3 Best Text-to-Speech Plugins for WordPress in 2024 (Compared)

Last Updated on April 30, 2024 by 10 Comments

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First Pick

Play.ht

Pricing: $31.20 per month
Standout Features: Easy Set-Up, 168 Unique Voices, Selective Text-To-Speech Conversion

Visit Play.htRead Overview
Second Pick

ResponsiveVoice Text to Speech

Pricing: $39 per month
Standout Features: Auto Adds Text-To-Voice, 720 Voices In 64 Languages, Audio Publishing For Podcasts

Visit ResponsiveVoice Text to SpeechRead Overview
Third Pick

BeyondWords

Pricing: $89 per month
Standout Features: Custom Voice Selection, Control Audio Player Placements, Users Can Subscribe For Updates

Visit BeyondWordsRead Overview
Blog / WordPress / 3 Best Text-to-Speech Plugins for WordPress in 2024 (Compared)

Adding text-to-speech functionality to your website can provide greater accessibility and boost user experience. Using a translation plugin can also help localize your website, making it available to broader audiences. However, some visitors who can’t read the screen or would rather listen to the content can do so easily. This feature is easy to set up with the right text-to-speech WordPress plugin.

This article will discuss why you might want to use a text-to-speech WordPress plugin. Then we’ll introduce you to the best text-to-voice tools for your site. Let’s get to it!

What Are Text-to-Speech WordPress Plugins?

Put simply, a text-to-speech WordPress plugin reads your content aloud. This feature can increase your site’s accessibility. Making your website as accessible as possible can be highly rewarding since it opens up your content to a broader audience.

While some users with disabilities might have access to screen-reader software, not all of them will. In that scenario, having built-in text-to-speech functionality will ensure more visitors can benefit from this accessibility.

Plus, some visitors simply prefer to listen to content versus reading it. They might like to listen to posts during their commute or while they cook. Therefore, offering them that option on your site can be highly attractive.

If you work with WordPress, you have the advantage of being able to use text-to-speech plugins. Implementing the text-to-speech feature can be as simple as installing the right tool, which may only take minutes.

3 Best Text-to-Speech WordPress Plugins

This section will introduce you to a handpicked list of text-to-speech WordPress plugins and discuss what sets them apart. We’ll explore features, prices, and who should consider using each tool!

1. Play.ht

🥉Best Text-to-Speech WordPress Plugin Overall

A screenshot of Play.ht's home page

Play.ht uses a similar model to the other two plugins we’ve covered in this review guide. The plugin is free, but you’ll need to pay for a premium subscription to access a full suite of voices and languages.

What sets Play.ht apart is that the service gives you more control over your voice. You can go beyond gender and accents to choose formal, casual, and even “customer service” voices for text-to-speech.

The plugin lets you choose what content to convert to voice and where to add play buttons on your website. Users can download the audio, speed it up, and even share it via social media. Visitors can also subscribe for new audio posts if you enable that functionality.

The significant limiting factor with Play.ht is that the free version is basically only for testing purposes. It only enables you to convert a small amount of text. If you want to convert entire posts, you must pay for a month-to-month subscription to the Play.ht service.

A screenshot of PlayHT's WordPress plugin's user interface

Play.ht offers many configuration options for personalizing the text-to-speech experience on your website. To access all settings, you must register for a Play.ht account and connect it to WordPress.

What We Like About Play.ht

  • Versatility: Play.ht offers many features, such as 800+ AI voices, support for 140+ languages, expressive speech styles, voice cloning, custom pauses, custom pronunciations, conversational TTS, and more.
  • Ease of Use: Play.ht is user-friendly, making it accessible to beginners and experienced users. The platform’s intuitive interface and simple process of converting written text into audio enhance user experience.
  • Natural-sounding Voices: The machine learning technology used by Play.ht delivers natural-sounding voices across different speech styles.

What Could Be Improved

  • Integration Limitations: When you use Play.ht, you can connect with platforms such as WordPress and Zapier. However, you might face challenges when integrating with specific software or applications you prefer for your audio projects.

🥉 Why We Picked It

Play.ht is the best WordPress Text-to-Speech plugin because it offers natural-sounding voices, easy customization, multilingual support, and seamless integration with various content types, enhancing accessibility for visually impaired users.

Who is Play.ht Best For?

Play.ht is for you if you want access to a massive library of voices that don’t sound robotic. However, you should consider it only if you don’t mind paying for a monthly subscription.

Community Reviews and Ratings

Play.ht impresses users with its advanced technology, intuitive AI interpretation, and user-friendly tweaks, enabling smooth and professional audio creation even for non-experts.

Pricing

Play.ht provides a free plan, and the Creator plan starts at $31.20 monthly.

