18Apr 2019

Benefits and Use of Virtual Reality in WordPress Design

Remember the Hollywood movies where you were taken on a dream ride of the much-discussed virtual reality (VR). We never expected to walk through this technology in real life. It always seemed to be a far-fetched imaginary world which we never dared to break open. However, our technology experts decided to give it a try – when we could breathe life into a variety of ‘out-of-the-box’ technologies, why not create an environment that only existed in cinema.

And thus, Virtual Reality was born. Recently, web developers and experts have been pushing hard to do something extraordinary from the norm – we have been getting access to VR headsets that are available for cheap now and there are web browsers that are compatible with VR standards to connect you to a VR experience. Virtual Reality is definitely determined to bring about a change in the way people interact and experience technology. Thanks to our professional experts bent on bringing us closer to experiencing Virtual Reality in our daily lives with ease.

But in this article, we are going to take you through the impact and use of Virtual Reality in WordPress and how this is bound to affect web design and development.

The Myth Around Virtual Reality

The general belief that revolves around VR is that it is expensive. But it is just a myth – if you own a smartphone, then VR becomes an easily accessible and affordable technology for you.

Virtual Reality and Website Support

As discussed, getting a VR headset is not a big deal. It is quite affordable! However, certain libraries are required if we are to bring about VR implementation for websites, which is being accomplished by web developers.

Virtual Reality and Related Libraries

There is a JavaScript library referred to as WebVR, which is used to gain access to Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, HTC Vive, Google Cardboard and HTC Vive across your web browser. You need no specialized apps for access to Virtual Reality with these libraries. It is accessible through Chrome and Firefox, and slowly, we can see the trend spreading far and wide.

Where does Virtual Reality Come in Web Design?

VR and web design

Have you liked the 360-degree experience that some websites out there provide? You can take a virtual tour of the location or vehicle whatever you are trying to view and experience the real feel in a virtual world. Wasn’t that an awesome experience? Slowly, many websites are introducing this experience.

Web design is being implemented in such a way that it can easily exhibit VR.

As discussed, in order to introduce Virtual Reality to websites, it requires library support and to make it available mainstream means VR headsets should be available to the public.

Now, Virtual Reality and web design are ready to merge.

A number of online businesses are already adopting Virtual Reality in their web design strategies to reach greater heights – by offering people with something extraordinary that they never expected or experienced. There are e-commerce websites that allow online customers to feel and experience their products by actually creating an in-store-like experience for them. Remember the example of vehicles that we discussed earlier in the article.

HTC Vive is being used by IKEA to give their users a tour of their virtual kitchen, which allows the users to interact with the kitchen in real life. Realtors are taking advantage of VR to provide their customers with a virtual experience of the properties that are listed on their site allowing them to experience the look of the houses in real. Similarly, tourism is another industry that is allowing potential travelers to take advantage of Virtual Reality to get a view of the hotel rooms while also allowing their customers to enjoy the difference.

The Role of WordPress in Connecting Web Design to Virtual Reality

Recently, it was declared that all WordPress.com sites are capable of supporting VR images and videos. As a designer, developer or an online business, what other news would make you happier? In fact, the hundreds of millions of users of WordPress.com will now have access to VR images and videos, or VR-enabled content. This means that WordPress is taking an initiative at pushing VR to the mainstream. Plugins allow you to add interesting features and functionalities to your sites, which attract consumers.

So now, developers are creating VR experiences across self-hosted WordPress plugins as well. Here is a look into those plugins:

VR Views

VR views

With VR views, we have VR views library, which is maintained by Google. It flaunts compatibility with Google Cardboard. You can now embed 360-degree images and videos within your website with this. You now have functionality that could help tackle responsive design challenges, ensuring that your site works across devices of all screen sizes.

WP-VR-View

With this, you can transition from the regular mode to the Google Cardboard mode while also controlling the VR hardware.

