8 Best WordPress YouTube Plugins for Galleries, Feeds + More (2021)

8 Best WordPress YouTube Plugins for Galleries, Feeds + More (2021)

Searching for the best WordPress YouTube plugins to embed videos, feeds, or galleries on your site?

While WordPress makes it easy to embed individual videos in your content, it doesn’t offer built-in support for more complex embeds such as video galleries, feeds, lightbox popups, etc.

With YouTube plugins, you can fix all of those shortcomings and create more complex types of embeds.

In this post, I will share the eight best WordPress YouTube plugins to help you get more control over adding YouTube content and also improve the performance of your videos.

But First – Do You Need a WordPress YouTube Plugin?

Before I get to the plugins, I want to remind you that you don’t need a YouTube plugin just to embed individual videos in your content. WordPress comes with built-in support for YouTube embeds – all you need to do is add the URL.

If you’re using the WordPress block editor, you can use a YouTube block and paste in the URL to the video:

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And if you’re still using the Classic TinyMCE editor, all you need to do is paste the URL into the Visual tab of the editor and WordPress will automatically generate the embed for you.

8 Best WordPress YouTube Plugins

Now, let’s get into the best plugins…

1. Embed Plus for YouTube

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Embed Plus for YouTube is the most popular YouTube plugin at WordPress.org, where it’s active on over 200,000 sites.

It lets you embed pretty much any type of YouTube content in your WordPress site including:

  • Individual videos
  • Playlists
  • Galleries
  • Channels
  • Live streams

No matter what type of video(s) you’re embedding, you’ll get tons of options to control behavior. For example, you can control autoplay, sound, and lots more.

It also includes some really unique features to save time. For example, you can enter the URL of any channel and the plugin will automatically search for an active live stream and display that link. This would let you create one page on your site for live streams and always include the most recent live stream.

Overall, it just generally has a lot of features, which makes it a good option if you need flexibility.

There’s also a premium version that adds even more features including:

  • More layouts
  • Caching to improve performance
  • Lazy loading
  • YouTube live chat
  • Automatic tagging for video SEO
  • Option to receive a notification if one of your embedded videos gets deleted

The premium version starts at $39.

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Elfsight YouTube Gallery is a premium plugin that makes a great option for creating eye-catching galleries of YouTube videos in a ton of different styles. Overall, the unique thing about this plugin is its modern, professional gallery layouts – they look great right out of the box.

For the source of your gallery, you can choose from different options such as a channel, playlist, or specific videos.

You can choose from tons of different layouts including over 100 adjustable parameters. It also has a built-in AdSense integration that lets you monetize your video galleries via AdSense.

Overall, this is one of your best options if you want to create galleries of YouTube videos.

Elfsight YouTube Gallery costs $49, but that comes with lifetime updates.

3. Feeds for YouTube

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Feeds for YouTube is a great option if you have your own YouTube channel and you want to display an automatic feed of your latest videos on WordPress. You can also use it with other people’s channels too, of course. However, the key feature is that it’s built for displaying a feed of the latest videos from a channel – not for static galleries.

You can choose from multiple layouts, including both list, gallery, and grid options. Visitors can also load infinite videos without reloading the page thanks to the infinite “load more” button.

You can also include multiple feeds and use them in different places. However, you’ll need the premium version to combine multiple feed sources into a single feed. That is, the free version lets you create multiple feeds but each feed can only have one source.

The premium version also adds some other interesting features:

  • Use your “Favorites” list as a feed source.
  • Get access to a carousel slider layout.
  • Filter which videos to include using keywords.
  • Import the videos as actual posts on your WordPress site (using a custom post type).

The free version is available at WordPress.org and the premium version starts at $49.

4. WP YouTube Lyte

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WP YouTube Lyte doesn’t have as many features as some of the other plugins, but it’s a great option if you’re worried about website performance. It comes from the same developer as the popular Autoptimize plugin, which is another useful performance optimization plugin.

Essentially, it makes the regular WordPress YouTube embed feature a lot more performance-friendly by replacing the regular “heavy” YouTube embed with a static thumbnail image. The plugin will only load the full video player when a visitor clicks on the thumbnail image to play the video.

