The user experience is one of the most important aspects of your website. Having great content and a solid product or service certainly gets you far, but without a solid user experience, your website visitors could become turned off. So what is the user experience, exactly?
User experience embodies the overall experience a person has when they visit your website or use your product, particularly in terms of how pleasing and intuitive it is to use it. Every little decision you make for your website design or application comes together to form your user experience: the navigation menu, colors, copywriting, widget placement, mobile responsiveness, and so much more. With that in mind, here are a few WordPress plugins that help you optimize the user experience:
Broken Link Checker
Imagine visiting a website for informational purposes and clicking on a link that takes you down the road to nowhere. Not great for your user experience. Broken links can also severely diminish a business’s credibility. The Broken Link Checker plugin searches every webpage on your site for broken links, and delivers them via an report. You can set the plugin to send you regular reports at designated intervals.
With this plugin, you’re automatically alerted when an external link no longer works. This might happen if a website changes their URL or it no longer exists. Even more, the plugin will make suggestions for each broken link, making it easy for you to update without having to open each webpage on the backend individually.
Broken link not only affect user experience, but SEO as well. The more broken links you have, the lower your site will be ranked. Broken links reduce your usability score, as search engines aren’t able to properly crawl it to determine its relevance. Always be checking your links.
W3 Total Cache
To run a successful website, you’ll have to optimize your wordpress website speed. Today, fractions of a second could result in a visitor moving on from your site to a competitor’s. Speed has a tremendous impact on user experience.
According to one study from the Nielsen Norman Group, half of all web users expect a website to load within two seconds. A smaller 40% of users will wait three seconds. Another study found that for each second of of slow speed, on average, a business loses 7% conversion. With such a small window of opportunity, you can’t afford to lose your visitors to slow loading times.
With W3 Total Cache, your speed is the main priority. The plugin eliminates the need for the user’s browser to redownload unnecessary data on the user’s browser. It generates static caches for each page for a quicker load, time after time. Because it saves server resources, and can integrate with your content delivery network, you can shave crucial seconds off your loading time and increase conversions.
On numerous occasions, Google has stated that slow loading times can have a negative effect on search engine rankings. Because speed directly correlates with the user experience, slow sites can lead to higher bounce rates, which tells Google that your site isn’t worthy. Make site speed one of your top priorities.
WPtouch Mobile Plugin
There are now more Google search queries on mobile devices than on desktop devices in several countries, including the United States. Therefore, mobile optimization should be high on your priority list. According to Google, 61% of users won’t ever return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing once. Of those 61%, 40% will move on to a competitor’s site instead.
Of course, the number one answer to becoming mobile-ready is to opt for a responsive website design. But there are times when this doesn’t work. You may have a custom theme that isn’t responsive, or need a mobile alternative while you work on a redesign.
This is where WPtouch Mobile Plugin comes in. This WordPress plugin makes any website optimized for a mobile screen, regardless of the screen size. Without needing to dabble with any code, you can customize various features of your mobile website, like color, navigation menus, and fonts. This plugin comes directly recommended by Google for users seeking mobile solutions.
QR Code Widget
Now that we’ve discussed the importance of being mobile-ready, you should understand how mobile features can give your site that extra flair. The QR Code Widget allows users to scan a QR code on your website, which transitions that content from the desktop to a mobile device. With this cool feature, anyone can take their desktop research on the go. This increases the likelihood that they won’t forget to return to it later.
Furthermore, there are several QR code customization options to help you personalize each page. To sum it up, here’s how it works: a visitor comes to your blog post (or any web page) and sees a custom QR code. They use their phone to scan it, and automatically receive a saved, mobile version of that blog post.