10 Interactive WordPress Plugins to Bring Your Website to Life

Jan 7, 2021 | Website Plugins, WordPress

Reading Time: 12 minutes
Kevin Fouche

10 Interactive WordPress Plugins to Bring Your Website to Life

Posted by Kevin Fouche, Pixel Fish Director

Kevin handles the planning, design, launch and training of every website that Pixel Fish creates. He ensures that every website is highly engaging and aligned with our client’s goals. With over 20 years of design and web industry experience to draw upon, Kevin aims to pass on his knowledge to our clients and like-minded businesses wanting to grow their online presence.

The essential functions of any website are static. In fact, the best performance comes from having streamlined and simple commands to run every website feature. A good WordPress website is built from machine pieces that fit together seamlessly, the same way every time. The UX, on the other hand, is all about responsiveness. Interactive features and UI elements are what bring a website to life for the client.

Websites that respond to mouse movements and adapt to user choices create a feedback loop between the site and the client. Not only can they make use of tools and services on your website, but they will immediately feel as though your site is a place that cares about their input – because the site itself responds.

For WordPress website owners, adding interactive features is simple. All you need is the right plugin and an idea of the experience you want to provide. With the help of expert WordPress developers, you can hone each interactive feature option into a uniquely rewarding online experience for customers and leads.

Let’s take a closer look at the types of Interactive WordPress Plugins you can install into your WordPress website user experience.

10 Types of Interactive WordPress Plugins to Bring Your WordPress Website to Life

  1. Interactive Map Plugins
  2. Live Forms and Surveys
  3. Voice Command and Response
  4. Interactive Booking and Calendars
  5. Adaptive Themes & Backgrounds
  6. 360 Viewer Walkthrough
  7. Animated Images & Infographics
  8. Floating Photo Galleries
  9. Interactive Social Walls
  10. Live Chat with Humans or Chatbots

1. Interactive Map Plugins

One of the most popular interactive features is an interactive map. Any business with a location has a reason to install one to help customers find their way. Today, a static view of your region is no longer enough for online leads. Heat mapping will show that wordpress users now automatically click, scroll, and attempt to drag any map seen online. The assumption is that the map will be interactive, so why disappoint?

It doesn’t take much time to install one of the many interactive map plugins and configure it for your business address. If you have multiple locations, a responsive map becomes even more important. The right popular wordpress plugin can allow you to detect visitor location and present the nearest storefront or show all the nearby locations to choose from. Then users can drag, zoom, and route to help make their choice.

2. Live Forms and Surveys

Data collection has taken a front-runner position in website design. You and the clients benefit when you better understand their needs. While background analytics have their power, interactive forms make quick survey questions easy to ask. The right user interface can make your questions fun to answer, which will win more willing responses and a greater data collection.

The same methods are popular for necessary form-filling. Online medical exams, for example, now often feature responsive and visually rewarding pre-exam paperwork methods to remove the traditional clip-board tedium.

We encourage you to explore multiple styles of live forms and interactive surveys. Some deliver through the chat window, some function like pop-ups, some appear as part of a scrolling page, while other send through on-site messenger. The key is to choose what fits your brand and customer’s needs best.

3. Voice Command and Response

Brands getting ahead of the curve are experimenting with voice-responsiveness through their WordPress website program. Websites, mobile apps, and smart home skills are quickly approaching a singularity and clever brands are preparing for that ahead of time. There are a few WordPress plugins available that can help your brand get a jump on the competition in terms of website voice responsiveness.

Not only does a voice plugin put your WordPress site on-track for smart home skills, it also allows you to up your disabled-user accessibility game as well. Build voice commands and responsive features into your wordpress site now and you’ll be by the time your competitors are getting into the game.

Google and other major search engines are now looking for voice-responding sites to give them more visibility, so you’ll be doing your SEO a favor by investing in voice capabilities. Get ahead of the curve and make sure that your website is part of the conversation when it comes to voice-responsiveness.

