + 30¢/transaction + $30/mo 1.5% + 10¢/transaction + $20/mo + $99 setup + 25¢ batch fee
Explanation of How Credit Card Processing Works

For Designers/Developers:

Admin Menu Editor plugin
Advanced Custom Fields FREE (custom fields & custom post types management)
Types FREE (custom fields & custom post types management)
WooSidebars FREE (sidebar management – shows different widgets based on content)
SlickPlan (sitemap development/flowchart)
Kuler (color wheel – also has plugin for Photoshop)
Palleton (color wheel)
JSON API User (RESTful user registration/authentication, pushes content to an app)
Awwwards (best websites!)
Widgets on Pages
WP Dashboard Notes (compare two files software)
WPFront Notification Bar (hello/notifications bar)
Collapse-o-matic (hide/show plugin)
Article: WP Weather Plugins
Article: How to test/simulate websites on tablet/mobile you don’t own
Article: Create several optimized images for different devices to keep filesize low
Article: Shortcode free plugins
Article: Powerful Must-Have Tools for Every WordPress Developer (look at Code & Frameworks and Boiler Plates sections)
Article: How To Keep Your WordPress Clients Out Of Trouble (Webmaster User Role & Stream plugins)
Article: 22 Brilliant Videos For Mastering WordPress You Don’t Want to Miss
Article: Theme Framework Pros & Cons
Article: Make Your WordPress Site Accessible with these Themes/Plugins
Article: A Quick (and in-Depth) Guide to WordPress Hooks
Article: Understanding WordPress Hooks: Knowing What to Use Where
Article: A Quick Guide to Creating Custom Taxonomies in WordPress
Article: An In-Depth Guide to Conquering WP_Query
Article: Chrome Extensions for Developers
Article: Image Optimization Guide for Developers
Article: Setup a staging site on Cloner

Coming Soon/Maintenance Plugins

Construction Mode V2 Pro $15
Ultimate Coming Soon Page
Ultimate Maintenance Plugin

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