Elementor 3.0 Review: Everything You Need to Know About

This August 2020, the Elementor team released the newest version of Elementor: Elementor 3.0. The precise release date was around August 25, referring to the announcement on its official blog post. The first release of the newest version didn’t go the way they expected as some users experienced some issues with their sites after the update. In a matter of hours, the Elementor team fixed the issues and released the newer versions (hats off for the Elementor team for the very fast response). At the time of writing (August 30, 2020), the newest version available is version 3.0.3 for Elementor Free and version 3.0.1 for Elementor Pro.

Elementor 3.0 is arguably a major update given that it comes with some brand new features. The key features introduced offered by Elementor in this version:

  • Design System
  • Theme Style
  • Site Settings
  • Brand New Theme Builder

In this article, we will thoroughly cover the new features offered by Elementor 3.0 and how they can help you save much time in getting a website done.

New features on Elementor 3.0?

Elementor 3.0 was released with one main mission: to help professional web designers (and developers) to get their projects done more quickly in a professional, efficient way. The mission is accomplished by offering a Design System, one of the features introduced on Elementor 3.0. This feature (Design System) consists of several components. It allows you to control the typography, colors, site identity, layout, and lightbox from a single place called Global Settings panel.

Meanwhile, the brand new Theme Builder feature allows you to control every single part of your website — header, footer, single post layout, archive, 404 page, WooCommerce pages — in a single screen.

Here are the new features offered by Elementor 3.0. Please note that in this article, we will focus on covering the visible areas. We won’t cover the performance improvements aspect (which is also promised in version 3.0) as it will take complex testing to prove.

Design System

This is might is a strange term for you, especially if you only build websites for yourself. What is a Design System?

To make it easier to understand the term, let us tell you a brief story. In the professional world — in some cases — web designers only create the design concept using a design app like Sketch, Figma, Adobe XD, or a similar app. The design concept (often called Style Guide) governs the use of typography, color scheme, the forms of buttons, and other elements of the design. The execution of the design concept is the developer team’s responsibility.

Now imagine if the website consists of tens of pages. How long it takes to revise the pages if there are some revisions of the design concept. Not to mention other parts like the header or footer. This is how a Design System comes into play. You can make the changes to the pages (such as color, typography, and so on) from a single place. A single change will be applied to all pages on the site.

The concept of Design System also makes sure your website has a consistent color scheme and typography. The concept also offers simplicity to build a website, which is great if work for a web agency or a freelance web designer/developer.

The Design System of Elementor itself consists of 2 components: Global Colors and Global Fonts. You can access them via the Elementor Global Settings panel by clicking the three-line icon (the hamburger icon) on the top-left corner of the Elementor editor.

As you can see, the PUBLISH/UPDATE button will turn to blue (from green) as you access the Global Settings panel. The blue UPDATE button indicates you are on the Global Settings panel, while the green PUBLISH/UPDATE button indicates you are on the regular Elementor settings panel.

By the way, Design System is available for both Elementor Free and Pro. Here are the components of the Elementor Design System:

Global Colors

When building a website, selecting an appropriate color is one of the tricky tasks. In web design (and other designs at large), color represents the brand identity. In order to have a color scheme that really represents a brand, designers often make some experiments with color combinations. In the context of web design, it’s not funny at all to edit all pages only to apply the new color as it will consume a lot of time.

The Global Colors feature of Elementor allows you to apply new color in several pages at once from a single place. Even if the pages already published. Or, you can also apply the new color to some parts on a page.

Notice the heading section and social media icons

How to use Global Colors

Elementor offers 4 default global colors and you can also create new ones yourself. To create a new global color, open the Global Settings panel by clicking the hamburger icon on the Elementors settings panel. Select Site Settings.

Once the Global Settings panel opens, click Global Colors on the DESIGN SYSTEM section.

Click the ADD COLOR button to set a new global color. To make it easier for you to identity each global color, you can name your new global color. Once done creating new global colors, click the blue UPDATE button.

To use a global color on a design element, you can simply add a new widget or edit an existing one. Change the color from the Style tab just like usual. Click the globe icon and select one of the existing global colors.

In addition to widgets, you can also use a global color as the background color of a column, section, and other design elements of Elementor.

To change the color of a global color, you can simply go to the Global Settings panel and select the new color you like. The change (new color) will be applied to all design elements that use the associated global color. In a single click!

Global Fonts

Same as color, a font can also represent a brand identity of a website. Thus, font selection is also a crucial step when it comes to website building. In Elementor, there are some widgets that involve typography settings. From the Heading widget, Text Editor widget, Button widget, Form widget, and so on.

In addition to the color scheme, a good website is the one that has a consistent typography setting, especially the font family. For certain sections — such as the heading text — you can use the same typography setting on all pages that contain a heading text. Using a global font allows you to change the typography of a certain section, say the heading text, on all pages at once. Just like a global color. You can change the typography setting from the Global Settings panel.

The use of Global Fonts is quite similar to Global Colors. You can open the Global Settings panel and select Global Fonts. By default, there are 4 global fonts you can choose from. To edit a global font, you can simply click the pencil icon on the associated global font.

You can set things like the font family, font size, font weight, font style, and so on. Don’t forget to click the blue UPDATE button every time you make new changes.

To use a global font, you can simply add or edit a widget that has a typography setting option such as the Heading widget, Text Editor widget, Button widget, and so on. On the Typography option, click the globe icon and select a global font you want to use.

Now you can go to the Global Settings panel to change the typography setting of a certain section of pages on your site. The change will be applied to all pages that use the associated global font.

Theme Style

Theme Style is another feature to streamline your workflow to get things done more quickly. You can also access this feature from the Global Settings panel. This feature allows you to create presets for four design elements:

  • Typography
  • Buttons
  • Images
  • Form fields

As we mentioned earlier above, some web developers work based on a Style Guide. With the Elementor Theme Style feature, you can create presets for four essential elements on the list above. For instance, you can create a preset for the button element. This way, every time you want to add a button element on any page or a certain section of the page, you don’t need to set the styling from scratch. Save time!

Theme Style works in a different way from Global Colors and Global Fonts. They are not linked to each other. You can make some changes to a certain widget on a certain page and the changes won’t affect the widgets on other pages.

To create a preset, you can go to the Global Settings panel. Select an element you want to create the preset of on the THEME STYLE block. Click the blue UPDATE button to update the preset once you are done styling up the element.

Site Settings

Version 3.0 insists the Elementor another mission to become a complete WordPress-based site builder tool, instead of just a page builder. No matter the WordPress theme you use, you will be able to set some essential things like site identity (site name, site description, site logo, and favicon), default background, default layout, and lightbox. If you use Elementor Pro, you can also set custom CSS before you start working on pages.

You can do all things mentioned above via Site Settings, which you can also access via the Global Settings panel.

The Elementor Site Settings feature is pretty similar to WordPress theme customizer (Appearance -> Customize). With this new feature, you can control the essential things of your WordPress-based website via Elementor.

New Theme Builder

One of the reasons why Elementor has become the most popular page builder plugin (with 5 active installs and still counting, of course) is because it comes with a Theme Builder feature. This feature allows you to create custom templates for site parts like header, footer, single post template, archive pages, WooCommerce pages, and so on. You can do so without touching a single line of code. Everything is drag and drop, with Elementor’s very intuitive editor.

Theme Builder itself was introduced in Elementor 2.0 (which was released in 2018). Before version 3.0, Theme Builder can be accessed via the WordPress dashboard by going to Templates -> Theme Builder. In version 3.0, you can still access Theme Builder via the same route, but you will see a brand new interface as follows:

In Elementor 2.x, you will be presented with the following interface when accessing the Theme Builder feature.

The Theme Builder interface in Elementor 3.0 is way better than the old versions. As you can see on the GIF above, your theme parts are visually previewed as you click each tab on the left panel. From here, you can also directly edit the existing custom templates, export, delete, or rename.

To create a new template, you can simply click the blue plus button on the theme part you want to create the custom template for. Or you can also click the Add New button on the upper-right corner.

By the way, the new Theme Builder also offers an instant display condition edit, allowing you to assign a certain template to other parts of your site quickly. The concept is pretty similar to WordPress’s Quick Edit default feature.

The very thing good is, Elementor doesn’t change the creating process of the templates. You can still create the template via the Elementor intuitive editor. Once you are done, you can still set the display condition just like before. The new Theme Builder only changes how you organize your templates, not the way you create them.

The new Elementor Theme Builder is really something else, way ahead.

