Best WordPress Popup Plugin for 2021 (Performance Compared)

Best WordPress Popup Plugin for 2021 (Performance Compared)
Best WordPress Popup Plugin for 2021 (Performance Compared)

With a great WordPress pop-up plugin, you can easily convert website visitors into email subscribers and paying customers. There are many plugins on the market to help you do this, but most of them will slow down your website, provide incorrect statistics, and other issues that affect decision making.

Think twice about using pop-ups. Improperly crafted, they can easily be offensive and not only affect the user experience, but also negatively impact your brand reputation. You need to choose a solution that offers the right behavioral interactions and has the targeting and personalization features to provide the best browsing experience while increasing conversions.

Performance is another issue with most pop-up plugins, as many of these plugins track user behavior through WordPress, thus greatly increasing the server load and also slowing down the site. In addition, you have to make sure that the plugin you choose will work well in the hosting environment of your web host, as many plugins are not coded correctly and their advanced features (such as A/B testing and analytics reporting) conflict with the caching solutions of many hosting companies.

The main purpose of using a popup plugin on your WordPress website is to capture leads and increase your email subscription list. Next, let's take a look at the best pop-up plugins together.

1. OptinMonster

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OptinMonster is the most popular lead generation plugin on the market, allowing you to easily convert website visitors into subscribers and customers. The plugin comes with a powerful pop-up editor and the most comprehensive set of targeting and personalization features - in short, it maximizes your conversion potential like a marketing pro.

Functional Performance Ease of Use

You will get the most powerful set of positioning and personalization features on the market for creating different kinds of activities: pop-ups, full-screen welcome bars, floating bars, scrolling boxes, and more. With its positioning features, you can position users by the page they are visiting, by the activity on the site, by geographic location, and dozens of other parameters. In addition, you can create pop-ups that are presented according to specific rules, making them more efficient.

The following are the main features of OptinMonster.

  1. Beautifully designed non-intrusive lightbox pop-ups
  2. Show exit intent pop-ups when users are about to leave the site
  3. Powerful positioning options, including page-level, geolocation, real-time repositioning, device-based positioning and more
  4. Ad blocking detection can display specified messages to users
  5. Pop-ups triggered by exit intent, page scrolling, idle sensors, time-based triggers, etc.
  6. Dozens of pre-defined beautiful pop-up templates
  7. Drag-and-drop editor where you can easily create pop-up windows with custom images, fonts and styles
  8. Multiple ad types, such as in/after post content, floating notification bar, countdown timer, full-screen welcome bar, coupon wheel pop-up window, etc.
  9. Integration with all top email marketing services, contact form plugins, e-commerce platforms and more

This is a SaaS application, meaning it does not use WordPress hosted resources. OptinMonster loads asynchronously, so it does not slow down your perceived page load speed, which is critical not only for user experience, but also for SEO (search engine optimization).

Finally, OptinMonster does not use WordPress to store analytics data, so all statistics are the most accurate and can be used in any hosting environment.

This plugin comes with an intuitive drag-and-drop popup editor that allows you to design unique popups with backgrounds, colors, images, fonts, text and registration forms. However, if you don't want to do too much manual work, there are plenty of beautiful ready-made templates to choose from, each of which allows you to modify them at will.

Adding popups to your website is also easy, no need to edit any WordPress files or add any code, you just need to install its WordPress Connect plugin.

2. TrustPulse

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TrustPulse uses social proof to help you increase conversions on your website. It displays social verification notifications on your website, which helps build user trust, triggers the FOMO (fear of missing out) effect, and encourages more users to sign up or buy.

Functional Performance Ease of Use

By sharing social proof through less invasive but more effective pop-ups, TrustPulse can help you instantly earn the trust of your users with the following unique features.

  1. Trigger FOMO: Use urgency and social proof to trigger the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) effect and encourage users to sign up or place an order
  2. Real-time tracking: display real-time purchase, activity, registration and other information
  3. Smart targeting: show social proof pop-ups to the right user at the right time
  4. Custom pop-ups: use pre-defined templates or make them unique with simple modifications

If you run an e-commerce business, then website loading speed is critical to increasing sales and TrustPulse will not affect your website performance, but will improve the user experience. It is a SaaS application that does not use WordPress hosted resources and all the code used to display the pop-ups is loaded asynchronously from the cloud server.

