If you don’t want to turn your entire site into an Amazon store but you would like to display Amazon products inside a specific page or post, or feature products from Amazon in your sidebar, then here is a WordPress plugin that you may want to look at …
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This tutorial explains what WordPress plugins are, how plugins work and how plugins help WordPress users extend their website’s functionality.
One of the main benefits of WordPress is the ability to easily enhance your WordPress web site’s functionality using plugins.
What Are Plugins?
Like most people, you probably have a device like a mobile phone. What do you do when you want to access something new on your phone like a new application, game or business productivity tool?
Why, simple … you download and install an app!
An app is a piece of software that is easy to install and immediately integrates new features and functionality into any mobile phone.
(Just like there are social sharing apps for smart phones …)
A plugin is quite similar to an app. You simply download and install a software application that adds new functionality to your website or blog …
(… you can also find social sharing plugins for WP sites!)
Typically, if you decide to add new features to a web site, additional cost is involved. Depending on how complex the features or enhancements are, this cost can be significant, particularly if web developers have to add new code or modify programs or develop scripts to integrate into your existing site.
This is also applicable to developing a web site. Business owners sometimes invest money in added features they probably will never need.
For sound, strategic business planning reasons, we recommend considering a sustainable strategy to developing your web presence presence and WP plugins are ideal for helping you achieve this.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could:
1) Start simply and with minimal expense involved. Get a web presence up and running fast, then …
2) As the need arises, just add new software modules with only a few clicks of the mouse directly from your dashboard area, giving your website or blog an entirely new range of possibilities, and also …
3) Cost not one dollar more to install on your site?
Well, this is precisely what a plugin enables you to do!
Benefits And Advantages Of Using WP Plugins
I started this article by comparing WordPress plugins with mobile apps. In a similar way that many apps are free to download and some apps cost a little bit of money, so do plugins.
In fact, loads of fantastic plugins are available at no cost to WP users.
Plugins that you purchase are referred to as “Premium” plugins. The good news, is that when you compare these to the price of investing in web development services to add similar functionality on your site, most Premium plugins cost very little.
Also, as WordPress makes its source code publicly available, anybody can create, edit and customize any portion of the code. This has enabled many third-party software developers to enhance the WPsoftware.
WordPress plugins allow you to start off simply with a simple yet professional web presence and expand only as required.
WP plugins let you add almost endless features to your web site quickly and inexpensively.
WordPress plugins give your site virtually unlimited expanding capabilities.
WordPress plugins allow ”non-techies” to own a web presence that they can manage.
Most plugins typically work “right out of the box” and only require installation and activation to give your site instant new enhancements and features.
Some plugins can be slightly more advanced and could require some configuration.
WP Plugins – Powerful, Flexible … And (Often) Completely FREE!
Like many themes, loads of plugins are made available for WordPress users … for FREE!
Insert scripts and script elements into your posts and pages
Add and format tables
Display animated graphic elements and advanced text formatting options
Create and manage QR codes
Improve your local search listings on Google
Add a map
Post your posts automatically on sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, StumbleUpon and others
Display countdown timers (for special offers, discount coupons, etc …)
Display custom greetings, timed offers, etc …
And so many other features!
As it’s clear to see, WP plugins give you virtually limitless possibilities. If you plan to build a website or blog, or your existing site wasn’t built with WordPress, then consider choosing it in the future.
If you’re still wondering just how powerful and flexible WordPress plugins are, let me show you how you can benefit instantly by adding a plugin to your website.
For example, if you need content protection, you can install plugins to make just a couple of paragraphs on a page inaccessible, or transform your WordPress site into a complete paid membership site with personal login details for users …
As mentioned previously, free plugins can be used to improve your business site in lots of different ways. From adding new features that can enhance your business, your web users’ experience and your understanding of what is happening on your site …
To increasing your business reach and visibility across a number of social media and search engines …
You can also add advanced functionality to your site using inexpensive premium plugins. For example, you can purchase plugins that automate functionality on your site such as managing customer testimonials and event registration details …
And also run a custom bookings and reservations system online … all for a small fraction of the cost of hiring programmers to design the same applications for you …
You can also take advantage of native WordPress commenting features and plugins that can enhance user engagement …
For example, your web visitors can:
Leave comments on your site (which can turn into online discussions) using either the native WordPress commenting function, or integrated Facebook comments (which then get displayed throughout your visitors’ Facebook pages, providing you with additional exposure).
Share your content with other online visitors on bookmarking sites.
Contact you using contact forms
Engage online directly with other users via forums or even set up a private online social network on your own site.
Engage with your support team through live chats
Dial your business from their smart phones when visiting your site
Get help via a user help desk
And so much more …
You can also integrate complex “back end” applications using a WP “front end”. This enables you to manage your business sales and marketing, while your 3rd-party application handles the technological side of things …
Some Useful Tips About Plugins
There are loads of great WordPress plugins available. Be careful of overloading your server with an excessive amount of plugins, as this will affect your website’s resources and site loading times. It also creates more maintenance issues for you resulting from potential conflicts and errors.
Only keep the plugins you really need to use. Delete all deactivated plugins from your site, as these utilize additional server resources.
Many free plugins normally come with very little to no support from the plugin author. When choosing premium WordPress plugins, ensure that you do a little research first to see what kind of reputation the plugin developer has when it comes to providing support, updates, new features, etc. Be sure to check some of the plugin reviews we publish on this site for additional information.
If you see that a plugin has not been updated for a very long time (e.g. two or more years), then think carefully before installing it on your website or blog. The WordPress software changes regularly and older plugins that have not been updated can create issues.
Always upgrade your plugins. Older plugin not only can cause errors, they could also have security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers and malware.
As you can see, WP plugins are an integral part of WordPress and contribute to making WordPress the most preferred digital content management application in the world. Plugins also provide WordPress users with an easy, simple and inexpensive way to expand quickly without spending thousands of dollars on outsourced web development.
One last thing on the topic of plugins:
If there is a feature you want for your web presence, you can be sure that a someone has probably already developed one that will do what you want, and that this plugin can either be accessed for FREE, or if it’s a paid plugin, that the cost will be reasonable.
(Whatever you need done, there’s a WordPress plugin for that!)
And, if by chance this plugin is not available, then a custom plugin that does precisely what you need it to do can probably be created for your business for a reasonable price.
Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of plugins – what they are and how they can expand your WordPress web site. See our related posts section to learn about more popular WP plugins that we recommend using.
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