The Verdict — Elementor 3.0 Review

Elementor 3.0 is a major release. It brings some new features to break the traditional patterns in website creation. You don’t need to go anywhere to create your site as everything has been provided in the same place: The Global Settings panel. From this panel, you will be able to access everything we have covered above, including:

  • New Theme Builder
  • Site Settings (Site identity, layout, lightbox, background, custom CSS)
  • Design System (Global Colors and Global Fonts)

Elementor 3.0 is a great release. It introduces a new creative, more efficient way to create a website with WordPress.

One thing we expected that is not fulfilled by this release. We really hoped the Elementor 3.0 would offer more controls to customize the post content (via the Post Content widget) when we create a single post template. We hoped that we would be able to control the typography of the heading elements (h2, h3, h4, h5). At the time being, we can only control the typography of the main body text.

But overall, Elementor 3.0 is a great release. It introduces a new creative, more efficient, and fun way to create a website. This release puts Elementor way ahead of its competitors.

One last thing. Since Elementor 3.0 is a major release, we strongly suggest you backup your site before updating just in case something wrong happens during or after the updae.

How to Create a User Registration Page in WordPress Using Essential Addons

Essential Addons, one of the most popular Elementor add-ons, has just released a new widget to allow you to create both a custom login page and a registration page on your Elementor-powered WordPress site. You can do so without needing to deal with code. Elementor (the pro version) actually has a widget — the Login widget — to create a custom login page on your WordPress site. However, it has no native widget yet to create a registration page. You can actually use the Login widget to create a registration form, but you need to deal with a PHP script to add a new function to WordPress. Alternatively, you use the new widget of Essential Addons to create a registration page more effortlessly, without dealing with a PHP script.

The new Essential Addons widget — which is called Login | Register Form — is available on the free version. It is a great widget if you have a WordPress-based membership website and want to redesign the registration page with Elementor.

How to create a user registration page using the Login | Register Form widget of Essential Addons

To be able to create a user registration page in WordPress, you need to set WordPress to allow user registration from anyone. To do so, go Settings -> General on your WordPress dashboard. On the Membership section, make sure the Anyone can register option is checked. You can also set the default role for a new user on the New User Default Role section.

Start creating the registration page

Before getting started, make sure you have installed and activated the Essential Addons plugin. You can get the free version of the plugin on the WordPress plugin directory. While for the pro version, you can get on its official site.

Create a new page and edit it with Elementor. Or, you can also edit an existing one. If you are new to Elementor, you can read this guide to learn how to use Elementor.

On the Elementor editor, drag the Login | Register Form widget to the canvas area.

Once the widget is added, you can go to the left panel configure it. First, you can open the General block under the Content tab to set the default form type. Since you want to create a registration page, set the default form type to Registration.

There is an option to hide all forms from the logged users. You can simply slide the toggle. To disable/enable some components (such as logout link, lost password link, register link, and so on), you can click the pencil icon on Login Form General and Register Form General. There is also an option to protect your form with reCAPTCHA.

Other settings blocks you can open to configure your form are:

  • Form Header Content

You can open this block to add content to the form header. You can add a header image, header logo, login form title, login form subtitle, register form title, and register subtitle.

  • Login Form Fields

You can open this block to set the width of the input fields. You can also disable/enable the remember me checkbox and password visibility and set the button text. If you want to use custom labels and placeholders, you can set to Custom on the Labels & Placeholders option.

  • Login Form Options

You can open this block to set the redirect page after a user successfully logged in. If you want your users to be redirected to the WordPress dashboard page after they login, you can set the link to yoursite.com/wp-admin.

  • Register Form Fields

By default, your registration form consists of 3 fields: username, email, and password. If you want to other fields like first name, last name, and website, you can open this block. Simply click the ADD ITEM button to add a new field. From this block, you can also set the text of the register button.

  • Register Form Options

You can open this block to set action after your user successfully created an account. There are three actions you can set: send an email notification, redirect to a certain page, auto-login. You can also set a user role, success message, and error message.

  • Register User Email Options

WordPress will send the login details to your users’ email once they successfully created a new account. By default, the email is sent using the WordPress template. If you want to use your own template, you can set the email template to Custom and create your email template on the available editor.

  • Register Admin Email Options

Same as the block above, but for site administrator.

  • Terms & Conditions

If you want to require your users to read and accept the terms and conditions before they can register, you can open this block and enable the Enforce Terms & Conditions option.

Styling up the form

To style up your form, you can go to the Style tab on the left panel. There are 9 settings blocks you can open to styling up the form. You can simply open each block to style up a certain form component. For instance, if you want to style up the register button, you can open the Register Button block. You can play around on the Style tab to style up the form.

Once you are done styling up the form, you can click the PUBLISH button to publish the page. Of course, you can also add other elements to your page first before clicking the PUBLISH button.

The bottom line

The Login | Register Form widget of Essential Addons is pretty useful to create either a custom login form or a user registration page on your Elementor-powered WordPress site. It’s a great move by WPDeveloper (the developer of Essential Addons) to finally release the widget as other competitors, including Element Pack and The Plus Addons, already have a similar widget before. For some Elementor users, the login and register widgets are essentials.

How to Create a Custom Author Archive Page in Elementor

Do you have a multi-author site and want to redesign it with Elementor? If yes, then it’s a great idea since Elementor allows anyone to be a web designer without needing to have CSS skills. Regarding the multi-author site, one of the elements you might want to redesign is the author’s archive page. In this article, we will show you how to create a custom author archive page in WordPress using Elementor.

Elementor — as you might have known — comes with a theme builder feature that allows you to create custom parts of your theme, including the author archive page. Two key widgets you can use to create a custom author archive page with Elementor are:

  • Author Box
  • Archive Posts

The Author Box widget will load the profile of the current author. It will load the information based on the filled author meta fields (such as name, profile picture, biography, and so on). While the Archive Posts widget will display the posts written by the associated author. You can see a live example of a custom author archive page on our website here.

Of course, in addition to the two widgets above you can also add other widgets to your liking to make your custom author archive page looks standout.

How to Create a Custom Author Archive Page in WordPress Using Elementor

Before we get started, make sure you have upgraded your Elementor to the pro version in case you haven’t done so since the theme builder feature is only available on Elementor Pro (read Elementor Free vs Elementor Pro).

By the way, if you are new to Elementor, you can read this guide to learn how to use Elementor.

Once you are ready, login to your WordPress dashboard and go to Templates -> Theme Builder. You will be redirected to the theme builder page of Elementor. Click the Archive tab on the left panel followed by Add New on the upper-right corner to create a new archive template.

Elementor offers tens of ready-to-use archive templates you can choose from. Simply select a template you like. If you want to create the archive template from scratch, you can simply close the templates library. In this example, we will create the archive template from scratch so we will close the templates library.

In this example, we will create a simple author archive page that consists of only two widgets. Again, you can add any element to your liking to make your custom author archive page more appealing.

Start by adding a new section by clicking the plus button on the canvas area.

Author Box widget

Add the Author Box widget by dragging it from the left panel to the canvas area.

Go to the left panel to customize the widget. On the Source option under the Author Info block, leave it to default. To disable/enable certain meta info (such as profile picture, display name, and biography), you can simply slide the toggles.

From this block, you can also set the layout as well as the alignment of the author info.

To style up the widget, you can go to to the Style tab. There are 3 settings blocks you can open:

  • Image

You can open this block to set the alignment of the profile image, the size, the gap between profile image and author’s bio, border-radius, and box-shadow.

  • Text

You can open this block to set the typography of the author name and bio. You can set things like the font size, font family, font style, and text color. You can also set the gap between the author name and author bio.

  • Button

If you enable the archive button, you can open this block to customize it. You can set things like the background color, button text color, border-radius, and padding.

Archive Posts widget

Add the Archive Posts widget by dragging it from the left panel to the canvas area. Once added, you can go to the left panel to customize the widget. On the Layout block under the Content tab, you can set the skin, the number of columns, image position, image size, image ratio, excerpt length, and so on.

You can open the Pagination block to set the pagination and the Advanced block to set a custom message if the archive contains no content.

To style up the Archive Posts widget, you can open the Style tab. There are 5 settings block you can open:

  • Layout

You can open this block to set the gap between rows and columns. You can also set the alignment of the content.

  • Image

You can open this block to customize the image of the posts. You can set the border radius and the space between the image and content. You can also apply a CSS filter if you want to. You can apply the CSS filter for both the normal state and hover state.

  • Content

You can open this block to set the typography of the post title, meta, excerpt, and read more. You can also set the spacing between each item.

  • Pagination

You can open this block to set the typography and text color of the pagination. You can use different typography settings and text on three different states: normal, hover, and active. You can also set the space between pagination numbers.

  • Nothing Found Message

You can open this block to set the typography and the text color of the message when the archive page in empty.

Once you are done editing the template, click the PUBLISH button on the bottom side on the left panel. You will then be prompted to set a display condition. Simply click the ADD CONDITION button.

