Gamifying your WordPress site is great for increasing user engagement and boosting the user loyalty. A good way to do this is to add a user points system in WordPress that allows users to earn points when taking certain actions, such as visiting your site, posting a comment, and submitting a post.
An effective points system not only encourages your users to interact on your site more often, but also helps increase your sales if you have an online store and allow users to use their points when shopping in the store.
There are some plugins available which make it easy to add a points system in WordPress. Among these choices, we recommend the one named WordPoints to beginners who need a simple while efficient system. This plugin gains 5 stars from user ratings. Below is a detailed tutorial for using it.
Set up a Points System with WordPoints
When you have installed the plugin, you will notice that a menu item named “WordPoints” is added to the sidebar menu. Now you should take the following steps.
Step 1: Add your own points type
This could be done by visiting “WordPoints” > “Points Hooks”. There are two columns on the hooks page. In the left column, you can see the available hooks, and in the right column, a blank form is there requiring finishing.
Now you should add a new points type by:
- Giving the points type a name. You can also add a prefix or suffix to the name if there is a need.
- Adding hooks to the points type.
Hooks refer to the actions that you want your users to take to gain points. As is seen on the page, WordPoints currently comes with 5 hooks, so you can reward users with certain points when they register with your site, visit your site, publish a new post, leave a comment and receive a comment on the posts they published.
For the “Registration” hook to work, your site needs to allow user registration, and for “Post Publish”, you have to allow users to submit posts. Or these hooks will not function.
After understanding the hooks, you should first decide which hooks you want to enable, and then drag and drop the hooks to the right column one by one. When a hook is dragged to the new points type, you need to change the points and some other settings of it. For example, the “Post Publish” hook requires you to select one or multiple post types, and the “Periodic Points” needs you to select a frequency from hourly, daily, weekly and monthly.
You can add multiple points types as you like and assign different hooks and points to them.
Step 2: Change the plugin settings
WordPoints does not come with many settings. But if you have created multiple points types, you have to go to “WordPoints” > “Configure” to select a default type.
Besides, if you have created testing accounts, you’d better exclude those users from the points logs to guarantee the proper working of the plugin.
Now you have set up a points system for your WordPress site successfully. After some time, you will be able to see which users have earned how many points in the “Points Logs” sub-menu.
Display the User Points on Your Site
WordPoints offers multiple easy ways for displaying user points.
Use a widget
Go to “Appearance” > “Widgets”, and you will see the following three new widgets.
- WordPoints. With this widget enabled, logged-in users can see how many points they have obtained.
- Points Logs. This widget shows the recent activities that users have performed to get rewarded. You can decide how many entries to display at one time.
- WordPoints Top Users. This widget allows you to display the top users with the most points. You can choose how many users to display in the top list.
To use any of these widgets, simply drag it to a widget area. You need to give the widget a title and make some necessary but simple settings. For example, the WordPoints widget comes with several options including the points type, the widget text, and the number of the latest log entries.
Use a shortcode
Besides widgets, you can also use shortcodes to display user points in posts or pages. What you are able to do with the shortcodes include:
- Displaying a user’s total points.
- Displaying the top users.
- Displaying the points logs.
- Displaying the ways how users can obtain points.
- Displaying the current rank of a logged-in user.
The shortcodes for accomplishing these tasks can be found in this guide on WordPoints.org.
Make Use of the Modules
In addition to the built-in features, WordPoints also comes with some additional modules which you can install to bring more possibilities to your points system. The available modules allow you to:
- Reset the user points on a scheduled date or on demand.
- Add integration with WooCommerce so that users can consume their points in your store.
- Import statistics from CubePoints.
- And so on.
Note that some of the modules are not free, so you should decide for yourself whether you really need them.