This offers big performance improvements without negatively affecting your users’ experiences.

In addition to automatically replacing the regular YouTube embed feature, this plugin also lets you embed playlists and videos using a shortcode.

In general, if you value website performance and just need something simple, this one is a good option. However, if you want to create styled galleries or video feeds, you’ll want a different plugin.

5. WP Video Popup

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As the name suggests, WP Video Popup lets you create a lightbox popup for YouTube embeds, which is a popular tactic you’ve probably seen on other sites. If you want to see it in action, go to the plugin site and click to play the video.

This effect serves two basic functions:

  1. It’s more user-friendly for visitors because it creates a larger, distraction-free interface for them to watch videos.
  2. It’s more performance-friendly because you only need to load the full video player in the lightbox popup – you can use a static image thumbnail everywhere else.

The plugin is super simple – all you do is add a shortcode with the link to your video. Or, you can also trigger it in other ways, like CSS.

If you want more features, there’s also a premium version that lets you add multiple video popups on the same page (the free version limits you to one) and also lets you create video galleries in the popup.

The free version is available at WordPress.org and the Pro version costs $30 for use on unlimited sites.

6. YotuWP

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YotuWP is a free plugin that helps you create a gallery of YouTube videos from different sources including:

  • Playlists
  • Channels
  • Usernames
  • Specific videos (by video ID)

For your gallery layout, you can choose between a grid or a list (or mix the two). You can also choose from different players including a lightbox popup option that shows the specific gallery video in a modal popup.

If you want more features, there’s also an affordable premium version that mainly adds new layouts and effects:

  • Carousel layout
  • Masonry layout
  • Big player left/right layouts
  • Flip layout

The premium version is quite affordable at just $21.

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Essential Grid Gallery is one of the most popular gallery plugins at CodeCanyon, where it’s been purchased over 45,000 times with an excellent 4.71-star rating on over 1,400 reviews.

Essential Grid Gallery is not focused specifically on YouTube, but it does include an option to import YouTube videos (among other sources such as Vimeo).

The advantage of using Essential Grid Gallery over a dedicated YouTube plugin is that Essential Grid Gallery is incredibly flexible when it comes to style and layout options. You’ll have 100% control over your grid gallery’s layout and style – much more than most YouTube plugins.

You’ll also get advanced features such as category filters and pre-made skins.

To choose which videos to include, you can enter the ID of specific YouTube videos or you can dynamically populate your gallery with videos from a specific channel, which lets you create a feed of videos.

Overall, if you want the most flexible plugin for YouTube galleries, this is probably it. However, it’s overkill if all you want to do is embed a basic YouTube gallery.

Essential Grid Gallery is a premium plugin – it costs $69 with lifetime updates.

8. Bonus: Lazy Load – Speed Up YouTube Embeds

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The free Lazy Load plugin from the WP Rocket team is not a plugin for embedding YouTube videos on WordPress. However, it is an important plugin to use if you’re embedding a lot of videos because it lets you improve the performance of your video embeds.

As the name suggests, it does this by letting you lazy load your YouTube videos. With lazy loading, your site will wait to load below-the-fold YouTube embeds until a user scrolls down. This lets you speed up your site’s initial page load times.

The Lazy Load plugin also lets you replace the YouTube embed with a static thumbnail until a visitor clicks on it (just like the WP YouTube Lyte plugin from above).

If you combine these two tactics, you’ll make your site load much faster even if you’re embedding lots of videos.

You can also get these features in the paid WP Rocket plugin, which also implements lots of other speed-boosting tactics. You can learn more in my WP Rocket review.

Start Embedding YouTube Today

With these YouTube WordPress plugins, you can start embedding YouTube content in more interesting ways.

Which plugin is best for you? Well, that depends on what you want to accomplish. If you want a stylish gallery, consider plugins like Elfsight YouTube Gallery, Essential Grid Gallery, or YotuWP.

On the other hand, if you want to embed a feed of videos, you might want Feeds for YouTube. Or, for live streams and other options, maybe Embed Plus for YouTube, while WP Video Popup is great for lightbox popups.