On the dropdown menu, select Author Archive. If you want the custom author archive template to be applied to all authors on your site, you can set All on the second dropdown menu (the right one). Conversely, if you want the custom author archive template to be applied to a specific user, you can simply select your preferred author from the second dropdown menu.

You can add multiple display conditions in case you want the custom author archive template to be applied to two or more authors. Click the SAVE & CLOSE to apply the changes.

That’s it. You have successfully created the custom author archive page on your WordPress using Elementor.

How to Stop Spam Comments in WordPress (8 Simple Ways)

The commenting feature of WordPress allows bloggers to interact with their readers. On a certain case, you can also use it as a medium to provide technical support. Unfortunately, not everything goes the way you expected. Often times, you have to deal with a bunch of spam comments on your WordPress site instead of the type of comments you expected when you wrote your articles.

There are lots of ways to stop spam comments on your WordPress site. Before installing an anti-spam plugin, you can implement the tips we are going to share below to get rid of the spam comments on your WordPress site.

8 simple ways to stop spam comments in WordPress without a plugin

WordPress offers some settings you can apply to reduce spam comments or even stop them completely. You can access those settings by going to Settings -> Discussion on your WordPress dashboard.

1. Manually approve the comments

The default setting of WordPress approves all comments getting in via the comment box on your site. If you leave this default setting, it could be a huge gate for spammers to bombard your website with spam comments. The problem is getting worse if the spam comments are read by your real visitors as it could ruin your site reputation.

You can manually approve the comments to make sure only the appropriate comments to appear on the comment section on your website. To do so, go to the Discussion Settings page on your WordPress dashboard (Settings -> Discussion) and scroll down to the Before a comment appears section and check the Comment must be manually approved option.

While this method might look exhausting, you can combine it with other tips below. Read on.

2. Create a blocklist

After implementing the first tip above, you can then create a blocklist to make sure only the real comment to enter the approval queue. You can create a list that contains inappropriate words on its content, name, or URL. On the Discussion Settings page, scroll down to the Comment Blocklist section and enter the words you want to block on the available box.

WordPress will automatically move the words in the list to the Trash. WordPress executes the words vertically. To make sure the list executed properly, add one word per line.

3. Turn off anonymous comments

One of the purposes of spammers to comment on your website is to get a backlink or traffic. To achieve their mission, some spammers use an anonymous identity. In WordPress, it’s easy to stop anonymous comments. On the Discussions Settings page, go to the Other comment settings section and make sure the Comment author must fill out name and email option is checked. When this option is checked, your visitors are required to enter their identity (Name and email address) before being able to add a comment.

4. Reduce/ban links in comments

As mentioned on tip number 3 above, one of the purposes of spammers to comment on your website is to get a backlist or traffic. If you want to get link-free comments only, you can set the number on the Comment Moderation section to 0. Any comment that contains a link will be automatically added to the moderation queue if you set the number to 0.

If you want to allow comments with certain numbers of links, you can simply enter the number you want. For instance, if you set the number to 1, visitors can only add the maximum of 1 link on their comment.

5. Only allow comments from logged in users

Best practice for a membership/community site. You can apply this tip to make sure only those having an account on your website to be able to post a comment. On the Discussion Settings page, scroll down to the Other comment settings section and check the Users must be registered and logged in to comment option.

6. Automatically close comments on old posts

Spammers that try to get traffic from a certain keyword might find your old articles (using a certain tool) and leave a comment on them. To prevent this annoying practice, you can instruct WordPress to automatically disable comments on old posts. To do so, scroll down to the Other comment settings section on the Discussion Settings page. Check the Automatically close comments on posts older than option enter a certain number. WordPress will automatically disable comments on articles within days (according to the number you entered) from the day they were posted.

For instance, if you set the number to 14, WordPress will automatically disable the comments on articles two weeks from the day there were posted.

7. Disable comments for individual posts

For a certain reason, you might want to disable comments on a specific post (regardless of you want to avoid spam comments or not). WordPress allows you to do so. When writing a new article (you can also edit a published article, of course), open the Documents tab on the Settings panel and scroll down to the Discussion section and uncheck Allow comments option. This will disable the comments for the associated post.

8. Disable comments entirely

The default setting of WordPress allows visitors to comment on articles on your website. If you want to disable comments on the entire website, you can uncheck the Allow people to submit comments on new posts option on the Default post settings section on the Discussion Settings page.

Please note that unchecking this option only disables comments on new posts. All comments on the published articles will still exist unless you remove the comment section by editing your theme.

The bottom line

The commenting feature of WordPress allows you to build engagement with your readers on your articles. Unfortunately, spammers don’t care about content engagement. They only care about site traffic regardless of the method. Thankfully, WordPress offers settings you can apply to combat spam comments on your website. If they are not enough, you can also install an anti-spam plugin.

You can also protect the comment box on your website with reCAPTCHA or a similar verification tool to add an extra spam protection layer. For more solid spam protection, you can also install a security plugin.

9 Best WordPress Social Media Sharing Plugins

In addition to search engines, social media is another great platform to get the website traffic from. In today’s practice, social media even has become an integral part of the overall internet marketing process. Just like search engine optimization which requires an SEO plugin, you need an appropriate plugin to get the most out of your social media campaigns. One of the plugin types you can install is a social media sharing plugin.

A social media sharing plugin will make it easier for your site visitors to share the page they are visiting. In fact, the social activities on your site — including page share — is associated with a better position on the search engine results page (SERP) as it can be an indicator that your content has good engagement. Search engines love engaging content like that. Some WordPress themes, including Newspaper X, come with a default social media sharing feature. However, it’s very rare (we haven’t found one till date) to find a social media sharing feature of a WordPress theme that has an analytics feature.

Analytics is one of the crucial features if you want to be serious with your social media marketing. It allows you to learn the number of shares you earned during a certain period and which articles have more shares.

Best WordPress Social Media Sharing Plugins

We have compiled the best WordPress social media sharing plugins you can install on your WordPress. Here is the list.

1. Monarch

Monarch is one of the products from Elegant Themes, the developer of Divi theme and Divi Builder. It is one of the most feature-rich WordPress social media sharing plugins. It comes with a built-in analytics feature that allows you to monitor the social media sharing statistics on your website. You can check how many shares you earned within a week, a month, and a year. You can also check the all-time stats. The analytics feature also shows which pages have more shares. Monarch allows you to display the social sharing buttons to the following locations:

  • Sidebar (floating)
  • Inline
  • Popup
  • Fly-in
  • Media

The options offered by each location are varied. For instance, the popup and fly-in locations allow you to display the sharing buttons after a visitor leaves a comment. If you use WooCommerce, you can also set the social sharing buttons to show up after a visitor makes a purchase. Here are the complete options for fly-in and popup locations:

If you want to, you can also display the sharing stats on the frontend to allow your visitors to know how many times the page they are visiting has been shared.

The biggest problem with Monarch is that you need to spend $89 to get it. This is not a price for a single product, though. With that price, you are allowed to download all WordPress products developed by Elegant Themes other than Monarch. Including Divi theme, Extra theme, Divi Builder, and Bloom.

2. AddThis

At the time of writing (August 14, 2020) the AddThis plugin hasn’t been updated for about one year. But we have tested it (on WordPress 5.5 ) and everything went well.

AddThis itself a great social media sharing plugin. Although the features offered by this plugin are not as rich as Monarch, it still worth trying. AddThis adds the social sharing buttons on the sidebar (floating on the left or right) on the desktop devices. While for the mobile devices, the social sharing buttons are placed on the bottom or top according to your setting. You can enable the social sharing buttons on the homepage, posts, pages, or archives.

AddThis has no default analytics features, but you can integrate it with Google Analytics. The AddThis integration with Google Analytics allows AddThis to share data into your Google Analytics reports. You can then view the AddThis shares as custom events in the Google Analytics dashboard.

3. MashShare

If you want to add large social media sharing buttons above or beneath an article, MasShare is a great option for you. This plugin will add social sharing buttons that fit the content width. This plugin offers options to disable/enable Twitter Card and Facebook Open Graph. The free version of MasShare only supports two social media platforms: Facebook and Twitter. To add more social media platforms, you need to upgrade to the pro version. The pro version also supports Google Analytics integration to track and count clicks on all share buttons. You can monitor the stats in realtime in the Google Analytics dashboard.

4. Social Snap

Social Snap is one of the most feature-rich social media sharing plugins for WordPress. The features offered by this plugin are pretty similar to Monarch. However, you need to use the pro version to unlock all features. Social Snap is a great solution if you are looking for a Monarch alternative although the features offered by Social Snap are not precisely the same as Monarch. For instance, Social Snap has no feature to display social sharing buttons after a certain action like commenting or purchasing.

