All WooCommerce stores share a single aim: To increase conversions and get more sales. Whatever your wider business goals, that’s what it all comes down to!
If you Google ‘WooCommerce conversion rate optimisation’, you’ll find lots of general advice on how to convert more visitors into paying customers. This usually focusses on improvements to the cart and checkout. These are important, but often forget that you need to convince customers to buy your products in the first place.
In this article, I’m going to do the opposite. I’ll provide specific and actionable tips on how you can convince customers to add more productsto their cart using a specific tool: product tables.
WooCommerce product tables are an excellent tool for increasing your sales. By adding well designed table layouts to your store, you can present products in user-friendly ways that make it easier for customers to buy from you.
For many years, WordPress.com has been a simple way for people to create their own beautiful WordPress website in minutes.
But that simplicity came with a tradeoff — WordPress.com did not offer built-in support for the thousands of third-party plugins and themes that helped make WordPress the world’s largest and most open web publishing platform.
Now, we’ve made a significant change to the WordPress.com Business plan: you can access and add third-party plugins and themes built by the WordPress community. It’s the simplicity, speed, and expert support that you’ve always loved about WordPress.com, plugged in.
People love WordPress because it is totally customizable. With support for plugins and third-party themes, WordPress.com Business users will be able to connect their sites to great email and social media tools, ecommerce solutions, publishing and subscription services, and more.
This is a big step for us, and there’s a lot more work to do — over the coming weeks and months, we’re going to be working with partners and developers to help make the experience even easier for you to install and use these plugins and themes on WordPress.com.
And every WordPress.com Business user gets real-time concierge support – live chat with one of our Happiness Engineers and we can help you make the most of these new features.
WordPress is the world’s most popular web platform, and we’re proud to keep this community growing and thriving. Thanks for your continued support.
Jetpack 5.2 brings you a brand new Contact Form experience, a better explanation of recommended features, and several performance improvements.
New Contact Form
Jetpack’s Contact Form for WordPress is one of our most popular free features. And with good reason: it’s the simplest and most effective way of enabling your readers to get in touch with you be it for praise, complaints, requests or suggestions.
And now we’ve made it much simpler and faster to use.
[Click on a screenshot to enlarge it]
The next time you add a contact form to a page on your site you will see a new visual interface right inside the editor instead of a popup. Enjoy a full editing experience including adding and customizing fields and labels, re-ordering them by dragging, and easily setting email subject lines and recipients.
To edit, simply click on the form itself, and hit the “edit” icon. You can edit or remove the existing fields, or add new ones by going to the bottom of the form and clicking “add field.”
Click on the contact form and then the “Edit” icon in order to add new, change the order of, or delete fields in your form.
Simply drag and drop your fields to organize their order the way you want them. Click “Update Form” at the bottom when you’re done to save your changes.
Click “Add Field” at the bottom of your new contact form to add new fields. Click “Update Form” to save your changes.
When you install Jetpack on a new site, Jetpack recommends activating certain popular features that are most valued by users.
Jetpack has now improved this experience to better showcase and explain what the features and how they benefit your WordPress site.
Jetpack has also streamlined and reduced weight (file size) of the plugin as well as fixed bugs and introduced enhancements for stability. All these are under the hood ensuring a smoother Jetpack functioning with each version.
Full Changelog and Thanks
The changelog provides the full list of updates and changes in this release and if you have feedback please get in touch as always.
Alexandru Bucur, Anthony, Artur Piszek, Ben Lowery, Brandon Kraft, Daniel Walmsley, Derek Smart, Donncha Ó Caoimh, Drew Butler, Elio Rivero, Eric Binnion, Filipe Varela, George Stephanis, Igor Zinovyev, Marko Andrijasevic, Michael Arestad, Michael Turk, Miguel Lezama, Mohammad Jangda, Payton Swick, Richard Muscat, Rob Landers, Stephen Edgar, Thomas Guillot.
It’s often the little things that count — especially when it comes to your stats and writing. Based on valuable feedback from the community, Jetpack has just launched a few improvements that they think you’ll really love.