Finally, don’t forget about performance, as using lots of YouTube videos can slow down your site. If your chosen plugin doesn’t have built-in performance features, consider using the free Lazy Load plugin or WP Rocket to optimize your YouTube videos.

Best WordPress Themes

Best WordPress Themes

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All businesses need a good website.

The sites must load quickly, and they need to have a winning design.

The good news is there’s a wide variety of excellent WordPress themes that do just that.

WordPress themes use different layouts to present content beautifully and boost engagement with your brand.

I’ve put together a guide to the best WordPress themes available now to help get you started.

The Top 7 Options For WordPress Themes: 

  1. Astra — The Best WordPress Theme for Beginners
  2. Sydney — The Best WordPress Theme for Freelancers
  3. Foodie Pro — The Best WordPress Theme for Food Bloggers
  4. Jayla — The Best WordPress Theme for Online Shops
  5. Zakra — The Best WordPress Theme for SEO
  6. Tusant — The Best WordPress Theme for Podcast Creators
  7. Travel Way — The Best WordPress Theme for Travel Bloggers

How to Choose The Best WordPress Themes For You

Deciding on a single WordPress theme for your brand can be overwhelming. There are tons of options out there, and it can be difficult to know where to start. If you’re struggling to pick one, try thinking about the complete picture.

The first aspect to think about is whether you should get a free or paid WordPress theme. The difference isn’t just in the pricing.

A free WordPress theme can offer a lot to the right person, but it’s worth knowing some of the drawbacks. The main one is the lack of ongoing support for that specific theme, which, in most cases, can mean you’re left tracking down the original creator’s email for help when something breaks.

Far from ideal.

Not to mention that the same free themes can pop up on many websites, taking away originality from your branding.

But you can usually try out a theme for free before deciding to invest in the full paid version, so they do have their uses.

Paid themes are a better bet for brands in general, though. They generally include regular updates and support, higher levels of customization, and higher-quality code.

Another thing to mention is that WordPress.org, or ‘self-hosted WordPress,’ (as opposed to WordPress.com) is the best bet for most businesses as it gives a greater level of control and is cheaper overall. This extends to themes, availability, and customization.

With that said, I’ve seen some top brands on WordPress.com, or ‘hosted WordPress,’ with some genuinely dazzling themes, too.

If you’re in doubt, I’d still say go for WordPress.org.

Other key things to think about are the following:

Theme Functionality

Thinking about functionality is very important. I’m talking about what you need a site to do to conduct business.

Do you need social media icons that link out to brand accounts? How about a comment section or forum, and what about the e-commerce side of things like a shop?

In other words, you need to think hard about the features you need.

The great news is that WordPress plugins can add a significant number of extras whenever you want, but it’s worth looking into the functionality of a theme you like.

For example, specific themes might be coded in such a way that adding a forum could prove difficult.

If you like a theme, make sure you’ve done your research before buying it and that it can support your core needs.

Site Responsiveness

How responsive a site is can make it or break it. It’s that simple. There are more devices out there than ever before, and the list keeps on growing.

Can the theme you’ve chosen adjust to these different devices?

A mobile reader needs to have the same complete experience as a desktop user, so any good WordPress theme will adapt to this on a case-by-case basis. Don’t forget that Google has made it mandatory for sites to be mobile responsive, which can affect your rankings in a big way.

Mobile traffic is increasing every year, so a responsive WordPress theme is essential. Most WordPress themes include this as standard, but not all do, and free themes often don’t. Think carefully about this when researching.

Page Builders

A good page builder will allow you to drag and drop to create pages with little fuss.

Most WordPress themes come bundled with page builders, but not all of them do. Some themes may even use a bespoke page builder that could slow down a site with unwanted code.

Ideally, you want a WordPress theme optimized to work with the best page builders, particularly if you have a preference.

You could find a WordPress theme that provides almost everything you want, only to find it’s incompatible with your favorite builder. Or buy one that features a proprietary builder, but it’s just not very good. Too late, though, because you’ve already purchased it.

