If you have a business, it has a history. And it’s a good idea to show off that history and build trust with your audience. But there’s a caveat. It has to be engaging! While bullet points of timeline text can be pretty snoozy, a visual timeline can be delightful. So when it comes to website timelines, my advice is to make it visual and exciting, and maybe even interactive!
A visual website timeline lets you consolidate your history, accomplishments and milestones in a way that is really engaging and fun, showing your presence and success visually over time.
Visual timelines get two thumbs up because they:
- Show your history (dates, milestones, growth) in a digestible format
- Visually get your point across without boring your audience
- Add an element that’s interesting and beautiful (and effective, of course)
- Let you keep adding content as you grow (which is great for SEO)
Three WordPress timeline examples—and when to use each…
Here are my most favorite ways (so far!) to do website timelines:
Have a lot of important milestones to share (more than 8), but don’t want to take up lots of space? Use a horizontal timeline for minimum space and maximum impact! A horizontal timeline scrolls or advances—you got it, horizontally—and it’s the perfect fit for a dense About page when you have more to say, but not much room.
Have fewer items to share (6–9), and want users to access it easily by scrolling down? A vertical timeline is excellent for sharing a small amount of items in a really impactful manner. It can serve as a visual centerpiece! This format is powerful, but since users are scrolling to engage with it, you don’t want it to go on forever. Unless it’s on a page specifically for the timeline—then scroll all you want! If the timeline is on the About page, I like to limit vertical timelines to 8 points or less for maximum user-friendliness.
Masonry / Pinterest-style timelines
Love a Pinterest-style layout and have mega milestones (20+) to share? The masonry style provides a clear, fun visual representation. By stacking, we can display lots of items in one space, and also make certain some items more prominent by using images or different sizing. While horizontal or vertical scrolling would be tedious for this many info-pieces, a Masonry timelines gives readers a quick sense of the magnitude of your achievements, and lets them focus-in on what matters to them (or get pulled visually to what matters most to you).
So, there you have it! I developed all of these WordPress timeline examples. In my opinion, the best website timeline is a custom-created one!
I love a good website timeline—and I always custom-create them, because I don’t want clients to be held back by the visual and technical limitations of timeline plugins. A custom timeline provides:
- Flexibility: When I build timelines, I make sure they are easy to update and organize, so if you decide you need to reorder items, change dates, or delete, you will have all the flexibility you need.
- Aesthetics: With a custom timeline, design can completely reflect the rest of the site.
- Speed: While a plugin might be fine from a functionality and visual perspective, it can be bulky. My custom timelines keep the site moving fast.
- Possibilities: While I love these timelines, maybe there’s more I haven’t found yet! (Diagonal or circular, anyone?)
As always, custom WordPress design is better.
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