Today First: Now when you visit a site’s stats, you’ll see the Days view first, with data displayed for the last 30 days. A quick click on the arrow will take you to yesterday’s stats, or you can click on any bar to view full stats for a specific day.
See More Information at Once: To better work with wider displays, we’ve extended the display area and have included three columns of statistics. The Weeks and Months views now also display up to 30 periods (if that data is available).
More Insights: Click the arrow next to a stat’s title for summaries of various periods, including a new All Time tab, list of Likes, and device previews. Clicking the Insights tab will show you detailed historical data for the entire site.
Other improvements include an Average per Day view, Follower Totals, and the option to Download a CSV of your stats data.
We’re proud to unveil some design changes to the WordPress.com editor that are available to all Jetpack users. It has the same great features you’ve come to expect, but with a cleaner, more refined experience — and a few new improvements, like a distraction-free writing mode.
For those interested in the behind-the-scenes work that went into these improvements, you can read the full interview with Matías and Joen, the two designers who helped build this new experience.
We really hope you enjoy these new features. Feel free to contact us with any feedback or questions.
Choosing a shopping cart plugin for your WordPress website is one of the most crucial decisions you’ll make. After all, a faulty or poorly designed plugin that delivers a subpar user experience will chase users away. The effect on your bottom line doesn’t bear thinking about.
Fortunately, contemporary cart plugins are more than simply a passive way for customers to hold products while making their final purchasing decisions – modern solutions boast sophisticated, polished features. In this post, we’ve selected ten top shopping cart plugins that all seamlessly integrate with your WordPress site.
If you’re ready to take a look with us, let’s get started!
What to Look For in a Shopping Cart Plugin
WordPress shopping cart plugins are simply a way to enable the sale products through your WordPress website. While the exact features you need are going to be based on your own requirements, there are a few ever-present features that matter:
A slick, easy-to-use interface.
Top-flight support for many of the top payment gateways (such as Stripe and PayPal).
Suitable customization options.
Compatibility with your chosen theme.
Payment gateway support can’t be stressed enough. You’ll want to ensure that your plugin choice supports as many payment gateways as possible, without compromising on features.
As for compatibility and customization, you’ll want a suitable theme that can offer flexibility and power. Divi includes the Shop module out of the box, which offers integration with WooCommerce. In addition, the theme also comes bundled with the Divi Builder – an intuitive front end editor that can help make your website stand out.
10 of the Best Shopping Cart Plugins for Your WordPress Website
Before we take a look at our list, you’ll notice that some popular choices are missing. This is down to the criteria we’ve used to make our selections – some plugins simply couldn’t meet our standards when it came to reviews or ratings, while others hadn’t been updated in a while. What’s left is our pick of ten of the best shopping cart plugins for WordPress. Let’s take a look!
First on the list is our recommended e-commerce plugin, WooCommerce. It enables the sale of digital and physical goods, and shoppers are offered the option of instant downloads. The sale of affiliate goods from online marketplaces is also supported. Flat rate and free shipping options are provided, as is the option to create real-time payment calculations.
In addition, WooCommerce also offers a number of free and premium extensions to enhance both yours and your customer’s experience through features such as recurring subscriptions, memberships, bookings systems, and more.
Enables you to sell both digital and physical goods.
Offers a number of free and premium extensions to enhance WooCommerce’s functionality.
Offers the option for global shipping.
Supports bank transfers, cash on delivery, and PayPal.
eCommerce Shopping Cart is a streamlined shopping cart plugin that slickly integrates with your WordPress website. It’s similar to WooCommerce in that it lets you sell both digital and physical products, along with gift cards.
There are a number of payment options available, and the plugin includes several in-built marketing and promotional tools – such as offering coupons. What’s more, eCommerce Shopping Cart includes baked in analytics and social sharing options for each item.
Although the plugin is free to download, you’ll need to purchase a license, which starts at $50 per site.
Supports almost all of the most popular payment services.
Offers tiered pricing, B2B pricing, featured products, and more.
