In the world of marketing, storytelling has been one of the few most important terms since day one. It’s easy to understand why. Stories hit us at the point where we are most vulnerable, in the very core of our humanity. That place lies at the intersection of our imagination and emotions. Trends come and go at fast pace, but this precious point hasn’t changed, and probably never will. However, the ways and channels of storytelling do alter and evolve all the time.
Since we are visual beings, nowadays it’s more effective to use visual ways to tell stories. For example, if I tell you about the Battle of Yorktown, I am harnessing my storytelling skills. You might be amazed or annoyed by them. And you will remember only bits and parts of my story that manage to strike your attention. But if I draw a timeline, not only will you remember a host of crucial points that would otherwise go unnoticed. You will also get to understand the progression of events that led to the battle, causality and consequences that sprang from it.
That stands for any story, not just the stuff for history nerds. Every brand has a story that backs it up and explains its mission. You can tell that story the conventional way, in the “About Us” section on your website. Or you can do it differently, by setting up a timeline that will be far more interesting, distinct and legible than any copy you might think of. Think about it from your own perspective as a user. If someone offered you to read a text block or to have a glimpse at a timeline, which one would you choose?
I would go with a timeline. And for that, I would need an adequate WordPress plugin.
How to Choose the Best WP Timeline Plugin?
Not all plugins are made equal, and that stands for timeline plugins as well. Here are several factors you should keep in mind when choosing from hundreds of options.
- How customizable is it? Customization options are there to make sure that everyone can adjust the timeline to his or her needs. Some plugins include multiple templates to choose from, which means getting more bang for your buck. Others will even let you show social media buttons, which is always a good option.
- Responsiveness. Whatever you need to do with your timeline, it has to be compatible and look great on all devices. Most popular plugins will be responsive by default, but it never hurts to remind – responsive design is a must, whether you’re choosing a WordPress theme or a plugin.
- What types of content does it support? Some plugins only support text. The result would be the so-called announcement timelines. Others support multimedia content, so you can insert video or images. There are also dynamic, interactive plugins, which motivates your readers to engage. They will give you an option to transform your blog posts into timelines. It’s a very convenient and interesting feature that can transform the entire user experience. Your visitors don’t have to come and face a conventional blog post list anymore.
Top 4 Timeline Plugins for WordPress in 2019
This is a very feature-rich WordPress Timeline Plugin, with a bunch of pre-built options. Choose from vertical, horizontal, compact, one side, or step by step layouts. Each of those comes with a few design options and advanced customization. You can add a timeline to any page thanks to the shortcode generator, with beautiful animations, visual composer addon, Font Awesome icons and fonts, as well as support for any kind of content.
Here are just a few ideas of content you can transform into timeline: company timeline, team page, step by step tutorial, events, life stories, personal, biography, product updates, startup timeline. Options are virtually endless, and you can have as many timelines as you want.
This Timeline WordPress plugin lets you create timelines with any date, with both BC and AD date support. Even though I doubt you’ll be needing BC dates for your company’s history timelines, it’s still a nice feature to have for those of you who might be history geeks. Over 45 layouts, dark and light skins, and over 40 animations means that the designs will never get stale or uninteresting. You can set the color for each or every timeline – either match it to your brand’s colors, or play around till you get the best solution.
There is also infinite scroll support, in case you want to let your readers entertain themselves. You can insert any kind of content, be it audio, photo or video. Or just embed content from SoundCloud, Youtube, or Vimeo.
The fact that it’s one of the cheaper options doesn’t mean this plugin lacks customization. Vertical, horizontal, one side, Facebook, Twitter, pagination, filter, and navigation bar – those are the layouts. Each of them offers dozens of templates that you can choose from, with various styling options. 50 templates should be more than enough for a single website.
Apart from the media-rich content including image, slider, Youtube/Vimeo/HTML videos, SoundCloud audio, it also lets you integrate filter feature, social media buttons, Facebook or Twitter feed. With those interactive features, you can rest assured that your audience won’t just hop in and out of your website. They will engage, share, hang around, and make the most of their experience.
This is hands down the best free timeline plugin you will be able to find. To this date, it has over 20 thousand active installations, which should account for its quality. In fact, it’s a “freemium” plugin, which means you can use it for free with limited functionality. Then, you can upgrade to premium version if you need more options. But let’s see what it offers free of charge. You can place a timeline anywhere on your site thanks to the shortcode. Don’t worry if your coding knowledge is zero, since it’s easy to use and very intuitive. It’s responsive and cross-browser tested, so there’s no need to worry on that account either. You can add CSS3 animations, include hundreds of Font Awesome icons, hide the date of the announcement. It’s also possible to specify ascending or descending order, add custom images and localize date formatting.
Those of you who might consider buying the premium version will also get multiple timelines with announcements, tighter layout options, categories, multilingual support.