Pros and Cons of Plugins

WordPress is one of the most versatile options when it comes to web design. It is also one of the most popular platforms available. One of the advantages of WordPress is the number of plugins that are available to help with running your website. A plugin is a piece of code or software that you can insert into your website to help you complete a number of tasks.

Pros of Plugins

One of the biggest advantages of plugins is that programming exists that can help you accomplish different goals with your website. Some of the plugins are designed to help with things like measuring your analytics, increasing sign ups to your newsletter or working with your email distribution system to make sure your customers are having a positive experience.

Plugins also make including social media on your site very easy. The plugins can connect your customers to your social media site s and help to build out your brand as your customers share your information with their friends and family. It is essential to harness this potential and plugins make it easy to do.

Cons of Plugins

One of the biggest disadvantages to using plugins is that it can make your website vulnerable to hacking or open to security issues. Generally, this happens with older plugins that are not kept updated by your web designer. These security issues can be quite serious. However, you can avoid them if you take the time to update the plugins on a regular basis. Additionally, if you choose a paid version over a free version, you are less likely to run into security issues since patches can be issued if vulnerabilities are revealed.

Another issue is possibly installing too many plugins. This can lead to a few different issues. For example, plugins from different designers may not interact together well. This can make them less effective or slow down your site. The solution is to choose to use plugins from one creator to have your site run more smoothl.  Additionally, if you notice lag after installing a plugin, it may because the coding on that plugin is not written well, and you may want to consider a different option.

New Favorite WordPress Plugin, “Post Content Shortcodes”

I was showing a client her new site. She was loving it. Everything was going very smoothly. I showed her how to update pages, create pages, edit the menu – she was in love. Everything was going splendidly. I was happy, and more importantly, my client was happy. Then came a bombshell.

“I need my site to say the same thing on a lot of different pages, and I don’t want to have to edit 6 pages that say the same thing. where do I edit that content?”

My heart sank. In my head I was thinking “I have no idea… and I told you at the beginning that wordpress doesn’t do that.” But I maintained my composure and told her I would look into it – knowing full well that this would take hours and hours of research on how to do something that I’ve never done before. She said she needed to be able to edit a page in one place and have it change across multiple pages across her site. Not possible, at least that’s what I thought.

Little did I know, but there is a beautiful plugin called “Post Content Shortcodes“. Once installed, all you need to do is create a post or page with the content that you need repeated throughout the site. Then you paste a short piece of code wherever you want that content to show up.

So if you have your store hours in 25 different places througout your site (and it’s not in the header or footer), think about how annoying it would be to change them all. It would probably take you an hour just to change your hours of operation. With Post Content Shortcodes, it will take you 30 seconds to change it in 25 places. Brilliant. I’ll definitely be using this again.

My Current Favorite WordPress Plugin

The beautiful thing about WordPress is the plugins. And my current favourite is “Advanced Most Recent Posts Mod”. If you remember from my home page, at the very bottom is an area that displays my most recent post. Shown here ↓

This area is actually a widget (I created a fifth footer widget area that allowed me to do this).

WordPress already has a most recent posts widget, but it is very limited in it’s functionality. What advanced most recent posts mod allows you to do is specify EXACTLY what you want displayed. I am able to choose how many words you need, or even how many letters. The customization is fantastic. Take a look at the developers website for more info:

What I am also excited about is the fact that this plugin allows me to put more text on my home page and have it automatically updated every time I write a new post. So, for example, if I write a post about WordPress and Raleigh and want those key words on the home page, this plugin allows me to do that. In this case, it will help with WordPress, not necessarily Raleigh