Using a WordPress Popup plugin is a fast and easy way to get more value out of your site. Show visitors timely offers, divert them towards key pages – they can boost conversions considerably. Not every popup maker is equal, though, and how you design and place them is equally important.
This guide will take you through some of the best WordPress Popup plugins in the market and how you can use them effectively. Stop losing potential subscribers or customers today with these ultra-handy tools.
6 Best WordPress Popup Plugins
Before you dive into this list, I’d like to take a moment as a reminder. While popups can be very useful, they can also be a double-edged sword. This fact is especially true if you’re new to creating and using them.
Make sure to check out the tips section once you’ve gone through the options on this list!
1. Popup Maker
Starting Price: Free – $87/year
Popup Maker was the first WordPress popup plugin I came across when I was searching for one. It shows up high on the WordPress plugin repository and is in use on over 600,000 sites at last count.
This plugin allows you to build almost any kind of popup imaginable visually. While that may be expected of a top plugin, Popup Maker also features an incredible number of ways you can have popups triggered by visitors.
Imagine having a bunch of popups that behave following what individual visitors do. Trigger a popup just before they leave, or open a timely offer if they happen to show interest in a particular product.
It’s so easy to use that you can build and deploy a basic popup in a matter of minutes. The free version is suitable for most regular sites, but paid plans have eCommerce support features.
- Visual popup editor
- Conditional targeting
- Popup analytics
- Third-party form integration
- Built-in subscriber form
Starting Price: $9/month onward
OptinMonster bills itself as a lead generation tool rather than a popup maker. In reality, though, it is just a popup maker, albeit one with relatively comprehensive features. The plugin feels like it’s almost an entire website builder, thanks to a powerful visual editor.
Part of the reason why OptinMonster markets itself for lead generation is that it envisions how popups are used. Instead of focusing on selling the popup feature, the plugin encourages visitors to create comprehensive popup campaigns to boost lead generation.
It also works with several third-party services and applications such as MailChimp, Salesforce, Facebook, and more. While running your campaigns, you also get intelligent reports that can recommend further actions to improve performance.
The only downside of OptinMonster is the lack of a free version (or even a trial period). This pricing model makes it suitable for commercial use but not very practical if you’re running a personal site or blog.
- Powerful visual editor
- Build multiple campaign types
- Multi-event triggering
- Actionable insights
- Geo-location targeting
3. Popup Builder
Starting Price: Free – from $5 for extra extension
Popup Builder may not rank as highly as some other popup makers, but it does have a sizeable audience. The thing I like most about this popup maker is how simple it is to use. Big and clearly labeled icons segregate the different types of popups which can be created.
This style works in more ways than just simplicity, though. The basic plugin offers what most typical users will need – popups based on image, HTML, or for subscriptions and the like. If you need more advanced tactics, you’ll need to choose an extension.
While this may drive up costs for those seeking an ‘all-in-one’ solution, the extension system is more beneficial than you might think. It helps keep the plugin more streamlined and creates less impact on your hosting resources.
The free version comes with only the basics, and each extra extension you choose comes at a small price. Of course, if you want everything, they have packages that bundle in all extensions as well.
- Modular feature design
- Works with PDF forms
- Animation effects
- Behavioral targeting
- Popup themes
4. WP Popups
Starting Price: Free – $35/year
WP Popups is a pretty good place to start if you haven’t used a popup maker before. It skips past the lead generation marketing speak and jumps into what users want – to quickly get started building a popup.
While not unique, the visual interface is accommodating and has the added advantage of letting you start with templates. The system is convenient for real newbies and can serve as a guidance system.
Beyond that, WP Popups keeps on giving thanks to advanced features that rival almost any popup marker in the market. This comparison is especially prevalent in the area of display rules that allow practically any conditions you need to be set.
Honestly, I find that the way WP Popups is built keeps well to the freemium pricing model. The free version is wholly usable, while paid versions add functionality for those who have mastered the basics.
