Table Of Contents
Attracting a loyal website audience over time is all about details. The more small but useful touches you can build into your pages, the higher the chances are that visitors will favor your site over others. Luckily, WordPress’ power and flexibility mean there are all sorts of options for taking care of this.
One possibility that can be beneficially worked into a lot of different type of sites is providing weather information to your visitors by using a weather plugin.
In this article, we’ll introduce the nine best WordPress options available for filling your users in on what to expect from the weather gods. We’ve split our picks into three broad categories to make it easier for you to find the right solution.
Before we crack on to our selections, let’s take a minute to cover just why weather widgets can be such a great fit for many sites.
Why Install Weather Plugins?
This might surprise some readers, but one of the most popular activities on the internet is checking the weather – up to 81% of browsers search for forecast data every day. Maybe it shouldn’t be that surprising, after all weather is a constant topic of discussion worldwide and has been a conversational crutch since time immemorial.
With that amount of goal-driven attention there to be captured, it makes sense to save your users a trip by displaying weather data directly on your site. There’s a reason huge sites like the BBC, New York Times and Yahoo! all put weather information front and center on their pages – it’s a great way of keeping users sticking around longer on a site and stopping them from bouncing off elsewhere just to check the forecast.
A nicely integrated weather widget will give visitors one less reason to browse to other locations and offers a nice personalization touch to your site that makes them feel at home. If it’s not wildly out of character with the rest of your site, you can consider it a small courtesy to your users that many will appreciate.
Let’s start drilling into our examples now, starting with a set of three straightforward, stripped-down options.
Simple, Easy-to-Use Weather Plugins
Installing a WordPress weather widget doesn’t have to be complicated. Sometimes, your main goal is simply finding an unobtrusive solution that gives users the information they’re after without distracting attention away from the core content of your site.
As a busy site owner, you’re probably also looking for a plugin with an easy interface that doesn’t require massive amounts of configuration. The following three plugins are all great options for getting up and running quickly and with a minimum of hassle.
WeatherSlider WP is a premium weather plugin that supports data for three days of forecasts and enables site owners to select between 12 and 24-hour time formats. An underlying API enables the plugin to display regularly updated weather information in 48 different modes with an impressive selection of graphical effects and transitions. You can preview many of these in the plugin’s online demo.
WeatherSlider WP supports numerous sliders and can show information for various different locations within a single slider. What’s more, you can add a custom search bar together with geolocation enable visitors to search for information directly relevant to their location.
Weather Layer is a WordPress plugin that enables you to display a layer on a page outlining weather information for a chosen city. It uses the highly reliable Yahoo! Weather API and can be tweaked to match your precise needs. You’re limited to one location with this plugin, but it could be a great fit for sites with a strong local focus.
Using Weather Layer is as simple as entering the right shortcode. For example, if you were displaying information for New York, you’d insert: [weatherlayer country=”USA” city=”NewYork”]. The result should be a single horizontal layer showing real-time New York weather information.
3. My Weather
The My Weather plugin ships with a fairly standard set of weather-related functionality and enables site owners to customize its display with a selection of layouts, designs, and colors. You can also select between Centigrade and Fahrenheit options for display. The plugin uses the Open Weather database under the hood and you can see it in action on the plugin’s demo page.
Many site owners place enormous value on visual appearance in terms of selecting plugins and widgets to use on their site and it’s not hard to see why. You’re looking to put your best foot forward with your site after all and first impressions count. The following set of three plugins will appeal to those with an eye for design.
4. POWr Weather
Easy to install, easy to use, and packed with aesthetic appeal, the POWr Weather plugin enables you to track and display live forecasts for any location. Whether you choose the free or premium solution, the POWr Weather plugin is a beautiful responsive and customizable option that will look great on any device.
You can choose to monitor wind speed, cloud cover, and humidity and have plenty of options for personalizing backgrounds, colors, fonts and more. The premium version permits the removal of all watermarks and branding for a more professional appearance and also comes with access to a page view counter for performance analysis.
As the name suggests, the Awesome Weather Widget is packed with lots of settings and customization options to choose from to make sure it looks amazing on any website when deployed in the sidebar or footer.
Once added, the Awesome Weather Widget tracks a viewer’s location using their IP address, allowing it to display real-time weather forecasts relevant to their location. The Awesome Weather widget also permits customization of how many days of data you’d like to show.
One of the most attractive weather plugins available for WordPress, Weather Underground is packed full of useful features and customization options – full documentation is available at the project’s Github page. Weather Underground relies on the Wunderground API to power its forecasts which is brought to you by the team behind the Weather Channel so you know you’re in safe hands.
Some site owners will be looking to pull out all the stops with their weather plugins and want to go to town with the most information possible. The following set of plugins will satisfy even the most demanding of data nerds.
Wp-forecast sources its data from AccuWeather and WeatherBug and provides multi-day (up to nine days) forecasts based on user location. It also offers real-time info on current conditions including wind speed, humidity and air pressure.
8. WP Cloudy
Based off the Open Weather Map API, WP Cloudy is another flexible option with comprehensive customization options and the ability to use Custom Post Types. This WordPress weather widget makes use of geolocation tracking information to display the latest relevant forecast information to visitors from over 134,000 cities world-wide.
Because it is highly-customizable, WP Cloudy allows you to really get specific in terms of setting things up just right for your site. For example, you can choose between displaying seven or 14 day forecasts, and switch between metric and imperial measurements with ease.
WP Cloudy provides custom caching options and also offers a small number of premium add-ons such as advanced geolocation search features. The plugin is WPML compatible and optimized for responsive display and retina devices.
The ICIT Weather Widget also pulls its data from the Open Weather Map API. This widget can be easily tailored to suit your theme. Simply drop it into your sidebar and you have a flexible solution that won’t take too much attention from your primary content.
The ICIT Weather Widget can be configured according to your chosen country and city, and site owners have the option of deciding whether to show a “compact” display, or go for a more comprehensive display of the next three days’ forecast.
You’ve got options for getting very specific in terms of simply setting default daytime and nighttime colors, can switch between metric and imperial displays with ease and can get your hands dirty with custom CSS quite simply.
No matter what type of site you run, providing small extra options like a well-integrated weather widget is the sort of seemingly minor touch that makes users stick around. The more you show that you are willing to go the extra mile for your audience, the more likely they are to reward you for your efforts.
Our selection of weather-related plugins gives you a full range of options to choose for your site. From aesthetically pleasing solutions designed to catch the eye, to simple options that inform without stealing the spotlight, there’s a perfect option on our list for everyone.
Remember, this is a subjective list – we may have missed some contenders. We’d love to hear from you if that’s the case. If you have any tips on integrating weather plugins, we’d also love to learn more. Get in touch via the comments and share your knowledge!
Article thumbnail image by da_o / shutterstock.com.