For anyone who runs an establishing or burgeoning e-commerce website, questions from clients and customers are a simple fact of doing business in the virtual world. Questions about tracking shipments; about making a return; sales tax rates; how to contact a real human being if there’s a problem; the list goes on and on.
And yet, if your site has one of those always helpful “frequently asked questions” (FAQ) sections, so much time and trouble can be avoided for both the business owner and the person making a purchase. In fact, browse through even a handful of e-tail sites and it’s likely you’ll see, within the FAQ page, that the questions asked are very similar from site to site.
So if you web page doesn’t already have an FAQ element and you find yourself grappling with customer service questions again and again, perhaps it’s time to invest a bit of energy in building a dedicated page providing quick and concise answers. Fortunately, there are some really great plugins that can help you do so in a snap. And there’s an added bonus: people tend to use search engines in a question format, so having an FAQ can actually help improve your site’s visibility to the complex algorithms of Google, Yahoo etc.
Here are some good FAQ plugins to check out. And while you’re doing your research, keep in mind that most of them allow you to build a custom design that include adding a search bar and letting your customers add their own questions, both important elements to be considered in making a choice of which program is right for your site.
- The rock star of free FAQ plugins, Arconix FAQ is very simple to use and offers great user support from the developer. Although it doesn’t come with lots of fancy customizations, it does allow for displaying questions and answers in an attractive drop down box that you can group by tags. It’s simple, works great and is a nice—and no-cost—choice for those WordPress e-tail sites just getting started.
- Also free, Spider FAQ enjoys a good amount of popularity among WordPress users. With it you can customize how the questions are ordered on the page and add images if you wish. You can also enable the display of “like” “unlike” and “hits” for each question, and the program is built on a framework to make it very search engine optimized-friendly.
- When you use Ultimate FAQ, you get the ability to create questions and answers in different formats (as a list or in “accordion” fashion, for example), and you can choose to display your entire FAQ page or group them by most popular, most recent etc. You can also create a search bar, view analytics such as how many times a particular question is viewed and export your FAQ into a PDF and create an online user manual.
- A premium FAQ plugin (it starts at around $35 for the basic version) Tribulant naturally comes with a good deal of options, such as the ability to drag-and-drop related questions, add pictures from a built-in image gallery and allow for easy question search parameters. Users can also submit answers and questions to the page (which the admin must approve before they go live) and it comes with a stellar search form and the power to customize the appearance of the page so that it fits naturally and perfectly with the rest of your site’s design aesthetic.
- Another popular premium plugin, Sugar FAQs allows for questions to be displayed as custom posts, which you can then organize by topic and place anywhere on your site you wish. It comes with nine different color themes and also features the “accordion” style where users can hide certain answers, making viewing much easier by taking a lot of the scrolling out of the equation.
• Although a little more expensive than other premium plugins in the category, Easy FAQs Pro definitely creates one of the most user-friendly formats. Customers and clients can submit their own questions via a custom form and search quickly for answers. And like other programs you can add images, organize the FAQs in myriad ways and even display them in a widget on whatever page or post your want.