What is a plugin and how it works?

One of the features that make WordPress a great platform to create a blog or website is its flexibility and ability to adapt to any kind of need. And the kind of tools that offers to users.

In terms of design, the themes (or templates) allow you to have a choice among thousands of designs or also create or modify a template to your tastes and needs.

But if we want to expand the possibilities and function of WordPress, in an unlimited way, plugins are the best way to achieve this.

What is a plugin?

Plugins are software or applications containing a group of functions or features, which help to improve in all aspects your WordPress website.

There are plugins for every need in WordPress, including:

  • Design
  • Statistics (Analytics)
  • Email marketing
  • Social networks
  • Security
  • Backups
  • Web Traffic
  • e-Commerce
  • SEO
  • And others.

If you need to have some functionality on your site, the phrase "there is a plugin for that," applies perfectly. Everything that you need for your website, if you are using WordPress, you can find it in a plugin.

And if does not exist, you can create! In freelance sites like oDesk, Powertofly or Guru.com there are many freelancers that you can hire to create any plugin that you require for your blog or website.

Thanks that WordPress is an open source platform, hundreds of web developers are able to create plugins for the platform. At present, there are more than 30,000 plugins in the official directory of WordPress.

In addition to free plugins, there are many developers who build your business and are dedicated to selling "Premium" plugins, that focus on solving and improve different elements and aspects of WordPress. The plugins are developed mainly in PHP and also use HTML, Javascript and CSS.

Installing and admin plugins

As an administrator in your website you can install, edit and delete plugins from the WordPress main desktop. And to install a plugin, you have two options:

  • Installing from the desktop into the Plugins WordPress> Install New option
  • From FTP with .ZIP file

Examples of plugins

Let's see some examples of different plugins and what they can do with WordPress:

1. All in One SEO Pack

This plugin helps configure and optimize WordPress for a good search engine in Google, Bing or others. It offers an option to change the title, add a meta description, keywords and categories on the home page and every page or post.

It also automates the optimization of tags, URLs, add sitemaps, it syncs with Google Analytics and more. A great choice for internal optimization SEO.

2. WooCommerce

A plugin to create a professional, effective and process online store orders every day. This plugin, developed by Woothemes, converts WordPress in an e-Commerce platform.

With WooCommerce you can add products of all kinds (physical and digital), use different attributes and synchronize it with many payment processors like Paypal.

3. Pop Up Domination

This plugin works by creating a "pop-up" or subscription on any WordPress page. When a user is browsing the site, will appear in a given a popup with a form to subscribe to the newsletter blog or site.

This helps a lot to increase the number of subscribers and grow the audience of a blog.

4. Akismet

With this plugin, you can remove excess SPAM of your website. When installed, your website and the comments section will be much cleaner, plus you will no longer receive your mail notifications of new "junk" comments or spam.

How many plugins should I install in WordPress?

The number of plugins isn’t a big issue, and what matters is quality. If you need 10, 25 or 40 plugins, go ahead! Just make sure they are good quality plugins created by developers with experience and expertise. Never use “pirate” plugins, hacked or with a dubious origin as they may have malicious code.

Now that you know what it is and what does a plugin, begins to use them!


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WooCommerce is the main plugin for online stores

WooCommerce is an e-commerce plugin that lets you create an online store with WordPress. This plugin gives you all the typical characteristics of a sales portal, and is the main choice for anyone wishing to start selling products or services over the Internet.

With WooCommerce can manage inventory, product catalogs, orders, prices and more. This plugin is designed for all kinds of shops, and offers a lot of configuration options to customize your online shop on your way.

WooCommerce installation is quite simple and does not require any specialized knowledge. In just a few hours you can create a functional online store, ready to receive payments through Paypal or any other payment method, along cash, check, bank transfer.

This plugin has a simple and efficient purchase process, which will ensure a high conversions at the moment of the sales. Also WooCommerce is intuitive to use, allows you to control orders and the order state, from the time they are generated until delivery at the customer.

In addition, WooCommerce is the number one in e-commerce for WordPress and has a huge community of related apps, extensions, services and experts. The official page already has more than 240 different extensions, with which you can extend the functionality of your store and customize according to your needs.

