How to Use Tooltips in WordPress

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One of the hottest trends in website development right now is minimalism. With the popularity of mobile browsing and the need to create responsive websites, minimalism is a way to create a very attractive site without presenting users with something that is slow to load or too complicated to use. But as wonderful as minimalism might be, it comes with one inherent drawback: it limits the amount of information you can make readily available to visitors. The solution is to use tooltips.

Microsoft originally developed tooltips for the purposes of making their software more usable. Now they are all over the place. You can implement them in WordPress by either hard coding yourself or using one of the many plugins available from the WordPress library. We suggest the latter. There is no point in reinventing the wheel when there are so many great plugins already developed and ready to go.

Here are a few recommendations:

  • Simple Tooltips – This is one of the easiest and most-used tooltip plugins in WordPress. Implementation is as easy as clicking on an icon within the WordPress editor and assigning a few attributes. The plugin currently enjoys more than 10,000 active installs.
  • Responsive Mobile-Friendly Tooltip – This plugin was specifically created to address responsiveness. It’s the perfect plugin for creating tooltips on WordPress sites that are heavily tailored to mobile users. Currently, it boasts 2,000+ active installs.
  • WikiTip Knowledge Cluster Tooltip – Another speciality tooltip plugin designed to create dictionary, glossary, or thesaurus information as a WikiTip pop-up. With this plugin, you can connect to your own custom dictionaries, public dictionaries or speciality, subscription dictionaries. There are currently about 1,500 active installs of this plugin.

Why Implement Tooltips on Your Site?

The above three plugins represent just a small sampling of what is available. Before you go looking, however, you might want to know why you should implement tooltips on your site. Simply put, tooltips allow you to make information available to your visitors that would otherwise be lost. This is information that may be important to some visitors but not so important to everyone that it deserves to take up space on a page or post.

Tooltips can make your site more attractive by making it:

  • more reader friendly
  • more accessible to those with special needs
  • better able to guide visitors to a decision
  • better able to present extra, specialized

With a tooltip plugin, you can link certain kinds of information to text or objects on a page. Whatever you link will appear on your page just like a standard outbound link. The difference is that the information is received simply by hovering over the linked object. A pop-up box appears containing whatever information you put into the tooltip.

If minimalism is a goal for your WordPress site, you should probably think about tooltips. They may be very useful depending on the volume of information you are looking to get into the hands of your visitors.

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