As a blogger and web developer, I spend hours staring at a screen every day. Over time, this has led to eye strain, headaches, and fatigue.
That's why I started looking into WordPress dark-mode plugins.
In this article, I'll introduce you to the concept of dark mode, explain why it's important, and review the six best WordPress dark mode plugins on the market.
What is Dark Mode? (The History Of Dark Mode)
Dark mode is a design trend gaining popularity in recent years. It's a color scheme that uses a dark background with light text and accents.
The idea behind dark mode is to reduce eye strain, improve battery life, and create a more aesthetically pleasing user experience. The dark mode itself isn't a new concept. It's been around since the early days of computing when green and black screens were the norm. In fact, the first "dark mode" was the original Night Mode on Apple devices, which was introduced in 2016.
Since then, the dark mode has become a mainstream design trend. It's been adopted by popular apps such as Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, as well as operating systems like macOS and Windows.
What is Eye Strain & How Does it Affect You?
Eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome, is a condition that affects people who spend a lot of time looking at screens.
Symptoms can include blurred vision, dry eyes, headaches, and neck pain. It is caused by several factors, including blue light emitted by screens, glare, and poor lighting conditions.
It can also be exacerbated by poor posture and not taking enough breaks from screen time.
Benefits of Using Dark Mode on Mobile Devices
Because mobile web traffic exceeded desktop a few years ago and approximately 80% of people use dark mode on their smartphones, adding the night mode interface for your WordPress site is crucial.
It's much easier to browse content online late into the night on a mobile device (including a laptop) than on a desktop (I see all you "Just one last peek at the newsfeed before bed" people). Thus, allowing users to reduce eye strain by going dark will improve your site's user experience.
This will help them read content late at night (or even super early in the morning) without causing fatigue, so they can retire or start the day will a clearer head.
Plus, many laptop users switch to mobile and back to laptop frequently (like myself), so having a chance of dark mode across all devices is highly beneficial.
Why Should You Use a Dark Mode Plugin?
You should consider using a dark mode plugin on your WordPress site for several reasons.
Reduces Eye Strain
It can reduce eye strain, especially if you spend much time looking at your screen. This is because dark mode reduces the amount of blue light emitted by your screen, which can cause eye fatigue.
Dark mode can improve battery life on devices with OLED screens since less power is needed to create black color.
Improved Aesthetic And Better UX
Many people find dark mode easier on the eyes and more visually appealing than a traditional light mode. This can create a better user experience and improve engagement on your site.
Note: You may be interested in these UX trends to improve your marketing strategy.
Prevents Attention Deficit Disorder
Some people find that a bright screen can be distracting and cause them to lose focus. Dark mode can help reduce visual distractions and improve concentration and productivity.
Gives A Productivity Boost
The dark mode can help you work more efficiently and be more productive by reducing eye strain and distractions.
Best WordPress Dark Mode Plugins
There are several WordPress dark-mode plugins on the market.
While they are similar in functionality, they all help you add dark mode to your WordPress website easily, but there still are some differences between them.
Remember, all these plugins are one-click solutions that help you transform your existing website look and make it dark.
You need 0 coding skills to do this and no help from a developer. Each plugin was tested for beginner-friendliness, so everyone gets the most out of it, regardless of skill level.
1. WP Dark Mode
WP Dark Mode is a simple and easy-to-use dark mode plugin for WordPress. It allows you to add a dark mode switcher to your site, which users can toggle on and off.
The plugin also includes customizable settings for text and background colors and the ability to exclude specific pages or posts from dark mode. WP Dark Mode works flawlessly across all operating systems, including Windows, Android, iOS, and macOS.
Main features (free):
- Floating Switch Button in the footer of the website.
- Default Dark Mode – Make dark mode the default mode (in this case, visitors don't have to switch manually).
- Admin Panel Dark Mode – This setting can be very useful if you spend a lot of time in the backend.
- Themes Compatible – According to the plugin's author it is compatible with the most popular WordPress themes.
- Time-Based Dark Mode – Your website will switch to dark mode based on the visitor's local time.
- Custom position of the switch
- Preset Color Schemes – 13 out-of-the-box dark mode color schemes.
You can purchase the premium version for $49 (for 1 site). There is a significant discount if you purchase the ultimate license, which can be used on five websites ($62.5).
DarklupLite is another dark-mode plugin for WordPress. It includes a dark mode switcher and customizable settings for text and background colors.
