Before consumers spend their hard-earned dollars on products or services, they like to have proof that they will be spending their money wisely. Showing customers that others have already purchased your product or service and had a good experience is strong social proof and it can be very effective at encouraging new buyers.
You could contact all your previous customers and get them to email you with testimonials about their purchase and then manually add them one-by-one to your site, making sure to style them correctly. However, WordPress plugins can make it easy to collect, manage and display testimonials from clients.
In this article we will start by sharing some of the tips and tricks you can employ to ensure the testimonials on your site are effective, then look at the absolutely best plugins available to capture, manage and display testimonials on your WordPress site.
Making Your Testimonials Work
We mentioned before that potential customers want proof of the wisdom of their purchase before they make it, and testimonials are an excellent and effective form of social proof. Why? Because your prospective customers want an honest evaluation on your business, product or service from people just like them – other customers.
Testimonials from real, independent ‘outsiders’ provide credibility as they are (presumably) not biased. They are a valuable part of the input into consumers’ buying decisions. In fact, research shows that nearly 63% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a site if it has ratings and reviews.
The presence of testimonials is enough to affect purchases, but there are ways to make your testimonials even more effective:
- Use real people and details. Fake testimonials are usually not believable and erode trust with your prospective customers. By using real people and their real details (such as name, company and website link), you increase your credibility, as your potential customers will see that actual people have purchased your product or service and actually liked it.
- Use photos/video when possible. A photo draws more attention than straight text, and people identify and empathize with faces. Placing a photo of the person providing the testimonial next to their words makes the quote seem more honest and believable.
- Place testimonials in multiple locations. You want to make sure that prospective customers will see the testimonials at the right stage in the buying process. The home page can be a good place to display testimonials to help convince potential customers to go further. Also consider showing testimonials on product-specific pages, so that prospects can get this relevant related information as they are considering a particular product.
Now, onto the plugins! Due to the volume of options available for managing testimonials on your WordPress site, we are splitting the below plugins into three sections. Let’s start by looking at the best free plugins available, before moving onto premium offerings and up-and-comers.
The Best Free Testimonials Plugins
WP Customer Reviews (Free)
With over 40,000 active installs and a 4.4-star satisfaction rating, WP Customer Reviews is a very popular choice. This plugin is designed to enable you to create a page to receive and display customer testimonials for your business or service.
The plugin provides a shortcode for inserting both the submission form and the actual testimonials on any page or widget. All the testimonials are moderated so the site owner can choose which testimonials get shown. You also have full control over design through an external stylesheet, as well as the fields used on the submission form
WP Customer Reviews is a fast and lightweight option for managing customer testimonials.
Easy Testimonials (Free, Pro)
Next on our list is Easy Testimonials, an easy-to-use plugin that enables a user to add testimonials to any post, page or widget. With over 30,000 and a 4. 2-star satisfaction, this plugin is a solid alternative to WP Customer Reviews. There is a Pro version available starting at $59 for a personal licence.
Using this plugin, testimonials can be displayed as a list or as one random testimonial at a time. Testimonials can be displayed in the sidebar via a fading or sliding widget or on any post or page. Easy Testimonials includes several options that enable you to customize the display of the image with the testimonial and the link to read more about the product.
Upgrading to the Pro version of Easy Testimonials adds the functionality of front end testimonial submission, with anti-spam methods and image uploads.
Testimonial Rotator (Free)
Up next, Testimonial Rotator is a very simple way to manage testimonials. This plugin has over 20,000 active installs and a 4.4-star satisfaction rating, making it another popular choice.
This plugin creates testimonials as custom posts types and enables you to add testimonials to custom rotators for display. Displaying the testimonials is done via either a widget or a shortcode.
For customized display of the testimonials, you can create your own custom templates or use the free or paid testimonial themes provided by the plugin author. Some of the rotator settings that can be customized include the display of star ratings, previous and next buttons and author information.
Testimonial Basics (Free)
With over 8,000 active installs and a 4.7-star satisfaction rating, Testimonial Basics is a full-featured testimonial management plugin that provides some advanced features for free.
Forms for submitting testimonials can be created in both content and widget areas. The submitted testimonials can then be edited and approved within the administration panel before being displayed in pages, posts or sidebars.
The display of testimonials can be set to include star ratings, customized text and background colors, gravatars for the testimonial author, and a choice of several web-friendly fonts. Testimonials can be displayed using any one of several layout options provided, including a slider display.
Strong Testimonials (Free)
Also described as full-featured, Strong Testimonials is a powerful plugin that works easily for beginners but also provides more advanced functionality. With over 8,000 active installs and a 4.9-star satisfaction rating, this plugin is well worth a look.
Strong Testimonials provides a completely customizable front end form for collecting testimonials from customers. You can add and remove fields, configure anti-spam options and set up notification emails to multiple administrators.
The display of testimonials is controlled by views which enable various options to be configured such as the style of display (list or slideshow), which testimonials to display, the sort order, and various layout and style options.
Testimonials Slider (Free, Pro)
This next plugin on our list has over 6,000 active installs and a 4.2-star satisfaction rating. Testimonials Slider is a very simple plugin but is also powerful and flexible.
Testimonials are added in the WordPress administration area via a standard Write Post screen. Display of the testimonials is done using a shortcode, and can be display as an automatically rotating slider or a full page listing.
