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WordPress is an amazing CMS system that is renowned for its flexibility as not only a blogging platform, but a platform for those who are simply seeking to publish content based websites to the Internet. It is for this reason that usage of WordPress has skyrocketed over the fast few years, as such, a very active community has given the platform support by developing what would have to be the largest directory of plugins for a single platform in history.
So, what is a plugin? A WordPress plugin is a simple script or software package that extends the functionality of the WordPress platform further than what the original developers of the platform have decided upon. It is for this reason that the CMS is quite raw, and offers only basic functionality such as creating posts, pages, and editing basic code.
A plugin is generally installed via the plugin administration area in WordPress, and can either be done automatically from the plugins directory hosted by WordPress, or can also be done manually via FTP, or via an upload in the back end of WordPress. In most cases, you will never need to install a plugin manually, however, as the availability of premium plugins is rising significantly, this is happening more and more.
A plugin is a piece of software added to enhance a current piece of software – and that’s what the various WordPress plugins do – they enhance the actual WordPress website.
So, here are my top five favorite WordPress plugins:
Thesis Theme – this is a theme that changes the look and feel of your blogsite and what I especially love about this particular plugin is that it can change the look and feel of your blogsite with just a few simple clicks of your mouse. You can change the font, color, background color, number of columns, page navigation etc. really quickly and easily and you don’t need to be a programmer to do this. Just one or two clicks and you’re done… it takes seconds!
2. WishList Member – this plugin turns your WordPress site into a fully customizable membership platform. You can keep an area of your website for the general public to see and have access to, and then you can create an area of your website that only paid members have access to. This is great for creating a private client area for your website or creating a paid ecourse or program that members have access to and go in and download their lessons. You are limited only by your imagination!
3. TweetMeMe – this is a great little plugin for encouraging your readers to retweet your blog posts into the twitterverse. The button shows a live count of the number of times your webpage or blog post has been tweeted.
4. Akismet – this is a really great, robust, plugin that protects your blog posts from spam comments and so eliminates the possibility that your blog could be overrun by spammers. This plugin used to be free but now they change a small monthly free in order for you access it… well worth it in my opinion as it really does a great job at keeping the spammers at bay.
5. ContactForm7 – quickly and easily add a contact form to your blogsite with this nifty little WordPress plugin. It allows you to flexibly design the form and mail. You can manage multiple contact forms as well. In addition, it supports many features including AJAX submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering, file uploading, etc.
Definitely an elaborate view on the subject of WordPress plugins. Please leave your comment below.