36 Top WordPress Plugins to Enhance Your Website Design

36 Top WordPress Plugins to Enhance Your Website Design

Written by:
Samantha Lile

Jul 13, 2017

Used in 75 million websites (more than 28 percent of the entire Web), WordPress is the world’s most popular open-source Content Management System -- and for good reason. After all, it's free, and it offers thousands of plugins, both free and paid, to enhance usability and design.

Even in its basic form, WordPress is incredibly simple to master -- a good quality since most WordPress users are neither programmers nor web designers by trade.

So how can you use WordPress to enhance your visual content? Here are a few hints to help you out:


Use WordPress Dashboard to Edit Images


Chances are you’ve already used some sort of external software or app to edit your images. But whether you’ve already designed your visual content, you paid someone to create it for you or you’re using an image in its original form, WordPress offers a built-in image editor that’s not only convenient, but easy to master.

Plus, the WordPress image editor is incredibly effective for basic image-editing tasks, such as cropping, rotating and resizing -- so there’s really no reason to exit the WordPress dashboard.

To access WordPress’ image editor, just access the dashboard’s Media Library section, where you can either upload your image or open one previously stored. After you’ve opened your image, just select the “edit image” button found in the lower left.

Once you’ve opened the image editor, you can choose to flip the image vertically or horizontally, rotate it clockwise or counterclockwise, scale it or crop it. If you don’t like your changes, the editor will also allow you to restore it to its original version.

Pro Tip: Categorize images with the FileBird plugin.

When it comes to managing visual contents on a WordPress website, categorizing them in folders is highly recommended.

With FileBird media folders, you can easily drag and drop media items into folders within the admin dashboard, just like how you do on your computer.

A graphic showcasing FileBird's WordPress media folder.

What’s so great about FileBird? 

While keeping WordPress media library uncluttered and helping you quickly find the media files, it’s also packed with search, sort, reorder, and display features. Moreover, the built-in Gutenberg gallery block allows you to showcase dynamic image galleries and streamline document galleries.

You can upload folders in bulk from your device to the WP media library. And vice versa, downloading a media folder is just one click away.

Download FileBird for free today to create unlimited folders

RELATED: 60 Totally Free Design Resources for Non-Designers


36 WordPress Plugins for Visual Effects

Because visual content is so important to effective web design, you likely will want to further enhance your images. Fortunately, WordPress offers thousands of plugins with countless applications, including many that enhance images, add visual effects and allow the novice web designer to complete actions that would otherwise require additional technical knowledge.

Thousands of plugins? How, you might ask, can a novice designer know where to begin? We’ve listed 36 of our favorites below:

Create your own infographic in minutes with this drag-and-drop tool.Try It for Free


Image Editing Plugins

DigiWidgets Plugin


The DigitWidgets Plugin -- one of WordPress’ most popular -- allows page designers to transform their dashboards into advanced image editors.

The DigiWidgets plugin allows WordPress users to edit images with transform options, a layer system, filters, zoom, a cropping tool and even text boxes. The editor lets designers add borders to their images and build templates to conveniently build consistent visual content.


Vectr Embedded Graphics Editor


This free and user-friendly embedded-graphics editor lets users create powerful vector graphics from the WordPress edit screen.

The Vectr plugin features editing options including annotated images, watermarks, banners, collages, infographics and logotypes. Graphics and images can be designed and edited in WordPress and embedded directly onto the page with a single click.


Web Design Plugins



Rated 5 stars and downloaded more than 500,000 times, TablePress lets designers easily create and manage beautiful tables. Tables can be embedded into posts, pages and text widgets. Table data can be edited in a spreadsheet-like interface, so no coding is necessary. Tables can even contain any type of data, including formulas to be evaluated.


Visual Composer


The No. 1 WordPress page-builder plugin, downloaded by more than 200,000 users, the Visual Composer page builder plugin for WordPress lets users take full control over their sites. The plugin allows designers to build any imaginable layout with an intuitive drag-and-drop builder -- no programming knowledge is required.


Beaver Builder


The Beaver Builder widget is a flexible, drag-and-drop page builder that works on the front end of a WordPress website. Beginners and professionals alike can stop writing HTML and struggling with confusing shortcodes. Building beautiful, professional WordPress pages is as easy as dragging and dropping with this popular plugin.


