Great Free Plugins and Widgets for WordPress

I’ve been using WordPress for around a year now and have had great success with it. When I began with WordPress I had the temptation to buy some great plugins. After further inspection I realised that a lot of these plugins have a free alternative that is just as good. After using these plugins for a year I can certain vouch for their quality. Here’s some of the fantastic plugins I’ve been using and I’m sure you will reap value your business also.


ClickDesk live chat is a widget that lets users message the webmaster from the browser. Its essentially an IM client to the user. The webmaster logs into the WordPress dashboard and logs into the app. Once a user wishes to initiate a chat your terminal will ring like a cell phone. The feature I like about this is that the webmaster is aware which page the user is on during the chat and any changes are immediately shown. The free version enables you 30 free chats a month. For me this is enough as I don’t get huge traffic and I find I never exceed the 30 chats a month. I have got sales from this so I’d recommend it. Once my business grows I will consider getting the paid version.

Hello Bar is a fantastic free widget. This enables you to have a message across each page at the top in a bar. We see this a lot on various sites these days and its popularity is ever increasing. My sales went up soon as this was added. The text parameters are customisable and its fairly quick and simple to set up.

Go pricing is a plugin I use to display prices for my products in easy to read charts. The cool thing about this is that the menu will rise when you hover the mouse above it.  I was able to take an image and split it into three placing each segment into a different column which offered a great presentation of this easy to use pricing widget.

Im also using newsletter widget by Stefano Lissa. This has enabled me to build up my email database of uses coming to my site. It sits discreetly in the bottom left corner of my footer on each page and is an effective tool for future marketing activities.

Finally WordPress SEO by Yoast. This is a must have for SEO. It enables the user to add the relevant details to beef up the SEO elements of the page. Yoast will grade each page for its relevance to a keyword and tell the user what action is required to improve the performance of that specific page. For targeting certain keywords this really helps. Of course this is all free. I believe there is a premium upgrade available but the functionality of the free version really is sufficient enough.

There’s a few fantastic WordPress plugins that will surely help your business. Just remember before you rush out and pay hard earned money for plug-ins that there may well be a free alternative just around the corner.

Good luck!


Developing Focal Points on your Site

The amount of time that you have to impress a visitor to your site, and convince them to stay, is just a few short seconds. People want information to be made easily and quickly available to them and so it is the task of the web design professional to create a site that offers the browser just that. One of the most important ways of keeping users on your site is by developing focal points.

Eye Focusing

What are focal points in web design?

In web design, a focal point is a prominent area on the website. This is the area where we want to draw the browser’s attention. This area is distinct from other components, catches the eye and offers a message of value. The idea behind these focal points in web development is to convey the main message of the website and place emphasis on it.

Giving a focal point purpose in your web design

One of the basic rules to incorporating focal points into your web design is that of basic simplicity. It doesn’t help if you have 5 focal points on your page, so stick to one. Choose the most important thing on the page and accentuate it. It is important that the focal point draws attention to the purpose of the site and the goals of the site owner. Include a call to action on your focal point so that it is purposed and not just hanging around offering no value.

Placement of your focal points in the design

Where you choose to place your focal point in your web design is quite important. The index or home page is where most people will start viewing your site, so this is a great place for locating a focal point. It doesn’t stop there though. You can really lose out if you don’t incorporate one focal point on each web page. This should draw attention to the most important information on that particular page and of course provide a call to action.

Placing the focal point towards the top of the page is a great idea. You want it to be easily noticed and even the first thing the browser sees. Just below the header is a good place to test out.


Design elements used to create focal points

  • Typography – you can use size, colour and spacing to create emphasis on textual elements.
  • Illustration – you will find that graphics can relay a message quickly and effectively. With eye-catching visuals you can create a focal point with ease.
  • Big buttons – these are great for call-to-action focal points. High visibility and attractive colours and designs are effective focal point elements.

These are just a few web design elements that you can create a focal point with.

It is best to consider all of the options available to you as you want the focal point to provide value to your site. Making a mistake with your focal point could have a detrimental effect when it comes to converting visitors to clients. With the assistance of a professional design agency you can rest assured that your website focal point will be effective.