Extend WordPress with plugins
Continue scrolling to read about how WordPress can be adapted for use in all sorts of situations via the addition of ‘plugins’, sort of bolt-on tools designed to enhance the core functionality of the essentially presentation-based platform.
Of course the functionality outlined here may have little in common with your requirements, but it will at least give you an insight into how WordPress can be adapted for many different sets of requirements.
Over and above these examples of ready-made plugins, we can also delve into the heart of WordPress code to add custom functionality where needed.
The Genesis Framework.
Well, yes, not strictly-speaking a plugin. The Genesis Framework allows us to create web sites that have a dividing wall between the underlying code of WordPress, and the aesthetic aspect of your site – the theme and design.
Next: ACF – Advanced Custom Fields
ACF – Advanced Custom Fields.
This plugin is top-of-list for any use case that requires extra ‘fields’ – database values – to match a business requirement. It allows you to store and display pretty much any type of information on the front or back-end, truly unlocking the potential of your site.
Next: Events Calendar
Display any sort of event, link through to event details, integrate with ticket booking, show availability and integrate with online reservation, and so on and so on.
Display locations with mapping, enable date-based searching – the possibilities are many, the usability is best-of-breed.
Manage your mailing lists and subscriptions, be that a weekly or monthly newsletter, or a specific product or event email list. Easy sign-up on the front end, create attractive emails on the back-end, and all under industry best-practice, GDPR compliant standards.
Next: Woo Commerce
What better demonstration of how WordPress has evolved? From blogging to e-commerce, all inside WP.
Whilst we’d advise a full-blown e-commerce solution for anything beyond a handful of products, or for products that are complicated and/or require working in a multi-faceted business environment, Woo Commerce will usually get the job done if you’re just starting out.
Forms are usually present on a site as a contact form and that’s about as far as it goes. But they can be used as a key part of any data-driven process or application, such as surveys, or if > then question and answer inputs; this data can be collected and saved, or it can be taken as a search input to produce data-tailored results.
Next: Updraft Plus
Not everything is about presentation or functionality. You’ll want to know your site is safe and saved should anything go wrong. That might be an ‘oops, I’ve messed that up, how do I rollback?’ moment, or it might be a more catastrophic failure.
Either way, having a serious backup tool in place (and working away in the background) is essential, giving you both on- and off-site backups for complete peace of mind.
Next: Social Media Feeds
Social Media Feeds.
Don’t reinvent the wheel. If you’re working hard on your Social Media channels then you already have a rich set of content.
Effectively and attractively embed your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds right in your site – so much more that just a set of ‘Like’ buttons.
Next: Email options
Not all email is created equal.
You’ll know when you need more control over your email campaigns, or your transactional emails. Come that day you’ll likely be looking at using an external SMTP service.
WP Mail SMTP will likely go most of the way towards solving your email deliverability issues.
WordPress and security. In the past, perhaps not the happiest couple on the web. But that was then. Now there’s Wordfence, a silent but effective gatekeeper.
A Firewall for WordPress, it will automatically monitor and block attacks on your site. Not quite fire and forget, but not far off it.
Get in touch.
We’re a small and serious team of experienced designers and developers, ready to talk to you about any web project. You may already have a site that needs a re-design or added functionality; you may be starting a new business or project, or perhaps your business is growing and you need help with progressing things online.
We’re happy also to hear from agencies about freelance requirements.