WPTouch Mobile


This popular mobile plugin automatically adds a mobile theme for mobile visitors to a WordPress website. Recommended by Google, WPTouch Mobile instantly creates a mobile-friendly version of your website that not only passes the Google Mobile test, but ensures SEO rankings aren’t sacrificed for lack of a mobile-friendly website.


WP Retina 2x


The plugin is unique in that only it offers full-size retina images. WP Retina 2x creates and displays the image files required by the High-DPI devices. Websites appear completely clear and crisp on any device. Retina images are generated automatically or manually, and served to the retina devices.


Elementor Page Builder


The plugin delivers high-end page designs and advanced capabilities. With instant drag-and-drop, instant live edit and instant page load, Elementor’s speed is unmatched by other page builders. Elementor features live editing that is truly live, with no need to press update or go to preview mode.

Users can create pages that have “the designer touch,” thanks to unique features such as box shadows, background overlays, hover and entrance animations, advanced buttons, addons and more.

Create your own beautiful blog graphics with this DIY tool.Try It for Free


Gallery Plugins

Photo Gallery by WD


The responsive photo gallery for WordPress, downloaded more than 300,00 times, offers a comprehensive selection of tools and options for creating and managing images and galleries. The Photo Gallery by WD plugin lets users create a custom, fully-responsive and free WordPress photo gallery in just minutes.

Photo Gallery also offers audio and video support to allow for the easy creation of YouTube and Vimeo galleries. The plugin even offers add-ons that let users create e-commerce content, display Facebook content and transfer galleries, albums and other data between WordPress sites.


NextGen Gallery


Downloaded more than 10 million times, NextGen Gallery offers a lot more than its name suggests. Sure, the popular plugin allows users to easily upload and manage image galleries. But it also features a variety of editing options options to help budding designers change the size, style, transitions, lightbox effects and more. Users can even use the plugin to add text to their visual content and watermarks to their photos.




The easy-to-use plugin allows users to create stunning gallery layouts that are responsive, retina-ready and lightning fast. The FooGallery plugin was built to be highly configurable and extensible for developers or freelancers alike. Its premium extension even allows for the creation of video and mixed-media galleries.


Gallery by Envira


Envira Gallery lets users create beautiful, responsive photo and video galleries for WordPress sites in just minutes. Not only will every image in the gallery always look great on every device -- be it mobile, tablet, laptop or desktop. It’s also highly optimized for web and server performance, creating the is the fastest WordPress gallery plugin on the market.


Slider Plugins

Meta Slider


The most popular WordPress slider plugin, the fast and easy-to-use Meta Slider lets users select images from their WordPress Media Libraries, drag and drop them into place, then set slide captions, links and SEO fields all from one page. Choose from four slideshow types -- Flex Slider, Nivo Slider, Responsive Slides and Coin Slider -- and use the provided shortcode or template to easily embed slideshows in a blog.


Huge-IT Responsive Slider


Add images from a computer, and upload an assortment of new images from Media Library all at once with Huge-IT’s Responsive Slider plugin. The slideshows easily can be arranged according to taste with the plugin’s drag-and-drop function.

Users can add videos and images, as well as add a slider to the posts, pages and template files. The slider allows for an unlimited amount of images and videos with titles and descriptions. The slider also uses autogenerated shortcodes, making it easier to add it to a custom location.




The plugin provides an easy way to integrate a slideshow for any WordPress installation. Any image can be loaded into the slideshow just by picking it from the WordPress media page, even images previously uploaded. Slideshow lets users create and use as many slideshows as they like, each with different images, settings and styles.


Smart Slider 3


The intuitive WordPress plugin allows users to create sliders with every feature they can expect from a free slider plugin. Smart Slider provides the tools to create YouTube and Vimeo slides and create slides from WordPress posts.


Social Plugins

Instagram Feed


The Instagram Feed plugin displays Instagram photos from any non-private Instagram account, either in a single or multiple feeds. The plugin is completely responsive and mobile ready -- the layout works for any screen size and in any container width, and it’s completely customizable.