The are some critics to WooCommerce, and is because generate some conflicts on installation, depending on the WordPress theme you use.

Nevertheless with WooCommerce you can create a store quickly and easily. With a little investment of time and money because is a free plugin that can be downloaded from the same WordPress (plugins section) or from the official website: http://www.woothemes.com/woocommerce/ 

It is a very simple and intuitive tool to set up a small online store, for example with about 50 products and offers support and translation in many languages.

WooCommerce offers more features than other ecommerce WordPress plugins, as JigoShop or WP_Ecommerce. Also has good support and video tutorials all over the website and, off course, in the official website: http://www.woothemes.com/videos/.

But other critic to WooCommerce is regarding themes, because there are few free themes available for the sales platform, but, in the other hand, there are mostly adapted to any device (phone or tablet). The (free or paid) own themes are also in the website http://www.woothemes.com/product-category/themes/

The main features of WooCommerce

Management of different forms of payment: COD, Paypal, bank transfer, check, card payment gateway.

Configuring the shipping costs: free, single price or according to weight, measure of the package or shipping country.

Configuring taxes, it may be included in the final price or not, and can impose different taxes per product.

Create discount coupons with a fixed amount or a percentage, for specific products or product categories.

Add different attributes and variations in product characteristics (color, size, etc.).

You can sell physical or digital products.

Provides inventory reports that inform the stock of products available for sale.

Provides other reports, state orders, sales and customers.

Incorporates SEO fields required for search engine optimization.


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Google and WordPress has the solution to your website

Google and WordPress are perhaps the most influential companies on The Internet nowadays, with the applications, plugins and functionality they offer, and others reasons. And this perfect “online merge” has been for many years because these two companies understood that their integration could further enhance its tools and services.

WordPress not only integrates Google Analytics to all sites in a simple and efficient way, with a plugin, but also, thanks to a joint effort, WordPress have managed to integrate all the tools that Google offers on the market for common users and for developers, programmers, designers and content editors.

The partnership established between Google and WordPress has enabled the websites using the open source platform, and have more resources to reach larger audiences and make more stable their websites.

For businesses, Google Apps for Works has been a solution. Gmail, Drive, Hangouts and Calendars integrate WordPress perfectly. With Google Apps Login users can log in WordPress using Google accounts, making more secure the process to access. The basic version is free, but there are also Premium and Enterprise options. 

The union of Google and WordPress promises to improve the productivity of employees and the company through business tools that offers Google Apps for Work, because with Google apps you can access to all your information from your computer, tablet or smartphone anywhere if you. Drive offers that possibility. All your documents can be storage in the cloud, and supports documents for Windows and others systems. 

If you want to have your documents in your website, and for free, you can use Google Drive Embedder plugin. Also, users can use and embed the documents in their post directly.

Google Apps is also a hosted cloud service, which reduces time and IT infrastructure and provides permanent access to the latest versions of software updates. 

How not to use the best email service provider and the world? With WordPress and Google, you can integrate to your page Gmail, the most secure and trustful email service on The Internet, with anti-spam protection.

Also, your website can integrate Google Apps Directory and Google Profile Avatars, among others plugins that Google offers for WordPress.

On the Internet there are hundreds of tutorials on how to install plugins Google, as well as WordPress Plugins page, so you do not have to fear when installed.

Using the tools that these companies offers is an excellent idea, especially if your knowledge of websites and Internet are basic and are beginning to learn how to introduce in the business of websites.

Google and WordPress launch new applications and features that can be incorporated without major problems and to help you improve and optimize your daily work.

you forget not read all the material that comes to you about updates, as they also can benefit when making any decisions about your business.


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Increase security in your blog

Security is the biggest concern for websites developers, especially for pages that sell products or services and others related to online business. And, at the moment, no other platform is more secure than WordPress to program a website, and it is because, in addition to his security measures, WordPress offers to developers wide options in security plugins and add-ons. 

To increase the security of a blog or website, there are some options, like Akismet, a free anti-spam plugin, BackWPup, to make security backup (also free), Limit Login Attempts, that limited and block an IP after several failed attempts and UpdraftPlus Backup and Restoration for WordPress. But now we are going to analyze Sucuri and BackupBuddy, two newest WordPress plugins.

