What is user-generated content (UGC), and why is it so important? User-generated content is any form of content, such as text, videos, images, reviews, and so on, that users post online, especially on social media platforms and websites. Importantly, it is generated by real users — not AI or influencers. 

The benefits of utilizing UGC are its ability to connect with consumers, boost engagement, and drive sales. For example, Coca-Cola’s #ShareaCoke campaign gained 89,000 uses on Twitter and 496,000 uses on Instagram, significantly increasing social media followers and engagement. Through its widespread user participation, the 2014 US campaign saw an 11% increase in sales compared to the year before, reversing a decade-long decline. 

This backs up the results of a survey from Good Turns (formerly TurnTo) which shows that 90% of shoppers report that UGC influences their purchase decisions, outranking all other forms of marketing.

In recent years, UGC has become a significant trend in digital marketing strategies, driven by its authenticity, cost-effectiveness, and ability to foster deeper connections between brands and consumers. In fact, 93% of marketers agree that consumers trust content created by other consumers more than brand-generated content.

There are various tools and plugins that can help you manage and leverage UGC effectively, but you might be wondering how to implement this on your WordPress website – and in this article, we cover tools and strategies for doing just that. 

9 Best User-Generated Content Plugins for WordPress 

FooGallery for User-Generated Photo Galleries

foogallery wordpress gallery plugin

There are a number of benefits of user-generated photo galleries in terms of engagement and fresh content. These include:

  • Increased engagement: User-generated photo galleries foster a sense of community by allowing users to contribute their photos, thereby encouraging them to engage with you and others. 
  • Fresh and diverse content: User photos can capture diverse perspectives and experiences, making the gallery more vibrant and relatable to a broader audience.
  • SEO benefits: Search engines favor websites that are frequently updated. User-generated photo galleries ensure there’s a continuous influx of new content.

By leveraging user-generated photo galleries, you can create a dynamic and engaging platform that continuously evolves with the contributions of your community, enhancing the overall user experience and driving sustained traffic and growth.

The Best WordPress Gallery Plugin

FooGallery is an easy-to-use WordPress gallery plugin, with stunning gallery layouts and a focus on speed and SEO.

FooGallery is the best option for transforming your website into a visual masterpiece, using a slideshow gallery (or one of the many other available gallery templates) on your WordPress site. It’s a user-friendly plugin and is available in 3 Pro plans to suit all budgets, each plan providing more features and functionality. 

  • The PRO Starter option gives you advanced layouts and customizations, such as hover presets. 
  • FooGallery PRO Expert gives you this, along with video galleries, dynamic galleries, custom captions, filtering, paging, and more. With this plan, you can easily create advanced galleries that can help improve engagement and user experience. 
  • Finally, the PRO Commerce plan comes with all of these features, plus WooCommerce integration, image protection, white labeling, and a gallery blueprint feature. If you are looking to monetize your image galleries, this is the ideal option for you. 
Product gallery to sell digital downloads

FooGallery’s User Uploads add-on works with all of the FooGallery plans and allows for image uploading by users. User Uploads lets users share their favorite images so the content can connect with even more like-minded people. Users can contribute images directly from the frontend, making it extremely easy to upload their content. This also adds a layer of security, which is enhanced by the moderation process – website owners are able to accept or reject any uploaded images, ensuring you maintain control over your galleries.  

Engage Your Community With Disqus Comments


Interactive comments are vital for community building and engagement on websites as they help build a sense of belonging and encourage active participation. By allowing users to engage in discussions, they provide an opportunity to create quality content through different perspectives and immediate feedback. A dedicated comments section can also help build relationships and trust within the community, drive growth, and provide useful insights about your audience.

Disqus is a popular WordPress plugin, which provides enhanced commenting functionality. It replaces the default WordPress comment system with a more dynamic, feature-rich solution. This platform promises to create a space for instant interaction and creative commentary that can help boost your brand. 

Build Credibility With WP Review

WP Review

User reviews play a crucial role in building credibility and trust by providing authentic, firsthand experiences that potential customers can rely on. They act as social proof, demonstrating the reliability and quality of a product or service. In turn, these help to build confidence in new or potential users by showcasing positive feedback and dealing openly with any concerns.

WP Review is a comprehensive WordPress plugin designed for creating detailed service or product reviews on your site. With this, you can easily create a review system on your site using different ranking methods, such as stars or percentages. 

Showcase Success With Strong Testimonials

Strong Testimonials

Testimonials are a great way to show success and build trust because they share real stories from satisfied customers. These personal endorsements give genuine proof that a product or service works well, helping to ease any worries and reassure new clients. This kind of authentic feedback can help to boost a company’s reputation and encourage more people to try it out.

For this, we would recommend Strong Testimonials, a WordPress plugin designed to collect, manage, and display user testimonials. According to the Strong Testimonials website, 79% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, making this an essential tool for any business or ecommerce site.

Leverage Hashtags With Smash Balloon Social Feeds

Smash Balloon

Hashtags are an effective means of gathering user-generated content and building social proof. When people use hashtags in their posts, it makes it easier for others to find and join in on the conversation about a topic or brand. This mix of posts from different users conveys authentic experiences and recommendations, which boosts credibility and trust. Plus, seeing a hashtag with lots of activity can inspire more people to join in and share their own posts, making the impact even bigger.

