Your website is the most essential part of your online presence. It’s how you present your business to potential customers. So it’s very important that your website is as good as it can possibly be. A lot of factors go into this: the design, the functionality, the content you post, and more. And it’s your job to constantly improve on them. But overhauling your entire website every week is not exactly a good solution. Instead, you should look into the advantages of using website widgets. Web widgets can help you add almost anything to your website, from a simple event calendar to tools for providing moving companies quotes online. But what exactly are website widgets? And why should you use them?
What are website widgets?
A widget is a functional block that you add to your website; it is typically a third-party application embedded into the website to add a useful function your theme is lacking. Widgets fulfill a wide variety of purposes. Because of this, many websites use them to provide their users with the best possible experience. You’ve certainly seen them before.
Sometimes, they show the weather forecast or a currency exchange rate. Other times, they take the form of calendars and social media content. They can even be used to give access to quick and simple customer support. While most can be customized to a degree (to include or exclude certain information or to look several different ways) each widget is programmed specifically for its function. So they’re intentionally small and light. They won’t stand out on your website or slow it down, even if you have more than one.
Major advantages of using website widgets
So why are widgets so popular these days? The answer is simple – they come with some major advantages. So if you’re trying to find ways to improve your website, then you should definitely consider widgets for the following reasons:
Free, quick, and easy to install
One of the best things about widgets is that they are quick and easy solutions that actually work. Adding a widget is nothing like installing new moving company software or even changing the theme of your WP website. Widgets are not big modifications to your website. They won’t require any downtime and you typically don’t even need to put your website in maintenance mode to install them.
Instead, you can add them to your website very quickly and easily. Better yet, they are immediately available for use. Finally, although premium widgets do exist, the majority of them are free. So you don’t even have to pay for all the benefits they bring!
Wide variety of functions available
Different websites may look for different ways to enrich their users’ experience. Of course, there is no single widget that can give you absolutely everything. But there is a widget for almost anything imaginable. And if you can’t find a widget that suits your specific needs, you can always commission someone to make one – they’re not too hard to design.
Customizable to suit your needs
A widget only does the thing it’s designed for and that’s something you can’t change. But most widgets do allow for some customization. This is because widgets need to be useful to a wide variety of webmasters and websites. For that reason, most can change appearance to a certain extent. Some even come with settings that allow you to control what the widget displays and how it behaves. So don’t worry – you can use a widget regardless of the type of website or theme you’re running.
Enhance website functionality
The biggest advantage of widgets is, of course, what they add to your website. Regardless of whether you’re adding a calendar, an online moving estimate, or automated tech support, widgets make your website do something it couldn’t before. This is always an improvement because it adds to your website’s functionality. It can even help automate certain processes like customer service, making them faster and leaving you and your employees with more time to focus on other things.
Drastically improve user experience
The whole point of using widgets is to make your website more appealing to your users. By adding different features, you’ll improve their experience. Depending on the widget you choose, you can provide them with more information, give them more content, let them interact with the website, make it easier for them to resolve issues on their own, and more. And any digital marketing agency will tell you that user experience is one of the most important things to work on. Plus, it sets you apart from other websites of similar businesses that don’t use widgets.
Increase engagement and conversion
Most widgets are interactive. Your users can click through a calendar to see future events or scroll through your recent tweets. This is definitely a benefit because engagement leads to more time spent on a page. And the more time people spend on your website, browsing your content, the more opportunity you have to convert them. Some widgets are even intended specifically for that and help you list your products on all pages or advertise your latest offers to entice shoppers.
Maximize the advantages of using website widgets by using the right widgets
Because widgets are so useful and yet unobtrusive, you may be tempted to install a number of them. But while three or four widgets may enhance your website, too many will just have the opposite effect. So focus on the functions you really want to add to your website. The most popular are:
- Social media widgets: connect your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media with your website, crosspost on your website and social media accounts, and invite people to follow your social media profiles
- Calendar widgets: tell your users about upcoming events and let them book appointments and services more easily
- Customer support widgets: resolve simple issues for your customers easily with a chatbot
- Retargeting widgets: reduce your bounce rate while boosting the number of leads you get by using engaging widgets to trigger direct calls with customers.
Although there are some disadvantages, the advantages of using website widgets certainly outweigh them. So take a look at your website. What could you improve on? There’s probably a widget that can help you with that!