In the following post you are going to discover my personal list of the most powerful premium WordPress plugins. These premium plugins will do truly amazing things with your blog; from making your site more visible in search to building huge mailing lists.
It’s no secret that there are plenty of free WordPress plugins available and that there are some great ones that developers have put an incredible amount of time into but the fact remains that there are certain things that you miss out on when you use a free WordPress plugin and that can cause you problems in the future.
When you buy a premium WordPress plugin there are 3 HUGE benefits to you –
1) Extended functionality – premium WordPress plugins usually do a lot more than the freely available plugins.
2) Updates – free WordPress plugin developers have no obligation to update their plugins and you can’t expect them to either, with premium WordPress plugins updates are a big advantage especially when there are updates to the WordPress core.
3) Support – what happens when you use a free plugin and something goes wrong? You can spend hours sifting through forum posts to find a fix or end up paying a developer a stupid amount of money to fix something that could take them 5 minutes to resolve. With premium plugins you won’t have that problem.
There’s something for everyone in this list, from WordPress SEO plugins, list building plugins and ad management plugins to plugins that will help build user engagement.
Premium WordPress Plugins
1. SEO Pressor Version 5
If you want a premium WordPress plugin that will give you an added boost in rankings then this is the plugin for you.
SEO Pressor will give you a score on how well optimised your content is and will even warn you of any potential over optimisation issues.
What I love most about this plugin is just how easy it makes adding rich snippets (rich snippets are pieces of code that will change how Google displays particular posts or pages on your site.
The plugin also dynamically generates Facebook OpenGraph tags, Twitter cards and Dublin Core information for your pages.
There’s quite a few more features, so I suggest you check out this plugin to get the full low down and find out exactly how you can benefit.
2. Hybrid Connect
The biggest problem that I have with most optin form or mailing list plugins whether they are free or premium WordPress plugins is the fact that they are just too difficult to customise and get to look how you want them to look.
I’m not a developer and I don’t have the time to become a CSS wiz to get a decent looking optin form.
Then Hybrid Connect came a long and changed it all.
Hybrid Connect has an extremely easy to use visual editor that makes creating optin forms, whether they’re in-content forms, pop overs or sidebar widgets super easy.
You also get a great split testing feature, 30+ stylish templates, Facebook connect integration and a bunch more features.
This is my favourite plugin for adding opt in forms to my websites and was a great investment.
Update 12th October 2013 – It’s almost 7 months since I published this post and Hybrid Connect is still going strong, more to the point it’s the same situation for a huge number of bloggers and website owners too. Hybrid Connect is fast becoming the most popular mailing list plugin available for WordPress and for good reason – this isn’t just hype. It works. The majority of other bloggers have jumped on this – will you?
3. WP Sharely
Another incredible premium WordPress plugin from the creator of Hybrid Connect – so what does it do?
WP Sharely is a premium social content locker plugin that allows you to hide content behind a social gate. You can choose whether you want users to share on Twitter, Google Plus or Facebook in order to view your premium content.
There are some other great features here including RSS and Mobile content options along with timer intervals.
You can also add a close icon for those who really don’t want to share your content.
4. Comment Luv
This is one of my favourite investments when it comes to premium WordPress plugins – I put off buying it for a while but I’m so glad I bought it in the end because it’s a great tool for building user engagement.
Comment Luv is essentially 5 plugins in one –
- Comment Luv – automatically adds the last blog post of readers who comment on your blog providing they include their URL and there’s an RSS feed on the site. (there are some other cool features too).
- Twitter Link – allows readers that comment to add their Twitter profile URL when they leave a comment.
- GASP – A great plugin for stopping comment and trackback spam, only manual spam will get past this.
- Keyword Name – this is very similar to the KeywordLuv plugin which allowed you to let your commenters use their own keywords while leaving the name.
- ReplyMe – this is extremely powerful, this function when enabled will allow emails to be sent out to first commenters and additional emails will be sent out to commenters when you leave a reply and invite them to continue the discussion.
I wish I’d bought this sooner!
5. Optin Skin
This is another incredible plugin for adding optin forms to your site, it’s a great alternative to Hybrid Connect, but I’m still personally very fond of how easy it is to adapt and create new forms in Hybrid Connect without having to have any coding experience – although Optin Skin does come with plenty of templates to get you started.
You still get powerful split testing capabilities and some great looking stock opt in form templates to get yourself started.
6. OIO Publisher
I’ve been a user of the OIO Publisher for a good while now and I haven’t found a better plugin to replace it yet.
OIO Publisher is a premium ad management plugin that gives you complete control over the advertisements on your site.
You can automate the process of selling advertisements and place default ads in from 3rd party networks or banner ads from affiliate programs until you start selling some ad space.
There are some great features for presenting your advertisements as you get customisable widgets so you can get started without any coding experience and there’s even PHP and Java output code that you can use to hardcode ad zones directly into your theme.
If your theme has ad zones setup already you can usually add one of the codes directly to get the pre-existing ad zones to pull in ads from OIO Publisher.
What makes this plugin even better is that it comes in a standalone version so you can use it on all of your none WordPress based websites too.
I could go on for a long time about this plugin but you should really see the magic for yourself.
7. Gravity Forms
I’ve been searching for a better form building plugin for WordPress but I haven’t found one yet and for some reason I don’t think I will because Gravity Forms keeps getting better and better.
Forms are quick to build and they don’t just have to be for contact forms, they can be as complex as you want them to be right up to the extent where you can create order forms.