One unique feature of Darklup is the ability to change the color of the switcher button to match your site's branding.
The smart color sensitivity adjusts the color contrast according to user preference.
Main features (free):
- Dark mode Elementor widget – Allows you to set the dark mode switch button in any post or page.
- Frontend and backend dark mode are both part of the free version of the plugin.
- 3+ Exclusive color presets and 4+ exclusive switch styles are already included in the free version.
- Translation ready – With .pot files included.
- Smart Dark Color Schemes – The plugin can automatically pick up color schemes that go perfectly with your WordPress theme.
- Adjustment of brightness and contrast for images
- Exclude WooCommerce products & categories – Handy if you have products that look better on a light background.
The premium version costs $29 per year for 1 website, $49 per year for up to 10 sites, and $99 per year for up to 1,000 sites.
DarkMySite is an advanced dark-mode plugin for WordPress. It includes customizable settings for text and background colors, as well as the ability to exclude specific pages or posts from dark mode.
What's cool about DarkMySite is the ability to automatically switch to dark mode based on the user's system preferences.
Main features (free):
- OS Aware Dark Mode – Automatically adapts to visitors’ OS settings for the optimal experience.
- Video Control – The plugin allows you to control the brightness of videos.
- Page Builder Compatibility – Works with all popular page builders like Divi Builder, WP Bakery, Visual Composer, etc.
- 9+ Floating Switch Designs – Match the switch design with your overall website's design in no time.
- Draggable Position Change – Simply drag and drop the switch anywhere on the screen and make it easily accessible on your page.
- Image and Video Replacement – Replace images and videos with versions that are better suited for dark mode.
The premium version costs $15 per year for 2 websites, $29 per year for up to 10 sites, and $49 per year for up to 100 sites.
4. Dark Mode Toggle
Dark Mode Toggle is a lightweight dark mode plugin for WordPress.
It includes a simple dark mode switcher that users can toggle on and off. The plugin also has customizable text and background color settings to adjust according to your website theme.
Main features (free):
- Switching Transition Animation – Make the transition between dark and light mode with seamless animation.
- Lightweight Plugin – No bloated scripts that slow down your website.
- Save User Choice – The plugin saves users' settings so they don't have to switch when they revisit your website.
- Dark Mode to WordPress Admin
- Admin Panel Dark Mode – For people like myself who spend a ton of time in the backend.
A single website license will cost you $29, a five-website license is $49, and the unlimited license will set you back for $79.
DarkLooks is a dark-mode switcher plugin for WordPress. It includes customizable settings for text and background colors, plus page/post exclusion from the dark mode.
Surprisingly, DarkLooks comes in a free version only. So all the features are completely free to use.
- 5 switch styles
- 9 preset colors – For a perfect match with your website.
- Remember last time – A very handy feature that saves your visitors some time.
- Translation ready – With .pot files included.
- Compatibility with WooCommerce – Updated to work with the latest version of the WooCommerce plugin.
6. Droit Dark Mode
Droit Dark Mode is a lightweight dark mode plugin for WordPress that will help you create a stunning dark version of your website and dashboard.
It includes a simple dark mode switcher that users can toggle on and off. The plugin also includes customizable settings to modify text and background colors.
Main features (free):
- Multiple Switch Designs – The plugin has multiple switch styles that perfectly match your website.
- Switch Gutenberg Block – A switch button can be added to any post or page by using the Gutenberg block.
- Set Dashboard Color Preset – You can set color presets based on your browser.
- Set image opacity, brightness, and contrast – With this great feature, you can adjust all your images to look great in dark mode.
- Exclude Specific Elements – Set which specific elements are not affected by the dark mode.
- OS-based Dark Mode – With this option activated, the plugin automatically detects if the dark mode is enabled on the OS of your visitors and switches it on your website also.
This plugin is the most expensive for a single license, costing $35. 10 websites license is $59, and the unlimited one will set you back for a whopping $99. These are yearly prices.
Tips for Customizing WordPress Dark Mode Plugins
Once you've installed a WordPress dark mode plugin, you can customize it to fit your site's branding and design. Here are a few tips for a perfect integration:
- Choose colors that complement your site's branding and design.
- Use high-contrast colors for text and background to ensure optimal readability.
- Consider excluding certain pages or posts from dark mode, such as landing pages, forms, and e-commerce pages.
- Test your dark mode plugin on different devices and screen sizes to ensure compatibility.
