June 2, 2022

9 WordPress Site Design Plugins to Customize Your Website

Did you know that there are 1.5 billion websites right now?

With so much available at users’ fingertips, it’s difficult to know what can keep their attention and what you should avoid. The WordPress platform can help you launch a fast and functional website, but what does it take to design a website that is more attention grabbing and engaging? Luckily, we’re here to teach you about what makes a great WordPress site design, and how plugins can help you achieve it.

Read on to learn more, and stick around for 9 plugins we’d recommend to any beginner.

What Makes a Good Website?

According to Google, the average mobile web page takes 15.3 seconds to load. Most users, however, will leave if they don’t see anything within the first 10. Users are also more likely to leave if your website is poorly designed or difficult to navigate.

That’s where a good website design and intuitive navigation come in handy. When users can move around with ease, they’re going to keep coming back to your site. Other factors, like what’s featured on your website, are going to play a role here as well.

When you’re building your site, keep your target audience in mind. What do they like to see? How can you go about building a webpage they’ll enjoy?

Having a clear focus in mind is what’s going to help you create a great website from the beginning, but there are a few other things that can help you accomplish this too — here are our favourites.

1. NextGEN Gallery

Nextgen Gallery plugin

Did you know there’s a 200 percent share rate for articles that come with an image every 75 to 100 words? Visual marketing matters and this plugin can help you get started with it.

NextGEN Gallery is a popular plugin with over 700,000 active installations.  Launched in 2007, this WordPress plugin allows users to manage and display beautiful photo galleries on their websites. You can also change the size, style, transitions, and more within the plugin itself. You can also add your watermark or other text to your visual content with it.

The Pro version of the plugin extends the functionality of the free version by adding more gallery display options, lightboxes and support for ecommerce as well.

2. Custom Sidebars

Dynamic Widgets plugin

Custom Sidebars is a dynamic sidebar widget area manager.  With over 200,000 installs, this is one of the most highly rated sidebar plugins capable of adding widgets to any post, page, category or archive page.

Sidebars are helpful in displaying dynamic content like recent blog articles, contact forms, location information such as maps, and even a list of services and products offered by the business.

This plugin integrates seamlessly with the widgets screen for ease of use and management.  There’s no limit to the number of widget configurations you can create, allowing you to display a different sidebar based on user role, or post type.

3. wpDataTables

wpDataTables plugin banner

Tables can make it simple for website users to take in information in an organized, clean, and readable fashion. They’re great for some websites that have complex data they’d like to display.

wpDataTables is a premium WordPress chart and table manager that makes data processing and presentation easy and effective. It gives users the ability to not only create tables and charts, but they can also apply advanced filtering techniques based on individual or multi-column values.

The tables you can create within this plugin are fully customizable, and they even automatically sync with existing Google Sheets into your WordPress website. If you don’t use Google Sheets, the plugin is also compatible with CSV, JSON, MySQL, and even Excel.

No matter what you’re trying to create a table for, this plugin can help you achieve it.

4. Amelia WordPress Booking Plugin

Amelia WordPress Booking plugin

You might not think about automating something as simple as booking your appointments, but it can make the process a lot simpler, and it can take a lot of work off your hands.  The Amelia WordPress Booking plugin allows users to make their appointments online, and also reschedule them.  The plugin will also send out automatic notifications and reminders.

There’s no limit to the number of clients and appointments you can make within the plugin, and you can also spread them out across multiple locations. Whether it’s a one-time appointment or a recurring event, Amelia can handle it.

The plugin’s booking forms are fully customizable with no coding required, and you can change your rates within the plugin itself.

5. Slider Revolution

Slider Revolution banner

If you need a slider plugin, Slider Revolution is a great option. It is a paid plugin, but it allows you to create content modules with ease. It’s also one of the top ten most-used paid plugins among WordPress customers.

Like a lot of the other plugins on this list, it uses drag-and-drop UI to help you put together custom sliders, and it comes with add-ons that allow you extra freedom to show your ideas with no coding necessary.

This is more than just a simple slider plugin.  With the Slider Revolution plugin you can create eye-grabbing hero sections, or even full web pages with stunning animation and transitions.  Check out some of the creative demos on this page.

6. WPForms

WPForms plugin

WPForms is an easy-to-use plugin that allows you to build forms. You can build contact forms, feedback forms, subscription forms, payment forms, and a lot of other forms within the plugin itself, and it doesn’t require any coding on your part.

It’s capable of integrating with page builders like Gutenberg, Classic Editor, Elementor, and Divi, to name a few. The drag-and-drop builder makes it easy for you to create mobile-friendly custom forms in minutes, rather than having to build everything from scratch like a lot of other builders require.

7. Easy Google Fonts

Easy Google Fonts plugin

Easy Google Fonts allows you to choose from over 600 fonts for your website within your WordPress theme.  It’s compatible with any theme you have,  and works by integrating with your customizer to show you a real-time preview of each option — like different fonts, sizes, and colours — so you know exactly what you’re getting before you commit.

As new fonts are added to Google’s database, it automatically backs up its list, so you’ll have access to everything you need when you need it.

8. ARI Fancy Lightbox

ARI Fancy Lightbox plugin

ARI Fancy Lightbox uses Fancybox popup to bring the lightbox effect to your WordPress website.  The plugin allows you to display images, videos, PDFs, Google Maps, and more — but that’s not all. You can alter things like overlay style, button size, button text, and a lot of other things.

It supports gestures on mobile devices, like zoom, tap, pan, and pinch to make for easy navigation. It can also integrate with NextGEN Galleries to give your galleries something even more impressive for users to experience.

9. Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder plugin

Finally, we’ve come to the plugin that’s going to help you design any page on your WordPress website. Beaver Builder is a popular drag and drop page builder on WordPress, and it’s perfect for beginners.

It allows you to see all your changes as you add them. Since you’re simply dragging elements from the right sidebar onto your page, everything is visible in real-time. In the editor, you can also just click on any of your elements to edit their properties.

Some modules allow you to create things like sliders, carousels, add backgrounds and buttons, and edit content blocks.

With over 30 templates available, finding a design you can stand behind is a lot easier than you might think.

It’s a premium plugin, but you can create an unlimited amount of websites, and it’s updated to be compatible with the most recent version of Gutenberg. A lot of professionals even use it to create sites for their clients, so you know you’re getting one of the best options out there.

Will You Use Any of These WordPress Site Design Plugins?

Do any of these WordPress site design plugins stand out to you? Luckily, they’re all simple to load into your site, and you can get started in no time. Whether you’re just wanting easier navigation or looking for way to keep your customers engaged with galleries, forms and sliders, finding a plugin to help you out is a great idea.

If you need assistance with any part of your WordPress site, though, consulting a professional can help. Contact us today to explore our WordPress care plans and learn which of our options would be best for you.

Join Our Newsletter

Stay up to date on the latest WordPress tips and news