Sucuri
Sucuri is a firewall, and as a firewall, control the access to a computer or a website. As we told, security is a big issue for websites and this WordPress plugin is a great tool to getting protection and secure your online business.

This firewall protects and monitors your website for any kind of attack (malware threats, XSS, oS or DDoS, and brute force). Hackers can’t attack your page easily with this feature. Also, this plugin helps you to optimize your website performance.

Sucuri website firewall (WAF) also support Joomla!, Drupal, Magento, Oscommerce, .Net, phpBB and Bulletin and offers development solutions, a custom configuration for companies and three plans, Basic, Pro and Business. 

All plans include web application firewall, intrusion prevention, and detection system, managed audit logs, layer 7 DDOS protection, HTTO Flood protection, brute force protection, virtual patching and hardening, XSS, SQL and code injection prevention, external CDN support and one-click 2FA, captcha and password protection. 

The platform cost stars in 9,99 dollars per month (Basic), 19,98 dollars per month (Pro) and 69,93 dollars per month (Business).

BackupBuddy
BackupBuddy is the best plugin to make security backup in WordPress, developed by iThemes, this plugin is the most effective and secure way to keep your information because allows you to make a secure copy in any WordPress version and send it to whenever we want: Dropbox, RackSpace, Amazon web services, an FTP server or even to an email account. You can also programs backups if you want to and download the files to your desktop computer.

With this platform, you can have a reliable backup system, export a secure backup and restore your website with a few clicks if something really ugly happens and you have to restore your website from scratch. You only upload your zip file with the security backup and activate the restoration process, in your website or in another domain, BackupBuddy also will restore and change the URL in the database.

The platform includes database-only or full backups, automatic  schedules backups, 1GB free stash storage and the possibilities of excluding files & database tables and download backup files.

Both WordPress plugins make a complete and secure protection to your website from hackers and others attacks. You can neglect the power of a hack attack and use all the tools that The Internet offers.
 


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Videos and WordPress: plugins, tutorials and themes

According to the last Google report, more than 1 billion people use Youtube in the world, every minute more than 500 hours of video are uploaded to the biggest video social network and more than 4 billion people see video materials per day. With Vine and Periscope in the picture, videos had reached a lead role on the Internet. 

And videos on the web have become one of the most popular ways to share content, tutorials, information, music, entertainment and more. Many people prefer to watch videos that reading, for information or fun. 

Websites must improve their designs to allow videos and visual content, and WordPress offers to websites three possibilities to use and shows videos: inside posts, in themes and in plugins.

How to post a Youtube video on a website with WordPress
In posts, the process to insert YouTube videos in WordPress is very simple and you can do it with 2 steps. First, copy the URL of the video on Youtube; second login into your website to post where you want the video to be displayed and, in the WordPress editor, simply right-click and “Paste”. 

Includes a video in your website is not a big deal, and posts with videos are more fun and attractive to read.

Which WordPress themes are made for videos websites
Wordpress is a complete platforms to use if you want o have o create a video website, themes, templates and plugins give you the best tools to show your videos and share them with social networks.

Some of the best WordPress themes for videos websites are VideoTouch, VideoTube, Slimvideo, True Mag, VYSUAL, Snaptube, onPlay, Vidiho, The Producer, SocialPlay, VideoPress, Viduze, Video Theme, VideoZ, Primero, VideoCraft, Video, Solar, VideoPlus, VideoPro, Videozoom, Gigawatt and Motion Picture, all themes designed for video websites. 

There are others WordPress themes for video websites, but these 20 are the best because their design is made to highlight videos, includes Youtube integration and also are mobile responsive. Themes are perfect if you are a film o documentary director or a tv producer and want a website to use as a portfolio, or if you have a tv news program, or you have nonprofessional videos and you want to share your hobby with the world. You can see this 20 WordPress themes on the official website, www.wordpress.org or in this link.

Another detail that you have to consider is that your theme works perfectly for smartphones and tablets, and hey all fulfill this feature.

Which WordPress plugins are for videos
Wordpress offers plugins for every need that you have, and for videos there are plugins like Envira Gallery, the best plugins to video galleries, responsive and mobile-friendly, is a drag-and-drop gallery builder for a photo and video. In this Youtube video you can see all the features that Envira Gallery has for your website.

