Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ultimate Guide Tips to WordPress themes vs. Plug-ins vs. Widgets

One of the main advantage of WordPress is its ease in customizability.  You can adjust its design and contest without any programming knowledge.  How?  By utilizing WordPress themes, plug-ins and widgets.
WordPress themes or templates
These are the skeleton of your WordPress site.  It offers the basic framework.  These are a must.  However, their functionalities are less flexible than plug-ins and widgets so you have to choose them carefully taking in consideration not only their design but also their functionalities since  they may or may not be difficult to turn on or off.
There are free and paid ones offered online.  Usually, free ones have embedded codes in them back-linking to the makers or ad links.  On the other side, most paid themes offer back-up support.
WordPress plug-ins
Plug-ins are installed to extend the functionalities of your WordPress.   They may front-end as they are seen by your viewers at your WordPress Site or back-end.
These are installed to your WordPress by:
  1. Searching in WordPress Dashboard>Plugins>Add new
  2. Downloading from WordPress Plugin Directory or anywhere in the internet and uploading it in .zip format in WordPress Dashboard>Plugins>Add new>Upload>Install Now
Plug-ins can be activated or deactivated and installed or uninstalled easily.  They could be very useful but too much can slow than your loading speed.  There are also plug-ins such as
WordPress widgets
These are objects which you can add and be seen on your WordPress sidebar.  These may or may not be derived from a
WordPress Front-end Plug-in or part of your theme.  You can choose which Widgets to place on your sidebars and arrange them accordingly on your WordPress Dashboard>Appearance>Widgets.
You can also add more widgets by inserting codes in WordPress Dashboard>Appearance>Widgets>Text.     
While plug-ins are offered specifically for WordPress, widgets are offered to all platforms.  These are very flexible.   You can easily add,edit and remove the codes whenever you want especially if you believe it slows down your load speed.  However, most HTML and javascripts are not compatible in WordPress.
In fact WordPress only accepts the following HTML codes:
address, a, abbr, acronym, area, b, big, blockquote, br, caption, cite, class, code, col, del, dd, div, dl, dt, em, font, h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6, hr, i, img, ins, kbd, li, map, ol, p, pre, q, s, span, strike, strong, sub, sup, table, tbody, td, tfoot, tr, tt, ul, var
 A solution to this problem is to install plugins that will them acceptable such as the HTML Javascript Adder.  Let me know if there are better plugins out there.=)
So basically, you need to add all of these to enhance your WordPress site.   Each of them have their own Pros and Cons depending on what you need.  It usually takes a lot of trial and error.  But you could lessen my time and recommend useful plug-ins and widgets here.=)