Browser Support

A theme can load smoothly and look beautiful on your browser, but what about on your customer’s browser? It’s worth noting that not all themes will work correctly on every browser, so a good deal of testing is a sound idea.

You can usually check a browser’s compatibility under a WordPress theme’s details, but the developers won’t always list this. In that case, test it yourself.

It’s as simple as downloading a few of the most popular browsers, loading up your site with its new theme, and seeing what works and what doesn’t.

More often than not, you’ll find an issue or two that only occurs on a specific browser. I’ve seen pages breaking inexplicably on certain browsers while others were fine. This is often an overlooked area, so it’s prudent to get ahead of any potential issues.

Different Types of WordPress Themes

WordPress can be a little more complicated than you might first think. It isn’t just free themes versus paid themes or basic versus premium themes.

There are quite a few different groupings of themes, but they can be split down into the following core clusters:

Starter Themes

A starter WordPress theme is essentially a skeleton of a theme. These themes offer the vital infrastructure a WordPress theme needs, but that’s all.

From there, it’s up to you to create the rest of the site. For some brands, that might be just what they want, and for others, it might be a scary thought and too much work.

The idea is that these themes are minimal in design and are malleable and very customizable.

Framework Themes

Framework WordPress themes are all about meshing together different parts. A framework theme combines a parent and child theme into a fully functional and customizable theme.

A child theme is effectively an add-on that goes on top of a parent theme. This allows you to modify and tweak a site to your heart’s content.

A parent theme, on the other hand, is the base theme underneath. It can operate alone, but you can’t modify it without the child theme’s help.

The advantage of these themes is that they can be turned into something unique using the parent theme’s existing structure as the starting point.

Tailored Themes

Tailored themes are another category. These are themes designed by a professional team tailored to your specific niche and needs.

You can tailor a theme yourself, of course, but if you have the budget, a theme designed and created by a team could prove to be far more successful and can be built exactly how you want.

Be warned, though, these can be expensive.

#1 – Astra — The Best WordPress Theme for Beginners

We all have to start somewhere, and the same is true with WordPress themes. Where do you even begin? The answer is with Astra.

Astra is our top pick for WordPress beginners for its slick customization options, high level of functionality, and the considerable number of free extensions available for it.

I mentioned earlier that ensuring great page builders were compatible with a theme was important, and Astra doesn’t disappoint. Some of the most popular page builder plugins, like Elementor and Beaver Builder, are easily used with it.

On top of that, Astra offers a lightweight experience, allowing it to load exceptionally quickly. That’s without mentioning the super easy customization and pre-built options for blogs, portfolios, and online shops.

Other key features of the Astra theme include:

  • Dedicated sidebar
  • WooCommerce ready
  • Mega-menu
  • Mobile headers
  • Fluid layout
  • Spacing control
  • Custom fonts
  • Infinite loading

In terms of pricing, you can get Astra for free, and this provides you with a basic theme able to get you up and running. For some, it might be all they need.

There is also a pro version of Astra available that offers additional settings and options. The pro version is a must if you need a great deal of customization and new layouts. You can purchase it for $59.

#2 – Sydney — The Best WordPress Theme for Freelancers

Whether you’re a freelance marketer, editor, or content writer, an excellent theme to show off your accomplishments and details is essential.

That is where Sydney comes in. This is a powerful and feature-rich theme ideal for freelancers, both those new to the industry and those who have been doing it for years and might want to change things up.

Sydney has more than 600 different Google fonts to choose from, and users have access to a full-screen slider, which can make a strong first impression on potential clients.

I also like the custom Elementor blocks that can be designed just how you want, enabling you to focus on getting your branding right.

Other features of the Sydney theme include:

  • Slider or static image header
  • Translation ready
  • Social buttons
  • Cross-browser support
  • Regular updates
  • Live customizer
  • Parallax backgrounds
  • Color controls

Sydney has a free version, and you’ll have access to a lot of vital features.

With that said, the pro license only costs $59, and the upgrade will allow you to take things to the next level with extra page options, templates, WooCommerce, video headers, and more.

It’s a good idea for most freelancers and small businesses.