Smash Balloon is a plugin that allows for the integration of social media feeds into WordPress, using hashtags to organize content. The plugin allows for easy setup and customization of social feeds, with minimal load times, letting you boost engagement through social proof.

Integrate YouTube Videos With Embed Plus

EmbedPlus for Youtube

Integrating YouTube videos into WordPress sites enhances user engagement by providing dynamic, visual content that can engage visitors. It also boosts SEO, as videos can improve on-page time and reduce bounce rates while offering an easy way to share multimedia content without affecting site performance. Additionally, embedding YouTube videos can increase reach and visibility through cross-platform promotion.

The WordPress plugin Embed Plus allows you to easily embed and customize a video, playlist, channel, gallery, premiere, live stream, and facade on your website. Plus, it offers flexible gallery layouts and customizations. 

User-Submitted Posts to Boost Your Blog

User Submitted Posts

Allowing guest posts offers several significant benefits, such as introducing fresh content and diverse perspectives, which keeps the audience engaged and interested. Additionally, it creates a sense of community involvement by providing an opportunity for others to share their expertise and ideas.

This can be done with User Submitted Posts, a plugin that facilitates user content submission by enabling visitors to submit posts from the frontend of your site. Once you’ve created a post submission form, you can use a shortcode to add it to a post, page, or widget, making this a simple tool for easy content generation. 

DW Question & Answer for Community-Driven Q&A

Design Wall Q&A

A Q&A section is great for boosting user interaction because it gets visitors involved by letting them ask questions and share answers, making the site feel more community-driven. It also helps by addressing common inquiries, providing useful information on common questions, and building a knowledge base that can help others find answers quickly. This makes users happier and makes the site look more trustworthy and knowledgeable.

DW Question & Answer is a useful plugin that allows for the creation of a customizable, community-driven Q&A section on your website. It can enable users to post questions and answers from the frontend, and you can respond to, and edit these. There are also advanced permission settings and spam control. 

Cultivate a Knowledge Hub With bbPress


User-driven forums are good for building a knowledge hub and fostering community interaction. They let users share expertise, ask questions, and help each other, creating a rich, constantly updated resource. This peer-to-peer interaction enhances the community feel and makes the forum a reliable go-to for advice and diverse perspectives.

A good plugin to use here is bbPress, which provides lightweight yet powerful functionality to add discussion forums to your site. It offers a simple setup with easy moderation. 

Top Tips for Managing and Moderating UGC 

UGC, as we’ve discussed, is content supplied by users, and while this has a number of benefits, website owners should also manage and moderate this content to ensure that it meets the standards of your website. Here’s how: 

1. Identify your needs: You should first identify your needs in terms of content and choose the plugin based on that. For example, if you lack the time, ability, or money to create great photo content, using FooGallery is a great choice.

2. Create submission guidelines: Create specific guidelines to ensure that users meet your requirements when submitting content. These guidelines should also set expectations for user behavior and content submissions and should be prominently displayed on the site.

You can also include any necessary legal stipulations here. For example, you should note that users grant permission for their content to be used by you and your business when submitting, in order to avoid any copyright infringement. 

3. Moderate the entries: One of the main challenges of UGC, is the need for moderation. Without this, you could subject your website to spam or inappropriate content. Implement a moderation system to ensure all uploaded photos are high-quality, appropriate, and aligned with your site’s standards.

The FooGallery User Uploads add-on, for example, has this functionality. Image uploads are added to moderation, from where the site owner can accept or reject them for their gallery. You can read about how to moderate uploads here.

It is advisable to conduct regular audits of user content to ensure compliance with community guidelines and maintain the quality of UGC and your website.

4. Plan for spam: UGC can lead to issues like spam, irrelevant content, and negative user experiences. You can use automated tools to assist in managing and moderating any uploaded content. There are a number of popular WordPress plugins, like Akismet, for spam filtering. 

5. Create incentives: While motivating an audience to contribute with clear calls-to-action may be enough, you may wish to encourage user participation by offering incentives such as contests, featured spots, discounts, or rewards.

6. Ensure integration: Allow users to upload photos directly from their devices. Drag-and-drop features, such as those on User Uploads, make it extremely easy for users to submit, making them more likely to do so.

7. Engage online: By engaging with your online community, you can encourage more submissions and involvement. Responding to comments, acknowledging user contributions, and fostering positive interactions can create a healthier environment for UGC.

8. Track the campaign: Track the success of your user-generated content efforts and tie them to meaningful business results. By tracking metrics such as social engagement and website traffic, WordPress readers can effectively measure the impact and ROI of their UGC campaigns, ensuring they drive meaningful business results.

Take the next step to energize your WordPress with UGC 

User-generated content is a win-win. It allows you to advance your content marketing with minimal effort while providing various different types of content. This can transform your site by creating a sense of community and loyalty through fostering interaction among users. As such, UGC has the potential to drive conversions by enhancing credibility and trust.

In this article, we’ve looked at a number of ways to leverage UGC strategies, from customer reviews and social sharing to blog posts and forums. 

For images, FooGallery and its user uploads add-on presents an effective tool for leveraging UGC on a WordPress site, while enhancing its visual appeal. Moreover, 80% of consumers find photos from other customers more valuable than photos from brands or retailers, making this an extremely important tool to utilize.

So take the next step and implement FooGallery with User Uploads into your UGC strategies for your WordPress site.