Questions to Ask Yourself Before Installing a Plugin

WordPress Plugins enhance the functionality of your website. 

Just like apps for your smart phones, plugins enable us to easily add extra features to our WordPress sites by ourselves, without having to know special codes that look like a foreign language nor hire an expensive website developer.  And inside your WordPress website there are thousands of plugins you can choose!  Things like social media share buttons, image sliders, Search Engine Optimization, security & backups, and more!

But then, at some point, you’ll most likely start asking yourself this question:
“Do I need this plugin?”

Well, I  found this very handy flowchart below that shows a decision making process that we all should follow before installing ANY WordPress plugin.

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Graphic courtesy of SixRevisions.com

While it’s fun to play with plugins, it is important to know some plugin basics AND also ask yourself some questions before installing any plugins.  For example, installing an old plugin that hasn’t been updated in years  could make your site vulnerable to hackers.  Also, your WordPress theme might not play well with certain plugins, and badly designed plugins could cause website performance issues.

So when you want to add a plugin, and you are trying to decide between a couple of similar plugins, do your research and go to WordPress.org and look at the popularity of the plugin: number of active installs, the number of stars, when it was last updated,  the reviews, and is their support forum active.

Going through “what you need to know about the plugins” is a topic that I’ve taught for years.
(Click Here to get on the notification list for the next Website Creation Workshop class.) 

Even if you already have some plugins installed on your website, it probably is a good idea to review them from time to time, using the flowchart above.

And remember to keep the number of plugins you have to only the ones you absolutely need!

 

Make Your Own Father’s Day Card

Taking a little break today from WordPress, and celebrating Father’s Day….
So, to all the great dad’s in my community, “Happy Father’s Day!”

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You can make your own Father’s Day card or graphic with free tools on the internet.  Search for free images online, or use your own. 

Then you can spruce it up with any free graphics creating site  such as Canva or Picmonkey.

I made this card with a free stock graphic from The Graphics Fairy,  and then I brought it into Canva and added the text.

All for free!

What is an “Image Gallery” in WordPress?

Many of us love visuals. When you land on a website, it’s the visual images that draw our attention first, don’t you agree? They say you have only a few seconds to grab your website visitor’s attention. Yes, a few SECONDS! And if you fail, people leave. No wonder people spend so much effort to make websites visually appealing.

As you know, it’s very easy to insert images into a post or a page in WordPress. But what if you want to showcase multiple images – like a portfolio – in a very attractive way?

Well today I am going to teach you about WordPress image galleries!

Click Video to learn, and read below…

Image Gallery

An image gallery is a group of images, typically shown in a grid view (there are variations). Works really well when you want people to see many small-size images at once instead of one at a time.

Image Gallery is already included as a part of WordPress’ media uploader function, but I find its features pretty limited. My favorite gallery plugins are Foo Gallery and NextGEN Gallery. They both give you many options to arrange your images and add effects so that your images will pop.

Here is an example of the standard Image Gallery that is build into WordPress. You can click on each image to enlarge.

You can also find many other gallery plugins in the WordPress plugin depository.

And Here is a sample image gallery made with FooGallery.  You can click on each image to enlarge.

 (You can also add a zoom effect with FooGallery Zoom )

 

Here is a sample image gallery made with NextGEN Gallery. You can click on each image to enlarge:

 

 Although these three galleries look very similar, I find FooGallery the easier to use on the back end, and gives you the most functionality.

So try out these image galleries, and other gallery plugins in the WordPress plugin depository, and let me know what you think!

 

Registration Closes Today: Website Creation Summer Camp 2015!

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The Website Creation Summer Camp Closes today!

The summer 6-week online program will be closing today.  The course is designed for coaches, consultants, artists, healers, and all other non-techie business owners.

You will learn WordPress in a hands on environment and don’t need a domain name or hosting to get started in the program.

Click on the button below to find out all the details