The pro version of Social Snap comes with a built-in analytics feature to allow you to track stats like the number of shares, views, and likes. You can also check which posts have more shares. You can filter the stats by location, social networks, and date. social login, boost old posts, and click to tweet are also available. Social Snap itself supports the following location to display the social sharing buttons:

  • Sidebar (floating)
  • Inline
  • On media
  • Sticky bar
  • Share hub

5. Social Warfare

You can use Social Warfare for free with an option to upgrade to the version to unlock more features. Social Warfare allows you to enable the social share buttons on the homepage, posts, pages, archives, categories, and custom post types. You can display the social sharing buttons on the bottom of the content, above the content, or both of each location. There is also an option to enable the floating social sharing buttons. Social Warfare has no built-in analytics feature, but you can integrate it with Google Analytics (pro feature) to add an analytics functionality.

6. AddToAny

AddToAny is a simple social media sharing plugin for WordPress. No need to make a registration to use it. The plugin will start to work once it is installed and activated on your WordPress site. AddToAny supports nearly all social media platforms with the default setting are Facebook and Twitter. You can display the social sharing buttons at the bottom of the article, above the article, or both. There is also an option to display floating social sharing buttons. AddToAny has no built-in analytics feature but you can integrate it with Google Analytics.

7. Grow by Mediavine

Grow by Mediavine was formerly known as Social Pug. By default, the plugin adds the social share buttons beneath the article and on the left side (floating). Of course, you can set different locations to your looking. The default setting of Grow by Mediavine adds an animation effect on mouse hover. You can disable it if you want to. In addition to articles (blog posts), you can also enable the social sharing buttons on pages and custom post types.

If you want to, you can enable the tweet counts and Facebook shares in the frontend to allow your visitors to learn how many times the page they are seeing has been shared to social media. You can also integrate Grow by Mediavine with Google Analytics.

8. Social Rocket

Social Rocket is another great option if you are looking to add floating social media sharing buttons to your website. You need to enable the social sharing buttons yourself as the default setting of Social Rocket doesn’t display any social media sharing button. In addition to floating social sharing buttons, you can also display the social sharing buttons beneath or above the article. You can also enable the click two tweet option if you want to. Social Rocket has no analytics feature.

9. Sassy Social Share

Sassy Social Share is another plugin that you can use to add social media sharing buttons to your WordPress site. You can use it for free with an option to upgrade to the pro version to unlock the pro features. The pro version of Sassy Social Share supports integration with Google Analytics to add analytics functionality to the plugin. About the location of the buttons, you can enable them whether beneath the article, above the article, or both. Also, you can display the social share buttons at floating at the side.

The bottom line

Social media sharing is a must-have feature of a website as social media is an integral part of today’s society. It allows your visitors to effortlessly share the page they are visiting. There are a bunch of WordPress social media sharing plugins. For a marketing purpose, we suggest you install a social media sharing plugin with an analytics feature as it allows you to monitor the social sharing performance of your website. If you have enough budget, Monarch is the best option when it comes to WordPress social media sharing plugin.

9 Best WordPress Backup Plugins

A security plugin protects your WordPress site from hackers. A backup plugin helps you to effortlessly restore it when your site eventually gets hacked or is experiencing other issues caused by miss-configuration, unsuccessful theme or plugin updates, and so on. Most web hosting providers actually offer a default backup feature, but you should not rely on a single resource when it comes to website backup. If your web hosting provider unexpectedly is experiencing a server crash and all the data is gone, then you are done.

If you have the backup of your website on another location, you can easily restore it. No need to feel an ongoing sadness.

There are at least 5 crucial things you need to notice when looking for a WordPress plugin:

  • Backup scheduling feature
  • Incremental backups feature. This feature allows you to only backup changes to your files that have been made to your site since the last backup.
  • Remote storage options
  • Restoring feature
  • Technical support

Best WordPress Backup Plugins

To narrow down your choices, we have compiled the best, most-used WordPress backup plugins.

1. UpdraftPlus

UpdraftPlus is one of the most popular WordPress backup plugins with over 3 million active users. It is the best option if you are looking for a backup plugin that offers multiple storage locations. You can save your backup files to popular cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. If you have an FTP server, you can also configure UpdraftPlus to send the backup files to your FTP server. UpdraftPlus also offers its own remote storage you can opt to. There are 4 components you can back up:

  • WordPress database
  • WordPress core files
  • WordPress themes
  • WordPress plugins

UpdraftPlus allows you to either run a manual backup or automated backup. When setting an automated backup, you can set the schedule whether daily, weekly, or monthly. UpdraftPlus comes with all features we mentioned on the intro section, including incremental backups, more backup schedule options, importer, WP CLI, and so on. However, you need to upgrade to pro to unlock those features.

2. BackupBuddy

BackupBuddy is a backup plugin developed by the same company as iThemes Security, one of the popular WordPress security plugins. You can use BackupBuddy to backup your WordPress database, WordPress core files, and other components you can set yourself. The backup scheduler offered by this plugin also allows you to set automated backup whether daily, weekly, or monthly. You can select multiple backup locations. From Amazon S3, Google Drive, Dropbox, and so on.

BackupBuddy also offers its own storage location called BackupBuddy Stash. Features like the ability to restore your site and email notifications for backup activities area avilable. Unlike UpdraftPlus, BackupBuddy is released as a paid plugin.

3. BlogVault

It’s more precise to call BlogVault a backup service instead of a backup plugin. The plugin offered by BlogVault is only used to connect your WordPress site with your BlogVault account. Your WordPress files, as well as the database, will be synced to the BlogVault cloud storage. You can restore them to your website via FTP when you need them. BlogVault is a paid service. You are given a 7-day trial period to evaluate it.

4. BackupGuard

BackupGuard is pretty similar to UpdraftPlus. You can use it for free to backup your website. You can either run a manual backup or scheduled, automated backup with this plugin. One thing. By default, the backup files are stored to your server (path: wp-content/uploads/backup-guard). So, if your hosting plan has a limited storage space, BackupGuard is not the best option. If you want to, you can send the backup files to Dropbox (this feature is available for free). To get more backup location options, you can upgrade to the pro version.

With the pro version of BackupGuard, you can select storage locations other than Dropbox. From Google Drive, Amazon S3, and OneDrive. If you have an FTP server, you can also configure BackupGuard to send the backup files to your FTP server. Other key features offered by the pro version of BackupGuard include:

  • Site migration
  • Email notifications
  • Multiple scheduled backups

5. VaultPress

VaultPress is one of the products from Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, Jetpack, WooCommerce, and several other popular WordPress products. The concept of VaultPress is the same as BlogVault. It is more precise to be called a backup service instead of a backup plugin. The VaultPress plugin plays a role only to connect your WordPress site with your VaultPress account. VaultPress is a paid service. It can be a great option if you are looking for a real-time backup solution. There is also a migration feature offered by the service as well.

6. BackWPup

BackWPup is one of the best free WordPress backup plugins (a pro version is also available with more advanced features). The free version of BackWPup offers plenty enough features. First, you can run a manual backup. When running a manual backup, you can set which files you want to include. Whether database only, WordPress core files only, plugin files only, or all of them. You can also export your content only into an XML file. Second, you can also run scheduled, automated backups. BackWPup offers two methods to set scheduled backups: using WordPress cron or EasyCron.com.

The free version of BackWPup also allows offers several storage destinations. From Dropbox, Amazon S3, FTP, to Microsoft Azure. You can also directly sent the backup files to your email. Advanced features like file encryption, restoration, and the ability to send backup files to Google Drive are available on BackWPup Pro.

7. Duplicator

Duplicator is another popular WordPress backup plugin with over 1 million active users according to the stat on the WordPress plugin directory. You can use Duplicator for free, but with limited enough features. You can only store the backup files to your own server, which is not good if you have a limited storage hosting plan. The option to send the backup files to a cloud storage service (Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and Amazon S3) is only available on the Duplicator Pro.

8. WP Time Capsule

WP Time Capsule is a paid WordPress backup plugin. You can try it for free during the offered 30-day trial period. There are four storage options you can choose to store your backup files: Dropbox, Google Drive, Wasabi, and Amazon S3. If you are looking for a backup plugin with an incremental backup feature, WP Time Capsule is one of the plugins you can use. WP Time Capsule backs up your website in real-time. You don’t need to create any backup schedules as any change in your website’s files or database will trigger a backup. WP Time Capsule also offers a feature to restore your website.

9. WPVivid

WPVivid is another WordPress backup plugin that has an incremental backup feature, but the feature is only available on the pro version. Yes, WPVivid is a freemium plugin. The free version of the plugin comes with plenty enough features, including the options to store the backup files to cloud storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and Amazon S3. You can also configure the plugin to store the backup files to your FTP service in you have one.