There are a lot of add-ons available that don’t come with the personal license so to get the most out of Gravity Forms you need to go for the developer license, but with that you get integration with AWeber, Campaign Monitor, Mail Chimp, Authorise.Net, PayPal and some other very useful services.
8. Backup Buddy
What would you do if you lost it all right now? What if all of your content, hard work and effort was just washed away?
Words can’t describe the feeling that you would get under those circumstances, so why leave it to chance?
There are some free plugins that back up your database and a plugin that backs your entire installation up to WordPress – I thought that was great until I had a huge issue on one of my sites and discovered that it actually hadn’t backed up anything despite scheduling weekly back ups.
Backup Buddy is an ESSENTIAL investment to ensure the safety of your blog and its content; you can choose to send it via FTP, Email, Amazon Web Services, Dropbox and to the Rackspace Cloud.
This premium WordPress backup plugin is more than just a backup plugin because you get the option to restore your site and also the bonus of being able to migrate or clone your site over to a new domain. I have written a post on backup plugins that you can find here, but Backup Buddy made the top of the list anyway.
This is my go-to plugin for backing up my websites, there is simply nothing more effective or straight forward when it comes to keeping your site backed up.
Note: If you think this plugin will be of benefit to you then check out the Plugin Developer Suite below because you’ll make an awesome saving.
9. Plugin Developer Suite
Ok, so this isn’t a plugin – it’s more than 20 plugins.
The team at iThemes have been creating plugins and themes for a very long time and this bundle gives you access to all current plugins and any new plugin releases within a year from your purchase date.
What’s also awesome about this is that it’s an unlimited license that you get with these so you can use them on as many websites as you like.
Here is a taste of a few of the plugins that you get –
- Backup Buddy
- Email Buddy
- Display Buddy
- Loop Buddy
- Boom Box
- + lots more
Note: If you want the ultimate deal check out the Web Designer’s toolkit which contains 180+ Themes, 20+ plugins and 400+ hours of video tutorials from Webdesign.com – click here to find out more.
I know you may not be after any themes or video tutorials but if it’s something that interests you don’t buy them separately because you’ll just be throwing your money away, buy them all bundled together.
P.S. – The training videos at WebDesign.com are awesome.
10. Magic Members
Running a membership site is a great way of making a living online and what makes it that much sweeter is that you’ll be earning a recurring income.
If something like that sounds interesting to you then you need to take a look at Magic Members because it’s an extremely powerful premium membership plugin for WordPress that provides you with some great features including –
- Integration with popular payment processors such as PayPal, 1ShoppingCart, 2CheckOut, Authorize.net, ClickBank and many more
- Support for Amazon S3
- Coupon creation
- Drip fed course delivery
- Secure RSS tokens
- AutoResponder integration with popular mailing list provides including AWeber, GetResponse, MailChimp and many more
- Unlimited membersip levels
- Plus much more
11. Coming Soon Pro by SeedProd
This plugin has become a standard addition to my WordPress plugin toolbox due to its simplicity and incredible feature set.
You can use it as a coming soon page or a maintenance mode page and use it to display custom messages to your sites visitors. You can even add an opt in form to capture leads and display social follow/share icons.
Once you’ve finished your blog launch or blog maintenance you can use the plugin as a landing page for running contests.
There are a lot more features too – all in all an extremely useful premium WordPress plugin that’s well worth the investment.
12. Fanciest Author Box
This is my current author box plugin, until I found this a few months back I wasn’t bothering with author boxes because I just couldn’t find one that looked good enough.
Fanciest Author Box is just the ticket, allowing you to display your recent posts, Twitter links, Facebook like box, Google+ link and your most recent posts – oh and the plugin enables your Google Plus ?rel=author link which makes setting up Google authorship VERY easy.
Oh, and you can customise the colours and some other settings!
One of the cheaper premium WordPress plugins on this list coming in at $10 – you can’t go wrong for that price can you?
13. White Label Branding for WordPress
This is an incredible plugin for mult-author WordPress sites or especially community driven sites because you can customise and brand so many different elements of your WordPress installation.
You can customise the WP login page, user roles and capabilities, colour schemes, sent from email and numerous other options.
14. Styles With Shortcodes
This is another premium WordPress plugin from RightHere, the creators of White Label Branding.
Sure you could use a free Shortcodes plugin or the shortcodes that come bundled with your theme but chances are they’re not going to give you quite as many shortcodes as this little gem.
Some of the shortcodes include –
- Image galleries
- Lightbox effects
- Social buttons (Linkedin, Retweet, Google +1, Facebook Like, Facebook Share and more)
- Tooltip jQuery
- Toggle jQuery
- Google maps
- Picture frames
- Plus many more
In total theres over 100 different short codes so you’ve got plenty to choose from and they also give great support should you need it.
15. Slider Revolution
Seeing is believing with Slider Revolution, you really need to see this one for yourself but just to give you a quick run through of what this plugin has to offer –
- Touch enabled so you can swipe on mobile devices
- Lots of different transitions
- Editable navigation styles
- Video embedding
- Unlimited captions
- Customisable captions (use images, text or even HTML)
This is my favourite Slider plugin right now – props to Theme Punch for bringing us this one.
I understand that one of the main attractions of the WordPress platform is the free plugins and free themes that are available from WordPress.org but from my experience premium WordPress plugins really do take things to another level.
However, there will always be freely available plugins that will be permanent fixtures in my WP toolkit.
So there you have it, 15 of the best premium WordPress plugins – which paid plugins are you using right now?