Customer experience is the number one concern when creating your website.
You might not get it down the first time. Revisiting your design and features is a regular part of maintaining that site.
Here are 10 smart widgets (mostly WordPress-only) that will allow you to tweak your site functionality to offer your customers more options to play with your site.
Having a thorough, visual how-to tutorial that can lead a viewer through different steps is a great way to get through to visuals learners.
Whatfix lets you make those visual and interactive “instructables” within minutes, with intuitive and easy to follow features. All are fully customizable, and you can see examples on their website of just how creative you can get for your own.
They have a business edition for professional how-tos, but their free version will be fine for most users.
They also offer a “self-help” widget that will show your visual how-to as the badge on the page.
2. Rating-Widget: Star Review System
Do you need a super simple rating star system to be implemented on your site? Visitors tend to enjoy rating a page or a product: They like the option to express their opinion. Whether it is used for rating products, videos, posts, or reviews for third parties, you can use Rating-Widget to get the job done.
It is totally customizable and easy to use. There is no limit on ratings, and it is free from any distracting branding. They have different levels for your needs, including business (highly supported).
Create a single or multiple review testimonial slider to put on your website with the aptly named Testimonial. It shows potential customers what people already love about your product or service. The simple format and elegant font make this slider appropriate for any layout.
Choose between different layouts to make it even more flexible. Get their premium version for more control over how your testimonials are viewed.
Here’s an alternative one: Testimonials Widget
Choose between Carousel, fade, and slide transitions in this testimonials display widget. Mix and match content, so you can display text, images and videos seamlessly. This tool is compatible with shortcodes. It has a much more casual look than the above one. It is also a bit more functional.
4. Q2W3 Fixed Widget (Sticky Widget)
Sometimes some of the site widgets are really important and it’s a shame your user needs to scroll back to them all the time. Q2W3 Fixed Widget fixes that. Just install, select the widgets you need to stick, and it will scroll down when the user scrolled through the page. This will also keep your layout design from breaking or overlapping.
The fixed widget helps for monetization purposes because it helps you “pin” your most important call-to-action. Here are few more monetization tips and plugins that can help!
5. WP Video Lightbox
Embedded videos can be a problem in websites and blogs because there are other things catching the attention of the viewer. WP Video Lightbox eliminates distractions by creating a video overlay. It dims the background, so your viewer will be focused only on the video
It is compatible with both YouTube and Vimeo, so you won’t need to install separate plugins to use both of the most popular video sites. Using it is quick and painless. Just install the plugin, then use the regular embed codes at each site. It will do the rest for you automatically when the viewer clicks on the video preview.
6. Zendesk Web Widget
Zendesk remains the number one customer service platform available on the web. The Zendesk Web Widget lets you take your own customer service efforts to the next level. You will be able to embed support options right into your website or Help section.
That include support search (articles), support contact forms, and even a live chat option that connects to online agents. This is only available for current versions of the Zendesk platform, so you will have to upgrade if you are using Classic.
I use Zendesk on a few websites of mine and I use Cyfe customer service dashboard to keep an eye on how my customer support is doing with each one.
7. Opening Hours
Need to display opening hours? Give Opening Hours a try.
You can customize per day, or for special events. List the hours that you are able to provide customer support or contact.
Give the opening and close times for venues where you will be holding gatherings. Or anything else that requires set times. You can add and remove periods of time or days in the weekly customizing view.
8. WordPress Feedback Form
The best way to improve your site for customers is to find out what it is they want or need from you. WordPress Feedback Form is a quick way to do that, and to start gathering valuable information you can use for future changes. This is the ultimate feedback form, and probably the most popular.
You just fill in the blanks and choose your layout, and present it in the most attractive manner that matches your web design.
Trendemon is the conversion optimization platform that I’ve seen highly recommended recently. While it doesn’t directly affect customer experience, it helps you better understand your site users and adapt to their needs.
Trendemon automatically identifies effective conversion paths and provides personalized and real-time recommendations to encourage users to buy or convert. The widget integrates with popular CMSes like WordPress, as well as many other popular marketing platforms.
Your customers should be your primary focus when making changes for site usability. The above widgets will allow you to make those changes easier. Even a tiny shift can make all the difference in the world, and be the step that links a lead to a conversion.
Do you have any tips or tools? Do you use a specific widget that you think our readers would enjoy?
Mobile Shopping Site Photo via Shutterstock
I hadn’t heard of several of these. I’ll have to go and check them out because I’m always looking for new WordPress bells and whistles.
Thanks for the comment, Robert!
Do let us know what you think of any after you try them out!
I will forward this post our WordPress expert for our new site on the street food culture. I think the rating widget and feedback form could work well.
Have tested membership plugins?
Never tested membership plugins (This has always been a plan!)
I’ll test some out and put together a new article I guess! Thanks for the comment, Martin!
Awesome list Ann! I totally agree that websites should start optimizing to personalize and improve the visitor’s or customer’s experience.
May I suggest one more? http://ConvertFlow makes it really easy to create onsite lead generation widgets that track a visitor’s behavior and show to the right person at the right time, based off of what actions they have taken so far on your site. (Full disclosure: I’m one of the co-founders.)
I thought it would be a good addition to the ones you recommended 🙂