You can use WPVivid to backup your WordPress database as well as the core files. Also, you can also export the content only (posts or pages). Some features offered by WPVivid Pro are encrypted database, custom tables for database migration, themes backup, plugin backup, site restoration, and so on.

The bottom line

Regularly backing up your website is crucial because when there is a serious issue with your website — like hacker attack or server crash — you can easily get your site back by restoring it using the existing backup files. While most hosting providers offer a default backup feature, you need a backup plugin to store the backup files to another location. This is the best practice to backup your site. Your asset.

6 Best WordPress SEO Plugins

Search engines are the best source to get website traffic for free. However, getting massive traffic from search engines is not as easy as you imagined. In addition to site optimization (page speed in particular), you also need to optimize the content of your website. The process is known as search engine optimization or often shortened as SEO. Some WordPress themes such as Divi come with a default SEO feature, but for an optimum SEO, we suggest you install an SEO plugin. We have compiled the best WordPress SEO plugins you can install on your site.

One of the key features you need to notice when choosing an SEO plugin is SEO analysis. This feature is especially crucial for blogs, news portals, or other website types in which the articles are regularly updated. The feature will analyze your content while also offers suggestions to improve the optimization to make your content as SEO-friendly as possible.

In general, here are the features you need to notice when choosing an SEO plugin:

  • SEO analysis
  • XML sitemaps
  • The ability to add custom meta description
  • The ability to add focus keyphrase (your keyword)

Here are 6 of the best WordPress SEO plugins we recommend:

Best WordPress SEO Plugins

1. Yoast

Being the most popular SEO plugin, it would be a huge mistake to not mention Yoast when discussing SEO plugin. In fact, Yoast is one of the most popular WordPress plugins with over 5 million active users. You can use Yoast to optimize your website and its content to make every part of your website SEO friendly. Yoast comes with all of the key features we mentioned in the intro section. The SEO analysis feature will make sure that every content you write is SEO friendly. You will be provided an indicator after adding your focus keyword. You can see the indicator on the Yoast SEO section below the WordPress editor.

Also, you can see a readability indicator to make sure that your content keeps human-focused. When writing new content, you can also add a custom meta description. Additional features like breadcrumbs, social media integrations, and webmaster integrations are also available. Here are the key features offered by Yoast.

  • SEO analysis
  • XML sitemaps
  • The ability to add custom meta description
  • The ability to add focus keyphrase
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Social media integrations
  • Webmaster integrations

For your information, Yoast has native integration with Elementor. With Yoast installed and activated, you can add breadcrumbs to your Elementor page using the Breadcumbs widget. The pro version of Yoast comes with additional features like cornerstone content, the ability to add related keyphrases, internal linking suggestions and so on,

2. Rank Math

Rank Math is the best SEO plugin if you use Elementor. Once installed and activated, it will a new tab on the Elementor settings panel to allow you to optimize your design to make it SEO friendly. You will be able to set the focus keyword as well as analyze the SEO elements of your design.

The features offered by Rank Math are generally not much different from Yoast. In some ways, Rank Math is better than Yoast. For instance, Rank Math has a feature to get keyword suggestions from Google when entering a focus keyword. However, you need to create a Rank Math account to use this feature.

When writing content, Rank Math will analyze the content you are writing and provide a score with a scale of 0-100. This idea is great as it is way more understandable. A higher score means better SEO optimization. As simple as that. You can see the score on the Gutenberg sidebar (on the top side). Rank Math will also suggest which parts need to be optimized more. You can also add custom meta description, keyword, and so on.

Here are they key features offered by Rank Math:

  • SEO analysis
  • Sitemap
  • Webmaster integrations
  • Local SEO and knowledge graph
  • Google Web Stories

Those features are available as modules. You can disable a certain module if you think you don’t it.

3. WP Meta SEO

Not as popular as Yoast and Rank Math, but WP Meta SEO is also a great plugin you can use to optimize your website. WP Meta SEO is especially a great plugin if you haven’t installed any SEO plugin on your live website. This plugin has a feature to bulk edit the existing content by adding a custom meta description and a custom title. You can bulk edit content types like blog posts, pages, and media. WP Meta SEO comes with a built-in feature to optimize images for faster page load.

What about SEO analysis?

WP Meta SEO also comes with an SEO analysis. You will be provided an indicator (in percent). The plugin will suggest which parts of your content that haven’t optimized. The ability to add custom meta description is also available. Unfortunately, there is no option to add a focus keyword.

Here are the key features offered by WP Meta SEO:

  • SEO analysis
  • Bulk meta editor
  • Bulk image optimizer
  • Sitemap
  • Link editor
  • The ability to add custom meta description
  • Breadcumbs

4. SEOPress

SEOPress is another great SEO plugin that offers plenty of features, including an SEO analysis to analyze the content you write. SEOPress also provides suggestions for the parts of the content that need to be optimized more just like other plugins above. You can also add a custom meta description, custom SEO title, and focus keyword on the content you write. features like social media integrations and sitemap are also available.

Here are the key features offered by SEOPress:

  • SEO analysis
  • Sitemap
  • The ability to add custom meta description, custom SEO title, and focus keyword
  • Google Analytics integration

If you use the pro version ($39 per year), you will also get more advanced features like breadcrumbs, local SEO, 404 monitoring, keyword suggestions from Google, and so on.

5. All-in-one SEO Pack

All-in-one SEO Pack is the second most popular WordPress SEO plugin after Yoast. This plugin has over 2 million active users. However, the features offered by this plugin tend to limited compared to Rank Math or WP Meta SEO. It even has no SEO analysis feature which is crucial enough for content optimization, although you can add custom meta description and custom SEO title (there is no option to add focus keyword).

Here are the features offered by All-in-one SEO Pack:

  • Sitemap
  • The ability to add custom mete description and custom SEO title
  • Social media integrations
  • Robots.txt and .htaccess generator

You can get more features like local SEO on the pro version.

6. The SEO Framework

The SEO Framework is another plugin you can use to optimize your website. You can use the plugin whether to optimize your site homepage, posts, and other pages. Same as All-in-one SEO Pack above, The SEO Framework has no SEO analysis feature to analyze the content you write, but it does allow you to add custom meta description and custom SEO title. Features like sitemap, breadcrumbs, and webmaster integrations are available.

Key features offered by The SEO Framework:

  • Sitemap
  • Breadcrumbs
  • The ability to add custom meta description and custom SEO title
  • Webmaster integrations
  • Social media integrations

The bottom line

We strongly recommend you install an SEO plugin to optimize your WordPress website. Depending on your needs, you can use one of the WordPress SEO plugins we recommended above. Yoast, Rank Math, WP Meta SEO, and SEOPress are great if you are looking for an SEO plugin with an SEO analysis feature. If you have a live website and have no SEO plugin installed, WP Meta SEO is a great plugin as it offers bulk meta editor.

8 Best WordPress Security Plugins

Security is one of the aspects you need to notice when you have a WordPress site. Despite your knowledge level in web security, you need to at least install a security plugin to protect your website from attackers. We have compiled the best WordPress security plugins and want to show you in this article.

We once in a situation where our website was attacked by a hacker. The hacker even installed some backdoor files before we eventually removed them. We used the Wordfence plugin to identify those backdoor files. This security plugin comes with a scanning tool that helped us scanning the suspicious files on our website and then remove them. It also has a firewall feature to prevent hackers from getting to your website.

Wordfence is just an example of the security plugin. There are lots of security plugins out there. As mentioned, we have compiled some of the best ones for you. When it comes to security plugins, here are some crucial features to consider.

  • Scanning tool. This feature is especially crucial if your website is being hacked. You can use it to scan the suspicious files.
  • Firewall. This feature protects your website from threats, including malware and attackers.
  • Password security to deny weak password login.
  • Login security to add a securer login method such as reCAPTCHA or two-factor authentication.
  • Email notifications for immediate notifications over suspicious activities.

Best WordPress security plugins

1. Wordfence

Wordfence is one of the most-used WordPress security plugins. According to a stat on the WordPress plugin repository, Wordfence is used by over 3 million websites. Wordfence has all the required features we mentioned above. If your website is being hacked, you can use its scanning tool to scan the suspicious files and you can then clean them up. The Wordfence scanning tool works by comparing the original WordPress files on its database with the WordPress files on your website. The firewall feature offered by Wordfence protects your website for other attacks once you fixed the previous one.

Wordfence will deny login with a weak password. You will be forced to change your password it Wordfence considers it a weak password. Here are the key features offered by Wordfence:

  • Malware scanner
  • Firewall
  • Password security
  • Login protection (you can enable two-factor authentication)
  • Email notification

Wordfence itself is a freemium plugin. The basic features we mentioned above are available on the free version. If you need advanced features like real-time IP blacklist and real-time firewall rule, you can upgrade to the pro version.

