It’s a safe assumption to make that many people will have heard of WordPress. As the world’s most popular tool for creating websites, a recent estimate put the number of sites which use WordPress at an astonishing 64 million. It’s fair to say this is the go-to platform when creating a website, especially for those of us who aren’t experts in web development and coding.
Websites created using WordPress come in all shapes and sizes. The platform can be used to knock up anything from a simple blog to a sophisticated, multi-functional commercial site. What niche any WordPress site fits into is up to its owner, since any industry or activity may be represented. However, widely disparate sites need a variety of features and elements, which is where WordPress plugins come in.
A plugin is a piece of software that adds a different function (or group of functions) to a WordPress site. There are thousands of plugins available free of charge at the WordPress plugin directory, while third-party organisations and businesses also regularly develop and sell their own bolt-ons. Whatever your site requires, a plugin probably exists for it. These weird and wonderful WordPress plugins are a testament to that – and in a world where these strange creations exist, there’s bound to be a plugin out there to meet your needs…
Remember the old arcade game Asteroids? With the Asteroids Widget plugin, you can turn part of your website into a homage. With a simple click, visitors to your site can start shooting and destroying the content on chosen pages (though it does come back once the screen is refreshed).
Designed to add some fun and engagement to any site, the widget is customisable, controlling where it appears and adding an image or description. The latter may be handy to explain what’s happening, reassuring confused site visitors.
This is perhaps the weirdest of the WordPress plugins featured here, and that’s saying something. It’s designed to grab people’s attention and stop them from abandoning the site.
With this plugin installed, after five seconds of inactivity on a web page the screen starts filling up with unicorns. They pop up all over the place and have even been known to dance. In short, the site becomes incredibly corny – hence the name. Pointless, yet strangely charming.
Think visitors to your site might like to learn a little something while they’re there? That’s where Fun Facts can come in. The Sheldon Cooper of WordPress plugins, it adds a sidebar widget to your site, displaying random fun facts for audiences to read.
The plugin comes with its own directory of weird, wonderful and frankly useless facts. There’s also the facility to add personal content if you want to incorporate a bespoke touch. Committed entrepreneurs might even take the opportunity to add some commercially-themed facts to big up the website or extol the virtues of key products.
Quizzes and cats are two of many people’s favourite things about the internet. Combining the two elevates any website into the upper echelons of essential content. In all seriousness, this is probably the most useful of the WordPress plugins on our list, since it prolongs site visits – a key metric for search engines when ranking sites.
Quiz Cat makes it really easy to add BuzzFeed-style multiple-choice quizzes to a webpage. The quizzes are great for getting users engaged, and can also be used to persuade people to share details of your site via social media.