WordPress is a fantastic website platform that comes with an incredible amount of features right out of the box (actually right out of the install) but its greatest feature is the ability to add unlimited functionality without having to rewrite or add a single line of code.
How can this possibly be you ask. Well the answer to that question is the WordPress plugin. Plugins are applications that can easily be installed on your WordPress website that provide additional functionality. Each plugin is a module that contains the PHP code to perform a specific task. So for example if you wanted to add a portfolio page for the display of images you simply add the appropriate plugin and you are good to go. No need to make changes to the core WordPress programming.
There’s a WordPress plugin for everything on your site
Plugins aren’t limited to customizing page appearance; they can be used for ton of useful tasks that will allow you manage your site more effectively. There are literally hundreds of plugins available, some free some not, that can turn your site from an also ran lost in the depths of the search engines to an engaging, popular and productive digital destination.
Here’s a short list of plugin examples:
- Google Analytics for WordPress. This plugin takes the popular web management tool and puts it on steroids. Track outbound links and downloads. Manage advertising campaigns. Track logins and registration forms. This plugin takes Google technology and customizes it specifically for your WordPress website.
- LinkWithin. If you have great content and you have related articles this little plugin will increase your page views and time on site. Install this plugin and at the bottom of every post a prompt will appear to direct the reader to similar articles that the plugin has automatically indexed and classified.
- Google XML sitemaps. The key to getting traffic is getting found in the search engines. If the search engines don’t know what’s on your site you’ll never be found. This plugin creates an XML sitemap that is optimized for search engine crawlers so that every page can quickly be read and indexed.
Finding and installing the plugin
Learning how to set up WordPress site with plugins is a snap. Simply go to your control panel, scroll down and look on the left side for plugins. You can enter a keyword like SEO and a list of available plugins will appear. Just select the plugin you want and install. In less than 2 minutes your site will have a new function.
But what if you can’t find a plugin that does exactly what you want? This often occurs with WordPress themes for small business particularly when they want an optimization package for local search. Not to worry. There are qualified plugin developers that can build your application from scratch and deliver a product that will meet your needs exactly. Of course it will cost you a couple of dollars but the investment is well worth it given the revenue potential that ranking on the first page represents.
You can make your WordPress website be anything you want it to be and do anything you want it to using these easy to install plugins. This technology puts the power of the web into everyone’s hands and levels out the playing field for small businesses and individuals alike. So what are you waiting for? Go forth and plugin.
Don Campbell is a WordPress expert extraordinaire. His company specializes in creating WordPress themes and custom plugins for small business owners and he has helped hundreds dominate their local search results. His close relationships with Google and his Microsoft background allows Don to provide cutting edge designs that include the latest in SEO.