2. Sucuri Security

The features offered by Sucuri Security are not much different from Wordfence. It also has both a scanning tool and firewall to protect your website from threats. Sucuri Security automatically detects malicious files like malicious JavaScript, malicious iFrames, suspicious redirections. You need to enter your firewall API key in order to make your website firewall-protected.

Sucuri Security comes with a feature to blacklist IP addresses from accessing your website. This feature is pretty useful as you can prevent the IP addresses of the attackers from accessing your website. Some key features offered by Sucuri Security are:

  • Malware scanner
  • IP blacklist manager
  • Firewall
  • Login audits
  • Email notifications

The features above are available on the free version of Sucuri Security. You can upgrade to the pro version to unlock more advanced features.

3. MalCare

MalCare focuses on one thing: protecting your website from malware. So, if you are looking for a security plugin to remove malware (without extra features), MalCare is a good plugin to try. MalCare is a bit different from Sucuri Security and Wordfence. Not just because it has no extra features like the two. MalCare is a cloud-based anti-malware plugin. When running the malware scanning, the scanning process is run on the cloud instead of on your website, which is great in terms of site performance.

You will see no options on the MalCare dashboard other than running the scanning option. There is no firewall or login security feature. MalCare really focuses on malware protection. Because of this, MalCare is best suited for attacked websites. With the pro version, you can even request malware removal.

4. iThemes Security

iThemes is a big enough player in the WordPress industry. iThemes Security is one of the products developed by the company. The features offered by this plugin are pretty similar to Sucuri Security and Wordfence. However, some basic features, like two-factor authentication, reCAPTCHA integration, and user logging are only available on the pro version. iThemes Security comes with some features you can configure to secure your websites. There is a feature that you can use to blacklist IP addresses, enable brute force protection, force users to use a strong password, and so on.

5. BulletProof Security

BulletProof Security is another feature-rich security plugin for WordPress which you can use to scan malware on your website. It also offers firewall protection to secure your websites from attackers. BulletProof Security also offers a login security feature to protect your website login. You can set some parameters like maximum login attempts, automatic lookout time, and so on.

6. WP Security Ninja

WP Security Ninja is basically a feature-rich security plugin. However, you need to use the pro version to use all of its features. The free version of this plugin only allows you to run security testing and some tested parameters are actually very basic such as WordPress version, SSL, plugin versions, and so on. Malware scanner, WordPress core files scanner, and firewall are available. But again, you need to use the pro version. If you are not objected to spending money, WP Security Ninja is a worth plugin to install.

7. All In One WordPress Security

As the name suggests, All In One WordPress Security is a feature-rich security WordPress plugins. Features like firewall, scanner, brute force protection, login security, and spam protection are available. The best thing is, you can use all of those features for free. The scanner feature of All In One WordPress Security allows you to detect malware and file changes — which is crucial enough for the diagnosis process when your site gets attacked. The plugin also comes with a blacklist manager to block website access by IP address and user agent.

The key features offered by All In One WordPress Security are:

  • Scanner
  • Firewall
  • Brute force protection
  • Blacklist manager
  • Spam protection
  • Email notification over suspicious activities

8. Defender Security

Defender Security is a security plugin developed by WPMU DEV, another big player in the WordPress industry. It is one of the best security plugins, with lots of features you can enable and configure to protect your website. It comes with all features we mentioned in the intro section. Plus, the plugin also offers some security suggestions which you can implement right away. For instance, you can disable the file editor with a single click, manage login duration, prevent user enumeration, prevent PHP execution, and so on.

Here are the key features offered by Defender Security:

  • Firewall
  • Malware scanner
  • Login security (you can enable the two-factor authentication)
  • Email notifications
  • Blacklist manager
  • 404 detection
  • Log manager

Advanced features like web application firewall, blacklist monitor, and audit logging are available on the pro version of Defender Security.

The bottom line

Leaving your WordPress running without a security plugin is a huge mistake as it could provide huge chances for hackers to attack your website. If your website gets hacked, not only it will affect the performance of your website, but also your business reputation. We strongly recommend installing a security plugin with a firewall feature as it helps protect your website from some threat types, including malware.

If you have no web security knowledge at all, we also recommend using a managed WordPress hosting. Managed WordPress hosting is a type of hosting service whereby technical aspects related to your WordPress site — including security and performance — are handled by your hosting provider so you can focus on growing your website. You can then install a security plugin to add an extra security layer to your website.

5 Best Advanced Custom Fields Plugin Alternatives

Advanced Custom Fields (often shortened as ACF) is a popular WordPress plugin to create custom fields. It is a great tool to create a dynamic WordPress site that requires custom fields or other types of custom content. In case ACF doesn’t work the way you expected, we have collected some best alternatives you can give a try.

A little intro about custom fields. A custom field is a metadata box that stores additional information related to a blog post, page, or custom post type. Plugins like ACF and the similar ones (which will cover in this article) are designed to allow you to create a set of custom fields without coding. Here are examples of custom fields:

As you can see in the image above. There are 3 custom fields in a custom fields group called Movie Summary. The custom fields are Score, Genre, Review Summary. The examples above are the implementation of custom fields on a movie review website. Creating custom fields will make it easy for you to sort your articles. You can, for instance, create a list of top 100 all-time movies and offers a filtering feature to allow your visitors to filter the movies by genre, rating, release date, and so on.

WooCommerce, the most popular e-commerce WordPress plugin, is the best example of how custom fields are implemented.

So, here are the best ACF alternatives you can give a try to create custom fields on your WordPress site.

Best ACF Alternatives

1. JetEngine

JetEngine is functionally one of the best ACF alternatives. However, you need to use Elementor to use JetEngine as it is designed specifically for Elementor. Not only you can use JetEngine to create custom fields but also other custom content types including custom post types, custom taxonomies, custom forms, listing items, dynamic calendar, dynamic gallery, and so on. JetEngine enriches the dynamic content types you can add to your Elementor designs. When creating custom fields group with JetEngine, you can use choose the following field types:

  • Text
  • Date
  • Time
  • Datetime
  • Text area
  • WYSIWYG
  • Switcher
  • Checkbox
  • Icon picker
  • Media
  • Gallery
  • Radio
  • Repeater
  • Select
  • Number
  • Color picker

You can assign the custom fields group to posts (blog posts), custom post types, pages, WooCommerce products, and so on.

You can use JetEngine whether on Elementor Pro or Elementor Free. The custom content type creation is done via the JetEngine backend. You can then add the custom content type you created to an Elementor design (page or template). In addition to allowing you to create a custom content type, JetEngine also allows you to add default dynamic content types of WordPress such as featured image, post title, post meta, author profile, site title, and so on. JetEngine itself is a paid plugin. It is part of JetPlugins, a set of premium Elementor add-ons developed by Crocoblock.

2. Pods

Looking for a free solution to create custom fields in WordPress? Pods can be the best answer. This plugin is completely free to use. You can use it to add custom fields to the WordPress default post types (posts and pages) and default taxonomies (categories and tags). Pods also allows you to create a custom post type and add custom fields group to it. Pods supports the following field types:

  • Plain text
  • Website
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Password
  • WYSIWYG
  • Date
  • Time
  • Plain number
  • Currency
  • Media
  • Relationship
  • Color picker

Pods has a native integration support with Elementor that allows you to add the custom fields you created with Pods to an Elementor design. However, Elementor Pro version is required. If you use Beaver Builder, you can install the Pods Beaver Themer Add-On plugin (free) to integrate Pods with Beaver Builder.

3. Toolset

Toolset is a paid plugin. No free version is available. You can also use it as an alternative to ACF. You can use Toolset to create a dynamic website for your client or your own business. The types of custom content you can create with Toolset are vary depending on the plan you use. The cheapest plan ($69) allows you to create custom post types, custom fields, custom repeaters.

4. Custom Field Suite

Custom Field Suite is another great option if you are looking for a free plugin to create custom fields on your WordPress site. However, you need to have PHP knowledge to use it. You don’t need to deal with PHP scripts to create custom fields. But to implement your custom fields to a template, you need to write a PHP script. This plugin tends suited for WordPress developers with advanced skills, including coding. Custom Field Suite is a free plugin. The developer offers no technical support so you need to solve every issue yourself.

There are 14 field types offered by Custom Field Suite:

  • Text
  • Text area
  • WYSIWYG
  • Link
  • Date
  • Color picker
  • True/false
  • Select
  • Relationship
  • Term
  • User
  • File upload
  • Loop
  • Tab

You can assign the custom fields group to posts, pages, custom post types, and so on.

