As a graphic designer, you might work directly within WordPress itself, using the CMS to build beautiful websites.
But even if you’re not directly designing within the WordPress ecosystem, it’s a great way for graphic designers to showcase their work in a beautiful and functional environment.
To get the most out of WordPress you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the plugin library. This is how WordPress handles adding new features to your site that aren’t present in your current theme.
Below we dive deep into the nine best WordPress plugins for graphic designers. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our post on the best WordPress themes for graphic designers, too!
How WordPress Helps Graphic Designers Work Better
If you’re a graphic designer who’s designing WordPress sites, then you can rely on plugins to help improve some elements of the site or even make your design process much simpler. Why continue to replicate a task if you can find a plugin that can do the work for you?
While, if you’re a graphic designer who doesn’t actually work with WordPress sites, but across some other medium, you can still reap the benefits of running a WordPress site. There are all kinds of plugins that can help you build a stunning website that showcases your best work for existing and prospective clients.
9 Best WordPress Plugins for Graphic Designers
There are a ton of different plugins out there in the WordPress marketplace, and sorting through all of the plugins requires a huge amount of time.
Don’t worry. To save you some serious time, we did the digging for you.
Below you’ll find nine of the most useful WordPress plugins that can improve your life and workflow as a graphic designer:
1. Modula Image Gallery
WordPress doesn’t offer a ton of ways to create stunning image galleries right out of the box.
Modula Image Gallery gives you a way to add image galleries to your website. As a designer, this offers you a unique way to show off your creative portfolio, or help create better image galleries for clients.
This WordPress plugin has a wide range of different styles including, lightbox galleries, custom grids, and masonry-style grids. The custom gallery feature gives you the ability to create a gallery that no one has ever seen before on the web.
Plus, all of the galleries you create will be fully responsive, so they’ll look good on any screen size.
The free version of the plugin should be enough for most designers, but there’s also a premium version available.
Upgrading will give you access to features like:
- Ability to add up to 20 images per gallery
- Add videos to your galleries
- Add a filter option to your galleries for an improved user experience
- Access a library of loading animations, hover, and even more lightbox effects
2. Elementor Page Builder
Elementor Page Builder can be used to create a completely unique design for your site, even if you don’t know how to code. This makes it perfect for graphic designers who want to create a stand-out website, but don’t want to mess with code to get everything to work perfectly.
The Elementor plugin basically turns your WordPress site into a drag-and-drop interface, so you can rearrange elements exactly how you like, just by dragging and dropping.
The WordPress design plugin is equipped with dozens of different modules that you can select to add new elements and features to your site. Plus, it lets you design in real-time, so you can see your changes appear the moment you make them, no need to refresh the page.
If you’re looking to unlock even more advanced features, then check out the pro version of the plugin. This gives you access to more design features, customizable widgets, WooCommerce integration, and much more.
The new Gutenberg editor has changed how you build out pages using WordPress. If you’re a designer who wants to do most of their website building within the Gutenberg editor, then this is worth checking out.
What Qubely does is add a design toolkit on top of the existing editor, taking away the limitations of the new editor and opening up new possibilities for graphic design within WordPress.
Here are some of the core features that this plugin unlocks:
- Predefined content sections
- Customizable rows and columns
- Video backgrounds
- Device-specific responsive controls
- Gradient and background colors
- Built-in animation effects
- Box-shadow effects
- Unlimited access to Google Fonts
If you’re looking to design a certain type of website, then you can explore their library of starter packs, which are niche-oriented designs focused on specific niches.
WPtouch is a complete mobile solution for WordPress sites. The last thing you want is someone to come across your site on a mobile device and not have things load properly.
Even though a lot of websites today are responsive, you can still run into issues with WordPress sites. For example, sometimes they may load correctly on a mobile screen, but they’ll end up taking forever to do so.
This WordPress plugin seeks to solve that issue by generating a fast, lightweight, and good looking mobile version of your site.
With this plugin, you have complete control over the design of your mobile WordPress site. Within the plugin itself, you can customize a variety of different design elements, all without having a touch a line of code.
If you’re already satisfied with how your site performs on a mobile screen, then you might not need to use this plugin. But, if you’ve found your site has issues with the appearance or performance across mobile, then it might be worth testing out.
There’s also a pro version of the plugin available that is equipped with even more features like:
- Enhanced theme selection for blogs, businesses, and WooCommerce
- Options to enhance rich advertising
- Additional options for font choice
- Improved caching options
5. WP Portfolio
If you’re a graphic designer who wants to showcase their work in the best light possible, then you’ll want to use a WordPress portfolio plugin. There are a ton of different WordPress portfolio plugins to choose from, but one of the best is called WP Portfolio.