#3 – Foodie Pro — The Best WordPress Theme for Food Bloggers

This compelling WordPress theme is perfect for sharing new recipes and the best cooking tips with your online audience.

Minimalist and clean, yet offering loads of features and specific design choices, you can’t go wrong with Foodie Pro.

Consisting of the Genesis Framework—both secure and search-engine-optimized—Foodie Pro offers an almost countless number of color and typography options.

You’ll be able to upload your brand’s logo quickly, and a selection of pre-built templates only helps speed things up if you’re in a hurry to launch.

Other features of Foodie Pro include:

  • Customizable header
  • Mobile responsive
  • Widget areas
  • Recipe index
  • Works with popular plugins
  • Child theme based on the Genesis Framework
  • WordPress customizer
  • Lightweight design

There’s no free version of Foodie Pro, but you can buy the theme and complete framework package for $129.95, which I think is a fair offer based on what you can do with it.

There’s also a Genesis Pro option for those who love the framework and want to invest further. The Genesis Pro variant includes access to additional support and every future theme the company releases.

Genesis Pro is a good choice for those with big plans and costs $360 a year.

#4 – Jayla — The Best WordPress Theme for Online Shops

The Jayla theme offers a minimal and contemporary approach to the e-commerce industry, allowing you to create a store and sell products online with ease.

Jayla is built around the popular and powerful WooCommerce plugin, which means you’ll have access to a large number of features.

Jayla also gives you access to multi-block builders to speed up your site’s creation and an almost unlimited number of colors for your layout.

Perhaps most impressive is the wide variety of shops you can build with the theme. From furniture shops to tech stores and everything in-between, Jayla is useful in most e-commerce scenarios.

Other highlights of the Jayla theme include:

  • One-click install demo
  • Lifetime support
  • Header and foot builder
  • Drag and drop page builder
  • Woo product filter
  • Compatible with Yoast SEO
  • WooCommerce product wishlist
  • Supports over 800 Google fonts

On the pricing side, Jayla costs just $59 for the regular license, which is more than enough to get your store started.

That regular license also adds in future updates for no extra cost and six months of support with site bugs and other issues.

If you want additional support, you can extend it to 12 months for $17.63.

#5 – Zakra — The Best WordPress Theme for SEO

Zakra isn’t just a memorable name—no, this stylish WordPress theme will help your brand rank higher on Google.

Zakra is optimized for the largest search engines, loads quickly, and supports almost all essential SEO plugins.

One particularly impressive feature is the 50 or so demos that are pre-built and ready to go with the theme.

These demos cover multiple scenarios you may need and can be quickly set up with a one-click demo importer. From there, you’ll be able to customize the demo to your liking.

One major advantage is the speed at which you can do this, so it’s an excellent option for those short on time.

The Zakra theme also delivers:

  • Lightweight designWooCommerce integration
  • Suitable across multiple devices
  • Compatible with key page builders
  • Translation-ready theme
  • Right-to-left text direction languages
  • Dynamic, customizable areas
  • Menu styling option

Zakra is free to use, but be aware that multiple features are locked out. Once you’re happy with the theme, you can upgrade to one of the more premium packages.

There are four pricing tiers, and all of them feature the Zakra Pro extras. The following prices are for lifetime access:

  • Personal: $112 for 1 site license
  • Personal Plus: $139 for 3 site licenses plus 30+ premium starter demos and Elementor companion
  • Professional: $259 for 10 site licenses plus 30+ premium starter demos and Elementor companion
  • Developer: $359 for unlimited site licenses plus 30+ premium starter demos, Elementor companion, and future plugins

You can also choose to pay via an annual fee. I think the Personal Plus package with a lifetime subscription would be a great option for most.

#6 – Tusant — The Best WordPress Theme for Podcast Creators

Tusant by Second Line is a first-rate theme that’s best suited for podcast creators, musicians, voice-over actors, and music streaming.

While many themes can offer flashy designs, Tusant is practical, too, allowing you to embed audio and video from multiple sources.

For example, a podcast creator would be able to embed an entire ongoing series with ease, while musicians could display their latest work. The developers say Tusant can showcase an unlimited number of entries.