TrustPulse comes with an easy to set up interface, and the default social proof pop-ups run almost instantly without modification.

3. Bloom

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Elegant Themes is one of the oldest WordPress theme stores, Bloom is a popular popup plugin they made to provide easy to set up popups for a wide range of WordPress websites.

Functional Performance Ease of Use

Bloom comes with a nice set of features, enough to cover the basic requirements needed for a good pop-up plugin:.

  1. Automatic pop-up light box
  2. Multiple selection types, including sidebar, in-article content, after-article content, etc.
  3. Basic article and page level positioning
  4. Time delay, page scrolling, form submission triggers
  5. Pre-defined pop-up templates for easy customization
  6. Integration with popular email service providers

This is a standalone WordPress plugin, meaning that it loads all the code from the WordPress site and therefore uses server resources and affects page load times. Although developers have made significant efforts to try to mitigate this by optimizing the code, if your site is busy and server resources are limited, site performance may be negatively impacted.

In addition, depending on your WordPress caching plugin settings, statistical reports and some other features (such as A/B testing) may be incorrect.

With its simple drag-and-drop popup editor, Bloom is very easy to use. However, when you configure the display parameters, you will find that there are too many options, which makes the user interface rather confusing.

4. Sumo

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This plugin is available for free and allows you to add pop-ups to your WordPress site. They also offer a premium version with more features and options.

Functional Performance Ease of Use

  1. Allows you to create free pop-ups and registration forms
  2. Provide a variety of display formats
  3. Integration with popular email marketing platforms
  4. Comes with various styles and templates for use
  5. Contains basic A/B testing and statistical information
  6. The free version has limited functionality and will add Sumo branding to the pop-up window

Sumo loads code asynchronously, which helps reduce the impact on performance. Depending on the design of your campaign, the impact of the plugin on server resources will vary.

Despite the integration with WordPress sites, you will need to manage your own account from their site and use the Sumo information center to design ad campaigns. It takes a while to get started, the ad campaign creation tool is not the easiest, and there are some difficulties using the integration and targeting features, but you can find a solution for all of them.

5. Thrive Leads

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This is another popular WordPress popup plugin with a nice popup template and an easy to use popup editor.

Functional Performance Ease of Use

Thrive Leads is designed to help you capture leads and grow your email list, and here is an overview of its features.

  1. Multiple selection types, including lightbox pop-ups, inline forms, two-step selections, sliding forms, and more
  2. Simple and easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor with customizable registration form
  3. Basic A/B testing and statistical analysis
  4. Page level positioning with categories, tags, article types, etc.
  5. Works with all popular email services

This plugin manages to strike a balance between performance and functionality, but it's still slower than other solutions. Thrive Leads is a standalone WordPress plugin where all the code sits on your site and consumes server resources. This also means that it, like Bloom, features such as statistics reporting and A/B testing may not work properly on some popular caching plugins.

Thrive Leads is very easy to use, comes with several preset templates, and a basic popup builder with drag-and-drop functionality to customize popup forms. However, displaying various effects on your website requires some learning process and setting up popups can be a bit difficult for many beginners.


Considering our measurement criteria, OptinMonster becomes the best WordPress popup plugin with an easy-to-use popup editor and a lot of great tools to help you boost your conversion rate as much as possible. In addition, it works with all popular CRM (Customer Relationship Management), email marketing platforms, WordPress form plugins, and custom HTML forms.

Showing the right popup to the right user at the right time is what makes it more effective, and OptinMonster includes powerful page-level targeting options, personalization settings, and event-based triggers. If you are running an e-commerce site, then we recommend using OptinMonster + TrustPulse, which allows you to maximize conversions with social proof and shopping cart abandonment features.

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The only question is, which side are you going to pick?

Let me know in the comments.