What are WordPress Animations
Animations for WordPress are special effects that can be added to specific elements on your website. These animations can be used to add emphasis, call attention to something, or just add a bit of fun. Animations can be used on text, images, buttons, and even menus.
how to add animation in wordpress
Adding animations to your website are going to depend on the specific location and how you want the animation to appear. Do you want a full video background animation, a hover over animation or perhaps a click-to-play animation?
Factors to installing on your specific site are going to be your theme, budget and hosting. Not all themes are built to handle animations, especially if they are not kept up to date or you are using an older theme. The amount of animations you want on your site is also going to play a role in how well your website functions. Too many animations can make your website seem busy and overwhelming.
A word of caution, besides being too ‘busy,’ adding too many animations can also cause slower loading times. This will frustrate visitors and cause them to leave your site before it even has a chance to load. Try to use animations sparingly and only when they genuinely add value to the user experience. If you’re worried about SEO and search algorithms, faster loading sites will always have a leg up on the competition.
While some themes come with animations built in, most will require a plugin to add this functionality. Remember, ‘adding animations to your website’ is a general term and there are dozens of animation plugins that do one thing very well. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend one animation plugin for everything.
Let’s take a look at the WordPress plugin Slider Hero, it’s main job is to create revolving slideshows and video background sections for your website. If you’re looking to have an animated icon on your site, this is not the plugin for you.
It’s definitely worth doing a bit of research to figure out your exact needs before you start installing plugins. Once you have a good understanding of what types of animations you want on your WordPress website, it’ll be much easier to find the perfect plugin.
If you’re not ready to install a plugin or you want more control over the animations on your site, you can always opt for CSS animations. This method does require a bit more of a learning curve, but it will give you much more control over the look and feel of your website.
While this is not a tutorial on how to code CSS, there are plenty of resources on the internet that will get you going fast. While this is not my preferred method of adding animations to your site, they are easy to make responsive to any screen size.
The downside of CSS animations, in my opinion, is that they are not as user-friendly as plugin animations. You will need to have some coding knowledge (or at least be willing to learn) in order to create these animations.
The other risk factor is that when you update your theme and other plugins that are being used for your WordPress site, the changes can break your CSS animations. Unless you are comfortable with code, I would recommend using a plugin to avoid any potential issues.
wordpress icon animations
If you are looking for a an animated icon plugin, I might recommend Lottie Files for WordPress. It’s a free plugin that allows you to upload your icon, then select the animation you want from a library of animations. My personal recommendation however is to find a good page builder that allows for the integration of animations inside the building itself.
For example, Elementor (a page building add-on for WordPress) integrates with Lottie animations seamlessly. You can drag and drop your animations right into WordPress and then shift them around the page as needed. The animated icon above was added using Elementor and custom animation that I created with Adobe After Effects.
best practices for wordpress animations
Now that we’ve gone over how to install and add animations in WordPress, let’s talk about some best practices. Remember, while animations can enhance the user experience on your website, they can also frustrate users if not used properly. With that in mind, here are a few tips to keep in mind when using animations on your WordPress website:
Use animations sparingly:
As we mentioned before, too many animations can make your website seem busy and overwhelming. Stick to one or two animations per page and use them to add emphasis or call attention to a specific element.
Keep it simple:
Don’t try to do too much with your animations. A simple hover animation or a short video background can be just as effective (and more user-friendly) than a complex animation with multiple moving parts.
Consider the user experience:
When adding animations to your website, always consider the user experience. Will the animation improve the overall experience on the site or will it just be a distraction?
Test, test, test:
Before making your site live, be sure to test all the animations on different devices and browsers. What looks great on Chrome might not look so good on Safari. By testing your site beforehand, you can avoid any potential issues down the road.
Use high-quality images and videos:
If you’re using video backgrounds or animations that include images, be sure to use high-quality files. Blurry or pixelated images will just make your site look unprofessional.
Final WP Animation Thoughts
When it comes to choosing the best method for adding animations to your site, it really comes down to personal preference and your level of comfort with code. If you’re just starting out, I would recommend using a page builder, like Elementor, as it is the easiest way to add animations without having to touch a single line of code.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can always try your hand at CSS animations. Just remember, with great power comes great responsibility. Any time you are adding code to your site, there is a risk that you could break something. So, be sure to test your site thoroughly before making any changes live.
And that’s it! You now know everything you need to know about adding animations to your WordPress website. Just remember to use them sparingly and always consider the user experience when adding any new element to your site.