What’s more, Tusant supports all of the vital podcasting plugins such as PowerPress, Seriously Simple Podcasting, and PodLove. You can host MP3 files locally, too, so there’s little to get in the way of your creativity.

Tusant also offers the following:

  • Over 900 Google fonts supported
  • One-click theme install
  • Dedicated support
  • Responsive mobile design
  • WordPress built-in customizer
  • Full documentation for each section
  • Translation ready
  • Page builder support included

For the pricing, there are three distinct tiers from the Tusant creators:

  • Single Podcast Theme: $69 for one Second Line Podcast WordPress theme of your choice + 12 months of updates and support
  • Podcast Theme Bundle: $139 for access to all Second Lines Podcast WordPress themes + 12 months of updates and support
  • Lifetime access: $389 for unlimited lifetime access to all Second Lines Podcast  WordPress themes + lifetime updates and support

Second Line currently has five different podcast WordPress themes. Tusant offers multiple layouts, beautiful displays for playlists, and supports over 20 podcast hosting providers. If you’re a podcaster, you cannot go wrong with Tusant.

#7 – Travel Way — The Best WordPress Theme for Travel Bloggers

Travel Way is perfect for travel bloggers and photographers who want to show their locations’ real beauty. Travel Way is also great for travel agencies and portfolios.

With call-to-action buttons, multiple sections, and handy social icons, it’s a theme ready for the modern traveler.

The free version of Travel Way is flexible and highly customizable, with the option of setting up galleries, booking forms, services, and portfolios. There’s a huge amount you can do with this theme.

Even better, it works well with all of the major browsers, is very responsive, and offers unlimited pages for each section of your site.

Other attractive features of Travel Way include:

  • Featured sections
  • More than nine custom widgets
  • Testimonials
  • Tour packages
  • Custom sidebar areas
  • Full layout controls
  • Page builder compatible
  • Extensive slider options

The pro version features advanced custom widgets, multiple options for comment sections, more menu and logo positions, and quite a bit more.

It costs just $55 for personal use and $99 for developers, so if you’re pretty set on the theme, I wouldn’t hesitate to upgrade for the rest of the features.


There are tons of beautiful WordPress themes out there, and my list has given you just a snapshot of everything you can do on the platform. But many themes work better for specific uses.

The picks on the list offer some of the best themes available in their respective areas:

  • Astra — The Best WordPress Theme for Beginners
  • Sydney — The Best WordPress Theme for Freelancers
  • Foodie Pro — The Best WordPress Theme for Food Bloggers
  • Jayla — The Best WordPress Theme for Online Shops
  • Zakra — The Best WordPress Theme for SEO
  • Tusant — The Best WordPress Theme for Podcast Creators
  • Travel Way — The Best WordPress Theme for Travel Bloggers

Whether you’re a freelancer, travel blogger, podcaster, or you want to launch an online shop, WordPress has got you covered.

The best part is how much you can do with a single theme, so dive in and get started.

The sky really is the limit.

WP Event Manager Review (2020): Best WordPress Events Plugin?

WP Event Manager Review (2020): Best WordPress Events Plugin?

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Need to manage events on your WordPress site? You could be launching some digital webinars or maybe hosting some local workshops.

Either way, WP Event Manager is a freemium WordPress event plugin that might be able to help. It makes it easy to share events on your WordPress site, along with lots of filters and custom information to create a great experience for your visitors. With the premium features, you can even sell tickets to your events, charge people to list events on your site, and lots, lots more.

In my WP Event Manager review, I’ll share more about this plugin’s features and show you how it works on my own test website.

WP Event Manager Review: Introduction to the Plugin

WP Event Manager does exactly what the name says – it helps you manage events on your WordPress site. It supports both digital events, like a webinar, as well as physical in-person events.

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One of the most powerful features is that you, or others, can create/manage events from both your backend WordPress dashboard and the frontend of your site. For example, you could let other people register and submit events from the frontend of your site, like creating a sort of public event directory.

You can also add custom fields to manage information about your unique events. You can add as many custom fields as you want and also edit/remove any of the default fields. This lets you customize your event pages to display the exact information that you need them to.