At the moment, studies on World Wide Web shows that videos are the materials that users prefer to share and to inform. Maximize your website including videos with these wonderful WordPress tools.


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Social networks in WordPress

Nowadays there is no discussion about the importance of social networks in the Internet and for any company. Users all over the word are sharing stories and information thru social networks, specially using Twitter and Facebook, even others like Instagram, Snapchat and Periscope are in the spot to. But if you want to be notice you have to integrate in your website your social networks, and WordPress has some plugins that can be very useful and easy to instal

There are paid WordPress plugins like Monarch, a new premium plugin that allows you to add different social networks without interfere in your design because -you can adapt buttons to do so- and it is very easy for any person to use on different social networks.

Others WordPress plugins are specifics, like Gplus Badge are the typical type widget “badge”, you can put it in the sidebar, in this case is exclusive for Google+. 

Pinterest Badge is also specific and creates a widget similar to Gplus but is for Pinterest, one of the social network that today are the essential way to show content for fashion or design websites, because allows you to show in a better way the products that you have. 

For Twitter, another specific WordPress plugin is Liked Twitter Box, a tool that helps you to displays a list of your followers on Twitter in the sidebar, and you can see it in action in the sidebar of your website. 

Shareaholic is a very attractive to share your posts at the end of each bar. This plugin is one of favorites because you can customize it completely, and you can decide which buttons to use in each case. This plugins also work with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, G+ and others.

Another new plugin is WP Social Sharing, you can add social media with special and trendy icons design, -all buttons are created using CSS3- and works with Linkedin, Pinterest, Xing and Google+. Also the users are able to add text when they are sharing.

Click to Tweet is the last excellent plugin that are we going to recommend. This WordPress plugin  lets you create a phrase or tweet for users who are reading your tickets or any other content you can publish in your Twitter with a single click.

The importance of these WordPress plugins are related also with the growth of social networks, because today people are more likely to see Facebook or Twitter rather than the news or read a newspaper. Your website need to be connected to Internet and all the social networks that you can, because your product will be reach more people every day.


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The Benefits of Using Premium WordPress Themes

     Having free stuff always seems like a good idea, since our brains are programmed to constantly scan the windows for those SALE signs and we enjoy when we find something cheap or when we receive gifts and presents. However, quality is not always associated with free stuff, and the famous phrase that says “you only get what you pay for” is tried and tested by many people in history. If you want to get things done in a professional and successful manner – that will cost you, and this basic principle is applicable to all areas of human activity, including websites.

WP-in-2016

When it comes to websites, you probably already know that WordPress is currently the best CMS (content management software) system and that a lot of websites are created with the help of this platform. In fact, over 60 million of them, but let us not go into the statistics and those giant figures. What we want to focus on are themes, since they are one of the main elements of a site and they are the front-end, i.e. the part of the website which is visible to the visitors. Themes can be free, which means that you can install them with no charge and that you can use them without spending a dollar of your money, even if you make thousands of dollars of your website. Since WordPress is an open source project, there is an abundance of free themes out there, and you can always have a go with one of them.

Four Tips to Choose a WordPress Theme

On the other hand, there are premium WordPress themes, which require relatively small payments to be made before you can download and install the theme in question. They are usually created by professional developers, and this fact gives you a certain sense of guarantee that everything is going to work and that you are not just wasting your money. User reviews and experiences say that premium WordPress themes are worth every penny and that they offer much more than the free ones can ever do. Here are just some of the reasons why you should always go for the premium version:

For instance, the quality of the code and the performances of the theme are usually much better when using premium WordPress themes, and this is the main reason why people opt for them. Besides that, premium WordPress themes are more functional, which means that they generally have a more intuitive interface that offers better surfing experience.

premium-wordpress-themes

Also, premium themes are more responsive and they can be used on different platforms, especially on mobile devices which are evidently “the next big thing”. Security and safety are also included into the reason why you would go premium, and there are regular updates to premium WordPress themes unlike those for free themes. People who create and design those payed version have to show some level of obligation to their clients and they offer constant support, which means that every problem can be easily solved and you will not waste your precious time on forums and trying to figure out what has suddenly gone wrong with your free theme.


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