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What are WordPress themes and plugins and how do you use them on your website?

As a business owner, you’ll know only too well by now how important it is to make sure your company has a strong online presence. Without that, you’ll struggle to grow and reach long-term growth goals. And the cornerstone of your online presence is no doubt your website. Getting that right and making sure it’s able to impress potential customers is key. Using the right plugins and choosing a good theme will make that much easier. Here’s what you need to know about those things and how to start using them.

WordPress Plugins

What’s a WordPress Theme?

First of all, we need to clear up what a WordPress theme actually is. They’re installed when you want to make big and sweeping changes to your website and how it looks and is structured. It changes the design, the colours, the style and even things such as the navigation and layout. You should only have one of them in place at a time on your website. Different themes are good for different types of websites, whether you are building a business site or creating a personal blog.

What’s a Plugin?

Plugins are many and varied, but each of them is designed to offer a new and specific kind of feature or function to your website. Rather than changing the style and layout of your website like a theme does, a plugin instead offers something new and unique in terms of functionality. There are too many of them to mention here, and there’s a plugin for just about every kind of feature you could possibly want to add to your website.  However, you need be careful not to add too many as they could then become the problem rather than the solution. Obviously, we love plugins and often use them to find the right solution for a client so feel free to ask if you have a problem to solve and aren’t sure where to start.

WordPress computer

How to Start Using Them on Your Website

On your WordPress admin page, you can head to the Appearance tab and choose Themes. From there, you’ll be able to explore new themes, including paid and free options, and then customise them in a way that suits you. They’re all very easy to install, some direct from the online store and premium ones through zip files that you receive after buying one.

Plugins also come in free and paid varieties. It’s as simple as heading to the Plugins tab and searching or browsing the options that are found there. When you find one that is right for what you want to achieve, you can install it by following the on-screen instructions.  We do recommend you back up your site before adding anything just in case it causes any problems or conflicts with any of the other plugins or themes you are using.  This is rare but a complete pain in the proverbial when it happens so you will be glad of the ability to roll it back if need be. Always check with your host that they undertake regular backups and if not then try using a plugin to help with this.

The Benefits They Offer

The right theme will offer huge value to your website. First and foremost, it will ensure the visitors to your website get the right first impressions. It’ll ensure they see a website that’s befitting of your brand and the image you want to project. After that, it’ll ensure they can navigate it easily and understand the layout in an intuitive way.

Plugins are important because we all want different things from our websites. And the basic features that you get on a WordPress website are often lacking. The ability to add a range of plugins allows for great customisation, allowing you to create a website that’s truly yours.

Now that you have more of an understanding of WordPress themes and plugins and how you might use them you can start to think about how they might benefit your website.  When you do so, your business will start feeling the benefit right away, so make the most of what these features have to offer. If this has left you wanting to know more and really see how you could start to put this knowledge into action on your own website then we offer one to one sessions and have a series of retreats coming up in the new year.

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