A Guide to WordPress Project Management Plugins

Frederick Schiwek

Written by

Frederick Schiwek

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9 minutes

When it comes to project management for your website, having the right tools in place is essential. After all, it does not matter what industry your business operates in, staying organized is a must. Knowing what is happening when, keeping track of the progress and ensuring that the projects go smoothly requires a lot of work.

Alongside project management software, WordPress users may also be interested in investigating project management plugins to help manage the day-to-day activities on website projects. Take a look at our quick guide below to find out more on WordPress project management plugins and decide whether they will work for you.

What is a WordPress project management plugin and why do you need one?

When it comes to project management, having the right solutions in place is crucial. There are a number of great project management tools currently on the market that can cater for your specific business needs. These tools are provided by a third-party application and are generally used for tracking progress across a number of projects.

Ultimately, a WordPress project management plugin does exactly what its name suggests – it manages projects on the WordPress dashboard. This means all the project management features are specifically tailored to WordPress. This may not be ideal if you wish to manage projects across different CMSs or platforms, however, if you’re finding that a majority of your projects take place on WordPress, a plugin could help in maximizing efficiency down the road.

A considerable number of project management plugins are currently available to use, many of which boast uniquely useful features that can help to combat challenges and address considerations that are specific to developing and running a website on WordPress.

What are the benefits of a project management plugin?

The main benefit of a project management plugin on WordPress lies within its integration onto the CMS.

With a WordPress project management plugin, it is even more convenient to carry out quality control checks, keep track of deadlines and collaborate effectively on projects situated entirely on the WordPress platform. It is also a great way to keep teams synchronized with external contractors and people working outside of the team’s main structure – all from your WordPress site.

In addition to all this, project management plugins will save you valuable time. When working as part of a project on WordPress, it can be hard to keep up with everything unless there is an effective system in place to keep tabs on each moving part. Ultimately, because these features are located within the WordPress site itself, progress checks can become an even more integrated process.

What can a WordPress project management plugin do for you?

A WordPress project management plugin can have a huge impact on the capabilities of a company. By freeing up time for employees, these plugins help businesses to make the most of their potential, and stay one step ahead of their competitors.

Project management plugins ensure that simple tasks are taken care of, with minimal effort needed on the part of employees. Plugins also enable teams to take on greater workloads and manage their time more effectively – something which quickly translates into better profit margins, and exciting new opportunities for growth.

Project management plugins vs traditional project management methods

Project management itself is nothing new. Traditional project management methods have been relied upon for decades, and many still have a place in businesses today. However, WordPress plugins offer a more innovative and efficient take on classic project management processes.

Tasks that would ordinarily have been tracked via Gantt charts or spreadsheets can now be tracked using a plugin, and this switch comes with plenty of benefits. Editing becomes faster and simpler when tasks are tracked using an intuitive plugin, and information can be shared at the touch of a button.

Team members can easily contribute to project boards, adding feedback on content and making their own edits as and when required. Time spent on different tasks can be recorded using straightforward, easy to use tracking options, and these figures can be automatically added to relevant projects as and when required.

Plugins enable teams to generate invoices automatically, keeping time spent checking, sending and chasing invoices to a minimum. For brands managing a number of different accounts at once, plugins help to keep information organised, avoiding confusion as projects grow increasingly complex.

Project management plugins vs project management software

We have already discussed some of the benefits of project management plugins above, however, when it comes to weighing up the pros and cons of project management plugins vs project management software, it’s still important to take into account what each is designed to do.

Advantages of Project Management Software:

  • Businesses can track their day-to-day activities – Project management software offers great opportunities for businesses to keep track of their day to day tasks, no matter what they entail. This includes projects that take place outside of the WordPress CMS.
  • Improved collaboration between teams – Centralising information from all tasks and projects onto a single software platform makes collaboration much easier as well as making delegation a lot more efficient.
  • Improved communication and collaboration with clients – The opportunity to invite clients onto your project boards can provide unrivalled visibility and improve communication.
  • Cross-platform capabilities – It is becoming more and more common for project management tools to have both desktop and mobile applications meaning all project information can be accessed from any device.

Disadvantages of Project Management Software:

  • Third-party Application – Project management software is not automatically integrated onto your WordPress site. This may be a challenge for teams who work exclusively on WordPress, however, as having to open up a separate project management application when you are trying to manage your WordPress projects may hinder efficiency.

Advantages of WordPress Project Management Plugins:

  • Synchronising with external developers – When contracting external teams to work on your website, it is important to be able to keep a constant line of communication and stay aligned with what each party is working on. A plugin makes it a lot easier to do this straight from the WordPress platform.
  • Integrated features – A lot of the benefits of WordPress plugins come down to their integration. Having project management capabilities available right from within WordPress means teams do not have to be continuously checking and opening third-party applications when they need to manage a WordPress project.
  • Increased efficiency – Having an integrated plugin to track progress and show what each member of your team are working on results in a much more streamlined workflow.

Disadvantages of a Project Management Plugin:

  • Limited function outside of WordPress – The largest and most obvious drawback of a plugin is its specificity. Plugins provide much of the same visibility as software, but on a more specific environment – ie within projects and tasks on WordPress. This is both an advantage and disadvantage of a plugin. Whereas with larger software platforms you have the ability to access, view and store information from every different project, with a WordPress plugin you are limited to your activities on WordPress.
  • Lack of cross-platform capabilities – Users will have to login to WordPress from a browser to be able to use the project management features. Unfortunately, this also means the features are often not available on mobile devices.

