Best WordPress Popup Plugin 2020: 13 Great Free & Paid Options

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John Yray
John Yray

Are pop-ups still useful for improving your site’s conversion rates?

The short answer is yes. While the vast majority of users will read pages on your site and never return, a well-crafted popup can get some of them to take a desired action (e.g. subscribe to your weekly email blast).

A 2019 study by Sumo reveals the average conversion rate of a popup is about 3%. The top 10% averaged 9% conversion rates, while some enjoyed conversions of over 50%.

The actual results you get will depend on a variety of factors, including:

  • Your industry
  • Your popup’s template design
  • Your audience’s behavior
  • The popup’s contents and the value it offers

For the actual WP popup plugin, you’ll want something that’s user-friendly. You basically want something that’ll effectively communicate your message without being annoying.

Below’s a list of paid and free options that should make for a great choice for your needs. Please enjoy.

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1. OptinMonster (best popup plugin overall)

OptinMonster is arguably the best WordPress popup plugin today. Over 1,000,000 websites use this drag and drop builder for creating highly responsive popups.

OptinMonster lets you create WordPress lightbox popups, sidebar forms and more. You can create professional looking popups and track how each one performs with analytics.

Other reasons to use this plugin include:

  • Developers claim to have improved certain clients’ conversion rates by up to 785%.
  • Has integration with popular email marketing software.
  • Provides access to Google Analytics.
  • A/B split testing.
  • Different popup triggers (e.g. activate a WordPress popup on click).
  • Page level targeting.
  • Used by many reputable companies, including Trip Advisor and McAfee.

OptinMonster basic plan starts at $9/month.

2. Layered Popups (best for customizing WordPress popups)

Layered Popups is the best popup WordPress plugin in terms of customization. It’s a tool that lets you create engaging WordPress popups using multiple layers and animations. You get the freedom to design something beautifully unique from scratch. Or, you can choose from over 150 design templates if you’d rather not work so hard.

You also get to choose when and how often your popups appear. You can show it to your site visitors once upon arrival or if they’re idling on a page for too long. Different options for when it appears means different ways to get your ad across without it appearing annoying or overly aggressive.

Other features include:

  • A visual editor that lets you preview live changes as you create your popup.
  • It’s a lightweight plugin that loads quickly.
  • Insert into specific pages using Shortcode.
  • A/B split testing.
  • Compatible with over 88 email marketing systems, including Aweber, MailChimp and iContact.
  • Well-supported and highly rated plugin.

Start building pop-ups that don’t look sketchy for a one-time payment of only $21.

3. Ninja Popups

Ninja Popups is one of the most popular and affordable paid WordPress plugins on the list. It’s ideal for first-time users as no coding or special knowledge is required during its setup and configuration.

This Ninja plugin lets you create attractive pop-ups effortlessly with its drag and drop visual builder. It offers over 65 professionally designed templates, which you can tweak to create the appearance you want.

Other features to mention include:

  • Responsive design so it renders properly across different devices.
  • Robust customization features (e.g. 8 opt-in panels and 74 animation effects).
  • KPIs with charts for evaluating which popup features are working well.
  • Analytics page and A/B split testing.
  • Integration with popular products such as Ninja Forms and JetPack.
  • Works with popular social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter.
  • Excellent customer support.

Ninja Popups is another cost-efficient option with its regular license at $26.

4. Elementor Pro - comes with Elementor page building feature

Elementor Pro is a page builder that enables users to create popups. It’s a decent option especially for those who already use Elementor for publishing their pages on WordPress.

It features a drag and drop builder, which makes it easy to piece together your popup’s contents. You can customize different aspects of your popups to make it more appealing to your visitors. Alternatively, you can take your pick from a series of different pre-made templates.

While it’s certainly an excellent WordPress modal plugin from a design perspective, its biggest drawback is its lack of built-in analytics. It’d be difficult to determine which template or design is raking in more conversions when you’re running multiple popups.

Elementor Pro’s popup plugin comes with other notable features:

  • Create any type of popup (e.g. fly-in or full screen popups).
  • Use it in combination with other Elementor widgets (like adding a countdown timer widget to your popup to create a sense of urgency).
  • Place popups in any page or post or category.
  • Control what type of visitor behavior triggers when a popup is shown.
  • Offers a ton of other page builder features.
  • Excellent customer support.