Get Play.ht

2. ResponsiveVoice Text to Speech

🥇Simplest Text-to-Speech WordPress Plugin

A screenshot of ResponsiveVoice's home page

ResponsiveVoice Text to Speech’s main selling point is that it’s straightforward to set up. After activating the plugin, you get access to two types of shortcodes. One adds a play button that automatically reads all text on a page. The second only reads the text that you place within the shortcode.

This plugin lets you choose from 168 voices in over 50 languages. By default, ResponsiveVoice uses a female voice in English with a UK accent. To access the other voices, you need to register a free ResponsiveVoice account to use its API. The free version of the plugin doesn’t have any significant restrictions. However, the developers mention that high-traffic websites may need a license to use the service.

A screenshot of ResponsiveVoice's user interface

If you’re using the free version of the plugin, it doesn’t require any additional configuration after activating it. You can start using shortcodes immediately to add text-to-voice buttons anywhere on your site.

What We Like About ResponsiveVoice

  • Easy Integration: ResponsiveVoice allows you to incorporate AI voice capabilities into your websites, videos, and apps using a developer API. This allows you to effortlessly include text-to-speech functionality without dealing with complicated setup procedures.
  • Accessibility Compliance: The platform offers features to assist websites in meeting accessibility standards, enhancing content to be more inclusive and user-friendly for people with disabilities.
  • Real-time Text-to-Speech: ResponsiveVoice creates AI speech in real time, so you don’t have to handle or send audio files separately. This function removes the trouble of making and organizing audio files for speech synthesis.

What Could Be Improved

  • Limited Support: Users have expressed dissatisfaction with the support provided on the website, citing generic responses and unhelpful advice, which may hinder problem resolution.

🥇 Why We Picked It

ResponsiveVoice is a powerful WordPress text-to-speech plugin that offers high-quality voice synthesis, cross-browser compatibility, and extensive language support, making it the ideal choice for enhancing website accessibility and user experience.

Who is ResponsiveVoice Best For?

ResponsiveVoice Text to Speech is for you if you want to use a plugin that doesn’t require complex configuration. Moreover, if the default UK English accent isn’t a dealbreaker for your audience when using the free version, this plugin could be a suitable choice.

Community Reviews and Ratings

Users appreciate the ease of use, effectiveness, and positive experiences with the ResponsiveVoice Text-to-Speech plugin for WordPress.

Pricing

ResponsiveVoice offers a free plan, and Pro starts at $39 per month.

Get ResponsiveVoice

3. BeyondWords

🥈Best Text-to-Speech WordPress Plugin For Podcasters

A screenshot of BeyondWords' home page

BeyondWords automatically adds a text-to-voice player to posts and pages (you can customize this setup). The player is also available for forms and WooCommerce products.

You need to register for a free BeyondWords account to enable the plugin. The platform will provide you with a project ID and an API key for WordPress. Armed with these, you can choose from over 720 voices in 64 languages.

A screenshot of BeyondWords' WordPress plugin's user interface

The BeyondWords plugin is free. However, if you want to voice over 30,000 characters monthly, you must sign up for a premium monthly plan through the platform. To give you an estimate, 30,000 characters should be about 5,000 words.

On top of text-to-voice functionality, the plugin can help you automatically publish posts as podcasts. BeyondWords can connect with Apple Podcasts and Spotify, making it a great option if you’re into podcasting.

BeyondWords offers a lot of functionality beyond text-to-voice. Its podcasting tools make it a versatile plugin. However, the free version of the tool severely restricts how many words you can voice.

What We Like About BeyondWords

  • Customizable Player: You can customize an audio player to embed it on your WordPress site, offering users a smooth listening experience.
  • Analytics and Monetization: The platform allows you to access in-depth project and audio analytics, helping you monitor listener engagement efficiently. Moreover, you can earn money from your content by using the self-serve audio advertising features.
  • Premium Neural Voices: BeyondWords provides you with special premium neural voices, such as voice duplicates of skilled actors, giving you a distinct and customized audio journey.

What Could Be Improved

  • Limited Free Version: The free version limits you to 10,000 characters, which might not be enough for longer content. This could lead you to consider switching to a paid plan.
  • Price: BeyondWords’ pricing begins at $89 per month, placing it in a very high-priced category. This might not be the best option for users mindful of costs.

🥈Why We Picked It

BeyondWords offers natural-sounding voices, easy customization, responsive support, and seamless integration with various media players, enhancing accessibility for diverse audiences. However, its price might be a deterring if you’re on a strict budget.

Who is BeyondWords Best For?

BeyondWords is for you if you want to use a single plugin for text-to-voice and publishing podcasts. Additionally, if you don’t mind paying for a premium month-to-month service, BeyondWords could be the perfect solution for your needs.

