Magazine development has come a far. And while printed publications still remain a strong part of our culture, the transition to digital content continues to gain popularity. So much has the online digital publishing grown that Forbes has stated that “many publishers are looking to bespoke applications or rich mobile HTML websites to deliver their content”. This is a factor of tablets, Google, Kindles, Amazon, and other media being the primary focus of the digital content. As a digital content producer, having a magazine which goes beyond the norm is essential. You must set yourself from the crowd. One way in which to engage potential subscribers and boost your online aesthetics in your WordPress site is to use 3D content within your WordPress Magazine Plugin.

3D within 3D

When looking at the WordPress Magazine Plugin, the goal of the plugin is to create a visual representation of an actual magazine. Depending upon which of these magazine features you use, there may be the option of the folding page, the sound of turning paper, the ability to stack magazines, etc. The point is that the site gets a 3D visual and encourages interactivity between the user and the site. Adding 3D content to the magazine adds even more depth. While the magazine has a 3D aesthetic when the pages are turning and when you look at the book closed, many times you will find that once the pages are opened, that there is a rather static appearance.

To fix the static appearance of the magazine when the pages are opened, import a 3D model into the layout. The model should be incorporated into the image, PDF file, InDesign layout, or other software used to create the magazine. Remember that you need to have a render in a higher DPI, especially if you are offering the online magazine in print as well.

Engagement windows

Another way in which a person can take their WordPress magazine to another level with their viewers is to ensure that the render output is interactive PDF. You will need to have a WordPress Magazine Plugin which supports interactive online PDF content in order to make this type of 3D magazine content. However, once you have the plugin, integrating this feature is quite easy and has dynamic results. To make engagement windows:

  • Open your layout software and import your model. If you do not have a model obtain one from a 3D site such as CGTrader and render out a static as well as an animation.
  • In the software program place the static image and hyperlink it to your animation. For example, if you wish to show the interior of a room, have the room pictured in the magazine and then turn the image into a button/hyperlink with the link pointing to the 360 animations of the room. Ensure that the content of the static image and the animation are in the same folder.
  • Click open hyperlinks in new window
  • When exporting ensure that you have interactive PDF selected.
  • When you import to WordPress simply choose the PDF and the links should be associated with it. (you may have to click open hyperlinks in new window option on your plugin)

Consider a narrator

This is thinking a bit outside of the traditional digital magazine publishing box. Yet, if you think about it, your site could greatly benefit from a 3D character narrating your magazine. First, the narrator caters to the visually impaired, earning you points for going the extra mile for those with such impairments. Secondly, it adds something which can be identified with your brand, therefore building up your marketing and business identity. Third, if it is original (as I have not seen lip synced narrators on many sites I would say it is) it is prone to be shared via social media increases your potential leads to your site.

As not everyone will wish to have a narrator, make this an optional feature to turn off or on (basically a hide window and sound or show window and sound). If you do not know how to add an overlay frame in WordPress, you may need to get a professional to help you with this as it can become a bit taxing for the novice.

Magazines need 3D

Regardless of how you implement 3D into your magazine layouts, the point is that you need 3D. Static content with 3D plugins does not appeal. Granted, you can add the drop-shadows, the flare, and glare, but at the end of the day, if the content looks flat and unappealing, customers will go to a site which has more engaging content. And as there are 60 billion WordPress sites, the selection is vast. Ensure that you have a site which does not just have a magazine plugin, but something unique for the readers.