Cart66 stands as perhaps the most secure e-commerce WordPress option available – for a start, it helps to ensure online stores are PCI compliant. It supports both digital and physical products, and enables customers to create accounts when purchasing items.
Cart66 also includes a recurring billing engine that plays nicely with its 102 supported payment gateways, and enables you to include taxes and discounts at checkout.
Cart66 offers a 14-day free trial, but after that, the plugin starts at $9.99 a month.
Enables customers to create accounts, including storing credit card information and order history.
Offers a built-in email center that keeps you in touch with your existing customers.
Includes a recurring billing engine.
Supports over 100 payment gateways.
Offers incredible security and support, including PCI compliance.
Ecwid Ecommerce Shopping Cart is relied upon by over a million sellers worldwide. It’s an e-commerce solution with support for more than 40 payment options, and 45 different languages.
This plugin stores your data entirely in the cloud, with unlimited storage, automatic upgrades, and backups. It also offers mobile iOS and Android apps free of charge, which enables you to turn your device into a Point Of Sale (POS) station.
Enables you to store your data in the cloud.
Offers iOS and Android apps free of charge.
Includes support for Facebook.
Provides a secure HTTPS checkout, and more than 40 payment options.
PayPal Shopping Cart is an e-commerce solution that lets you place PayPal branded Add to Cart and View Cart buttons anywhere on your website. Payments are (of course) handled by PayPal via credit or debit card.
While the plugin is free, transaction fees will apply. There’s also a PayPal Pro offering that extends the functionality of the plugin, and enables some basic customization of the buttons, along with more options for setting taxes and discounts.
Offers a quick cart button creation feature based on your item’s details.
Supports 25 currencies and 18 languages.
Includes two button styles, and a choice of shop and payment URLs,
WordPress Simple PayPal Shopping Cart does what it says on the tin – it offers a simple, minimalist shopping cart for your site. The plugin integrates seamlessly into any page, post, or sidebar of your WordPress site. Like some of the other choices in this list, it enables you to sell both physical and digital products including audio files, PDFs, photos, videos, and more.
WordPress Simple PayPal Shopping Cart is free, but transaction fees do apply.
Enables you to whip up an Add to Cart button with a variety of shopping and pricing options at your disposal.
Lets you sell a wide range of media types, along with physical goods.
Offers a minimalist approach. It’s light on code, helping to keep loading times to a minimum.
Ecommerce WD provides a user-friendly setup, paired with some advanced functionality including smart sorting, filtering, and searching of products. It works with PayPal out of the box, and enables you to set tax and shipping to groups of items, rather than on a product-by-product basis. It also offers a guest checkout feature, and social media integration for your products.
Ecommerce WD has a free tier, with premium versions offering additional theme support and other perks.
Enables users to create an unlimited quantity of categories and products.
Lets you find information via a sophisticated search feature.
Enables you to create tax types and shipping methods by group rather than by product.
Offers template customization and social network integration.
Selz eCommerce Shopping Cart is suited to the non-coders, and integrates with almost every WordPress theme. It’s a robust, full-featured shopping cart solution for the sale of physical products, services, and digital downloads.
The plugin provides secure download links for all digital items sold, and your store’s functionality can be bolstered via a variety of free and premium apps including PayPal support and MailChimp integration.
Finally, Selz eCommerce Shopping Cart is free, although transaction fees apply – and you only pay when you make a sale.
Offers secure download options for digital goods.
Supports delivery options for physical product sales.
Provides an app store to help enhance your store’s functionality.
Supports one-click selling and sharing for Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.
Easy Digital Downloads is an e-commerce plugin solution aimed at – you guessed it – digital downloads only. The mantra of the plugin is to simply offer everything you need and nothing you don’t. It’s minimalism at its finest!
Amazon, PayPal, and test payments are supported right off the bat, and there are numerous premium extensions to help enhance your store further. Finally, Easy Digital Downloads is entirely free – meaning no transaction fees apply to your sales.
Includes a test payment feature.
Offers users their full purchase history, along with the ability to re-download files.
Enables you to set variable prices and multiple price options for each product.