5. Meta Box

Meta Box is a freemium custom field plugin. If you use the free version, you can’t create the custom fields from your WordPress dashboard. Instead, you can only do so via a page provided by Meta Box. From this page, you can create the custom fields you need. Once done, you can generate the PHP code of custom fields group. The generated code is a new WordPress function which you can add by adding it to the functions.php file of your theme. The process is a bit hassle for the free version indeed. It’s even more hassle if you need to add a new field as you need to visit the Meta Box website to do so. Meta Box itself supports the following field types:

  • Button
  • Checkbox
  • Checkbox List
  • Email
  • Hidden
  • Number
  • Password
  • Radio
  • Range
  • Select
  • Select Advanced
  • Text
  • Text Area
  • URL
  • Autocomplete
  • Color Picker
  • Date
  • Date Time
  • Fieldset Text
  • Google Maps
  • Image Select
  • oEmbed
  • Slider
  • Text List
  • Time
  • WYSIWYG Editor
  • Post
  • Taxonomy
  • Taxonomy Advanced
  • User
  • File
  • File Advanced
  • File Input
  • Image
  • Image Advanced
  • Video
  • Divider
  • Heading

Meta Box is supported by major page builders like Elementor and Brizy. It supports extensions to extend its functionality.

The Bottom Line

With WordPress, everyone can be a website developer without needing to have coding skills (although having coding skills would give you many advantages). The ability to add custom fields is the WordPress feature you can make use of to create a complex website. The existence of page builder plugins that support dynamic content (Elementor in particular) makes your job even easier. You can add custom fields (or create new custom post types) with the plugins above and add them to your design.

JetEngine Plugin: Overview and Review

One of the features offered by Elementor Pro is the ability to add dynamic content (read: Elementor Free vs Elementor Pro). This feature allows you to add dynamic content to your designs, be it pages or theme builder templates. Although this feature is useful enough to create dynamic WordPress websites with Elementor, it has some downsides. You can only add default dynamic content types of WordPress such as featured image, post meta (date, time, comment counts, and so on), post title, page title, site title, author info, author meta, WooCommerce product price, WooCommerce product stock, and so on. There are no options to add custom dynamic content types like custom post types, custom fields, or custom taxonomies. JetEngine was created to fill the hole.

If you have ever used the ACF plugin before, JetEngine is pretty similar to it. The difference is, JetEngine is developed specifically for Elementor and Gutenberg. You can use it to create custom dynamic content types and then add them to your Elementor designs or Gutenberg.

What is JetEngine?

JetEngine is a part of JetPlugins, a set of premium Elementor add-ons developed by Crocoblock. There are 18 add-ons in the set in total. As mentioned earlier, JetEngine is a plugin to create custom content types in WordPress, much like ACF. The difference is, this plugin is designed specifically for Elementor. The custom content types are created in the JetEngine backend (dashboard) and you can then add them to your Elementor designs via the Elementor editor.

You can create custom content types according to the needs of the website you want to create. Some custom content types you can create with JetEngine are:

  • Custom post types
  • Custom fields
  • Custom taxonomies
  • Custom forms
  • Listing items
  • Dynamic calendar
  • Dynamic gallery
  • Dynamic map
  • And several other custom content types

The default setting of JetEngine can only be used to create listing items, custom post types, custom fields, and custom taxonomies. To be able to create other custom content types, you need to enable the modules.

JetEngine is a paid plugin that costs $43 per year. A bit cheaper than ACF Pro which costs $49 per year. You can get JetEngine on the official website of Crocoblock.

How JetEngine Works

As we mentioned in the intro section, you can create the custom content types in the JetEngine backend and use the custom content types you created on the Elementor editor when creating a page or template. This is great as you don’t need to ruin your design to change the values or add new items of the dynamic content on your design. Every change you made on the dynamic content won’t affect your design.

To give you an overview, let’s take an example by creating some custom fields. Go to JetEngine -> Meta Boxes on your WordPress dashboard. Click the Add New button to create a new custom fields group.

On the next step, you can add the custom fields you need as well as set the required information such as the name of the custom fields group, where you want to assign it, and so on. You can click the Add Meta Box button on the right side to publish the custom fields group. You can read this article for more detailed instructions.

To use the custom fields group you have just created, you can create a new page with Elementor (or edit an existing one). Add any widget (i.e. the Heading widget) and go to the left panel to set the content. Instead of typing the text, you can click the database icon. You will a JetEngine options block.

To use the custom fields you have just created, you can select the Custom Field option and select the custom fields you want to use on the Field dropdown menu.

For custom content types like forms, listing grid, or calendar, you need to add the widgets offered by JetEngine (which you can find on the LISTING ELEMENTS widgets block). The concept is the same. You need to create the content first on the JetEngine backend before being able to select any content variable.

In addition to custom content types, JetEngine can also be used to add default dynamic content types of WordPress such as post title, post meta, post excerpt, user profile, post thumbnail, and so on. You can use the Dynamic Field widget, Dynamic Image widget, and Dynamic Meta widget to add default dynamic content types of WordPress.

JetEngine Modules

Again, the default setting of JetEngine can only be used to create listing items, custom post types, custom fields, and custom taxonomies. To be able to create other custom content types like custom calendar, custom gallery, and custom forms, you need to enable the associated modules first. To do so, you can go to JetEngine -> JetEngine on your WordPress dashboard. On the Modules tab, select the modules you want to enable and click the Save button.

As you can see in the image above, there are 10 modules offered by JetEngine.

1. Grid Gallery for Dynamic Field Widget

You can use this module to display the image galleries of the default post type (blog posts). To do so, you need to create a custom fields group and assign it to Posts. Make sure to add the gallery field when adding the custom meta fields.

2. Slider Gallery for Dynamic Field Widget

Same as the first module above, you can also this module to display image galleries of the default post type. The difference is, the images are displayed in a slider form instead of a grid.

3. QR Code for Dynamic Field Widget

You can use this module to display the QR codes using the Dynamic Field widget of JetEngine.

4. Calendar

You can enable this module if you want to create a dynamic calendar with JetEngine. This module is great to create a dynamic event calendar page on your website.

5. Forms

You need to enable this module to create a custom form with JetEngine. The JetEngine Forms module can be used to create a wide range of forms. From a simple contact form, email opt-in form (can be connected to Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, and GetResponse), user registration form, front-end content submission form, booking form, and so on. There are 17 field types you can use. Also, you can set conditional logic for form fields.

6. Listing Grid Injections

You can use module to display listing templates with different style settings. For more detailed instructions about listing template, you can read this article.

7. Profile Builder

This module allows you to create personal accounts for the users on your website and gives them the possibility to submit information to your website via a frontend form.

8. Maps Listings

You can use this module to add a dynamic map to a listing item. This module is great to create websites that need map info such as real estate listing sites.

9. Dynamic Visibility for Widgets and Sections

This module allows you to define parameters of visibility for every element on the page. The element will only be displayed if meets certain criteria. You can, for instance, hide a certain element on your website for logged users, users with a certain role, and so on. You can use this module to restrict certain content to certain users dynamically. When this module is enabled, you will see a new options block called Dynamic Visibility on the Advanced tab on the Elementor widget panel.

10. Data Stores

On big websites like Amazon, Goodreads, and IMDb, there are features to add products, books, and movies to wishlist. The Data Stores module is used to add the similar feature to your website. You can also add a like feature and show your users how many times a certain item has been liked by other users.

JetEngine is a great solution if you want to create a dynamic, complex WordPress website with Elementor. It allows you to create and add custom dynamic content types that are not supported by Elementor Pro such as custom post types, custom fields, dynamic calendar, listing items, and so on. Combined with Elementor Pro, you will have deathly ammunitions to create dynamic websites with Elementor although you can also use JetEngine on Elementor Free.

Final Thought – JetEngine Review

The ability to create listing items allows you to create websites like real estate listing websites or directory websites, while the versatile Forms module allows you to create advanced forms like frontend submission form, user registration form, booking form, and so on. JetEngine is a great tool to unlock the power of WordPress as a flexible, fully customized content management system. Without needing to have coding skills, you can create complex websites with it. JetEngine and Elementor are a perfect mate. You can use JetEngine to create the core functions/features of your website and then use Elementor to style them up.

If you have never used a similar plugin before (i.e. ACF as the popular similar plugin), it will take time for you to learn how to use JetEngine. After using it and digging it deeper, you will realize how useful the plugin would be.

Summary

  • Functionality: 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)
  • Easy of use: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
  • Compatibility with Elementor: 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)
  • Price: 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)
  • Overall quality: 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

3 Best WordPress CRM Plugins

Customers are everything. Without them, none of the business will survive. Thus, maintaining communication with them is one of the most crucial things for the business, no matter the scale of your business. Even if you are just a freelancer. A CRM plugin helps you to maintain and manage your communication with your customers. With so many CRM plugins out there, choosing the right one for your business can take lots of time. We have compiled the best CRM plugins for WordPress.

