Following on from the last ‘slideshows’ post, one of the big advantages of having a WordPress built website is that it gives you access to use many already built plugins available for download to add enhancements and features to your website.
So I’ve been testing various ones that I’ve thought could be useful to my own site, and could recommend on for others to use if required.
Firstly, I tried out a WordPress plugin for adapting a website for mobile devices like iPads, iPods, Blackberry phones etc. You might have seen how some websites display a slightly more limited, faster loading and easier to read version of the full website. Usually there is an option at the bottom to switch between modes as well. Well using a plugin called WPtouch I’ve done exactly that for www.webdesigngarage.co.uk. I’ve been testing on my iPod touch, and using the fairly extensive customisations available achieved a simple web look that I’m happy with.
What’s more, with a bit of web design knowledge I can actually tailor the content to show / hide things from the full site as sometimes (in the real world) even some of the best things on a full screen don’t work as well on the small device. Now I’ve had some experience of the plugin, I realise that I could even have a completely separate website for the mobile devices still using all of the great content management possibilities within WordPress.
Another WordPress enhancement I’ve started using is a Search Engine Optimisation plugin. It gets good reports, and we’ll see, but at least it makes the tinkering of the fundamental code beyond SEO visible and easily editable within the content management of WordPress posts and pages. I can see it can get complex, and I’m just starting out as I know there’s loads more options I want to explore.
One thing to be careful about is not to overload your website with unnecessary plugins, making your site heavy or slow to load. That said I’ve also included one highly recommended plugin for caching pages and parts of the site. This is very useful for sites with lots of content, but it should make all aspects of the site load faster. Not a bad thing.
Obviously the list could go on and on – there’s plugins for nearly everything you want – some take time, some may not do exactly what you require, some of the best cost money, but the vast majority are free to use, and come with instructions and help, and in some cases forums.
Overall plugins are valuable and easy assets to enhance a WordPress site, if you want to know more check out WordPress plugins, or contact me for advice on how they could help you