UX is the intangible, incalculable (kind of) force that determines how your website is faring among the audience. UI/X design starts with website design and continues long after the design itself is ‘finished’.
While you can’t pull Jedi mind-tricks to make users fall in love with your site, you can still ensure that their stay there is as smooth and pleasant as possible. How? Reducing annoyances and making navigation easier is a start. You can take it up from there.
If you’re using WordPress, you’re probably already using some of the plugins listed below for higher page rankings, better performance, etc. And that’s really, really good.
But if we’re making a list of WordPress plugins for better UX, those plugins, along with several others, deserve their respective spots.
Yes, UX and SEO are interlinked, and for good reason. Laurel Marcus explains it really well.
We all obviously understand that there will be no need for experience if there aren’t any users. Optimizing your site for search engines helps take care of that trifle.
WordPress is already very well known for its very SEO friendly options. But combine that with Yoast and you’ll find that the plugin forces you to pay attention to things that improve UX: Better content that’s relevant and includes images, and better navigation with Breadcrumbs to let your users know where they are on the site.
If you don’t already have this plugin, get it now.
Yup, I am trying to get all the commonly used plugins out of the way.
Jetpack had its golden days when it was first launched. Everyone wanted this super-powered plugin in their site/blog, regardless of size bloats which we now make us vary. The contact forms, galleries, carousels, statistical insights, and more. They had good reason to go nuts, come on.
Regardless, the plugin has some really good features to improve your site’s UX.
There is ‘Related Posts’ feature for better engagement on content heavy sites and blogs. There is ‘Photon’ Module for relieving your server’s burden and pushing images through wordpress.com CDN (only for sites hosted on wordpress.com or Jetpack connected self-hosted sites). Photon is a godsend for improving performance and experience.
This plugin is free. So are the features I just mentioned. You can’t not like it.
Broken Link Checker
Broken links are internet’s equivalent of doors that open up to 50-ft drop or a solid brick wall.
These little nuisances need to be detected and eliminated ASAP. You really don’t want your users to feel annoyed at you for putting up links for content that seemingly doesn’t exist anymore.
Plugins like Broken Link Checker will scan your site for these ‘doors’ and bring them to your notice. You can then feel free to fix them, unlink them, give them a different display (sign on the door reads “warning: death ahead”) and more.
WP Super Cache
Performance is an inherent part of experience. Page speed is integral to performance.
You are doing everything right by squeezing and compressing the bejesus out of your pages, but there’s no rule that says you have to slow down because you’re loading too fast. Rule of thumb: The faster, the better.
We know how caching works. We use the users’ device (specifically, it’s memory) to make their revisits faster.
WP Super Cache will do just that and more for you. Really, just for this plugin (and Yoast), it’s worth switching to WordPress.
The first rule of content is: Keep it Simple, Stupid (KISS). The second rule of content is: Make it interesting, Twerp (MIT).
I may or may not have made up the second rule but it’s true nonetheless.
Using content-relevant images is a nice way to give your reader’s eyes a much needed break from monotony of text. So of course you’re going to use images to beautify and add a visual element to your message. That’s good for content, not so good for your page size and load times.
WP Smush (and it’s older brother: Smush Pro) help you compress and optimize your images: on upload, by bulk, by your own hands. You need not worry about quality (Lossless Smush) and size (Compressed to ~10% of original file size).
Both the interface and results are quick and efficient.
This nifty plugin is brought to you by developers at Boston University. And I admit I was one of those saying Gracias when I first used it.
BU Navigation is simple and free. You download the plugin, install it, and use it to beat your wild and unruly site structure into submission.
It’s perfect for sites with a large number of pages. The plugin lets you ‘edit order’ of the pages in hierarchy with a simple drag-and-drop interface. You can add navigation labels if you want something other than page labels made from titles. You can customize primary navigation. The Content Navigation widget gives you a sidebar with a navigation list made from natural page hierarchy.
This plugin makes navigation easier. You must know how très important that is for good UX.
WP Touch Pro
We have gone the entire article-length without discussing mobile. Allow me to rectify that.
WP Touch Pro is, I quote, a mobile suite for WordPress.
The plugin gives you exquisite features to take your site a step ‘beyond responsive’. It gives you a pristine, retina-ready, pure-CSS user-interface of its own and optimizes media content for mobile. You can select from a range of custom themes for mobile along with a set of add-ons for further enhancements.
It boasts of being 5x faster than responsive themes and gives a better touch interface.
You can customize the license according and pay for what you need (and no more). Thousands of websites are already using it to be more mobile-friendly.
There are no specific plugins that will let you handle ‘UX’, simply because UX doesn’t depend on this or that. A plugin that blocks spam can improve UX, while one that adds CAPTCHA will make a dent in it (because everyone, everyone hates captcha).
What we have here are usual plugins which can make an impact on overall UX.
Use them well.
Author Bio:- Maggie Sawyer is a certified web developer by profession cum blogger by hobby. Presently she associated with MarkupHq Ltd., the PSD to WordPress service provider company with a global reach. She also has a knack of sharing useful and informative tips and tricks on WordPress customization services.