WordPress is one of the most versatile tools on the Internet today. You can sign up for a free account and rant and rave about whatever comes to your mind, or you can go ahead and pay for it and make a big investment in your topic of choice. It has a relatively easy user interface and gives you the power to allow your contributors to log in and upload their content for you to evaluate later.
Assuming you go the latter route, the thing that really makes WordPress an outstanding publishing tool is the sheer amount of widgets that make it easy for your readers to maneuver their way they want to around your site. As long as you avoid mistakes, your site can flourish with WordPress. Here are five of the absolute best and entertaining widgets you must have for your WordPress account.
Hulu has a widget for WordPress, and it’s pretty slick. It involves code, but it’s easy to find. Hulu has been taking the entertainment world by storm for the past few years and has even made its way into the homes of a lot of television patrons. The show streaming service gives users the opportunity to watch their favorite shows on their time frame.
With this widget you can select a show to have playing on your site. From there, you can control exactly what you want to be shown on your site from full episodes, to clips, to everything that show has to offer. The coding part is only a matter of copying it from the little text box and pasting it into your WordPress under the HTML tab. It’s that simple.
If you know WordPress, then you know that their search algorithms leave much to be desired. For some reason, they just haven’t found the right way to get their act together to allow people within the freedom to search properly.
With SwiftType, you can give your users, and yourself, the ease of being able to jump into the search bar and find exactly what you’re looking for. The algorithms used here are much different than that of the generic WordPress search and it tends to also be a little more user friendly, which is something most patrons to any site want to see.
Custom Facebook Feed
With social media on the rise, you might want to invest some time in implementing this widget. This widget allows you to see exactly what is being talked about on your feed and what people are saying about it. If you have this widget connected to your WordPress site, you can give other users a real feel about what you’re all about both in your words and the words of those who like your page on Facebook. This widget is a must have as far as upping the ante with self-promotion.
Floating Social Bar
Share, share, share and share some more. These days, if it’s not being shared, then it’s not worth looking at, hearing about, or even renting space for a measly half second of thought. With this widget you can give your users something to share with, share about, and keep your speeds from tanking.
If there’s one thing most users have reported hating, it’s the lack of speed that comes from a site due to the amount of software being utilized at the time. With this widget, you can take the focus off of slowing yourself down and put the speed debate back on the users. Who knows? They might decide it’s time for them to get rid of their old slow Internet provider and pick up internet service with DIRECTV bundles. It’s something else they can rant and rave about on your site and bring you just that much more traffic.
Say your site is kicking off and you want to start giving your audience a way to help you move your musings or product along. There has been a silver lining the whole time — with the PayPal Donations widget, your audience can do just that. You can go ahead and place your PayPal ID up for them to utilize on their own, or you can attach it to this widget.
If your site is strictly up for a charitable reason, you can utilize this widget to give people an opportunity to help you with your cause. Be sure to post pictures and updates. Most people want to know exactly what their hard-earned bucks are going toward. It’s also very polite to keep people in the loop, especially when they’re helping you out.
These are only five of the best widgets out there. With these five, you’ll be able to start exploring the WordPress universe and discover what widgets work for you. What are some widgets that you’d like to see developed or implemented on your favorite WordPress site?