4. Interactive Booking and Calendars

If your business offers consultations, appointments, or scheduled services; then a live calendar is a natural upgrade. Interactive booking features allow your online clients to explore availability and even test your appointment feature on their own time. There are several ways to represent a live calendar, and your brand may help define your website’s best style and interactive features.

For example, your default calendar view might show a grid of the entire month, or half-hour slots for the next five days. You will likely want to detail what happens after a user clicks on an available time or date, including the UI they see and the interactive options available. It’s always best to include appointment management side-by-side with an interactive booking tool. This allows your site visitors to make, reschedule, cancel, and re-make appointments experimentally and according to the fickle demands of modern life.

5. Adaptive Themes & Backgrounds

Dark mode has taken the internet by storm, as many wordpress users switch almost entirely to a white-on-gray browsing style. There are styles that reduce blue light and those that enrich colours. Many websites are going avant guarde with unique new palettes, freed from the conventions of the classic black-on-white website design. The right use of colour for your wordpress site depends on your brand and ideal user experience, and you can expand that with responsive themes to enhance each user’s personal experience of the brand.

There are several WordPress plugins available that make adaptive themes available. Choose from a neutral selection or hand-tailor alternate themes to best reflect your brand colours in a new light. Create an attractive dark-mode in which your brand colours pop from the charcoal background, or let your users tailor their individual colour signature throughout the wordpress site with personal themes.

6. 360 Viewer Walkthrough

The single most immersive interactive feature today is the 360 viewer, available through a variety of current WordPress plugins and extensions. The 360 degree viewer allows users to “walk” through a virtual environment and look around at their surroundings. There are two ways to make use of a viewer – with 3D rendered virtual environments or with 360 photography and film. With the former, you can create a highly customized 3D experience that puts your brand in its best light. With the latter, you can take existing photos or videos and give users an interactive environment to explore, providing a unique and personal look into your space. 360 viewer walkthroughs are perfect for showcasing retail locations, vacation rentals, offices and more

In both cases, site visitors can move from point to point, then click-drag their viewer to look above and around them. This takes your users directly into the virtual environment, whether you are selling a home, renting a venue, or creating a digital space for virtual events.

7. Animated Images & Infographics

Animated web pages and graphics have become all the rage. They are among the most lightweight ways to add responsiveness and charm to your website design. Small animations of simple vector graphics can literally bring your web page to life. It may have started with rolling stats and self-filling bar graphs, but today we can see many types of animated web pages and graphics. They are a great way to add motion, color, and context to your web pages. This can be used to illustrate complex concepts in an easily digestible format.

You can also use them to make navigation intuitive, break up large blocks of text, or create a visually-compelling user experience.

Infographics are among the best examples for animated graphic use. Each stat in an animated infographic can demonstrate the point being made. The depiction of figures taking action, boxes moving, data flowing, and more can help viewers better understand what is being conveyed.

8. Floating Photo Galleries

Websites looking for simplicity and subtlety in their responsive features often favour the floating photo gallery. Galleries are essential for many business models, from architects to charity groups to pastry chefs. The photo gallery shows clients the results of your previous work, whatever that may be. Galleries can turn leads into customers, and customers, into sources of new wonderful photos. An animated gallery can make it easier to navigate your portfolio and help viewers find what they are looking for quickly. This animation isn’t too intrusive, just a nice touch to add some interactivity and motion to the page.

The responsiveness of the gallery can be understated or blatant, Images change size and appear to float into focus as the user’s mouse scrolls over them. Clicked images may visually float above and scale larger than the others for full view, then file themselves back into the row when dismissed. Live photo galleries with floating animation draw users into the viewing experience without overtaking the content itself.

9. Interactive Social Walls

Social media has spread like the suburbs into websites and brands across the internet.  Rather than staying limited to the giants like Facebook and Twitter, we’ve found that users enjoy forming individual social media groups on smaller platforms as well. Brands with user membership, profiles, and messaging can benefit from adding an interactive social wall. This creates a visually engaging experience where users can view the interactions of other members as well as follow conversations, share content, and even submit their own. Leverage this technology to keep your users engaged, informed, and wanting more!