Best WordPress Dark Mode Themes
If you don't yet have a website built, or if you are in the process of revamping it with dark functionality, these themes will help you make it happen.
With WordPress' drag-and-drop page builder, touching code is unnecessary. Even if you've never built a website, you can still make one like a pro quickly and effortlessly with any of the below five themes.
Uppercase is a superb WordPress blog theme with a built-in dark mode switcher to create your unique website, starting with any of the predefined demos.
Enjoy the quick installation process that allows you to begin customizing and branding the existing design however you want.
Uppercase is optimized for a great mobile experience, thanks to its 100% responsive structure and integrated AMP support.
From social integration and opt-in forms to live search results, video backgrounds and various advanced popups, Uppercase rocks it all for your convenience.
- 6 beautiful demo designs
- Auto-loading posts for improved time on site
- Social feeds and sharing functions
- Easy to translate (also compatible with RTL languages)
- Price: $59
Newsblock is a dark WP theme designed specifically for news and magazine websites. It offers a professional and user-friendly interface for displaying your content in an engaging and visually appealing way, with a modern and clean design.
Newsblock has a range of pre-built homepage layouts and internal templates, which you can easily customized using the included drag-and-drop page builder, Canvas.
You can also choose from various post and page templates to give your site that unique look and feel you're after.
You can use Newsblock for niche or general new sites, covering any topic and including any media type you want.
Turning on dark mode requires no knowledge because of the integrated functionality, like in the case of Uppercase.
- Custom widgets, blocks and sections
- Lazy load to speed up your site
- Guest and multi-author posts
- Predfined ad spaces for monetization
- Price: $69
Even though Networker is a more niche-oriented WP theme with dark mode (ideal for tech news sites), you can use it for something else with a few simple tweaks. But generally, the content you publish will define your news website's niche.
Networker is fully responsive, so your site looks great on any device, from handheld to desktop. It includes various advanced customization options to help you create an expert online presence.
Enjoy mixing and matching the existing layouts and features, combining them with your creative touch.
Note: The dark mode toggle appears in the navigation bar that floats at the top of the screen, so it's always available.
- Multi-level drop-down and mega menus
- Back to top button
- One-click demo data import
- Built-in gallery with lightbox
- Price: $69
Pekko is a premium WordPress theme designed for creative agencies, freelancers and professionals who want to showcase their work stylishly and modernly.
Its clean and minimalist design provides an ideal platform to display your portfolio, services, and expertise.
Pekko is compatible with the Elementor page builder, unlocking complete creative freedom for beginners and experts.
What's also cool about Pekko is that it offers two options to load content - via a button or on infinite scroll.
Remember, Pekko doesn't have a dark mode toggle; it's a dark WordPress theme by default.
- Includes child theme so you can work on custom designs without sacrificing the foundation
- Clean and lightweight structure
- Cross-browser and device compatible
- Sticky sidebar hamburger navigation
- Price: $59
Wavo specializes in building online portfolio and agency websites with multiple home samples and over forty pages for you to mix and match.
While there's no dark mode switcher, you can choose between ready-made dark and light designs that will meet your project needs.
Wavo is also notable because of the ability to easily create one- or multi-page websites.
- Parallax feature for added depth
- Easily editable header and footer
- Option to sell products with WooCommerce
- 30+ on-hand custom-made widgets
- Price: $39
Frequently Asked Questions About WordPress Dark Mode Plugins
Here are a few frequently asked questions about WordPress dark mode plugins:
Which devices support dark mode?
Most modern devices, including smartphones, tablets, and computers, support dark mode.
Can I exclude certain pages or posts from dark mode?
Yes, most WordPress dark mode plugins include the ability to exclude specific pages or posts from dark mode. This is especially useful when you have an online shop with products that look best on a light background.
Will dark mode affect my site's SEO?
No, dark mode will not affect your site's SEO. It's simply a design choice that can improve user experience.
Conclusion: Do I Add A Dark Mode Switcher Or Create A Dark Website?
In conclusion, adding a dark mode switcher to your WordPress site can be a simple and effective way to improve user experience and reduce eye strain.
However, if you're starting a new site from scratch, you may want to consider creating a dark website from the outset.
Ultimately, the choice between a dark mode switcher and a dark website comes down to personal preference and your website's specific needs.
Whichever option you choose, test it thoroughly and customize it to fit your site's branding and design.
Editor's Note: This article is a guest post from Rok Krivec of Ultida.com