To organize your events, you can add different categories and tags. You can also assign venues and organizers to events. Your visitors will be able to filter by all of this information and you can also create different event views, like creating a dedicated page for a venue that lists only that venue’s events.

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That’s all in the free version at WordPress.org. If you want more features, there are also lots of paid add-ons that give you advanced features.

Paid Add-Ons

  • Sell tickets via WooCommerce and check-in visitors at events by scanning a QR code on your smartphone.
  • Charge for event listings via WooCommerce. Great for event directory sites.
  • Integrate Zoom meetings for “online” events.
  • Show events on Google Maps.
  • Display events on a calendar listing.
  • Create automatic recurring events.
  • Easily add events to iCal or Google Calendar.
  • List all of the attendees at an event.
  • Send alerts related to events.
  • Integrate Google Analytics.
  • Send customizable emails to event attendees.

I’ll explain some of these premium add-ons in more detail later in the review.

Who Can Benefit from WP Event Manager?

I think WP Event Manager can benefit pretty much any type of business that runs events.

For example, let’s say you have an online business and you run webinars. WP Event Manager can help you create “digital” events that link to your webinar platform, which lets you easily manage and display all your upcoming webinars on your site.

It’s also useful for local businesses, though. For example, maybe you have a local restaurant and you occasionally have live music acts come in. WP Event Manager makes it easy to organize those acts and lets your customers quickly find out which artists are playing when. Or maybe you have a yoga studio and you want to showcase all your upcoming workshops – WP Event Manager can help there, too.

You could also go another route and create your own event directory website based around a local area or a specific topic. For example, you could create a site that lists all of the events in your local city. Then, you could monetize your event directory by charging local businesses for featured events (a feature which WP Event Manager offers).

Basically, WP Event Manager is useful for more than just typical “event” businesses.

Now, let’s go hands-on and I’ll show you how WP Event Manager works.

How WP Event Manager Works

When you first install WP Event Manager, it launches a simple setup wizard to help you configure the basics, like the default pages that you need to manage events. For example, it will automatically create the pages that list events and venues.

This is a nice feature to get you up and running quickly. From there, you’re ready to start creating events right away.

How to Create an Event in WordPress

WP Event Manager lets you create events in two ways:

  1. From your backend WordPress dashboard.
  2. From the frontend (which is especially helpful if you want to let your visitors/users create their own events). You also get the option to manually approve events that are submitted from the frontend.

This is pretty unique as a lot of other event manager plugins require the premium version for frontend event submissions – WP Event Manager gives you this for free.

On the backend, you can use the regular WordPress editor to add the event title and description. You’ll also get options in the sidebar to add event categories and types, which helps you organize events (and will help your visitors find the events that they’re interested in).

Then, below the editor, you’ll get a meta box where you can add all of the event’s details including information like:

  • Whether it’s online (like a webinar or livestream) or a physical event
  • The event location (for physical events)
  • Start/end times
  • Venue – each venue gets its own page that lists all of the events for that venue.
  • Organizer – each organizer gets their own page that lists all of the events they’re organizing.

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If you create an event from the frontend, you’ll get the same options – the interface is just a little different:

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One really nice thing here is that people get a live preview before they submit the event. This helps them avoid silly mistakes and creates a user-friendly experience for your event organizers:

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And just like that, your event will get its own dedicated, SEO-friendly page on the frontend. WP Event Manager even adds social share buttons to give your event more visibility, along with an option for people to register for the event:

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How to Manage Events

Just like creating events, WP Event Manager lets you manage events from both the backend WordPress dashboard and the frontend of your site.

On the backend, you’ll get a list of all events, along with icons to help you quickly see their statuses.

For example, you can see that one event is pending approval, while the other is active:

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You can also see that information from the frontend. Users also have the option to edit their approved events or cancel them:

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How to Add Custom Fields to Your Events

While WP Event Manager comes with lots of fields to help you add information to your events, you might have specific information that applies to your use case.

For example, maybe you host public speaking events and you want an option to list all of the individual speakers that will be speaking at your event.