10. Live Chat with Humans or Chatbots

Live chat has been a rising star for about 5 years, having emerged from the cutting edge to become an industry standard. If your page does not yet have live chat, it’s time to upgrade. There are many approaches to live chat, but the best is always to have an interface ready to talk. Whether you have a live team of associates or a savvy chatbot, make sure that someone is there to greet new users and answer questions. You can also mesh your live chat feature with an interactive form – helping users to ask and answer questions or book a consultation on their own.

Good live chat automation can give users a self-service portal hand-in-hand with a direct route to human assistance. Combine this with a UI that responds every time they type or send a message and it’s clear why this feature has become so widespread with a rich variety of use-styles.

The Right Interactive WordPress Plugins for Your Wordpress Site

Every interaction with a client is unique. Your brand and clientele define the best way to build an interactive wordpress site as your online venue. With a toolkit like this available, you can pick from the best selection of WordPress plugins for your site, then have them configured to reflect your brand and ideal user flow perfectly.

A WordPress Web Design expert can help you choose the best WordPress Plugin for your WordPress website

With so many plugins available, it can be tough to know which ones will best suit your website and brand. A WordPress web design expert can lend you the knowledge and support needed to select the optimal interactive plugins for your site. They’ll help you understand the features available in each plugin, as well as their importance when it comes to creating a user-friendly, interactive website. With the right combination of WordPress plugins, you’ll have an aesthetically pleasing and functionally sound website that serves as an effective online venue for your site visitors.

Our WordPress web design experts are highly skilled at configuring any popular wordpress plugin to align with your business goals and objectives perfectly. Contact us today for more on tailoring interactive WordPress plugins to upgrade your WordPress site.

Common differences between free WordPress Plugins and Premium plugins

When it comes to WordPress plugins, there are two main types – free and premium. While both of these offer great features and benefits, understanding the differences between them is key to selecting the right plugin for your website.

Free WordPress Plugins generally don’t have as many features or customization options as their premium counterparts, but can still provide users with important functionality. They are also available in large amounts and can be found easily on WordPress.org or other third-party sites.

Premium plugins, on the other hand, come with enhanced features and a higher level of support for users’ needs. The premium version may typically require a one-time payment or ongoing subscription, but can offer a more extensive range of features. Popular premium plugins include Gravity Forms and WooCommerce, both of which provide powerful functionality to store owners and webmasters alike.

Ultimately, when it comes to choosing the right WordPress plugin for your website, it comes down to understanding your own needs and finding the solution that best fits your needs.

Further commonly asked questions about WordPress Plugins

How many plugins are free on WordPress?

There are currently over 54,000 wordpress plugins available in the WordPress directory which contains a detailed wordpress plugins list. Of these, more than 48,000 of the most popular wordpress plugins are free for anyone to download and use on their website. These premium and free plugins offer a wide range of advanced features from SEO optimization, seo integration, image optimization, Security, connecting to your google analytics account to email list building and beyond. With such an abundance of free tools at your fingertips, it is easy to find a free wordpress plugin in a a few clicks that will fit your needs.

Is there a wordpress plugin directory?

Yes, there is! The WordPress Plugin Directory is the official repository for all of the best Wordpress plugins available to download and use on your WordPress website. The directory contains both free wordpress plugins and premium plugins that can help you extend the functionality of your website with just a few clicks. You can browse through the list of featured plugins or search for specific plugin titles or categories. Make sure to do your research to find the best plugin WordPress has to offer in your search.

Are WordPress plugins secure?

Yes, WordPress plugins are generally safe and secure provided they are kept up-to-date with the latest version. Plugins should also be regularly checked for security issues and any potential vulnerabilities. It is best practice to only download plugins from trusted sources and to regularly review any plugins you have installed. Additionally, it is recommended that you backup your website often in case of any issues with a plugin.

Are WordPress plugins easy to install?