Finally, we have Jigoshop. This is a dynamic e-commerce solution, which positions itself as a powerful alternative to WooCommerce. The plugin enables a high level of user control, and the sizable development team regularly cranks out updates and fresh features.
Like WooCommerce, Jigoshop has a large number of extensions to help enhance your store. The plugin itself is free, although some extensions have a cost attached.
Lets you sell both digital and physical products.
Includes functionality to group your products.
Offers affiliate product support.
Enables stock management and advanced reporting.
Offers over 100 extensions, with more available each month.
With so much to lose by choosing the wrong shopping cart plugin, selecting from the myriad of choices available can seem like a daunting exercise, especially when so much of your e-commerce success depends on you choosing the right one.
The ten shopping cart plugins we’ve listed above all provide the basic features you’ll need to get up and running, but each also has their own unique features. If you take the time to investigate the functionality of each solution, we’re sure you’ll find one that suits your particular e-commerce needs.
Do you use any of these shopping cart plugins, and if so, how are they working out for you? Let us know in the comments section below, and be sure to subscribe to the comments so you don’t miss out on the conversation!
Article thumbnail image by Profit_Image / shutterstock.com.
Step-by-step written instructions plus video tutorial on how to create a WordPress video gallery using the Posts Table Pro plugin.
It’s so easy to embed video in WordPress these days, but it’s not so easy to create a video gallery listing all your videos in a grid. This article will teach you how to create a responsive WordPress video gallery using the Posts Table Pro plugin.
While Posts Table Pro isn’t just for videos, it’s one of the best WordPress video plugins around. It lets you add a WordPress video grid or video portfolio to your website.
You’ll learn how to add videos to your gallery using 2 different methods:
Embedding a video that is hosted elsewhere into WordPress, for example YouTube or Vimeo.
Directly uploading video to your WordPress website.
We’ll look at the different options for setting up your WordPress video gallery. You can choose which columns display, the column width, how many videos to display in each page of the gallery and much more.
The video gallery will be fully responsive and will resize to fit different screen sizes and mobile devices.
At the end of this tutorial, you’ll know how to create a professional-looking video gallery for your WordPress website. Your visitors will be able to watch videos directly within the video gallery. They’ll be able to search and filter to find the videos they want more easily.
#1 – Get ready to create your responsive WordPress video gallery
#1a – Install the Posts Table Pro plugin
You can add a video gallery to any WordPress website with any theme. The only essential video plugin is Posts Table Pro, which you need to create the video grid online.
#1b – Plan how to store the videos for your gallery
You also need to think about where you’re going to store the videos that will appear in your gallery. You’ll be using Posts Table Pro to create a searchable, sortable video table but first you need to add your videos and video playlists.
The Posts Table Pro plugin works by displaying posts from your WordPress website – this can be standard posts, pages or custom posts. This means that you need to add your videos within posts, pages or a custom post type.
If you want each video to appear in its own row of your WordPress gallery then you need to add each one as a separate post. If you’re planning to create video playlists then you need a separate post for each playlist (not each video).
In the screenshots and video for this tutorial, I’m using a ‘Video’ custom post type. This is the easiest way to organise your videos as you will have a dedicated area for storing videos in the WordPress admin.
If you’re a WordPress developer then you can create your custom post type programmatically. If not, I recommend the Custom Post Types UI plugin. This makes it really easy to create custom post types in WordPress without any technical know-how.
#2 – Add your videos to the gallery
Once you’ve installed Posts Table Pro and planned the structure for your video gallery behind the scenes, the next step is to add your videos to the website.
Go to Video > Add New (if your custom post type is called ‘Video’. If not, add a new post using your chosen method).
Add a title for the video.
Embed your video in the main content area using one of the following methods.
Method 1 – Embed a video from YouTube or Vimeo
The most reliable way to store video in your WordPress gallery is to host it on a specialist video website. YouTube or Vimeo are the most popular, but you can embed from any of the files in this list.
This is a great way to store videos because:
It will save space on your web hosting account.
