WordPress Plug-ins and Widgets
WordPress is the most widely-used content management system (CMS) available powering millions of websites around the world. From ecommerce to informational to even the government websites, WordPress has extensive capabilities and unique functionality. To achieve this type of differentiation, WordPress utilizes plug-ins and widgets. The days of extensive coding to achieve a desired effect are long gone. Now, the process is as simple as downloading and installing the plug-in and widget to your website database.
Plug-ins are small fragments of software that can be installed onto a WordPress-powered website that extends the sites functionality. There are an endless number of plug-ins available in free and premium versions that can be downloaded from WordPress.org Plug-in Directory. The difference between purchasing a plug-in and simply downloading one for free is available support. Paid plug-ins usually offer an around-the-clock team of support specialists and developers who maintain security and fix compatibility issues with the most recent version of WordPress and other themes or plug-ins. Usually these bits of software play nice with other types of software but occasionally the coding will conflict resulting in compatibility problems. With a paid version, it is nice to know that support is available.
Widgets are standalone blocks of code that perform a specific function on your website. For example, a widget may update news as it is available or provide weather information. Widgets can be added to sidebars and other widget-ready sections of your web page which include headers, footers, below content and the sidebar. Widgets were developed to deliver an easy method of providing structure and design control to the developer. The majority of WordPress themes are widget ready and boast multiple areas of placement.
There are a variety of widget types that can be downloaded and installed. WordPress is packaged with several types such as calendar, categories, navigation menu, recent posts, search and tag cloud. Simply dragging the recent posts default widget into the area, the website will contain a list of the most recent posts. In many instances, plug-ins add their own widgets to provide more control to the user over the display of that plug-in. Continue reading →