Yes, most WordPress plugins are straightforward to install. With the click of a few buttons from the WordPress dashboard, you can quickly add a new plugin. If you are having difficulty installing a particular plugin, it may be helpful to review the installation instructions provided by the developer or reach out for help from an experienced WordPress user.

Do I need to know how to code to use plugins?

No, you do not need any coding knowledge to use WordPress plugins. Most plugin developers make their plugins as user-friendly and intuitive as possible, so that even a novice WordPress user can take full advantage of the features they offer. However, if you are looking to customize your plugin further or create custom functionality, it may be beneficial to have some coding knowledge.

Do I need to keep my wordpress plugins updated?

It is recommended that you keep your WordPress plugins updated to the latest available version. Regularly updating your plugins helps ensure that you have the most secure and up-to-date version installed on your website, which can help protect it from potential security vulnerabilities. Additionally, newer versions of plugins may include bug fixes and feature updates

What is the difference between my WordPress Theme and a WordPress plugin?

A WordPress Theme is the design and layout of your website, while a plugin adds additional features or functionality to your site. Plugins are often used to add extra features that are not included with the theme, such as contact forms, ecommerce stores, or social media integration. It’s important to remember that you can use themes and plugins from different vendors; this means that your website doesn’t have to look exactly like a template or sample site. You can customize both the theme and plugin to create a unique website for you.

It’s important to update both Wordpress themes and plugins regularly. Your WordPress Theme may need to be updated when new features are released.

Is it easy to upgrade from a Free plugin to the premium version?

Yes, it is very easy to upgrade from the free version of a plugin to the premium version for your Wordpress sites. Many plugins will offer discounts or special offers when upgrading from the free version, so be sure to take advantage of these if available. You can usually find information on how to upgrade within the plugin’s settings page. One great Example is the Yoast SEO plugin for wordpress which has both a free version and a premium version which offers advanced features. Many businesses may start with the free version of a particular plugin, and then over time decide to upgrade to the premium plugin that better suits their needs.

What is the name of the most famous WordPress plugin?

WooCommerce is an e-commerce plugin that uses WordPress for a wide range of ecommerce store business websites. The software includes all the essential tools needed to create a successful online store website including the ability to connect to multiple payment gateways.

Which are the most essential & necessary plugins for any WordPress website to run smoothly?

A few essential and necessary premium wordpress plugins for any WordPress website to run smoothly may include the Jetpack security plugin (for security, analytics and performance); Yoast SEO (for optimizing content for search engines); Akismet (for spam protection), Gravity Forms (For enabling contact form submissions through a contact form or multi page forms) and BackupWordPress (for regularly creating backups of the website). Additionally, it is also recommended to install a caching plugin to improve the performance of the website.

What are the advantages of using a WordPress Plugin?

WordPress plugins have many advantages, including being able to extend and customize the functionality of your website by adding extra features, such as widgets and contact forms. Additionally, they can also help to improve SEO rankings.

How many plugins should you have on your WordPress website?

It is not recommended to install too many plugins on your website as it can lead to conflicts and slow down the performance of your website. It is best to only install plugins that are absolutely necessary for the functioning of your website, such as security and backup plugins. Too many unnecessary plugins can also increase the risk of being hacked or infected with malware. It is recommended to keep the number of plugins you install on your website to a minimum in order to ensure maximum performance and security.

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Further Reading
10 Tips that Maximise Your WordPress Website Design ROI
12 Tactics to Increase Your WordPress Website Speed
10 Best Practices for Installing New WordPress Plugins
How a WordPress Website Can Accomplish Your Digital Marketing Goals
How to Keep Your WordPress Website Running Fast
3 Ways to Integrate Content Into Web Design
How Website Case Studies Establish Trust Online
10 Best Practices for a Successful WordPress Website Design Project
Top 8 Advanced WordPress Features and Plugins to Beat Your Competition
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Yoast SEO Premium vs Free Yoast Plugin
Which Modern Website Design Trends Are Right for Your Brand?
Which Web Design Trends Are Right for Your Business?
10 Easy Ways To Improve Your Website User Experience
Unbeatable Benefits of WordPress for Business Owners

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