After weighing the pros and cons of each project management solution, the bottom line is this: if you’re looking to boost efficiency and streamline workflows specifically on your WordPress projects, a plugin may be the way to go. However, if you are looking for a more universal tool for project management, software may prove to be the better choice.

Paid vs free project management plugins

With such a huge range of project management plugins available, WordPress users really are spoilt for choice. But one of the key factors that sets different plugins apart is pricing. WordPress offers a diverse range of free plugins for almost all requirements, and project management is no exception.

There are several free project management plugins available to install on WordPress, and for many businesses these plugins will be a huge help. However, if your project management tasks are more complex, or you’re looking for a plugin that offers more features than free versions provide, it’s worth looking into paid-for plugins.

Generally speaking, paid-for plugins offer a more extensive range of features, and are better suited to larger companies employing numerous team members. Free project management plugins tend to be more limited in what they offer, and will typically be accessible to fewer team members.

In some cases, paid-for plugins also offer free versions, which allow users to access some of their most popular services (but not all!). Users will then need to upgrade to paid-for versions to get the full benefits of every feature the plugin can provide.

How to install a WordPress plugin

WordPress has been created with plugins in mind, so it’s incredibly easy to install any plugin that you’d like to add to your website. Take a look at our step by step guide for a brief introduction to installing WordPress plugins.

Step 1: Check that you’re using WordPress.org. This is the version of WordPress you need to be able to install plugins whenever required. If you’re already on WordPress.org – great! If you’re using WordPress.com, it won’t be quite as easy to install plugins and edit your site to suit you. However, you can add this capability by upgrading your account to business.

Step 2: Find the plugins option on the dashboard. You’ll see it listed towards the bottom of the options on the left hand site. Click this to open the plugins page.

Step 3: Once you’ve opened the plugins page, you’ll be able to see a few more options across the top. These include ‘upload plugin’ and ‘search’ for a plugin. You can use either option to install new plugins, depending on your specific requirements.

Step 4: If you know the name of your plugin, or you have a good idea of what you need it to do, you can search for something suitable using the keyword search bar. Enter your keywords and you’ll see a list of relevant plugins, along with information about how they work and reviews from previous users. If any fit the bill, you can go ahead and install by clicking the install button.

If, on the other hand, you’re looking to install a plugin you downloaded previously, you’ll need to follow a slightly different method. Hit the ‘upload’ button at the top of the screen and you’ll see options to upload your own plugin from your computer. Navigate to your chosen downloaded file, then click upload to start the installation process.

Step 5: Once the plugin has been installed, you’ll see a message letting you know that the installation was a success. Then it’s just a case of hitting the blue ‘activate plugin’ button to get the plugin up and running on your site.

Choosing the right plugin for you

With over 55,000 different plugins available in the WordPress store, the choices really are limitless. But how do you know which plugins to choose, and can you choose too many?

Using too many plugins can have a detrimental impact on your website, reducing loading times and leaving you open to security breaches and other problems. So it’s best to avoid installing more plugins than is strictly necessary. Typically we recommend limiting plugins to a total of 20, but if you can get by with fewer that’s always a good thing.

To keep plugin numbers to a minimum, you’ll want to make sure the plugins you are using do everything that you need them to – and that they don’t create problems you need other plugins to fix! Read up on the key features of different plugins and look out for those that will help you achieve everything you’re looking for.

Pay careful attention to recent reviews and try out free versions of plugins before you commit to a purchase. That way you’ll know that your chosen plugins are the best ones available.

Five recommended WordPress project management plugins

There are many project management plugins available to install on WordPress, but some really do stand out from the crowd. Here are five of our top recommendations for businesses looking to upgrade their project management.

WP Project Manager

WP Project Manager is perhaps the best known project management plugin available, and it comes highly commended by our team. The plugin assists with an array of common project management tasks, from managing files to organising group communications. There’s a free version available to try, and businesses can also upgrade to a paid-for version to access the full range of features.

Kanban for WordPress

Kanban is a brilliantly visual project management plugin, which helps teams to stay organised no matter how complicated their projects become. The plugin champions collaboration, and it’s perfect for teams who work remotely. Visual boards show exactly what’s happening, what needs to happen, and what’s being planned for the future. A demo mode is also available to show businesses how it works.

Project Panorama

Another huge player in the project management space is Project Panorama. This plugin makes the most of visualisation to help employees and clients stay connected. The plugin provides personalised dashboards for all team members and clients, and can assist with everything from assigning tasks to checking up on deadlines.

WordPress Task Management

List lovers will relish the opportunity to get organised with WordPress Task Manager, the cutting edge plugin that streamlines projects and keeps communication flowing. The system provides teams with the tools they need to categorise different tasks, and sets out deliverables in a clear and concise way. Clients can also view tasks and check on progress through the community view option.

WP-Client

An inherently flexible and fully customisable plugin, WP-Client is perfect for businesses looking to create a project management system they’re proud to share with clients. The system can be fully branded to match a company’s own identity, and clients can be provided with unique login details to access the system. The plugin itself is very highly regarded, and it’s updated regularly to ensure it stays ahead of its competition.

Back to you

Make the most of the enormous potential of WordPress by installing a project management plugin. Unleash your creativity and design a website that provides the best possible experience for your customers, by utilizing the huge range of tools at your disposal.

To learn more about website hosting for WordPress sites take a look at hosting.co.uk.

This article was written by Frederick (Freddy) Schiwek, CEO of Hosting.co.uk, a fast and reliable UK-based web hosting company, offering 24/7 support and a 30 day money-back guarantee.

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