Dedicated video hosts automatically create multiple versions of your videos behind the scenes. This means that your videos will play for more people, whatever technology or device they’re using to access your website. You don’t have to worry about writing any fancy code to check the user’s device or serve alternate versions of your videos – it all happens automatically.
You get lots of extra features from specialist video hosts such as view counters, social sharing, annotations, mobile-friendly cards, monetisation through advertising, etc.
If you use a public video website such as YouTube then people can also find your videos directly via YouTube. This will help to increase your traffic. (If your video gallery will not be publicly available then I’d recommend Vimeo, which has more privacy settings. You can protect Vimeo videos so they can only be viewed on your domain.)
If you’re embedding videos from one of the files in this list then you just need to embed the URL of your video directly into the post. View your video on YouTube, Vimeo or whichever site you’re using, and copy the URL from the address bar at the top of your browser. To help you find the video URL, I’ve circled it in the screenshot below:
Simply paste the URL into the content area for your WordPress post. WordPress will instantly convert it into an embedded video player.
Method 2 – Upload the video directly to the media library
You can also host videos directly on your WordPress website:
Click the ‘Add Media’ button above the WordPress toolbar and upload your video file (e.g. MP4 or MOV).
Select the video in the media library.
Make sure the ‘Attachment Display Settings’ section is set to ‘Embedded Media Player’ and click ‘Insert into post’.
Again, WordPress will automatically embed a watchable video into your post.
Method 3 – Create a video playlist
Finally, you can add entire video playlists to your WordPress gallery.
Click ‘Add Media’ above the WordPress toolbar.
Click the ‘Create Video Playlist’ option on the left. (This will only appear if you have video files in your media library.)
Tick all the videos you want to include in the playlist.
Click the ‘Create a new video playlist’ on the right.
On the next screen, add the caption that should appear for each video. Tick the boxes to indicate whether to show the video list and images in the playlist. Then click ‘Insert video playlist’.
WordPress will embed the playlist directly into your page or post.
#4 – Add any further information about your videos
Next, add any further information that you want to display in your video gallery. For best results, I recommend adding the same fields of information to each of your video posts.
Examples of further information for a video gallery might include:
‘Buy now’ button
Set up any categories or tags using the standard WordPress functions.
The most obvious place to add any further information (e.g. text or buttons) is before or after the embedded video in the main post content. However this isn’t ideal because it will appear in the same column of the video grid as the media player. For most WordPress video galleries, it’s neater to add other information as separate columns. To do this, you can add it as an excerpt or custom field.
Tip: I recommend the Advanced Custom Fields WordPress plugin to create extra fields for storing data about your videos. For example you could create custom fields to add a description, video length and ‘Buy now’ button and display these as separate columns in the video gallery.
Later in this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create a WordPress video gallery with columns for title, content and excerpt. If you want to copy the exact shortcodes that I use in this tutorial then you need to add the video within the main content, a description in the ‘Excerpt’ field and also structure your videos into categories. You can use the documentation to add other types of column, for example custom fields – if you do this then your shortcode should be different from my examples below.
Finally, click ‘Publish’ for all your video posts. Now you’re ready to set up your video gallery!
#5 – Create your WordPress video gallery
Step 1 – Basic usage
You can add your video gallery to any post or page on your WordPress website, or even within a text widget.
Go to the page/post/widget where you want to add the gallery. In the main content area, add the following shortcode:
[posts_table post_type=”video” shortcodes=”true”]
Replace the ‘video’ in post_type=”video” with the slug for your custom post type, or ‘page’ if your videos are on pages. If your videos are on standard WordPress posts then you can ignore the post_type element of the shortcode as posts are displayed by default.
Adding shortcodes=”true” tells Posts Table Pro to display the watchable video player that WordPress created when you added your videos.
Now, view the page/post where you added the shortcode to see the first draft of your WordPress video gallery.