Contact Widgets


The plugin displays social media and contact information with simple, easy-to-use widgets. Contact Widgets lets you display your contact information -- including email address, phone number, fax and physical address (including a map), as well as social media profiles -- in an attractive and intuitive way.


WP User Avatar


While WordPress currently only allows custom avatars uploaded through Gravatar, WP User Avatar lets designers use any photo uploaded into their media libraries as an avatar.


Custom Facebook Feed


Users can display a completely customizable, responsive and search-engine crawlable version of their Facebook feeds right on a WordPress website with the Custom Facebook Feed plugin. The plugin allows for a complete match to the look and feel of a site with plenty of customization options.


WP Instagram Widget


The WP Instagram Widget offers a no-fuss WordPress plugin that showcases users’ latest Instagram pics. It doesn’t require login details or sign in through oAuth. WP Instagram Widget uses a simple markup, allows users to style the widget to meet their own themes and tastes, and filters are provided to adjust cache timings.


Facebook Widget


The popular Facebook plugin provides a simple and attractive way to display Facebook page likes into a WordPress sidebar. Just activate the plugin and drag the widget. To add an application id from a created Facebook application, just add it into the widget and Facebook URL. The plugin is customizable with even more options, including show faces, show Data Stream and Headers.


Social Media Feather


The plugin supports the adding of social buttons for sharing or following, which easily and automatically can be added to all posts and pages. Featuring full support for the Retina and high-resolution displays used in the latest smartphones, tablets and other devices. Social Media Feather offers all major social-sharing buttons, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Reddit, Pinterest, Tumblr, Linkedin and even e-mail.


Ultimate Sharing


The social-media plugin lets users add icons for RSS, Email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and “Share,” which covers more than 200 other social media platforms. With Ultimate Sharing, users can even upload their own custom icons.


Feed Them Social


The popular social plugin lets users create engaging social feeds of favorite celebrities, family, friends, businesses or their own. The feeds are attractive on desktops, tablets, and mobile devices. The easy-to-install Feed Them Social plugin displays photos and videos from Facebook albums and pages, in as many social feeds as desired.


Optimization Plugins

WP Smush


A website might feature the most amazing images on the entire Web, but if they take too long to load, nobody’s going to stick around and see them. And the more effects added to visual content, the longer it can take to load on a page.

Google and other search engines even give high preference to web pages that are highly optimized for speed. The Smush plugin, champion of Torque’s 2017 Plugin Madness, is a favorite for image resizing, compression and optimization. The free WordPress image smusher uses its own servers to do the compression to eliminate unnecessary data slowing down a user’s website. The result is optimized images that load quickly without sacrificing their original quality.


EWWW Image Optimizer


Automatically optimize your images as you upload them to your blog with EWWW Image Optimizer. The plugin can optimize already-uploaded images, convert images automatically to the file format that will produce the smallest image size, and optionally apply lossy compression to for optimum optimization for PNG and JPG images.




The plugin automatically resizes huge image uploads to a size more reasonable for displaying in a browser, but still large enough for typical website use. Imsanity is configurable with a max width, height and quality, so when a contributor uploads an image that is larger than the configured size, the plugin will automatically scale it down to the configured size and replace the original image.

Imsanity also provides a bulk-resize feature to selectively resize previously uploaded images and free up disk space.


Compress JPEG & PNG Images


The plugin from TinyPNG speeds up website loading times by optimizing JPEG and PNG images. This plugin automatically optimizes images by integrating them with the popular image-compression services, TinyJPG and TinyPNG. On average JPEG images are compressed by 40 to 60 percent and PNG images by 50 to 80 percent without visible loss in quality.


Fonts Plugins

Easy Google Fonts


The Easy Google Fonts plugin helps designers easily use Google’s free service to add high-quality fonts to their WordPress sites. Not only does the plugin add the necessary Google codes, but it also offers the ability to assign the Google fonts to specific CSS website elements from within the WordPress admin.


Use Any Font


Use Any Font offers WordPress designers the freedom to use custom fonts in their websites without the need for sophisticated coding. This plugin integrates with the WordPress Customizer so users can preview Google fonts on their sites in real time. Compatible with any theme, the plugin also allows the creation of  theme-specific font controls to control particular css selectors.

