When you are setting up your website or blog in WordPress, you may decided to add different widgets that make the site easier to navigate, more beautiful, and easier to use. There are a number of things that can be done once these widgets are installed, and each of the widgets has a very simple layout that makes it easy to use. Plus, the results that users see on the website will look clean and professional.
The recent posts widget is one of the best things that anyone can use on their site. When users come to the site, they may not know much about the content or business. The best way to solve this problem is to have a list of the most recent posts that help people get an idea of what is posted on the site.
This widget will use images to denote what the header of these posts was, their title, and their date. This is completely different than using an archive because the archive does not offer specifics to the user. Plus, the recent post widget will update the posts when new content is added. All you need to do is decide how many recent posts will be featured. Depending on where the widget sits on the page, several posts could be featured so that users have something they can look through.
One final feature of this widget is that the images can be turned off. If the site does not look as nice with images alongside each new post in the recent category. The images can be removed at any time, and they could be put back at any time. You simply need to decide which posts you would like to use, if you want them to be in chronological order, and how much of the preview you want to show.
Social Media Icon Buttons
When social media sharing is vital to the dissemination of content, it helps to show off the company’s social media pages. Instead of just having social media sharing buttons, there should be real icons that will take the user to the actual social media page that is listed. This is because most people who are coming to the site do not know much about the business. They are there to learn what the business does, and they may not want to bookmark a webpage when they can click on the social media buttons and follow those pages.
The icons need to look real because they make the site look cheap if they are poor facsimiles of the original icons. This is especially true when customers have security concerns. No one wants to click on what they think is a fake social media page. Because the threat of information theft is so high, it is best that these buttons be placed in a conspicuous place that people can easily see. You never want to hide the social media buttons because customers do not get the cross-marketing that you planned.
Plus, the icons can take people to a specific post on that feed. This might be especially useful if there is a sale or promotion going on. Taking people directly to the promotion will help to increase sales, spread awareness, and help bolster overall marketing for an event.
The Google Maps widget is vital for all companies that host events, have a physical location, or need to bring in foot traffic every day. The Google maps widget can show the physical location of the company in realtime, and it will help customers click to get directions to the location. This is especially helpful when a company needs people to come to their office or shop.
When the Google maps widget is used, the company can also add the location of an event that is coming up. Each new event can get its own map widget so that customer knows where to go for each new event. If someone is new to the area, they need directions. If someone is trying to get around traffic patterns, they can click on the widget to go into Google maps and see what the problem is.
Check out: Best Google Maps WordPress Plugins for more alternatives!
Plus, the widget allows for directions to be typed below the map if there are several ways to get to the office or shop. Imagine that you live in a large metropolitan area. You may show customers how they can use one or more interstates, how people on both the east and west side of the city can get there, and even offer directions for parking at the site.
Skype is a powerful business tool that a lot of companies use to communicate with clients. Plus, the company might even have a Skype account set aside just for customer care. If you are working alone, your customers can see if you are online. This makes it easier for people to get in touch with the business, and it allows you to set office hours for the company. When people onto the website after-hours, they can see that you are offline. They know that they cannot send you several requests at that time, and they can choose to leave a message instead.
Skype status is also helpful when the business is based on communication. Someone like a private doctor or therapist might want to use the Skype status button because they need to show when they are in the office and when they are not. A company that works online might need to use this status to show that they are in the office because they do not take phone calls. Plus, the Skype status button could show the message that was left on the Skype account. Leaving a message saying that you are out to lunch, on vacation, or closed for the day can be helpful when trying to manage a physical office or call center.
Skype status is also important when you are working with international or distance professionals who need to know when you are in the office. It is hard for these people to remember what time it is where you are because your time zones are so far apart. Checking the site to see your Skype status saves your partners a bit of time when communicating with you.
The Social Counter
The social counter is also a good way to show off how many followers the different social accounts for the business or blog have. This is vital when running contests because users need to know how close you are to 1000 followers because your contest relies on reaching 1000 followers. Plus, you can show which pages are the most popular.
When the social counter is used to explain how many followers the company has, it is very easy to show off a big following. Some people take that large following very seriously, or you could use that follower’s counter as a way to link back to the site. Also, it might be interesting to show off certain followers that the page has. Any celebrities and influencers might be the link in the social counter button, and watching the counterchange is a fun way to add a bit of life to the site.
The Compact Archive
The compact archive might be the most important part of any long term blog or business page. When the site has been around for long periods of time, it would be silly to try and expand the archive because it would go on for pages and pages as someone scrolled through the homepage. You do not want to make your homepage so big that people cannot get to the bottom where they can read things like the About Us page or the badges for the partners that you have.
The compact archive can fit into a very small space on the sidebar of the page, and the archive will go back as far as you need. If you want to go all the way back to the beginning of the site or blog, you could have the years go back to something like 2005. However, you have the power to change the date range of the archive. If you ever need to change the date range, you can do that. Plus, the archive will automatically add your newest months when the time comes.
YouTube Channel Gallery
The YouTube Channel Gallery is a powerful way to show off all the content that you have posted to YouTube. There are several ways to show off your YouTube channel because you can use the social media counter above to show how many subscribers you have. You can use the social media buttons to send people to the YouTube page.
This particular gallery allows your customers to scroll through your videos while still on your webpage. Most people have no desire to open another window and start another search for content. When you show the content on your website, the customers can open a pop-up window for the video, watch the video, and get back to reading your site or blog.
One Final Note
These are not the only useful widgets for a WordPress site. You can use a widget that helps people create a new profile, you can use a widget to publish your contact information, or you could use a widget to allow users to submit their testimonials for your products or services. Every widget that you use brings a bit more life and functionality to the site, but the seven you see above will make your site easier to navigate, more professional, and more intuitive.