To help you capture this information and display it on your event pages (or venue and organizer pages), WP Event Manager comes with its own built-in field editor.

Here, you can:

  • Add new fields to events, organizers, or venues.
  • Edit the default fields.
  • Remove the default fields.

For example, you can see that I added two fields for speakers:

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Now, you’ll see those fields when you go to add a new event:

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WP Event Manager will also automatically add them to the frontend event page in an Additional Details box:

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Overall, this is an incredibly useful feature because it lets you really customize WP Event Manager to meet your needs.

Overall, that’s most of what you can do with the free version, which is already quite flexible. But with the Pro add-ons, you can unlock a lot more features.

What Can You Do With the Premium Add-ons?

Everything that I showed you above is available with the free version of WP Event Manager that’s at WordPress.org.

However, there are also 20+ Pro add-ons that give you a lot more flexibility. Let’s go through some of the most notable premium features…

Sell Tickets to Your Events

With the free version, you can let people register for your events, which would let you manually charge them in-person. However, there’s no way to charge people for a ticket automatically.

The Sell Tickets add-on changes that, letting you sell tickets to individual events via WooCommerce.

You can have multiple ticket pricing tiers and even mix free tickets and paid tickets together.

The really cool thing is that each ticket gets its own unique QR code, which lets you verify attendees’ tickets at your event just by scanning the code with your smartphone.

Attendees can download their tickets as PDFs which makes it easy to print them and you can also attach the ticket to an automatic confirmation email.

Charge for Listing Events

If you allow users to submit events from the frontend, another way to monetize your site is to charge them to submit events.

For example, you could create a local event directory and charge people to list an event (which they would pay because it gets them access to your audience).

To set this up, you’d need the WooCommerce Paid Listings add-on.

Connect With Zoom Events

I’m writing this WP Event Manager review during the Coronavirus pandemic, so this feature is especially relevant.

With the Zoom add-on, you can create virtual Zoom meeting events that embed right on your website. This also works with the other add-ons so you could, for example, sell tickets to give people access to a private Zoom webinar.

This is a really great way to monetize your website/business during this period of social distancing. For example, if you have a local gym, you could use this feature to sell access to paid online classes that stream over Zoom.

Display an Event Calendar

Unlike some other event plugins, WP Event Manager doesn’t give you a calendar view for free. However, the Calendar add-on lets you display all of your upcoming events in a calendar view. This makes it easier for visitors to see all of your upcoming events.

Create Recurring Events

If you have events that repeat on certain schedules, it can be frustrating to have to manually recreate them each time. The Recurring Events add-on lets you simplify your administrative work by automatically repeating certain events on a schedule that you set.

Note – if you’re on a tight budget, some other event plugins give you this feature for free.

Explore the Other Premium Add-ons

Again, there are over 20+ premium add-ons, so the list above is just some of the most notable features. Click here to view the full list.

WP Event Manager Pricing

WP Event Manager comes in a free version at WordPress.org, as well as various premium add-ons that you can either purchase individually or as a bundle.

For most of this WP Event Manager review, I’ve focused on showing you what you can do with the free version at WordPress.org.

However, if you need more features, there are 20 paid add-ons to choose from. Each add-on costs either $19 or $39 if you purchase it individually. Or, you can also get a bundle of all 20 add-ons for $235.

Final Thoughts on WP Event Manager

If your WordPress site deals with any type of events, WP Event Manager is a very interesting plugin to consider.

One of the most unique features is that, even with the free version, you (or other people) can manage events from both the frontend and backend. Most other plugins only work from the backend, at least in their free versions. This opens up a lot of flexibility, especially around any type of event directory site.

The ability to add your own custom fields also makes it very easy to customize WP Event Manager to your needs, even in the free version.

However, while the free version is pretty flexible, you’ll need the Pro add-ons for many important features, especially related to monetizing your events. For example, you’ll need Pro add-ons to sell tickets or charge for event listings.

However, the nice thing about the premium features is that they use a modular approach. If you only need a single feature, you can just pay for that feature. Or, you can also get a bundle if you want access to every feature.

If you want to get started and learn more, here are some links to help:

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