A common situation in web design is having a lot of content to display on a single page. Displaying it in the usual way would force the visitor to scroll a lot trough the page and reduce the user experience. A good practice to solve this problem is to expand and collapse the content using a WordPress Accordion Plugin We reviewed the most popular accordion plugins to help you choose the right one for your project.
What can you do with a WordPress Accordion Plugin
The primary function of an accordion is to keep some content hidden on a web page until the “expand button” is pressed. The “expand button” is usually the hidden content’s title but it can also be a Read more button in some cases. When “expand button” is clicked, the WordPress Accordion Plugin will expand the area under or above it (depending on the plugin) and show the hidden content.
The areas of application of accordions in WordPress are quite extensive. Frequently accordions are used to create FAQ sections or display additional information on topic already described. It’s also frequently used on web shops to display additional product details. Since in most cases accordions can display not just text but any kind of content, they can be used to contain photo galleries, embedded videos, contact forms, documents etc.
How we performed our WordPress Accordion Plugin test
There’s a dozen of free accordion plugins available in the WordPress Plugin Repository. We made a selection of five most popular plugins among developers and compared their performance. Each WordPress Accordion Plugin was tested by the following criteria:
- ease of installation and setting up
- ease of implementation into pages, posts and template files
- visual appearance and overall performance
- advanced functions
- loading speed
Expandable and collapsable accordions are easily created using one of the many plugins available. Our review will help you choose the right one for your project.
Collapse-O-Matic Plugin for WordPress
Collapse-O-Matic by TwinPictures is the most popular free WordPress Accordion Plugin with over 70.000 active installations. More than 200 developers rated this plugin with a 5.0 average vote. The plugin is frequently updated and compatible with the latest version of WordPress.
Upon Collapse-O-Matic installation, you can customize a couple of preferences available within the WordPress dashboard Settings section. Those preferences mostly control the plugin’s behavior with almost no options to customize the accordion’s visual appearance. This WordPress accordion plugin will work well out of the box, so in most cases you can skip customizing any preferences. The implementation of this plugin into posts and pages is quite simple. All you have to do is wrap the content you want to collapse inside shortcodes and edit the section’s title inside the opening shortcode.
The downside of this plugin is a rather discrete visual appearance without any preferences to customize. That could be a problem for non-coders and less experienced developers, but with some knowledge of CSS you can style the look of the accordion the way you like it.
The Collapse-O-Matic WordPress accordion plugin is very lightweight and generates only a couple of server requests. This makes it suitable for projects where the website loading speed matters a lot.
- very lightweight
- simple to use, but suitable for more advanced users
- discrete appearance
- no visual styling options
- usually needs additional CSS styling
Accordions expand and collapse content plugin
Accordions by PickPlugins is another quite popular free WordPress accordion plugin with over 30.000 active installations and a 4.5 average vote. The plugin gets frequent updates and it’s compatible with the latest WP version.
When installed, the Accordions plugin gets it’s own tab in the WordPress Dashboard menu, where you can customize a couple of settings and manage your accordions or accordion groups. The accordion editor has quite extensive but straight forward visual preferences to customize. That means this WordPress accordion plugin is suitable for non coders who will manage to perfectly customize the appearance of the accordions according to their needs. The expansion of the collapsed content can be activated both by click or hover. There’s also support for Font Awesome icons which can be used for the accordion’s open and closed state. After the accordion is published, you can insert it anywhere in your website using a shortcode containing the accordion’s id.
The downside of this plugin is that it usually generates more than 13 server requests which is considered not too lightweight. The plugin could partly affect your website’s loading speed so if you’re optimizing for speed, you might consider using another plugin. In the other hand, the Accordions plugin has a very nice visual appearance and overall performance, which compensates for a bit slower loading times.
- extensive visual customization options
- clean editor user interface
- suitable for beginners
- nice visual appearance
- triggering on click or hover
- Font Awesome support for open and close icons
- less lightweight than similar plugins
Accordion FAQ expand and collapse content plugin
Accordion FAQ by WP ShopSmart with over 30.000 active installations is another WordPress plugin frequently used to expand and collapse the content. Over 400 developers rated this plugin with a 4.5 average vote. The plugin is compatible with the latest WordPress version and it’s regularly updated.
Accordion FAQ, also known as Responsive Accordion is primary imagined as a plugin to build expandable FAQ blocks. Nevertheless, this WordPress Accordion Plugin is suited to create any kind of expandable content blocks. Upon installation, Accordion FAQ gets it’s own tab in the WP Dashboard menu with it’s own accordion editor and manager. There are no plugin settings to customize, so you can start creating accordions right away.
