If you talk to a WordPress developer for even a short length of time, you are very likely to hear the word “Plugin”. Many people upon hearing such words just dismiss them as Geekish and don’t worry that they don’t know what on earth their shiny-eyed friend is talking about. However, if you have read this far then the chances are that you actually want to know what they are all about.
Despite the image to the left, they are nothing at all to do with plugs. The 30 second summary is that they are a way to extend the capabilities of WordPress without resorting to writing complex computer code yourself.
At the time of writing, there are 27,516 plugins listed on the WordPress.org site, offering everything from A Featured Page Widget to a Zoom-Image effect and everything in between! This is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because whatever you want WordPress to do there is a very high chance that someone has already done it as a plugin so it will be a simple matter for you to click and install exactly the right bit of code to do what you want. A curse because with all that range there are some plugins which simply don’t work, and it is close to impossible to even read through all the possibilities.
That’s where your web developer can help. It is very likely that they will have tried many of the plugins and found ones that work well. There can also be problems with plugins interacting badly with each other. A good web developer will have test sites so any new plugin can be tried on the site to make sure that it behaves well with exactly your combination of other plugins.
Today, almost everything you can think of to do on a web site is possible with a fresh copy of WordPress and the right plugins. So let your imagination run wild and ask your web developer!