WordPress is the most popular CMS used by people in today’s world for the development of websites. Before you start using WordPress however, it is important to have a solid understanding about the different elements that comprise WordPress. This is where having up to date knowledge about WordPress plugins becomes important. Take a look at this How to customize your WordPress website with Plugins mini-guide to learn more.
What are WordPress Plugins?
A WordPress Plugin is a piece of code which is hosted within your WordPress website. Its purpose is to provide a new functionality to the website. It can also extend the functionality of a feature that is available on the website. These WordPress Plugins are extremely popular among WordPress CMS users. You can find tens and thousands of such plugins as well. Some of the Plugins would only introduce small changes to your website. However, there are WordPress Plugins which are able to introduce massive changes to the site. For example, you can find Plugins that can help you transform your WordPress site into an ecommerce store, forum or a social media network.
The WordPress Plugins can be divided into two categories as free plugins and premium plugins. You don’t need to make a payment to use the functionality delivered by a free plugin. However, most other plugins would require a payment. Based on your requirements, you need to go through the plugins and pick the best ones out of them for using.
How Do You Find and Install WordPress Plugins
You will be able to find WordPress Plugins in many different locations. Here are some of the most common places for them.
It is possible for you to discover the plugins you want in the WordPress plugin directory. This is one of the best places available to locate the plugins you need. You can easily locate free plugins with the help of this repository.
- Code Canyon
Code Canyon is a massive directory that offers premium WordPress Plugins. If you are looking for highly functional WordPress Plugins, you should visit Code Canyon.
- Third party developers
A large number of third party developers also offer plugins via their website as well. You should definitely explore these plugin options as well. By doing a simple search on the internet, you can locate such websites and get your hands on the plugins you need.
How Do You Customize WordPress Plugins
In some of the instances, you will figure out that the functionality offered by a WordPress Plugin doesn’t actually match with your requirements. When you encounter such a situation, you need to go ahead and customize the plugin. Customizing WordPress Plugins is a super easy thing to do. With some basic coding skills and a bit of time on your hands, you can get the job done. Please continue reading this “How To Customize Your WordPress Website With Plugins” mini-guide to find out more.
You can customize a WordPress Plugin with the assistance of a plugin editor. Once you log into your WordPress dashboard, you can locate plugin editors. All you have to do is “Click on the Plugin tab and then select the Plugin Editor”.
The plugin editor allows for your to open the plugin’s back end files. You will need to know a bit of coding in order to customize and edit the plugin’s functionality. One thing to keep in mind though is that if you make any changes to the plugin’s files, you will effectively over-write the existing code. Due to this all, make sure that you are extra careful when editing the plugin. I would recommend going ahead and even making a copy of the plugin’s original files so that you can always bring them back in case of issues. If you make mistakes during the coding process, the desired functionality that you were trying to get out of the plugin will not work.
The best course of action would be to go ahead and just get in touch with the author of the plugin before editing it. Then you will be able to see if there’s a better method available for you to get the job done, without doing any code level changes to the plugin. The plugin author might be willing to make those changes for you for a small fee.
How Do You Create Your Own WordPress Plugins
If you cannot find a plugin with a specific functionality, or if you find a certain plugin to be too expensive, you can always go ahead and try at creating your own plugins. Important note, you need to have a solid coding background in order to create your own plugins.
To start creating your own plugins, you will have to start work on this project in a localized development environment. There you will be able to test the functionality of the plugin in your own without affecting a live website. There are also some tools available out there that can assist with development process. The desktop server software offered by Server Press is a perfect example for one such a tool.
You can start creating the plugin by initiating a new plugin file. You will come across the need to gain access to the site directory as well. In such a situation, you can use the SFTP credentials and gain access to the host. Upon creating the project, you can add code to the plugin and develop the functionality. The coding knowledge you have comes into play in this kind of a situation.
Upon completing the code, you need to double check and make sure that everything is functioning correctly. In other words, you should go through an extensive testing process. Along with the testing, you will need to take a look at all areas of a site which could be impacted by your new plugin. As the testing comes to completion, you can then proceed to the next stage of the implementation of the plugin for your WordPress site.
You will need to archive the new plugin’s files into a ZIP file.Once the files are zipped, you can then log into your WordPress dashboard, navigate to plugins, click on “Add New Plugin” and then upload the ZIP file. This will install the plugin for you. Then you just need to activate and get the desired functionality working.
Conclusion – How To Customize Your WordPress Website With Plugins
Now that you have a solid understanding of what WordPress Plugins are, go ahead and move to the next step of harnessing the full benefits offered by plugins. Take the functionality of your WordPress website to the next level.