What are WordPress plugins and widgets?

What are WordPress plugins and widgets?

What are WordPress plugins specifically? WordPress plugins and WordPress widgets offer you different ways to customize your site. You can imagine plugins as upgrades to your site allowing you to enhance the default functionality of your website. A great example of this would be Elegant Themes’ Monarch plugin: A brand new WordPress website does not have beautiful social media sharing buttons built in. So when you want to add this functionality, you would need to use a plugin to accomplish this task. The great thing is that there are thousands of plugins available to do all kinds of things from adding sharing buttons, all the way to accepting payments for products. What are WordPress widgets specifically? WordPress widgets are similar to plugins, but they are really intended to be a part of the interface. You can think of widgets as an additional way to display information (usually on the WordPress dashboard or sidebar). They can also add additional content to search bars, menus, and categories. For the scope of this article, we will focus mostly on plugins. Free plugins | What are WordPress Plugins There are so many free plugins out there that it can be overwhelming. There are two ways primarily for finding and adding plugins to your site. First, the easiest way, is to be logged in to your site and navigate to your WordPress Dashboard. Once logged in, hover over “Plugins” on the sidebar to the left and click “Add new”. Here you will see featured plugins available for your site. To find a new plugin, start by typing what you are looking for in the...
How to figure out what WordPress theme a site is using

How to figure out what WordPress theme a site is using

Clients have asked me in the past how they can style their website like another site in their industry. Although I believe themes like Divi can do a great job transforming into any style you are looking to achieve, some highly specialized themes can be a better choice if they have specific functionalists. So how do we figure out what WordPress theme a site is using? First, we want to make sure the site we are looking to emulate is a WordPress site. You can start by scrolling to the bottom of the site and check the footer section. A lot of WordPress sites will mention WordPress and the theme being used:     Another quick and simple way to check is to add “/wp-login.php” after the domain name. For example, if we were checking www.wordpress.org, we would try www.wordpress.org/wp-login.php If we get a page like this:     Than we know it is a WordPress site. If not, you will most likely get a 404 or other error page. Sometimes a double check is in order. There are plugins for WordPress that allow you to customize the login URL, meaning if a site has such a plugin installed, the /wp-login.php trick will not work and you will be redirected to the homepage or another page. We can use a site like www.builtwith.com to dive even deeper into what technologies a site is using. What is great about BuiltWith is if the site you are looking up is not a WordPress site, you can see what other CMS or web technologies power that site.     You might have...
Essential plugins for your new WordPress site

Essential plugins for your new WordPress site

One of the great things about WordPress is the tons of free and paid plugins available for your website. I like to keep my WordPress sites simple and light, so when I create a new website, I always start with some of the same plugins. This short list of essential plugins is intended to help get you started on the right foot. If you are new to WordPress or do not know what WordPress plugins are, check out this quick overview I wrote here.   Essential plugins for your new WordPress site: Limit Login Attempts This plugin is a little bit older now, but very important from a security stand point. Limit Login Attempts does what it says and limits the number of times a hacker or robot can try guessing your password on your admin login page. If someone gains admin access to your site, they can do whatever they want to your site and lock you out. It is also crucial to pick a hard to guess password and consider keeping a written copy in a safe place if you have a hard time remembering it. https://wordpress.org/plugins/limit-login-attempts WordPress Duplicator This plugin has saved me on more than one occasion. It allows you to make an exact copy (or backup of your WordPress site) including the database. This is important if you ever want to move your site or something goes wrong and need to restore your site. I recommend backing up your site regularly (save the files to your computer) or every time you make a major change to your site. https://wordpress.org/plugins/duplicator WordPress SEO by Yoast Yoast is well known in...