WordPress is a content management system (CMS). Website creators on this platform can make, administer, and change content without being an expert. In simple terms, the general appearance of the website, such as the layout, colors, and styling, is the result of the WordPress theme.
There are hundreds and hundreds of themes. They are versatile and can be responsible for the entire look of a website. Also, they can just control parts of the website, such as the color of the hyperlinks. Essentially, themes create the website structure.
Beyond the structure, to change the way the website works, designers use plugins. Plugins are software programs that “plug into” the WordPress backend. They enhance, change, or add new functionality to the website. They are not autonomous, and they need to be managed.
Management is something to think about when a plugin is added. Managing the plugin, which includes updates, compatibility, and security, can be done by the website owner, the host, or the designer. Limit the number of plugins by finding the right plugin that executes the functions required.
With the right plugin, your website can have
- A great Portfolio: Several WordPress themes include simple ways to create a portfolio website. However, to get all the desired functions you may want for your online portfolio; it is best to use a plugin. Plugin options may include different layouts, customization, color choices, and content management.
- A Social Network: There are several plugins to accomplish social sharing, and, some plugins allow you to setup your own social network in WordPress, such as BuddyPress, which is a free social media builder.
- An Amazon Shop/Affiliate: Sell items as an Amazon affiliate, while earning money per sale. There are a number of plugins (free and paid) that allow the user to handle, promote, and sell Amazon affiliate products on a WordPress website.
- Feedback Options: Capture customer feedback, and comments, for better communication with your customers.
- Blogging: WordPress seems to have started as the go-to platform for bloggers. However, as a content management system (CMS), its popularity for building websites has surpassed that. WordPress You can add a separate page for a blog, or for more control, there are several blog plugins to select from. These plugins can add features for presentation, sorting, searching, and images.
- Directories: With the right plugin, you can create assorted lists with all different information. Plugins include the ability to take online payments, setup subscription plans, categorize listings, and support videos, and photos.
- Classified Ads: Sell ad space on your website or create your own classified ads. There are both plugins and WordPress themes that support this.
Additionally, with the right plugin, you can use your website for,
8. An Online Storefront: Use plugins that completely redesign WordPress into a custom-built e-commerce platform.
9. Downloadable Digital Files: Eliminate e-commerce with a plugin that gives you the ability to sell digital files. Take payments for tickets, music, artwork, e-books, videos, or anything digital.
10. Forums: Increase your visitors’ engagement and build a following with a forum. Plugins may offer social media features, a Q&A board, and searchable posts.
11. Coupons: Offer money saving coupons and discounts with a coupon plugin. Features can include expiration dates, coupon rotation, templates, and full or partial deals on specific website items.
12. Job Board Listings: These plugins allow you to create an online job board. Post jobs on your own website, sell space to other employers, or find volunteer workers for your nonprofit.
13. Resume Pages: The versatility of this type of plugin allows the website to display a downloadable resume or accept resume submissions if you’re looking to fill a position. Features can include an image, a bio section, links, professional layout, and templates.
14. Fundraising: Charitable plugins will setup pages to collect donations, crowdfund projects, and assist in getting supporters for a common cause.
And to keep your website interesting, the right plugin can add,
15. Live Chat Features: Implement live chat on your website with easy-to-use live chat tools such as alerts, branding, video, and audio conversations. Offer different ways to communicate with online visitors.
16. Multilanguage Web Pages: translate your website into multiple languages, with a translation plugin.
17. Sell Real Estate Listings: These types of plugins include a variety of features, such as amortization calculators, multilingual systems, and full customization. A realtor can showcase properties with virtual tours and Integrate MLS listings with a listing management system.
18. Videos: One can easily embed a video on their website, use a link, or download a plugin for more control with search options, minification, and CTAs. (Call to Action)
There’s over 70,000 plugins; a website can function nicely with one or several. As mentioned, plugins enhance, change, or add new functionality to the website. They are not autonomous, and they need to be managed to keep everything working properly.
Management takes time and not all WordPress hosting companies offer plugin management. You can schedule automatic updates, however to may cause a software compatibly conflict. Look for managed hosting, such as offered by DWLI to keep the right plugin up-to date, and conflict free.