You’ll see that the video grid has 4 columns – the title of each video page/post, the content where you added the embedded videos, the author and the date. It looks professional but probably isn’t the information that you’d want to include in a video gallery. So keep going…
Step 2 – Change the column headings
Go back to the shortcode that you added in step 1. We want to tell it which columns to display in the video gallery. Extend the shortcode as follows to display the video player in the left hand column, with further columns for title, description and categories:
In this shortcode, I’ve adde a colon after the content and title columns followed by the text that I want to use as my column headers. This will rename the content column to ‘Watch Now’, and the excerpt column to ‘Description’ – while keeping the default names for the title and category columns. You can do this for any column to change the title that appears in the header row.
Now update your page and see how your WordPress video gallery looks now. You’ll see that the categories are now much more relevant and user-friendly. You can click on a category to filter by the videos in that category. You can also type a keyword into the search box, or click on a column header to sort the grid.
Step 3 – Change the column widths
You might also want to change the width of the columns. Posts Table Pro will set this automatically based on the content of each column. For a WordPress video gallery, you might want to make the video player column wider so that people can see your videos more easily.
To customise the column widths in the video grid, you need to add width=”” to the shortcode. Between the quotation marks, you should add numbers that add up to 100. Each number represents a column and the percentage of the table’s widths that it should occupy. For example:
There are 4 numbers in the width setting to represent the 4 columns in the video gallery. These 4 numbers add up to 100. The first column (content) has 40% and is the biggest to give more space to the embedded video player. The second column (title) has 15% as the video titles don’t need much space. The third column (excerpt) is slightly longer to allow for more text. The final column (category) is also quite small.
Play around with the widths in your own video gallery to get the column sizes working as you want them.
Step 3 – Change the gallery link settings
By default, the title column in your WordPress video gallery is clickable. Clicking on it takes you to the single post page for each video. You can also click on categories to filter the video grid by that category.
You can disable some or all of these links if you like. For example, a lot of video libraries display a grid of videos and don’t wish to provide separate pages for each video. If this applies to you then you’ll want to disable the links.
To do this, add one of the following to the Posts Table Pro shortcode:
links=”none” – this disables all the links in the video gallery so that you can’t click on the title or category.
links=”category” – this disables the links on the video titles, while leaving the category links as they are. This is a good option if you like being able to click on a category to filter the video grid, but don’t want people to access the individual video pages by clicking the title.
#6 – Other video grid options
If you like, you can set up your WordPress video gallery by following the instructions in this tutorial exactly. However the Posts Table Pro WordPress video plugin is very flexible and you can configure it to your exact requirements. For example, you can:
Change the default sort order for your videos.
Choose which columns are displayed and what to call them.
Choose how many videos appear on each page.
Add dropdown search filters above your gallery so that people can filter by category or tag.
Change or hide the search and pagination links at the top and bottom of the gallery.
Add your videos in different ways – for example if you want to use the main content area for something else then you can embed the videos as custom posts instead.
Display other types of content as well as videos. For example you can use it as a WordPress image and video gallery plugin, or as a video and audio gallery with music playlists.
And much more…
Use the plugin documentation to find out what’s possible with Posts Table Pro and choose how you will use it for your own WordPress video gallery. With so much flexibility, it’s easily the best video gallery plugin for WordPress.
Now you know how to create a fully featured, fully responsive video grid in WordPress. To get started, download the Posts Table Pro plugin and follow the steps in this tutorial to set up your video gallery online.
At Wordfence we continually look for security vulnerabilities in the third party plugins and themes that are widely used by the WordPress community. In addition to this research, we regularly examine WordPress core and the related wordpress.org systems. Recently we discovered a major vulnerability that could have caused a mass compromise of the majority of WordPress sites.
The vulnerability we describe below may have allowed an attacker to use the WordPress auto-update function, which is turned on by default, to deploy malware to up to 27% of the Web at once.
Choosing the most damaging target to attack
The server api.wordpress.org (or servers) has an important role in the WordPress ecosystem: it releases automatic updates for WordPress websites. Every WordPress installation makes a request to this server about once an hour to check for plugin, theme, or WordPress core updates. The response from this server contains information about any newer versions that may be available, including if the plugin, theme or core needs to be updated automatically. It also includes a URL to download and install the updated software.
