If you’ve been working with WordPress for a while, you must be familiar with plugins. Plugins are bits of software that are designed to add specific functions to WordPress. The WordPress core itself is kept lean and flexible, and plugins are added to extend functionality.
Some plugins carry out vital functions and your website cannot do without them. For instance, a website should have plugins for security and backup. And most will have plugins for SEO and caching.
But do you know that you can add plugins to your website just for fun – plugins where the emphasis is primarily on amusing users, with a lesser function riding on it. These plugins increase the time spent by users on the website by entertaining them, reduce bounce rates and often bring a smile to the face of the user.
And for all the plugins, the positive fallout can be an increasing user base on account of entertainment and interactivity.
Ready for some fun?
Are You a Human – The Fun Spam Blocker
Are You a Human is a fun way to keep the bots out while engaging genuine visitors. Websites devise a number of ways to stop spam from hitting them. Sometimes, when users try to login to a page, they come up against a request to carry out a task before they can access the webpage. Like add up small numbers, decipher scrambled or distorted text, enter captcha letters and other similar requests. We put in hard work to get traffic to our websites, why turn away those who have landed at your doorstep with some annoying request? Why not try some fun task instead?
If you’re at a loss for ideas, look up Are You a Human. It installs PlayThru, a captcha alternative, on your site. Instead of counting numbers, you can choose to build up a sandwich, put a face on a potato or punch a fighter twice. Surely more fun than adding numbers and more likely to reduce bounce rate. Try out the demo and see for yourself how it is possible to hold the full attention of a visitor for a few seconds.
The plugin is free and works on the Comments, Registration and Lost Password pages. It teams up well with BuddyPress, Contact Form 7 and Gravity Forms. It is built with HTML5, optimized for touch and works just as well on mobiles.
After installing and activating the plugin, you’ll need to register your site on the PlayThru portal and obtain Publisher and Scoring key, to be pasted in the appropriate field in Settings.
Many people are not comfortable with uploading their profile pictures to community network sites or to forums. In the absence of their picture, the placeholder often carries a standard silhouette of a head. BuddyPress Identicons can be used to generate a identicon using a hash of their email ids.
Often, the identicons generated are unique. The type, size and background of the identicon can be adjusted. I’ve added the plugin to my test website – check out the identicon generated for me as the site admin.
If you’re bored with the identicon generated for you, it can be changed. You can add similar identicons to all the users on your website. The plugin is network compatible, and it makes up identicons only for those users who have not uploaded their gravatars.
Dooodl allows visitors to create a doodle and save it in the sidebar. Visitors can add a note to the doodle, and mark their presence – something like a guest book to record visitors’ impressions. No tangible advantage to the website really, but it’s likely to increase user engagement and act as a social validation.
The doodle of the last doodler, name, title and link will be displayed in a widget. The widget template is customizable. Using shortcode, you can embed the Doodle Creator and the gallery to any page or post. A checkbox is available in the Settings and you can use this to preview the doodle and approve it before publishing. From the doodle admin panel, unacceptable doodles can be deleted.
The Flash viewer allows users to view all the doodles that have been created. However, the Flash gallery can be disabled and the basic HTML5 version can be used.
WP Triggers fulfills a If This Then That kind of action. You can program it so that if a particular condition is keyed in, a specific response is elicited. The response can be anything, from playing a video to redirecting to another page, or listening to a song or reading a book.
You get to choose the actions and responses in the settings page. Once saved, a shortcode is generated which you then paste on a page and update. Thereafter, if a visitor types in a trigger question, the corresponding response is triggered. Multiple triggers are possible for a single response.
Mario, Solitaire, Backgammon, Chess – display these games and more on your website with Online Games plugin. Currently, 83 quality games under 8 categories like Action, Adventure, Arcade, Bubble Shooters, Cards, Skill, Sports, Other are available. More games are being added to the database regularly.
Each game can be displayed individually anywhere by simply copying and pasting as shortcode. Once the plugin is activated, a Games Menu will appear on your dashboard which you can configure.
Games are an excellent way to interest a visitor and increase the chances of repeat visits. You can also change or add games regularly for variety and to maintain high interest level.
FunCaptcha – Anti-spam Captcha
FunCaptcha is one more plugin that helps to avoid difficult-to-read captchas. Visitors are required to solve mini games before they can access the webpage. Audio challenge games are available for visually impaired persons.
For the plugin to work on your site, you’ll need to register at funcaptcha, obtain keys and paste it in the activate tab. Select where you’d like the FunCaptcha to appear and choose to hide it from logged in users and admins. The plugin works on registration and comments forms, as well as Contact Form 7, Ninja Forms and Gravity Forms.
You’ll also get to choose the security level that’s appropriate for your site. The Automatic setting offers security at the lowest level. The Enhanced level has more challenges to solve, making it harder for spammers programs to get past. The plugin connects to FunCaptcha’s API servers for validation of answers.
You’ll surely want Quiz Cat on your website if you wish to get quiz lovers to become regular visitors to your website. You can have any number of quizzes, and many answers presented as multiple choices.
Coming up with the questions needs a bit of creativity on the part of the site admin. But almost everything else is taken care of by the plugin. Create custom messages to flash on completion of quiz. Different message can be flashed if a visitor cannot come up with the right answer.
The premium version of the plugin helps to build better quizzes. Personality quizzes and image based quizzes are supported by the premium version. It also takes care of email capture and entitles you to priority support by email.
Football Pool rewards logged in users on your website to play a fantasy football game with other users. They predict outcomes and earn points. Extra points are awarded for bonus questions. The level of interaction is heightened as each player can view the scores and charts of the contenders.
The database has information pertaining to the UEFA Championship in France, but can very well be altered for any other match.
Creating teams, adding bonus questions, automatic calculation of pool rankings and team standing, configurable scoring options, additional pages for info on teams make playing a fun pastime.
While on it, you can also explore if these plugins can find a place on your website,
- Emojized – To relieve the boredom of text, allowing visitors to use emojis to rate and comment on content.
- Decorations for occasions – You get to choose from 200 hand drawn decorations that you can add to your website just like that or to mark special occasions like Christmas and Halloween.
- Hello Babble – To add some useless, scientifically baseless, Star Trek style technical jabber.
- Shoot the Zombie – This one is just for fun. Click on a button that you install using shortcode and shoot the zombie that appears.
- Riddle – To add any number of quizzes, polls and lists to your website.
- Flash Games – Add from 1150 flash games using shortcodes.
We’ve all heard the saying Laughter is the best medicine. Why not try it on our websites? Generating leads and clickthroughs is good for business, but let’s also generate a few laughs and smiles. Who knows, you may be pleasantly surprised.