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Video Plugins



Customize your WordPress YouTube embed, YouTube gallery and even YouTube live stream with the YouTube WordPress plugin. The popular plugin features YouTube gallery capability, and it can generate a grid-based responsive playlist or channel gallery.

Visitors can browse through pages of video thumbnails and choose from videos that are pulled from an entire YouTube channel or playlist. Users can also set their YouTube galleries to automatic continuous play by embedding a playlist or channel gallery and allowing it to play one video after the next without requiring viewers to click a thumbnail.


ARVE Advanced Responsive Video Embedder


The ARVE plugin does more than make videos responsive. The popular video embedder is SEO friendly, and allows users to specify title, description and upload date to provide search engines with the schema data necessary for better indexing.

ARVE also offers SYSIWYG support and magically makes URL-embedded videos responsive. There’s no “lock in” for those who don’t use shortcodes, and it supports almost every video host that utilizes iframe and embed codes. Embedding videos is as simple as pasting the URL in its own line, just like with WordPress.


Visual Effects Plugins

Code Canyon Before and After Slider


The popular visual-effects plugin from Code Canyon offers so much more than a mere slider. The premium addition to WordPress demonstrates the difference between an original and new images. Touch and swipe enabled with no short codes to memorize, the plugin features a beautifully-crafted admin panel that offers plenty of options to control every aspect of a slider.


Responsive Lightbox by dFactory


Rated 5 stars, the Responsive Lightbox plugin allows users to view larger versions of images and galleries in a lightbox (overlay) effect optimized for mobile devices.


Simple Lightbox


Simple Lightbox is a very simple and customizable lightbox that is easy to add to your WordPress website. The plugin automatically activates links with no manual coding, and it automatically resizes lightboxes to fit into windows. Users can also customize their lightboxes with themes.

The Simple Lightbox plugin offers mobile-optimized themes, customizable lightbox animations and is infinitely customizable with additional add-ons. It even supports WordPress image attachment links and links in widgets.


Visual HTML Basics to Fine Tune Your Design

It’s true that with all the WordPress plugins now offered, designers don’t necessarily even need to know anything about coding to build websites with attractive and engaging visual content. Coding just isn’t something on most designers’ repertoire.

Still, a basic knowledge of how to edit a website’s code isn’t a bad idea. By understanding HTML basics, designers can fine tune their content if the preview doesn’t look exactly like they envisioned. Or maybe the format is different than what was on the WordPress visual screen, and the spacing is all off.

Understanding basic HTML codes can help WordPress users adjust the format and appearance of their content. It can also help them tweak designs to keep up with the latest web-design trends.


WordPress Updates

WordPress and its various plugins are constantly evolving with updates and new features. New WordPress versions are regularly released, and developers are constantly launching new and improved plugins to make designers lives easier and more interesting. Monitoring various WordPress forums, as well as the organization’s website, will provide plenty of information on updates, new features and overall WordPress knowledge.

How have you used WordPress to enhance your visual content? Tell us in the comments below!

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    About the Author

    Samantha Lile is a web content creator with a journalism and mass media degree from Missouri State University. She contributes news and feature articles to various web publications, such as the Huffington Post. Currently, she resides in the beautiful Ozarks with her husband, four dogs and two cats.

    38 responses to “36 Top WordPress Plugins to Enhance Your Website Design”

    1. Danish says:

      Thanks for the info. Recently came across csshero plugin i thought was pretty awesome.

    2. Ankita Arya says:

      This is amazing resource for all those seekers who look for best plugins and tools to accomplish one or the other functionality in their blog!!
      I am going to try out TinyPNG for compressing images for sure! As I am really frustrated of SmushIT which is not worth the overhead.

    3. Danial Wilson says:

      Hey Samantha, You’ve done an excellent job.
      You can try one more WordPress slider plugin for making your website stunning which is Avartan slider. It has 150+ unique slides examples and 50+ pre-built sliders which you won’t find in any slider plugins. It gives you millions of possibilities to create a stunning user interface with lots of features and functionalities. See more: https://codecanyon.net/item/avartan-slider-responsive-wordpress-slider-plugin/19973800?s_rank=1

    4. Nekraj says:

      Hey Samantha,
      This is an excellent resource who are looking for WordPress design and image resize plugin.

