The online experience allows for entirely new ways to invest someone in your content, and an interactive website should create user investment and engagement in exciting ways only a digital realm can. Oftentimes, we use the term ‘interactive’ to describe things such as ‘play’, but when it comes to marketing and website design, interactive means creating creative ways for users to do more meaningful work with you. Interaction has the power to show value, instead of simply telling about it.
Interactive websites are designed to promote and foster communication and interaction. Below, we’ll discuss how to create an interactive website, which templates you should use to take that experience and make it a reality, and exactly why having an interactive site can be beneficial to your company’s overall success.
Have a specific question about interactive websites in mind? Feel free to skip ahead to a certain section by using our helpful table of contents listed below:
Table of Contents
What is Interactive Web Design?
Have you ever visited a website that you immediately turned away from? Think about why that was. Maybe their site took too long to load or the buttons on their website didn’t work? Maybe they offered an option to book an appointment or chat with someone but didn’t provide any way for you to actually do it. Regardless of what happened, there wasn’t enough value in your singular interaction, so you left the website and just went to their competition because it was just simply more appealing to move on. As users, we essentially know what we want (or at least we’re open to the idea of letting our interests take us there.)
So interactive websites are designed first and foremost to create an optimal user experience. These websites often include:
- Automated chat boxes (with either a live person or a bot)
- Automated forms
- Automatic subscribe/subscribe features for newsletters and e-mail lists
- Animated infographics
- The ability to leave comments on blog posts
- The ability for guests to post on your blog
- Social media buttons
- and much more
Interactive web design is the process of using certain features or built-in software to create the interactive elements listed above. These features are aimed at making the user’s time on the website enjoyable–an engaged customer is curious and open to suggestion and enticed to make moves in order to learn more about what you have to offer. While that enjoyment could come from being able to take a quiz or survey, it also includes being able to get through to customer service when someone desperately needs an answer to their question.
Why is interactive web design important?
Interactive websites are beneficial for seven reasons:
- They help increase brand awareness
- They are more likely to result in positive consumer relationships
- They are more likely to receive brand mentions and/or backlinks
- They promote user engagement
- They allow users to enjoy a personalized experience
- They are more likely to result in a conversion (aka sale)
- They lower your bounce rate
Lowering your website’s bounce rate is extremely important when it comes to having your website rank in organic search results. Website owners only have a short window of time – 15 seconds, in fact – to capture a user’s attention. Once your website loses a user’s attention, they will have no problem going to your competitor. But, this also illuminates in important truth–first impressions go a long, long way.
When people don’t spend a lot of time on your website, it signals to internet search engines like Google that customers aren’t finding valuable information from your website. As a result, they will not rank you as high as you as highly in organic search results where you otherwise might. Fortunately, one easy way to combat this is by making your website more user-friendly and engaging with the use of interactive features.
Remember, people don’t visit a website for the sake of having nothing better to do. They are visiting it because they want their needs to be met and their voice to be heard.
Examples of interactive websites
Interactive websites can work in a variety of ways to capture a user’s attention. Some websites, like Buzzfeed, capitalize on the attention economy by giving users a range of ways to interact with their content. Buzzfeed is a media outlet that provides users with all sorts of different ways to interact with content that contribute to user engagement like the ability to engage with the community and take quizzes. Buzzfeed also allows you to create your own quiz. This kind of interaction creates trust between the brand and the reader.
There are other, even more creative visions of interactive websites, too. Gucci Off the Grid provides an animated interface as soon as you visit their website that features music and quizzes to help you learn about the company’s history. Ideally, an interactive website is one that will invest a user in the online experience by creating as much engagement as possible, whether that’s primarily through content or website functionality, which most often work in tandem.
How to Make an Interactive Website
To make an interactive website, you must first identify what your main objective is and how interacting with your consumers can help you meet those goals. For many website owners, their goal is to get their products and/or services in front of the right audience. This is where the benefits of building a WordPress website comes in.
What can I use to make my WordPress site more interactive?
WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system, allowing users to create a website that supports their goals and promotes their creativity. One of the best things about building a WordPress website is how it allows you to not only customize the look of your website but the feel of your website, as well. Users can add plugins that allow you to create chat boxes, comment sections on your blog, and surveys (to name a few), all of which are aimed at increasing the quality of the user’s experience. Some of the most popular plugins to do this include:
- Riddle ( for surveys and/or quizzes)
- Private Messages for UserPro ( for chat boxes)
- Listly (allows guests to contribute to your site)
Interactive Website Templates on WordPress
Another benefit of using WordPress to build your website is their selection when it comes to themes. The theme you select for your WordPress website is important because it will be what helps your website stand out from the competition.
There are a variety of different interactive templates available on WordPress, however, the most popular ones are listed below:
- Gillion (Top New)
- Massive Dynamic
What makes these particular WordPress themes so popular when it comes to building an interactive website? For starters, all of them offer unique features that are designed to create a positive user experience. For example, TwoFold comes equipped with full social media integration making it easier for your content to be distributed to a wider audience. Gillion, on the other hand, is designed to promote blogs, which offers unlimited opportunities to increase engagement with the features we mentioned above.
These themes also allow for users to make their websites mobile-friendly, which, in today’s technological market is paramount. In fact, “57% of users won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site.”
How to make an interactive map for a website
Another important interactive feature you should include on your WordPress website is a map for potential customers to find you. To create an interactive map on your WordPress site:
- Type your address into Google Maps
- Click on the hamburger menu on the upper left-hand corner (an icon that has three layered lines)
- Click on “share or embed map”
- Click on “HTML”
- Open up WordPress and go to the page you want to enter the map
- Click on “Text”
- Paste the code
- Click on “Visual” to see what it looks like
Having an interactive map for your website is important because you’re essentially doing the work for your user. By doing so, it helps increase their overall experience on your site because it’s one less step they have to take to find you.
WP Super Host can keep your theme up and running
Regardless of the WordPress theme you choose, you want to make sure that the site you create stays up and running. At WP Super Host, we offer unparalleled WordPress hosting services that come fully equipped with automated daily backups, site speed reports, and update and plugin monitoring.
We understand that when you’re running a small business, your time and attention should be spent on looking at your analytics and establishing one-of-a-kind relationships with your consumers to help meet your business’ goals. This is why all of our pricing packages include features that are designed to make sure your website is running at full capacity.
Tips for Interactive Web Design
Before you jet off to build an interactive website, keep these helpful tips in mind:
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with different designs. WordPress allows you to test themes out before purchasing them or implementing them.
- Be mindful of the typography that comes with each theme. Remember, your website’s content should be clean and easy for users to read so try to avoid any italicized, colorful or bold text.
- Don’t overthink the process. Remember, designing your website is sometimes trial and error; you can always go back and change what you want to improve and/or eliminate)
- Don’t forget to check your analytics. Which interactive elements on your website are yielding the most engagement? Are there elements you can change and improve upon? Always pay attention to these trends because your website design will have to adapt to changing buying habits.
- Enjoy yourself. Customizing your WordPress website is exciting because you’re showcasing your brand and talents with the world. If something starts to feel like work, it’s okay to take a step back for a little while before coming back to it. Breaks are an important part of getting the creative juices flowing again.
Building an interactive website is a lot of fun, especially when you begin to see people start to share your content online or want to guest post. Knowing how to create an interactive website is the first step in creating awareness around your brand. Remember, the services and products you provide are valuable and they deserve to be seen and enjoyed by everyone. Building an interactive website can help you get the word out there.