Best FAQ Plugins for WordPress Reviewed

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I have tested some of the most popular and free FAQ Plugins for WordPress so that you don’t have to. If you’re looking to create a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page, section or widget on your WordPress website then this article is for you.

Generally you do not need a plugin to build a simple FAQ page on your website, because when you get down to it, it is a simple set of questions and answers.

For example our PhotoFrame WP Theme for Photographers – you can easily create a minimalist FAQ page without having to bother with an extra plugin.

Thanks to its proper styling of HTML tags, you can simply create a list of questions using the following markup:

<h2>Put your question here</h2>
<p>Put your answer here</p>

<h2>Put your question here</h2>
<p>Put your answer here</p>

<h2>Put your question here</h2>
<p>Put your answer here</p>

What’s the correct HTML markup for a FAQ section?

Opinions vary on what’s the semantically correct HTML markup for a FAQ section.
Should you write it as a ordered/unordered list (<ul></ul> <ol></ol>)?
Should you use a definition list (<dl><dt></dt></dl>)?

Personally I am inclined to use a simple combination of headings and paragraphs as shown above. But if you’re willing to read up on this topic then I recommend these pages:

Now that we got this out of the way, onward with our review!


List of WordPress Plugins to be Reviewed

  1. Ultimate FAQ
  2. HTML5 Responsive FAQ
  3. Quick and Easy FAQs
  4. Accordion FAQ
  5. Arconix FAQ
  6. WP responsive FAQ with category plugin
  7. Spider FAQ
  8. Tab – Accordion, FAQ
  9. Genesis Simple FAQ

The Plugin Review Process

I will be testing the most popular free FAQ plugins that are currently available in the official WordPress.org Plugin repository using the sample questions from the screenshot above. Let’s see if we can make our list of questions look better than the plain text version.

I’m hoping to determine when and how to use these plugins, which ones work using shortcodes, which ones come with custom widgets, etc.

For this review I will continue using my PhotoFrame Theme, just to keep things consistent. The theme’s default page content width is 660 pixels, but in Full Width mode it goes up to 1100 pixels. In both cases there are no sidebars to distract us, so we can focus on our FAQ section.


1. Ultimate FAQ

Ultimate FAQ is the most used FAQ WordPress plugin, so we’ll start with it.

Without any configuration or changing any of the plugin’s settings, I have quickly created my 6 questions (as separate posts of the FAQ custom post type).

This is the result after inserting the plugin’s default [ultimate-faqs] shortcode into a regular page without any changes or customization:

Clicking the large plus signs opens up each question separately. Each click is tracked by the plugin and the website administrator can see the number of hits (views) that each question got.

The theme comes with a bunch of settings and options, but many of them are locked and are available only to users of the Ultimate FAQ PRO plugin version. A single site license currently costs $30.

One of the things that I dislike about this Settings panel is that it is not immediately clear which options are available and which ones are locked. It takes a minute to go through them and fully understand the possibilities and limitations.

What I preferred to do is the following: I disabled the FAQ toggle, as I don’t see a good reason to make the visitor click on each question, as in this particular case I have plenty of space to display all questions and answers immediately.

Custom FAQ Widgets

The plugin provides five! (5) custom widgets, which sounds like an overkill: Popular FAQs, Random FAQ, Recent FAQs, UFAQ FAQ Category List, UFAQ FAQ ID List.

An issue that immediately jumped to mind is that these widgets don’t use the proper widget title markup as defined by the theme. It simply wraps the widget’s title in a H3 tag, which is not ideal. This will likely cause styling issues in most WordPress themes, both free and paid.

In my theme I define my widgetized areas with these settings:

'before_title' => '<p class="widget-title"><span class="page-title-span">', 
'after_title' => '</span></p>',

Because the plugin doesn’t honor these settings, when adding these custom widgets they don’t look ideal:

Performance Footprint

When the plugin is active it loads 2 CSS files in the header on all pages, even the ones that don’t have anything to do with the FAQ section.
When you are on the FAQ page it loads an extra JavaScript file in the header.

Conclusion about Ultimate FAQ Plugin

It is a plugin that you can get started with very quickly. I did not have to search around for help or documentation, everything was pretty intuitive.

It is surprising to me that a plugin as popular as Ultimate FAQ has built-in widgets that are so poorly written. Instead of 5 widgets there could easily be just 2, and as a theme developer it pains me to see that they don’t honor the theme’s widget title markup.

Another thing that I dislike however is the aggressive promotion of the PRO version of the plugin: you’re constantly reminded that you can buy a license for it.

Moving on to the next plugin.


2. HTML5 Responsive FAQ

The process was the same: I’ve created my 6 question posts and then added the [hrf_faqs] shortcode. This is the result:

The plugin comes with a very simple settings page that provides very little customization potential. The options are mostly about font styling: size and color.

Custom FAQ Widgets

Not available.

Performance Footprint

The plugin loads an additional JavaScript file on all pages.
The plugin also makes 2 additional HTTP queries to 2 images on all pages: open.png and close.png (plus and minus signs). Why not a sprite?

Conclusion about HTML5 Responsive FAQ Plugin

A light plugin without many bells and whistles. If you need to create a simple page with a collapsible list of questions (or other items) then this plugin could be for you.