Community Reviews and Ratings

Users appreciate the plugin’s functionality, quality of voices, and language support. However, criticisms include high costs and occasional lack of assistance when issues arise.

Pricing

BeyondWords offers a free plan, and Pro starts at $89 per month.

Get BeyondWords

Text-to-Speech WordPress Plugins, Compared

Let’s dive into a comparative analysis of our top three plugins, focusing largely on their features

🥇 Play.ht🥈 ResponsiveVoice🥉 BeyondWords
Starting Price$31.20/mo$39/mo$89/mo
Voices800+168+720+
Languages142+51+64+
Accents✔️✔️
Custom Pronouncations✔️✔️
Free Option✔️✔️✔️
User Reviews (avg.)⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐(4.5/5)⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Get Play.htGet ResponsiveVoiceGet BeyondWords

Final Thoughts on Text-to-Speech WordPress Plugins

The best text-to-voice plugins add an accessibility feature that most modern Content Management Systems (CMS) are missing. The right tools can make it easier for users who need audio or prefer to listen to all of your content on the go. Plus, you can achieve text-to-speech functionality without recording yourself reading aloud for hours.

If you’re not sure which WordPress text-to-speech plugin to choose, here are our top three picks:

  1. Play.ht: This plugin offers the most voice options but requires a premium subscription.
  2. ResponsiveVoice Text to Speech: This plugin offers the best deal if you want a free text-to-speech solution.
  3. BeyondWords: With this plugin, you can automatically convert posts and pages to audio. The tool can also generate podcasts from your content and publish them for you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Let’s address frequently asked queries about the best WordPress text-to-speech plugins. Is there anything we haven’t covered? Feel free to post a question in the comment section below, and we will provide a response!

How do I add text-to-speech in WordPress?
Using a plugin such as Play.ht, you can quickly add text-to-speech to your pages, posts, products, and custom post types in just a few clicks.
What are the benefits of using a text-to-speech plugin?
Text-to-speech plugins enhance accessibility, offer an alternative content consumption method, and could boost website engagement, aiding visually impaired visitors and improving user experience.
Are there any free text-to-speech plugins for WordPress?
Among the plugins on our list offering free tiers, Play.ht stands out with a generous 12,500 words per month, plus over 800 voices, 142 languages, accent support, voice subscription features, and more.
What features should I look for in a text-to-speech plugin?
When shortlisting an option, weigh aspects like voice choices (languages, accents), audio player customizability, simple website integration, and free plan content restrictions.
Can text-to-speech plugins improve SEO?
Though text-to-speech won't boost SEO directly, it enhances user engagement and site dwell time - positive signals for search rankings. Moreover, some plugins transcribe audio files, providing crawlable content that aids SEO efforts.

Do you have any questions about using text-to-speech WordPress plugins? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!

Featured Image via Olenapolll / shutterstock.com

Top Picks

Explore Our Top Picks

Here are our favorites! 👇

medal iconPlay.htoutgoing link medal iconResponsiveVoice Text to Speechoutgoing link medal iconBeyondWordsoutgoing link
Top Picks

Get Play.ht Today!

With so many great options available, it can be hard to pick one. Find out why Play.ht is our favorite. 👇

Explore Play.ht
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10 Comments

  1. Just finished reading the post “3 Best Text-to-Speech Plugins for WordPress”. Found it well-written and the content was helpful. I do have a couple of questions:
    1, Do any of the plugins mentioned keep the content on the cloud? I ask because many of those that do really own your content and if you quit using the service, the content stays with the owner of the service rather than the owner of the site it is being used on. ie. SAAS
    2. Do any of the 3 plugins mentioned do a ‘whole site’ text to speech or selectable areas? I noticed that some seem to do only the post or pages. What about lessons within an LMS site like LearnDash? Would they be able to use text to speech for content being taught if for example someone wanted to listen to it while driving?
    Anyway, loved the article Morris!

  2. Thanks. It will be very helpful. this text-to-speech plugin makes my work much easier but Will it translate Give donation forms?

  3. ResponsiveVoice Text To Speech plugin has about 9,000 active installations, and from the number of comments and ratings, it can be guessed that it is a better plugin.

  4. Will Responsive Voice text to speech translate Woo Commerce product and shopping cart pages? Will it translate GiveWP donation pages and donation forms?

  5. I have been using ResponsiveVoice Text to Speech and it works well

    • How did you use one of the plugins? BeyondWords only speaks the source-code of the divi-blocks first and ResponsiveVoice isn’t working at all on my page?!

  6. Good plugins listed. I have been using ResponsiveVoice Text to Speech and it works well.

  7. Hello, thank you for the post, just for info – first image say “WordPress recovery mode …” not “Best Text-to-Speech Plugins for WordPress”.

    • Thanks, David! The featured image is updated now 👍

      • Nice!

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