Have you ever considered adding game plugins to your WordPress website? Online games are a popular way for many internet users to pass free time. And providing an outlet for popular pastimes is a great way to boost the number of visits to your website.
The games that can be added to a WordPress site are usually simple, but they can be fun for visitors. They are also an attractive lure to get people to visit your website even when you haven’t added new content. It’s a win/win situation.
Today I will share with you five free game plugins that you can install and begin using today. They will add a puzzle or gaming element to your WordPress website that your visitors will love.
Why Add Games to WordPress?
Online games are enjoyed by people of all ages. In 2018, over 164 million adults played a video game in the United States. Three-quarters of all Americans have at least one gamer in their household. 79% of gamers report that video games provide them with mental stimulation, 78% use them for relaxation and stress relief.
While video games have become more refined and elaborate over the years, simple games are still a strong draw. Short games that can be played for a few minutes are very popular, especially on mobile devices. For many of us with a long commute or even a few minutes to spare, games can fill the time.
Using WordPress plugins, it’s easy to host simple, captivating games that visitors can play on your website.
Free WordPress Game Plugins
The game plugins I’ll talk about today are all very easy to add to your website and completely free to use. As a bonus, we’ll also talk about a couple of premium paid alternatives that can up your gaming game. So to speak.
But first, let’s take a look at the free options.
1. Word Search Puzzle Game
One of the simplest, yet most engaging games is a word search. A word search puzzle is made up of letters arranged in a grid. The grid contains several hidden words that are spelled out in various directions.
It seems as if word search puzzles have been around forever. But I was surprised to discover that they were created in 1968 by a small classifieds newspaper in a small Oklahoma town. It just goes to show you that new games are being created all the time.
You can use the Word Search Puzzles game plugin to add a word search to your website. The plugin creates a 20 x 20 letter grid, and you can include as many words as you’d like. Adding the game to a post or page is as easy as copying and pasting a shortcode.
2. Crossword Puzzle
The first crossword puzzle appeared in a New York newspaper in 1913. The puzzles quickly became a hit, and soon nearly every 20th-century newspaper ran a daily crossword puzzle. In some cities, the crossword puzzle was the main reason people bought the paper.
The most famous (and arguably the most difficult) is still the New York Times crossword puzzle.
The decline of the printed newspaper caused some to worry that the crossword puzzle would die out. But they survived by moving online, and may now be even more popular than they were in their heyday.
The WHA Crossword plugin makes it easy to add custom crossword puzzles to your website.
All you do is enter a list of clues and solutions, and the plugin does the rest. The more clues and solutions you add, the more difficult the puzzle becomes.
Get creative by using clues and words that complement the kind of content you produce. That’s a great way to engage your audience while promoting terms that are relevant to your brand.
How many 1,500-year-old games can you think of that people still love today? That’s a trick question because there’s only one game that fits that description: chess.
Chess is, without a doubt, the most popular and enduring game of all time. Known as «The Game of Kings,» you can’t go wrong adding it to any website. If your blog is devoted to chess discussions and strategies, it’s a no-brainer.
The Chessgame Shizzle plugin can add a full chess experience to your website. On top of providing a fully playable chess game, there are multiple board and piece themes that you can choose from.
4. Dinosaur Game
If you have ever investigated the various easter eggs in Google products, you may recognize the Dinosaur game. You’ve seen it whenever you’re using the Google Chrome browser to visit a website but are disconnected from the internet.
You can add it to your WordPress website with the Dinosaur Game plugin. It is what’s known as an «infinite runner» game. You jump and duck under obstacles while attempting to travel as far as possible. The dinosaur is kind of a pixelated Mario (you know, if Mario was a dinosaur), and almost as addictive.
Quizzes have become an online staple. You can’t escape them on Facebook, and at least one site, BuzzFeed, has built an online empire on quizzes. Whether you use them for entertainment or education, quizzes can be a great (and potentially viral) asset to your site.
You can add a quiz to your WordPress website with the Quiz Cat plugin. It’s flexible and can be a great educational game plugin for your site.
You can create a quiz about anything. Entertainment, mathematics, science, the finer points of raising chickens…literally anything can be turned into a quiz.
In addition to the entertainment and educational value, you can also use quizzes to collect information from visitors.
Get More Technically Sophisticated Games With Paid Game Plugins
The free plugins we’ve talked about provide great game and puzzle options for your site. But if you want better looking or more technically advanced games, there are some paid plugins to choose from.
For example, there are hundreds of game plugins available for Codecanyon’s CTL Arcade. The games are all built using HTML5, which makes them work well on mobile devices, which is very important. Remember that half of your visitors will be using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
MyArcadePlugin is another excellent paid option with access to a different group of game developers. It also gives you access to a lot of free (ad-supported) games, something CTL Arcade doesn’t offer.
Give Your Visitors Another Reason to Come Back (Often!)
If most of what you’re doing on your website is blogging, it’s only natural to have gaps between new content from time to time. Games are a sure-fire way to give your visitors another reason to come back.
Games can do more than just entertain your visitors. I mentioned that quizzes allow you to collect information from your visitors. Most of the quizzes you see on Facebook are little more than email harvesting tools. And they’re quite effective.
Bear in mind, of course, that games are not a substitute for website content. Giving your readers a reason to stop by when there are no new articles is good, but don’t forget your website’s purpose. Assuming that purpose isn’t providing online games. 😉
What are your favorite kinds of online games? Do you offer any games on your WordPress website?
Author: Robert Giaquinto
Robert has been writing tutorials about WordPress and other CMS for over 3 years since joining the GreenGeeks marketing team. Thanks to this, he has had the opportunity to research and master several areas of WordPress including plugin usage, SEO, website design, and social media integration. When he is not creating content for WordPress, Robert is digging up new content ideas for environmental pieces. These range from the pollution in our air to the danger’s wildlife face. And with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, he is always eager to discuss the way our technologies are affecting the environment, especially when it comes to solar energy.