One of the crucial features to consider when selecting a CRM plugin is form builder. You need it to create forms to collect leads and then process and manage the leads via the CRM dashboard inside your WordPress site. To monitor the performance of the running campaigns, analytics is another crucial feature to consider. In general, the CRM plugins we will mention have the following key features:

  • Contacts management
  • Form builder
  • Reporting/analytics
  • Task scheduler
  • Invoicing
  • Activity logging

Here are some of the best CRM plugins for WordPress.

1. HubSpot

HubSpot is a popular marketing tool for online businesses. One of the tools offered by HubSpot is CRM. HubSpot develops an official CRM plugin dedicated to WordPress users. You can use the plugin to collect leads and manage contacts right from the WordPress dashboard. There are two ways you can adopt to collect leads: via live chat and forms. The analytics feature allows you to monitor the performance of your HubSpot campaigns. The key features offered by HubSpot are:

  • Contacts management
  • Analytics
  • Lists management
  • Form builder
  • Live chat
  • Task manager

You can do several things to your contacts such as sending emails, making a phone call, scheduling a meeting, and so on. If you use the pro version, you can also make a video call with your contacts. HubSpot can be integrated with some page builder plugins, including Elementor.

2. Jetpack CRM

Jetpack CRM is a relatively new player in the CRM software market. The plugin has just been released in July 2020. Jetpack, as you might have known, is part of Automattic, a company founded by Matt Mullenweg, the creator of WordPress CMS. Jetpack CRM is especially a great tool if you are a freelancer who markets your service via a WordPress site. It comes with an invoicing feature to make it easy for you to send invoices to your clients and manage them. You can manage communication with clients via email. Jetpack CRM uses the WordPress mail delivery function (wp_mail) to handle mail delivery.

Some key features offered Jetpack CRM are:

  • Contacts management
  • Task scheduler
  • Quotes management
  • Invoice management
  • Form builder
  • Analytics

Unlike HubSpot, Jetpack CRM has no default features to make phone calls or video calls. The only communication medium you can use is email. Jetpack CRM supports extensions to extend its functionality. Via extensions, you can integrate Jetpack CRM with popular services like PayPal, Mailchimp, Optin Monster, and so on. Jetpack CRM has no live chat feature. You can create forms to collect leads and add the forms anywhere via shortcodes.

3. WP ERP

WP ERP is a WordPress plugin developed by weDevs, the company that also develops Happy Addons. It is not designed specifically as a CRM plugin. Instead, it is an HR, accounting, and CRM plugins combined. If you want to, you can disable the HR and accounting functionalities. WP ERP is a great solution if you need a free ERP software solution for your company. The CRM module of WP ERP allows you to manage contacts and do such things as send emails, schedule tasks, and manage tasks. Before being able to send emails, you need to connect it with your Gmail account or configure IMAP if you use your own mail server.

Unfortunately, WE ERP has no default feature to create forms. You need to install an add-on to be able to create forms. Some key features offered by the CRM module of WP ERP are:

  • Contacts manager
  • Task scheduler
  • Task manager

The bottom line

We have actually tested about 7 CRM plugins. However, we finally only mention the three CRM plugins above as other plugins we tested didn’t really act as a CRM plugin. The 3 plugins above have all the necessary features as we mentioned in the intro section (except WP ERP that has no default form builder).

How to Create a User Registration Form with JetEngine

JetEngine is an Elementor add-on that allows you to add dynamic content to your Elementor designs (pages or templates). Elementor Pro already has a feature to add dynamic content as well, but the dynamic content types supported by Elementor Pro are limited to the WordPress default content types such as blog posts, pages, user profiles, featured images, and so on. JetEngine allows you to create custom content types — such as custom post type and custom fields — and add them to your designs.

In addition, JetEngine also allows you to create custom forms. You can use JetEngine to create form types like user registration form, front-end post submission form, booking form, and so on. In this post, we will show you how to create a user registration form in Elementor using JetEngine.

How to create a user registration form in Elementor using JetEngine

Before getting started, make sure you have installed and activated JetEngine on your WordPress site. JetEngine itself is a premium Elementor add-on that costs $26 per year. It is developed by Crocblock. You can get it on the Crocoblock website.

Once the JetEngine plugin is installed and activated, go to JetEngine -> JetEngine on your WordPress dashboard and make sure the Forms module is enabled.

You might also want to set the default role for a newly registered user on your WordPress site. To do so, go to Settings -> General. Scroll down to the New User Default Role section and select your preferred default role for a new user from the dropdown menu.

Note: If you set new user default role to Subscriber, chances are your new users won’t be able to access the WordPress dashboard after logging in. To allow them to access the WordPress dashboard, you can set the default role to Contributor.

Creating the registration form

To create a user registration form with JetEngine, you need at least 6 form fields:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Username
  • Email
  • Password
  • Confirm password

To start creating the form, go to JetEngine -> Forms. Click the Add New button to create a new form.

Give your form a name before start setting the form fields.

As mentioned, you will need at least 6 form fields. By default, JetEngine provides one form field and one submit button for a new form. We will create the form from scratch so you can simply delete the default field and submit button. You can click the X icon to delete the existing field/submit button.

  • First name field

Click the Add Field button to add the first name field and click the pencil icon to make the settings.

Set the Type option to Text and the Field Type option to Text as well. Also set the field name and field label. Click the Apply Changes button.

  • Last name field

Click the Add Field button to add the last name field and click the pencil icon to make the settings.

Set the Type option to Text and the Field Type option to Text as well. Also set the field name and field label. Click the Apply Changes button.

  • Username field

Click the Add Field button to add the username field and click the pencil icon to make the settings.

Set the Type option to Text and the Field Type option to Text as well. Also set the field name and field label. Since username is a required field, make sure the Required option is checked. Click the Apply Changes button.

  • Email field

Click the Add Field button to add the email field and click the pencil icon to make the settings.

Set the Type option to Text and the Field Type option to Email. Also set the field name and field label. Since email is a required field, make sure the Required option is checked. Click the Apply Changes button.

  • Password field

Click the Add Field button to add the password field and click the pencil icon to make the settings.

Set the Type option to Text and the Field Type option to Password. Also set the field name and field label. Since password is a required field, make sure the Required option is checked. Click the Apply Changes button.

  • Confirm password field

Click the Add Field button to add the confirm password field and click the pencil icon to make the settings.

You can use the same settings for the confirm password field as the settings on the password field.

Once done setting the form fields, add a new submit button by clicking the Add Submit Button button. Click the pencil icon to make the basic customization to the button.

Set the button label and click the Apply Changes button.

If you want to change the order of the fields, you can simply drag the fields upright and downright.

If you want to protect your form with reCAPTCHA, you can simply tick the Enable reCAPTCHA v3 option and enter the site key and the secret key.

Once done setting the form fields, switch to the Post-submit Actions / Notification Settings section to set the form action. By default, the form action is set to Send Email. You can click the pencil icon to change it.

Change the action type to Register New User and set the fields map according to the fields you have set above before. If you want to set the newly registered user to automatically log in after the successful account creation, you can tick the Log In User after Register option. Click the Apply Changes button to apply the settings.

If you want to redirect the users to a certain page after they successfully registered (the WordPress dashboard for instance), you can add a new form action by clicking the Add Notification button. Click the pencil icon to make the settings.

Set the action type to Redirect to Page and set the redirect page on the Redirect to option. If you want to redirect your newly registered users to the WordPress dashboard, you can set the the URL to yourdomain.com/wp-admin on the Redirect URL: field. Click the Apply Changes button to apply the changes.

You can switch to the Messages Settings section to set the custom messages. Once done, click the Publish button to publish your form.

Your form is now ready to use.

Adding the registration form to the registration page

Once you are done creating the registration form with JetEngine, you can then use the newly created form. In our case, we will use it on a user registration page. So, create a new page (Pages -> Add New) and edit it with Elementor. On the Elementor editor, search for the Form widget on the LISTING ELEMENTS widgets block and drag it to the canvas area.

Go to the left panel and select the registration form you have created from the Select form dropdown menu under the Content tab.

You can go to the Style tab to style up the form just like when you are styling up other Elementor widgets. You can set things like the typography of the fields, the typography of the form labels, the typography of the submit button, background color, border radius, and so on. Click the Publish button once you are done styling up the form and editing the page.

That’s it. You can test your form once the page is published. If there are still some problems, you can edit the form (no need to edit the registration page, just edit the registration form). To edit the form, go to JetEngine -> Forms. Hover your mouse over the form and click the Edit link.

Click the Update button every time you made new changes.

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