Compromising this server could allow an attacker to supply their own URL to download and install software to WordPress websites, automatically. This provides a way for an attacker to mass-compromise WordPress websites through the auto-update mechanism supplied by api.wordpress.org. This is all possible because WordPress itself provides no signature verification of the software being installed. It will trust any URL and any package that is supplied by api.wordpress.org.
WordPress powers approximately 27% of all websites on the Internet. According to the WordPress documentation: “By default, every site has automatic updates enabled for minor core releases and translation files.”. By compromising api.wordpress.org, an attacker could conceivably compromise more than a quarter of the websites worldwide in one stroke.
Below we describe the technical details of a serious security vulnerability that we uncovered earlier this year that could compromise api.wordpress.org. We reported this vulnerability to the WordPress team via HackerOne. They fixed the vulnerability within a few hours of acknowledging the report. They have also awarded Wordfence lead developer Matt Barry a bounty for discovering and reporting it…
Future-proofing your site is an aspect of site development that many users neglect until it’s too late. It’s a simple process that shouldn’t eat into your schedule too much. In any case, the benefits far outweigh the additional time spent keeping on top of it all.
In this post, the author suggests four important steps to help you future-proof your site:
Sign up with a reputable hosting provider.
Create regular backups of your website.
Select themes and plugins from trustworthy developers.
This article talks about some useful, essential and totally free WordPress plugins meant for photographers and photography sites.
I have used and I also have friends who use ‘Meta Slider’, ‘NextGEN Gallery’ and ‘Pinterest Pin It Button’ with success:
Meta Slider – will display great looking photos on your header
NextGEN Gallery – Jetpack has many features for your Photos and Photo Galleries. Use NextGEN Gallery if additionally to photo Galleries you also want to display Photo Albums.
Pinterest Pin It Button – makes it very easy for users to pin images to Pinterest.
WordPress makes it really easy to create a photo blog or run an online portfolio of your images. As such, many photographers, both professionals, and hobbyists alike, tend to use WordPress to showcase their works online.
You still need to cater to popular photo-centric platforms, such as Flickr or 500px, but having your own website with a showcase of your images goes a long way in establishing your identity online.
If you are looking to create a photography website using WordPress, where should you begin? You can, obviously, use WordPress plugins to do more with your website. This article talks about some useful WordPress plugins for photographers and photography sites.
15 Essential WordPress Plugins For Photographers
1. WP Smush
We know that images can be really heavy in terms of combined size. If all you do is upload the odd featured image or two, you have nothing to worry about. But if you are running a photography site, you need to be wary of the file size. Larger images can slow down your site.
WP Smush is a simple plugin that lets you compress and optimize your images on the fly. You can simply upload photos as usual, and WP Smush takes care of the rest.
You should also note that for image optimization plugins, there are so many choices. I chose WP Smush simply on account of its popularity, it has over 500,000 active installations. There are other, equally worthy, alternatives out there. If you wish to browse through image optimization plugins and read some benchmarks or comparison tests, this particular blog post might be of help.
Imsanity can automatically resize the images that you upload to your site. Considering the fact that most professional photographers work with large images, and not always web-friendly dimensions, Imsanity can do the hard work for you.
The plugin works by scaling down all the uploaded images as per the max width, height and quality specifications configured by you. Additionally, Imsanity can also convert formats such as BMP to JPG for web friendly output.
3. Post Thumbnail Editor
Different WordPress themes have different dimensions specified for thumbnails. While for the most part, WordPress does a very good job at cropping images, Post Thumbnail Editor offers you better and more granular control over your image thumbnails. It gives you the ability to crop and scale the thumbnails to fit any requirements.
Note that if you change a WordPress theme and the thumbnails are the wrong size, Regenerate Thumbnails might a better fix for the problem.
4. Easy Watermark
Though not all photographers want a watermark on their photos, some find it incredibly useful. If you need to add watermarks to any image that you upload to your site, Easy Watermark can help you.
This plugin lets you add watermarks to your images, both new ones that you upload as well as any previous ones that you had uploaded in the past. You can also choose to restore the original images by removing the watermark.
