Update March 2019: To continue to bring you the best and most up-to-date information, we’ve added new digital signage plugin options to this post, plus included a brief description of what digital signage refers to. If you run a business with a physical storefront or office, consider creating a digital signage system to attract passersby and display promotions. Contact us if you need help setting it up.
We have used WordPress as a CMS platform, blogging platform, website builder and everything else we could think of. WordPress has become our best friend in the long journey of site building and digital marketing. Having lived past its 10th birthday, WordPress continues to grow in nearly every imaginable direction. Today, we’re going to look at one of the little-known directions of WordPress: how it can be used to work with digital signage.
We’ve put the good stuff at the top so you can get to doing your own research for digital signage options for your WordPress site.
First: What Is Digital Signage?
Traditional signs that you encounter everyday include metal reflective road signs, or sign boards that have individual letters placed to create new displays. Digital signage, on the other hand, typically use LED screens to show digital images, stream videos, and rotate different advertising displays or messages. Advantages of digital signage include a high level of customization, bright eye-catching colors, and the fact that they can be read at night.
Where is digital signage more standard?
You can now see digital signage systems at schools, colleges, religious establishments, hospitals, hotels, casinos…literally everywhere you look. Their message, themes, and colors vary a lot. The only thing that is consistent is the display type. LED digital displays have a way of attracting attention no matter where people are. At bus stops, train stations, airports and even outside Wal-Mart, you will see people stopping and reading a dynamic LED sign. This is almost never the case with posters and print ads. Digital signage has its charm, which does not wash out with time.
This is mainly because WordPress has now given all users a way to connect their own sets of digital display systems to deliver the correct message at an exact time. For example – at schools, you can see digital signs display class information, extracurricular credit information, and even results. Recently, some display menu boards across the USA joined hands to spread hurricane and flooding awareness. The purpose can be multifarious, but the essence of using a digital display is more or less the same.
Digital Signage Plugins for WordPress
There are actually only a few plugins available in the WordPress plugin directory. They are:
- Foyer: Digital Signage for WordPress
- Digital Signage Press Lite or Digital Signage Press Pro
- Screenly Cast
- D-Board (in beta)
- WP Digital Signage (in beta)
Digital Signage Themes for WordPress
The WordPress free directory is a fantastic place to start looking for these amazing themes. Would you believe it, if we told you that some of the WordPress themes for digital displays are free? Even for enterprise versions, you can just download a theme or template from the repository and apply your changes. As far as we can see, the themes and their compatibility are changing along with the evolution of the current versions of the digital signage software programs. If you need some help along the way, you can find plenty of affordable WordPress developers out there to help you see your project into being.
Beauty With Added Security
WordPress has taken added steps to make the backend more secure. This brings better UX with added layers of security. Encryption of login details and authentication data is a usual practice with this CMS as a digital signage platform right now. This gives you, the user, complete control of the backend.
We have been hearing about sabotaging digital displays at kiosks and retail outlets and public places, but it is safe to say that WordPress is releasing security updates for all original plugins and themes for electronic displays.
Should You Spend Extra for Private Hosting Services?
You can choose private hosting for added security. Think of this as having an apartment of your own. You will always know who used the soap last. As opposed to a shared apartment, where you have to line up for the bathroom, and you never have any idea who was the last one to use your soap!
That is a rather simple way to understand what happens when you host your site on a public platform. Shared hosting means running with other sites. If one of them is collecting dirt, it will attract the attention of hackers. Through no fault of your own, you may lose valuable air time and credibility. Therefore, we always recommend dedicated hosting, even though it might be a little heavy on your pockets right now.
The All-New Mobile-Friendly WordPress Plugins for Digital Signage
More people are becoming inclined toward this trend due to its easy access. You can update your content on the go. Do you already have a WordPress site or CMS platform where you store your data? Do you have mobile access? Then you can change your updates, recent information, and images even as you ride the subway to the office.
The plugins make it super-easy for any owner to control the content. But this does not mean there is a lack of security! You will need to verify your credentials before signing in. However, once you are in the system, you can update all you need in real-time.
Here is what you can expect from the new versions of digital signage plugins from WordPress:
- New font integration
- New layouts and themes integration
- Complete on-screen management and control
- A well-equipped dashboard for editing the information and features
- Active video and animation options for the backgrounds
Many of the WordPress plugins come with a basic drag and drop editor. This makes it so much easier for any non-techie person to maintain their display without paying for professional help every time they need an update.
Animated content is ideal for all kinds of digital display. However, it is also true that not all CMS platforms can support animated content. WordPress is one of the very few that can support complete high-grade animation to attract almost five times more potential customers. Print ads and TVs never had the power that digital displays have right now, thanks to their cost-efficient nature, durability, and agility toward content.
Creating digital displays should never be a daunting task. When it comes to integrating your CMS platform with business software and your e-commerce site, you should always ask for professional help. This represents an investment for the future of your business that shows up as soft ROI. Many businesses in the US have already shown an inclination toward setting up digital displays in the next three years. Why should your business fall behind?