A WordPress accordion plugin lets you write long articles on your WordPress site, without smothering the user without too much information.
Like a table of contents, you can use an accordion plugin to help users navigate your website efficiently, allowing them to extract the important bits and ignore the rest if it’s not relevant to them. In fact, both the table of contents and accordions compete with each other, and I’ll also show you which to use and when.
Finally, a good WordPress accordion plugin is important because it not only looks good on a website but it helps a user stay engaged on your site and not bounce immediately. When a user hits a page and then immediately leaves, that tells Google that they couldn’t find what they are looking for easily. So good organization through a WordPress accordion plugin not only makes your look great but it could help your SEO too!
So without further ado, let’s take a look at three options for WordPress according plugins.
1. Easy Accordion
I like the Easy Accordion plugin, because it’s been around for a few years, has regular updates, is easy to use, and has lots of users + great reviews. This has been my personal go-to WordPress according plugin on my WordPress site.
To use the Easy Accordion plugin, download and install it from the link I gave above. Once you’ve activated the plugin, you’ll see a new section on the left-hand side of your WordPress dashboard as shown here:
Click “Add New”, and you’ll come to the accordion creation screen. You’ll find the process of creating a new accordion block very intuitive. As shown below, give your accordion a name, and start adding items. The first field is the heading of the item which your users will see, and the second field is the accordion content that the plugin will hide and show as needed.
Here’s a screenshot to see what it looks like:
To add more, click “Add New Item” below and add as many as you want. When you’re done, save your changes. At the bottom of this screen, you’ll see the shortcode that you can use to insert the accordion plugin into your WordPress posts:
When you want to insert this into one of your web pages, use the “Shortcode” block to add the shortcode. Here’s what it looks like when you publish the post:
As you can see, the creation and display of the accordion block using the Easy Accordion plugin is indeed quite easy. Even if you’ve never installed a WordPress plugin before, you shouldn’t have any problems figuring out how to use it this WordPress accordion plugin.
Free and Paid Version
The Easy Accordion plugin is free to use, and it works just fine without the paid version. However, the paid version for $29 brings a lot of additional features.
You can choose from several themes, and enable advanced features such as Ajax pagination, and more. If you create accordion content regularly throughout your site, it might be well worth the cost to purchase the paid version – but you don’t need it for your WordPress website.
2. Shortcodes Ultimate Plugin
The Shortcodes Ultimate plugin gives you access to a huge range of shortcodes – not just the accordion plugin. Moreover, I like it because each accordion doesn’t create a database entry, and you don’t need to “manage” the accordions. This makes sense since I’m guessing that in most situations, you wouldn’t need to reuse the same accordions.
Once you’ve downloaded the Shortcodes Ultimate plugin, open a new post or page for editing, and you should see a new icon on the top toolbar as shown here:
Clicking this will bring up the entire list of shortcodes available to you. Search for “accordion” and click the highlighted result as shown here:
Find the Accordion Shortcode
Now this is the hard part. Once you click the accordion shortcode, the plugin will insert a blob of code into your post that looks like this:
Configuring the Shortcode
Unlike with the previous plugin, there’s no pretty interface to write the titles and content. As shown above, you have to manually modify and add the content pieces.
You can customize the accordion by modifying the values using the documentation and custom CSS, but the hassle might not be worth it for everyone.
Here’s the final accordion output for the Shortcodes Ultimate plugin:
Shortcodes Ultimate Accordion in the Post
I like how it looks, and I appreciate the fact that I don’t have to create a reusable accordion that takes up database space. But I understand this might not be for everyone, so I’m classifying this as bit more complex of a WordPress according plugin but the added flexibility to basically create unlimited accordions without database space is nice.
3. Accordion FAQ
This Accordion FAQ plugin is similar to the first Easy Accordion plugin. I find the interface even more straightforward in comparison. However, like Easy Accordion, it creates new database entries that you have to paste into the content via a shortcode.
Getting started with this WordPress accordion plugin is easy. After downloading and installing Accordion FAQ, you’ll find the options on the right-hand side, like this:
Responsive Accordion FAQ on the WordPress Dashboard
Click “Add New Accordion”, and you’ll come to the main accordion creation screen. Here you’ll find a series of boxes, each of which represents a single accordion item. Fill these out, and add more as necessary:
Add Accordion Items
Here you can choose the icon that sits to the left of each accordion item, as well as the precise positioning. If you want, you can also open the WYSIWYG editor for more control over the HTML of each item, so you get exactly the right formatting.
When you’re done editing the list of items, scroll down to find the shortcode you need to insert your accordion block into your post:
Accordion FAQ Shortcode
After adding the shortcode, you can see how it looks in the final result after publishing:
Accordion FAQ in Action
As you can see, it looks pretty good. In the accordion editor, you can also customize the CSS for the elements if you want. With this, you have unlimited control over the layout. On the right-hand side of the editor, you’ll also find various options for controlling the accordion layout to make it behave exactly in the way you want.
Free or Paid Versions?
One thing you might have noticed about all of these plugins is that they have a paid version in addition to the free one. This is a good sign because it means that the authors will keep updating the plugin instead of abandoning it. And with so many users for each of them, you can be sure that they’ll remain lucrative sources of revenue for the authors. Who knew WordPress accordion plugins could make some serious cash?
The free versions are good enough for casual use, or even professional use if you don’t demand too many features. But the pro versions take your accordions to the next level and let you craft professional designs that will impress your viewers.
You Need Only Pay Once
One thing to keep in mind is that even for the pro versions of these plugins, you don’t need to subscribe to the yearly updates. Just paying once is sufficient to unlock all the pro features. The yearly fee is for the maintenance of pro versions, but if you’re satisfied with how everyone works, then there’s no need to update them. These WordPress accordion plugins aren’t likely to cause security problems on your site, so keeping them at the same version is fairly low risk!
Accordions vs Table of Contents Plugins
While WordPress accordion plugins and table of contents plugins have similarities, they’re quite different in their use cases. A table of contents (TOC) plugin is used to structure your entire article, whereas an accordion plugin is meant to structure only small slices of your content within the article. You can use accordions for frequently asked questions, each of which has a response of only a few lines. This way, you can use both TOC plugins as well as accordion plugins to make long articles easily digestible.
Final Thoughts On These WordPress According Plugins
Hopefully you’ve been able to find the right WordPress according plugin for your site and level of expertise with WordPress. There are a lot of options as this is one of the basic functional elements of any site. A WordPress accordion plugin can make all the difference, regardless if you decide to fool with custom CSS and all the complexities or not!
I’m a NameHero team member, and an expert on WordPress and web hosting. I’ve been in this industry since 2008. I’ve also developed apps on Android and have written extensive tutorials on managing Linux servers. You can contact me on my website WP-Tweaks.com!