You can get everything that Elementor Pro has to offer for as low as $49/year.

5. Master popups

Master Popups is another product that uses drag and drop technology to create attractive popups. It’s marketed as a solution for retaining more of the “read and leave” crowd of visitors. It gives you access to over 70+ design templates with an array of customization features to enhance the appearance of your popups.

You can create different types of popups and what triggers them to appear. Other noteworthy features include the following:

  • Create different types of popups.
  • Include any type of content into your popups (e.g. videos).
  • Works with over 30+ email marketing platforms, including Mailster and MailChimp.
  • Responsive design for proper rendering across different devices.
  • Excellent customer support.
  • Regularly updated software.

A regular license for Master Popups is currently $39.

6. Convert Pro - the enhanced version of Convert Plus

Convert Pro claims to be the best product for turning visitors into paying customers. The plugin is optimized to load quickly, which should add some value to your conversion rates and site’s SEO.

In addition to over 100 design templates, this software allows you to further your customization ambitions with custom CSS, animations and more.

Other notable features include:

  • User-friendly drag and drop builder.
  • Integration with Google analytics.
  • A/B split testing.
  • Integration with email marketing software.
  • User behavior triggers for popups.

A license for Convert Pro will cost you $99 per year.

7. Popup with FancyBox

Popup with FancyBox is commonly used for creating lightweight popups. It’s a cheaper alternative that offers many of the basic functions you’d need for creating a popup.

Similar to other WordPress popup plugins, it has an intuitive admin panel where you can control how your popup looks and when it’s displayed. You can even specify if you’d like it to appear on specific pages/posts on your site if you’d like.

Other notable features include:

  • Designed to render properly across different devices.
  • Create a WordPress image popup (videos and other media types can be made as well).
  • Set popup triggers.

You can get a regular license for a one-time payment of $29.

Best free WordPress popup plugin

Any of the following makes for a decent choice for the best free WordPress popup plugin:

  • Sumo (arguably the best)
  • Popup Builder
  • WP Popup Lite
  • Popup Maker
  • Icegram
  • ITRO Popup Plugin

1. Sumo - best popup WordPress plugin for those on budget

Formerly known as SumoMe, Sumo is a suite of marketing tools that includes a popup builder. Its popup creator allows you to create different types of popups using dozens of pre-made templates.

It has a drag and drop builder, so it’s an ideal choice for beginners. You can use Sumo to set different triggers for your popups and determine where they appear on your site.

The plugin itself loads asynchronously, so it doesn’t impede your website’s performance. Other noteworthy features include:

  • Responsive design, so your popups look the way they’re supposed to across different devices.
  • Dozens of attractive design templates.
  • Instant integration with popular mailing systems.
  • Other useful tools like Heat Maps (shows where users are clicking on your site).

The free version offers enough features for many webmasters to get started. The premium version offers more advanced tools, such as A/B split testing and advanced user analytics.

Sumo’s premium plan is available for $39 per month.

2. Popup Builder

Popup Builder by Sygnoos offers a free version with enough features to keep over thousands of webmasters happy. This product is compatible with popular drag and drop page builders such as Visual Composer and Divi.

This popup plugin WP webmasters everywhere love can be used to create an unlimited number of highly customizable popups with their own unique configurations. You can change the colors, sizes and animation effects of every popup. Moreover, you can insert any type of content in your popups to engage visitors more effectively.

It has more to offer:

  • Multisite network support for those running multiple blogs/websites with a single installation.
  • User-friendly interface.
  • Responsive design.
  • Several pre-built themes to choose.

The pro version has more to offer, including:

  • WooCommerce popup wherein you set certain cart conditions to potentially save a sale.
  • Display recent sales to boost buyer confidence.
  • An Autoresponder.
  • Adblock popup that detects if your visitors are using an adblocker (don’t let them take your ad revenue).

3. WP Popups Lite

WP Popups Lite is a free plugin that packs all the essentials for creating popups. It has an intuitive visual template builder that’s easy to use. It currently has over 10,000 users and appears to have been updated quite recently.