5. Media Library Assistant
Media Library Assistant offers several enhancements for your media library. It comes with custom shortcodes, that perform various functions. You can create galleries, add EXIF and other metadata to your media files, display files on the basis of taxonomy, and even search across media files from the frontend.
Additionally, this plugin integrates with the default WP Media Library, so it’s easy to learn.
PhotoPress lets you add metadata to your images. You can add or import data such as XMP, EXIF or IPTC tags for your photos.
You can extend this plugin by means of addons, and even use it to create basic galleries. Note that, however, this plugin has a little over 200 active users, and is not very popular as compared to the others.
7. Easy Digital Downloads
Easy Digital Downloads (or EDD) is an eCommerce plugin meant for folks looking to sell digital products (yes, photos) on their site.
EDD comes with all the features that you might expect from an eCommerce solution — you get detailed sales statistics, easy addition and deletion of discounts and offers, support for multiple payment gateways, ability to extend the plugin further by means of extensions or addons, and so on.
Of course, WooCommerce is still the most popular choice for WP eCommerce, but for digital products such as photos, EDD has always been my preferred tool.
8. Sell Media
Sell Media, as the name suggests, lets you sell media files, such as photos, on your website. You can sell, license or protect your images, create a stock photo site, or even charge a licensing fee.
PayPal integration is offered by default, but you can add other payment gateways and features by means of extensions, such as MailChimp integration or offsite cloud backups of your content.
Image Display (Gallery and Sliders)
9. NextGEN Gallery
NextGEN Gallery has had over 15 million downloads and continues to receive almost a million new users per year. The numbers speak for themselves — this is the most popular plugin for creating a gallery in WordPress.
You can batch upload, edit metadata and arrange and sort your images to create a gallery. The plugin also has a Pro version. If you are looking to create stunning galleries, NextGEN Gallery is a worthy choice.
10. Foo Gallery
Foo Gallery is another popular WordPress plugin for gallery management. Its set of features is the same as NextGEN Gallery, and you can extend it functionality by means of paid addons.
Foo Gallery uses a Gallery custom post type to help you create galleries. You can use shortcodes to embed and display galleries anywhere on your site. Foo Gallery also has a NextGEN Gallery import tool.
11. Simple Lightbox
Simple Lightbox lets you do what its name suggests — add a lightbox to your site.
You can customize the appearance of the lightbox, resize it to fit the viewport, use it with various themes, and choose when and where to display it.
12. Meta Slider
There are various WordPress plugins when it comes to creating sliders, and Meta Slider is one such extremely popular plugin.
With over 700,000 active installations, Meta Slider lets you create slideshows with different layouts, types and design. All sliders are responsive, SEO friendly, and the plugin also comes with smart cropping for photos.
Meta Slider has a Pro version as well which lets you work with video slides too, in addition to image sliders.
13. Photographers Galleries
Note that it is a rather lesser known plugin, and currently has under 100 active installations.
You should consider adding social sharing buttons for various popular networks. However, since Pinterest and Instagram are image-centric social networks, the following plugins focus on these two in particular.
14. Pinterest Pin It Button on Image Hover and Post
If Instagram does not interest you or if you are more of a Flickr user, the Flickr Album Gallery plugin is worth looking at.
There you have it, 15 WordPress plugins meant especially for photographers. Also, you should by all means install plugins for caching as well, or invest in a CDN for your images. Jetpack Photon is a free and amazing option, if all you are serving is images.
Similarly, do not ignore the importance of a good SEO plugin as well as a security plugin. Your WordPress site needs to be kept secure from malicious folks. Plus, with proper SEO optimization, your work may not get the exposure it deserves!
Which of the above free WordPress plugins do you use on your photography website? Share the list in the comments below!
Sufyan bin Uzayr writes for various magazine and blogs, and has authored several books. He blogs about technology, Linux and open source, mobile, web design and development, typography, and Content Management Systems at Code Carbon. You can learn more about him, follow him on Twitter or friend him on Facebook and Google+.