Plugins are arguably one of the biggest benefits of using WordPress. These bits of modular code let WordPress users easily add new functionality to their sites, and with more than 50,000 free WordPress plugins to choose from the ecosystem of available plugins is massive. 

There’s also a wide variety of use cases for plugins, including marketing, eCommerce, and security, just to name a few. Today, we’ll take a look at some of the top plugins out there for monetizing your site, which is a mission-critical challenge for many WordPress users. Keep reading for a list of some of our recommendations. 

General Monetization Plugins 

One good way to start monetizing your WordPress site is by using display ads. Through ad management plugins, a banner is typically provided by affiliate networks or display advertising platforms (like Google Adsense). With one of these plugins in place, you can easily place an ad on your site to start monetizing.

AdRotate 

Instead of uploading your ad to a widget, AdRotate lets you schedule and upload ads through an interface. Scheduling ads can be great if you know certain ads perform better at certain times. You can also specify how ads rotate, and either show one ad at a time or have the ads rotate at a predefined time, such as every few seconds. 

PayPal Buy Now Button

The PayPal Buy Now Button is a great plugin for securing purchases, and increasing your chances of monetizing your site(s). With this plugin installed, customers who don’t have their credit card on hand can make a direct purchase through their PayPal account. The plugin is super easy to set up, and in minutes anyone from around the world can start buying products or services from your site.

Affiliate Plugins 

Whether you already run an existing popular WordPress site or your site is still building a loyal audience, affiliate plugins are a great way to help you monetize your site. Adding affiliate links to your pages and posts is a great way to cash in on your efforts. These affiliate plugins will help drive sales on your site.

WP Affiliate Manager 

If you’re looking to drive more sales to your store or site, WP Affiliate Manager might be for you. WP Affiliate Manager helps you track your referrals and affiliates sent to your site so you can give the correct commissions. The plugin also reports on real-time traffic and sales so you can track earning and payouts. Even better—there’s no limit as to how many affiliates you can sign up.

Easy Affiliate Links

Another solution for managing all of your affiliate links is Easy Affiliate Links. With this plugin, you can create short links to cloak your affiliate links so they blend in with your content. Links can easily be created using the visual and HTML editor. Add-ons are also possible and include things like analytics and geo-specific links for regional and local sales support.

AffiliateWP

If you’ve already launched your website and you’re still waiting for the sales to roll in, it’s time to start telling people about your business. Affiliate marketing is one of the simplest and most effective marketing strategies, even if you’ve never done any marketing, ever. AffiliateWP is a premium (paid), full-featured affiliate marketing plugin for WordPress that makes affiliate marketing easy. Set up your affiliate program within minutes, and start recruiting affiliates to promote your WPEngine-hosted website. 

Crowdfunding Plugins 

By adding crowdfunding links to your site, you can assemble your users behind a cause. The purpose of crowdfunding is to raise funds for a cause you believe in, which is easy to build on WordPress. Here are a few plugins that can implement this feature.

IgnitionDeck

IgnitionDeck offers a unique crowdfunding framework that enables donation functionality. With this plugin installed, you can utilize real-time stats with both beautifully designed front-end and back-end displays. IgnitionDeck works exquisitely with thousands of WordPress themes, and upgrade options allow you to integrate with multiple gateways, build your own white label crowdfunding platform, and much more.

Charitable

The Charitable plugin provides a WordPress fundraising toolkit that gives you complete control over your WordPress fundraising efforts. Through the plugin, you can help users support a common cause. Utilize PayPal and offline payments, or you might consider a premium payment add-on, like Stripe or PayFast, to tailor your crowdfunding needs to existing or new content. 

eCommerce Plugins 

WordPress started out as a blogging platform, however, since its inception, it has evolved into a fully functional platform for creating an eCommerce site. Thanks to plugins and third-party developers, you can easily add eCommerce functionality to your site without even knowing how to code. Here are a few of the top WordPress plugins you can use to equip your site with eCommerce functionality so you can start selling today. 

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is the leading ecommerce plugin with more than 5 million active installations and counting, featuring a complete suite of tools to help you build and run your online vendor business. Out of the box, WooCommerce offers hundreds of integrations including PayPal standard gateway, check and bank transfer, Google Analytics, basic shipping options, the ability to add premium extensions for options such as FedEx, UPS, USPS, inventory management, reporting, compatibility with any WordPress theme, and much more.

Easy Digital Downloads

Easy Digital Downloads is an eCommerce plugin that makes it easy to sell non-tangible goods on your site. Whether your download type is software, documents, photos, ebooks, songs, graphics, or any other type of media file, the Easy Digital Downloads plugin makes your content available for purchase worldwide. Even better, the plugin supports 15-plus types of payments and is multilingual.

BigCommerce

The BigCommerce for WordPress plugin combines the flexibility of WordPress with a robust commerce engine to allow mid-market and enterprise merchants to scale like never before. Scale your site with WordPress on the front-end and free up backend resources from things like catalog management, payment processing, order fulfillment and more. The BigCommerce plugin does the heavy commerce lifting, letting you scale your eCommerce without losing speed or uptime.

Shopify

Although Shopify is a standalone platform, it’s also been developed into a WordPress integration so you can sell items on your blog or WordPress site. The extension works to create a standalone mini-storefront on your WordPress blog or website, connecting directly to Shopify’s secure shopping platform. It’s super easy to set up and gives you a ton of customization possibilities so your end-user won’t even know they’re on two separate platforms. 

Want to find out more about all the available WordPress plugin options out there? Check out our Ultimate Guide to WordPress Plugins, which offers a deep-dive into the options that are available to you in the WordPress plugin repository as well as paid plugins. And visit WP Engine to find out more about our Digital Experience Platform for WordPress and the ways we’re helping customers manage their WordPress plugins.