The WordPress core provides an excellent foundation for a site with basic features out of the box, but what’s really great about it is just how customizable this content management system can be. We mentioned this in our previous post about custom plugins. If you know what you are doing, it is easy to modify and enhance a WordPress site to make your website vision a digital reality.
Just as they do with security, WordPress offers programmers roadmaps and guidance when it comes to adding on to the core platform. They also encourage it in their ‘Bill of Rights,’ which lays out four core freedoms:
1. The freedom to run the program, for any purpose.
2. The freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do what you wish.
3. The freedom to redistribute.
4. The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others.
That second one. Teary eyes. Actually, all four of them are worthy of the crying face emoji—in a good way, obviously. These rights are as important individually as they are together, and are a big reason why we really enjoy working with WordPress. We are empowered as developers to create, modify, use, share, repeat. We get by with a little help from our friends, and WordPress is definitely in our fave five.
To continue our series, WordPress is our Jam and Let Us Tell You Why (we know, it’s a ridiculous name), we thought we’d talk next about one of our favorite WordPress features: plugins. Specifically, custom plugins. You’re probably familiar with plugins—programs that can be installed in your site’s WordPress backend that allow you to add a specific set of features to your website. Need a quick contact form? There’s a plugin for that. Need a calendar of events? Yep, plugin. Additional security? Why of course! Plugins are a convenient and seemingly simple way to crank up the functionality of your site.
(You saw that coming, didn’t you?)
As with all good things, there is a caveat. In this case there are multiple. Often times these plugins that allow you to flip a switch and turn on some much needed functionality come with some downright junky code. They also may come with additional features you don’t need, giving you some extra—and for your purposes, useless—code that may slow down your site’s loading speeds or make things more complicated than necessary. Finally, if you ever run into an issue with a plugin and you don’t know the developer, you may be stuck on the phone or waiting forever for an email from Support staged in a far off place.
Our advice: choose simple. Don’t shoehorn a bulky, multi-faceted plugin into your site just for a minor piece of functionality. All those unused options are mistakes waiting to happen. Let us build you one, sleek plugin instead. We enjoy flexing our coding muscles to give our clients the right functionality for their site with the cleanest code solution possible. After all, not all plugins are one size fits all. We have done everything from adding the ability to get a customized moving estimate to creating a nifty page to capture a testimonial and cue it up for approval and publishing. For one client, we even created an entire suite of tools that allows their providers to document and bill visits with their patients! Collaborating with our clients to come up with the right solution is our bread and butter. Plus, we are easy to get in touch with– phone, email, Twitter, you name it. We’re here! We can’t wait to see what plugin you have in mind!