Other notable features of WP Popups Lite includes:

  • 2 beautiful pre-built templates.
  • 3 detailed display/trigger rules (including time the user spent on site and how long they scroll down).
  • 5 different popup locations.
  • Integration with other popular plugins like WPForms and MailPoet.

WP Popups Lite has a premium version that offers a lot more. Subscription plans are available for as low as $35/year.

4. Popup Maker

Popup Maker is very popular with over 500,000 active installs. The free version has a lot to offer. You can create an unlimited number of popups and even design every facet of each popup.

This product (widely used as a WordPress banner plugin) lets you build everything from WP popup banners to video lightboxes without advanced technical knowledge. Needless to say, this product has more to offer:

  • User-friendly interface lets you create optin forms, notification bars and more.
  • Compatibility with commonly used form building plugins and list building forms.
  • Place any type of content in your popups.
  • Place popups anywhere on your website.
  • Set multiple popup triggers.

There’s a paid version that has more to offer, including:

  • Exit intent triggers.
  • Advanced targeting conditions.
  • Access to analytics.

Popup Maker has multiple subscription plans available. The cheapest one starts at $87/year.

5. Icegram

Icegram offers a free plan with over 40,000 users and regular support from its developer. With it you can create numerous types of popups, including email opt-ins and notification messages.

This product is used by people with advanced coding skills because of its extensive customization features (like CSS and custom HTML). It’s well-designed, so it should render properly across different devices.

Other notable features include:

  • Compatibility across different mobile devices.
  • Metrics for each popup.
  • Show Icegram messages on non-WordPress sites.

There’s a premium version available and has more to offer:

  • A/B split testing.
  • Show popups based on visitor’s location (geotargeting).
  • Additional opt-in types (e.g. overlay, inline).

The most affordable Icegram plan starts at $97/year. Take comfort in knowing many users are still content with the free version.

6. ITRO Popup Plugin

ITRO Popup Plugin is a free product with over 10,000 downloads to date. It’s a lightweight plugin that loads quickly and is very easy to use. It has a nice “age restriction” popup feature that blocks minors from entering your site (if that’s your kind of business).

It also gives you the power to customize various aspects of your popups, including the background and border colors.

Other nifty features include:

  • Extensive customization features (including a cool fade in fade out feature).
  • A variety of popup triggers.
  • Choose where your popups appear.
  • Modify and customize without any coding.
  • Recent software updates.

Best WordPress Popup Plugin: key takeaways

  • The best WordPress popup plugin overall is OptinMonster.
  • The free popup plugins offered here should be good enough for most users.
  • The best popup plugin WordPress webmasters use varies depending on their needs and budget.
  • A really good free WordPress popup plugin would be Popup Maker.
  • Layered Popups is a great choice for creating beautiful popups.
  • Your site’s conversion rate will depend on factors beyond design (including the content of your popups).
  • Please ensure the plugin you select is compatible with the plugins you intend to integrate it with.

WP Popups FAQ

You can show popups in WordPress by installing a popup plugin. This is the easiest way to create an eye-catching popup without any knowledge of code. While there are many free and paid plugins for you to choose from, one good free option for getting started would be Sumo.

The installation of a popup plugin can be summarized in 5 steps:

  1. Download the popup plugin you want.
  2. Open your WordPress dashboard and go to Plugins.
  3. Hit “add new” and then the “Upload Button” button.
  4. Select the plugin you downloaded.
  5. Hit the “Install Now” button.

The exact steps for creating a popup will depend on the product you’re using. But, in general, the flow of creating a popup goes something like this:

  • Install your popup plugin of choice.
  • Select your popup template.
  • Add content into the template..
  • Set triggers for when and where the popup should appear (e.g. exit intent).
A lightbox effect allows you to display a message, image or whatever content in a popup window while dimming out the rest of the web page. It forces users to focus on your popup’s contents. The objective of this effect is to grab attention and improve site conversion rates.
A popup banner is a banner that appears in the foreground of a webpage. The banner is usually placed within a delimited window and may contain a message or other type of media content. It can be used to get site visitors to take a certain action (e.g. purchase a product on sale).
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