This plugin is highly flexible and offers you a ton of different options for displaying your portfolio. Out of the box it’s equipped with over 40 different portfolio themes to choose from.
It was built by the team behind the WordPress theme, Astra, which happens to be one of the best selling WordPress themes of all time. The same level of quality is present in this plugin.
Not only is this plugin equipped with very advanced features, but it’s also very easy to use. You can have your portfolio up and running in a matter of minutes.
It’s equipped with a ton of different layout options and supports image, video, and even website portfolios. If you’re using a page builder to customize your graphic design website, then you’ll be happy to hear that this plugin integrates seamlessly with the most popular page builder plugins out there.
Monarch helps to solve a unique problem–how do you add elegant social media buttons to an existing website?
This is one of the best social media plugins available for WordPress. A lot of social media plugins are too cluttered or don’t have a design that meshes well with your existing website.
This plugin gives you complete control over the appearance of the social network buttons, something any graphic designer can appreciate, along with the specific networks you’d like to include. There’s also a powerful control panel that makes it easy to customize the appearance of your social buttons.
You can also choose from a handful of different locations including:
- Floating sidebar buttons
- On top of images and videos
- Above or below your blog content
- Automatic pop-up for fly-in
Whether you’re looking to add social media buttons to your WordPress website, or a client site, then this plugin is worth checking out.
7. NextGEN Gallery
NextGEN Gallery is another very popular image gallery plugin. It’s been around since 2007 and gets nearly 1.5 million downloads every year!
It’s a very powerful plugin but remains very easy to use. There are three different types of galleries you can create, including slideshows, thumbnail, and image browser galleries.
Within each of these gallery types, you’ll find a ton of different customization options that you can apply.
Whether you’re looking to create an image gallery of your own graphic design work or create a beautiful gallery for a client project, then this WordPress plugin is worth checking out.
Beyond the free version of the plugin, you’ll find a variety of premium extensions that give you even more features like:
- Additional gallery display options
- A professional film gallery
- Additional scrolling and animation option
- Image commenting and social sharing
- Image protection
- eCommerce and payment integration for purchasing your designs
If you’re a graphic designer who also builds WordPress sites for clients, then you know how tedious it can be having to re-build a client’s site from scratch every single time.
A lot of designers will start with a stock design that they modify. This includes WordPress installation settings, plugin settings, and more.
The Duplicator plugin will automate and simplify this entire process whenever you need to build a new website for one of your graphic design clients. Once you install this plugin all you have to do is clone an existing site, then you can duplicate this whenever you start a new project.
If you design websites and make use of the site staging area you can easily transfer back and forth between a live site and staging area.
This plugin is a must-have in any web designer’s arsenal. Plus, it has over 1 million active installations and a five-star rating.
Designers who want access to even more features can upgrade to the pro version of the plugin, this will give you additional features like:
- Ability to schedule regular website backups
- Sync with popular cloud storage tools
- Migrate an entire multisite WordPress network with a single click
- And much more!
9. Easy Testimonials
If you’re a graphic designer who’s trying to sell your services on your website, then being able to showcase your testimonials is incredibly important. Testimonials act as social proof and are one of the most powerful factors that’ll convince someone to buy from you, or hire you.
Some themes have native support for testimonials. But, if your theme doesn’t, then the Easy Testimonials plugin will be absolutely necessary. Once you activate this plugin you can add testimonials to any widgetized portion of your site. You can even embed them into your posts and pages.
This WordPress plugin also makes all of your testimonials schema.org compliant, so they’ll display properly in the search engines.
There are a variety of professionally designed themes you can choose from to display your testimonials. Surely, you’ll be able to find a theme that aligns with the design of your website.
This plugin has additional features like:
- Easy testimonial management to ensure you’re displaying the best testimonials at all times
- Random testimonial displaying across your site
- Integrating images with your testimonials
- Adding a star rating to your testimonials
- And much more
The free version should be enough for most designers, but if you want to take the display of your testimonials to the next level you can upgrade to the pro version of the plugin.
This will give you access to even more features like:
- A huge selection of fonts from the Google Fonts library
- Over 100 different pre-existing themes to choose from
- A front-end form to collect testimonials directly from your site
- A testimonial carousel and slideshow
Choosing the Best Graphic Design Plugins For Your WordPress Website
By now you should have a better idea of the types of WordPress plugins you can take advantage of as a graphic designer. Generally, the types of plugins you’ll be using depending upon your role as a designer.
Hopefully, the list of WordPress plugins for graphic designers above has helped to spark your interest. Maybe you’ve even found a plugin or two that you can’t wait to add to your graphic design workflow.