Being a VR developer gives you much power on appealing and attracting your people along with visitors and consumers of your site. The following could be food for thought:

  • Implementing a VR experience of your WordPress site could be helpful in what ways.
  • The cost of creating a VR experience – will it be affordable or expensive?
  • Can you wait till the VR experience is ready before your site goes live?

There are numerous ways in which you can create Virtual Reality for WordPress. But before that, it is vital to have a clear picture of how much effort would be needed for the same. It is important to have an understanding of the tools that can be used from within or outside WordPress to help create and add VR experience to your site.

How do we do this?

The WebVR or the JavaScript API helps web developers to create VR experiences for the web. It provides documentation for creating VR experiences that fit well into VR headsets – regardless of whether your users are using computers or smartphones to experience the VR. A large number of VR experiences are aligned across the WebVR API. One of the most popular examples is Vizor – which provides 360-degree experiences.

MozVR

MozVR

Another API is MozVR. The browser, Mozilla embedded WebVR API to collaborate and give birth to its own A-Frame web framework, which would help create a strong tool, which is easy-to-use and would help developers to create great design experiences by embedding HTML.

React VR

This is the best choice for WordPress developers planning to create enhanced 360-degree experiences embedding in JavaScript. React VR is from Facebook, their VR. You can find a guide on GitHub, which will give you all the essential information to get started with the proprietary source code on creating VR experiences for your WordPress sites.

Matterport

A 3D camera or scanner, that is Matterport, unlike the software or framework option, that is available otherwise. All you have to do is purchase the camera – it might be expensive, but is the best option to help you simplify the process of video creation. Also, you would have to pay for the cloud storage, where the VR videos will be hosted. Embed your 3D video within your site and you are all set to go ahead! With this tailor-made VR experience, that is also stored on a third-party place, you can easily reach out to your consumers.

WordPress Shortcode Embed

WordPress Shortcode

WordPress came up with WordPress Shortcode embed, which offers VR integration options for its paid users. Here, paid users to refer to WordPress.org users (self-hosted) along with users who have got premium WordPress.com memberships. Upload your 360-degree images or videos to WordPress.

360° Panoramic Image Viewer Plugin

This is the best option for 360-degree images. It is a premium WordPress plugin. It has the capability to transform your images or videos into appealing experiences. Also, it provides you with an option to create hotspots within the VR from within WordPress. Also, the plugin comes with a shortcode generator available within your Tiny MCE editor – which does not need you to be concerned about embedding this content within your site.

WordPress developers and designers are always on the hunt for creating or devising new ways or methods to impress their visitors. There are a few points to consider before you actually implement VR on your site.

  • What kind of a VR experience is required for your site? Or is a VR experience imperative for your business?
  • The cost that would be involved for his process along with the time taken to develop it – think whether the effort and resource investment would be worth it – considering all positives and negatives

In fact, if VR is blended well with WordPress, magic is created and this comes with a large array of benefits.

Benefits of Virtual Reality in WordPress

Benefits of VR in WordPress

  • The best part of having VR embedded in WordPress is that it offers experiences that you cannot get over any other media. You need no special hardware or apps to access VR in WordPress. All that the user needs is a mouse to click or scroll through VR experience.
  • It gives users more power over the content.
  • The experience and feel of a product can be easily enjoyed by users or consumers
  • It is capable of enhancing consumer engagement – which thereby reduces bounce rates and this is best for search engines.

Acodez IT Solutions is a web development and web design company in India offering web-related services to our clients in India and abroad. We are also a digital marketing agency offering inbound marketing solutions at affordable prices to help take your business to the next level. For further inquiries, please contact us today.

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Rajeesh PK

Rajeesh PK

Rajeesh P.K. is the Director and Creative Head at Acodez . With an experience of 10+ years in UX Design & User Interface Design, when coupled with his expert coding skills in HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript, makes him one of the top UX Architects in India, with more than 15 international awards to his credit.

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1 Comment

  1. Rahul

    This is very helpful post thanks for share it…

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