The accordion editor is pretty straight forward and easily understandable for non coders and less experienced users. The default look of the accordions is quite nice and there are plenty of visual customization options with useful tooltips that will help you customize each option. The plugin supports Font Awesome icons as item descriptions and accordion expansion on click or hover. After an accordion is published, you can add it anywhere on your website using a id defined shortcode. Even though this plugin works very nice, we didn’t like the editor user interface, a bit too overcrowded with banners and ads.
Our tested configuration of this WordPress accordion plugin generated only 5-6 server requests, which is considered quite lightweight. In other words, using the Accordion FAQ plugin won’t significantly affect your website’s loading speed.
- extensive visual customization options
- suitable for beginners, with tooltips
- nice default visual appearance
- expand on click or hover
- Font Awesome support for item descriptions
- accordion editor user interface overcrowded with banners and ads
Show-Hide / Collapse-Expand Plugin for WordPress
Show-Hide / Collapse-Expand by BunteGiraffe has over 10.000 active installations and a 4.5 average vote in the WordPress Plugin Repository. It is regularly updated and compatible with the latest WP version.
Upon installation, the plugin settings are accessible trough the Tools tab in the WP Dashboard Menu. Not quite much to customize in there except choosing between a couple of animation styles. Similarly to the previously described Collapse-O-Matic, this plugin doesn’t have a separate accordion editor, but you wrap the content you want to hide inside opening and closing shortcodes. All accordion customization is done by editing parameters inside the opening shortcode. That means that the Show-Hide / Collapse-Expand plugin is more suitable for advanced users than for beginners. Nevertheless, even non-coders will be able to customize the plugin behavior trough a dedicated button inside the Gutenberg editor Classic block.
Even though the customization options are not quite extensive as in some other plugins, Show-Hide / Collapse-Expand has some cool features of it’s own. This WordPress accordion plugin can make the expansion button stick to the bottom of the accordion, which can be a useful feature in some projects. Also it allows you to use different text for the button’s opened and closed state. The visual appearance of accordions is not the best we’ve seen around and it might need some additional CSS coding to style it to perfection.
The Show-Hide / Collapse-Expand plugin generated 9 server requests on our speed test, which is a bit less lightweight than some of the competitor plugins. In other words, usage of this WordPress accordion plugin could slightly affect your website’s loading speed.
- open-close button can stick to the bottom of the accordion
- different button description for open and closed state
- no separate accordion editor (suitable for advanced users)
- Gutenberg Classic block button (suitable for beginners)
- outdated default look
- might need additional CSS styling
- modestly lightweight
Easy Accordion expand and collapse content for WP
Easy Accordion by ShapedPlugin is another expand and collapse content WordPress plugin worth considering. Over 10.000 active installations and a 4.5 average vote are a good recommendation. Same as other tested plugins, Easy Accordion is frequently updated and compatible with the latest version of WordPress.
This WordPress accordion plugin is suitable for beginners and non coders since it comes with it’s own accordion editor accessible trough the WP Dashboard Menu. The editor is simple and straight forward with enough, but not too many customization options. The default look of the accordions is quite nice and you can quickly and easily adjust it to your needs. Once the accordion or group of accordions is published, you can easily add it anywhere on your website using a dedicated shortcode. This plugin could be a good solution for those looking for a simple to use and quick to set up solution.
With 6 generated server requests on our test, we consider this WordPress accordion plugin quite lightweight. It won’t significantly affect your website’s loading speed.
- simple to use and suitable for beginners
- accordion editor user interface
- nice default look
- only the basic set of visual customization options in the free version
Which Expand Collapse WordPress Plugin should you choose?
All reviewed accordion plugins are among the most popular and most used by developers. Instead of declaring the overall winner, we’d rather recommend when to use each plugin according to their specific features. We compiled the following guidelines to help you choosing the right WordPress Accordion Plugin for your specific project.
- Collapse-O-Matic: the most lightweight plugin for projects where loading speed matters, suitable for more advanced users
- Accordions: not lightweight but suitable for beginners with extensive visual customization options
- Accordion FAQ: both lightweight and simple to use, suitable for beginners with a bit too overcrowded editor user interface
- Show-Hide / Collapse-Expand: suitable for more experienced users and those in need of features such as different open and close button text or sticking the open/close button to the bottom of the accordion
- Easy Accordion: lightweight, easy and quick to use plugin, suitable for most situations but with modest visual appearance customization options
For more WordPress plugin reviews and recommendations please visit our website’s WP Plugins section.