- Visual editor with templates
- Highly defined rule system
- Lots of animations
- Integrates with email marketing apps
- A/B testing and analytics
Starting Price: Free – $39/month
Sumo comes from the creators of AppSumo and takes the form of a suite of tools. While it doesn’t offer pervasive popup functionality, Sumo does help with an essential one for some – list building.
This Sumo feature is dedicated to helping you build your subscriber list and offers a few means to do so. You can either choose to have it done in-line or as a popup. The latter will behave as you configure it to, either on a timer basis, when users try to close your page, or when an event is triggered.
There are also many other rules you can set to govern the way your Sumo list-builder works. For example, implementing controls for mobile devices of varying sizes and the like. Purists may object to Sumo trying to do too many other things in one package.
While there is a free version of Sumo that comes with its branding, you will need to subscribe to a paid plan to remove limitations and branding. Oh yes – free users will still have to sign up for a Sumo account as well.
- Multi-function plugin
- Connect eCommerce stores
- Statistics and analytics
- Social media sharing
Starting Price: Free – $23
Even by the standards of popup plugins today ConvertPlus comes with a crazy amount of features. It seems determined to do everything it can to cover the entire field of lead generation rather than just offer popups.
The plugin offers detailed control over almost everything from background settings to animations and size. If the design options in place aren;’t enough, go ahead and add your own custom CSS to it as well.
Of course, there are also the trigger rules you can set, including a rather unique two-step popup to push your conversion rates even further. YOu can even create triggers on scroll activities!
Despite the name, ConvertPlus isn’t the paid version of it and offers some decent levels of capability. To get the whole shebang, you will need to sign up for ConvertPlus Pro – which sounds a little strange.
- Launch after content
- Referrer detection
- Visitor recognition (old vs new)
- Cookie control
Tips for Using WordPress Popups Effectively
Nothing is more annoying than a website bombarding you with popups constantly. Using a popup maker to create a popup is easy, but working with them to create the results you want may not be.
Here are some areas to consider when using popups with your WordPress site;
Time Popups Carefully
When someone lands on your site, they are likely to have come as part of their search for something. Throwing a popup in their face is both rude and highly annoying. Chances are they’ll simply ignore the popup or even close the browser tab entirely.
The art of design is more than building something that looks pretty. Popups are distracting for users, and you need to capture their attention quickly. You need a careful blend of colors and text that maximizes impact and effect.
Don’t Be Shy With Your CTA
I’ve seen users that place their Call-to-Action (CTA) so unobtrusively that it’s virtually invisible. Your popup is there for effect, so be bold and make your CTA prominent in color, font, size, and placement.
Aside from what works or doesn’t with visitors, there are serious rules you need to consider. For example, Google will penalize sites using overly intrusive popups (especially for mobile devices). Make sure you’re aware of these potential pitfalls.
Following these guidelines can be difficult, especially since competition is so high nowadays. However, I’m sure you’ve felt the immense frustration at continually being bombarded by popups on every site you visit – show some consideration for your site visitors as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I create a popup for WordPress?
Using a plugin is the fastest and easiest way of creating a popup for your WordPress site. There are many to choose from and lots of free options that work well.
Do popup ads work?
Yes, but only if you design and use them carefully. Popups have a bad reputation due to many sites implementing them poorly and affecting user experience negatively.
How do I install a popup plugin?
Finding one from your WordPress plugin dashboard is the simplest way. You can search, install, activate, and configure it from one convenient location.
How do I add popups to WordPress without plugins?
Aside from plugins, you can also code popups manually or use third-party popup services like Popupsmart
What is a lightbox in WordPress?
Lightboxes are popup windows that display an image while dimming the rest of the page behind it.
I’ve tried a couple of the popups on this list, but my favorite is Popup Maker. For me, it was the perfect blend of simplicity and features. Yet all of us have diverse needs, so choose the WordPress popup maker that fits your requirements. Remember, plugins consume resources, so having one that does more than you need isn’t always the ideal solution.