Unfortunately it comes without the option of displaying the list of questions in expanded mode by default.


3. Quick and Easy FAQs

The initial impression of this plugin was not a good one: the Settings page that is linked to on the Plugins page results in a WordPress error:
“Cannot load quick_and_easy_faqs.”. So that link doesn’t work right now.

After creating my 6 questions I have discovered that there are no instructions on how to actually include them on the page. I had to go to the plugin’s page on WordPress.org to find the correct shortcode: [faqs].

And then I was pleasantly surprised by the result:

So far this is my favorite output of the questions list, so that’s good.

The plugin’s Settings page is simple and provides only color controls. But I don’t think that I need to do anything about it, as I’m perfectly happy with everything as is.

Custom FAQ Widgets

Not available.

Performance Footprint

The plugin loads 2 CSS files and one JavaScript file in the header only on the page that has the FAQ shortcode. Good!

Conclusion about Quick and Easy FAQs Plugin

I really like this output of the questions list. In my opinion it is so much better than the previous two plugins.

It also does a great thing about loading its resources only when they are needed, and not just on every single page of the website. Good!


4. Accordion FAQ

This plugin works in a different way that the previous ones. Instead of creating separate posts for each question, you simply create an accordion which can hold multiple items inside it. Everything is done from a single (large) page. It is a bit overwhelming at first.

After creating my accordion I was able to add the [WPSM_AC id=516] shortcode to my page and get this (default) look:

It is curious that the plugin forces you to choose a certain font to be used instead of relying on the one used by the theme.

Custom FAQ Widgets

Not available.

Performance Footprint

The plugin loads 2 CSS and 2 JS files on all pages of the website, even on those that don’t display an accordion.

Conclusion about Accordion FAQ Plugin

The plugin is a little overwhelming at first, which works against it. The many text typos in the plugin’s description and settings also leave a bad impression.

So far this plugin is my least favorite. Next.


5. Arconix FAQ

Using this plugin you also have to create separate posts for each question. Then you simply add the [faq] shortcode to any page or widget and you will get your block of questions.

You can also use the shortcode [faq style=”accordion”], which will keep only one of the questions expanded and will close the rest. Even though accordions are not very user friendly, they allow you to save some space when you really need to.

The plugin does not offer a settings page, only a FAQ & Support page with a few instructions on how to use the plugin.

Custom FAQ Widgets

Not available.

Performance Footprint

The plugin loads 2 CSS files and one JavaScript file in the footer only on the page that has the FAQ shortcode. Good!

Conclusion about Arconix FAQ Plugin

I like it, even though some more customization controls would be nice.


6. WP responsive FAQ with category plugin

This plugin also works by using a shortcode which you can add to any page, post or widget: [sp_faq].

The result is this accordion (only one question can be open at the same time):

The plugin doesn’t provide any built-in customization settings, so there’s nothing you can change without writing your own CSS code. If you’re happy with the default accordion style then you can use this plugin.

Custom FAQ Widgets

Not available.

Performance Footprint

The plugin loads one CSS file and one JavaScript file in the header on all pages of the website.

Conclusion about WP responsive FAQ with category Plugin

I’m not happy about the plugin making two additional HTTP queries on all pages just because it is active. This combined with the lack of customization options makes me consider other plugins instead.


7. Spider FAQ

This plugin has proved to be a complete waste of time. From the confusing UI and wording to incomplete documentation pages, I have still not figured out how to use it. Let me explain.

The plugin lets you create three types of content: FAQs, Questions and Categories. What’s the difference between FAQs and Questions? I have no idea. The plugin developers do not explain that.

There’s also a proprietary UI to create all these things, and not the usual WordPress UI. Why? No idea.

At this point I gave up on it.

Custom FAQ Widgets

Not available.

Performance Footprint

The plugin loads one CSS file and two JavaScript files in the header on all pages of the website.

Conclusion about Spider FAQ Plugin

Do not install this one.


8. Tab – Accordion, FAQ

This plugin lets you create Tab posts, which can contain multiple entries inside them.

The UI also does not match the general WordPress style, so you have to invest time to learn how things work.

Took me a while to figure some things out, like the inconvenient way of adding, updating and removing my questions. This is the end result in the back-end:

The plugin comes with multiple built-in Tab and Accordion styles. The Accordion 1 style looks like this:

The Tab 1 style looks like this;

Custom FAQ Widgets

Not available.

Performance Footprint

The plugin loads one CSS file and two JavaScript files in the header on all pages of the website.

The plugin also adds an immense amount of inline CSS code to the page containing the Tab shortcode.

Conclusion about Tab – Accordion, FAQ Plugin

Yet another plugin with a confusing proprietary UI that is more confusing than it should be. I do not recommend it.


9. Genesis Simple FAQ

This plugin works only with WordPress websites powered by the Genesis Framework.


So Which is the Best WordPress FAQ Plugin?

If you’re very eager to use a plugin, then from a developer’s point of view, my personal opinion is that your choice is between only two plugins: Quick and Easy FAQs & Arconix FAQ.

If you want to create a larger page and space is not an issue, then you should use Quick and Easy FAQs. If you don’t have a lot of room then stick to Arconix FAQ.


Have I missed any popular FAQ plugins that I should add to the list? Have your say in the comments below.

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