The plugin has very simple settings to configure the display mode, the speed of the transitions in slider mode, and the display of Next and Previous buttons. A Pro version enables additional options such a grid, horizontal and vertical display modes, random start options, and testimonial categories.
BNE Testimonials (Free, Pro)
BNE Testimonials is another flexible option for managing and displaying testimonials. With over 3,000 active installs and a 4.9-star satisfaction rating, it may well be worth checking out.
As with Testimonials Slider, testimonials are added via the Write Post screen in the WordPress administration. Each testimonial can have a title, featured image, tagline, website link, message and a category.
Testimonials can be displayed on the website as either a list or a slider using shortcodes in pages or via a widget. Customization options include the sort order, which elements are displayed, and the style of the image. The testimonial categories can be used to have multiple instances of testimonials displayed on the same page.
Upgrading to the Pro version adds additional layout options as well as front end submission functionality, including administrator notifications, star ratings and custom styling options.
Handsome Testimonials (Free, Pro)
The last plugin in this section is focused on helping you create attractive and eye-catching testimonial displays on your website. With over 2,000 active installs and a 4.7-star satisfaction rating, Handsome Testimonials is a good-looking option for your testimonials.
The key to this plugin is the testimonial shortcode generator that enables you to change colors, fonts, alignment and many other styling options to get your testimonials looking exactly the way you want. It also provides a live preview to see what your customizations look like before you add the testimonials to a page.
The shortcode settings can be saved and restored in widgets, pages and posts, making it easy to create copies of testimonial displays. The plugin also provides free testimonial designs to use as a starting point.
Upgrading to the Pro version of the Handsome Testimonials plugin enables you to create testimonial categories and restrict displays by category. It also adds star ratings and front end submission forms.
The Best Premium Testimonials Plugins
The first premium plugin on our list, Testimonials Showcase has amassed over 3,000 sales and been given a 4.91-star rating by users. For only $16, it is well worth looking at if none of the free options suit your needs.
Using this plugin, there is a front end submission form for collecting testimonials from your website users. The form can be added to a page using a simple shortcode and the fields to display selected. The testimonials collected will need to be approved before they can be displayed on the site.
Testimonials can be displayed in grid or slider layouts using any one of five built-in theme options. Like the Handsome Testimonials plugin, a shortcode generator makes it easy to select customization options and create a testimonial display that matches your desired vision.
The Testimonials WordPress plugin has nearly 2,000 sales and a 4.7-star rating from users, making it another option well worth considering. Priced at $18 it is very affordable for the functionality provided.
Like the Testimonials Showcase, a front end submission form is included. You can customize the form by enabling and disabling fields as required.
This plugin also includes a shortcode generator that makes customization very simple. You can choose from four display options (grid, list, slider and thumbnail slider), then from multiple layout possibilities in terms of placement of the various elements.
If you are a Visual Composer user, you will be happy to hear that the Testimonials WordPress plugin is well integrated with Visual Composer and so testimonial displays can be easily added to your VC layouts.
The Best Up and Coming Testimonial Plugins
The following plugins are not yet very widely used, but based on the reviews are worth keeping an eye on and maybe trying if they fit your needs.
Good Reviews (Free)
With over 1,000 active installs and a 4.9-star satisfaction rating, Good Reviews caught our eye. It is part of a group of plugins designed for restaurants, but can be used for other purposes as well.
This plugin enables you to easily add reviews and testimonials to the website via the WordPress Administration. Testimonials can include a photo, a link and 5-star or numbered ratings. The testimonials can then be displayed individually or by category in lists or in a rotating fader in any post, page or sidebar.
The plugin developers have made sure to include hooks so that you can extend and customize the plugin as needed.
WP Testimonials (Free)
With over 2,000 active installs and a 5-star satisfaction rating, the WP Testimonials plugin is one to check out. It provides a very simple way to manage testimonials on a WordPress website.
Testimonials are added via the WordPress Administration and can include the author, a picture, a website URL and the actual testimonial. Testimonials can then be displayed on the website using shortcodes.
The display of the testimonials can be customized through shortcode parameters, such as limits on the category and number of testimonials, as well as turning on and off the display of testimonial elements.
Choosing a Testimonials Plugin
We have a presented you with a wide range of options for collecting, managing and displaying testimonials on your website. The best plugin for you will depend on your specific needs.
If you want to be able to extensively customize the display of the testimonials, Handsome Testimonials is a great free option. Both the premium plugins showcased will also work well for you if you are willing to pay for them.
If front end submission of testimonials from your customers is important to you, Strong Testimonials is free and will work well. Most of the premium and Pro versions showcased will give you the option of a front end form. The choice is yours!
Research has shown us that displaying testimonials from past customers on your site can create more trust in prospective clients. If you apply the tips for effective testimonials, you will be making their decision process even easier.
From the list we provided, you should be able to find the perfect testimonials plugin for your WordPress website. Start talking to your past clients and getting those quotes to add to your website now!
As we said, there are a large number of plugins for testimonials available. We couldn’t possibly cover all of them, but we did our utmost to list all of the best above. Please share in the comments your experiences with testimonial plugins and any others you think we may have missed!
Article thumbnail image by mayrum / shutterstock.com.