      Excellent stuff.

      Just tweeted the post and repins the infographics.

      Cheers Nekraj

    5. Jonthue Michel says:

      What about Divi?

    6. alex says:

      You can find over 28.000 WordPress plugins sorted by popularity or date of update on http://www.find-wordpress-plugins.com

    7. Bxcel provides world’s class web design with latest online marketing trends. We have well-qualified team of talented web designer/programmer and experts.

    8. T I Antor says:

      Hey, Samantha,
      Excellent round-up of WordPress plugins. Its really awesome and mindblowing list. I am not familiar with too many plugins. But, now i know about them and their works. Thanks a lot for sharing a great useful list of plugins.

    9. Paul says:

      Nice work….this is really helpful

    10. I could not reaist commenting. Perfectly written!

    11. NetSearch Web Design says:

      Great blog and article! Very informative and helpful. This is amazing resource for all those seekers who look for best plugins and tools to accomplish one or the other functionality in their blog! Thanks for these list!

    12. Arnault says:

      Thanks ! I recommend the Superbundle for Visual Composer, it’s like $20 but there’s tons of great stuff such as texts and background gradients, shadows, CSS animations, row separators, isometric tiles, before/after slider and so on …

    13. Spacema says:

      Visual Composer is one of the best plugin for WordPress. I often use this plugin in my project. Visual Composer can help you to create awesome website and has a lot useful elements.

    14. Muhammad Jahanzaib says:

      I used SEO yoast, OptinMonster, WPForms, MailChimp and Sucuri for my websites. I am very careful whenever I install plug-ins in my website for it may ruin or damage my site. If you have the right set of tools it will take your business to the next level.

    15. Cyril says:

      I practically make use of wp image smush on my site an must say it has done much more for me. The optimization feature is out of this world and is very easy to use. Thanks so much for this.

    16. Patrick says:



    17. Aleena says:

      Thanks for sharing great list of player but search on google Responsive HTML5 Audio Player PRO is best ever bcoz i have purchased and used on my site, very simple easy to operate, you can download and share song with social media friends, u also can create list etc…

    18. Adnan Qaiser says:

      Samantha really thanks for sharing such a beautiful content. I’m using Yoast SEO, WPForms & MailChimp on my website.
      If we’re installing many plugins e.g. 10 or 15 then will the wordpress website’s speed will effect? I will be waiting for your valuable advise.
      Thanks again for amazing post.

    19. Smarty says:

      This is amazing to me – love it awesome

    20. Michel Joachim says:

      Hey, Adnan

      Thanks for sharing the design plugins. I’m looking for amp plugin for my websites can you suggest me for using which one the best amp plugin… for blog

      Michel Joachim

    21. summer camp NJ says:

      Thanks for sharing the design plugins.Great post, thanks for sharing it this useful information.

    22. Rahul Ahlawat says:

      Great work!!!
      Thanks for sharing such a lovely WordPress design plugins.
      can you make similar post on WordPress search plugins.

      Thanks in advance.

    23. Abdul Haseeb says:

      I have been designing static websites for several years. Just planning to build my for WP website. I hope to use few of these plugins. Thanks for sharing.

    24. Marcin Kordowski says:

      Hi please, can you recommend the WordPress plugin which can help to make the flat structure of the website? I mean 3 steps to every URL in structure?

    25. lg arvind gupta says:

      WoW! I’ve never read a comprehensive, realistic and impartial pice on WordPress plugins like this one before.

      I am reviewing the plugins I use with the ones you recommend to make changes where possible.

      I must admit, some plugins have done me more harm than good the moment I installed them. It is good to stick with the best product even when cost is involved.

      Indeed, this collections is “since the dawn of time” 🙂

    26. I was excited to uncover this web site. I want to to thank you for your
      time for this fantastic read!! I definitely enjoyed every part of it and I
      have you saved to fav to check out new information in your

    27. I really like the way you have defined each and every plugin for a complete design. Thanks for sharing.

    28. Shane McEvoy says:

      Great post on some of the best plugins and I like the way you’ve included the infographic near the top of the page. We’ve used the NextGen Gallery before which is pretty good, and as for sliders I have to give an honourable mention to Slider Revolution which is also excellent.

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