Web design agencies and solopreneurs are pushing the envelope more than ever before to create outstanding websites. The users are more demanding, the devices more diverse in screen sizes, and the web technologies more complex. Thankfully, we have endless solutions for captivating the users’ attention, and WordPress animation plugins are among them.
Adding animation to your site is simple: just install and activate your preferred plugin. Dozens of plugins are available for free on the WordPress repository. Some agencies and developers offer free plugins directly from their sites. Bear in mind that you should install plugins only from reputable sources.
Here is a list of 10 free WordPress animation plugins that will delight your site’s visitors. Use them in moderation because too many dynamic effects fatigue people’s eyes.
Blocks Animation is a plugin that has the potential to spice up your site by adding cool dynamic effects to the Gutenberg blocks. Just install, activate it, select a block, and configure the animation. You have to specify the effect type, the delay, and the speed. ThemeIsle, a well-known WordPress agency, is behind this plugin, but you can bring your contribution to improve the plugin. It’s an open-source project and any contribution is welcomed.
- Gutenberg support
- Many animation effects
This plugin is ridiculously simple to use and comes with so many cool hovering effects. Go to the WordPress admin dashboard, hover over the Wow Company icon, and click on Hover Effects. This redirects you to a page listing 2D transitions, shadow and glow effects, and curls. Check out each effect and click on the one you want to use. Automatically, you copy the code in the clipboard and paste it wherever you want to use it.
- 39 hover effects
- Adding effects in a menu
- Cool dynamic effects
4.5 out of 5 stars and 100,000+ installs from WordPress repository are pretty impressive stats for a plugin. Responsive Menu is a plugin with a self-describing name that gives you unlimited powers to style your site’s menus. You select the menu to customize and this plugin does everything you want. On top of that, its interface is pretty intuitive, so you don’t need special skills to work with Responsive Menu. You should upgrade to the premium version if you want even more features.
- Select the background of the menu
- Full control over the menu items: font family, weight and size, alignment, colour, height, and line height
- Custom menu triggers
- Custom menu animations
Even though this plugin has an excellent rating on WordPress repository, it’s still an underrated plugin. It deserves more hype around it. Taking into account its features and ease of use, it should be included on all lists of animation plugins. It generates dozens of effects any time a user hovers on an image. You have to choose the type of the image effects – general, square, caption, flipbox, magnifier, or comparison. Next, you should single out the effect type and customize it. The default settings are cool, but you can personalize the animation effect to better match your site.
As long as there aren’t functional websites without images, this plugin works for any site. Altogether, Image Hover Effects Ultimate is the perfect choice for portfolios and photography websites.
- Lightweight plugin, so it doesn’t slow down the site
- Countless animation effects
- Intuitive interface
Image slideshows are both functional and aesthetical. No matter the type of the project, a slider of cool images brings that needed sparkle of animation to your site. Smart Slider 3 is a solid alternative for creating awesome slideshows. It comes bundled with numerous types of slideshows that are responsive and mobile-friendly. This plugin permits importing/exporting sliders, setting timings, hiding layers on particular devices, and adding animation effects. The free version is enough for most users, but take a look at the premium version to get extended functionality.
- Plenty of styling options
- SEO friendly
- Support for dynamic content (the pro version)
This plugin simulates the experience of reading a book. The result is pretty realistic and certainly has a big impact on the viewer. It works with PDF documents, images, and HTML pages. The flipping effects, flexible page corners, and smart page loading are just a few features that deserve a mention. But there are more, such as:
- Flipping sound effects
- Google Analytics integration
- Great performance
- Interactive, responsive, and mobile friendly
Getwid isn’t just an animation plugin – it’s a collection of 35+ striking blocks to complement the Gutenberg offering. Some of these blocks allow animated effects and help in creating a positive impression on site visitors. Advanced Heading, Accordion, Image Stack, Advanced Spacer, Circular Progress, Post Slider, and Content Timeline are just a few of Getwid’s blocks that include animated effects. Their names are suggestive enough to understand their function.
- Useful blocks for complex projects
- Simple to use and customize blocks
Too many animated effects fatigue visitors’ eyes. Besides that, it’s a clear sign of amateurish work. Avoid using annoying effects, especially on mobile devices. Tabs is a plugin that finds the perfect balance between dynamism and a plain look. Use it on pages where you want to put a lot of written content. The tabs are a cool method of displaying texts based on the users’ input. The plugin has plenty of configuration settings, so you can properly integrate the tabs into your site design.
- Limitless tabs
- Use tabs via shortcodes
- Drag-and-drop builder
- Unlimited color options
The same as tabs, carousels are another possibility of displaying content and adding discreet animation effects. Carousels aren’t animation plugins per se, but you have lots of reasons to take them into consideration to jazz up your site. This plugin works with posts, images, and WooCommerce products. Creating a carousel is accessible even for non-techie users – just select the items to display and fine-tune them.
- Compatible with any theme and page builder
- Modern slide and hover effects
- Multi-site supported
- Lightweight, responsive, mobile and touch friendly
Animation alone doesn’t bring any advantage to your site. However, a cool animation is golden. Read Meter is an example in this respect – it displays the estimated reading time. A progress bar shows how much time it will take the user to read an article. In this way, the progress bar stimulates the reader to avoid skipping the article. It doesn’t require special skills and takes just two minutes to install, but the effect is wonderful.
- Customizable progress bar
Over to You
These ten plugins don’t have a price tag, but include genuine premium features. Without any doubt, using one or two of these plugins will improve the user experience. Don’t add too many animation effects because your site will look amateurish and will confuse the users.